The Eastern Phoebe, a Tyrant Flycatcher who winters in Georgia.
Photography by Curtis and Norma Beaird
Article by Norma Beaird
During the changing of the season, especially during the Autumn, you will see an entertaining family of passerines (perching birds), the Tyrant Flycatchers. It's a rather harsh family name for such adorable birds; however, when you watch them perch and scout for insects, you come to understand the word "tyrant".
The Eastern Phoebe is a common migrant and winter resident in the Coastal Plain from August to April, with the highest numbers from October to March.
The Eastern Phoebe, a common winter resident in Georgia's Coastal Plain.
Another entertaining little Tyrant Flycatcher is the Eastern Wood-Pewee. While the Eastern Phoebe is arriving in Southern Georgia for the winter, the Eastern Wood-Pewee is departing, usually in November.
The Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Tyrant Flycatcher who breeds statewide in Georgia.
The Eastern Wood-Pewee is a common breeding resident statewide from March to November; no confirmed winter sightings in Georgia. Just like the Eastern Phoebe, the Eastern Wood-Pewee is very intense as he perches on a limb to scout for insects.
The Eastern Wood-Pewee came for a drink of water!
Copyright 2014, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.
There are times when the world will throw us a curveball.
Sometimes, that light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train.
You thought that your ship had come in, but now it’s in dry dock.
Once again, your dreams, hard work and big ideas are crushed like flies underneath a flyswatter.
….and then the frustration begins…..and sometimes…..you realize, just one more time, that life is hard.
Sometimes….. you’re just done.
Stick a fork in it, you’re done.
Sometimes, it seems that every idea, every creative burst of energy, every God-given talent is trampled by a force of negativity that refuses your forward movement, productivity or success.
There are times when it seems that every act of generosity is crushed with a spirit of ungratefulness. The more you give and the more you do, the more they ignore it, misuse it or disrespect it.
There are days when no matter how hard you try, how much you push or how much you dream, you finally wake up to the nightmare of reality. It isn’t working. It can’t work. Consequently, someone is always glad to tell you why it won’t work. No matter what the motivational gurus say, the “no” is always more powerful than the “yes”.
You may ask, “Why?”Because the “no” has the power to stop you in your tracks. One more “no” can shut you down and render you helpless, discouraged and defeated. The next “no” can be the reason you quit. When you give into the power of “no”, your creative energy and bright ideas are drained from you like a Hollywood vampire drains his victims of their blood.
For every blessing, for every good thought, for every possibility, there is a little demon hiding around the corner, excitedly awaiting to exchange blessing for curse, faith for fear and success for failure. The demon is always there. You can’t miss him.
Just have a good idea and he shows up. Produce a beautiful piece of work and watch what happens. Do something nice for someone and here he comes, ready to shatter like glass that moment of gratitude or opportunity. It’s like clockwork. It’s a 24/7 struggle.
You’re now in survival mode; however, your dreams are more than just dreams. Your creativity is more than just creativity. It is God’s way of demonstrating the fact that we are created in His image, in His likeness. If we are creative, it’s because of Him. If we have good ideas, it’s because of Him.
If we demonstrate productivity and accomplishment, it’s because of Him. If we have talent, it’s because of Him. God gave us the brain power to figure things out and create. God and creation go hand in hand. God tells us in the very first chapter of the Bible.
Genesis 1: 26 - 27
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
The Old Testament was translated from Hebrew. To further understand the idea of creation and creativity, we need to look at the original Hebrew word for “create”. The Hebrew word is Bara’.
to create, shape, form
(Qal) to shape, fashion, create (always with God as subject)
of heaven and earth
of individual man
of new conditions and circumstances
(Niphal) to be created
of heaven and earth
of something new
to cut down
to cut out
to be fat
(Hiphil) to make yourselves fat
So, as you can see, the idea of creation and creativity comes directly from God. And, since evil opposes everything that is God, evil will obviously oppose your positive, God-given creativity. Evil opposes your talents and generosity of spirit.
Evil opposes everything that is holy and sacred to God.
Therefore, it is important to saturate our spirits with the Word of God. The negativity and foolishness of this world is sometimes more than we can handle, especially if it shows up in more than one serving per day.
The spirit of this world wants us to fail. God wants us to prevail.
Our blessings come from God, but the world wants to strip us of our gratitude. The world does not offer salvation. Jesus Christ gives us the gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life. The world cannot destroy the promises of God. The world can hinder, persecute and disrespect you, but the world cannot steal your salvation, your joy, or even your talents and creativity.
The world can certainly make it much more difficult to prosper and progress. The world can certainly throw stumbling blocks in your path, but the onslaught of worldly difficulties cannot take away the spirit of creativity that God has given to you. The world can discourage you and slow you down, but it cannot take away that which is ordained by God.
The world can tell you “no”; but in the midst of rejection, God will make a way when there seems to be no way. He is God. Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. He was God yesterday and He will be God tomorrow.
The power of “no” will never be more powerful than the hand of God.
As long as we’re serving God, we can trust Him to lead us in the right direction. We can trust Him to use our talents and creativity to bring glory and honor to Him and His Word.
At the same time, we can also trust God to open doors that need to be opened and close doors that need to be closed. My grandmother used to tell me, “Sometimes our disappointments are God’s appointments.” Sometimes, and this may be difficult for us to digest, but a “no” may be exactly what we need. Why? Because God sees further down the road; consequently, He has better plans for us.
God is omniscient. He sees what we cannot see.
Therefore, trust God. Trust Him with your talents, ideas and creativity. Always measure and question your ideas to see if they are consistent with the Word of God. Use your talents to bring glory to God. Stay focused. Keep the faith. Pray continually. God will make a way when there seems to be no way to move forward or even succeed.
Your creativity is a gift from our Creator, God.
Every morning, God gives us new artwork in the sky, music from bird song; and, depending upon our location, the fragrance of pine trees, the color of bluebonnets or the sound of a babbling brook. Each day, we may experience the chill of mountain air, a sunset in the desert or the salty mist of an ocean breeze. We may experience the color of wheat, a fresh fallen snow, a shower of rain or a brilliant full moon. God's handiwork of creation is all around us and in us.
Give thanks for His many blessings and trust in His divine guidance.
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths.
Copyright 2014, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.