One Lost Lamb

good shepherdHave been thinking about the parable of the shepherd who left the 99 to search for the ONE lost lamb. I think there are beautiful truths still left uncovered in this passage. What did the lamb do to be saved? Did he repent? If so, what led him to repentance?

Here’s what I am seeing….First he did NOTHING except run away, put himself in danger, risk starvation and loneliness. In this story, the only action I see in on the part of the Savior (Shepherd). The Shepherd left the 99 and searched for the one. The Shepherd picked him up. The Shepherd lay him across His shoulders. The Shepherd rejoiced at finding him. Sooo, again…what exactly did the lamb do??? The lamb did nothing except surrender to being carried. Nothing but submit to the strong but gentle grip of the Shepherd. Nothing but let go of the restlessness that had driven him to wander in the first place. The lamb did nothing except perhaps nuzzle in close enough to smell the familiar sweet scent of his Savior and hear His heartbeat racing with the flutter of excitement at finding His precious lamb!

And I ask you, is it not THAT very love so freely given, without merit or good works, that leads all of us to repentance?? Is it not in the sweet moment of relishing in the safety and warmth of the gentle grip of our Savior that leads us to regret our actions? Is it not in that moment when His love for us is realized that we want to make changes and start anew??
Roman 2:4

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Weeble Wobbles and Failing Forward

Are you a child of the 70’s like me?? Did you ever play with Weebles?? We called them “Weeble Wobbles” Remember the slogan from tv?? “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”?

weeble-wobble1

Wikipedia defines Weebles as children’s roly-poly toys shaped like eggs with a weight at the fat, or bottom end, they wobble when pushed, but never fall completely over. How funny is that??? I feel like a Weeble Wobble…roly-poly and weighted at my fat end! I wobble when pushed but NEVER fall completely over!! Mind you, I belive I have kissed the earth on a few of those wobbles, but never stayed down!

One of my all time fav authors, Dr. John C. Maxwell recently wrote an article entitled “Failing Forward” that really struck a chord with me.

He told how Vincent Van Gogh failed as an art dealer, flunked his entrance exam to theology school, and was fired by the church. He also explained that Albert Einstein was expelled from school and even failed his college entrance exam!!! I couldn’t believe it when I read that Michael Jordan was cut from his sophomore basketball team!! WOW! Some would say these guys were FAILURES!! Thank the Lord their stories didn’t end there…..And neither does mine!!!! In a failing economy I was recently layed off from my job. (I definitely wobbled then!) But I can’t let that become who I am! Maxwell goes on to say that “failure didn’t stop Vincent Van Gogh from painting, Albert Einstein from theorizing, or Michael Jordan from playing basketball, but it has paralyzed and prevented countless others from reaching their potential.” I will not be paralyzed by my latest encounter!!! Will you??? What has happened in your life lately that has made you feel like a failure?? Made you feel like you are wobbling? Like your little weeble self might not wobble back upright? Will you let this event define “who” you are??? NOT ME!!! Maxwell goes on to say: “In the face of adversity, shortcomings, and rejection, they (achievers)hold onto self-believe and refuse to see themselves as failures.”

Maxwell gives seven principles for “Failing Forward”

Reject Rejection
I will not base my self-worth on my performance. I will maintain a healthy self-image.(ooops…does that mean no more roly-poly/fat end jokes??) I will learn from my mistakes!

Don’t Point Fingers
If I blame and point fingers at others I become a victim!! I will take personal responsibility for my decisions!! I am no one’s victim!!!

See Failure as Temporary
I am not permanently stuck in the current failure! It is TEMPORARY!!
I will not wallow in failure, I WILL look forward to success. Maxwells words: “By putting mistakes into perspective, achievers are able to see failure as a momentary event, not a symptom of a lifelong epidemic.” Now that’s just good….

Set Realistic Expectations
Unrealistic goals doom people to failure…… nuff said…chew on that for a minute!

Focus on Strengths
Don’t invest time on trying to change your flaws while not spending time investing in your strengths. I love how Maxwell sums this up: “You’re built to give your talents to the world; be diligent about finding expressions for them in your career.”

Vary Approaches to Achievement
“In the Psychology of Achievement, Brian Tracy writes about four millionaires who made their fortunes by age 35. On average, these achievers were involved in 17 businesses before finding the one that took them to the top. They kept trying and changing until they found something that worked.”

Bounce Back
I will have a short memory when it comes to my failures!! I will not let the memories of my mistakes eat away at my self confidence!! I will quickly forget the negative emotions of setbacks and press forward resiliently. I will remember that the past can not be altered but I can learn from it!!

Maxwell sums up his article with this:

“I believe it’s nearly impossible for any person to believe he or she is a failure and move forward at the same time. For those who have been downsized, let go, or bankrupted, the temptation may be to internalize failure. My hope is that anyone who has suffered setbacks recently will be able to separate life’s unfortunate events from their self-worth. Failure, like death and taxes, will happen. Your response to failure holds the key to your future.”

Wow! Has he been readin’ my mail, or what!?? Couldn’t have come at a better time!!
Just remember if we are like those little Weebles and just keep bouncing back, with good attitudes and belief in ourselves we too can wobble back upright!!!

Till Next Time!