Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hard Words for Soft Hearts

   The morning outside chores are done. I'm drinking a cup o joe and resting a sec before I head in to other chores. I've got praise music filtering in to my ears and my heart.... it drowns out the cares of life. 
   Sweet Peace cycled this week. It was totally out of season and...I'm convinced came on due to Moses being such a romantic through the fence. I've no idea if Levi bred her or not. I never saw him do it. I wrote down the date she cycled and will watch her over the months to see if we will have an October baby. If we do it sure will be interesting. Oh my. Olive did not cycle far as I can tell. She should cycle in the fall and we will see how that plays out. I didn't want to breed Sweet Peace. I didn't think this cycle out of season would actually happen. Oh well. For those who are doing a spring experiment because they want fall angora babies this is good news! For me not so good as I wanted to wait till 2014 to breed her.
   In her excitement to get to the bucket I was holding, Hannah broke off one of her horn nubs this morning. She bled everywhere. She had blood all over her feed...blood down her nose...blood all over the bucket...blood dripping on the milking stand. I hate dehorning and disbudding goats. I hate it. First of all...goats need those horns. They use them to regulate the temperature of their bodies. It's like taking air conditioners, fans and misters from us. It's cruel. I don't care about show regulations. I don't care about the opinions of buyers. Perhaps it's time we educated them. I have four goats with horns and Daniel is growing his. I will not remove those horns. I don't care if that means I don't sell them. They need those horns. Educated people understand that. The cruelty of making them go through the pain of the bloody mess to begin with and then to put them through the constant losing of the nubs that grow back. It just makes me angry. There is no sense in it. Train the goat. Put a lead on the goat and tie him before you go in his yard. Use precaution and common sense. Shame on the standard makers in shows for not wanting horns. These are issues that need to change for the sake of the goat. 

   Those little horns stay!!!!! 


   I am not saying you won't ever have to work around the horns. I have to work around having the need for glasses and the need for a size 11 shoe. We all work around who and what we are...I work around the fact that I'm a woman and often ignored by men in my area when I go to use the services they provide. I work around heat, cold, having brown hair and being short and having to train my singing voice. Yes, you will work around those horns. But the goat needs those horns and it is unfair to say that your need not to have to work around them is more important than the goat's need to have them. 

   We do so many things for our own sakes.... I have been thinking alot about that lately. About prejudice and about how we set the scales according to our own views rather than facts. We judge based on our prejudice against an organization. We try to evangelize people who don't need saved and we do a blanket judgement saying that they all need saved when they don't. I'm thinking of the protestant/catholic situations I'm continually in. I wish protestants would try to save protestants. I promise you there are tons in your own congregation who don't know the Lord. It just seems easier to go "out there" or "over there" and to believe that they need saving because they don't understand their walk the same way you do.  
   I wish catholics would stop trying to save protestants as well. Now...all the protestants just heaved a great big sigh and said "AMEN"... but watch out.... the same Christ who you say you serve catholics serve. The one who died for us. And you may not understand their humble faith and devotion. You may have grown up catholic and still not understand it. You may have grown up protestant and be filled with hard feelings toward catholics. Only at the foot of the cross will we understand. I'm telling you...only at the foot of the cross. It is not a great evangelical work to go into the catholic church to save catholics...nor a great evangelical work to go into protestant churches to save protestants... not unless that is what you are...catholics to catholics and protestants to protestants...and you look in to your own house first. Your own back yard. I am not saying God never sets up situations where He will reach one of another denomination through you...but never believe it is you and your faith above their own. Be very very careful.
   Billy Graham said 75% of evangelicals are not saved. 75% of those sitting in your church. Why do you need to go somewhere else? 75% of those you sit with every week don't even know the Lord. Shouldn't you storm Hell's gates at home first? 
   Speaking of home... what's wrong with focusing on home first? What's wrong with being the best mom and dad you can be? Is that somehow less holy? Is it less important? Is there more value placed on ministries outside the home? I don't mean by man, because CLEARLY there is more placed on those ministries by man...I'm talking about God's view. God does not see this matter the way we do. Our families are falling apart because not only does the world tell us that family is last in importance but the protestant world has created program after program after program and needs leaders for all of this. Kids are growing up sitting in church waiting on mom to finish "laboring for God"... they sit there discussing who knows what with one another...they go without good meals...eating fast food because mom doesn't have time to fix those meals. They don't get in bed on time because these programs are so important that they take priority. Mom and Dad haven't seen one another in weeks. There is no time for the entire family to get together and just be a family. There are tons of meetings set up at church for "family time". Those consist of kids playing together and little circles of people gathering to visit. Dad, Mom and kids have not spent family time. Family time is spent at home. It's time when you eat together. When you talk with one another. Perhaps you do go to a park together. Perhaps you take a trip together. But on week nights you are home and helping with homework and baking cookies and visiting...having fun as a family. That's a worthy ministry. Where did that go? I say again....shouldn't we storm the gates of Hell at home first? What happened to the value of praying over your kids each day? Why is it not important anymore? 
   Catholics and LDS are at risk of falling into this same pattern of letting the family values that have held them strong for so long just go the way of the world the same way the Protestants have. This is serious. This is the foundation of what God has formed. Before your church building was built...before a name was given to your denomination....God formed the family. It is His first institution and it is the one most at risk right now.  
   The church is only as strong as the leadership in it and that leadership becomes more weak each and every day as the family becomes more weak. You are doing God's greatest work when you labor in what is considered a small place. You are changing culture one diaper at a time. One clean dish at a time. One school lesson at a time. One cooked meal at a time. One Bible verse memorized at a time. One hug at a time. One kind word at a time. One prayer at a time. One toilet cleaned at a time. 
   We focus on the differences so much. We try to save everyone else. We forget our own churches full of lost people. We forget our own communities full of lost people. Our own neighborhoods who don't know Jesus. Our own homes where the example of Jesus needs to be seen. Where the family needs strengthened so the communities and churches can be strong. We forget that our words should be focused on saying what will uplift.... not in arrogance... it must be from a sincere heart.... our kids and our spouses know when we aren't sincere. Our friends often do too. Our priorities have to change. Just like not choosing to remove horns from goats just for our own benefit, we need to avoid choosing to fall into the lies of society for our own benefit and thus cripple our families and our friends...our churches and our communities...and truthfully...our own hearts too.... 
   Father, I know at times the path I travel seems rough and thorny. It seems to be to an unknown destination. I know you've asked me to simply trust You and walk the path. There are times when my flesh doesn't want to keep going. Forgive me for stopping in the middle of the path at times. Forgive my hard heart. Forgive me for not crucifying my own flesh in how I treat others. Forgive me for not seeking to be kind to my family in speech and act and in how I speak about them. Forgive me for not speaking with kindness both to and about those around me in church and community and nation. Forgive my hard heart. Break my heart to be remolded by You. Surrendering my will to Yours...I seek...with fear and trembling...Your way..... 
This is Goodbye from the Blackberry Patch...We'll be seeing you soon......