Friday, May 21, 2010

The Problem with Weeds!

I spent a few days the last week in the hospital. As we drove up the drive on my way home again, I looked at the flower beds around my front door. I was horrified! That "ground cover" I had only a little of for the past six years or so had suddenly exploded. It wasn't a pretty sight!
This morning as soon as it was light I pulled on old clothes and went out to attack those pesky weeds. By my calculation I have at least eight more hours at the task and then some ... There's a BIG problem with weeds: They have lots of little roots! These are particularly nasty in that regard!
I'm sure some of the roots have gone to ground to fight another day, but I'll be there with shovel and trowel in hand - ready and waiting! I'm on the offense with boots on the ground!
As I weeded, I contemplated ... what about those things in my life that seem so okay that really have deep, twisted roots that end up being pretty ugly in the end? I need to work on those, too!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shepherds Trump Cowboys!

You have seen the movies of the old wild west. The cowboy rides behind waves of cattle as they pass head by head. The dusty trail goes forever into the sunset. The cowboy is hard working, slow talking and his horse is his best friend. The cowboy goes for days without seeing or talking to another human being. He sits around his lonely campfire staring into the night sky and sleeps under the stars.

I am reminded by Max Lucado in A Gentle Thunder that cowboys have nothing on shepherds. While the cowbody is an American hero who rides off into the sunset, the shepherd is the hero of Biblical and heavenly proportions.

Like the cowboy, the shepherd spends lots of lonely time with animals under the sun and the stars. BUT there are huge differences between cowboys and shepherds. Here are some of Max Lucado's observations:
  • The shepherd loves his sheep; the cowboy doesn't even want to love his cows.
  • The cowboy drives his cows to the slaughter house; the shepherd leads his sheep to green pastures.
  • The cowboy likes Black Angus steak and hamburger; the shepherd wants wool from the sheep.
  • The herd has many cowboys; the flock has only one shepherd. Remember that Jesus talks about the sheep hear the voice of their shepherd and come at his call.
  • The shepherd knows the name of every lamb, ewe and ram; the cowboy knows the other cowboys.

Jesus never called Himself the Good Cowboy. He calls Himself the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep (that would be you and me) by name and lays down his life for his sheep. The Good Shepherd protects, provides and takes care of His sheep. The shepherd literally sleeps in the door of the sheepfold. Danger had to come across his body to get to the sheep.

We live in a dangerous world where it is easy to walk off the cliff or be under attack by some savage beast. Only the Good Shepherd is there to pull us back from danger and to even put His own body in the path of danger for you and me! The Good Shepherd NEVER leads us to the slaughter house. He leads us home - according to Psalm 23 - where we will live with the Good Shepherd forever. The only catch is He HAS to be our Good Shepherd! My Good Shepherd trumps the cowboy any day of the week! And I'm so glad!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Heart-Deep Faith

Joni Eareckson Tada describes Corrie ten Boom's funeral in a devotional posted on line (Taken from Joni's book More Precious Than Silver). Joni talks about the simplicity of Corrie's faith and walk with Jesus, about how Corrie ten Boom's faith journey resonated from her heart. (Joni and Friends Daily Devotional, 5/02/10 at

Reading what Joni wrote caused me to reflect on my own faith journey. I wonder if people will remember me for simple faith straight from the heart. I surely hope so because that's the kind of faith that lasts into eternity. That is also the kind of faith that draws others to want the Jesus they see in me.

People long to see restoration that is heart deep! I want them to see that kind of heart restoration in me!