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PSA 84:2-4 ESV
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord ; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!
Selah

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PERSONAL COMMENTARY
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ARE A SWALLOW & SPARROW THE SAME THING?

No, the swallow and the sparrow are different birds. Swallows are in the family Hirundinidae, while sparrows are in the family Emberizidae. It can be difficult to identify these birds of similar size in flight, but you can differentiate them by observing coloring, body types, diet and, in the case of these two, their typical habitats.

The habitats and nesting habits of swallows and sparrows are generally different. Swallows nest on or in buildings, on cliffs or man-made excavations, in caves or by digging into the side of a riverbank. Such nests are made of mud lined with feathers for insulation. Some swallows use nest boxes if given the chance. Sparrows make more traditional nests of bark strips, twigs and weed stems lined with hair and feathers. They typically nest in thickets, woodlands, bushes, sagebrush or overgrown weedy fields or pastures. Sparrows will take over swallows’ nests if given the opportunity, which is why you must consider other characteristics to discern a sparrow from a swallow.

So swallows are what we might consider non-traditional, seeking out and making nests in places that might not be the “first choice” of other birds. Whereas sparrows usually find traditional nesting places, but are quite opportunistic and will take away a nest from a swallow.

And don’t we see both of these types of people in life? Don’t we find those who prefer to walk outside the confines of societal norms, and don’t they usually come under opposition by those in authority and power because they aren’t fitting into the “grand design”?

Isn’t it encouraging that both can find rest in the Lord?

Yes, from the rich business owner,  the prominent politician, the honorable school teacher, the dedicated preacher, the diligent construction worker, the prowling men and women of the night, and even the homeless hermit that looks to escape the way of society – Yes, salvation and hope and redemption is available to everyone.

Yes, we all have the opportunity to praise and serve the Lord,  regardless of our circumstances or our place in this life. And our position, titles,  and respect among other men had little to do with the state of our hearts and minds.

Some of the wealthiest people in this world might have the emptiest and coldest hearts, while others in the same position may be benevolent and caring and charitable. And the same can be said for those that we might consider destitute. But all can have a seat at the Lord’s table,  and true saints come in vastly differing packaging and circumstances and situations.

Let’s do our best not to judge others by their packaging or their circumstances.

If we are treating others differently because of the color of their bodies, we aren’t walking in the way of Christ,  who extended the same grace to people of every nation,  tongue,  and tribe.

If we are treating others differently because of their financial circumstances and not seeing the needs of those in all walks of life, we are missing out on the beauty of Christ,  because he provided the loving guidance,  healing,  and assistance that people needed regardless of their circumstances.

Yes,  we must match the help to the need, but the question is are we helping?

Have we found out place at the altar of the Lord with our children – or are we still fluttering around from nest to nest,  meal to meal, pleasure to pleasure – not recognizing that we can seek peace and find it in the Lord.

My hope is for us to each find that peace today,  and know our purpose,  which is a life lived with purpose for the glory and honor of the Lord. No martyr where we are in our life and our struggles,  we can find our way home to our real testing place, in the arms of our Father, God – through Jesus Christ,  our Lord and Savior.

His promises are true. If we believe and follow,  He proves Himself faithful and trustworthy. We just have to take each step of faith – walking it out in this life,  hand in hand with a creator God that loves us and forgives us and calls out to us if we will listen.

Run from rebellion, run from temptation,  run from the death that is killing you! Run from sin and wrath and judgement and guilt and shame and hopelessness – run into the arms of grace,  love,  mercy,  forgiveness,  renewal,  redemption,  healing,  guidance,  repentance,  and a renewed life eternal – run to Christ Jesus. And He will lift you out from the deep of your struggles,  and you will not drown, but with Him you will walk upon the waters and know the safety from the waves that is found when standing on the rock of the Almighty God.

Let’s stand firm against evil today, friends.
Let’s love and praise God today with our life,  our prayers, our actions,  our words, our decisions and our songs.
Let’s love and serve others,  seeing past their circumstances and finding Christ in their hearts.

Be the light.
Be the salt.
Be the body.
Be the church.
Be the Christ in YOU!