Strengthens

 

I have read that some ducks can fly at speeds of 50 miles per hour or greater for a sustained length of time.

Ducks can also fly for hours.

It makes me think of people who run marathons….

There are times in our lives where we feel like we are in situations in which we are running “marathons” or trying to have the strength to “fly” long distances.

Extended illnesses, military deployments, relationship struggles—plus countless other circumstances that require personal strength to get through—compel us to look to Jesus for help.

He is with us.

Do you believe?

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

—Philippians 4:13

 

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Take Delight

As I was looking down past the shallow waterfall, I noticed a duck playing in the water.

There were other ducks nearby, enjoying the refreshing flow on a very hot day.

God made the ducks to be water birds.

Although they couldn’t tell me, I think these beautiful creatures were delighting in the rushing bubbles as the water made it’s way down to the lake.

Psalm 34:7 reads, “Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

I think God made us to take delight in Him.

If we seek Him and draw closer to Him, the desires of our hearts will be given to us as our desires become focused on Him.

 

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Do Also To Them

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

—Matthew 7:12

 

A week or two ago, I was doing a photo session for a family of four in a nearby park.

The park borders a large lake and there are always a lot of birds near the water.

As I was photographing the family out in the open grass, a duck came walking up to us.

Since ducks are normally shy creatures that keep their distance, this was quite a delightful surprise.

He was probably hoping we had something to feed him.

He was going to make the first step in being friendly.

For whatever reason, he marched right up and melted our hearts.

I started taking photographs of the children with their new duck friend.

Why, if a duck wanted to be nice to us, we were going to be nice to him!

In the verse above, Jesus tells us to do to others what we wish they would do to us.

What would happen if we showed interest in people the way we wished they would be interested in our well being?

What if we would just take the first step and walk up to someone we do not know at work or church with a sincere smile and a cordial word?

Would their heart be open to friendship because of that first step on our part?

If a duck could be friendly to people he didn’t know, couldn’t I?

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In the Hands of God

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As I walked by the water’s edge, a pair of ducks swam nearby.

A darker, brown duck was accompanied by a white, pekin duck.

Drawn to their beauty and their carefree movements, I spent a few moments watching them and photographing them.

Days come and go, and on every one, God provides for them.

 

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Every living creature
    is in the hands of God.

–Job 12:10

 

 

Click image to enlarge.

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Better Off Than One

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There they were.

Two ducks sitting beside each other.

Together.

Not alone.

Although I don’t know exactly how being alone feels to a duck, I do know how being alone feels to me.

God has blessed me with friends and companionship throughout my life.

There have been numerous people who have come alongside me to help me succeed.

When I have fallen, God has provided friends who have reached out to help.

Friends are a true blessing from God.

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Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.

But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm.

But how can one be warm alone?

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated,

but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.

Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

—Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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Click image to enlarge.

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