Farms Don’t Have Dinosaurs

I don't like what I am hearing!

I don’t like what I am hearing!

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching,

 but having itching ears they will accumulate

 for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”

(2 Timothy 4:3; ESV)

I heard a prodigious scream. It meant one of the children had been hurt, or was about to be. After dodging a yellow Tyrannosaurus rex flying into the hallway, I arrived in their room to discover that a death threat had, for the moment, not yet been executed; no blood was splattered on the wall. Whew! As with most siblings’ perpetual disagreements, this squabble had circumvented toddler-aged common sense and stuck its nose in the middle of a normally quiet Saturday morning.

Traditional Farm Animals

Traditional Farm Animals

~VS~

Non-Traditional Farm    Animals

Non-Traditional Farm Animals

My youngest and more traditional son was playing farm. He had his cows, horses, and chickens lined up inside the plastic-fenced corral next to the barn.  His older brother is a bit more creative and decided he would bring a colorful array of plastic dinosaurs to the farm. So, without asking or even discussing the idea, he proceeded to place the prehistoric icons right in the middle of the corral. After all, the more animals the more fun they would have, right? It would only benefit the farm.

In revisiting this nostalgic flashback, I realized that by the time I had reached their room a great battle over right and wrong had already emerged. Delaying intervention meant an even wider division between the two. Neither was willing to compromise on their definition of playfully correct. Each child blamed the other for his ignorance of how a real farm should look. It seemed that both were really angry and bitter, ready to leave and find a new farm where they are welcome, a farm where their lil’ ol’ hearts and ears could be tickled pink with affirmation of their correctness. A teaching moment had arrived, and I’d used the opportunity to teach the boys to understand that, though new ideas do break tradition, they are not necessarily wrong, and that even though it may be a better idea, you shouldn’t force it on someone without explanation or discussion. His brother wasn’t getting rid of the farm; he just wanted to add some animals.

There are times when getting two young children to understand each others point of view requires vigorous effort. Over the years I have discovered that it’s just as hard to get adults to understand each others points of view if they are unwilling to listen.

God’s people, the Jews, had become traditionalist, handing down from each generation different ideas of how to worship. They propagated oral laws to help define God’s written Law so men could better understand how to live more righteously.

The Word said to “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.”  Well, just what does keeping it holy mean? The high Priest and other leaders took it upon themselves to define ways to keep it holy. One example was that if you took over 400 steps on the Sabbath you were working, and therefore, not keeping the Sabbath holy (I don’t know who took the time to count the steps but that sounds a bit like work itself).

Though they meant well, through the centuries, they created a self-righteous pattern that led them away from God.  Now these Oral Laws became the way of salvation through ones ability to not only keep God’s revealed and written Law, but the Oral and traditional law as well.

Jesus brought a new paradigm. He came bearing good news.

 “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”                                                                                                     (Matt.22:37-40)

 Now, to some extent these Oral Laws sound silly, but are they really? Do we not do the same with our views on the ways things should be done today? Jesus did not propose getting rid of the farm, or the Law. He simply reemphasized what the Law always said: Love your God with your total being. In other words wrap your arms, legs, heart, soul and mind around a loving God just as tight as you can and never let go. And the new law was to love your neighbor just as much as you do yourself. Notice He placed self, last.

Jesus wasn’t telling us that when disagreements arise we need to accept others’ ideas simply as a way of saying we love each other. Neither was he saying we need to see those who disagree as unloving. In society’s new world view, I believe they call it, tolerance? But then that is polemic for another post so I’ll save it.

Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness,

strife, selfishness, or unworthy ends] prompted by conceit ‘and’ empty arrogance.

Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others

as better than ‘and’ superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another that you do of yourselves].                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (Philippians 2:3; Amplified Bible)

If we look at the great and foremost commandment again, we can see that Jesus brought the paradigm back to the beginning of God’s Word. Here he simply reminds us that our very heart, soul and mind should be devoted to God first. We should have a relationship so intimate in prayer and Word that we recognize His guidance over our own. We must desire to know God better. Our soul should be so thirsty for Him we become like a ball of cotton absorbing every ounce. Our mind should hunger for His Word as if we were on the verge of death by starvation.

So, what about division between church members, family and friends?  We don’t need to go back to the time before that childish farm. As Christians, it is time to evaluate ourselves and our congregations with this new example, given by Jesus. It is not a new standard, it is the very one He taught His disciples while in their presence. Are we following that standard and not compromise it away? Maybe it’s time to ask God to point out a few good and faithful saints that will pray with us on a regular basis for an old fashion revival in our congregations. Maybe it’s time to pray until it comes!

“… Whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked                                          nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”                                              (John 16:23 NIV)

As a member of your congregation revival begins with you. Be encouraged. Stand up, and hold your head high so that those in your congregation are also encouraged.

 

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement

give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.”

(Romans 15:5)

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26 thoughts on “Farms Don’t Have Dinosaurs

  1. Thank you for today’s post; it is very good. Please continue to follow the path that God has placed before you. That path will lead you into places where you will share the love of God with many of our world who have no relationship with Him. 2 Timothy 4:5

  2. “Our soul should be so thirsty for Him we become like a ball of cotton absorbing every ounce” I want to be that cotton ball that is so saturated with God’s grace that I am constantly dripping of His love for others! Thank you Andy for this it will have me thinking all day . . . ummmm . . . maybe a cotton ball poem will hatch from it 🙂 ~ Blessings ~

  3. “Here he simply reminds us that our very heart, soul and mind should be devoted to God first. We should have a relationship so intimate in prayer and Word that we recognize His guidance over our own.” HIS guidance over our own. Well said!

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog recently. Specifically, for liking my Sundae Sessions post, which talks about how I’m currently struggling in how to define my faith, or how to walk in faith. I’m seeking answers, and listening in every direction, and asking God to help me awaken my spirit again.

    I found your post today enjoyable, and look forward to peering over your shoulder from time to time. I particularly liked this: let each regard the others as better than ‘and’ superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another that you do of yourselves]. Humility and kindness are two things this world could use a bit more of, and I was not aware of that passage in the bible. In fact, I’m going to be dusting off my bible today and delving a bit deeper into Philippians 2:3 to see what else might catch my attention. Thanks for this lovely post, and for the inspiration.

    • You are very welcome! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. We have an evil world and unfortunately we have a lot of people who are in our churches who put off a strange and unloving fragrance to the world and it causes so many to stumble or reject God’s truth. I will be praying for you and if you have any questions or would like to discuss these things, I am here for you my friend. God bless you as you open His Word!
      Andy

  5. Wonderful analogy here Andy. I hope I haven’t missed any of your posts as it’s seems ages since I was last over here! I was having a problem with notifications a while back. Love how you started off with your sons’ squabble, reminds me so much of my kids! How you bring this all in with the teachings from the old and the new testament is excellent. You are great blessing to us Andy, thank you for your wonderful posts my friend 🙂

    • Oh Sherri, thank you so much! I doubt you missed any post as this is the first one in awhile. I had one of my followers even write and ask if I was OK and why I hadn’t written in a while. You are a blessing to me too my sweet friend. God bless you and your family! How is the book coming?

      • Ahh, bless your heart Andy, I’m so glad as I was beginning to wonder too and I was very happy to see your lovely post. So glad I haven’t missed anything!

        My book is coming along, slowly. I take stop-gaps and then keep going. I’m house-sitting for my son for 2 weeks and want to take this time to write, write and more write! Thank you so much for asking, you bless me greatly my dear friend 🙂

  6. Beautifully written ….and wonderfully woven all together! Thank you Andy for the lovely post and for the inspiration ! You’re a blessing to us! Your writing is so amazing…it refreshes us always! God bless!

  7. I also believe Andy it is all about Love but not a Saccharin sweet love that agrees with error and sin for approval or a bitter restful love, that wears a mask but seeks revenge or love that ignores God’s guidelines, one of which is to Love even our enemies and do good to them, not hurt them or deceive them with evil intentions.

    It is not legalism to aim for the Crown of Righteousness as Paul did and told us to, it’s obedience, can we do this in the flesh , No it has to be put to death, only as we choose to do God’s will can we be empowered to do it. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Sabbath , He is our rest, the early Christians met everyday not just on Saturday or Sunday, God also tells us all Creatures are permissible to eat, as for the other Commandments God gave the Jews, we keep them in keeping the Commandment to Love or we don’t Love because they are all about Love, we are no longer under the old Jewish Covenant we are in Christ Jesus, the New one.

    Why do people reject God’s Truth because they don’t know it, they have not asked for The Holy Spirit or for God’s wisdom in Christ Jesus , as God tells us His people perish through lack of knowledge and to have God’s understanding or knowledge, we need to have His wisdom first, Jesus said ask and we will receive. We can’t be talked into believing in God’s Truth, it comes from The empowering of The Holy Spirit (1Corinthians2:9-16)

    Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

    It was Prophesied that the Church would be in darkness in the end times and we see much man made error, many have rejected the Scriptures and Trusted in their own or man’s fleshy understanding instead of the empowering of The Holy Spirit as Jesus leads us into all Truth (1Corinthians2:9-16)

    I want to ask you Andy , does someone have to ask you to Love your Grandchildren and to share about them to others or do you make yourself do it feeling guilty when you don’t, or do you do these willingly because you want to not just because you are told to. The Holy Spirit within us does not force us either, in Christ Jesus we long to be with Him, to share about Him, to worship Him , we Love Him and others willingly not because we have to and when we do we overflow with inner Joy, having assurance God is with us even in the hardships we encounter in life.

    Dinosaurs are part of God’s Creation but they were called Dragons before, we read about them in Job and other parts of Scripture., where they on a farm, Hmmmm

    Christian Love from both of us -Anne

  8. Hi – nice post –

    and had to just share my 3 favorite parts:

    first:

    “though new ideas do break tradition, they are not necessarily wrong, and that even though it may be a better idea, you shouldn’t force it on someone without explanation or discussion.” (so much practical wisdom layered in that….)

    second:

    and ” to understand each others points of view if they are unwilling to listen…” (again, so wise and practical)

    and third:

    “It is time to evaluate ourselves and our congregations with this new example, given by Jesus. It is not a new standard…” (and this one is layered and deep – but also simple and straightforward – and I think so many congregations are missing the mark because they have become country clubs, or positive teaching, fitness centers that exist within a religious bubble- or hurtful places that scorn others instead of love…..
    or like you note in part of this – so traditional that they are missing the good news….

    hope you have a nice day.
    ~y

    • Thank you Yevette for such a great comment! You got my point exactly. I have been praying for the Church a lot lately. I am praying that God will shake it up and scatter those who are true Christians out of their comfy seats and do their job. Oh, hey, I just realized I am one of them, are you? How do we help others recognize that we need to follow God’s lead? I don’t know if you follow Skye Alexander’s blog or not, but check this out. She was used by God on this particular event and was blessed tremendously for it. here is the link: ohthethingsweshallsee.com and look for the March 21 post called “Pardon Me, Are these seats taken?” Let me know what you think?

      I remember as a child growing up in the church. Every Sunday we had “testimony time” where people would get up and give their testimony about who they talked to about Christ and His wondrous salvation. It was exciting……but we don’t even hear people discuss that in private anymore…..I wonder why. I am troubled by it! Your thoughts????

      • Hi Andy – well oh my goodness – I think we could go on and on about this for a while – and so I will try and keep my reply succinct.
        first, when I went to FL – well I tok one book – and it was Bill Hybel’s “just walk across the room” and it was in line with your theme – and it was surprisingly amazing – it was all about being “IN TUNE WITH THE PROMPTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT” – and O think that is what we need more of – folks who quietly let the holy sprit lead and guide – and then things would be quiet different.

        and that ties into your point about the testimony. the reason it was so encouraging is because the personal story pierces through the mind and goes straight to the heart (and we overcome how? by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony).

        and real quick – I think there are very few On fire Christians in most churches – and after a crew decades of observing ALL types – well later one thing I noticed was that a person’s testimony – or the way they shared “why” they believe – well it is an indicator of so much. and in hand sight we saw that those who really did not have a story – or those who had a canned reply – or an exaggerated one – well they wee the ones who were caught cheating on a spouse – or doing this or that. so sometimes I can get a feel for the person by their testimony….

        lastly, I will check out the blog you shared, but I do have to tell you that I find it very hard to follow MOST Christian blogs – for a dozen plus reasons!!!! – (and I just think we all have different seasons for different feedings – and from different kinds of people – ya know?) but I just opened her blog and will let you know…. thx my brotha!

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