Dark Water Ranch

  (Ninnekah, Oklahoma)
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Under The Fence

Recently, we have done dramatic changes to the goat/sheep barn. The new design has alleys that have gates and goes to individual stalls and the milk room. Gates mean we can shut off areas that we don’t want anyone going into. However, there are a couple of small kids and one panel that is the wall for milk stall that is high and the little guys can scoot under. Needless to say, I am not so happy with this, and today I am correcting that issue. However, it has made me consider, just how many times do I displease God by making that quick turn to slide under his desires for me. God allows us the right to choose, “free will” you can call it. He does not force us to choose the right path, he doesn’t even force us to choose his son as our Lord and savior. The Bible gives us many scriptures that demonstrate to us our ability to choose. Just a few examples: "...Choose today whom you will serve" ...Joshua 24:15 "...So choose life in order that you may live."... Deuteronomy 30:19 "...Choose good"... Isaiah 7:15 "...You did evil in My sight and chose what displeases Me"... Isaiah 65:12 "...Choose knowledge rather than gold"... Proverbs 8:10 God is good, and he hasn’t given us alleys to travel down without options. But he does hope that we will choose wisely and follow the way he has shown us., the most important being to choose Christ “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 A scripture in John helps me understand my own salvation as I watch and work with my flocks and herds each day. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30 I am so very thankful that God has saved me by grace and yet allows me to choose. Thankful that he is also willing to forgive me when I repent if I have made a poor choice and found my way under that fence. However, I will be taking that choice of under the fence into the milk room away from the goat kids this afternoon!

Just Be Still

I am a shepherd of sorts, because I take care of a small herd of goats. These goats teach me a lot of things, usually things I’d rather not realize about myself. Jesus is my shepherd and often times I can compare things in my life to the relationship that I as shepherd have with these goats. Yesterday was no exception!

Goats always think that things have to taste better on the other side of the fence. After all, surely the things on the other side must be better than what they have so readily accessible on their own side of the fence. It is not uncommon for them to just about anything to get to what they think must be where they should not be. Well yesterday, when I was out in the pasture I heard a faint cry, and looking around I noticed that there was a young kid missing from amongst the herd. A little searching and I found her; she had stuck her head through the field's fence to grab a quick bite of something on the other side. However, her horns trapped her and would not let her slide her head back out of the gap with the same ease it went in.

It should have been easy for me to help her get her head back out of the fence. However, as I reached down to help she began to struggle and fight trying to free herself. This made the whole situation worse. It was about this time I could hear the scripture “ Be still, and know that I am God:” Psalm 46:10. I knew I needed to take a lesson from my little trapped friend. You see, I am not much different than that goat. In the midst of many problems in my life I cry out for God to come save me, yet when I am safely in his hand I still struggle. I can’t just let God do his thing - I have to try handle the situation.

Just like that goat I throw a bigger fit when I am much safer than I was before. I need to stay calm and let God deal with the problem. If the goat would just relax, she would be out of the fence and it would be over with. I need to learn this lesson also: not to fret, worry and ponder over how I am going take care of whatever my anxiety is. I must remember Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

Finally the goat stopped struggling and I popped her head right out and she ran off to rejoin the herd. It was a matter of faith for her to stop and let me do the hard work; the hardest step of all is often the easiest. I must remember Jeremiah 32:27 "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?"

 No, there is nothing that God cannot take care of for me. I must choose to be still.


Meeting of The Minds

I am sure this farm does not run like a well-oiled machine. Matter of fact there seems to be only one thing that every species of animal agrees on around here. Can you guess what that is? That is right F-O-O-D. It always has to be time for food. When is it coming, what are you bringing and it had better be good.

Come to think of it that sounds just like the rest of my family! Okay I am starting think conspiracy. I am destined to either have a bucket or pot in my hand. The universal language then has to be FEED ME!

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