Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gentle Savior

   I've written before about our guard dog, Delilah. She is a Pyrenean Mastiff, descended from an ancient livestock dog breed found in the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain. She is massive, muscular, and strong. She will weigh over 150 pounds when she is grown. She has big, sharp teeth. She could fight a bear, if she needed to protect the sheep, and come out the victor.
   But what has impressed me even more about Delilah is her absolute gentleness. When one of the lambs wanders away from its' mother, she will glide behind it ever so softly and give it the most tender nudge with her body. She might have to do it a few times until the lamb sees its' mom and runs towards her. She is never aggressive with the lambs, never growls, never pushes hard. She is amazingly gentle.
   This is a picture of how Jesus is with us. He does not force us to believe in Him but He gently tugs at our hearts until we are overwhelmed with His love. Even though He is all- powerful and could call down legions of angels to help, He never forces us to follow His ways. He waits patiently beside us until we understand that His way alone is the way of rest and peace for our souls. He is a gentle Savior.
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light," Matthew 11:28-29.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lost and Found

   One of the things I've noticed about sheep, since we've started raising them, is that they are not very good at figuring things out. Last night, one of the lambs got seperated from his mother by a fence. He was on one side baaing loudly and she was on the other side baaing loudly. All he had to do was walk down the fence line a couple of yards to the gate to be reunited with his mom. Neither one of them could figure this out and that little lamb was hopelessly lost.
   I've been hopelessly lost in my life, too. I couldn't figure out how to get from the place of captivity my life was in to a reunion with The Shepherd of my soul, Jesus Christ. I floundered around for years until I took a step of faith and started attending a Bible study. There, in that study of Matthew, I fell totally in love with Jesus Christ and He proved to be the way out of my captivity.
   I've seen the lambs get lost from their mothers this way numerous times. They just can't figure it out. Sometimes we have to help them. I continue to make the same mistakes over and over, too. Trying to figure it out proves fruitless until Jesus shows up and saves me from my stupid self.
   I praise Jesus that when I am ready to give up, He isn't; that when I've hopelessly lost my way, He shows me a way back; that when the chaos and terror of the world deafens my hearing, His voice sounds clear and true; and that when I want to let go, He grabs hold of me with His powerful right arm.
"All of us, like sheep, have strayed away, We have left God's path to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all", Isaiah 53:6.
"For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost', Luke 19:10.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


 We decided we needed some color on our little sheep farm so last Saturday we spent all day planting
seeds and some flower bushes.  It is beyond amazing to me that you can plant a tiny seed, not as big as a pinhead, and a few months later it has grown into a large lovely flower. How is that possible?
To me, it's a small pciture of the Gospel. A picture of Jesus being buried in the ground, then rising to new life in glorious splendor. It is also a picture of our lives as Christians, I think. We die to ourselves, our old natures buried with Jesus, and by His power we rise as new creations who are becoming more and more like Him. It's amazing. How is that possible? The Bible says"For nothing is impossible with God", Luke 1:37. The Bible also says "The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its' branches", Matthew 13:31.
My deepest desire is to have the kind of faith that grows into a tree like that. Or a tree like this: They will be called oaks of righteousness, plantings of the Lord for the display of His splendor", Isaiah 61:3. Jesus is amazing. He is the reason everything is possible.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Guardian

   Before we bought the sheep to get our little sheep farm started, we bought possibly our most important purchase, a guard dog. Her name is Delilah and she is beautiful with the spirit of an old soul. She's a six month old Pyrenean Mastiff. She's 75 pounds and growing, a solid mass who can inexplicibly wiggle under the smallest fence spaces.
   She walks our fence line and instintively knows that all inside it are hers to protect. She lets us know, by the timbre of her bark, if anything unusual comes in, including the arrival of baby lambs. If one of the lambs gets seperated from her mother, we hear about it. We have no doubt that if a predator came after one of the sheep Delilah would defend it to the end. That's who she is.
   When I think about Delilah I think about my guardian, The Guardian of my soul, Jesus Christ. He has already given His life for me. And I have no doubt that He will be with me, guarding my path and pretecting me from harm, until I see Him in my heavenly home. That's who He is.
"Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for He guards the lives of His faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked", Psalm 97:10.
"He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him", Proverbs 2:8.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Successful Day

   "A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day."  I read this yesterday in "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young (which is written as if Jesus is speaking to you), and it has filled up my mind. Wow! What a perspective! That's so freeing!

 If I keep my focus on Jesus all day, I'll have a successful day:
*even if the dishes don't get washed.
*even if that million dollar deal doesn't get closed.
*even if my son doesn't get his homework done.
*even if the sheets don't get changed.
*even if the house sale falls through.
*even if I don't make it to the grocery store.

And also,
*even if that million dollar deal closes,
*even if my son gets all A's,
*even if my house sells for more than I'm asking,
those things don't make a successful day. A successful day is one in which I have stayed in touch with Him! I've seen that principle before:

"But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details. There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her".