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Posted by Comments:
guest
April 16, 2018
I just saw a TED Talk about leadership. The
speaker, Simon Sinek, was telling his audience
that people only feel safe in organizations with
leaders that would make sacrifices for their
followers. That's the kind of leader Jesus is.
Here is the TED TALK on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmyZMtPVodo


Posted by Comments:
steve souther
April 17, 2018
Guest: I checked it out. This is illuminating.
Especially interesting is the idea that anyone--no
matter how far down the corporate structure--can
be a leader. I think I read: it is (only) the
'environment' that enables this self sacrificial
model to exist.

Thanks.


Posted by Comments:
Deke in TX
April 17, 2018
Welcome, guest. Some rambling thoughts on all the
lections.

I read through all the previous discussions for
the lections with interest. Unfortunately they are
truncated and some of the original posts were
deleted. Evidently there was a post about shepherd
dogs that engendered some discussion. That got me
to thinking of a possible dual illustration about
shepherds.

Herding dogs are seen by sheep as wolves. They nip
at heels from behind or make eye contact from the
front responding to the commands of the human
shepherd. Some of the smaller breeds will also run
across the backs of the sheep.

There's another type of live stock working dogs
that are the polar opposite. They are large and
generally white which makes them look less wolf
like. These are Akbash, Maremma and Great Pyranees
dogs. Their job is to protect the flock from
predation.

A well trained live stock guardian is a member of
the flock. They are bonded to their charges and
are basically sheep with teeth and claws. We don't
have sheep but goats and our dogs will go out
first into the pasture ahead of the goats making
sure everything is safe. As they graze the dog
keeps watch for the enemy. If coyotes, wolves or
dogs attempt to attack, she will confront but not
go far from the flock.

The herding dogs are much like Francis Thompson's
Hound of Heaven. They are working to make the
flock go to where it is safe, where there is good
grass and water. They do it with the sheep's
innate fear of wolves. The guards do not lead the
flock to good grass and water but are their
friend, protector and one of them.

A friend in Hockley goat's were being attacked.
She did not have a guard dog and came to us. At
the time we had a surplus and gave her Kati. She
went on duty immediately and the culprit was
killed. It was a full grown bobcat who nearly
killed Kati. But she prevailed. Our friend had
some vet bills but has never been without a guard
dog again. Kati would've laid down her life for
her flock mates.

Proverbs 9:10 King James Version (KJV)

10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of
wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is
understanding."

We can discuss what exactly fear of the Lord
means, but for many of us it is fear of eternal
damnation that begins us on the pilgrimage of
following Jesus. At some point that fear should
mature into a wise fear of offending God who
deserves all our love.

God the Son came to live among us as one of us.
His love for us is so great that he emptied
himself into the form of a slave. We are slaves to
sin but he came to lift us out of sin.

So the choice is to fear eternal punishment and to
live a life filled with fear or to follow Jesus
who came to bring us light and life because of his
great love for us.

He is the good shepherd who gave his life so that
we might live.

Pace e Bene


Posted by Comments:
rev smith, Lacey IA
April 17, 2018
Thanks guest and Deke
I have a lot to ponder for this week.


Posted by Comments:
Deke in TX
April 17, 2018
So now the connection between the owner vs the
hirelings and the guardians vs the herding dogs.

Maybe there's something to work with here. I'm
preaching to a rural congregation who are familiar
with herding dogs but not live stock guard dogs.

Pace e Bene


Posted by Comments:
steve souther
April 17, 2018
Thanks for the ramble, Deke. It is interesting how
herding dogs use the sheep's fear of wolves to
make them safe. I've seen Border Collies herd cows
many times, and it may be a similar motivator,
although sheep are far more vulnerable than cows.
I've come to suspect that this fear, which sheep
and cows have of herding animals, is more an
awareness and response than fright. Maybe it's
more so in the case of cows. If left alone, cows
come up with their own government.

A lead cow is selected and baby sitters and
officers are elected. The job of this government
is to provide 'an atmosphere' where everyone feels
safe and contented. If anyone gets anxious and
afraid, designated 'lickers' start calming them
down by licking their neck, one on both sides. It
is vitally important for the herd and its
production to have this safe atmosphere.

The TED talk, Guest, has shed much light on this
text. "Leadership is a choice, not a
rank." This is defined by a person who looks
after others and has their best interest 'at
heart.'

When the leader or leaders acts in this way, it
creates a safe environment. If anyone acts
selfishly or with anger or....it indicates they
don't 'feel' they're in a safe environment.

This really says a lot! I think those who
exhibit leadership (as defined here) have the
'fear of the Lord.' They are like the sheep who
know the herd dog is there. And the cow's
government is a true government in that its main
function is to protect and nurture every member
down to the littlest and least--providing that
feeling...

Thank you, Guest, for bringing this link. And
welcome to our herd...


Posted by Comments:
steve souther
April 20, 2018
Friends,

"One flock, one shepherd"


Posted by Comments:
steve souther
April 21, 2018
Dear Friends,

Jesus' other sheep are out there. Some of them
have wandered off from our congregations. I hope
they weren't driven off, but I suspect some have.

It is because of these lost sheep from our
congregations, and those out there in the world,
that make this Shepherd Sunday so important. It
was important enough for Jesus to willingly die.
Maybe I shouldn't give up on anyone, but keep on
trying. What's missing isn't so much the money or
the right program, but it's those sheep the wolves
have scattered that Jesus is talking about.


Posted by Comments:
steve souther
April 21, 2018
Dear Friends,

Jesus' other sheep are out there. Some of them
have wandered off from our congregations. I hope
they weren't driven off, but I suspect some have.

It is because of these lost sheep from our
congregations, and those out there in the world,
that make this Shepherd Sunday so important. It
was important enough for Jesus to willingly die.
Maybe I shouldn't give up on anyone, but keep on
trying. What's missing isn't so much the money or
the right program, but it's those sheep the wolves
have scattered that Jesus is talking about.


Posted by Comments:
steve souther
April 21, 2018
Friends, again.

The necrology report of the Mobile Presbytery
(many years ago) was read, and it was said:
"Wherever Zeek went he built up the church!
It wasn't the institution he was building, but
rather that flock. I want to be Zeek.


Posted by Comments:
steve souther
April 21, 2018
Again...

It was a cowboy who told me about the
'government' cows establish.

He has a masters degree in animal husbandry from
the Kansas State University, and he ran one of the
Tate Ranches in South Western Kansas where I
served the church years ago.
I felt it was important to document my story.

I grew up around cows, so I was totally interested
in what this modern day cowboy knew about them. He
and his family joined the church. So, I found
myself seated at his kitchen table one day and
listening to what he had to say about cattle. It
is a real mystery how these animals organize
themselves as a community. In the wild, cows do
just fine because they come together in a herd.
I've seen this in Alabama where I used to hunt
deer. This was after church on Sunday, no less. I
was the student preacher from Columbia Seminary;
and I was feeding my young family venison.


Posted by Comments:
Revhen
April 21, 2018
We are in the season of Easter. The resurrection
is essential. We don't have a dead shepherd.
He's alive! The concept that a true leader cares
so much for his followers that he/she is willing
to give his/her life for their betterment and
protection. I do wish our government leaders
would care more for the "sheep" than for
themselves.


Posted by Comments:
bob smith, richmond
April 22, 2018
Other sheep. That is the mission. Jesus is on the
lookout for other sheep to bring into the fold. Do
we loom for mother sheep? Are we including other
sheep with our church activities outside of the
infinite meetings and 52 times per year of Worship
hours? Dinners with three couples inviting a
fourth. Community social events sponsored by the
Adult Class. You get it. How do we get the
congregations to see as well as the man formerly
blind?


Posted by Comments:
bob smith, richmond
April 22, 2018
Sorry but a typo with these old, fat fingers.
Do we look for other sheep? not do we loom for
mother sheep. Oh well. I hope this helps someone,
somewhere.


Posted by Comments:
steve souther
April 22, 2018
Friends, a last minute thought:

Like the Good Shepherd, the blame is on the wolf
who snatches and scatters the sheep, not the
sheep.

The herd of 99 is not complete without that one
lost sheep...

Blessings.


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