From an Eagle’s Vantage Point

I have always wondered why God has likened us to eagles. With millions of species of animals in the whole wide world, why eagles? I understand the fact that eagles are a large, tough kind of bird. They create an impression of a strong, bold, and powerful creature, spreading their wings freely and soaring high up in the air as if they own the sky. But not until I looked further into the life of an eagle did I ever get to grasp the sense of comparing the Lord’s beloved to such!

Eagles have many attributes that call for appreciation and credit. Here, we will know the justification about why God deems us to be like an eagle. Let us start with its sense of vision.

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An eagle has a powerful eyesight. He can focus on his prey from as far as five kilometers from the air! He never turns his vision away from a deer or a rodent at this distance until he swoops down fast enough to clutch the animal with his talon and eat it. God said in Proverbs 29:18:

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

And what is vision? How important is it in our lives? A vision is a set of goals in mind that we pursue. It is a clear direction from God who, by the way is the giver of our dreams and desires, which sets us in action towards our destiny. It is our bigger picture, our inspiration throughout our lives. It is our purpose and without purpose, our lives will be meaningless. The eagle is so excellent at fulfilling his own vision.

Another remarkable trait of this impressive bird is that when it rains, he is able to fly up all the way over the clouds, and yes, glide above the storm! Unlike the other birds, they hide in the leaves and branches of trees; the eagle does not, instead, he flies above it!

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Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:30-31

That is one of my favorite Bible verses that gives me encouragement when I feel that all of my physical strength has gone down the drain. Sure, it gives me new strength and total rejuvenation after all the exhaustion from the tasks a citizen of earth has to carry on. And God never fails to do that for me each time I feel burdened.

We are called to fly above the storms of life. We are never made to be defeated, but rather to overcome every trial and obstacle that comes our way. We are made to rise above the clouds of doubt and uncertainties and fight against the rage of winds and heavy rains of downfalls and failures. Just like an eagle, we have to soar high!

I love the way they fly. Eagles fly towards heaven and they like to face the sun. You may wonder how they are able to look at the sun without making them blind or harmed. God is a wise and creative God. He has made the eagle with two eyelids for each eye so that he can look straight at the sun despite its utter brightness and heat!

When you gaze upon riches, they are gone, for they surely make wings for themselves, and fly off into the sky like an eagle! – Proverbs 23:5

One of the lovely things about them that made me smile is the way a female eagle tests the tenacity of her suitor (I say we, ladies, better be like this too!): The modest eagless flies down to earth to pick up a twig while the male pursues her. She flies back again in the air and once she reaches the height high enough for her, she lets the twig fall off from her beak and the male would fly down as fast as he can to catch it before it reaches the ground. Then he brings it back to the hen-eagle and she would go all the way up, higher and higher and drops the twig again to be chased by the male. The initiation goes on and on until the female is assured that her suitor has mastered the art of chasing and picking the twig. That is the only time that she would let him mate with her! This perfectly shows us an example of testing before trusting. I believe this has to be one of the most important standards of women nowadays in choosing a lifetime partner. On the one hand, I also believe in what God says:

Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. – Psalm 146:3,5

While it is true that we have to test a man’s commitment before giving our sweet “Yes”, it is more reassuring if we put instead our trust in God about who is the right one for us. After all, He knows everything- past, present, and yet to come- that is why we need to surrender our own will so that He can move in our lives. If we never let Him decide for who is going to be our spouse, we would just be gratifying our own desire and motive only to see ourselves regretting in the end, if not totally miserable. He has the reserved one for you and you need not to fret about whether you will be able to find him/her because God will be the One to bring that person to you in the perfect time, place, situation, and emotional, physical, and financial disposition. And eagles are also faithful! For starters, I mean they are faithful to their mates for life! They are good examples of couples that better keep up a relationship that lasts a lifetime. They are a monogamous kind of creature- how sweet is that!

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Well, of course, I’m saying this is entirely different from people who are called to singleness, though!

Furthermore, bald eagles never mate with different kinds of eagles.

Birds of the same feather flock together.

So if you are an eagle Christian, never ever date with a sparrow, a raven, or worse, a vulture Christian. God intended that if you are a strong woman of God, then your partner should be a strong man of God too!

Eagles are also family oriented. By the time they have eaglets, the parent eagles work in tandem to train their offspring to fly. To begin with, let’s talk about how they build their nest. When the female hatches her eggs, the male and female look for a high place, preferably on a cliff, to protect their young ones from vicious predators.

Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? On the cliff he dwells and lodges, Upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place. From there he spies out food; His eyes see it from afar. -Job 39:27-29

Then the father eagle flies down to earth to pick up twigs, grasses, and thorns to complete it. Everyday, they supply their babies with insects, baby snakes, or worms.

When you were still a baby Christian, a new believer in Christ, do you still remember when God was granting you right away every prayer and request you had for Him? It was to show you how loved and blessed you are and that how abounding His grace for you is! He granted you every comfort you wished for.

Time passes by and the mother eagle starts to nudge the fledgling from its nest so that it can learn how to fly. The baby eagle becomes so afraid so it goes back to the nest and gets pricked by the thorns surrounding the nest. Bleeding, the eaglet manages to flap its wings.

As you mature in your relationship with God, He gradually removes you from your nest, from your comfort zone, so that you will learn how to spread your wings and fly, how to break free from the chains that hold you back, how to view life in a broader perspective, how to live outside the imprisonment that you put yourself into. True life starts when you are away from your comfort zone. And it takes courage to seek the truth even though it hurts because seeking the truth strips you off of your own self. It is about knowing the reality that you are a sinner and that Jesus died for you to redeem you and save you.

The truth hurts but it will set you free.

Jesus has come to set you free! Free from your sin!

When the baby eagle fails to fly and falls, the mother eagle is just fast enough to chase her baby and carry him back to his nest.

You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. – Exodus 19:4

Your God can fly faster than you can fall!

God already knows when you would fall. He knows already what you will go through before it even happens. Know that He isn’t surprised at all when you fall down! What does He do? Surely He won’t just watch you failing, but He is already there to catch you, to carry you, to lift you higher and higher!

Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, so the LORD spread out his wings and took him, he lifted him up on his pinions. -Deuteronomy 32:11

You were born not to be in the nest forever, but to see a vision and fly up in the air to achieve it, to accomplish it! That’s what God has planned for you!

The eagle is also known for its large size and powerful build. However, there is another avian species called the Condor which is practically bigger in size than an eagle. The condor hates the eagle. So whenever the eagle flies around, he has to look out for the presence of his enemy. When a condor attacks an eagle, he locks him in his claws, flies around in the air until such time the eagle gets exhausted, he drags him all the way down to a rock so that he gets wounded, becomes weak enough and then die so that the condor could eat him.

The condor knows that he is the enemy of the eagle and he knows his position. Same is true with satan who is our enemy and he, too, knows where he is standing. Like the condor, he attacks you by clutching you with his hands so that you can’t see anything, so that you won’t have a vision. He goes “flying around” until you get tired of your life and you feel heavy and burdened with unforgiveness, bitterness, anger and insecurities. He locks you in his arms so that you can’t move on from your past hurts, from you loss, from your downfalls and failures. And then he finds a spot for him to drag your face ruthlessly to the ground so that you get wounded and then die. He wants you to die spiritually so he can eat you, torture you, carry you to his kingdom of darkness and fiery lake of burning sulfur.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. – John 10:10

But what does an eagle do before it’s too late and he gets eaten up by the condor? No, he never stays there doing nothing! Instead, he summons all his strength to raise his wings, he mounts up and flies toward the sun! The eagle knows that the condor cannot chase him to the sun because of the blinding light, and so his enemy has no other choice but to turn around and go away.

We only have One way to go so that we can run away from the devil- we have to “fly” toward Jesus who alone can save us from the tight grip of the enemy. And satan, who is the prince of darkness, cannot possibly look at the Son of God because of His glorious light that’s blinding him!

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. – 1 John 1:5

Amazing how God created such wise and mighty species of birds! No wonder they are being mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible. Eagles also have the ability to rejuvenate their features. Interestingly enough, the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee has published in their website the different stages of the plumage (layer of feathers) renewal of bald eagles:

“In their five-year development to adulthood, bald eagles go through one of the most varied plumage changes of any North American bird. During its first four weeks of life, an eaglet’s fluffy white down changes to a gray wooly down. At about five weeks, brown and black feathers begin to grow. It becomes fully feathered at 10 weeks of age. In its first year, the mostly dark-colored juvenile can often be mistaken as a golden eagle. However, the bald eagle progressively changes until it reaches adult plumage at five years. Notice in the pictures how its dark eye lightens throughout its first four years of life until it becomes yellow. Also, see how its beak changes form gray-black to a vibrant yellow.

It is believed that the darker, more mottled plumage of a young eagle serves as camouflage, while the white head and tail announce that it is of breeding age.

Everyone of us has to undergo change. Without it, we cannot learn new things, reverse our mediocre mindset, cultivate stronger faith, and have positive vision. Without it, we cannot mature and we cannot be taken to new heights and dream new dreams. We have to replace our “old feathers” to experience restoration. We need to go through pain and brokenness so that we can be healed and made whole again. We need to have a new life in Christ so that we can see in a whole new perspective what life is all about. Because like all the processes that an eagle undergoes in its lifetime, we should also ultimately learn how to rise above this world and learn how to fly. And eagles don’t just fly like the other birds of the air- they don’t flap their wings, but they soar!

He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! – Psalm 103:5

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

From a bird’s-eye view, the eagle hovers over the earth with great vision. Whenever the storm comes, they don’t shrivel and find a shelter from the rain, but instead they face the winds and raging storm and fly above the clouds with grace and confidence. When the enemy comes, he struggles and soars toward the light that blinds his opponent. They are a faithful lover and they are patient and wise in training the young ones in their great flight. They accept the changes that happen and they welcome the newness and freshness of transformation. They are destined for greatness, and like an eagle, we need to see these clearly- from the vantage point of heaven.

 

Withered At Sunset

While I am not much into photography, I believe my visual sense has always loved capturing matters around me, and sometimes for no reason at all. I know I have a deep appreciation of nature and that gratitude drives me to take the best shots that I could.

Walking around our subdivision in the nearly highland setting in the province of Laguna in the Philippines is a simple activity that I often enjoy. Not only that I get to see the lush trees, some vacant lots filled with the mixture of colors of plants, grasses and pretty flowers, and the nice mountain backdrop, I also happen to recognize the depth of each thing that I pass by. Some of the trees are so thick and rich in appearance but this particular kind of tree, which I don’t know the name, kind of caught my attention. To some this may probably be a plain picture of a somewhat dry and not-at-all beautiful tree, but for me it tells of genuineness and artistic tendency of this very part of nature. Taking some shots I suddenly noticed the colors of sunset in the background, that’s why I fell in love more with the picturesque image.

Though what we tangibly see is a withered form of a small tree, subliminally, it is a perfect illustration of life’s physical descent- that all of us will ultimately reach in time. Coupling this with the beaut of dusk, it so perfectly describes this degeneration. Nevertheless, I never intended to make the impression dismal, but this simple scenery is just a real interpretation of the natural inclination of earthly life. On the one hand, despite the gloom, I believe there is beauty in everything. And beauty is not seen superficially but rather discerned in depth, nature, and authenticity. This withered tree is just beautiful.

Run the Race!

     Life is a race. You run on a track where everybody else also runs. Everybody runs but not with the same speed and vigour. Every athlete possesses different stamina. Hence you all run on the same course and have one goal in mind, but with different levels of endurance. There is no any other way, no any other direction; you follow where the path leads you and all of you are on the same racetrack, but again with dissimilar conduct and will.

     But first let’s look at the start of the race. Each participant prepares physically, mentally, and physiologically before the competition. And just before the starter pistol fires and the athletes gear up, each has the goal of reaching the finish line first. You picture that in mind even before the race starts- you dream of it, you visualize reaching it ahead of all your opponents, you desire achieving it, and you chase it.

     In the midst of the race, everybody is in bold action; still the minds’ goal is in unison. But as you run relentlessly, your endurance lowers and your resilience decreases. You need to keep up with your strict nasal breathing to maintain your normal oxygen requirement in the body. Thus, you need disciplineDespite the fatigue, you need to discipline yourself for you to continue running the race. Even before the competition starts, you need discipline beforehand in training, exercise, and diet. With self-discipline, you need to equip yourself with eagerness and perseverance for you to go on.

     Now we look at the start of it all: the reason why you run the race. All the athletes run for they want to get a prize. You surge ahead because you want to reach the finish line. You cannot possibly break the ribbon if you will not run and reach the target line! If you never run to your destination, you will never rest on your accomplishment. You cannot have something if you don’t start fulfilling it. Stop waiting but start running.

Therefore all the runners run in such a way as to get the prize. 

     Remember that you’re not the only one running the race. If you don’t go under the strict trainings and don’t abide by the rules of the competition, others might get the prize that should have been yours. Be patient in hardships and have self-discipline to win. Many compete but only one gets the trophy. 

Many are called but few are chosen. 

     Be that one. Be that chosen one.

     Our life is a race and the world is our racetrack. Run with aim and aim for the everlasting crown.

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Sweetness, Everywhere

I wish everyday is
a day of melody and singing

I wish to see the sparkles
fly around in the air
and land on lips that
flicker when they smile

I wish to look at kaleidoscope
of colors that dance with
the ray of sunshine

But it’s no everyday that
happiness prances around.
Sometimes you have to weep
to learn how to laugh
and mourn to know how
to leap for joy

The things that are lost
with the wind are meant
to be found in a pure heart

And when you finally
take hold of the sweetness
of love, the bitterness of the past
is forgotten and is gone

And happiness is back
and you cherish it until
the day you wish
it embraces you
again… and again.

Free Woman

The Magnificence

In a timeless existence,
In a vastness of presence
Stood awesome magnificence
Beauty, the earth is a dense!

Wonder and marvel at them you may
Fiery visage appear at day
And all the mirrors reflect at bay
Until far beyond are lights that stay

Placid is the silken façade
Of crystal blue and spawning shad
No swirling eddies that are mad
But only colors, bright and glad

All green contours they sway and dance
They whisper, “Don’t pass up the chance
To go with the wind, break and lance”
Evermore they cherish the lands

Beauteous are the free and wonderful!
They thread the path like a rolling spool
They move and the ground is their footstool
No man can steal, not even a fool!

‘Tis a space of endless melody
Of sweetness and of tranquility
Lest being lost is anybody
But found with fragrant identity

An immense love is the reason
A foundation in all season
Never be gone as of treason
Still and all carried by a Son

Oh let the waters flow with wisdom
Let the lips drink from cup of freedom
All the chosen lamps oh let them come
Make way oh gates; open the kingdom!

Summon all truths and be a light
Not by man’s vain power and might
And the fire stands still, no more night
Voice of ages lifts us in flight!

And all and everything goes back
From where a Hand that puts in track
Neither a form nor speck they lack
In brightness that started from black

The endless cosmos speaks of something
Far beyond any understanding
And all the answers life is seeking
Were and will be revealed by a King!

In My Yesteryear’s Dream

As the light embraces the fields
and the sky hovers over the realm
Your face beams with the flowers around me
The brightness of the sun reflects the mirror in your eyes
that prance before mine
The strong contour between your eyes is like a tower
that’s built with sinew
And the sweet little tuft of velvet softness
hides those pearl barricades
that make my heart leap when they show

Oh that your voice becomes a music with the hum of sparrows
And your laughter is a song of yesteryear’s dream
And the deepness of the windows of your soul utters
a thousand expressions of fondness beyond words-
Swoosh! I am gone with the wind when you smile

A palette of colors from your sight
overshadows the gloom of this countenance
Tales of sweet nothings bring me back to innocence
And I know and I hear
when you speak with the roses around me
and sing with the winds that adopt me; aye I listen!

Suddenly the clouds are extinct and the light is concealed
My dreamy mind awakens abruptly
I notice the stars lean over the skies
and the moon is infatuated with their sparkle
I brood of you once more; where have I seen you?
Was I in my slumber or was I in my whims?
Oh, a fancy of my mind’s eye?

Or perhaps I have seen you, I have watched you dance
in the field under the sunshine
And I have heard you carol with the meadowlark in the midst of heydays
I have looked at you, at your perfect and pretty glances
I have listened to your resounding laughter and melodious giggles
Yes, I have known you,
I have sung with you-
In my yesteryear’s dream

Elijah Gone In a Snap: Everyday is a Miracle

As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.” – 2 Kings 2:11

God can do such inexplicable miracles. Like that of Elijah’s sudden disappearance and ascent to heaven in a whirlwind, God can also do that in your very life! You know, God can also suddenly remove any hurdle, problem, hindrance, stumbling block, or wall that’s hindering you from walking towards God’s plan for your life! Isn’t it amazing? God holds your life and anything is possible for Him!

God does amazing miracles in our lives: in our ordinary, routine, or usual days without us even being aware of! Sometimes we just tend to ignore them or we really don’t recognise them at all! But everyday, God is doing a miracle for us. While we’re walking outside, talking with our friends, acquaintances or strangers, while eating in a restaurant, riding a bus, strolling in the park or mall, climbing a mountain, bathing in the sun, or when staying inside the house, whatever we’re doing or wherever we are, God is doing great and amazing things for and around us, so amazing that our senses can’t even recognise, and only through the eyes of faith that we’ll be able to see them.

Right now, God is doing an amazing thing for you! He is holding the earth on its axis, keeping it balanced so that you won’t fly away caused by the absence of gravity and later on thrown away into space! Now, can you see gravity? Certainly not. But it’s your ‘faith’ in its existence as a result of the gravitational force that’s pulling you down toward earth that’s making you believe even though you’re not even seeing it! It is the same with God. He will not exist in your world unless you have faith in Him. You see, God is everywhere. He sets the leaves of trees and the grass in motion by blowing- there comes the wind. He lulls the seas and oceans- ergo the waves. He posts directional signs in the sky- there goes the uniform migration of birds in the air. He gives wonder and freedom to animals- there goes the laughter of hyenas and dolphins. He sprinkles beauty over the fields- then there’s the bloom and fragrance of the meadows. And He loves us, His children- then we praise, worship, honor, and glorify Him. The creation indeed has a natural response to His goodness. There is an infinite number of reasons why we live. And that infiniteness only reflects the Maker of every limitless reason there is. Now, that’s another unfathomable miracle that God has done… as He does. Everyday.

Meadow

The Night of Waiting

Oh yes, the night sky so lovely, so demure
softly speaks of beauty, so stunning, so pure
While the moon in transient silence looks at me
The stars, with their shining eyes, wink; they’re carefree!

Marvel and gaze at the masterpiece I do
and wonder with the bliss that gives not a clue
Whether from some distance two eyes also stare
at this light in darkness, perfect lover’s lair

My thoughts wander in the vastness like meteor
showering their splendor and sweetness evermore
My dreams and knitted tales I forbid to keep
hoping that they’ll reach him even as I sleep

Oh, this music of longing shall always play
Until the night sky whispers at break of day
that the time of revealing has been so near
The hidden name and face at last will appear

By then the stars and countless twinkles will beam
So long this forlorn woman, there I will gleam
Solitude’s music under the lovely night
will be a song of endless love at first sight

No more will we peer at beauteousness alone
No more promises only cosmos have known
No more the moon will stay silent and naïve
to these two who waited and in love, they live

Starry Night

Happiness For Real

Happy people don’t have it all together
They smile even though nothing’s getting better
They just have Jesus in their hearts
For it’s with Him that true joy starts

Don’t be deceived, the illusion is cunning
Trust His Word, not a single He’s forgetting
He knows what lies ahead of you
For He’s been there before you do

His thoughts for you are always for your own good
Draw you away from Him no one ever could
His love so wide, long, high and deep
And you, He ever wants to keep

So many the desires of man in his life
No wonder in his mind and world there is strife
One thing that you should know and do
It’s God’s will, not by me or you

We all have been at the point where we fall short
Our selfishness and pride is our bad cohort
It saps our desire for true joy
And we dwell in our shallow ploy

And then you ask, “Why are these things happening?
Did God abandon me, or perhaps He’s sleeping?”
But all this time you’ve been drowning
In His love without you knowing

You see, happy people don’t have everything
But it is Jesus whom they are worshiping
Who gives them life and contentment
That this world won’t give and just can’t

And happy people do not need to pretend
To praise when pushed to limits and have to bend
For out of joy and thankfulness
They follow Him and give a “Yes.”

That’s the reason why they endure a battle
They’re victorious, nothing can make them rattle
They have a sword, two-edged and sharp
It’s God’s Word that’s sung with a harp!

Freedom