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Dr. Beverly Medley Jones

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Member Since: Sep, 2007

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A Bird Feeder, Lord?
By Dr. Beverly Medley Jones
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rated "G" by the Author.

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This is a true story about an experience I had, and what I learned through this experience.

My son came home from second grade one day with the idea that he wanted to make a bird feeder. You know the kind -- a plastic, one-gallon milk jug with the big square cut out of the front. Well, he decorated it with colored markers and various household materials and tied twine around the top. Then he ushered me out to the pear tree in the back yard and pointed to his chosen branch. As I tied the final knot, he yelled, "Wait, Mommy, we forgot to fill it!" Oh yeah, without the birdseed, the bird feeder is useless. It's just a pretty, but worthless decoration, obstructing the birds' view of the real food in the pear tree.

As I recently thought about our project, I heard the Lord whisper to my mind, "Beverly, you're a bird feeder." (A what? Lord, where is this going?) I wondered. God, in His wisdom, would show me through His Word what He meant.

Before it became a bird feeder, our jug was used for something else. It had to be emptied out and cleaned before beginning the process of becoming what we wanted it to be. Likewise, as we repent of our sins and allow Jesus to wash them away with His cleansing blood, we start on our way to becoming the instrument God wants us to be. Just as the jug could not clean itself, neither can we. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).

Now the cutting begins. The process of cutting the jug is a tedious one because sometimes the jug moves and extraneous cuts can occur. As God "cuts" us, He is pruning and molding us. It is crucial that we stand still during the cutting phase. God cuts out the sins that keep us from becoming useful--like jealously, lying, unforgiveness, wrong motives, ungodly thoughts, addictions, and other plans or deeds contrary to God's best for us. Often God allows circumstances or brings people into our lives to aid in the cutting process. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17). Our battles, conflicts, and confrontations are often used to show us our own faults and prompt us to allow God to take them out of our lives.

After the jug has been fashioned into a bird feeder, it is time to decorate it. Unlike the decorations of pictures, buttons, and pasta shells we put on the outside of the jug, the ornaments of the child of God should come from within. In 1 Peter 3:3-4, we are admonished, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight". Of course, we must pay attention to personal hygene, modern dress, and an attractive appearance, but these should not be our only concerns. Rather, living an exemplary life of love, righteousness, and wisdom is the model God uses as He makes us His vessels.

It is time to place our new bird feeder where it can be useful. First, we use twine to connect it to the branch. The connection is important because without it the bird feeder will fall. Isn't that true in our walk with the Lord? "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, exept it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me" (John 15:4). We must stay connected to the Lord in order to be used in His service.

The final act in completing the bird feeder is filling it. Our Lord wants to fill us so we can be useful for His purpose. Just as putting marbles in the bird feeder would cause injury to the birds, so being filled with the wrong "food" will cause harm to those we wish to feed. Rather than trying to figure out what bad food is, let's just eat what Jesus eats. "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work" (John 4:34).

Doing God's will fills us with all we need to nourish ourselves and be a benefit to others. It is God's will that we study His word, pray, and obey Him. He has promised to fill us with His Spirit and equip us for His service. Just as the bird feeder serves a special purpose if it is properly filled, so we, as instruments of the Lord's work, will be vessels of honor for Him.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).

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Reviewed by Louise Everson 9/17/2007
I sure enjoyed this piece. I always mavel at the way Beverly sees the Lord's movement in all things. Of course, He's the creator of all things less we forget. Beverly gently reminds us of His presence.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 9/11/2007
Delightful and inspiring write; very well done! :)

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