JOY for Today - Reptile Awareness Day 2022

Reptiles fascinate. With such a wide variety of them in existence, it is difficult to imagine you cannot find one (or two) that bring JOY to you. Yet another way to welcome JOY is to know with confidence that you are aware of how to identify, guard against, and treat attacks of potentially dangerous reptiles.

A red-bellied snake sits on a light brown leaf. Text overlay quotes Genesis 3:15 and informs that Reptile Awareness Day is on October 21st Annually

JOY for Today Offerings:


Did You Know:

  1. There are over 10,000 reptile species? While reptiles live on every continent except Antarctica, their favored habitats are deserts, oceans, and cities. (Everything Reptiles)
  2. They come in all shapes and sizes? From just over one-half inch long (Brookesia nana at National Geographic) to weighing in at over a ton (saltwater crocodile at National Geographic) to measuring over 32 feet in length (reticulated python at Reptiles Cove), reptiles vary wildly from small to large. (Everything Reptiles)
  3. Not all reptiles lay eggs? Rattlesnakes, garter snakes, and the viviparous lizard all experience live birth. However, the snakes' young develop in internally incubated eggs while the viviparous lizard's young do not develop in an egg at all. (Everything Reptiles)
  4. Tortoises live longer than any other reptile? The average lifespan is 80 years, although the oldest currently living tortoise is 189 years. They enjoy a long life on earth due to slow metabolisms, hearty shells, and minimal health concerns.  (Everything Reptiles)
  5. Green Iguanas "freeze" in temperatures below 40F? Because they spend a lot of time in trees, this means that they might fall from the tree. Not to worry though, as the temperature warms, they "thaw" and can move again. If you ever happen upon a "frozen" one, it is best to leave it alone. As they come out of the "frozen" state, iguanas often respond in frightened and unpredictable ways. (Kissigator)

We'd Love to Know:

Which reptile fact would you add?


Wolfe Stew Connects

Do you have a fondness for reptiles, or does the thought of them make you squirm in discomfort?

It goes both ways for me. We have a pet turtle named Waldo, so of all the reptiles, I favor turtles the most. I may also relate to them because of my quiet nature and tendency to hide from others. As a child, my brother also had a pet leopard gecko named Geico. So, I find lizards interesting too. Alligators and crocodiles fascinate me because of their enormity and the way they move. I enjoy the colorful beauty of many snakes but the way they move, their forked tongue, and their hissing creep me out. Admittedly, I jumped and screamed the first time I unexpectedly crossed paths with a garter snake.

A helpful and common tip regarding spending time in nature is to be aware of the potential dangers of local wildlife. Where we live, this means knowing that rattlesnakes inhabit the area, being familiar with how they look, and understanding that when their tail rattles, you had best back away slowly. 

Being on guard against potential dangers is also important in our spiritual lives. The Bible refers to Satan as a wolf, a lion, birds, a dragon, and most commonly a serpent (Knowing Jesus). As Christ followers, we are charged with developing an awareness to Satan's attacks and guarding ourselves from them (I Peter 5:8).

So, what are the warning signs? How do you know you're being attacked by Satan? How do his hiss and rattle sound? 

It helps to understand Satan's goals. A rattlesnake's goal is to survive, and it hisses and rattles to keep you away from it. Satan's goal is to steal, kill, and destroy; your faith is his prey (John 10:10). So, he's not going to warn you that he's coming. His attacks, while subtle and deceptive, are still recognizable. His ultimate goal is to separate you from your Father and the abundant blessings He offers you. Satan comes to steal every good thing and overturn God's authority. So, a few warning signs I can think of (with help from Studying Prayer and Fervent), Satan is attacking when you:
  1. Doubt God's goodness or existence.
  2. Feel tempted to do what you know you should not.
  3. Believe you in anyway are superior to God (decision-making, knowledge, authority, etc.).
  4. Are led astray by beliefs contrary to God's doctrine.
  5. Lose passion toward God (i.e. desire to pray, grow, learn, or seek).
  6. Undergo suffering or oppression.
  7. Question your value.
  8. Experience conflict in relationships.
Once you are familiar with how Satan attacks, understand that when you hear his hiss, you had best pray (Luke 22:31-32 & James 4:7). Through God you have all you need to thwart Satan's attacks; arm yourself, Overcomer (Ephesians 6:10-18 & 1 John 4:1-4). 

Symbolizing Satan is not a snakes' only Biblical role, however. Just as actual snakes are appreciated for their beauty, mannerisms, and function, the Bible also portrays snakes positively. When leading the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses held a staff with a snake wrapped around the top above the people. If an Israelite was bitten, looked at the staff, and believed they would be healed, the venom would not affect them (Numbers 21:8). This same faith in healing is offered to us again through Jesus on the cross (John 3:14-15). Through Jesus' we have freedom; we are overcomers.

If you struggle to remember you are free now, join us for our GROWTH focus next week. Each day we will undergo short, but impactful, Bible based exercises to train us in remembering our freedom. Let's live together in freedom, Warrior!

We'd Love to Know:

Your opinion of snakes.


Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses

  • "This great Dragon - the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world - was thrown down onto the earth with all his army." Revelation 12:9 TLB
  • "From now on you and the woman will be enemies, as will your offspring and hers. You will strike his heel, but he will crush your head." Genesis 3:15 TLB
  • "He led you through a vast and terrible wilderness where there were snakes and fiery scorpions and thirst, where when there was no water he brought water forth from the hard rock for you." Deuteronomy 8:15 NCB
  • "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:" John 3:14 KJV
  • "On that day, Yahweh will punish with his cruel, great and strong sword Leviathan, the fleeing serpent, and Leviathan, the twisting serpent, and he will kill the sea monster that is in the sea." Isaiah 27:1 LEB

Quotes

  • "Every great story seems to begin with a snake." Nicolas Cage
  • "Science was false by being unpoetical. It assumed to explain a reptile or a mollusk, and isolated it - which is hunting for life in graveyards. Reptile or mollusk or man or angel only exists in system, in relation." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Truth is straight as an arrow, while a lie swivels like a snake." - Suzy Kassem
  • "Even the friendliest snake will strike." - Sabrina Newby
  • "The snake produces poison in its body to poison its enemies! But man is a strange snake; he produces poison in his mind to poison his fellow men!" - Mehmet Murat Ildan

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote most reflects your opinion of reptiles?

 

Activity Suggestions

Observe, research, record, describe, discuss, and prepare are activities you'll find here!

Our Nephew's Suggestion:

Look at a reptile.

Whether it is in your home, at a zoo, or virtually, take time to observe these fascinating creatures.

Our Suggestions: 

Explore Colors with Reptiles

This Wolfe Stew created activity pairs Reptile Awareness Day (October 21) with National Color Day (October 22). In these Color Centers, every grade level explores probability and records results on either reptiles or monsters. The skills offered for each grade level are as follows:
  • PreK-First Grade: Colors and Color Words
  • Second & Third Grade: Parts of Speech
  • Fourth - Sixth Grade: Poetic devices
There is also a create your own option. 

Research Reptiles

  • Conduct reptile research (PreK & K1-3, 4-6)
  • Take notes (Animal Fact File from Sparkle Box).
  • Compile information to share. (Picture with labels, picture with sentence, well-formed paragraph, essay, or slide presentation) 
Discuss "Would You Rather...?" Questions. Download my current work-in-progress for daily holiday themed Would You Rather questions that will eventually include three questions for each September, October, and November day.  I will continue updating it on OneDrive as I work toward completing it. Would you rather...
  • Have a snake or a turtle as a pet?
  • Be brightly colored like a male Mwanza Agama or blend in like a crocodile?
  • Visit Galapagos to see a marine iguana or Komodo Island to see Komodo dragons?

Family Challenge 

Learn about reptiles that live naturally in your region and, if dangerous, how to stay safe if you encounter it.
 

We'd Love to Know:

How you would celebrate Reptile Awareness Day?


We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Come back next week for...Statue of Liberty Day!


Fighting the Good Fight with You,

Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.


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