Photo Journal: His Eye is on the Sparrow (Again) and Psalm 84


Last year I wrote a post in relation to this beautiful hymn after a sparrow was kind enough to make it possible for me to take a relatively close up pic. On or most recent walk in Hagley Park, I noticed, while feeding both ducks and eels that there was this little tree along the waterfront of the Avon River that seemed to almost be like a gathering place for the sparrow. Overhanging branches made it possible to hide under there, yet at the same time they could warm up in the sun on the top of the little tree sheltered from the wind by the surrounding higher trees.

What a chirpy group of birds they were and again I started to sing because I became happy just seeing this seemingly happy bunch of birds.

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Psalm 84:3

In this Psalm we read how David almost envies these little birds.

3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

Almost as by nature sparrows provide for themselves habitats in houses and buildings similarly to other birds in the woods or open country.  And David, uses the fact that the Temple was no exception to express how much he really loves God. While these little insignificant little birds live right there in the presence of God, he is living in a palace away from there, and it almost seems like he’d give it up just like that just so he could be there in the place where God lives.

And in seeing them again that day I realize how much of an example they are to us: seemingly happy, not waiting for God to offer them a place in His house but just doing it AS BY NATURE, living life day by day. We can learn a lot from this little sparrow.

His eye is on the sparrow

The lyrics to this beautiful song again:

Why should I feel discouraged / Why should the shadows come / Why should my heart feel lonely / And long for heaven and home / When Jesus is my portion / A constant friend is He / His eye is on the sparrow / And I know He watches over me / His eye is on the sparrow / And I know He watches me /

I sing because I’m happy / I sing because I’m free / His eye is on the sparrow / And I know He watches me (He watches me) / His eye is on the sparrow / And I know He watches / I know He watches / I know He watches me/

Do you get it, the song starts of with a lot of “why should I’s” . It is so amazing to get to the key point of the matter: by faith we are saved and more, when you realize that when Jesus died for our sins, he left with the promise of the Holy Spirit, and with Him living in us, we do no longer need to worry. We will never be worthy but Jesus paid the ransom so that we can be reconciled with our Creator, n0t because we deserve it (as we never will) but because of His will and His grace. It was never about us , it was all about Him. Not about what we can do so He may look after us, how we can deserve to be His children, it was already taken care off.

Christians have often disputed as to whether what leads the Christian home is good actions or faith in Christ. I have no right really to speak on such a difficult question, but it does seem to me like asking which blade in a pair of scissors is most necessary. A serious moral effort is the only thing that will bring you to the point where you throw up the sponge. Faith in Christ is the only thing to save you from despair at that point: and out of that Faith in Him good actions must inevitably come. (CS Lewis, Mere Christianity).

The Law, and adherence thereto cannot be our ticket, it is the promise, the fruit, that will come from the God’s Spirit  living in us and we listening to it, our comforter, our guidance so we may be lead from glory to glory, as chirpy as those sparrows.

Night Sky Greeting Cards on Zazzle.co.nz


 

 

Night Sky Greeting Cards on Zazzle.co.nz.

Psalm 8

LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
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Photo Journal: Lake Clearwater and Camp


What can I say: good friends, amazing environment, fantastic days, a joy to make pictures. If you are out for a luxurious holiday, do not go there: no cell phone, no phone, no electricity, no tab water unless you collect it for yourself. It was amazing walking around these two beautiful lakes. Great walks that remind you again how precious it is to be able to let your young boys enjoy this kind of environment. It is also here where I realized and was awed with God‘s Creation (with a capital C). It was here where I sensed God’s presence more than in a long time.

In Psalm 121 David speaks:

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do not understand this as David expecting help typo come from the particular mountains he is looking at at the time he wrote this Psalm. No, those mountains; the scenery remind him of the grandeur, the majesty of creation and he is reminded of the knowledge that the Creator will be his helper, guide, comforter, as we can read in the later verses of this beautiful Psalm.

And while we all remember David as the King that brought the Ark back to the tabernacle of David, the man after God’s heart, the man who truly counted on God’s protection when he went into battle with Goliath, I suddenly realized how instrumental his humble beginnings must have been. Here’s the shepherd that spend all this days and nights out in nature, with his sheep, some food, drink and a harp and while that may not seem much to many of us today, it gave him a chance to actually spend quality time with God without all the distractions of daily life; to develop a relationship. It is here where he learned about God looking after His children, and how much protection was needed for there must have been wild animals around. In all the harshness of his life, it was here where David learned what it means to be in his presence and to be a good child of the Almighty Father, the Father that looks after us if we are willing to open the door to our hearts. All these were things flowing through my mind when walking around there in the presence of friends, and my lovely family. Definitely a place to go not just for a nice (little or big) holiday bit also a place to reconnect with God. The scenery, the majesty of it, the skies at night, even the walkways remind you of how much your faith is a big journey, how easy it is to get of the path and what majesty you miss out on when you stray away. Anyway I did.

Scenery

When we arrived at the set out destination the weather was not particularly inviting. And here in the mountains it seemed even worse that below on the plains. Strong wind seem to be particularly more severe when they blow through the valleys in the mountains.

In awe is all I could say. It was freezing (6 degrees Celcius is not fitting for a summer’s day) and yet was I glad to have gone out in the rain and wind.

Most of all I was reminded that first night of what a “One tree hill” means in terms of majestic scenes.

There is beauty even on a bad day if you are willing to see it. And is it not like that with our Christian lives as well. It is certainly no guarantee for a trouble free life, but that does not mean that there is no beauty in it even in times of trouble, or hardship. The tree reminded of the importance of standing tall even if it feels that you are sailing against the winds. The tide will change.

And so it did the next day, all cleared up at least later in the day opening up the real beauty of the surroundings. A walk around Lake Clearwater left me even more amazed.

 

Walking

The tracks around the lakes were nice. A stiff walk if you are not used to it, but well worth the effort. When you are witnessing secnes such as below, you quickly forget that you are tired. Too much to be distracted by.

In Matthew 7:14 we read:

…narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

I was painfully reminded of this verse when not long after the point where this picture was taken: we climbed over a style, tried to pick up the trail and lost we were. If we had only stayed on that track that was laid out before us, we would have been all right. But no, due to our own doubts we got lost. We thought we knew better and ended up getting lost, only get across the lake again once we reestablished our ‘faith’ in the track that was laid out for us.

Sunsets

What blew me away most of all probably was the amazing sunset over Lake Camp. What an amazing scenery and Psalm 8 springs to mind:

1 LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens…
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

What’s left here for me to say is that I guess we all feel at times as if God is no longer present in our lives. I know it felt like that for me after the ‘busy season’ with all this hassle about … well … stuff.  The best part about places like this is the absence of facilities. It means you will have to do simple whether you like it or not. That also means NO or HARDLY ANY DISTRACTIONS and what a joy that is.

We look at David, a man after God’s own heart. I realize now the importance of his humble beginnings. Man did he have an opportunity to have time out with God on a daily basis, herding his sheep, out alone under the stars with nothing but his sheep, his harp and … God! If there is any way to reconnect with God, I would imagine it to be in the mountains, alone under in this majestic scenery. I know for sure it worked for me. The only thing I regret is that I did not take out my guitar to play for my Father under the stars. Next time I will. Far from perfect but back on track again.

More pictures to follow soon here