From the Pastor's Desk
GETTING READY FOR FALL AND WINTER!
How does God's creation get
ready for the change of seasons to fall and winter? God had a plan for all of creation to survive seasonal changes.
Here is how many animals handle cold weather - some information from "sciencemadesimple.com".
Some animals "migrate." They travel to places where the weather is warmer or where they can find
food. (Humans have been doing this since transportation methods have improved. Floridians and Arizonians call
them “snowbirds” among other things.)
Many birds migrate in the fall. Some travel in large
flocks, like geese. Other kinds of birds fly alone.
We don’t understand how they know when it is
time to leave for the winter - that is still a mystery of God. It may be triggered by changes in the amount of daylight
and the weather. The Arctic tern nests close to the North Pole in the summer and in autumn, it flies south all the way
to Antarctica. Most migrating birds travel shorter distances. They seem to navigate using the sun, moon, and stars
for direction. They also seem to have a compass in their brain for using the Earth's magnetic field. Science still
doesn’t understand God’s creation.
Other animals migrate, too. A few mammals, like some bats,
caribou, elk, and whales will travel in search of food each winter. Many fish also migrate south or move into deeper, warmer
Some insects migrate. Termites, Japanese beetles, and Earthworms move down deeper in the soil, some
as far as six feet below the surface. Migration doesn’t have to cover great distances.
Some animals remain and stay active in the winter and adapt to the changing weather. Many have changes in
their behavior or bodies. They may grow new, thicker fur in the fall. Some animals, like squirrels, mice, and
beavers gather extra food in the fall and store it to eat later. Some, like rabbits and deer, spend winter looking for
moss, twigs, bark, and leaves to eat.
Other animals eat different kinds of food as the seasons change.
The red fox eats fruit and insects in the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter it eats small rodents.
find winter shelter in holes in trees or logs, under rocks or leaves, or underground. To stay warm, animals like squirrels
and mice huddle close together.
Ice fishermen are glad that some fish stay active in cold water during the winter.
Some animals hibernate for part or all of the winter. This is a special, very
deep sleep. The animal's body temperature drops, and its heartbeat and breathing slow down. It uses very little
In the fall, these animals get ready for winter by eating extra food and storing it as body fat.
They use this fat for energy while hibernating. Some wake periodically and will store food like nuts or acorns to eat
during those times. Bears, skunks, chipmunks, and some bats hibernate.
Other Ways to Survive
Cold-blooded animals like fish, frogs, snakes, and turtles have no way to keep warm during the winter. Snakes
and many other reptiles find shelter in holes or burrows and spend the winter inactive or dormant.
a good shelter for many animals. They move to the bottom of lakes and ponds. There, frogs, turtles, and many fish
hide under rocks, logs, or fallen leaves. They may even bury themselves in the mud and become dormant. Cold water
holds more oxygen than warm water, and the frogs and turtles can breath by absorbing it through their skin.
has a plan of survival for animals that follow His plan. They don’t try to out-think God and do things their own
way. They live by the instincts that God gave them. WE SHOULD BE SO SMART.
What About People?
(not from "sciencemadesimple.com")
In many ways, we are some of the least capable animals when
it comes to being able to live in harsh weather. Most of us do not have a heavy covering of fur to protect us from the
cold of winter or the heat of summer. We cannot run fast enough or far enough to migrate every year. Our bodies
are not able to hibernate (although many do a good job of imitating hibernation during basketball and football seasons).
God had a different plan for us. He made our brains to work in ways that are different from other animals.
We have the ability to think about problems and work out solutions that do not depend strictly on our physical abilities.
At some point a person discovered that the skin and fur of another species could keep him/her warm. Over the
centuries skins were replaced by manufactured cloth. A person also understood the benefits of fire as a source of heat,
and then learned how to keep it burning.
We have developed the ability to migrate as far and much faster than
any of God’s other creatures. God has given us options that other animals do not have.
observing other species, humans developed shelters that were not just natural caves and holes in trees. What started
as simple nests were upgraded as a person saw an adaptation that offered better protection. The structures and materials
have become more sophisticated because of our ability to think through problems. Now, we hunker down in our buildings
made of all kinds of materials. We insulate them and seal them to keep out rain, snow, wind, heat, and cold.
Arlington is preparing for winter by making some improvements to our building. The last sections of our old roof
should be replaced before winter. The new roof is going to be slightly sloped so there is no ponding of water on it
like there is now. This will protect our structure and our people for years to come. We are also updating some
old air conditioners and furnaces to newer, more efficient models. After a warm summer of dealing with one side of our
Education Building not having a functioning A/C, it will be nice to have heat and cool when we need it.
taking care of us and our church with the same love God has for the other animals who survive difficult times.
PREVIOUS NOTE FROM THE PASTOR
I Am Losing My Mind!
Those of you who know me, know
this is a true statement. But what does it mean? And is it a good thing?
It might mean I have "bats
in my belfry." That is an old phrase that goes back more than a hundred years. It basically means I am crazy,
or eccentric, or I act in a foolish manner. I don’t deny the shoe fits. But I do not have a belfry.
And if I did, why would there be bats in it? Perhaps "bats in my belfry" is related to "squirrels in
my attic." I have had those, and they are no fun. They kept me awake at night with their running around on
my ceiling. Speaking of squirrels in attics …
Two ministers and a rabbi were having lunch together.
The Methodist minister brought up the problem they were having with squirrels getting in the church attic. The squirrels
were making so much noise that it interfered with the Sunday worship service. He said they had been catching them and
taking them out to the farm of a member and turning them loose, but they always made their way back to the church. It
was driving them nuts (pun). The Baptist minister gave him all kinds of sympathy because his church had experienced
the same kind of problem. He said they caught their squirrels too, but before they turned them loose, they baptized
them. Now they only come around on Christmas and Easter. The Jewish rabbi was sympathetic to both of them.
They had experienced squirrels in the attic of the synagogue. He said they caught one - they circumcised him - and they
think the rest of them went over to the Methodist church. S-m-a-r-t.
Another meaning may be that my mind
is not what it was when I was younger. A normal part of aging is the loss of mental function. My memory is not
as good as it used to be. I have always had difficulty remembering names, but now I can be in a conversation about someone
and forget his/her name. I also have the ability to forget to wish people "Happy Birthday" when I saw their
name on the calendar two minutes earlier. I can remember worthless trivia without any problem, but ask me to remember
something important and there is a good chance it will be gone before I need it. I was 54 years old when I graduated
from LTS, and I always tell people that I was lucky the last three semesters of classes were based on writing papers instead
of taking tests. I am not sure I would have done very well having to remember during a test. I still have the ability
to think, but I can’t remember what I am supposed to be thinking about. (Ha, ha)
Leaving my bad humor
behind, losing MY mind can be a good thing. There are so many mental distractions that we have to deal with on a daily
basis. We may call it daydreaming when we get off track at work. We may lie awake at night because our mind won’t
calm down and let us sleep.
An even worse problem is our minds can keep us from being the people God intended
us to be.
The world fills our lives with opportunities to leave our Christian beliefs behind and think about temporary
satisfactions. Not all of them are evil or bad, but they take us in directions we should not go. As Christians,
we are supposed to empty ourselves of ourselves and fill ourselves up with Christ. Jesus speaks very directly when he
says we must deny ourselves and take up our cross in order to follow him. This includes clearing our minds of these
Read Luke 9:23-25, John 12:24-25, Ephesians 4:22-24, Galatians 2:19-20.