Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sheep to Sheep

The similarities I'm about to show you will either fascinate you, freak you out (in a good way), or just plain make you think more.
I stumbled across this while preparing for a teaching a couple of weeks ago. It all started with a simple story of a sheep named Shrek who wandered away from his shepherd and got lost in a cave for 6 years. Hence this photo of what happened to him as he gained over 60 pounds of fleece due to the fact that he left his caretaker, the shepherd. This had a huge impact on not just his mobility, but his breathing.

Sheep are mentioned in the Bible more than 500 times, more than any other animal. It is also used to symbolically refer to God's people.

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow Me. (John 10:27)

The Bible describes close relationships between shepherds and their flock. The sheep recognize the voice of the shepherd, follow him and are protected by him. So when you look at this picture of Shrek the Sheep and see what happened to him just by leaving his shepherd, well, it's not so hard to get the message,right?

What I found so interesting within my lesson planning was the similarities between the animal and man. The characteristics are so uncanny that it really makes you think more about how true the Bible is, and how great and important God is as our Shepherd..

To decipher between sheep the animal and sheep as man, I will use bold print when describing sheep as animal, and italics for us as sheep of the Great Shepherd.

Sheep- are best known for their strong flocking and following instinct. They will run from what frightens them and band together in large groups for protection.

Sheep- I kind of liken this to us banding together in worship on Sundays. Not just for protection but to strengthen us, as we do battle with the enemy throughout our week.

Sheep- have an amazing tolerance for pain. They do not show pain otherwise they will be vulnerable to predators.

Sheep- When we put on the Armor of God  each day, we will have an amazing tolerance for not just pain, but anything the enemy may throw our way.

Sheep- at birth, lambs are conditioned to follow the older members of the flock. This instinct is hard-wired into sheep. It's not something they think about.

Sheep- as new born babes in Christ we are to follow the lead of the older members of the flock (church) we belong to, for within them comes wisdom.

Sheep- they are of a gregarious nature, meaning they love to be with the herd.

Sheep- we as followers of Christ must love to dwell in the house of the Lord with the other members of our flock.

Sheep- must have a leader (shepherd) and must be told what to do and where to go, otherwise they'll wander off and get lost.

Sheep- we are taught to follow after the Great Shepherd (Christ) and we know that there are consequences when we do wander away from our Shepherd. We become lost, an easy target for the enemy, and are out of our safety net of protection.

Sheep- constantly need fresh water, fresh pasture, and the best water source for them is early morning dew.

Sheep- we constantly need to be refreshed with the Word of God and His Spirit. Our best source is starting our mornings in prayer and worship. We always need that refreshing Spirit.

But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  (John 4:14)

So glad I am a sheep in the flock of the Great Shepherd.

If you live in an area with no access to a Bible, click on www.biblegateway.com for more of God's encouraging Word.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Waterpik Illusion

Embarrassing? Yes. Funny? Obviously. Feeling stupid? Of course.

Have you ever gotten a new gadget to play with, only to try it without fully reading the instructions, and then something embarassing happens to you? Well, it happened to me, first time in quite awhile I might add.

Throughout history it has been well documented and perceived that men are more prone than women to fix or even just "do" something without first reading the instructions. I am usually not like that, but sometimes I can be daring. I mean, come on, a waterpik? How hard can it be to use?

I put the miscellaneous parts together easily and decided to give it a try without any reading of the manual. Well, I tried, and I failed.
I had no idea how powerful the waterpik was as water poured out profusley to where the bathroom received more water than my mouth. Hmm, I then read the manual to which the simple instructions were to keep mouth closed while using and keep your finger on the on-and-off button.

Instructions, who needs them? Obviously we do.

Probably the greatest instruction manual for life is in the top selling book of all-time, The Bible. In it you will find instructions on pretty much every situation or emotion you may be going through.There is also a song about the Bible which spells out what the letters could possibly mean:


Included inside this great instruction manual are several scripture verses that even tell us to seek after wisdom:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. - James 1:5
 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 
- Colossians 3:16

One of the great reasons why we should study and know God's Words is so we won't get led falsely within the world and it's philosophies.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.- Colossians 2:8

Instructions are important, whether it's a waterpik or dealing with the struggles of life. 

If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. - James 3:13

If you live in an area with no access to a Bible, checkout www.biblegateway.com for more of God's encouraging Word.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

'I don't need your money, I need your kidney."

A 78 year-old South Carolina man walked 15 miles in 97 degree heat with torn cartilage in his knee, all for a worthy cause. He became a walking billboard for his wife who was in dire need of a kidney transplant. As he walked through his home town carrying a sign that read: Need Kidney 4 Wife, he received many offers of money which he turned down, he needed someone to donate an organ instead. Funny how people automaticly think that money can solve everything.

With some help from the media, someone has stepped forward to donate a kidney to his wife of 58 years.

Imagine how far we could go when we persevere with love as the ultimate reason.

Another random act of kindness that happened just recently was when a family with a special needs child had their restaurant bill paid for by a stranger. Along with the paid bill came a note reading: God only gives special children to special people.

It is so nice to see that love still exists within a world of turmoil.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

You've Got Talent

Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to? Just something to ponder after you read this post.

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

If you know your history then you most likely know that it took Thomas Edison 10,000 failures before he got the light bulb to work.
And throughout history there have been many inventors just like Edison who have failed many times before getting it right.

I, for one, am a big fan of seeing small businesses grow and have tremendous success. Because I am sure somewhere down the line there had to be some kind of downfall before they saw the light at the end of the tunnel. One such place is a favorite local cajon barbeque restaurant simply called Chuck's Barbeque. It was established 13 years ago and I remember the tiny building he started in; no bigger than a Starbucks. Today he has two very large restaurants, is doing tremendous business, and has received many accolades, one of which comes from The Food Network. If you live in Illinois or are planning a visit, you should checkout his website at:

Each one of us possess some kind of talent and some folks are blessed with multiple talents. There are those who can cook real good, some who can sing very well, and others who can juggle 3 or 4 tennis balls without dropping any. No matter what talents you possess, those talents were most likely established when you were a kid. And the creation of those talents within you were the result of The One True Creator.

I can look back in amazement at some of my talents and see how they were formed when I was a child. There were also quite a few lessons I had to learn through struggles and disappointments, but I would eventually see the fruit of those circumstances. God has a unique purpose and plan for each one of our lives; and to use those talents that He has given us to help further His Kingdom. It is up to us to not waste any of those talents that God has given us.

What can be so frustrating is using our talents but not seeing any growth or fruit from those talents. Sometimes it may take years before we see any kind of success, like Chuck. I believe that is called perseverance.

If you are wondering why your talents are not being used, and you find yourself frustrated with not seeing doors opening for you and your talents, go to God in prayer. Ask Him to begin to open doors for you and your talents. Remind Him of His Word:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:10)

If you live in an area with no access to a Bible, click on www.biblegateway.com for more of God's encouraging Word.