Friday, April 27, 2012

Wierd places with the Shepherd

Have you wondered where the Shepherd of souls is leading you? (Note the nailprints in the icon?)

Among my friends and acquaintances, Jesus is leading through:
  • Promotion at work
  • Death of a child
  • Cancer-free report
  • Diagnosis of MS
  • Shot at while in the car
  • Graduation from MA and doctoral programs
  • Being fired from a job
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth of a healthy baby
  • Collapse of adoption plans
  • Remarriage after widowhood
You and your friends have your own list of "Wow!" seasons, both positive and negative. Life is like that

One of my regular reads is a blog by a young woman who has chosen "A Different Kind of Happy." She writes though some of her dreams have been shattered. Others are coming true in completely unexpected ways. Click here to meet her.

As you face the journey with the Shepherd today, remember that he tenderly cares for his flock = to those who are committed to follow him anywhere he leads.

Most of us have asked, "Why her? Why him? Why us? or ... Why me?" during times of hardship and transition. If that's you, let the Shepherd talk to you today about his plans for you, as you read John 10, below.

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

[Jesus said,] "Very truly I tell you Pharisees [people who tried to live by religious rules and customs], anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.

"He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father —and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

"The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life —only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

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