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

 

 

“Fruit flavored drinks”

Lemonade, the classic, refreshing summer time drink, pretty groovy during a monster heat wave, like the one many of us have going on right now. Even better pink, in a pretty glass with a ton of ice.

Fruit flavored drinks, on the other hand, not quite as refreshing, for two main reasons:

#1. THEY CONTAIN NO REAL FRUIT. THEY ARE OF NO REAL VALUE TO YOUR BODY.

#2. THEY ARE PRODUCED WITH FAKE SUGAR TO HIDE THE NASTY CHEMICAL POISON THAT THEY ARE REALLY MADE OF.

 I, myself prefer an old-fashioned iced coffee, not the jacked up sissy versions sold nationwide because delicious or not all I care about it REAL.  I suppose, all things considered, fruit flavored drinks pair pretty nicely with candy coating.

Maybe that is why the churches are running over with sticky, sweet-smelling fluids to be given to those who seek and desire and desperately NEED the water of life.

When you need real refreshing, they just aren’t going to do the job, and the sickly sweet, nasty aftertaste is just going to leave you more thirsty than you were before for something real.

Sure, they are “sweet” sure they “care” but only to the point of convenience for them. After that, you can just choke on that sweetness they have just poured down your throat, they really don’t care, nor will they.

Talking about fake, artificial friends and “brethren”, definitely NOT talking about the world. I could have people actually write testimonies to their own experiences with this, because IT IS so common. That is truly, truly a sad statement.

But who cares? Seriously, who cares? They don’t. The world has no stake in it and would never come in if they had a clue as to how people are really treated once they are down. So who cares? Well, I tell you, one that does, the same one who cares about everything else:

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the GREEN herb.

 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily shalt thou be fed. Delight thyself in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as light, and thy judgment ( justice for you) as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: Fret not thyself because of him (any person) who prospereth in HIS way, BECAUSE of the man ( person, male or female) who bringeth WICKED DEVICES (schemes) to pass.  

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise (way) to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: But those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea. thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth ( back biting and two facing ). The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. ( he knows the wicked shall soon fall and laughs at their attempts to harm others).

The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay (kill) such as be of upright conversation (conduct).  Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

Wait upon the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt SEE IT. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a GREEN bay tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.”                                                                PSALM 37:1-15,34-36

 What I want to point out about these verses is this: IT APPEARS as though the wicked have the upper hand, that is why they are spreading THEMSELVES and the green being that they ARE thriving while doing so. We are not to envy the position they have weaved themselves into. We are not to “fret”, you know worrying and staying upset because of what they have cost us, or question whether or not they will answer to God for those actions, or lack thereof.

They hurt the innocent, they backbite, spread lies and try to destroy others but as you see, God laughs, HE LAUGHS while they are running about pretending to give a “cold drink” to the little ones, when the poisonous fruit flavoring clearly proves what is really being served.

While they may seem to grow and prosper, they will soon dry and wither away. We all know people like this, the world is full of them, and that should be no surprise because after all it is the world. The true testing of this comes when these people are supposed to be your friends and you can really get into what Jesus said with this, If someone takes what is yours DO NOT ask for it back.

And we all know what a “friend” Jesus had in Judas and those are exactly those of which I speak.  He also commands us pray for those who hurt us, USE us, and PERSECUTE us, and SPEAK EVIL AGAINST US. He tells us to forgive our brothers and sisters in Him. But you know what? These people ARE NOT REALLY our brethren! THEY ARE THE EQUIVALENT TO FRUIT FLAVORED DRINKS.

The reason we are to do good to them is that in by doing so, we are “heaping coals of hell fire on their heads”!

People who use other people and just pretend to care for them in order to gain whatever it is that they are after are not of God. I don’t care how often they go to church, what amount of tithes they pay, or how helpful they may seem or whatever else they can produce as a sign of being “green” in the fruitful sense. I guess that is where ceasing from anger comes in pretty handy.

I just can not stand fake Christians and I would rather have someone curse me to my face then pretend to be something they are not. I respect people who can look you in the eye and tell you the truth,EVEN if that truth is that they would love to see you six feet under, not hide their hate behind lies and drama and the beauty in it all in waiting upon the Lord, trusting in the Lord, resting in the Lord, knowing that soon the truth you know of them will also be made known to all.

So if life “gives you lemons” wait on the sweetness of the Lord, even though the base fruit may TASTE bitter and unpleasant, and very undesirable, as are many of the things that we must go through in life, once the Lord adds his sweetness to the mix that lemonade made from those awful lemons will be much sweeter and refreshing than the watered down fruit flavored drink you had been given because even though the lemons began as bitter, The end product WILL HAVE BEEN  PRODUCED WITH REAL FRUIT!

Be Blessed and stay cool! Seriously, it is really hot out there and go for the real lemonade!!!It will keep you cooler and help you keep your cool;) !

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016