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Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender
Song of Solomon  2:15

We often say “it’s the little foxes that spoil the grapes!” Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived apart from the Lord Jesus, penned this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It can be used to illustrate that it’s not the big things in our lives that destroy us but the little things. It’s the little flaws in our character that are allowed to come in under the radar unnoticed, that develop into monsters that gobble us up in the end.

Although most things are not fatal, they do leave scars that preclude us from accomplishing great things. Everyone of us has them. Procrastination is the flea that bites and bites, wasting time and resources, causing us to settle for ten acres of corn when we could have harvested one hundred. Idle words that hurt and hinder, always seeming to get back to the person we were talking about. We fail to take the wisdom, gifts and resources that God has given us. Waste! Time wasted, resources wasted and words wasted!

The little foxes rarely clean out your vineyard overnight; they do it little by little, over the course of a lifetime. You will drink no wine from your vineyard if you do not shoo out the little foxes and repair the breach in the fence that allowed them to sneak in!  MLJ

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Poor dusty little weaver finch,
I see you all year long,
You are so very common,
A note, your only song.

You have no claim as native,
You were not called, but sent.
You came only for a visit,
And became an immigrant.

Your ragged nest hangs from my eaves,
Your bread is pauper’s fare,
Your chicks fall helpless to the ground,
And no one seems to care.

I wonder if God has made you,
To show the proud elite?
That His love and care be boundless,
The ground level at His feet.

© 1992, 2018 by Michael Leonard Jewell

To Mary and Patty Wolf–fellow birders of my youth.



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Of course, I’m sure you have all looked out the window! It is mid-morning here and snowing hard; looks like about three or four inches so far. This puts me in mind of something that happened about this time of the year back in the early 1960s—perhaps ’62 or ’63.
We lived on the old Meadowbrook farm and Dad had gotten the car stuck in the deep drifting snow somewhere down the road. He had a fire engine red *1958 Plymouth Suburban (a station wagon if anyone knows what that is anymore) and it was built like a tank. Dad had to dig himself out and the result was severe frostbite in his hands, and he had to be admitted to the hospital (Mercy Hospital in Benton Harbor).
On our way there, we stopped at Grandma and Grandpa Jewell’s so they could watch us while Mother drove him to the hospital. Grandma insisted on making Dad some fried eggs and toast because he hadn’t eaten anything (you remember how she was!), but he was in so much pain that his eyes watered with a wince and he wrung his hands and could only feel relief when he went outside in the cold. Large blisters had formed on the backs of his hands. I tried to talk to Dad but Grandpa Jewell told me to leave him alone for now.
Dad spent several days in the hospital and when he came home, his hands were wrapped in gauze. Just imagine going through this in the old days without immediate access to a doctor or painkillers. No snowflakes need apply here!  MLJ

*Trivia: Our 1958 Plymouth, fire engine red, was the same year and color as the car in the Stephan King movie “Christine” (except ours was a wagon instead of a sedan and as far as I know, wasn’t possessed!). MLJ

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Let me walk the Emmaus Road,
Along with Thee—hand in hand,
Let us take our journey home,
Across the burning sand.

Teach me the Truths of Thy coming grace,
From Eden’s bliss to Bethlehem’s star,
Forgive my slowness to believe,
My blind eyes holden to perceive.

Turn in, turn in and stay awhile,
Let not Thy footsteps pass me by,
Forever cause my heart to burn,
And vanish not from my needy side.

And while I yet on earth must dwell,
Until my change doth surely come,
Let me always at moment’s whim,
Walk the Emmaus Road again.

© 2012, 2018 by Michael Leonard Jewell
Luke 24:13-53  KJV

To my wife Rita

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As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.   John 15:9

It has been said that one remains successful by continuing to do the things that made him successful. This may be why successful people are cautious regarding change because they are not sure what they are doing “right” and fear they might inadvertently change that “thing” that made them, and will keep them successful.  I believe there is a lot of truth and wisdom in this simple concept. The Scriptures seem to agree and we are often admonished to “continue”.  Please carefully consider these several verses and the promised benefits to the Child of God by continuing:

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.   JOHN 8:31, 32

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 

Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
ACTS 13:43

(reprint from December, 2015)   MLJ


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Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  Psalms 37:1

     The mid-term elections are finally over and it will be at least two years until we can repair the breech. Changes in the House of Representatives have opened opportunities for great mischief against our traditional American and Christian values. How we grieve as God’s Children, sometimes wringing our hands in despair over the wickedness taking place before us.  God has admonished us, though, to “fret not . . . because of evildoers.”
I was reminded recently of the truth and comfort of Psalms 37. As I watch the few remaining leaves falling in the woods across the street, I realize just how short and bleak the days are, and that Our Lord may return again before we know it.
I encourage you to read Psalm 37 all the way through in the King James Bible and understand that if you know Christ and are relying on Him for Eternal Life, you are indeed on the winning side! If you don’t know Him, I ask you to click on the Sugar Maple on the lower right of my blog site and see how to make that happen in your life.
I leave you with the last verse of the great comforting hymn CHRIST RETURNETH—MLJ

                                   Oh, joy! Oh, delight! Should we go without dying,
                                   No sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying.
                                   Caught up through the clouds with our Lord into glory,
                                   When Jesus receives His own.

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   ‘This is going on my favorite time of the year!’ I heard my father say one late Autumn afternoon. The air was translucent with smoky haze as the children next door made a game of jumping into the neighbor’s freshly raked piles of leaves. The sun gave evermore sparingly of its light and the yellow jackets drowsed on the sticky sweet bushels of grapes and pears. There would surely be ice on the mud puddles in the morning to seal the bleakness of death as the leaves were fallen to the ground to be settled by cold November’s rain and buried under December’s snow.
Death! Everything has its own given season of demise and must die. Oh but what great beauty there can be in death! A fire is at its most lovely just before the bright orange embers fade with plumes of blue flame among the white ashes. David lamented the death of Saul and Jonathan and somehow found great beauty there:
   “The beauty of Israel is slain upon the high places: how are the mighty fallen!”
   II Samuel 1:19
   There is something so wonderful, beautiful and unique about a child of God who has served and loved His Savior all his days, and then is called Home. We weep and lament at the impending death of a loved one, but as the Lord draws near to the bed of sorrows and counts the labored breaths and the withering beats of the heart, He smiles and in some mysterious way, is pleased at that precious moment of death!
   “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”
   Psalms 116:15
   Perhaps He is happy that our suffering can finally be over. Maybe the Lord just loves to see the expressions on our faces when the instant transformation from death to eternal life takes away our pain and we see Him and Heaven for the first time. Possibly the Father is anxious to show us all He has for us because we chose to love and trust His dear Son:
   “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”  Ephesians 2:7
   Great beauty in death! Let’s thank Him that even at this somber time, we are under His watchful eye and interest if we indeed know and trust Him as Our Savior. –M. Jewell

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