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Friday, June 13, 2014

My Little Chickadee

The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove when He was baptized. Sometimes it's almost like He has descended upon me in the form of a sparrow, hallelujah. My first angelic encounter with the little winged wonders of creation occurred some time before I made Jesus my Lord and was born again. I can’t say to the day when the little sparrow came into my furnace, but I know it was fall, because it was getting chilly; which is why I flipped the nearby switch on the wall and went out to the living room to adjust the thermostat. Just as I did that there was a whooshing sound and rustling coming from down the hallway. I had to take off the front panel and remove the blower motor to get that cute little guy out of there. When I think about it now I’m surprised that it so easily let me pick it up and that it stayed so calmly in my hand until I opened the back door and released it. I put the blower motor back on the furnace, replaced the front panel, flipped the switch, and headed for the living room to once again set the thermostat; but just before I got it within firing range I heard that same whooshing and rustling sound again. I turned the thermostat back down. That’s when my husband started to pay attention because I shouted, “What in the world is that bird doing back in the furnace?!!!” I went down the hallway, took the front panel off, removed the blower motor and gently picked up the little bird from inside the furnace and this time, I went all the way around to the front door and released it. I went back down the hallway, put the blower motor back on, replaced the front panel, flipped the switch, and went back out to the living room to set the thermostat. I felt the click; I heard the familiar rumble signaling that the furnace was getting ready to fire up. Then I heard another sound that was becoming familiar ‒ it was a whoosh and a flutter. I shouted at my husband, “I CANNOT believe it. That bird went right back up there and right back down into the furnace!” I turned the thermostat back down, went down the hallway, flipped the switch, removed the front panel and took out the blower motor; but this time it was way down inside, rustling around at the bottom of the furnace and there was no way I could reach it. Sometimes I’m not the quickest person in the world, but even though I wasn’t saved, I read the Bible almost every day. I remembered Jesus talking about sparrows (Matthew 10:29) and he said, “…one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” So I prayed a silent prayer to God, “If you will just get that bird to come up out of there, I promise, I won’t turn the furnace on.” Why I prayed that, I don’t know; for some reason, it seemed appropriate. Then an incredible thing happened ‒ that little grey bird came hopping up out of that furnace all by itself! It hopped up onto the furnace ledge and hopped down onto the floor. It was all smoky, and its little tail feathers were almost totally burned off. I picked it up, cuddling it as gently as I could, wrapping it in a towel. “I’m sorry little birdie.” I said, “I’m so sorry.” and set it carefully in a box in the middle bedroom. It stayed there quietly until the next morning. When the repair men I called came to look at the furnace it had gone on to its reward, hallelujah. And oh, by the way, if I had been successful in turning on the furnace, it would have blown us up. There was a gas valve sticking out an inch or so on the side of the furnace and according to the repair men, it was damaged or loose somehow, probably by us moving furniture down the hallway or something or other, and if that furnace had started running it would have blown our house up! We lived in that mobile home for twenty years and never before or after that time did we ever have a bird come in through the furnace vent. If you knew how many times God has saved your life, how amazed you would be! Which brings me to the heart of my story, “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Hallelujah! That’s actually just the beginning of the ‘birds of my life’. When we moved to our house there were two beautiful pigeons on the roof. I think they were love birds, hallelujah. I didn’t see them again until just before we moved. One of them was perched on the basketball hoop that was next to the house near our driveway. It seemed so close, almost within arm’s reach as I looked up and spoke ‘pretty bird words’ to it. I was so amazed when, instead of flying away, it side-stepped all the way around the hoop until it was right above me and seemed to be really paying attention; and not only that, but the other one came over to the edge of the roof and peered down at me with just as much interest! After we moved to our new apartment I was in the kitchen doing dishes one day and I was crying because we had lost the house and because of a host of other reasons; feeling very much let down because of all the things I had been expecting God to do for me. When suddenly I turned around and there was a flock of little birds, I’m almost sure were Chickadees, trying to stand on the window ledge and the air-conditioner that was next to it, and it was almost like they were trying to get in. It seemed so ridiculous to me because they must have stayed there for fifteen minutes, vying for a spot on the ledge, and totally ignoring me though I was right there staring at them. God used those little birds to remind me, hallelujah. I was feeling seriously sorry for myself and depressed and weepy one day when I went out to hang clothes on the line, not because I had to hang clothes on the line, I love to do that; but because of my family not being together. Suddenly, there was a loud whooshing noise, like something big and heavy falling into the center of a small patch of weeds, that I think used to be a garden, near my clothes lines. I had to stop what I was doing and stare in amazement at the patch of weeds, waiting to see if I could tell what it was... or run! Maybe I’m finally getting kind of used to God speaking to me in the way that He does, in the way that only He can, because I wasn’t as amazed as I probably should have been when I saw Robins come marching out of the center of that patch of weeds. I don’t know how many there were because it all seemed so surreal; there could have been 10 or 20 of them. They marched off in all directions, but two of them marched right up to me, and one just kept coming, and kept looking right at me. I looked right back at it and said, “Okay.” It still stayed right there, walking back and forth and looking right up at me, so I said, “Okay, Lord, I get it… okay.” and tears of relief filled my eyes. I knew my God hadn’t forgotten me; and I’ll never forget how that flock of Robins hanged around me all the time I was out there that day, hallelujah. And this is my prayer for you that you may be able to see in unmistakable ways, how God has not forgotten you, my friend, in Jesus name. Amen. Hallelujah!

A $20 BILL

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air. "My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him. Psalm 17:8 states that God will keep us, "as the apple of His eye." THOUGHT: The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we are but by WHOSE WE ARE! You are special - Don't ever forget it!
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