Friday, November 30, 2012

Cyber Week

    I'm  LOOKING for the PERFECT DEAL that really STANDS OUT!!
    Cyber week has become a recent phenomenon & a new trend  in shopping during the holidays. It offers the opportunity to shop conveniently, without leaving the comfort of Ewer home.

I Love Cyber Week! I sit at home eating "bon-bons" while getting the best deals!
I SO won't miss the lines at the malls!
Sheep were somewhat resistant to embracing this new way of shopping. Sheep are creatures of habit! Learning how to use the computer was very difficult for the older generation to accept.

I hate computers! I refuse to put my personal information on line!

Some sheep continued to shop the old-fashioned way, & were stubbornly proud of it! Besides, they neither had the time nor the interest in learning how the computer works.

Ewe are not going to change my mind! My parents shopped locally & so will I!
The younger generation of sheep had to lead the charge into new technology. They were taught computer skills in their local schools & picked it up quite handily. So much so, that they ran circles around their parents & grandparents!

Could ewe please get me an I- pad? I promise I'll use it for educational purposes!
Oh MOM, please let me show EWE how to shop from HOME?
Just as in previous generations, there is a mad rush to get the latest & the greatest of gadgets by the younger generation, They rush everywhere for the best deals! However, there are some that choose to avoid the crowds. They even teach some of their parents how to shop "on-line" during Cyber Week! Imagine that!

Quick! Ewe know they only have 100 in stock!
When it comes to getting "DEALS", EWE have to be "Outstanding" in Ewer field!
The only thing constant about life is change. As Ewe embrace that reality today, rest in the steady hand of Ewe-r Good Shepherd! He will bring calm into any chaos Ewe may face today!

"For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer. 29:11

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bah Humbug to Stress!

As Ewe approach the holiday season, it can become increasing more difficult for a sheep to maintain its proper focus. Following, is a potential  list of "Stressful" situations to avoid. First, there's the stress of "Over-eating". So many treats, so little time, what is a sheep to do?  Are Ewe going to have to join "Weight Watchers" again?

 Another stress Ewe are likely to encounter are "Unexpected Guests". It seems almost inevitable that someone will appear at ewe-r doorstep. Ewe always do have the option of not answering the bell! 
If ewe don't open; "I'll Huff & I'll Puff & I'll Blow the Door Down"!
 The third stress to avoid is "Traffic"! It seems that wherever Ewe go, there are several cars following. Besides that, once Ewe reach Ewer destination, Ewe also have a parking spot to find! 

Give me some space! We all need to find a parking spot!

 The next stress Ewe have to avoid, are the "Long Lines"!  Ewe are in such a hurry to get everything done, & find ewer-self  waiting in line to buy ewe-r gifts. It reminds Ewe of when Ewe first took ewe-r family to Disney World. That memory can drive Ewe to the edge!

When do Ewe think we'll actually get into the store? I'm getting cold!
The last stress to avoid, for today, are the "Neighbor's Loud Parties" during the holidays. How are the little lambs going to get to sleep, with the neighbors loudly hooting & howling next door? Ewe could speak with them, but it may lead to a dangerous confrontation.
"It's Ewe, Baby,It's Ewe, Baby,"  that I'm Dreaming about!
It seems that juggling all these "stresses" would be too much for a sheep to handle on its own. It would be similar to an elephant trying to walk on a tightrope! Just how ridiculous would that be?

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
 The holiday season will bring its added stress to Ewe, too! The best solution for that stress, is praying for His peace. Look to the Good Shepherd, the Prince of Peace, to diffuse the stress for Ewe!

"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You." Is. 26:3

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Just want to be a Sheep,Baaa,Baaa.!

Sheep are one of the first animals to be domesticated . Studying sheep uncovers some fascinating parallels that connect them closely with humans. The Bible refers to the followers of Christ as sheep close to 500 times! See if Ewe can observe why.

Ewe will love me the more ewe get to know me! Ewe can take that to the bank!
A typical sheep family has different names.The mother is known as a Ewe & she raises the family. The father is known as a Ram & is very uninvolved with family life, except for the mating season.
The baby sheep are known as lambs. They strongly bond with their mother, upon giving birth to 1-3 kids, following a 3- month labor.
Ewe must know by now that I love my Mommy!
 Lambs are born very independent & display a real curiosity! As they grow, they begin to better understand the "pecking order" of the flock.They must learn to submit to the "Dominant Ewe", if they hope to survive peacefully in the flock!
I'm one "Baa..D" Mama !  Don't ewe mess with me!
 Sheep Are very social animals & will form friendships in small groups. Sheep, by nature, are very timid & easily frightened.The biggest reason they flock together, though, is for protection from predators like wolves, coyotes, bears, & cougars.

Did ewe know that I feel much safer in a crowd? Is there a convention going on?
Sheep are very nervous animals & have a "Flight Zone", which is a comfortable space or distance they like to keep between themselves & other sheep.This is why shepherds are able to effectively use  dogs to herd sheep. If ewe invade their "bubble", it's time to run!

Shh! I'm hoping they won't notice me right away!
 Sheep are fascinating creatures.They rely on a keen sense of smell & hearing, however, have poor eyesight & depth perception.When grazing, they prefer to face into the wind, & will always run toward the light, instead of the shadows. They really are at their best when the Shepherd is present & on their radar.That is when they are most content, under the loving protection & care of their Shepherd.
I'm one happy camper, as long as my Shepherd is near!
 Today is a great opportunity to enjoy life as one of His sheep.Trust that the Good Shepherd has His eye on all the details of Ewe'r day!

"I am the good shepherd.The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." Jn.10:11

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Sheep Shopper's Guide

During the Thanksgiving & Christmas season, Ewe will encounter all types of shoppers! First, Ewe will meet the "Bargain" shopper. "Bargain" shopping sheep are the type Ewe will see camping outside the store for days! It's all about the thrill of the bargain.

Are we there yet? Ewe have to let me in. It's been 5 days out here!

 Another shopper ewe may encounter is the "Sophisticated" shopper! These shoppers are easy to  recognize. They are dressed to the hilt & are looking  to purchase a "Quality"  gift. 

I got these high heels at Macy's in New York!
While shopping, Ewe might also bump into the "Angry" shopper. The "Angry" shopper doesn't want to shop at all! He wonders why we even have holidays like Christmas & Thanksgiving! Sheep should avoid this shopper!

Did ewe know that I can't "Bear" slow cashiers!  I'm not in the mood for waiting!
Our next shopper is the "Browser".The "Browser" is not interested in buying anything, however, will think about it! Browsers are somewhat miserly, having cobwebs in their wallets due to a lack of use! Browsers normally have difficulty buying for others.

Just Looking! Ewe know I can't spend anything on someone other than Myself!
 Our next shopper is the "Happy" shopper! The "Happy" shopper was born to shop! They love everything about shopping!They could even use the mall as a forwarding address for their mail!

I've got the Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart!And I'm so Happy,so very Happy!

 Our final shopper is the 'Thoughtful" shopper! The "Thoughtful" shopper sees shopping somewhat differently.They are enthralled
 with Jesus, the real "Reason for the Season". They see shopping as a way to express their grattitude to those they know & love.

It's all about Jesus! Besides, God loves a cheerful giver!

As Ewe approach this holiday season, be mindful to keep Ewer focus on Jesus! Why not invite the Good Shepherd to go shopping with Ewe!

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, ad they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated , "God with us"."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sheep Talk!

Sheep aren't always the most discerning tools in the shed! Naive & unsuspecting , they often choose to hang out with the wrong friends.The flip side of this mistake, is that ewe will only make it  once! Ewe-r new friend will make sure of that!

Sheep always fall for the proverbial "Wolf in Sheep's clothing."
Sheep are interesting critters that can get themselves into a host of situations. Some sheep actually carry an extra load in life that they were never intended to carry! This will tend to handicap them unnecessarily.

What are Ewe looking at? I'm just trying to pull my own weight!
 Some sheep find themselves in tough situations which require additional assitance.Times like these truly try one's soul! Ewe can hardly bear it!

This shade is refreshing! Do ewe think we should head back soon?

 Sheep will sometimes wander away from the flock on a little exploratory trip. All of a sudden,without warning, one wrong move can put ewe between a rock & a hard place! (as the expression goes)

Houston! We have a problem!
Sheep are aware of a neighbor's grazing lands & at times seek to graze there.They long for the grass that is just beyond their reach. Ewe might say they become "Green with Envy"!

Ewe better hurry & find a way out before the Shepherd finds out!
Sheep do better when they follow their leader. Shepherds are capable of providing everything a sheep needs.Occasionally,they have a mental lapse & like to stray.The problem is that their curiosity of the unknown,( Manholes) can land them in a tight spot!

If only I had taken a course in "Sign" language!!How about showing a little compassion?  
 Today, as Ewe face the various" predicaments" that life presents, look to the Good Shepherd for His wisdom & solutions. He desires to help His sheep!

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all." Ps. 34:19

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What a Coot!

The American Coot, alias "mud hen" or "rice hen", is a unique North American waterfowl that's quite entertaining! The coot is distinctively, the only white-billed bird with a frontal shield, fire red eyes, & a slate coloring in the U.S. The coot also has feet that are unique, having lobed toes that enable it to step lightly on the drifting vegetation & mud of the marshes it inhabits.
Do ewe think I have an anger problem because my eyes are bright red?
 The Coot is a member of the Rail family & shares its namesake with the informal term for an "eccentric or crotchety" old man! The coot's crazy antics have also given it the distinct title of  "Clown of the Pond". American Coots are extremely vocal, using a clucking call that sounds like a chicken & duck combo. Coots can also literally "walk on water", thus getting a running start into the air!
Peter became famous for walking on water, but nobody's asked me for my autograph!
 During mating season, coots become very territorial,  fighting for their mate & holding a tight rein on their boundaries. Any intruders will be met with swift resistance, knowing that this may be the only chance he'll have in securing a female mate! Once victorious,the female will choose to stay or leave.If she stays, she's a mate for life.  

Do Ewe believe my "Nest Egg" turned out to be a brood of whiny kids!
Coots are very involved parents, starting with building their nests.They are meticulous builders, using only dry reeds & brushes to form a mound up to 8 in. above the water.The nest is anchored near the water's edge to prevent drifting.The female then begins laying her 8-12 eggs & the 3-week incubating process commences. 
The male vigorously protects the nest, ensuring successful births!

We learned to swim our first day in the water! Our PARENTS taught us!
 The American Coot, although not mentioned specifically in the Bible, applies the principle of unity revealed in the Scriptures. When threatened, they all flock together, huddled in one tight band. It proves to be the most effective defense against any dangerous assaults of an enemy, such as a hawk! 

Don't ewe think humans could benefit more from "togetherness"? It really works!

Sheep also flock together for safety. Usually quite defenseless alone, they understand the need to band together for greater protection against a common enemy!The Shepherd assists them by leading them to safe pastures, however, they instinctively flock together for the common good.

Ewe either," Hang together, or ewe'll hang separately"!
Today , as Ewe face Ewe-r day, look to the Good Shepherd to give Ewe unity of heart. mind, & spirit! Together, Ewe can face anything!

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Ps. 133:1

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Blues!

The Black Panther is known as a member of the "Big Cats" family & is native to Africa, Asia, & the Americas. Black Panthers are not a separate species. They are associated together with  any black feline of the "Big Cats", in particular, Jaguars, & Leopards. They are all considered to be on the "Endangered" list today because of the increasing decline in their numbers.

"Why Grandma,what big teeth ewe have!"
Panthers are elusive & powerful, having emerald green eyes, small heads, & slightly longer hind legs than front. They are routinely dark brown or black in color.The Florida panther is lighter in color, & is an exception to the norm. Panthers are considered to be one of the largest cats in the world, & are among the few cats that roar!

Ewe will rarely see me until it's too late! My jaws are more powerful than a locomotive!

Seldom seen by people, the Panther operates best in the cover of darkness! Nocturnal & solitary, panthers prefer to "shop" for food at night, where they can operate relatively unnoticed! They are known to be excellent climbers, & spend their days resting in trees, on the lookout for unsuspecting prey! Their grocery list includes wart hogs, antelope, wild boars, tapirs, deer, rabbits, & birds.

Ewe better listen for my growl, because I'm on the prowl!
Agile, cautious, & incredibly intelligent, the Panther is one of the most feared animals of the forest! Panthers possess sharp claws & are able to leap up to 20 feet! They also are able to run up to 40 mph & are not an animal to"tango" with! Panthers are aggressively territorial, having little contact with she panthers, except for mating purposes. A mother stays with her 1-4 cubs until they're about 2 yrs.old & able to hunt independently.

We are so cute that predators want to just "eat us up" while mom is out to the grocery store!

While the strengths of the Panther are noteworthy, sheep avoid the cougar, which is a close relative! Sheep rely on their keen sense of hearing & smell to avoid being eaten by the cougar! Fortunately, they are not alone in their struggle, but have a reliable Shepherd, who goes to battle on their behalf!

Even though we really admire Black Panthers, our Shepherd is still #1!

 As Ewe engage in Ewe-r day, be aware that Ewe-r enemy is on the prowl, looking for some Black Friday bargains! Look to the Good Shepherd to protect & lead Ewe to His sanctuary of  "Best Buys" !

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."1Pet.5:8

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Let's Talk Turkey!

The Eastern Turkey can be traced back to the Spanish early explorations of North America in the 1500's. The Spanish took some back home & domesticated them, where they spread quickly throughout Europe, eventually reaching England. Strangely enough, one century later, the English brought this domesticated turkey back to America as a source of food. The wild turkey is more streamlined than the domesticated bird, yet remains the largest game bird in North America .

"Big Bird" should take some lessons from me! Ewe know I would "Gobble" him up!
The wild turkey family all have different names. The male is called a tom or a gobbler, weighing between 25-35 lbs. on average & standing at 4 ft. tall. The female is called a hen & weighs 8-14 lbs. & is the same height as the male.Young male turkeys are known as jakes & are about half the size as adults, weighing 15-20 pounds. Baby turkeys are called poults & are tan & brown at birth.

Do Ewe think it might be time for a "Life -Style Lift"!
Wild Turkeys display the amazing character trait known as
"availability"! This trait  enables them to ensure that the next generation will be strong enough to survive the difficult conditions they will have to face. A dominant male turkey illustrates this trait during the mating ritual. First,  he gobbles very loudly, which can be heard up to a mile away! He does this to announce to both challengers & females, that he is the "top turkey" in that territory!Challengers will soon appear & he will battle until there are no challengers remaining.Then, he makes himself available to the females for the next 3-4 weeks, until all the mating takes place & all the eggs are laid.

How do ewe think we can get more people to eat "Ham" on Thanksgiving?
 The male demonstrates availability by "carving out" the necessary time to meet the immediate demands, which will promote the health of the offspring in the next generation! The 8-12 eggs will incubate for 26 -28 days, & upon hatching, will leave the nest & be searching for food with their mother within 24 hours.

 We're passing on a double line! I don't want to see ewe "Run" down & "Tired" out!
Wild Turkeys have some fun & interesting facts to strut! Did ewe know that Ben Franklin liked the Turkey better than the Eagle for the National symbol? Also, since 1947, the President is presented with 2 dressed turkeys & a live turkey by the National Turkey Foundation! The President "pardons" the live turkey, allowing it to live the rest of its days on a historical farm. Also, the "Turkey Trot" is a ballroom dance named for the short, jerky turkey steps. Finally, did ewe know that wild turkeys sleep in trees; can see in color; have poor night vision; grow beards; fly 55 mph for short distances; run 20 mph; & have 3500 feathers when they mature ?Turkeys are amazing creatures! 

Pardon me, but are ewe going to find out the winner is this year's White House Lottery!
 Sheep don't get as anxious about celebrating Thanksgiving as they do about celebrating Easter with the Passover Lamb! Sheep are very thankful that they have a Shepherd available to them, who willingly devotes whatever time that is necessary, for the future welfare of the flock.

Ewe can count on me! I'm available for whatever ewe need!
 As Ewe celebrate Thanksgiving & reflect upon His goodness, offer up a prayer of appreciation for the Good Shepherd & His constant "availability" to Ewe! Happy Thanksgiving!

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over." Ps.23:5