ARLINGTON CHRISTIAN CHURCH
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From the Pastor's Desk

 


Lee.jpg 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".

Migrate

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 water.

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.

Adapt

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.

Some 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.

Hibernate

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 energy.

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.

Water makes 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.

God 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.

Probably by 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.

God is taking care of us and our church with the same love God has for the other animals who survive difficult times.

Bro. Lee


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 distractions.

Read Luke 9:23-25, John 12:24-25, Ephesians 4:22-24, Galatians 2:19-20.

Bro. Lee