Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Goats and Sheep

Had this on my Flutterbys blog, decided to bring it here:

Did you know that there are alot of similarities between sheep and goats? I find that interesting in the light of the parable that Jesus gave us about the separating of sheep and goats:

Mat 25:31  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:35  For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Mat 25:41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Mat 25:42  For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Mat 25:43  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Mat 25:44  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Mat 25:45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Mat 25:46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. 

Do you notice what Jesus does here? The sheep come from a place of credit where anything they do is added to them. The goats come from a place of debit where the moment they fail to do the right thing, they have failed altogether and hopelessly so.

What can we learn from what these animals are like?
 One of the main differences is what they eat. Goats can eat anything and not get sick. If sheep eat the wrong things, they get diarrhea and it sticks to their wool, which can cause them further problems if the shepherd doesn't take care of his sheep properly. 

More sheep facts (check the links along the top of the page too, lots of interesting facts about sheep)

and goat facts (I do believe the picture of the goat with braces was photoshopped, lol)
and this is a fun site for more info...
and a few insights from a veterinarian...
Goats are more independent while sheep get uncomfortable if they get separated from their group. 

Most sheep don't have horns like goats do....but some do

Rev 13:11  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

Hmmm looks like a sheep, with two horns, and speaks like a dragon. What does a dragon speak like?

Dan 11:21  And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
Dan 11:22  And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.
Dan 11:23  And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.

He will tell people what they want to hear. He will appeal to people's fleshy desires.

Jesus knows what His sheep really need, and it isn't flattering...but He loves us so what He does for us is out of a gracious and loving heart.

Pe 5:2  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1Pe 5:3  Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.
1Pe 5:4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Kirk Cameron Interview With Lane

Kirk mentions the sheep and goats judgment, and I like some of the things he mentions here:

He says a pastor he knows often says: "You know, one of the things that I know that I'm on the right road? I'm not what I could be, and I'm not what I should be, but I'm not what I was"..Good thoughts!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Left Hand?

Matthew 20:21 James and John's mother asks Jesus that her sons will sit next to Jesus, one on His right and one on His left. Jesus tells them that they don't know what they are asking but then goes on to talk about being "baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with" which (martyrdom) He says they will indeed suffer, but that sitting on His right hand or left is not given by Jesus but by the Father who prepares each of us for it (Matthew 20:23)

In doing a word search, being on the right hand is often mentioned. Do a word search with the Blue Letter Bible or E-sword and see what you come up with. It is a very fruitful study. The left hand is where the goats go to in the sheep and goats judgment (Matthew 25:33) so for mom to ask Jesus to give her sons a place on the right and a place on the left....her request was off track right from the start. This reminds me of the saying "he is my right hand man" (someone that is so helpful you cannot do without him).

He goes on to say that these things are decided and prepared by God the Father. We can ask, but the final decision rests with God.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Marah Means Bitter

Exodus 15:23-25

And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them.

This passage has been coming to mind alot lately, and I think that it is so because sometimes I'm tempted to be bitter about some of the things that are going on with me right now. These are difficult times, and they aren't going to get easier, but will get more difficult. The recorded entries we find in scripture are for our learning and strengthening. When Moses swished the tree into the bitter waters, the waters became sweet. Interesting fact that Miriam, whose name means "bitter", just a few verses prior to this was singing praises to God for helping them escape the Pharaoh's armies. The name Mary also means bitter. And from Revelation 8:10-11 we learn that a star will fall from heaven named wormwood, which means bitter or poison, which will make one third of the rivers and streams bitter/poisonous. 

Jesus was put to death on the cross, but one of the ways it is referred to in scripture is that He was hung on a "tree".... so swishing a tree in bitter waters to make them sweet, is an interesting metaphor. Jesus was offered bitter gall to drink while hanging on the tree, but He refused it, and water poured out of His side when the Roman centurion pierced Him. 
Just trying to piece these together as I endure some difficult times, knowing that others are going through much more difficult times than I am, and praying that Jesus will make the bitter waters His time.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

For Petra: Count it all JOY!

James 1:2-8 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

There is so much packed into that passage. It is a wonderful passage full of promise. There is that fact that the latter portion has been abused by the word/faith (or “name it and claim it”) crowd. I know, I isn't talking at all about increasing your worldly possessions, in fact, if you do increase in worldly possessions, it is more of a burden and cause for temptation and sorrow in the life of the true believer:

Proverbs 30:7-9

Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

There are so many evils in this world, temptations, and those who get caught in their snares, and make a mockery of the name of the Lord through the misapplication of things He has said to us. These are all here for our learning. Through all these things we learn to depend on Jesus more, to seek His face while there are many today who disappoint or bring dishonor to such terms as JUSTICE and TRUTH. There is so much corruption, so much that is vile or empty of value. God sees it all much better than any of us. We need to see it and beware, seeing the consequences that these evil practices are bringing. All the while, as we see the evil of this world, we can thank the Lord that we will only be here a short while. He has promised us a much better inheritance.


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver

Proverbs 25:11
A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in settings of silver.

Although that verse is in a passage about proper reproof of someone in error, I find it to be an apt description of a wonderful conversation that I was blessed to have with a patient at work last Thursday. It happens every once in a while when you just sense that the Lord brings a person your way and blesses you with the words that uplift you both and have you both praising God for His goodness and His wonderful caring ways. Such a situation occurred for me and this patient.

This patient came to the hospital because he has been experiencing some painful discomfort in his feet (which already has interesting spiritual application when you do a word search in the Bible relating to feet and our walk, hopefully you understand what I mean). While asking him the normal general questions that I do to place a few comments on the study for our radiologist, he said to me "I know this isn't in your area of expertise, but would you know anything about the disease of cancer and what I should know about it, I think I may have it..." so I asked him what makes him believe he might have cancer, and what symptoms he has that makes him think so. He then said he didn't know of any, nor does he know anything about cancer, except that it runs in his family and that he knows he is more at risk because there is alot of history of cancer in his family. He said his grandma died of cancer, so I asked him how old she was when she died, and he replied 92, but that he wasn't ready to let her go and that he felt that she was still too young to die. This number, 92, brought a recent patient I had xrayed to mind. She had broken her hip, and was yelling alot about how we  were going to kill her or cause her to have a heart attack or stroke. I related that situation to him, and told him that her problem was not with us medical personnel, but it was with the fact that she did not feel ready to face death. He then confessed that this was an issue for him also, that he feared dying, and that he could understand that 92 year old patient's apprehensions about death.

There were many things the Lord brought to my mind, during the 20 minutes (it usually would have taken me about 15, I had to take 12 xrays I didn't do too badly) we had together. By the end of the exam, I said "Ok, Bible study is over" and he said "I LOVED IT!" and was beaming from ear to ear, and his eyes were twinkling with the tears he blinked back. We hugged and acknowledged that one day we would meet again.

With all of the problems that I have at work, this patient reminded me of the most important thing regarding why I work there, (besides the fact that it's helping me pay my bills) it's for the patients. Thank you Jesus for the generous gifts of such blessings in the midst of the trials.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Embracing Sorrow

I think we all try to avoid pain and sorrow... I try to. However, sorrow and suffering is a part of this life. This morning I awoke to two thoughts (I had a restless night and woke up several times in the night):

1. Daniel's three friends in the fiery furnace.

2. The life of Job.

The thought that suffering is a necessary part of the life of a child of God was very present in my thoughts. God doesn't give His children evil gifts, so these gifts of suffering and sorrow need to be cherished and used wisely by me. I need to thank God for everything He gives, including the painful times that cause me to grow in Him.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Joseph's Troubles

Last night was an especially dark night for me at work.... in fact, the whole weekend was horrible. There's an individual that I've had trouble with which the Lord has been working with me on (I mention it here ). And I know that she (and a couple of others) have turned the story around and have told the newbies at work false c**p about me. So yeah, I pray about it, but every day I dread going to work. This weekend brought this situation to a head for me. I felt trapped in a really bad situation, and it feels like the new people fresh out of xray school (one is slightly older than my oldest granddaughter) treat me like I don't know the first thing about my job, and are telling me what to do like they are the senior techs. ARE you K-I-D-D-I-N-G me? Really?

Last night on the way home from work, I was still a bit bothered by the situation. When I was getting ready for bed, I was muttering my frustration to the Lord by saying "I know how I'm SUPPOSED to be, but that isn't me. I can pretend to be above all of that, but honestly I'm being crushed under it. Please help me be the person I'm supposed to be. Please help me bear this burden in a way that honors You."

I awoke this morning to the thought of Joseph.... no details, just "Remember Joseph"... so I thought about Joseph. Joseph was treated terribly by his brothers, and sent into slavery. But God blessed him and he found a good job working for a wealthy Egyptian. He had everything going for him, but the wife of the wealthy Egyptian had it out for him. She lied about him to her husband to cover herself (boy can I relate to this situation) and he ended up getting sent to prison (dungeons in those days, which I'm sure make the prisons of today seem luxurious in comparison). Joseph suffered for years under that burden, but he made the best of it, and the Lord blessed him for it....but he endured many years of darkness in an Egyptian prison system before being elevated out of that situation.Every time things got bad for Joseph, it turned out for good, but then would become something even worse than before, which would then turn out for good, and again become EVEN WORSE....and then ultimately after MUCH SUFFERING, it turned out excellent....I think I'm in the EVEN WORSE phase so the MUCH SUFFERING part is still to come....sigh....

AND, yesterday, when I was reading the book of Amos during my lunch break, I came across this:

"the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it [is] an evil time" Amos 5:13

Up to this point in time, I haven't been prudent, and haven't suffered this very silently. I have been bitter about what has happened to me there, and am constantly trying to watch my back around "certain people", and that list keeps growing there.

So the thought to "Remember Joseph" was a perfect fit for what I need to do...and which also helps me  with Amos 5:13, but only if it is the Lord (Truth) doing it not through my flesh (the flesh has me faking it to try to appear righteous, with my "I'm doing this and look at how good I am while I am suffering for the sake of these idiots" routine). 

"Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." Zechariah 4:6

The Truth does set me free.