Never Follow a Stranger

“But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” – John 10:5 The Bible teaches us that we are the Good Shepherd’s sheep and we are to hear His voice. Americans in particular do not care for this biblical sheep metaphor. In this country, we are all about being independent, “picking yourself up by your bootstraps,” being strong, and a leader. We like to be compared to things like lions and eagles. None of this sheep stuff — it does not resemble our vision of greatness.  However, contrary to popular opinion, sheep are actually amazing animals and they’re quite intelligent. Studies seem to indicate that sheep are a lot smarter than dogs, and because of their intelligence, they are highly communal. That means that they love to be together just like we do; they love hanging

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The Anointing of Power

“Take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head.” – Exodus 29:7 In Christianity, we talk a lot about our anointing in Christ, but few of us actually understand where the term originates. Turns out that the practice of anointing actually began with sheep. Since they were prone to the infestation of bugs in their ears, someone figured out that slathering their heads with olive oil kept insects away. Then, later on, someone else wondered if it might work for humans also. Since there was no running water in ancient times, baths were not a common thing, and people tended to smell pretty bad. Even worse, because they traveled long distances and got really dirty, they also attracted bugs. Therefore, anointing their heads was a way to lessen body odor and shield themselves from creepy crawlers. Later, it became a religious ritual that was employed in

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Perfectly Prepared

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 To wrap up our discussion about David and Goliath, I want to share a final thought with you. If you’re feeling alone and frightened in this strange season, it’s important to remember that the man after God’s heart began his life in obscurity. Yes, he had a large family, but he was often by himself, looking after his sheep. Though it afforded him quiet times to be with the Lord and fortified his soul for the things he would face later, there must have been moments when he was lonely and afraid. As he was approached by a ferocious lion and a hungry bear and required to slay them by himself, I’m certain he questioned his lot in life. While he felt

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The Kingdom of No Labels or Limits

“David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.” – 1 Samuel 17:14,15 One of the things we forget about David is that he was young and almost naively courageous. Since he was the last born and lowest on the family food chain, he was entrusted with caring for the flocks. Unfortunately, being a shepherd in his time was the lowliest of professions, and it was usually reserved for eleven or twelve-year-old boys or fifteen to sixteen-year-old girls. Therefore, for David, being a young 20-something man and tending sheep was far from a badge of honor. Though he was gifted in many ways, it seems he was nearly invisible to his father, and his natural skills and abilities went largely unnoticed by his family. Thankfully, he had a deep and soul-building relationship with God, and

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