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                           *** PORTIONS ***


Re: I'm a Sparrow, too! See?

Last year around this time-of-year we had some observations from the
sparrows I feed out my back door; and then, about the crows. (Find them
from the Portions, Back-Issues: "Sparrows" and "Face Off")

Last year my neighborhood was inundated with crows. This year we don't 
seem to have crows so much, but starlings. (I don't know bird species 
that intimately; but I don't think they're 'blackbirds'. Anyway, for 
purposes of this study we'll call them "starlings".)  Whatever they 
are, to my eye, they are UU-GGly (with a capital "UUGG")! They have a
most peculiar way they 'wabble' and dart their heads back and forth as
they walk. Their young have a "squawk" that is as ugly to hear as last
year's crows.  While they typically have a reputation for causing
damage to farmer's crops in some parts of the country, in my yard they
merely go waddling around, finding 'whatever' it is they find to eat
from down within the grass.

However, they also luuuvvv the bits of bread I put out for the
sparrows. They like to waddle over, sneak in, and grab pieces. The
sparrows don't much like them there, but being bigger, there is not 
much the sparrows can do against them. And since I put the bread out 
specifically for the 'sparrows', I don't much like them there either. 
So, as I sit there, having my breakfast, watching the sparrows work on 
the bread, when I see a starling come along, I can step out the door, 
and clap my hands a couple times, and the starlings go away... and the 
sparrows then come back and finish their treat.

Unlike last year's observation of the crows, and their "persistence",
and the necessity to "persist" in resisting them (like we need to
"resist" the devil, "-steadfast- in the faith" -1Pt5:9); these
starlings, once chased off, seem to stay away (for that incident).

But this morning (the day this is being written), as the sparrows were
working on the bread, I had already seen some starlings over by the
garden, so was keeping my eye peeled for them. One of them meandered
over towards the sparrows... "waddling" across the lawn. But then, as
he got near the sparrows (and the bread), he started "hopping"... just
like sparrows 'hop'. You know how a sparrow's 'hop' is unique to
sparrows; somewhat this -high- 'boink, boink, boink' sort of hop.  No
other bird hops quite the same way...normally. But this morning, as
that starling was making his final 'move' towards the bread, he began
'hopping' -JUST- like-a-sparrow!! I would never have guessed a starling
would "boink" like that, if I hadn't seen it.

Now, if a person were observing this scenario from a distance, not
having a clear focus, one could easily assume that it was a flock of
"sparrows", all 'hopping' around (with the -same- 'boink'), eating. One
might see -big- and -little- "sparrows". After all, when the young fly
out of the nest and are hopping around, too, they are yet 'smaller'
than the parents. So, if a person sees starlings mixed in the bunch,
from a distance, it could easily look like a whole flock of "sparrows".
Just, bigger and smaller ones; since they are all 'hopping' the -same-
way.

Do you begin to get the idea that I'm about to make a 'point' here? Good!

The world is full of "churches". They have 'buildings'. They all
worship by singing hymns, passing the offering plate, engaging in 
so-called "prayer". They counsel one another. They have Bible studies. 
They have greeters to welcome people through the doors. And the 
preacher/pastor/priest stands at the door to shake hands as people 
leave, so he can hear them all complement him on his "wonderful sermon".

They all have the -SAME- "HOP"!

They even go after the same bits of food. They pretty much all have the
Bible, or parts of it. The Catholic Bible, except for the parts they've
changed and added, is God's Word.  The Mormons give out free KJVs. And
even for all the perVersions we speak about periodically; even they
'contain' God's Word, insofar as the parts they have not perverted
-are- God's Word. God's Word is not limited in its work in the heart, 
based on its surroundings. It still does its work in the repentant
heart. (Is55:11, Rom10:17)

But as a person approaches those birds to get a clearer focus, what 
does one see? One sees -brown- sparrows hopping around....and -black- 
"sparrows"...b-o-i-n-k-i-n-g...?  Oops! Wait just a minute! What's
wrong with this picture?  BIG -BLACK- sparrows??

Notice as Noah is taking in the animals into the ark, it says they went
in, "they and every living thing after its -kind-, all animals after
their -kind-, every creeping thing that moves on the earth after its
-kind-, and every flying creature after its -kind-, every bird of every
wing." (Gen7:14) After their "kind". And in speaking of birds, it
speaks of "wing". (NKJV/KJV do an injustice to the text when they say,
"every sort". The actual word there -is- "wing".) Back then they
apparently spoke of "wing". Today the expression is "feather"...as in,
"..birds of a feather..."

Sparrows have "brown" feathers (among other things).  Starlings have
"black" feathers. Even though they are all "hopping" the same, they are
of a different "kind" from each other.

What does "kind" have to do with? Genetic makeup. It would not do to 
take a starling and paint its feathers brown. The feathers that grow 
out of a starling are black...because that is its "kind". It can hop 
around like-a-sparrow all it likes; its "kind" is still "starling". And 
if it lays eggs and hatches young, just because it hops with sparrows, 
means nothing. Its eggs will still hatch "starlings". Because... that 
is its "kind". It is that way by "conception" and "birth".

There is a passage we continually repeat, till I'm sure many get tired
of hearing (reading) it. But Paul made no apologies for "warning" the
young churches "for three years...night and day with tears" (Acts20:31)
What did he warn them about? About the "vicious wolves" that would come
in among the flock. (vs29) What is it we repeat?

Warning about the "false apostles, deceitful workers". What is their
methodology? To "transform themselves into apostles of Christ" From a
distance they 'boink' around like "ministers of righteosness".
(2Cor11:13-15) But they are false. They not only hop/boink like
sparrows, but they have even expanded on the hopping, and teach the
sparrows how to 'boink' properly. They are all talking about being
"spirit-filled", and love and worship. Oh, they just luuuvvv to
"worship". They just love to "praise the Lord". Yes, they "dance"
around, hopping like sparrows.

But you get up close and look at their 'feathers' (doctrine), and what
do you see? Well... they've got that covered, too, you see, because 
they have persuaded the sparrows to not bother looking at their 
feathers. Feathers? Schmethers! Who cares! Let's all have a gay ol' 
time 'hopping' around together. We're really -all- "sparrows". See?  
Look how we all 'boink' together?

But... different feathers (wing) indicates a different "kind". There is 
a different nature. The two are -NOT- "one"! Satan's "ministers" are 
-NOT- "Christians"! A sparrow egg will hatch -only- a "sparrow". A 
starling egg will hatch -only- a "starling". The only way a starling 
egg could hope to hatch a sparrow is if some sort of miraculous 
"change" were to happen to the starling egg. It would have to receive 
an entirely 'different' DNA and genetic makeup. It would have to 
receive the genetic information that is "sparrow" in essence. And 
"hopping" is not how it would be done. It is not in the starling's
ability to generate such a change.

In the same way, going to-church and worshiping with [C]hristians will
not change a "natural man" into a "spiritual man". (1Cor2) An
unbeliever cannot "hop" their way into Heaven. They were "conceived" as
"sinners". (Ps51:5) They need to become a new "kind"...at the
spiritually 'genetic' level.

How does one become a "..new creation" where "old things have passed
away" and "all things have become new"? (2Cor5:17) By the birth "from
above". (Jn3:3) The unbeliever has been born of the "flesh". But it is
needful to be born "of the Spirit". (Jn3:6,8)

No... God does not accept the sinner "just as you are"! When a person 
is saved, they do not remain "just as they were"! If they are truly 
saved, they are not the same person. They are no longer a starling.
They have been re-hatched as a 'sparrow'. Their 'hop' is not contrived 
so-as to infiltrate and "steal and kill". (Jn10:10) They 'hop' (boink)
by their new 'nature'. You won't ever see them "waddling"!

And furthermore, you know they are real, because when you get up close,
you see that their feathers are 'brown'. And they "cheep, cheep"; not
"squawk!"

"For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Mt12:34)
"..from their fruits you will know them." (Mt7:16-20)

Amen!