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Her Father’s Zoo

DSCF1724June Williams was only four when her father bought seven acres of land to build a “zoo without bars”.

Growing up with exotic animals, one of her closest friends was Mary the chimpanzee. June tried to teach Mary to tie a knot but never succeeded.

She inherited her father’s empathy for animals and recalls his creativity in finding ways to secure chimpanzees with moats and big cats with wire mesh to give them as much open space as possible. Today, Chester Zoo, founded in 1930 by her father, George Mottershead, is home to 11,000 animals on 110 acres of land. As a forerunner of modern zoos the keepers who carry on her father’s legacy pride themselves in animal welfare, education, and conservation.

Solomon, in all of the wisdom God gave him, is also remembered for his knowledge of all kinds of animals (1Kings 4:33). His interest in apes, and monkeys wasn’t just a curious hobby (1Kings 10:22). When he wrote that, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals” (Proverbs 12:10), he was bringing us back to basics. If we don’t care for the animals entrusted to us, how will we understand that this is our Father’s world?

Perhaps growing up, like June— with animal friends (more than the cars and computers of our own making), could even help us better learn how to be our brother’s keeper. :-)

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78 Responses to “Her Father’s Zoo”

  1. bubbles says:

    There is a dog in the neighborhood who is tied up to a plastic dog house with no insulation. He lives a life of quiet desperation. He is in the blazing hot sun and now it’s cold. I’ve called authorities but they said as long as the “shelter has a top and two sides, it’s not abuse. He is lonely and bored. Animals need fellowship and love. The way he’s treated speaks negative volumes of his owners. Why are people so cruel? Animals are like little children who need loved and protected. I dread this winter.

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Though not true to Scripture, the most recent cinematic interpretation of the story of Noah with Russell Crowe carries the concept that animals are “the innocent” and our responsibility.

    Many people I have known have no business having “pets”. In fact like driving a car or adopting children perhaps people should be licensed or go through a process before being able to.

    It is interesting that all the discarded animals that have to be killed are killed because of the abandonment and neglect of a person.

    Still killing animals in order to cover up the sins of mankind.


  3. street says:

    when i started reading this post i already knew where God was taking me he has done it before. it took me to a Jewish home several years ago when life was less futuristic and more agrarian. a home with children running around. Dad comes home with a little lamb one day and you know the rest of the story as paul harvy would say. it was a brutal meal for the children who bonded with the lamb. God really knows what He is doing and told us before He did it. surrender dorthy. who ever did the wizard of oz was one step before c s lewis. may we all come to God for a heart, a brain, and some courage. He gives good gifts. gifts that last and never wear out.

  4. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… I believe it is in God’s Will and part of His plan for this world we live in, that He has given us the commanded authority over all his creatures, and part of that responsibility is certainly to care about them all.
    To not have this concern for them, or others when they are in our eyes apparently suffering or in danger would be a show of poor guardianship of His command at best.
    We each play our part, somehow, and none is to small and none certainly big enough. Yet we know that He provides for them just as He provides for us.
    Just another place where we can take all things to the Lord in prayer, and still fill the feeder, leave a small part of our lunch for those hungry eyes , or even join a full on feeding program. It all works together and makes us all better for it.
    Every creature we help blesses us and honors God!

  5. narrowpathseeker says:

    I smiled when I read this idea that you wrote, “Many people I have known have no business having “pets”. In fact like driving a car or adopting children perhaps people should be licensed or go through a process before being able to.”

    While visiting my son in Switzerland I learned that a 6 week course(it may be longer) is required before you can get a dog. Walking down the street, it seemed like about 1 in 4 people had a dog on a leash….A VERY WELL GROOMED, OBEDIENT, and HAPPY LOOKING DOG!! When we visited Germany there were as many dogs but we had to laugh because they were NOT obedient and we saw dog fights(brief angry encounters)at least once a day while we were there and angry owners try to break them up!!.

  6. foreverblessed says:

    Last week I was reading this in Proverbs:
    Proverbs 27:23-27
    it did catch my attention…. it sounds so peaceful, and so tranquile, everything is OK in this proverb, just like June Williams her estate, or zoo!

  7. bubbles says:

    Why did Solomon think he needed to have a zoo? Was it right having those animals from all over out of their natural environment? Were they comfortable and content? It appears he was interested in excess.

  8. phpatato says:

    There is a growing concern that travelling circuses and various other entertainment venues that keep animals caged, marine mammals confined in bathtubs, where they are forced to perform tricks and rewarded with a morsel of food….all for man’s sick entertainment pleasure….should be shut down and boarded up. Bankrupt. Are there not better choices to amuse ourselves with rather than spending money to see a caged animal jump through a hoop of fire or seeing a seal bob a ball on its nose?

    There is a growing concern in the organics world that chickens should stop being treated inhumanely to live in battery cages where their beaks are snipped back to prevent them from picking each other to death; where they live so crammed that they will never be able to spread their wings as long as they live; where the chickens in the cages on the top row poop on the chickens in the cages below which poop on the chickens in the cages below them which poop… I detailed just part of a chicken’s sorry life because that is something I feel we can all do to help….NOT to buy eggs from big egg companies who source their eggs from large chicken farm factories. Cage-free is a meaningless marketing ploy. It means the chickens don’t live in cages but are still crammed tightly into a far too small coop/barn where there is no room to turn around and are made to stand in the mire of their own muck. Free-range is another empty marketing ploy. This means that thousands of chickens are housed inside a large warehouse but are only given one small door on one side which only leads to a small enclosed outside space which would never be large enough for all of them to stand in. Confusing labels on egg cartons meant only to cash in on the uninformed and ignorant consumer. Organic farmers say to look for pastured poultry, pastured raised where chickens are free to roam outside where there is grass, bugs and sunshine. Most times you don’t need to look any farther than your own local egg farmer who perhaps sells his eggs are local farmer’s markets. Chances are they are fed better which means the eggs are larger and better tasting.

    And to me the answer to the question “what came first the chicken or the egg” is always the chicken! :-)


  9. saled says:

    Tomorrow in Maine we will vote on bear baiting, trapping, and hunting with dogs. Those activities are allowed at the present. Native Americans look at Bear as brother. I think now is the time to stop this cruelty and become our brother’s keeper.

  10. joycemb says:

    This post came the day after a personal revelation about how God feels about animals. Wow. Thank you Mart.

  11. Regina says:

    Good Morning All,

    I haven’t read this blog topic yet, and I have to start getting ready for work in a few minutes… However, I had to stop by and say Happy (belated) birthday, Tracey! I, too, am thankful for the wisdom that you consistently share on this blog site. And, as I’ve said before, I’ve also been blessed by the wisdom of others (steve, foreverblessed, poohpity, etc.). Off topic here… pooh, you asked, on the last blog topic, if anyone wanted to join you in thanking God for 5 things everyday in this month of thanksgiving, and I would love to join you! So, I’m gonna start now: 1.I’m extremely thankful for God’s LOVE! 2. I’m extremely thankful for God’s provision! My income has to be supplemented by credit cards right now, and I would share more, but long story short, God opened up the door for me to get the credit cards! I’ve only used one (sparingly) but I have two more already set up…just not activated yet (I don’t want to have to use them). I don’t like living on credit. Please pray for me that I’ll get a better job (I’m single), so that I can afford to fully support myself. 3. I’m extremely thankful for friends who love me and care about me. 4. I’m extremely thankful for wisdom. God has given me so much wisdom through friends and because I asked Him for it (James 1:5). 5. I’m extremely thankful for the power of prayer (God’s willingness to help me/us in our time of trouble/need)! That’s my “5 things” for today. Now, I’m gonna go get dressed for work.

    Mid 60’s right now/high low 70’s, and it will be a very rainy day in Texas.

    Love to all…

  12. SFDBWV says:

    There is a promise of a coming Kingdom found in Isaiah 11 and for our purpose of this subject attention to Isaiah 11:6, 7, 8, 9.

    Watching nature as I always have there is a great deal of violence and cruelty found there.

    Animals are opportunists and very adept at taking advantage of the weakness of another for their advantage.

    In the present animal kingdom the strong survive and the weak do not.

    Given the idea that in the coming “peaceable kingdom” the lion shall lay down with the lamb, one has to wonder was this the way it was in the beginning upon the earth before the fall of man.

    And how was it that all of creation was changed by Adam’s sin.

    I have also always understood that until Noah exited the Ark men did not eat meat and it was at that time God allowed for it.

    Do you suppose it was also at that time animals also became carnivores? And were the carnivore dinosaur only carrion eaters like the vultures of today.


  13. SFDBWV says:

    Pearl I did not know that about Switzerland, but I for one think it an excellent concept.

    Interesting that in this country we don’t take care of animals any better than we do of old folks and the disabled.

    Like the zoo where animals are provided with what others feel is good enough, we do the same with orphaned or unwanted children, the aged and disabled.

    I wonder if there is a connection as Mart eluded to in the care of our “brothers”.


  14. street says:

    you know 22 million chickens are killed every day in north amarica. these are not killed as a sin offering. they are killed for food as God has graciously provided. if we stopped killing them how many children, made in the image for God, would suffer malnutrition of die of starvation when time are peaceful? paul explains the Biblical way of dealing with such issues in Corinthians. it is amazing it is still relevant today! God bless you and keep you in His perfect Righteousness.

    glad Jesus is my brother and not a bear even though i acted like one in the morning and at other times.

  15. jeff1 says:

    I have gone away from the topic to share a discussion I had with an elderly gentleman I used to work with and had not seen for some time. After pleasantries he told me he was now 83 year of age and I remarked to him how well and fit he was looking and he was. He said back to me I am horiziontal and still breathing and thankful for that. I could not stop laughing and then he laughed too, what a uplifting chat first thing in the morning. It made me more thankful and also made me wish that I be more like him in my gratitude and not always complaining over little inconveniences. This same gentleman spent 22 years in the Armed Forces and reached the rank of Sgt Major and as seen a lot of the darker side of life but at 83 can see the funny side.
    May God this day help me to see what is good in this World and not always see the dark side which can kill my joy for living now. It strikes me that we must sometimes take a step back from how we see the World from our perspetive or we can loose sight of God’s perspective. We must focus on the fact that he has already won this World otherwise the World will look darker to us than it does to God. I think of it in this way as I used to work with the Army. When they were posted to a place there was an advance party who would go ahead and give the place the once over and sort out housing for the Battalion’s families. Then the Battlion would move as a main body over selected dates within a certain time period. Lastly the rear party would move tying up any loose ends with the Regiment taking over from them. I try to think of Heaven in this way Jesus is the advance party, the forefathers of their time are the main party and we are the rear party with a lot more to be done before we get to our destination.
    God Bless Us All.

  16. poohpity says:

    When I look around at my Father’s world I am awestruck at the creativity and imagination. The animals, mammals and insects that roam the land, the different species that fly in the air and the things that most of us do not even see and what we do see that live in the sea it is simply amazing. Then to even consider the things that are to small to see with a naked eye that all together make up this world or the things in the heavens. To think we are able to have a relationship with the Creator who has given us so much to explore and discover, words can not express the breathe of it all. To think we lack trust in God who spoke it all into existence.

    When we come to the point of praising God yet the very things that are created in His image, our brothers/sisters, the one thing that is hardest to be tamed is the tongue without divine help. The tongue boasts, curses, reviles, lies while it professes to know God. The deadliest weapon against mankind seems to be words. (James 3:7-10 NLT) To be good stewards of all that is created seems to also be aware of being our brothers keepers and what can cause the most damage to them. On top of it all we are shown so much grace as we learn on this journey together as jeff said, “before we get to our destination”.

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Funny how we sometimes want all animals to stay as they are, to be free and remain that way knowing they would be born free in nature.
    Yet, knowing humans are really all born captive in thier sin nature, or captive to their sin, and real love to me is when we only want for our brothers to come to know Christ as the only Way, and the only One, who can truly set them free.
    We complain that animals are being held captive by man in zoo’s which to us is un-natural, and we also want our brothers to be holding all thoughts captive to Christ which is also un-natural, but it is the only way to gain true freedom from that sin nature.
    One part of creation is born truly innocent and the other born guilty, and both are given their freedom by the plan and Will of their Creator.
    Yes, one is truly free when roaming freely by their own choices, and the other by choosing to being held captive by the same.
    Our freewill and freedom choices can both either our friend or our enemy, and God allows each of us to choose which is which, and yet his word clearly declares,
    “All a man’s ways seem right to him.”
    I know my life was truly changed when my choices changed, and through a very hard life lesson I now would choose life, where at one time I thought my true freedom was found in my choosing another way which then seemed so right for me, bot then I ignored holding my thoughts captive to Christ, the giver of life.
    Sometimes holding something captive can actually hold for us the greater freedom and blessing.
    Be Blessed

  18. street says:

    dear oneg2dblu i do not wish the animals to continue has they are. they never sinned against God but were subjected, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, [a]in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Romans 8:20-21 it bothers me that sin has such a catastrophic effect on everything. i know God is going to fix it too, but to look at it and see what it is and has done is beyond troubling. looking forward to the freedom from corruption in Christ Jesus. i kinda think we are suppose to have that now as believers.

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes street, we are supposed to have it now as believers,
    because it comes through the renewing of the mind, or the opening of of our spiritual eyes provided only by God, it comes to us as the Helper, or the indwelling of Holy Spirit, the now seen living word with its conviction and blessings, and the freedom available to all who not only read His word but also choose to believe it, and act upon it.

  20. street says:

    thanks gary i was a little out of focus again. i like Jesus saying, “And He who sent Me is with Me; He [b]has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
    i like the not left me alone part, not the do the things that are pleasing to Him part so much. they are decreasing with alarming speed. i know my hearts joy is Jesus and the inward trials are real and difficult. being on the potter wheel under His hand is much better than the waiting in the bucket because i am not workable. there is so much more to being born a human, the mystery is solved when they are born again.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    Certainly yesterday and this morning’s thoughts have been hijacked by the elections here in the United States.

    Ironically seeing that we are talking about a zoo that politics and the news media frenzy that accompanies it is often alluded to both a zoo and a circus.

    When I think about how the world has changed in just the last hundred years it is easier for me not to judge the intentions of an earlier generation for attempting to bring the world to the doorsteps of all the people in the world.

    Before all of the electronics and wizardry of movies, television and now instant internet access the only way for people in most civilized countries to see the exotic creatures of the world were in a zoo or in a traveling circus.

    Because of the very fact that some people were introduced to actually seeing into the eyes of lions, tigers, elephants and the like, they began to realize these creatures needed our help in order not to become extinct.

    In our vastly “civilized” world we live in today, still superstition and ignorance are causing the deaths of tigers, bears, rhinoceros and other animals killed just for what is believed to be for the benefit of mankind’s sexual powers.

    Ginseng, a native plant that grows wild here in West Virginia also has to be protected, because of what people have come to believe as its power to enhance a person’s health and sexual prowess.

    Solomon’s endless appetite for experiencing everything and gaining knowledge on his journey to receiving wisdom only speaks to the overall attitude of mankind.

    And so the quandary; if we no longer seek knowledge above what we know we stagnate and cease to grow, but without seeking and never being satisfied with answers we stagnate in our spiritual growth as well and may never obtain “wisdom.”


  22. street says:

    Because of the very fact that some people were introduced to actually seeing into the eyes of lions, tigers, elephants and the like, they began to realize these creatures needed our help in order not to become extinct.

    do you think, subconsciously, the purpose of zoo is like a Noah’s ark so we can still destroy everything around us in sin to ease our minds? or to save them from sinners?

    1 Corinthians 3:19

    i go to the zoo once in awhile because some of the animals are just beautiful. and i don’t know why. oh and they are very dangerous. but i have to admit man is more dangerous.

  23. poohpity says:

    In our Father’s Zoo he provides. (Matt 6:26; Psalm 104:27-28 NIV) Those in the Zoo often need protection from people because often it is us that causes them to be extinct in the first place. God is able to care for all His creation.

  24. joycemb says:

    I adopted a cat recently that was found in the heat duct of an abandoned mobile home. It took about 2 months of feeding real food (she loves to eat plastic) and giving her a safe place to live that she began to play and act like a cat. Now she loves to sit on my shoulder and be stroked-for a few minutes-but when she has had enough she suddenly bites me. I understand her language, that she is a wild animal, and yet she responds to my love and care. If I am respecting her by stopping petting her when she tells me, we get along fine. I think it’s the same with people or wild animals. Care and feeding along with respect goes a long way.

  25. oneg2dblu says:

    Survival of the “most fit” is the general scheme of things as many times it seems to rule in the visible animal kingdom.
    But for that unseen world around us, the unseen spiritual world, and the ongoing battle of the mind,
    we who possess the Armor of God and choose to put it on daily,
    we are then most protected and ready for any attack, knowing fully that, “No weapon formed against us will prosper.”

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    I just witnessed someone being defeated by the battle within, I am sitting in Panera Bread having my constitutional cup of joe and noticed a very large man around 35-40ish standing around looking to me out of place, I sense in my spirit something alerting about his presence as he slwly consumed up cup of water while holding a to go bag in his hand. he was clearly plotting something as he kept looking around like he was waiting for someone. Then, he moved over by the pastry display counter, where I’m sitting and with his back toward me, he reached between the glass partition a gracefully took a cookie and headed for the door.
    As my spirit railed and my suspicions confirmed, he lost his battle with temptation as he stole that dangling piece of fruit from the tree of good sand evil.
    In his heart a victory, and in my eyes a loss.

    i just witnessed the seen and the unseen and’ “All a man’s ways seem right to him.”

    Funny thing he walked outside holding and consuming his newly won prize, got into a new SUV and drove off.

    At least I did not just witness evil but exposed it as I pointed him out to the manager, and suggested they have left their post unprotected and their pocketbook open.

    He got away with a fresh chocolate chip treat, thinking to himself, another sweet victory. I say another because I witnessed his cunning premeditated attack.

    Let’s pray that another spirit comes upon him today and overwhelms the one he now coddles and desires, and this renewing of his mind causes him to repent and not repeat.

    Now having cast my eyes and seeing how good it looks, I want one for myself, darn it anyhow… :)

  27. poohpity says:

    Gary, what stopped you from asking the man who took the cookie if he needed help to pay for it? Why wait until he walked out to say something if you saw the crime taking place?

  28. joycemb says:

    Ya, maybe the case was right next to the door and he was moving quickly? When we don’t know what someone is going to do I know I don’t move or act immediately.

  29. joycemb says:

    Ya, now I want one too!!!!

  30. joycemb says:

    Well, even if I know what someone’s going to do I’m not going to directly intervene unless it’s causing physical/emotional harm directly. Gary I would have done the same thing, told the owner and then let them deal with it!

  31. joycemb says:

    Pooh, if you had used ‘I would have’ it would have sounded a lot less shaming.

  32. SFDBWV says:

    Gary you did the right thing no doubt about that. A “large man” “35-40” could be a danger to yourself and others if you push his hand. It’s a cookie.

    Now to step on some toes… I make the world’s best chocolate chip cookies. Matt’s friend Mere who is known as “the cookie monster” told me so and even brought her mom in one time with her so I could prove it to her.

    Watching the little critters and birds today raid the feeding areas and look in the window wanting more, I truly believe sometimes I can hear their thoughts…”Hey old man get out here and feed us!”


  33. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… in response, I would say in the spirit it was Divine Wisdom, and in the natural, he was thirty years younger, six foot three, and about 235 pounds and that may have played a part in it as well. :)
    My greatest effort to help was probably in my asking for your prayers for him, and alerting those who’s pocket he had just picked.
    PS I overcame the same temptation though and downed a sweet banana when I got home.

  34. oneg2dblu says:

    I feel you Steve, as last night I was blessed to see two large red headed woodpeckers drinking deeply from the bird bath, could they survive without my daily filling it?
    Of course, the Lord would provide for them, but what fun getting involved with the needs of those little critters and making part of your effort, part of their day.
    I’ll bet you can’t make a banana better than the one I just ate though. Gary

  35. SFDBWV says:

    Very well said Gary, not only can I not make a banana, but it is one of those odd fruits that do not produce a seed. It appears God made the banana just for us to enjoy.


  36. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve, I’ll bet you must have a great recipe for those, to die for cookies.

    Here’s God’s recipe for those temptations we all can face every day, 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

    Victory over all temptation comes not by us alone or in our strength alone, but by believing the faithfulness of God to do what He says He will do.

    Be Blessed

  37. joycemb says:

    Just like in the Lord’s Prayer, lead us not into temptation. Good to pray daily.

  38. street says:

    anthropomorphic is a word that comes to mind when dealing with animals. we ascribe human emotions or qualities to an animals reaction to their environment. some might be well founded some are not. yes mankind is very smart at observation of animals and can figure out what makes them thrive. he has also found out things that appear to hurt them actually makes them stronger and healthier. like predators. the question is are we willing to give up some things to insure their welfare. peanut, my chihuahua says hi! and no i am not going to outfit my house with a predator.

  39. street says:

    I’ll bet you can’t make a banana better than the one I just ate though. Gary

    i can…..just add cool wip!

    well i think everything is better will cool wip.

  40. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce, Gary and all, back when I worked in Winchester Virginia, I traveled every day down rt. 50 into town and back up rt. 50 after work. In both the east bound and west bound lanes there was a simple sign that said in large letters “God will make a way.” And in smaller lettering underneath “The Gore Church of God”.

    It almost became a rallying call for me in those days as I looked for the signs every day and felt it a special “word” for me.

    Several years ago Matt, Glenna and I had cause to go back to the area and I looked for the signs and only found part of one, tattered and unkempt the other gone completely.

    I smiled within myself and knew that the signs were there for me at that time after all.

    I pray you all a pleasant night, remembering that whatever any of you are going through…God will make a way.


  41. oneg2dblu says:

    God has promised provision in His word and even used the animals to teach us a lesson about how
    He provides for all our needs, saying look at the birds of the air who do not store up for themselves, they do not worry what they will eat or what they will wear, and we being His children are we not even more valuable to Him then those?
    Just like the signs Steve mentioned, there are signs that we all need to see, and each has a specific season and a reason as to why they are placed in our path.
    PS Cool whip on those cookies might make them sweeter as well. Just a thought…
    Good night

  42. joycemb says:

    Thinking about being our brothers keeper.

    Isaiah 11:6 is using animals as a metaphor for how the Messiah will bring all the people together, especially those that are enemies.
    In Revelation 5:5-6 The Lion and the Lamb both refer to Jesus Christ, who is the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Lamb who is the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for sin.

    Jesus became human like us to bring us all together under one God, or roof in current vernacular. It would seem we being related do have a responsibility to be our brothers keeper. To feed, water, encourage, exhort, and admonish; in short, to care for as love plays out in our lives.

    Have a blessed evening all, Joyce

  43. SFDBWV says:

    “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis4:9)

    We ask a great many questions of God about our circumstances and what it is He wants from us, but this one question Cain asks of God can only be answered by us as “yes” we are our brother’s keepers.

    I notice that God ignored answering Cain directly, rather He confronted Cain with the *truth*, exposing Cain’s lie as well as his sarcasm.

    Like Adam, Cain needed to confess his sin and seek forgiveness, yet live with the consequences of his actions.

    Just like you and I.

    When we truly love another, even their feelings are entrusted to our care, as we keep them safe under whatever means at our disposal following the outline given by God through Paul written in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

    George Mottershead tried to bring the world to his daughter June, in an act of love. What is it we can do today to show our love, if possible would we move heaven and earth to do so? God has.

    Or would we say it’s just not our problem in an attempt to hide our face from God and avoid facing the *truth*.


  44. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    The zoo-keeper was making his rounds when he saw an orangutan with The Holy Bible in one hand, and Darwin’s Origin of Species in the other. “Why are you reading those two books?” he asked. “I am trying to find out whether I am my brother’s keeper — or my keeper’s brother,” the orangutan replied.

    If I get a vote, I would like to see all zoos without bars, so we can safely relate to what St. Francis calls our brothers and sisters:

    “My brother and sister birds, you should praise your Creator and always love him: He gave you feathers for clothes, wings to fly and all other things that you need. It is God who made you noble among all creatures, making your home in thin, pure air. Without sowing or reaping, you receive God’s guidance and protection.” — St. Francis

    Blessings all day,

  45. SFDBWV says:

    Maru your quote from St. Francis resonated with me this morning as I had just moments before setting down here seen a little odd adventure on my feeding rock.

    There are three gray squirrels feeding in what is always seen as a big hurry along with a few little finches when all of a sudden one of the squirrels took off chasing a little finch. The finch didn’t fly at first only out ran the squirrel for a short distance before flying up into the branches above the rock.

    It was just funny to see; the squirrels are after the sunflower seeds and the finches are only interested in the smaller little seeds, but for some reason the squirrel must have thought the bird a threat to his meal.

    On a more sober thought, the little finches are only in danger of stray cats, whereas the bigger birds are prey for the hawks that feed. The squirrels are also in danger of the hawks and occasionally young eagles here in my back yard.

    The only threat to deer and turkey are humans and now coyote’s apart from winter snow storms that may starve them if they can’t get to food.

    Over the years Mart has graciously shown pictures of the natural habitat I enjoy outside my kitchen window as I have had some very interesting visitors come and go.

    One thing I am certain of, Gary is more likely to see creatures that won’t be coming to my back yard as he rows his boat around the waters in Florida. Look as I may, I don’t expect to see any manatees or alligators any time soon. If I do I will certainly get you all a picture of it.


  46. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    Just in from a damp walk with my dog. The Canadian geese are forming travel groups, calling to one another. We have had very large flocks flying overhead this fall. Makes me wonder at the prodigious distances these magnificent birds travel every year! I am grateful that humans have gotten wiser about leaving some wetlands open — even sowing them with native grasses, so the migrating birds can rest and feed.

    For all that we falter in our care of the animals, this is one thing we have done well, it seems to me.

    This is also our time in the PNW to see the whales migrating, blowing great spouts of water into the air when they surface. Blessings upon blessings. The Lord God made them all.


  47. joycemb says:

    Maru I was thinking of St. Francis also and his love for animals, which led me to think of the catholic churches’ practice of yearly blessing the animals, whether work animals or pets. It makes more sense to me now, not being catholic.

    My cat I talked about earlier had other issues, she had been declawed when I got her, but being 2 years old could barely walk more than a few steps as her front paws were obviously hurting her. It occurred to me one day to pray for her. Low and behold her paws seemed to miraculously heal and after about 2 days she started walking and jumping with no pain! From my personal perspective and experience God does care about the animals! I had never before thought of asking God to help/heal an animal. When I was growing up animals were to be subservient and destroyed when not needed, and not in very nice ways. Still learning, this old lady! God is good and faithful!

  48. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… Today’s morning row actually turned into an afternoon delight as I got an unusually late start.
    I was still blessed to see several dolphins, either busy with daily chores or just ignoring me, but making their presence known, and causing my several outbursts of, “thank you Lord.”
    Another afternoon delight was found in consuming my first chocolate chip bagel. Yum!
    The magnificent diversity of the creation is beyond words to fully describe, it gives us a glimpse at the magnificence of the Creator who made them all for His pleasure, just by speaking, “Let there be!”
    Here’s my five…
    Thank you Lord, for my pointer, middle, ring, and pinkie fingers, and of course the all important thumb, which separates us from all others as it allows mankind to grasp.
    Sure feel blessed to have all my digits and the ability to grasp those oars. Now if I could only type properly with them…

  49. narrowpathseeker says:

    What an incredible Blessing to see this blog restored to the wonderful, interesting, inspiring, all around helpful learning site I believe it used to be. I have stopped by several times in recent days and was so pleasantly surprised.. I’m also very happy to see Gary back as well as some very exceptionally knowledgeable new people and of course so many of the regulars that were so faithful and hung in here. Thank you…

  50. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… thanks for sharing that zookeeper parable or joke, it makes me laugh every time I read it.
    Narrowpathfinder… thanks,I’m glad to be back now that my registry problems have subsided. I was forced to not participate for a while do to some registry error window I could not get around. Somehow another way has been established and now I would like to give thanks to all the gatekeepers who may have made that happen.
    Be Blessed

  51. SFDBWV says:

    When I was a young fellow and in the Marine corps I spent a 3 month and 4 month period on board a ship. Being a helicopter crew chief I had the privilege of being on the flight deck a great deal of the time and so got to enjoy the ocean.

    It was indeed a big deal and treasured thrill to see whales and dolphins, as well as the flying fish that flew between the cresting waves. There can be no comparison for me than to have witnessed the creatures of the ocean there in their natural habitat. I am so very grateful for those special times that are still alive in my heart.

    Just as thrilling was to watch storms far off on the horizon as they performed their function of returning the rain back into the ocean in the cycle of life that water plays out on the earth.

    Eerily there are times when almost as if there were a line drawn across the water and all wave activity ceases and the surface of the ocean is as calm as the glass of a mirror and there is no sound except that of the ship cutting through the water. Then just as odd that line is crossed again into the familiar rolling surface of the ocean waves.

    Though just a few months of my life, but a lifetime of memories and emotion of feeling the vastness of God and the smallness of me in contrast to just being there in that part of creation.

    I thank God for the experience.

    37 degrees this morning and rain.


  52. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… been there done that, time aboard a ship. I also encountered experiences enough to thank God for a life time.
    The summer of ’67 I had the opportunity to go on an extended cruise with the U.S. Navy and saw things that landlubbers can only imagine.
    Here’s a few, seeing the entire skyline lit up at night 360 degrees without any obstruction shining away in full glory, and seeing a wall of water taller than a house following behind the ship at flank speed with the water’s phosphorescent illumination everywhere.

  53. oneg2dblu says:

    Upon opening my eyes this morning my first thought/prayer was saying, “Thank you Lord for life.”
    The ever expanding and eternal type of life that only God can provide.

  54. joycemb says:

    Still thinking about being my brothers’ keeper.
    Gary and Steve you talked about being in the military. Military, law enforcement or any type of service which is dangerous means that being willing to lay down your life for others just comes with the territory. You do what you do because of your love for the safety of others and as Christians for the love of Christ and the Body.

    I John 3:16-18 NIV also describes what being our brothers’ keeper looks like.

    Being the Body certainly means, the Body. And meeting the needs both physical and temporal are all part of what is needed for the body/Body to survive and thrive.

    (My kitty and a chocolate chip cookie help also!)

  55. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce this Tuesday the 11th will be “Armistice Day”, a day we now call Veterans Day.

    The war to end all wars didn’t and the finest and best of our young people continue to place themselves in harm’s way for us all.

    Being a veteran of the Viet Nam war I am pleased to see patriotism is once again popular here in our home country, because I remember when it was not.

    There have been people here on Mart’s blog that don’t see the connection of a person’s willingness to die for the freedoms of another as an act of Christ like behavior, but I have always seen it that way.

    Not only from those in military service, but those who are policemen and firemen as well.

    On a side note when I was in the Marine Corps at boot camp in Paris Island S.C. Every Sunday we were marched to and from church and every day before every meal in the mess hall we read a prayer at each and every table before anyone at the table were allowed to set down to eat.

    Sad how a change in leadership from the Presidency has taken that part of indoctrination into the service out of it.

    It dropped to 33 degrees as I write this and has been snow flurries all day.


  56. joycemb says:

    Steve my heart goes out to all vets-especially Vietnam vets. I met my husband 2 months after a 13 month stint over there. He said after 13 long months of wondering if he was going to live another day he arrived home to protesters calling him terrible names; people who didn’t even know him, or that he was forced to go or head to Canada as some did to get away. He called home from port at 4am and his mother greeted his call with contempt because it woke her up! We did not talk back then about the war much for fear of being shamed, but my husband certainly suffered the effects of service with what we now know as PTSD. He died alone at the age of 65 of heart disease in a bomb-shelter type home he built. He never trusted the government or people, or God again. I always felt so sad for him, and still do. That’s my personal story of war. I don’t take serving lightly. I’ve seen the effects of it up close.

    I had a good day so far. I was asked to help serve coffee this morning for a gathering and we all enjoyed talking about how the classroom has changed in our lifetime, and wondered how our children/grandchildren deal with today’s pressures.
    We need to keep telling all about the wonderful God we have and His plan for their lives. Nothing is impossible with God to those who live according to His purposes.

    blessings, Joyce

  57. SFDBWV says:

    It’s late, but I have to tell this quick story for you Joyce.

    Before shipping home from Viet Nam I mailed home my sea bag (duffel bag). According to my mother when the postman delivered it he was almost crying with a long and sad face he looked at my mother as he shoved it towards her and told her he had a special delivery.

    She guessed he had already delivered far too many personal belongings to a grieving mother whose child was not coming home and thought this to be the case.

    But when she saw my sea bag she broke out is jubilation saying loud and happy oh it’s Steve’s things he must be coming home soon.

    The postman’s sad face at first surprised turned to a big wide grin as he realized he had brought good news and not the dreaded one he at first had feared.

    I didn’t tell my family when I was getting home as my war buddies were trying to take me home with them and I didn’t know exactly when I would get home myself. So when I arrived at the airport I took a taxi all the way to my parent’s house. The cab driver was almost as happy as anyone to be a part of the surprise as I simply walked into the house about 6 in the morning and woke the house up to a happy and joyous reunion.

    Because I came home, I owe it to all those who didn’t to never forget their sacrifice and do all I can on their behalf. If you were to ever come to my little home town you would find a beautiful monument that has the wars and names of every veteran who served from our little town etched in stone. It only took me almost a lifetime to get it erected, but the day we dedicated it there were over 350 people there in tears as they all were a part of it.

    I hope you enjoyed something of a happy ending.


  58. joycemb says:

    That’s a great story, thanks Steve!

  59. Regina says:

    Good Morning All,
    Hope all is well in your lives. I’ve been reading the comments on this blog topic on my breaks at work (via my smart phone–technology is amazing to me! I can remember when I had never even seen a cell phone…let own one). It’s a challenge for me to squeeze reading into my busy schedule, but reading is one of my favorite hobbies and it helps to create balance in my life.

    This blog topic brings to mind those really lengthy info-mercials regarding giving donations to help care for abandoned and/or abused dogs, cats, etc. Left to fend for themselves, they usually end up suffering from malnutrition, incurring injuries or in animal shelters. I don’t like those info-mercials… really sad music is played while the narrator describes the condition of the abandoned or abused animals. Thinking that people might be compelled to donate more if the music played in the background was happier…

    Want to share 15 things that I’m thankful for:

    1. Wednesday Night Bible Study (my church)
    2. My Pastors
    3. My car
    4. My smart phone
    5. My mother’s prayers

    1. Healthy body
    2. Peace in America
    3. Peace (at least in some measure) in Israel
    4. A sound mind
    5. My laptop computer (another way to blog with you all)

    1. Warm weather (last week, this week, and anytime we get it)
    2. Rainy Days
    3. Clean water
    4. Healthy Food
    5. Doctors, Nurses, Hospitals

    52 degrees and partly cloudy (right now) in Texas. 67 degrees (High temp today)

    Love to all…

  60. Regina says:

    *alone :)

  61. SFDBWV says:


    My conversation around my youth reminded me of what it was like stepping out into life filled with “youthful enthusiasm” and expectations.

    As well as how events drastically changed everything including what to expect from life.

    It is the most special gift Jesus offers that no matter what happens in life there is always hope, hope based and relied upon by His ability not ours.

    Because of my age and my experiences I can know what to expect from the world, but because of my experience with Jesus I can still have happy and joyous expectations.

    It is the one thing that the world can’t steal from me as it is safe with Jesus, treasured away with Him in heaven.

    23 degrees this morning.


  62. SFDBWV says:

    Still thinking about zoo’s and animals and the like as I watched the first birds that show up to feed.

    The very first are the little finches and chic-a-dee’s followed by doves and blue jays. Then the grey squirrels. The cardinal’s always just stay close and wait for their turn as they are very “polite”.

    This morning a lone deer was attracted by the birds feeding and started to sneak in, but I walked out back and said “whoa big fellow let the little ones eat” and she walked off with her tail in the air.

    Although I know white tailed deer do that to alert others to danger, I always feel it is more of an insult directed at me in these occasions.

    The incident reminded me of the oddity in nature that the biggest of the beasts eat only the smallest of available food.

    The largest of the animals are the whales and the largest of them eat only plankton. In fact the whale “shark” also eats only plankton yet both grow to enormous size.

    I have several huge cherry trees in the back hillside of my house. They are not the type of cherry tree you get Bing cherries from as their seeds are very tiny yet provide enough substance to keep the deer, turkey, squirrels and many birds that feed on them healthy and fed.

    I am very fortunate to have such a diverse flora and fauna right here in my back yard, but many people don’t and so rely on zoos and botanical gardens in their cities to bring nature to them.

    I think this too is a gift from God and a special anointing from Him to special people to bring His creation to those who can’t go and experience it au natural.


  63. poohpity says:

    God used creation itself to show His omniscience and omnipotence. I often take for granted God’s omniscience and omnipotence when I fail to trust and depend in/on God. The times when I fail to give a drink to the thirsty, clothing to the naked, blanket to the cold, feeding the hungry, giving shelter to the stranger/homeless, caring for the sick, visiting or writing to those in prison because I am doing it to/for Jesus. (Matt 25:42-45 NLT) I can see the wonder found in my Father’s world yet neglect the very things that the Creator has asked of me to do to/for Him in being my brothers keeper. So do I truly know Him and is He really the Lord of my life? (Matt 25:11-12 NLT)

    When I see someone in the street calling out for help do I ask God to explain the definition of neighbor or know that He put that person there for me to walk to and give help rather than walking away, far on the other side of the street to not even come in contact with and act like I did not even see them. What if that person is a test of my faith, hope and trust in God? Do I judge the reason they are on the street or give what the Lord had blessed me with? That person is special as is all those who are created in the very Image of God and I never will know if I am entertaining an angel if I avoid them.

    So do I truly believe this is my Father’s world not mine to do with it as I wish?

  64. poohpity says:

    One random act of kindness may be exactly what that person has prayed for to come to God.

  65. phpatato says:


    As long as those humans who keep the zoos treat their animals right by housing them in as close to their natural habitat as possible, and feeding them the quantity and quality of food to what they’d find if they were lucky enough to find had they not gotten captured. As long as those zoos put welfare ahead of profit and greed.

    Mistreatment of animals/marine mammals in the name of profit and greed is wrong. Zoos, “Secret Gardens”, sea worlds and the like feed the public utter tripe when they say they are doing the animal kingdom a favour by keeping these animals in captivity; saying it’s to guard against them becoming extinct or it’s an opportunity for scientists to watch and observe behaviours which will help us help protect them. It was the great Jacques Cousteau who said, “There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by only observing prisoners held in solitary confinement.” The genetics of breeding captive animals will become such that they will need to capture more animals to freshen the gene pool or they will experience a genetic surplus like the Copenhagen Zoo did with their giraffes. Perhaps they will choose the same “solution” chosen by the zoo – which was to execute an adorable juvenile named “Marius” and feed his remains to the lions. quoted from a site called Seashepherd.

    I’m not what people would call a “tree-hugger” but I am an animal lover. I understand there are two sides to every story. I try not to jump on every band wagon that rolls by, but on this matter, I am beginning to see the atrocities that man is doing to animals kept in captivity. And knowing just how greedy man is, I have to agree that it isn’t for the love of animals that *most* zoos, sea worlds and such exist.

    On the other side of this, I get angry when celebrities and such take to the seal hunt to protest. The Inuit peoples have for centuries hunted seal as a way of life. They have learned to understand and RESPECT the balance of nature. They abuse it in any way and they don’t eat. They don’t need people from the outside world, who have not for one day walked a mile in their snowshoe, telling them what they can and cannot do to survive. And I wonder, if seals didn’t have such cute faces and were instead ugly, perhaps people wouldn’t be so hung up on them being hunted.

    Just my thoughts

    Love Pat

  66. joycemb says:

    Pat those are such good thoughts. I wonder if it wasn’t God Himself who first killed an animal to provide covering for Adam and Eve? Some call it His first act of grace. Hmmm. I wonder.

  67. poohpity says:

    I did a little research and found an incomplete list of 24 different countries that have animal sanctuaries focused on rescue/rehab/release, education and conservation. Even very, very poor countries. It seems that a lot of their work comes from people who thought it would be neat to have a baby ____ and then when it grew up it was to much for them in one way or another to continue care and they may not be able to survive back in the wild. Others have found creatures from the land, sea or air that needed medical care and may not be able to survive if released after they are well. There are many people all over the world that care for the Father’s Zoo.

  68. joycemb says:

    Pooh you asked a very profound question. “So do I truly know Him and is He really the Lord of my life?”

    Personally, some days I can say with confidence YES! But some days I think ‘What!? Who are you?’ You always turn my world upside down and I realize I don’t really KNOW You. I think I do, but then You surprise me yet again and all I can do is just shake my head and press on. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the God I know and the God I THINK I know. I know all the Bible verses that talk about Him, yet, I translate according to my way of interpretation. So that makes me wonder sometimes. Sometimes, though, I think I think too much. (smiling)

  69. poohpity says:

    I wonder which would last longer a large leaf or the skin of an animal? It does not seem God intended for there to be any need to cover His beautiful design but man made the choice to hide in shame not only their beautiful bodies but also from the presence of their creator. So since way back then He covered them similar to how Jesus covered us to bring us back to a relationship with our creator, no longer to hide in shame and guilt but to know His mercy and grace.

  70. phpatato says:

    Deb to me, the skin of an animal lasts way longer than a large leaf. A leaf is here for just a season before dying, cracking and becoming mulch. The skin of an animal can become a leather coat or a leather couch that can last decades if taken care of.

    As for people taking captive, animals they thought would be cute to have as pets but soon realize that they can’t take care of them….one just has to visit a pound to see how many dogs and cats are euthanized because people foolishly and ignorantly thought that their little Johnny would love to have this St. Bernard puppy while living in a two bedroom apartment 8 floors up. As for cats, just ask any country dweller how many times they have cats meowing at their front door, cold, starving and wounded because of foolish ignorance people had in believing they wanted this cat but gasped in horror when it used the side of their couch as a scratch pad. Instead of being responsible pet owners, they drive to the country, stop to throw it out and drive on.

    I was intrigued one year when a gentleman on the west coast of British Columbia installed a webcam in a baldheaded eagle’s nest. People from around the world could witness eaglets being born and raised for two nesting seasons. This gentleman was forced to take the webcam out of the nest. He was witnessing “helpful” neighbours throwing fish on the beach because they thought the eaglets were starving to death when the mom and dad didn’t bring food into the nest for a couple of days. What these neighbours didn’t realize was that they were taking nature into their own hands, upsetting the balance of nature, making the eagles become dependent upon man’s feeding. In essence, what these well-meaning folks were doing was becoming God. So out came the cam.

  71. jeff1 says:

    It is not easy to discern whether people do things out of ignorance or they just don’t care but will try to make you think it is out of ignorance. Sometimes we have to judge people by their actions which speak louder than words. If they do not believe in God then its hardly likely they will care what they do to his creatures. Having said this what about people who believe in God and misinterpretate scripture to abuse people. Is that not what God said would happen everyone would go to their own understanding. If a person thinks they are correct in their interpretation it can be very difficult to make them see they are doing wrong and will point out to you that your understanding is after all just your interpretation and you are no better qualified than them when it comes to clarification.

  72. street says:

    joycemb says:
    November 8, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Pooh you asked a very profound question. “So do I truly know Him and is He really the Lord of my life?”

    Personally, some days I can say with confidence YES! But some days I think ‘What!? Who are you?’ You always turn my world upside down and I realize I don’t really KNOW You. I think I do, but then You surprise me yet again and all I can do is just shake my head and press on. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the God I know and the God I THINK I know. I know all the Bible verses that talk about Him, yet, I translate according to my way of interpretation. So that makes me wonder sometimes. Sometimes, though, I think I think too much. (smiling)

    this post struck nerve in me.
    1 John 1:6
    1 John 1:8
    1 John 1:10
    to say we know God and walk in sin is like saying the devil knows God. getting to the point where i can not even trust my own thoughts and desires. really need His Word. i know it is true because He lives. His Word is Spirit and it is from God. remember the tree of life in the garden? if you eat from it you will never die. Jesus is that tree. remember the the song,”He moves the Mountain?” the mountain is sin. it will be moved out of your life.

  73. phpatato says:


    I so agree with what you said!

  74. SFDBWV says:

    Several months ago I seen an article on BBC News about there being a new look at zoos and wondered if they were outdated and relevant today.

    It was a critical view of the entire concept of capturing and displaying animals for the curious among us to view.

    Who among us could ever argue that the study of any living creature outside of its natural environment is at best almost a living autopsy? Incomparable to studying it in its natural state.

    But that was not the original concept in the development of zoos. Originally they became into being as a way for people to see exotic creatures from all over the world up close, personal and alive. Not a drawing or picture or stuffed and preserved by a taxidermist.

    One cannot help but compare the excitement of a child or an adult being able to look into the eyes of any of the animals on display, to the human understanding that that same animal is confined.

    Wondering if the animal knows it is confined or is suffering from it. Attempting to think for the animal and put your human concept into theirs.

    I for one think that zoos have gotten much better over time to make the animal more comfortable and the experience more realistic for the viewer.

    I truly believe that most of the people who work in zoos are concerned for the creatures under their care and I will not voice a blanket condemnation of the concept of zoos.

    There is an ever thinning line between what is more important in the world today of which is more important people or animals.

    Some people would choose animals over people every time.

    Some of these same people will go to McDonald’s today and have a Big Mac with chicken nuggets…

    I too wish we still lived in the Garden of Eden in a perfect world, but we don’t and are forced to make the best of what we are given.

    Jesus came for the salvation of mankind, not for the animal kingdom. Animal sacrifice was introduced by God from the beginning and we are not to play or second guess God.

    We as humans have a great many things to improve about our behavior and live in the biggest zoo of all “planet earth”.


  75. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… Good morning. It sounds to me like you oppose the eating of flesh.

    For me, I sure wish Eve would have eaten that snake instead of that apple.

    Perspective is always in the eye of the one who creates it, “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but in the end, lead to death.”

    I wonder why the hissing of bacon on the grill and the hissing of a snake are so much alike.

    PS The hamburgers they serve up at the Brevard Zoo concession stand are killer!!

    Food for thought and laughter.

  76. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, I am so glad to see you back. You were missed

    Joyce, I am so glad you joined this group and glad that you stayed. You have a very unique gift.

    Street, I am also sorry about your sister. May the Lord comfort you like only He can in such circumstances.

  77. narrowpathseeker says:

    I saw this on fb and thought it captured the essence of my belief when I reflect on my loving heart as a very young child and wonder how I ever arrived at a place in time filled with the uglies. I thought I would share.

    “Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s more about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can become what you were meant to be in the first place.”

  78. oneg2dblu says:

    narrowpathseeker… thanks for your kind words and your contribution.
    I like to think of our walk with the Lord, as starting out like a seed or an infant a child, Born Again, a baby Christian with all the stumbling attempts to find our legs or new walk, and every day we grow a little more, mature a little more, a progressive every growing process of giving and receiving.
    Perhaps we are becoming less to the world, or shrinking from the world view, and our old man sin nature, but it is a journey for sure.
    Being that He knit us together in the womb, and fully knew us before we would draw our first breath, knowing the plans He has in store for us, Jeremiah 29:11.
    Be Blessed, Gary

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