From personal observation, Michael Vick isn’t the only one who needs a vision of how God wants His children to treat all creatures. The Army Corp of Engineers did a wildlife habitat restoration that didn’t leave one animal any safe place to run while they scraped off the face of nature along a stretch of the Santa Ana River.

The operation was, I suppose, part of a flood control project in the flatland between the high bluffs of Costa Mesa and the Huntington Beach terrain that was as flat as the board associated with “Surf City”. I went to talk with one of the project managers, as the huge earth moving equipment was assembled, about the no consideration for the variety of animals that delighted themselves in this official or unofficial sanctuary. I pointed out that many creatures faced certain death or displacement in an area surrounded by a wide river on one side, dense housing on two sides and the Pacific on the west beyond a heavily used boulevard. I got a brief and rough hearing where I was made to feel like the idiot with his explanation that said, “Why don’t you get it? We are going to develop a wildlife sanctuary here!”

If memory serves me correctly, it took longer than a year before any habitat was restored. How would you cope if your home suddenly disappeared? Nothing remained of theirs, not even tiny little pockets of drinking water, not any shade from the heat, or cover from the storm or marauding birds of prey…only a barren moonscape devoid of all life.

Hopefully this will be the first and last time I do this, but I want to quote part of a text in one translation out of one of the major prophets and right now I can’t locate it, but I’ll never forget it because it is so potent. “You scrape off the face of the earth and the shimmering spread out green. Yes. You even scrape off all my creatures and call it development, for you say, the Lord shall not see.” As one of His many sons whom He is bringing into transformation and manifestation, I see! And what I see tells me that there is no love, kindness, or even good rationale for destroying a precious ecological niche and waiting for a year or more to make those animals, who no longer exist, a wildlife sanctuary. What kind of virtuous sense does it make to destroy the creatures and then make a park for future creatures that may move into that area? It reveals that no matter how wonderful the “finished product” is, these people display no concern for animals.

The heartlessness that I watched over that year is buried deep in my psyche, but I doubt that I ever would mention it except for some people contacting me with deep concerns about Senate Bill 787. It takes away, if passed, all local and state control over all lands with water on them including non-navigable streams, home water wells, springs and even farm ponds. It gives jurisdiction to the Army Corp of Engineers and the Federal Government. I have grave concerns about the abuse of all creatures from rare tree frog species and snapping turtles to dam-building beavers and American Woodcocks and everything in between.

The world that is coming is based upon heavenly principles and has nothing to do with money or military might as a reason to do anything. If young Michael Vick can change his cruel ways, in genuine remorse, perhaps the Army Corp can too. Prayer changes things, I hope you won’t wait too long to start.

I haven’t read the bill yet myself. Sometimes I miss things because of my recent visual difficulties. My sight may be poor, but my vision gets clearer by the day. If we’ve been meditating in God’s word, none of these developments should surprise us. You can go for totalitarian power and be as wicked as your hard impenitent heart wishes. But the handwriting is already written: “Those who love justice, righteousness, and mercy shall inherit the earth and the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand.” I hope you don’t have difficulty understanding this!

Whether or not Senate Bill 787 gives the Army Corp control of water on Church held land or non-profit organization’s properties, I don’t know, but that would not surprise me if they will press for the whole enchilada. I need to do a lot more research on this issue. I am concerned for the American people’s ability to survive the doubtless greater expenses they will incur if the Corp of Engineers controls their property. This will undoubtedly decrease real estate values and certain uses which may not be environmentally damaging creating further hardships for a citizenry that already watching Reader’s Digest go into bankruptcy. Some things are very hard to digest.

While I lived in Haiti, and was visiting some doctors, I borrowed and read a book written in America. It was about how the industrial revolution would be a great blessing to finance the preaching of the gospel around the world but ultimately would result in negatively impacting the environment in a major way. When we look at history we can see that man traveled on camel or horseback or rode in oxcarts or walked “forever” until the industrial revolution which is just a brief little blip relative to history. If history was not oral but written down through time, that would be a very big book. Perhaps that’s what the Word means in Revelation when it says, “I took the little book and ate it and it was sweet in my mouth but it was bitter in my belly.”

God specifically identifies Himself as the one who makes the great springs of water. Little Bear, a Native American Christian prophet, had a vision of America in the impending time of birth pains. He claimed to see very few people left after God allows His angels to separate the ripe grain from the chaff and these survivors were gathered around the runs and springs of water. Years before I knew anything about this vision of Sun Bear, although I met him for one afternoon in Nevada, I wrote this award winning Poem about Prather Run, the home of the Esme Noel King Wildlife Sanctuary operated by The Church in the Green.

Before you read it, permit me to define a few of the terms used in the poem. It is a love poem about a place that is more valuable than real estate or money. It’s the water.

A Woody is a wood duck (male in this case), considered, by some people to be the most beautiful duck species in the world.

Ruffed Grouse are Pennsylvania’s state “game bird.” Ruffed Grouse fan the air to attract a mate and the sound they produce resembles an expert on the drums.

Horned-Dace is a species of minnow with very small horn like protrusions on its head. This fish is sometimes called a chub.

Suckers are bottom feeding fish which help greatly in reducing algae and other organisms that tend to limit water clarity and oxygenation.

Shiners were once the most abundant fish in northeastern American streams noted for their ability to communicate with sounds, diamond shaped scales and males of amazing coloration.

Cornplanters are a local tribe of Native Americans. (Poetic license used in quote.)

Sugar was the title the white man first used for the creek system in this area until it was clear that the Prather Run headwaters was it’s own stream system until it merged many miles downstream with Sugar Creek.

Redstart is a species of wood warbler of brilliant black and orange coloration. This variety, specifically the American Redstart, was common when I grew up along Prather Run.

Poisonous grain is grain farmers routinely use to sow their fields. The poison is used to retard spoilage but the ends of the rows are left uncovered due to the way the equipment is designed to sow it and is an inviting feast that regularly kills many bird species.

Salt refers to road salt.

Oil refers to abandoned wells that still drain oil and salt water into stream systems.

Sewers is a reference to septic systems that more often than not drain into road ditches across much of America injecting everything from Drano to Prozac into the habitat of sturgeons to rare and sometimes nearly extinct darter species. (Darters are very small fish whose colors can be most intriguing depending on which variety of the 160 species you select.)

Ode to Prather Run

A thousand years before the Savior walked,
Her frozen seal broke up in March
To let the whitetail drink her icy flow,
And the fat brook trout…two pounds of her,
Dart fast rainbow! All speckled like April’s
Lily on the bank, in crystal levitating
As the crownless buck now drank.

The Woody watched from Hemlock throne
In kingly raiment clad,
All colorful beside his mate
And heard May’s stream sound glad:
Healing waters pulsing with the Appalachian’s flow
Reflecting Ruffed Grouse drumming
And the fawn beside the doe
She’d not seen the scum on Oil Creek’s sand
Or heard the choke of Kinzua’s Dam.

The beaver stretched her belly wide.
Like Eden she was satisfied.
The Horned-Dace grew as big as bass
And Suckers choked the spawning pass.
And a billion Shiners of silver and gold
Danced on her surface so new and so old,
Like a mirror road with an emerald frame…
Back before she had a name.

The Cornplanters called her “Oue-Boo-Low”
“What the Heavens bring from the clouds that flow.”
They drank her waters and guarded her springs
When a virgin was a princess
And a warrior was a king.
When the white man first came with a treaty
And a gun,
They called her “Sugar” and then “Prather
Now the Redstart is gone from the poisonous grain
And the clouds bring too much or not any rain
And the salt and the oil and the sewers all drain
As her trickle cries out for a warrior again.
To the Savior who walked there when she was a Queen
Who has promised to end the industrial machine.
Though many will mourn when they find what He’s done…
I’ll sit on her banks and pray:
“Run Prather Run!”


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