My wife and I love our furry and feathery backyard buddies. We have lots of birds that visit our feeder. We also have lots of deer that feed on my wife's plants. She hates the deer eating her plants but she loves the deer in the backyard. Ironic.
We use black sunflower seeds in our bird feeder. That brings in chickadees, nuthatches, cardinals, blue-jays. Even and occasional deer! We also have a block of suit for for our long-billed buddies - woodpeckers and flickers. The nuthatches like suit too. They're not very picky eaters.
We've been on the lookout for a new backyard visitor lately. One we didn't even know we had in our area - a black bear. My wife came home one night last week and said the sheriff's department (my wife works at the county courthouse) had reported a bear had been hit on Highway 54 just west of the county line. Gee. That's where WE live. The DNR was called and it was discovered that the bear that had been hit and killed was a mama bear, and she had been nursing. So, they searched the area and found a den with two cubs and a papa bear inside. The DNR took the cubs so they could be nursed (and survive) and left daddy bear by his lonesome in the den. Oh, and that den just so happens to be at the bottom of the hill leading into our subdivision. Comforting.
The woods can be a beautiful place to spend time with God. I did that a lot last year. But it is a very good idea to know what you might run into. What we know or what we do not know could save your life.
When Paul visited the church in Corinth he couldn't believe what he was seeing. His brothers and sisters in the faith, who he had been instructed in the ways of the Lord, had fallen away from their faith all together. They had been overrun by the sin and corruption that plagued the city, when they should have grown in their faith and been an example to their community. Paul had given them the basics of the faith (milk he calls it) and not the weightier details of what it means to be a Christian.
"Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?" - 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
Though you and I might profess to be Christians, do we act like we are? If we were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict us? Are we living a life worthy of our calling? Or have we backslidden to where we resemble the unsaved?
When I was walking past the big blackberry bush at the bottom of the hill last summer I never gave much thought to the fact that bears LOVE blackberries or that a bear family might have a den in the area. But now I AM aware and I can take guard against any possible physical encounters with a hungry papa bear (who just recently lost his entire family . . . at the hands of man). I can be prepared.
Here's a question. How do we know we are sinning if no one has ever told us? If "the whole world is doing it" how can it be wrong?
"11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." - Hebrews 5:11-14
First and foremost, people just simply need to know Jesus. No if's, and's or but's. They not only need to KNOW Him, they need to obey Him. People need to surrender their lives, the lives they are screwing up SO badly by themselves, to a God who can help them straighten their lives out by offering more than what this world has to offer. But to get that, people need to surrender. They need to recognize their fallen nature, they need to repent of that and change their ways. Then they need to start following Christ. Instead of living with just a knowledge of Him, they need to live FOR Him and for His kingdom. Only then can we eat of the "meat" in what we believe.
The Last Supper from Jesus of Nazareth