Thursday, February 8, 2018
Good morning, Lord! What are You up to today? Can I be a part of it? Thank You. Amen. –Norman Grubb, missionary, writer and teacher
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
LET’S START WITH SOME CALENDAR/INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:
Sunday, February 11 – My One Word Celebration immediately following Worship. Make a bracelet or necklace, paint a cap or bag, draw, share, HAVE FUN!
IGNITE UTC Valentine’s Dinner – Sunday, February 11 5:30 – 7:30 pm NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED! Free-will donations accepted.
Ash Wednesday – February 14 Services at 7:00 am & 6:00 pm
Lenten Studies Begin - Sunday, February 18 Charles’ sermons will be based on Revival: Faith as Wesley Lived It. Immediately following Worship, Charles and Greg Baur will lead the study to dig deeper into John Wesley’s faith journey and ours as well. Grab your coffee and join us in Rooms 210 & 211.
Lenten Study – Monday Lunch Bunch – He Chose the Nails. (follow up to the Advent study, Because of Bethlehem). Monday, February 26 12:00 – 1:00 pm in Gage Hall.
Every gift from God reveals his love, but no gift reveals his love more than the gifts of the cross. These gifts came not wrapped in paper but in passion. They were not placed around a tree but around a cross. They were not covered with ribbons but sprinkled with the blood that Christ shed on our behalf.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS SO YOU DON’T MISS ANY OF THESE!!
You know, I LOVE old westerns. John Wayne, Jimmy Stuart, and those old cowboys can take me to the Old West anytime!
Last weekend I was re-watching The Ballad of Josie with Doris Day and Peter Graves (brother of James Arness of Gunsmoke – I know, most of you don’t know what I’m talking about). It’s the story of a woman from Wyoming who accidentally kills her alcoholic, abusive husband. She’s beautiful (duh…she’s Doris Day) and after a week of mourning, all the men in town want to ‘save’ her and her young son. She decides to ‘save’ herself by moving to the small ranch she and her husband had bought years before. Her friend, Peter Graves (the good guy), tells her that a woman can’t raise a herd of cattle and, after meeting with all the men at the Cattlemen’s Association, she agrees.
Somehow she has to find a way to raise her son, so she boards a train to Laramie and on the way sees shepherds and their sheep in the fields. The guy sitting next to her tells her that “Sheep are so dumb, anyone can raise sheep.” So Josie (Doris Day) buys a flock and drives them through town to graze at her ranch.
You can see the issue, right? Sheep in the middle of cattle country. (In case you didn’t know, there were HUGE battles over cattle and sheep in the old west). It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s six-shooters and old-time chauvanists, it’s romantic, and it’s a little bit of our American history.
And for the first time I heard that line, “Sheep are so dumb, anyone can raise sheep.” I had to know, Is this true?
Turns out, sheep really aren’t the brightest animals. Did you know that they will actually allow themselves to drown? I called an old friend of mine who used to raise sheep. They always brought some kind of lamb ‘something’ to the church potluck dinners. Janet told me that you can’t take sheep across water of any real depth. Their wool will fill with water until they drown. They won’t try to swim. They won’t thrash around. They’ll just float until their wool is totally saturated and then they will sink to the bottom and drown.
Another example, true story! 1,500 sheep followed their leader off a cliff in Iran, falling 15 meters to their death. The cost to the farmer was $74,000.00.
Sheep are directionless; they’ll just wander away. They are defenseless; they have no claws or fangs. Their wool is too cumbersome for them to run very well.
So, the scripture where Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep pops into my head. AND WE ARE HIS SHEEP! Well, that puts a whole new light on that scripture!!
Really cute, but not so bright.
Three times Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep. And then Paul tells the leaders of the church is Ephesus to “feed and shepherd God’s flock.” And Peter tells Christians to “care for the flock.” Over twenty-five times in the Bible we are referred to as sheep or the flock.
But what did Jesus tell us all to do? A shepherd feeds his sheep, but he also tends, herds, grooms, shears and guards his/her sheep. Our job as shepherds could be thought about this way:
Feeding – Scripture
Watering – Holy Spirit
Grooming – Preparing Others
Shearing – Discipline and Encouragement
Twenty-five times we’re told; it’s not OK for us to just be sheep for the rest of our lives. We are to be Shepherds: tending, guarding, feeding, shearing, and herding each other. Why? Because we love as Jesus loved.
We do our best, mostly. But I have a whole new appreciation for Shepherds now! It’s a BIG job. I’d like to believe I wouldn’t let myself drown, but do I spiritually sometimes?
The great part is the real Shepherd shows us what to do. We have a handbook.
If we’ll just use it.
Make it a GREAT day! (It’s a choice).