Shepherding the black sheep

 

“Baa baa black sheep have you any wool?”

Familiar nursery rhyme there, but I got a new one, 🙂

“Baa Baa black sheep have you any where to graze?

No Sir, No sir, been quite spiritually famished,

finding myself in a bit of a daze,

Not an earthly shepherd will have me,

without guidance to help me find my way,

this grass has all dried up and turned into a helpless maze.”

How many can dig that feeling?

Of course, I’m sure the title makes this post quite obvious, it is about and for the “black sheep” and I can write this from more than enough experience at being one!

 W.O.M.E.N. of Ministry can vouch for that.

We’ll look at the term itself, most know it to mean of course someone who for whatever reason is considered a disgrace to their family, church, group, whatever “flock” they were supposed to belong in.

But the good news there is that it also has an urban meaning, that being a black sheep  is caused by a person being a little too different.

Black sheep, I have learned, suffer what is treated as a “fatal flaw”, they tend to bleat and question while all the other lambs are busy munching they are busy looking over cliffs, seeing what is in that valley.

Black sheep run amok climbing up the mountains because they just know there is so much more if they could just reach the top. They question others, Why? How? and the deadliest question of all, Why not?

Runs people crazy when you have questions they don’t want to waste their time answering.

Maybe too different in their thoughts, their beliefs, their clothing, their style, and even their actions when they feel is worth fighting for, all this combined can make them seem to much like a hassle to for the shepherds to deal with.

Different makes others uncomfortable and for most sheep it is easier to concede to the thoughts and actions of the masses than to risk being labeled black and left stranded in a field of wolves alone.

And being different is NOT always bad and being black does NOT make them any less of a sheep. I also found that in certain places it was considered “good luck” for a shepherd to have at least one black sheep in his flock, of course we know there is NO such thing as luck.

And the other really neat thing is that they are considered LESS valuable because their black wool CAN NOT be dyed and there is some serious symbolism in that.

For all you Black sheep out there, take that as a compliment!

Think about that…their wool can not be dyed or changed, they don’t conform, they are what they are and they are what they were created to be… DIFFERENT!

But that is where the pain, hurt, and solitude comes in for so many people who either have been labeled “black sheep”, or have labeled themselves “black sheep” because they feel that way.

And to find out what becomes of lost sheep and black sheep, shepherd less sheep, we’ll look at Ezekiel 34:5: “And they were scattered because there is NO shepherd; and they became meat (food) to ALL the beast of the field, when they were scattered.” 

And I have written quite a bit about that over the years, because so many have told me that they just do not feel loved or cared for by the “church” world and many people do feel like they “just don’t belong”, they want to be in a church and they want fellowship, and they do love and try to serve God, but they have been in churches that they felt unwelcome because of their differences, such as how they dress, or shyness, or even feeling like others looked down on them because of financial differences and this problem has always been.

Many scriptures address these issues encouraging all to think of others and speak of dressing modestly and even considering jewelry and hairstyles, considering  others so that all would feel “equal” in all our conduct so that no one would feel left out when in the house of God.

Again this has been different people, different churches and denominations, so this is not “aimed” at any group, I just don’t think people realize HOW common it is and how badly we need to fix it.

So there are true black sheep and there are those who just FEEL like black sheep but either way, how are they supposed to be fed spiritually?

I kept hearing the term and as I said at the beginning I can certainly understand being one, so I started thinking that there must be OTHER sheep who are struggling finding “food” to keep them going up those mountains and through those valleys until they do truly happen upon the place of rest that the Lord had prepared for them to find all the while.

Ever think about that? We do all NEED to feel that we belong and I promise you DO belong when you belong to the Lord but sometimes the road to that place can be rocky, rough, and very lonely and if you are having problems finding a “leader”, have ever considered that God may be calling you to be one? 

Buildings cost a lot of money, basic utilities for buildings cost a lot of money, in order to have a traditional church, COSTS A LOT OF MONEY but you know, if you are feeling lead to so something, if you have thoughts and ideas and revelations on scripture that you want to share, if you have an outreach or a certain crisis group that you feel led to minister to, may I suggest that you keep doing what black sheep do best, be yourself and use those difference, those questions, those answers and instead of agonizing over not fitting in, just embrace that difference and share it with others who don’t fit in either.

Thanks to the internet and social media, (most absolutely free with endless possibilities) we can witness and minister to the world in multi ways and use every resource God has given to spread his word with those who don’t have a spot to “graze”.

And even ministering in music, if we have no talent of our own we have access to the greatest talents in music and when you think of all that, you don’t need a building, or a choir, or the latest gimmick to get them in the door.

If you feel God leading you and you have a call on your life, a heart for God, and the desire to feed His flock, and those of His flock that are often left unattended and uncared for, you ALREADY have ALL you need to fulfill that call.

God has given every single one of us a gift and in some cases multiple gifts (hoping to do a post on that soon) and His Spirit enables us to use those gifts for the Kingdom and His word also tells us that “without a vision, my people PERISH” and that is what often happens, no vision, no one to help us understand the path we need to take, and no one to help us find answers to our questions and people give up, they PERISH.

This post is to explain the new direction this blog will be going. I have been wrestling my own ministry and I have tried a few different things and wrestled keeping this blog, but finally decided embrace it differently.

So if you are a black sheep or just feel like a black sheep, please “stop by” on Sunday and Wednesday, my original post day when this all got started back in the day was Saturday, then I tried daily, and then I tried keeping up with two separate blogs, then I tried live social media, but it is hard to keep up with, but I believe in trying and trying 😉 until we find the niche.

So this is mainly going to be twice a week, hopefully teaching and prayerfully sharing hope, scripture, and love with ALL His sheep, but especially the “black” ones. I don’t claim to know anything, I don’t propose to have all the answers but I will share with you the Word of God and his love, his mercy, and all sheep will be equal!

We do have a shepherd, even when you may feel alone, you are not, when you need to talk and you need answers and no one is there or no one willing to be there, talk to YOUR Shepherd in heaven.

John 10:11: I AM the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”

Because Jesus Christ loves all of us the same and He IS our Shepherd and maybe there are some that are not meant to have an earthly Shepherd, but know that no matter what you have a heavenly one and if He is calling you, I want to give you a some things to ponder.

Jesus broke every traditional mold ever held. And as I heard pointed once, John the Baptist did NOT follow in his fathers footsteps and become a priest.

He HAD been filled from his mother’s womb with the Holy Ghost and lived in the wilderness, others considering him a”wild man” and went on to preach and baptize which was until then unheard of. And we all know he was doing exactly  what he had been born to do, it just didn’t look quite like what everyone else was doing.

The disciples left all they knew to follow Jesus as their spirit within them KNEW that He was the one, no earthly ordination needed because God himself  had CHOSEN and ordained each and every one of them  before the foundations of the earth.

All who have went on to greater works did so by absolute faith in God for those greater works leaving all tradition and typical mindsets behind.

With NO expectation of what that work should look like or how it should come to pass.

They had NOTHING to base it on, it was all new and sometimes we need to not look at how others are things, but seek how God wants us to get things done.

Maybe that is the bright side to being “black”, if you are used to feeling isolated it will be easier to face those who are NOT going to like you, your ministry, or anything you touch, but they aren’t even who matter.

“Listen” to what Jesus said from John 8:16-20: “Ye have NOT chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (appointed) you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

These things I command you that ye love one another. 

If the world hate you, KNOW that it hated me before it hated you. 

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but BECAUSE ye are NOT of the world, but I have CHOSEN you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 

REMEMBER the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord, if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; IF they have kept my saying, they will keep your’s also.”

IF they hear him they will hear you.

So let them hear you, feed the black sheep, they must be fed even if the other black sheep are doing the feeding! 

Have a blessed night! Join me tomorrow and we’ll have a little lesson on love!

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2018

 

 

OUR Father

“I THEREFORE, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called.

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. 

ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, 

ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, WHO IS ABOVE ALL, AND THROUGH ALL, AND IN YOU ALL.” EPHESIANS 4:1-6

And didn’t Jesus himself state this in John 10:30: “I and the Father ARE one”  I will never forget the moment of truth… MY moment of truth, I had not yet submitted to Christ, but I believed, probably much like many out there, you KNOW the truth but somehow you have bought into the lies that the truth does not apply to you because your too far gone… SUCH A LIE from Satan!

So at any rate, this was years and years and years… you get the point… ago and I was at my sister’s house and this sweet little old man came to the door, who just happened to be a Jehovah’s witness and as I tried my best to politely exit any further discussion he said, “Well, just let me ask you this, what IS God’s name?” and I thought, what on earth kind of question is that? He wants HIS name, I knew I was not easily getting out of the conversation. 

I think the feeling of terror was probably  something kinda like the half excited / half terror Peter felt when Jesus asked him, “But whom say ye that I am?” 

Jesus had ALREADY asked them WHO others said that he was, but he wanted them to say it out of their own mouths and confess their own belief on his identity. 

So I mustered up all my courage, because I had a very legitimate reason to fear… what if I answer this WRONG and OFFENDED God, I KNEW what was in my heart, I KNEW what my soul was screaming out BUT could I actually SAY it out loud? 

So I looked him dead in the eye and as fast as humanly possible I said, JESUS! His name IS Jesus! Of course he explained to me the reason HE felt I and others were completely wrong in that thinking, and that the correct answer is Jehovah, the conversation fortunately soon ended.

I understand the correct answer is Jehovah, the correct answer is also Jesus. God has many, many names but HE IS STILL ONE GOD as the Bible teaches us.

Everything else is just denominational or the lack thereof such as non-denominational. I often wonder if our mixed denominations or non-denominations hold us true to that calling that Paul advised us to “walk worthy of” and I know in the end it will not matter.

I know in the grand realm of things we will all be in for a few surprises, probably some serious surprises but as Paul taught us in that verse when you read between the lines, it may matter HERE more than we think.

We are to walk in love and in UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that is the forbearing part.

If we argue and dislike each other due to a difference in those beliefs when we ARE saved by the SAME God. We ARE given the gift of the Holy Ghost, again by the SAME and only God then that unity is going right out the door and we are grieving the Holy Spirit through our discord.

So why did Paul tie it so securely to our callings? I believe because we have to have that unity but that in all things we are to be reminded in that unity that we are still individuals.

Matthew 5:13: “Ye are the salt of the earth…”  

Mark 9:49,50: ” For EVERY ONE shall be salted with fire, and EVERY sacrifice salted with salt. Salt is good: but IF the salt has lost his saltiness, wherewith (with what) will ye season it? Have salt IN yourselves, and have peace one with another.”

And if we lose that individuality in not staying true to the calling that we have one hope of then we will become like tasteless salt.

He tells us to have that to be “worth our salt” to have that fire that he “seasoned” us with. It IS our passion to serve him, it is the joy and excitement that we were filled with at the moment of salvation and that desire to spread the word of his love and mercy to the world AS we received it, but if we are not careful, comprising that state of how we received, we fall into his next warning on the subject. 

Luke 14:34,35: “Salt is good: but if the salt have LOST his savour flavor) wherewith (with what)  shall it be seasoned? It is NEITHER fit for the land, NOR yet for the dunghill (rubbish heap) but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” 

Pretty clear there isn’t it? Once we lose our “salt” our “fire” HOW would we ever get back what we have given or comprised away?

And if it’s “flavor” is lost, it is then rendered ABSOLUTELY useless, completely and utterly USELESS. As he told us in the verse from Mark, we should have salt ( keeping our individuality in him) and thereby have that peace with one another.

The peace comes form having peace with God and peace in knowing that we are walking “worthy” of that calling. 

Maybe this accounts for some of the falling away in churches while the “secular candy coat churches” are growing like wild.

If we are dried like “caked up” salt why would anyone want to listen to us? Why would God anoint us?  So you may be wondering what this has to do with Father’s Day?

Well, I had never actually written for Father’s Day because I do tend to try to keep it “multi-denominationally friendly” but I am going to have to quit that.

And seeing that OUR father, IS the FATHER OF US ALL, regardless of whether you believe that the Trinity consists of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, as separate (and that IS absolutely true) or if you take the scripture “These THREE ARE ONE” literally (they are and I do)  and that “Jesus IS Lord” and “The Lord IS God”, you know we ARE all correct, that is why in that DAY his NAME SHALL BE ONE. 

And believe me I know there are people on “both sides” of the fence that would like to string me up for that statement BUT it is true!

I also know there are those who think I worry too much about it BUT Jesus told us to have “salt” in ourselves, if we don’t trust what we feel in our hearts as he deals with us then we are already salt less.

We are warned in the Bible to take heed when we THINK we stand, lest we fall.

Because we can become a little to sure that OUR interpretation of scriptures IS the ONLY interpretation, which again, is WRONG.

Jesus NEVER left us to tell other believers what denomination or his “sheep fold” they belong to.

Only he has that authority as he said John 10:16: ” And OTHER sheep I have, which are NOT of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE fold, and ONE shepherd.” 

But now for us to all walk in those calling, walking with passion and purpose as we celebrate Father’s day for our earthly  Father’s, remembering to give honor and praise to our heavenly Father, who truly is the Father of us all! 

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ what a more appropriate time could there be?

John 14:5-21: “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whiter thou goest: and how can we know the way?  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him , and have seen him. 

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew (show) us the Father, and it sufficeth us (will satisfy us). Jesus saith unto him, Have I  been so long time with you, and YET thou hast not know me, Philip?  he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, then she us the Father?

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?  the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself BUT the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 

Believe me that I am IN the Father, and the Father is IN me; OR else believe me for the very works sake.

Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; BECAUSE I go unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye  shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father might be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you FOR EVER.

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world CAN NOT receive, BECAUSE it seeth him not, NEITHER knoweth him; FOR HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU. 

I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS; I WILL COME TO YOU. 

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; BUT YE SEE ME: BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO. 

AT THAT DAY YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father. and I will love him, and WILL MANIFEST (reveal) myself to him.”

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

 

 

“STAR”

 

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

That wondrous star that led the kings to the Messiah. Think how many times they were probably discouraged by those around them as they sought out the most ancient of signs from the most ancient of prophecies.

But they were being drawn by the divinely magnetic force of the universe, the same divine force that placed that heavenly light in the sky for all to see, but only these three understood the significance of it all, but the “pay off” for them, in the form of all the hopes, dreams, and diligence being rewarded as they were among the first allowed to worship the King.

How could they help but rejoice? And they rejoice they did, and that joy would have truly been beyond comprehension.  I am sure many go through that process of seeking, as Abram sought for a city whose builder and maker is God, many others sought out the path predestined and purposed deep inside their hearts long before birth, even placed there BEFORE the foundations of the world. The longing of their souls driving them to seek deeper and deeper into the knowledge and treasures of God as the world around breathes “delusional” and “brainwashed by religion.”

And as the “Christ” in Christmas grows harder to recognize in this world, even in churches with many now no longer holding “traditional” services, but these days were always honored for very good reason.  They are referred to as THE HOLIDAYS in reference to celebrating the HOLY DAYS. With all that goes on around us and all who try their best to discourage us that we are seeking pipe dreams and fairy tales, it is ever pressing to remember what the wise men sought.

I know it can be argued and argued as to the origins of the holiday season, but a couple of things remain true, the day was adopted as the celebration of the birth of Christ, the greatest event spanning time, universe, and all that is or ever will be.

When God overshadowed Mary with His glory, majesty, and everything that He is and placed in her the seed of Himself because humans had been tainted at the fall of Adam and even though we had been created in His image. The health, longevity, peace that God had intended they enjoy would now  through two people, at the badgering, beguiling voice of the serpent had now become tainted and polluted with sickness, sin, and death and the beautiful mercy and grace that should have been in us turned to wickedness and violence as the seed of the enemy was introduced into the human equation.

So on this beautiful, blessed night that heaven would kiss the earth and angels would proclaim the lullaby to end all lullabies mingled with humans HEARING the songs of heaven itself as they sang “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST”, the breach was repaired by the same means by which it had been destroyed when the absolute Holy of Holiest came through a vessel of purity and would allow the spiritual birth of a new kind, first fruits of the Father and of the Son, and those to be of the Kingdom yet to come.

Secular shows with their ideal of “comedic” nods to the nativity that actually are blasphemous, songs written in churches long ago as praise and glory now have parodied lyrics and among the parties, gifts, and feasting of our present day, the shepherds who stood in awe, the  angels whose heavenly appearance and song would have melted even the hardest heart, the obedient but ever rewarded wise men, and the glorious star who shone with incredible splendor are being quickly forgotten and are no longer welcomed in our popular society.

So as Christmas approaches think about that star, think about what has been seeded inside of YOU as a believer, think about what YOU can bring to the King in adoration and worship to Him when He has opened YOUR treasures, (secret there, HE IS the one who has given you the gifts that you give back to the Kingdom) His Royal gold, pure, tried and true word of God. His Myrrh, purification for our souls and His dying that IN HIM we live. His frankincense in intercession for all the world and all those created by Him and for Him.

And that glorious star that burns ever so brightly STILL today if you will only choose to see it. His glory that still visits earth, His glory that will ONE day be revealed to all. “ARISE, shine; for thy light IS come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” ISAIAH 60:1

Let HIS light SHINE on you and through you this season and all year. Remember it is about LOVE, COMPASSION, MERCY, and CHARITY to our fellow-man, not necessarily fellow family members.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more (brighter and brighter) unto the perfect day.” PROVERBS 4:18

As we KNOW HE IS that light that leads us as it led the others over two thousand years ago. And it will lead us into the ways of the Lord and it will lead us into that truly perfect day.

REVELATION 21:22-25: “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb ARE the temple of it. And the city had NO NEED of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: FOR THE GLORY OF GOD DID LIGHTEN IT, and THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT THEREOF.

And the nations of them which are saved SHALL WALK IN THE LIGHT OF IT; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: For there shall be NO NIGHT THERE.”

Don’t let the world steal your Christmas cheer with all the materialism that Christmas should cost a fortune, and if you can not afford the latest this or that, your family will be disappointed. Remember gifts are from the heart and the true price for Christmas was not paid for until Calvary and that was a gift none of us could have afforded to purchase.

Reports show that depression is at its height and the greatest numbers of suicides occur during the holidays, why? Because we have bought the lies of a Norman Rockwell family Christmas and lost sight of the TRUE meaning, we have made it a celebration for US and completely forgot about HIM. And I am not talking about people who have recently lost loved ones or been through some other horrific event, this is in reference to seasonal depression because we allow commercials and story books to convince us of the illusion of a holiday that nothing could ever measure up to.

No celebration in this world will ever live up to the true JOY and the true MEANING of REJOICING EXCEEDING, they were REJOICING in finding HIM! Shouldn’t we also? Once you have experienced the glory of the Lord in person and beheld the King in all HIS Majesty, and stood in His presence, (well, for the period that you are ABLE to stand) there WILL NEVER BE any event or reason to seek anything other than HIM.

So keep your head up, your ears deaf to the whispers of the merchants, your eyes turned away from all the “must have” gifts of the season and please, by all means FOLLOW THAT STAR!

May the Lord Bless you with a wonderful Christmas filled with His love, mercy, grace and that His peace will be with you and yours!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Related posts: Two turtledoves     Abiding in the fields     Hope        Golden      Mothers Love

My all time favorite Christmas song, it is not just the nativity story, it also details his RETURN!

Φλογιζω NBJ

 

Majesty

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