It was difficult leaving these sweet little ones today. May God bless them and also their parents as they strive to raise them in the grace and knowledge of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Moving on to Odessa for a week, where I am enjoying my niece who is full of exuberance and curiosity.
"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me.
-- Matt. 18:3-5
Hadassah Joy Raif, two days old
Born at home on November 16, 2012
"For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
-- Psalm 139:13-16
"Look, Sophie! What is this?” Sophie stopped working on her dam and came over to me. I showed her the tubular structure made of tiny stones. “It looks like a little stone tunnel!”
“It’s a caddisfly larva,” She told me. “Caddisflies build houses around themselves for protection while they are growing into adult flies. Look! Here’s one that made its house out of sticks.” Sophie reached into the water and held out another structure to me, this one looking like a tunnel made of miniature logs. “See its head?”
I looked closer and now I saw that the structure had a head and legs emerging from one end. “Do they grow into the flies that Mummy always wants to kill?” I asked. “Shouldn’t we kill them so she won’t have to?”
“No,” She said. “These grow into something that looks more like a moth and lives by the water. House flies live in dead animals before they turn into flies and are called maggots. I’ll show you a picture of an adult caddisfly when we go back to the house.” Sophie put her caddisfly back in the water and returned to work on her dam.
I started searching for more caddisfly structures and soon found another. I carefully placed each larva I found in the plastic cup my mother had allowed me to take to the stream. Before long I had a collection of seven or eight crawling around on the bottom of the cup.
The tiny stone houses and the insects inside intrigued me. How did the larva glue the stones and sticks together? What did the larva look like underneath its covering?
“What would happen if you break open a caddisfly’s house?”
Sophie was tugging at a stone buried in the bank, but stopped to give me a sharp look. “Don’t!” She told me. “It might die. Even if it didn’t, it would have to build a new one.” She found a stick and starting using it to scrape the sand away from the stone.
I still wanted to know. Did it have wings? Would it look like a caterpillar if the stone wall was taken away? Maybe it looked more like a worm. I moved a little downstream and sat in such a way that Sophie could not see what I was doing. I took one of the caddisflies out of the cup – a log house one, it wasn’t as pretty – and began pulling off its covering, one stick at a time.
In my hand lay something like a caterpillar with a fish tail. It wiggled as I inspected its un-housed body, but it seemed so helpless and naked, thoroughly exposed to all from which it had wanted to hide.
Suddenly I was ashamed. Looking around, I found a few small rocks and arranged them so as to make a simple shelter from the force of the stream and the few creatures that might wish to make a meal of caddisfly. Inside this structure I placed the naked larva and covered it with another stone. Then I submerged my cup in the open water and gently shook the rest of my collection back into the stream.
Somewhat related, but not really:
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."
-- Colossians 1:15-17
God is blessing me with the opportunity to teach the teen girls' Bible class for half a quarter beginning this coming Sunday. I'm thankful to have Ms. LaDonna to help me, both in preparing and in teaching. Already she has been a tremendous help in getting me motivated and organized in my preparation. We'll be studying worship, what it is as the Bible defines it, and what God expects of us in attitude and action as we worship. I hope teaching this class will help me, as well as the girls, to grow in fear and reverence for the LORD.
'And the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fouth generations."
And Moses made haste to bow low toward the earth and worship.'
-- Exodus 34:6-8
This week's ladies' Bible and prayer study will be held at LaDonna's home at 7:00 PM, Tuesday, Dec. 14. We will be covering I Chronicles 17. If you plan to attend, please read the passage ahead of time in preparation. We'd love to see you there (that is, if you're a lady)!
"Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name."
-- Hebrews 13:15