Proud As A Peacock?

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3 NKJV)

In a recent post, Rabbit Chasing Sandhill Crane, I mentioned that Dan and I have been re-reading “Things I Have Learned” by Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. Today, I’d like to tell another short excerpt about the singing of a Mockingbird and the strutting of a Peacock.

The lesson has to do with having a “big head.” The Lord has given every Christian certain abilities or “talents.” How we use them and how we may feel about those gifts. Some believe that those talents were their own and lean toward becoming an “egomaniac”

“The Bible recognized that. God tells you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. You are not so tremendously important.” School might grieve for a few days if you died, but.. “…I have seen many a man die whom nobody knew how to get along without, and yet somehow or other things went right on. The world kept moving.”

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan'sPix

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan

“Young people, I meet many people along life’s way who are failures because they overemphasize their own importance. That is the temptation of talented people. The fact that you have talents does not mean you are brilliant. Some people with much talent have little reasoning ability. Some people have special gifts for which they deserve no credit whatever. The just have gifts.”

Patagonian Mockingbird (Mimus patagonicus) ©WikiC

“What credit does a mockingbird deserve for singing? He is just made that way. When a mockingbird sings, he is not strutting his stuff.”

“A peacock struts. He has tail feathers, but he didn’t make them. God Almighty bent over heaven and stuck all those feathers in his tail. I know some people who can sing and play and act. That is about all they can do; yet they get to thinking they are wonderful.”

Peacock at Magnolia Plantation by Dan

“What have you on this earth you didn’t get from somebody else? What are you stuck up about? Do you know the cure for the big head is? It is to sit down and realize two things: first, anything you have, you got from God; and you are custodian of that gift –a trustee. Then think of somebody else in the world who has something you don’t have.”

Quotes from, Things I Have Learned, Chapel Talks by Bob Jones Sr  , 1992

Things I Have Learned

 

Sandhill Cranes and Rabbits

Sandhill Cranes in side yard – The Guard Sandhill watching

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” (2 Timothy 4:7 KJV)

Dan and I have been re-reading “Things I Have Learned” by Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. One of his messages was about “Rabbit Chasers.” It has to do with a “Possum” dog getting sidetracked by a Rabbit. [More about that later.]

The day after reading that part, I was looking out our kitchen window and spotted the four Sandhill Cranes in our side yard. They come by frequently. It is a mom, dad, and two juveniles.

About that time a rabbit appeared close to the house next door. [He was in our front yard on Easter Morning when we back out on the way to church. Yeah! The Easter Bunny!, I told Dan.] The rabbit was minding his own business when the “guard” Sandhill took out after him. Now, I call that Sandhill a “rabbit chaser.”

Sandhill Crane with Wings Spread – Threatening ©Maria Michell Pixabay

This is not the first time we have watched a Sandhill take-off after an animal. Years, ago, we were watching several Sandhill Cranes walking through the travel-trailer park where we were staying. A small kitten, thought he would “take on” one of these tall birds. The Sandhill opened up his wings, making him look “really big” and took two steps toward the small cat. Haven’t seen a cat run that fast in a long time. :)

Back to the book and the “Rabbit Chasers.” To shorten the message, it was about what a good “Possum” dog does, compared to a “Rabbit Chaser.” A good dog will go over hill and dale, through water, etc. and never gets off of the trail until he either trees his opossum, or he loses it. On the other hand, a dog that starts on the scent of his prey, comes across the trail of a rabbit, and changes course to follow the rabbit, is a “Rabbit Chaser.”

This Dog Adopted His Opossum. Back to the drawing board.

Dr. Bob takes that story and tells the students in chapel, to finish what they started. [“Finish The Job” was another of his saying.] The student starts college and then they meet a girl or boy, they start wavering about finishing. There are other things to get us off-track also. [Sound familiar] He mentions other things, but basically, he was challenging the students to stay on course and finish what they started. A very good lesson for all of us. I had hoped to find an online version to share a link to, but it doesn’t seem to be available. The book is still available. Things I Have Learned at the school.

“The Son of God came all the way from heaven to this earth. I am speaking reverently. He got on the trail of His Father’s will. Everything tried to stop Him, but He stayed on the trail.” … “One day He hung on the cross in agony and blood. After awhile He cried, ‘It is finished.’ He stayed on the trail. He never got off. He said, ‘I came to do My Father’s will, and now it is done.’ He died for us. And my Bible says, ‘He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.’ ..”You will never be happy off the trail.” [From Things I Have Learned, p106.]

There is much more I would love to share about that message, but, I’ll leave you to read the book if you would like.

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24 KJV)

Sandhill Cranes in Sideyard 5-1-15 by Lee

Let’s make this practical for you younger students who are still in High School, Elementary School, or are being Homeschooled. Do you stick with your assignments, or do you get sidetracked to play a game, watch TV, or check the internet. Do you start working on a math problem, and then when it gets tough, you close the book and do something else? Maybe it’s another subject you don’t care for.

Your mother or father may give you an errand or project to do; like take out the trash, clean your room, or something else. Do you start, and then get “sidetracked”? Are you a “Rabbit Chaser”? Isn’t nice when you FINISH something you started?

Just do your best! 

Here are some of his many sayings that Dr Bob Jones Sr. shared with students [of which we both were at one time].

  • “It is a sin to do less than your best.”
  • “The door to the room of success swings on the hinges of opposition.”
  • “It is no disgrace to fail; it is a disgrace to do less than your best to keep from failing.”
  • “God will not do for you what He has given you strength to do for yourself.”
  • “Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.”

Wholesome Words – Chapel Sayings

Wholesome Words

Sharing The Gospel