Sunday Sheep Pondering – June 19,2016

#sundaysheepponderings

Pondering today on Fathers. Throughout scripture God is portrayed as a man. Jesus takes this a step deeper and portrays Him as Father. (God is spirit and is the fullness or male and female attributes in oneness. Pondering for another day) Some of us have kind earthly fathers and some are cruel. Our personal experience and our religious mindsets can have a critical influence on how we perceive God, the Father. Let’s ponder on these perceptions.
Do you see God as the disciplinarian father in heaven, watching to see if you’ve been naughty or nice? Do you see God as the absentee father, far off and distant and separated from you? Do you see God as the practical father, guiding, correcting, rewarding and treating everyone as they deserve? Do you see God as the doting grandpa that you go to when you want something? 
Is God good? Is God mad? Is God pleased? Is God in Heaven? 
My pondering has led to more questions but only one answer. GOD IS LOVE. My earthly experiences and my faulty theological mindsets may have told me otherwise but they are distorted and warped. They are “truth” according to my opinion. 
If a knowledge and acceptance of Jesus is the only way to heaven…do babies go? How about people with mental illness? How about people who have never heard of Him? Would God create a child in its mothers womb knowing that that child would spend eternity in hell? 
WHAT KIND OF FATHER DO YOU BELIEVE HE IS? 
I am speaking from years of believing things about God that didn’t reveal Him as a good father. I believed things about God that made Him out to be worse than the cruelest earthly fathers. I blindly believed because I was taught by the church AND because rather than ask the hard questions, I was a “good little Christian” and played along. 
Again I ask you, WHAT KIND OF FATHER DO YOU BELIEVE HE IS? 
My pondering has led me to this….God is a father that gives LIFE. He sees every person that HE CREATED through the lens of unconditional love. He doesn’t extend grace to us, GRACE is who He is. He doesn’t extend love to us, LOVE is who He is. He doesn’t just forgive us, He forgets. He doesn’t observe us from a place called heaven, He lives IN us. He didn’t make a mistake when He created us, He said His creation was “VERY GOOD”. He is not watching to see if you are naughty or nice, He has declared you redeemed. He isn’t deciding whether to give you something based on your behavior or your prayers, He has “ALREADY given you everything you need for life and godliness”. He is not fickle, moody, angered or pleased by you, He is steadfast love and acceptance. 
So my friends, maybe some pondering of your own is in order. Maybe on this Father’s Day, you may need to dig a grave and bury your perception of God. Maybe it’s time you met your TRUE Father….He’s the best there is and you are one lucky child! 

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Sunday Sheep Pondering -May 8, 2016

#sundaysheepponderings 

Pondering today on some of the things I’ve learned.
If I could go back 25 years and talk to Wendy …what would I tell her? 

She’s is about to give birth to her first child, excited, nervous, organized, and in control …or so she thinks. She thinks she knows it all and her way is the best way.
Fast forward to 5 children, ages 7 and under, a husband that travels often, and she is a perfectionist. She appears to hold it all together beautifully. Her home is pristine, her children all match and are smart and attractive, her husband is an amazing father and she has lost all her baby weight. On top of that, she home schools. Super woman for sure!
But the reality is…she was barely keeping her head above water.
What would I say to her if I could?
I would say…PLAY more! Enjoy the little people God has placed in your care. Realize that playing is not a lesser activity but the greater.
I would say… LISTEN more! There will be plenty of chances to teach and guide but listening is how you learn. You learn what their hopes and dreams are. You learn how they are uniquely created. You learn who they are and not who you want them to be. 

I would say …SEE ALL THE COLORS, not just black and white. The beauty of this life is found in the different colors, the uniqueness of each soul, of each snowflake, of each sunset. That things are rarely as they appear at first glance or should I say, first judgement. Everyone has a story, that story is worth taking the time to read, so don’t judge a book by its cover.
I would say …FREEDOM is way better than control. Control is an illusion and eventually is exposed for the lie it is. Freedom, on the other hand, is a truth that is always there but sometimes takes a long time to see. Choose the way of freedom early…choose it for yourself and freely share it with others. 

I would say …LOVE is the answer. Life is full of questions and for most of my life, I have thought there is a “right” answer and a “wrong” answer. I was firmly convinced that my way was always the right answer. Now I see that the right answer is always the same…love. This was hard for a perfectionist…to realize everything was not always a neat and tidy package, that life was messy and “right and wrong” made little difference to clean up the messy. However, Love transforms the messy into beautiful. 
I would say …LIVE now. Don’t spend your life looking forward or backward. You have one life on this earth and make the most of it. Do what YOU are created to do, be who YOU are created to be and shine how YOU are created to shine. YOU are who He says you are …His work of art. 
Being a mom teaches you more about the unconditionally, fully exposed and wide open love of God than any book, teacher or preacher ever could …and for that, I am beyond grateful.
Happy Mother’s Day my friends! Love well