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Under a Nubian Sky

April 13, 2009

It goes without saying that our logical assessment of circumstances is often (usually) contrary to the bigger picture. Not only do we see through a glass darkly concerning the future, we have a very limited view of the present. If we’re not abiding close to the Lord Jesus and consistantly hiding his word in our heart, we may well mis-address or miss completely, a plethura of divine appointments and unwittingly cause scattering as we apply our carnal undertanding to spiritual manuverings. Before going any further, however, I must mention the following link:

GOVERNMENT OF GOD REMARKABLE MIRACLES  This post is long, but a must read for anyone truly desiring to hear from the Lord consistantly. I would recommend a regular visit to Jeralds blog.  

For some time now, I’ve had a perspective concerning our small herd of goats that runs in stark contrast to that of my wife and Megan. (Megan will be 16 on April 19. She desires to attend Michigan State University and pursue a degree in vetrinary science) Personally, I like goats and Nubians are particularly fascinating as they generally have a “corny” demeanor. Unfortunately, however, they take up a lot of time and are somewhat costly. To actually turn a profit with goats, one must have a colossal herd; the size of which our meager two acres cannot support. So it’s basically a 4H project / hobby. As a result, I see an ever-enlarging project that eats up finances and takes up time; both of which I would prefer to employ in the furtherance of the gospel. Our younger son Ryan, who turns 11 years old today, (happy birthday dude) is more neutral on the issue. My wife and Megan, however, thoroughly love having them and never consider the cost of maintaining the herd.

And I just unwittingly swerved into a point that wasn’t planned. When something is truly important to us, the cost becomes a non-factor. Nor will we “give for the sole purpose of receiving.” That’s a topic for a later time; one that I dare not tackle on my own.

So the clash of kindoms that goes on 24/7 under our roof carries over to the barn as contrasting itineraries are in play. It’s an area where I need continual attitude adjusting and this morning was no exception. I had desires of attending to other things, but was hindered by the morning chores which now take a considerable amount of time and, because of my second shift schedule, cause a profound lack of sleep during the week. Yet in that time this morning, not only was I only able to fellowship with the Lord, I had an epiphany, as it were, while milking Boo-Ton. (I did not name the goat) We often hear it told that Jesus would have gone to the cross to save a single person from hell. Yet we fail to look at things in the same way when it comes to reaching the lost. We want numbers. My wife is a single priceless soul and I stand in doubt as to whether or not she is in the household of faith. Rebelling against the goat project could well end in this family being dissolved. The fallout of such could result in everyone else in my household being hardened to the gospel.

My family situation is incredibly complex; to the point that I cannot wrap my mind around the whole of it. Souls are in the balance, my wife and I have contrasting interests leading to contrasting signals given to the kids, our oldest son (Matthew) has autism and, our oldest daughter (Morgan) wants to live in the basement with her boyfriend (Dustin) so that they can just “hang out” with absolutely no responsibilities. I’m consistantly made out to be the bad guy for not allowing fornication under this roof. Morgan and Dustin are two more souls hanging in the balance and it often seems that everything I say or do concerning their situation is the wrong move. In short, trying to figure it all out on our own is kind of like trying to study the Andromeda galaxy with a magnifying glass. We cannot possibly see the bigger picture as all of these little kindoms jockey for position.  We don’t see the intensive spiritual battles ongoing, nor do we see the hidden cogitations of another.

On the surface, we’ll oftentimes not see the way in which the Holy Spirit is gently working on the heart of another. When the performance has concluded and the costume is removed for the day. When nobody else is stirring, in the quiet of a sleepless night. Truths heard aforetime are brought to rememberance and a decision is required. “Do I embrace this undeniable revelation or drown it out with a hastily assembled array of vain thoughts?  Surely time is a limited commodity. What about eternity? What about……where will I be?…….Where will I be when my time here is finished?” It was on a number of such sleepless nights that I began to realize that I needed a relationship with God. At the right moment, he brought me to faith in Jesus Christ who paid for my sins with his own innocent blood.

It may well require that I quietly endure the work and expenses associated with our small herd of Nubians (and two Lamanchas) as to not cause irreversable scattering. Plant seed whenever I can and allow God to be God. (We don’t always like to do this. Too often we want to jump in and steady the ox cart) It may well be that more souls will come to Jesus from my faithfully tending to goats than from all of the trips into the streets of Kalamazoo. We just don’t see the bigger picture as God sees it. He sees the end from the beginning, knows the hearts of every soul around us, knows our hearts better than we do, and loves us on a level that we cannot even begin to fathom. We never know when an endeavor which seems completely pointless to us may result in an entire block being added to the new Jerusalem. So as I was finishing up Boo-Ton I was praying, Lord if it takes more goats to bring my family to Jesus, so be it.”

I’m convinced that the Lord has a sense of humor because we have more baby goats this year than we ever expected; thereby taking up aditional time and resources. lol I probably needed this.

I Corinthians 13:4-7 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

When we begin to consider the eternal perspective, those things which “get in the way of our plan” become as nothing. We abide close to the Lord Jesus with an increased understanding of what it means to love not our own lives in this world. To be dead to self and alive unto Christ; even if this means occasionally being engaged in seemingly pointless endeavors. (This does not mean engaging in that which leads to the pacifying of the three lusts or the compromising of the gospel; one must be very careful in this area. The popular concept of resembling the world in order to win them to Jesus is dangerous) I tend to often emphasize the peace of God that will keep us in the midst of unimaginable turmoil. The peace of God can also withstand the seemingly irrelevant tasks. There is no physical profit to our small herd of goats, but maintaining a good testimony and not shaking things up that don’t need to be shaken is imperative and may well cause others to realize that “my Jesus is real.” 

Well, it’s time to close. This was not the intended topic for this morning; it came up….while tending to the Nubians. (And two Lamanchas) The Lord knows the desires of my heart; that being more time to be about spreading the gospel. More trips to Kalamazoo and Elkhart with an occasional venture into Chicago. Increased activity in my own area as well. He knows the whole situation and knows every element of the short work that he’s doing in these final hours. We just have to “let God be God.” I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.

Psalm 37:3-4 “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
Ecclesiastes 7:8 “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
II Timothy 2:24-26 “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
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16 comments

  1. Timbob, home can be the hardest place to be effective. May God bless you as you lay aside your own will for the sake of your family on matters that can be compromised without compromising your faith.


  2. Timbob,

    I thought about Acts 1:8 as I read this post. Jesus told his disciples that after they received the Holy Ghost, they would receive power to be witnesses for Him, and the first place He mentions is in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the place where they currently were. I believe God would have us to be witnesses for him first where we are at presently, our homes. Like Beyond Bluestockings says, sometimes that can seem like the hardest place to be effective. Our families see us closer than anybody, which means they can observe our faults and shortcomings. However, if we’re praying for those in our household and seeking to be our best for Jesus, God can use us to be lights to our families. I pray God will do a great work in your family, as you continue to pray for them and strive to do what is right.


  3. Timbob, you certainly are to be envied. There are many who would ask how you maintain your state of mind while being drawn into chaos.
    It seems to me that what ever you wanted to say, the Lord did a really good job of saying it for you.
    And I think you’re right. The Lord knows what’s in your heart.
    By the way, it was folks like you who got me through a hard time when I was little and couldn’t drink cow’s milk. Can you make cheese out of it too? Put the kids to churning. That’ll take their mind off the world. 😉


  4. Timbob,

    My prayers go to you and your family….with all those goats!….My daughter came back home, and brought her cats with her…I thought that was enough work, since they are into everything, and leave claw marks everywhere.

    But the goats do seem like a healthy project. At least they give milk. Our cats do nothing.


  5. Hi beyondbluestockings. It’s indeed a wrestling and takes continual vigilance. For example, if a trip to Kalamazoo is planned, but I.m either not prayed up as I should be or have just been out of sorts, it’s easy to just not go. This doesn’t work at home. If I have a tantrum, everybody sees it.

    Like about a year ago. I don’t remember what it was, but something set me off in an uncharacteristic fashion. I looked into the living room and Ryan was watching. I replied “I’m sorry; I’m just having a tantrum.” Ryan, in his normal sarchastic fashion, responded with “ok; I’ll make some popcorn.”

    This humorous exchange has become a running joke between us. Whenever something gets to me, we go back to this moment and jokingly rehearse it. So in effect, the outburst has led to a more diligent watching of my attitude.

    Thanks so much for dropping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  6. Hi Carol. The home is definately the most challenging environment when contrasting kingdoms occupy territory within. And at the same time, it makes one stronger as they must be more diligent and be ever aware of the devices that the enemy will employ to gain an advantage. Looking back, I can see so many instances where it appeared that this household would dissolve. Times when a simple reaction could have blown it apart.

    Then there’s my own imaginations that add fuel to the fire. In the extremely trying times, I would find myself thinking, “if this dissolves, think of all the time that you would have to go into the streets. (This will sound nutty, but I’m more at home in the streets proclaiming the gospel than anywhere else in the world) But this is a selfish attitude and bypasses the concern for the souls of those under this roof. If this family fell apart and it resulted in my children being lost….this would be unbearable.

    The Lord is doing a work and while I see a partial picture, he has the whole thing under control. Praise God for the work that he’s doing in this place. Ryan wants to go out and help pass out tracts. Sometimes I do this on a bicycle in areas where people are more scattered and he just got a new bike for his birthday. I have not brought this up to my wife yet. She’s fearful of some of the areas that I go into; let alone her youngest going along. To further complicate matters, a while back, a man was shot while riding a bike in Kalamazoo.

    Thanks so much for dropping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  7. Hi Jerald. It goes without saying that without Jesus we can do nothing. Every day I feel like I’m in a situation that’s beyond me. (And it is beyond me) Yet the Lord is doing a work. As for goat cheese, I love the stuff, but do not know how to make it. I’m thinking of finding out from Vicky (the 4H leader) She can make anything from goat; including a delicious goat chili.

    Thanks for stopping by. The post linked to at the top is incredible. Thanks. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  8. Hi Marriane. Thanks so much for the prayers. I sometimes think that the biggest obstacle here is my own attitude when things go awry. So important it is to maintain our testimony and be good ambassadors for Jesus.

    As for cats; they don’t do a lot, other than stay clean, but we have two and they don’t cause any problems. Goats may well be an asset when it all goes down. Although I have no intentions of allowing them to be chipped; this is a line in the sand for me. There are illuminati inspired plans in play to chip all livestock, and thereby controlling the food supply. Most people hear such things and the Twilight Zone theme begins playing in their head, but this is a very real situation as their plans are being put in play. We’ve already received letters telling us of our need to comply.

    I wasn’t planning to go into the conspiracy side of things, but these are strange times. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  9. Hey, I finally found you. I’ve been praying for you. Have you ever heard of international Goat Days in Millington Tn? I love your blog. Watch out for those cats.


  10. HI Bro Al. Thanks for stopping by. I’m just heading off to work but will get back with you as soon as possible. Thanks for getting in touch! We only have 2 cats and I’ll bring them down. lol Seriously; it would be really awesome to get together sometime. It’s been…..20 years? I’ll give you a cell phoine number when I can.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  11. I can relate to the “challenging environment when contrasting kingdoms occupy territory within.”

    Oftentimes it is like I am speaking a different language. When you view life and the world with an eternal perspective, those with scales over their eyes, just cannot comprehend the page you are on. My husband often looks at me like I am off the planet! I can hear him say “Here she goes again!” 😛 I am greatful that he has been brought up in a christian home, and has a knowledge of true christianity. He is by no means against it and has taken reasonable steps toward Christ at times.

    Thank you, Timbob, for sharing about yourself and your family, it is always a pleasure getting to know you better. 🙂


  12. Hi five peas. It’s by far the greatest challenge when there are those at home who don’t grasp spiritual matters. It’s som imperative to keep them in prayer and know that God is the one who opens blinded eyes. meanwhile, we just keep being a city set upon a hill. Kimberly has definately softened in some areas.

    Thanks so much for dropping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  13. Timbob,

    I am very delinquent with this comment. I wanted to tell you how blessed I was by the link regarding Bevington. I had never heard of this man but was very interested in knowing more about him. I immediately ordered the book, and unable to wait for it to arrive, consulted Google for an online copy (which I did indeed find). All I can say is that it has made a tremendous impact on my life. After searching a bit I was able to find some writings from other men who were somewhat contemporary with Bevington and I feel like I have stumbled upon a hidden treasure. It has been like having a glimpse into the book of Acts and what a hunger it has provoked in my own heart for holiness of life and purity of heart.

    So I just wanted to tell you thank you and let you know this has impacted my life.


  14. Hey, Thimbob
    International Goats Days in Millington Tn has been scheduled for the weekend of 11Sept. It wil be be scaled back some this year. The guy who started the event went home to be with the Lord, and his Kids decided to have a small scale version of the event. Let me if you want to bring the family down. It’s strickly a family oriented event. with lots of opportunties for soul winning.(the primary purpose of the event.) Bring your goats with you.


  15. Hi Irene: Thanks for calling me back to this post. I reread the post on Jeralds site and with the way the past three days have been going, it was just what I needed. We so desperately a closeness with the Lord as is told of here. Such accounts cause me to be all the more determined to let go of everything that’s superficial and seek a deeper walk with Jesus.

    Thanks. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  16. Hi Bro. Al. I’m going to pray about this because it would definately be interesting to attend such an event. I’ve wanted to get down there for a long time and this may be a way to get the rest of the household on board. I’ll keep you posted on developments on this end.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.

    timbob



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