“Grabbing the Goat by the Horns” – A Parable of Trixie

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Meet Trixie, he’s a goat.  We met Trixie recently while checking out other barn animals.  Our attention at first had been drawn to the little brown ponie who was overly friendly.  The pony stuck his head over the fence and practically demanded to be petted and fed.  Our children loved the warm greeting!   Further down the oblong barn movement caught our eyes, then a goat stuck its head through the wooden gate of its pen.  

We met Trixie because Trixie wanted to eat.  I am convinced the goat craved attention and food.  He wanted our attention, the attention the overly friendly pony was getting.  So Trixie stuck his head out…and got stuck.  That’s right, Trixie maneuvered his head (horns and all) through the slotted wooden gate.  He managed to get his horns through but once through he was truly stuck.  

We discovered Trixie’s predicament when we happened to walk around the outside of the open barn to get a better look at the other animals.  

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Trixie stuck through the gate

 

Sure enough, with the smell of barn animals and the sounds as well, Trixie was not going anywhere.  

The red feeding bucket he had stepped onto in order to get into the predicament had shifted and his horns were now extended through the bars.  

Trixie began to panic.  He was stuck and he could not untangle himself…he was powerless.  

So what were we to do?  
Leave him be until the caretakers found him like this?  -or-
Help free him from his Bovade wooden stockade?  

We couldn’t leave him there, trapped as he was. Trixie needed help.  He need someone from the “outside” to come inside the goat pen and free him.  Naturally it was his fault, but he was clueless and helpless to save himself…he was dead-mutton (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).    

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Trixie finding freedom!

 

We worked and worked.  The screws which held the wooden slats in place were in deep and would not surrender their place without a fight.  At first the screws would not budge…then after some prying and pulling the wooden goat-prison began to loosen.  The whole time we worked and pulled, Trixie was frightened and extremely nervous.  I can only imagine what goes on in the mind of a goat when it seems their “time has come”.  Trixie nibbled on my Father’s hoodie a bit, occasionally being scolded for doing so.  

Finally, and with a lot of strength and maneuvering Trixie was freed.  His horns and head no longer locked inside a self-made prison.  

If Trixie was happy about being we free, he didn’t really show it.  But perhaps there was some gratitude as we fed him some fresh straw and reassured him everything was alright.  

Perhaps…just perhaps Trixie will remember this day and refrain from getting stuck again…I’m not too hopeful though.

Are We stuck in self-made prisons?

 

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Like Trixie, we as people often find ourselves stuck.  We make dumb choices, we wedge ourselves into situations and suddenly we are locked in – horns and all with no means of escape.  Have you been there?  Are you there right now?  These decisions could include sin issues, but it’s not exclusively just about sin.  

If they are sin issues then find your freedom today by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus’ forgiveness and His salvation!  “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” -Romans 3:23  We are all guilty and need saving…we are all in need of being freed from our stockade of sin.  For some of us, we are already free yet feel tempted at times to find our way into prison again. Beware of these trappings of the allure…sticking your neck out and buying into sins allure can be deadly!

If you’re stuck for other decisions that you’ve made, consider this:  God isn’t a distant God.  He hears us, and wants us to live a life worthy of our callings.  He can help you become “unstuck” if you will allow Him access into your lives and let Him guide you through the maze of life!  Maybe it’s time to grab the goat by the horns…

-Something to ponder today…all from a goat named Trixie.  

 

Buck Naked & Unprepared

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It happened a few years ago. I don’t have all of the details, and perhaps this is a bit of an embellishment (whether it happened this way or not there’s a point here so stick with me) here goes… 
A tornado plowed its way through a town and in the process completely destroyed houses in its wake.  One of those houses belonged to a married couple who had spent the night out on the town on a romantic date.  When they got home they went to bed.  Sometime in the middle of the night the tornado came through and the couple barely had enough time to take shelter in their bathtub in the hopes of survival.  When they storm had passed the couple found that their house was completely destroyed, most of it scattered and carried away by the twister…including all of their clothes…they were buck naked and unprepared, but miraculously they survived!

 

Perhaps you were thinking I would write about this television show: 

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Not quite, but this television series is all about survival and preparation.

Speaking of preparation, Jesus had something to say about that topic: “Behold, I come like a thief!  Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”  -Revelation 16:15

 

This is the motto of the Boy Scouts of America: Image

I think these two words have a way of crossing many boundaries and topics.  I think these two words speak to the very heart of the Church today as well.  “Be Prepared“.  Not in some “Doom and Gloom” sort of way; not in the street preacher with bull horn sort of way either.  However, the Church, at times is anything but prepared.  

Personally:

I don’t want to be found buck naked and unprepared when I eventually meet my Savior.  I don’t think anyone wants to be in that place, at that time with nothing but a look of surprise that turns into horror and shock.  

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Do you remember the parable Jesus told about the virgins?  (Matthew 25:1-13)
Here it is in a nutshell to refresh your memory: 

There were ten virgins who were heading out to wait for the bridegroom’s arrival.
Five of these virgins were wise while five were foolish.  What made half of them wise and the other foolish you ask?  The wise virgins (I know that kinda sounds funny) were prepared while they waited, apparently this could take a while – they had plenty of oil for their lamps.  While the foolish virgins only grabbed what they could and forgot to bring extra oil (Don’t ask if it was extra-virgin olive oil…that’s a bad joke…I digress).  

Anyway, back to the story, while  they (the ten virgins)waited they fell asleep because the bridegroom took a while arriving.  Finally he is seen in the distance and they scramble to ready themselves.  The foolish virgins realize they are out of oil and their lamps have gone out, so they beg the wise virgins for some of their oil but they refuse.  The foolish 5 head back into town to the local wal-mart to grab some more oil but while they are gone they miss the arrival of the bridegroom.  They also miss the beginning of this late night party and are locked out.  

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 Be prepared!  Don’t be found Buck Naked and unprepared!  

How can we (Christ-followers) be prepared?  

Image Sometimes we are like those foolish virgins in Jesus’ story.  We think that we have plenty of time for the matters of the heart.  We think that we can get everything sorted out later when we have more time or when “the time is right”.  So we put off the soul preparation.  You know what I’m talking about.  It is something we don’t often admit to anyone else.  We kind of play around with this thing called faith but we never get too serious about it.  We may dip our toe in it from time to time but we find it quite inconvenient to plunge in to its depths.  

We arm ourselves with short, cute memory verses from the Bible but we don’t actually take the time to dig deeper into those truths.  We know OF Jesus but if we are honest with ourselves there are times that we don’t truly know Him and we wouldn’t be caught dead taking Him home with us or out with our friends.

In essence, we’re completely exposed spiritually and we are unprepared.  

Image we shouldn’t just get prepared because we think the sky is falling, or the world is coming to an end.  

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This kind of fear of God that we’re talking about isn’t about quaking in our boots and digging holes in our backyards in the hopes to hide from Him either.  

We should ready ourselves because we love Him.  We should prepare ourselves because we desire this holy relationship with Him.  We should be wise with how we use our time and the gifts that He has given to us.  

Image don’t be caught buck naked & unprepared!  

-Just a thought!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church, Parable of the Talent, and on faith (Poem)

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Sometimes this life is 

cracked and broken

battered on the sharp 

rocks of bitter tides. 

When feebled burdens

shatter beneath 

malnourished bones of faith

We will find our ways again. 

One day, the dying soul

fighting for breath 

pain riddled

rattled like a doll

from bygone days

shaken, torn and tattered

waged, we this ignorant

war within ourselves.

And now on death beds of

brick and mortar

we wonder why

they do not come,

when etched deep

beneath our fingernails

the splintered boards

of risk and faith, 

the only evidence of 

this remains. 

And here, the series

of the ‘If only’s’ 

occurs.

Regrets tied to

our poor choices

anchored beneath the ice

of human tradition’s grave…

if only we had allowed 

His Spirit, 

we gasp with whispered 

breath, 

but doubt crept in 

and stole our stilted courage

and so we hid our talents deep

when invested we should have done. 

So we exchanged our fortunes

for this solitary one.  

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