Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

I ditched the lake and decided to visit a different local park today.

Grabbing my camera, I hoped to find something unique to photograph.

I took some lovely pictures - the early morning sun filtering through a dense grove of trees, flowers, and a leaf that was a mixture of intense red and burnt orange - a harbinger of the season to come.

As I rounded a corner, the trees fell away and I found myself facing a large open field filled with dozens of geese.

Here in New Jersey, the Canadian goose is practically the state bird. They are ubiquitous. Hundreds of them often cover the surface of Mercer Lake, the backdrop for this blog. 

But these weren't Canadian geese. This was a gaggle of plain, old, white and grey geese. Ordinary, yet not something I ordinarily see, so I stopped to snap some pictures and observe them a bit.

They were noisy!

One trumpeted his displeasure as another invaded his territory. 

Wings flapped.

Heads and necks bobbed and weaved.

This group made their presence known and on the whole, they were not happy campers. 

Then I noticed...her.

Right in the middle of the raucous scene was a young deer.

She didn't engage the geese in their squabbles. She simply and quietly munched on her breakfast of grass, content to just be.

As soon as I spied her, the old Sesame Street ditty popped into my head. 

One of these things is not like the others. 
One of these things just doesn't belong. 
Can you tell which thing is not like the others, 
By the time I finish my song?

Today I'd like you to consider this thought.

Are you like the others? 

Or do you and your actions stand out from the crowd?

We all want to belong. We all want to be accepted. It's a natural, human desire. But as Christians, we are different - at least, we should be. 

Do you live your life in such a way that you are easily identifiable as a Christian? Or are you afraid of what that difference might cost you with friends and family?

Mark 8:38 states "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in His Father's glory with the holy angels." 

That's the higher cost. Human acceptance cannot begin to compete with Holy acceptance. There aren't enough riches in this world to make it worth selling yourself short of the next one.

The world is a boisterous, noisy, gaggle of geese. 

Everyone is honking to be heard. Flapping their wings and bobbing their heads in an effort to gain the upper hand.

As a deer, don't try to be a goose. Instead, live among the geese while exhibiting your deer-like qualities.

John 17:15-18 (NIV) states "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world."

And the Living Bible translation of 1 Peter 2:12 says this: Be careful how you behave among your unsaved neighbors; for then, even if they are suspicious of you and talk against you, they will end up praising God for your good works when Christ returns.

It's okay that one of these things is not like the others. We should aspire to be that thing...that deer in the midst of geese...that Christian living a godly life in an adulterous and sinful generation. God will be glorified and you will be blessed.

As you strive to be the deer in the midst of the gaggle, how can I pray for you? 

You can leave your request in the comments.