AN AMAZING FACT: Black skimmers are graceful black and white gull-like birds. They get the name “skimmer” because the birds love to fly just above the surface of the water, with their lower bill skimming through the water for fish. Skimmers have elliptical-shaped eye pupils that allow them to tolerate the bright sun on the sand or shell surfaces where they love to rest and nest.
In 1968 a flock of 38 black skimmers decided to set up housekeeping on a large Dow Chemical parking lot made of oyster shells. The Texas chemical company was pleased to host the birds, hoping it would improve their environmental public image. Then one day someone removed the shells from the parking lot and the colony of black skimmers moved elsewhere. Removing the bird’s habitat caused a great deal of negative publicity for the chemical company, so Dow immediately ordered that the oyster shell parking lot be restored.
But the skimmers didn’t return. Dow consulted a wildlife expert who recommended placing a pair of plastic decoys on the shell surface. It worked! Soon, a few live skimmers noticed what appeared to be two of their own kind enjoying this new real estate, so they joined them. Eventually the lot was again covered with nesting skimmers. When left to themselves skimmers will always face away from the wind. But when the decoys were placed with their head facing into the wind, the real skimmers copied them. And when the decoys were placed very close together and off by themselves, the real skimmers began their nesting rituals.
The Bible teaches that in the last days many will be led astray by false christs and false prophets. How can we tell the difference? We will not be deceived if we know the real from the fake. That comes from studying the Bible very carefully. When we are daily in the Word of God looking at Jesus, we will know the true from the false. Paul’s advice to Timothy sums it up well: “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them” (2 Timothy 3:13, 14).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24