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Tag Archive | "frog"

No need to keep jumping


Ronnie McBrayer

Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

A few years ago my son Braden and I rescued a frog in our garage. We talked about the frog’s warts, his strong legs, and bulging eyes. After the brief science lesson, we set him free. Braden followed his new friend around the yard for a half hour. He tried to catch it, pet it, and steer it. But the frog wouldn’t oblige.
In frustration Braden lurched forward and crushed the little fellow beneath his foot. I was horrified! I demanded of him, “Why did you do that?” His answer was telling and simple: “Because he wouldn’t listen to me.”
Some of us think that God is a lot like Braden. If you don’t stay one step ahead of him, leaping quickly from his crushing blow, God will maliciously scrub you into the dust. God will eventually catch up to you and squash you for every evil act ever committed, every wrong thought that has crossed your mind, and for every missed Sunday service.
Maybe it stems from an anxious childhood or from bad religious experiences, but we all too often see God for less than he is. We view him as some kind of irritated old school master keeping a ledger of our sins—an Ebenezer Scrooge. Or we think of him as a vindictive bully—a cosmic Simon Cowell—one who only lets the best get by, but only after a severe tongue lashing. Sure, a few will make it through the pearly gates, but God will be none too happy about it.
Or we may imagine God, sitting in a high and mighty palace somewhere, breathing threats and intimidation just waiting for someone to cross the line, to be noncompliant, so he can squash them like a bug. Or frog. Is this who God is? If you believe some religious extremists, certainly this is accurate. But this is not the God revealed to us by the person of Christ. Jesus reveals a God who loves with such passion that he was willing to drive nails into his own flesh to set free those living in darkness.
And by the way, I don’t think Braden will turn out to be an axe murderer after all. Thankfully, a day later our family paused to say grace over our evening meal. When it was Braden’s turn to pray, he bowed and said: “Dear Jesus…I killed a frog.” All was forgiven.
Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author. His books include “Leaving Religion, Following Jesus” and “The Jesus Tribe.” Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.

Posted in Keeping the FaithComments Off

Frog and toad survey begins 16th year


This year marks the sixteenth year for the annual Michigan frog and toad survey compiled by the Department of Natural Resources with help from volunteers around the state.

Declining populations of frog, toads and other amphibians have been documented worldwide since the 1980s.  Studies suggest amphibians are disappearing due to habitat loss, pollution, disease, and collection.

Michigan’s annual survey efforts help biologists keep tabs on frog and toad abundance and distribution in the state.

“We have collected a large, valuable data set to help us evaluate the condition of Michigan’s frog and toad populations,” said Lori Sargent, the DNR’s survey coordinator.

The surveys are conducted by volunteer observers along a statewide system of permanent survey routes, each consisting of 10 wetland sites.  These sites are visited three times during the spring when frogs and toads are actively breeding.  Observers listen for calling frogs and toads at each site, identify the species present, and make an estimate of abundance.

“We need new volunteers in all parts of the state. Please consider joining us every spring for a fun, educational opportunity and run a route.  he continued success of the program is dependent on strong volunteer support,” said Sargent.

Interested persons should contact Sargent by e-mail at SargentL@michigan.gov or phone at 517-373-9418.

More information on the Frog and Toad Survey and other projects supported by the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund is available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/nongamewildlife.

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off