Do Hummingbirds Worry?

Do Hummingbirds Worry?

I had a conversation with a bird last week. I’m not Dr. Dolittle, although my wife calls me that sometimes when it comes to doing housework. I asked, “Mr. Bird, why are you singing so much?” He said, “It’s springtime, don’t you know?” I said, “Yes, but people are sick.  Some are dying.  The economy is bad. There is no March Madness.  Children want to go to school, but they can’t.  I can’t play with my granddaughter.” The bird chirped back that all of that sounded terrible, but why should he stop singing? I said, “Well, my feathered friend.  I think people are going to put you way down on their priority list.  No one is rushing out to buy birdseed these days.  Only toilet paper and canned goods.” “Tweetle Dee,” said the bird. “Birdseed makes us lazy anyway. Haven’t you heard that long ago Jesus made us the focus of one of his parables?” “Look at us,” he said. “We do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet the Heavenly Father feeds us.” “I appreciate your birdseed,” said the bird. “God uses you to feed us.  But if not you, then our food will come from somewhere else.  It always has. It always will.” Then the bird flew away. And I thought about what the bird said.  I wondered how I could have a song in my heart like the bird, but I’m worried about so much right now. A little later, the bird came back.  He had something in his beak.  I took it from him and noticed that it was two blades...
Living With God During Anxious Times

Living With God During Anxious Times

Living With God During Anxious Times Philippians 4:6-7 Matthew 6:25-27 Everywhere you look, anxiety is running high. Anxiety is characterized by feelings of tension and worrying thoughts. Some people feel a sense of impending doom. When people are anxious, some overeat. Others have no appetite at all. Others smoke or use alcohol or drugs. Some people feel stressed out, and some even have panic attacks. Have you ever had something on your mind that bothered you, and you just couldn’t stop thinking about it? It seemed to consume your every waking minute. Anxiety can be felt in various places in our body: headaches, a nervous stomach, eating disorders, increased blood pressure, or skin issues are a few ways anxiety affects our bodies. Sometimes are anxieties are so high we can’t sleep or we dream about the things that bother us. Recently a nurse told me she kept having this reoccurring dream that she died and I did her funeral at the Pendergrass Flea Market, but not many people came, not even her husband. I didn’t think to tell her the funeral must not have been on a weekend because there would have been thousands there.  But I did tell her I thought she was having that dream because she was thinking a lot about death.  She works in an ICU where there are Covid-19 patients and so she must be thinking about her own mortality. We are social creatures. We are often affected by the anxieties of others. That’s why our leaders need to remain calm during a crisis. Have you ever wondered how a crowd could turn into...
Living With God Through the Exile

Living With God Through the Exile

Living With God Through the Exile March 22, 2020 Jeremiah 24 Since we met last Sunday the Covid-19 virus has been labeled a Pandemic.  There are now 316, 506 cases with 13,599 deaths and those numbers change by the hour. This crisis is unlike anything we have seen since the early 1900s. We are being told to shelter in place, to maintain social distance, and to keep any gathering very, very small. Instead of our churches swelling in attendance in response to a crisis, our churches are empty. There is no school, no church, no sports.   Restaurants, bars, stores, concerts, conventions, are all either canceled or scaled back in hours.    We are all in a self-imposed exile.    We have been carried away from life as we know it, and this may last for some time. We don’t have any way of knowing when life will return to normal. Some people are freaking out. Some people are angry. Some people are grieving. Their graduation, a chance to play for a championship, or their dream wedding has been canceled.   Some people have been laid off from work. Some are worried about paying their bills, their 401k’s, and of course, their health. Some people are ignoring the warnings. Some people are showing their greed and panic and purchasing more than they need.  Some people are acting like this is the apocalypse. Me? I’m listening to Hank Williams Jr., who sings “A Country Boy Can Survive.” “I got a shotgun, a rifle, and a 4-wheel drive, And a country boy can survive, country folks can survive.”  That’s my philosophy.  If you...
Irrational Faith

Irrational Faith

Isn’t Faith Irrational? Luke 9:28-36 March 15, 2020 Every week it seems that we there is something new in our world to digest with the Coronavirus, wild stock market swings, social distancing, and people being quarantined. In many cases, all we need is a little rational thinking, a little more common sense. What we don’t need are people trying to take advantage of people’s fears. Last week the New York Attorney General ordered televangelist Jim Bakker to stop promoting an alleged Coronavirus cure by selling a product called “Silver Solution.” Most rational people would know that such a product was a fake, but why would a preacher be selling a product and falsely claiming it would do something that it could not do? There have always been those people claiming to be who they were not and claiming to do what they could not do.  Was Jesus one of those people? By the ninth chapter of Luke’s gospel, the physician informs us that the ministry of Jesus was in full swing. He had trained his disciples and sent them out with power to drive out demons and to cure diseases. He sent them out to preach about the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He sent them out with instructions to take no staff, no bag, no food, no money, or an extra tunic. They carried light loads and heavy hearts, heavy for the people whom they desired to bring into the kingdom of God. A buzz had developed around Jerusalem because of the work done by Jesus and his disciples. Herod, the tetrarch thought he had put...
‘Ole Time Religion?

‘Ole Time Religion?

‘Ole Time Religion? Matthew 10:34-42 Several years ago, I sat on a swing with my father-in-law looking across a dirt road into a field that he used to plow with a mule when he was a boy. As we sat in the shade, he asked, “Can you imagine walking behind a mule all day in weather as hot as this?” as sweat beaded on top of his bald head. Between bites of his tomato sandwich, he told me how he and his siblings grew up on that farm in the 1940s. Along with his father and four brothers, he got up with the crowing of the rooster, ate breakfast, and worked in the field until 11:30. The dinner bell would ring to indicate that his mother and sister had lunch ready, and the mule would pick up the pace, knowing that a break for the farmer meant a break for him too. After a hearty meal and a brief nap, it was back to the field until sundown. As Papa told me of the hard work, I had to admit that I could not relate to physical work that hard as a way of life, year in and year out. Looking out across that field, I visualized him and his brothers stacking bunches of peanuts by hand on a pole to dry. I could see the old stationary peanut picker that had been pulled in the middle of the field, awaiting the boys who would bring the dried peanuts on a sled pulled by the mule. Into the loud combine would go the peanuts, pulling the nuts into a...