Archive for January, 2016


Although Mark Temple understood he was a mere mortal on the new year, he was infinitely more aware of it by April when he got a diagnosis for throat cancer.

“You’re not going to be around forever,” he felt God saying. “I’m not messing around. What do I have to do to get your attention?”

Mark is an intelligent and prosperous man. Spiritual deafness is not part of his character. So what was stalling God’s agenda in his life?

“There were the typical distractions of running a successful business and all the trappings that come along with that,” he said.

As one who has been in the hearing field for a good part of his career, I can tell you that “background noise” is one of the leading motivators for patients to get hearing aids. It’s hard to hear over distractions.

Were there nebulous reasons why God was grabbing him by the collar? On the contrary, Mark was aware of precise works that God had been nudging him about and that made this infraction a bit more serious.

My portal to heaven was thinking on my own spiritual hearing loss and the universality of essentially ignoring God, or at least His timing and urgency.

Oh well, I guess that’s what collars are for.

[to be continued…]

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.’Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh.”Jonah 3:1-3a

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I suffer from being a human – especially when it comes to planning for a new year.

As I look upon sheep and meditate on Psalm 23, I realize that sheep really don’t know where they are going. They are simply led to where they are going. So, it’s one step at a time following a voice command, and occasionally, a gentle or swift poke in the butt.

In a word, they trust.

One morning when I was in Israel, I had some devotional time on what I vaguely remember being the outskirts of Jerusalem. A shepherd was leading some sheep along a hill. But as he got to some rather large bushes, the sheep seemed to disappear into them. It seemed like close to a half hour before he got them out of there, rounded them back up and continued on his journey.

My portal to heaven through that experience and Psalm 23 is that sheep don’t think ahead. They are led. Whether it’s feeding, rest, protection, direction or whatever, they simply rely on their leader.

Millions of us who claim to follow The Good Shepherd could learn a lot from dumb sheep as we plan our year ahead, make intricate goals and envision dreams that we consider so dear to us.

Sheep don't know where they are going - even in Israel.

Sheep don’t know where they are going – even in Israel.

“He leads me…” Psalm 23:2b

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