Goats and Highways

Having goats is great entertainment.  I'd take a few hours out here with my goats over T.V. any day.  They're so goofy and clumsy and fun.

The momma goat, Darla, is doing a fine job for a first time mom.  She leads her kids out of the pen twice a day and runs around with them for a little exercise.  She baaas at them and they baaa back.  She sniffs their tails and nudges them in the butt when she wants them to move.  And she's very protective of them!  She's head butted Bailey, our 10 year old female Lab twice for getting a little too close.

The papa goat, aw, he's a buck.  He could care less.  He sniffs the kids a bit through the pen (we keep them and the dam together but separate from the buck) but then he sniffs just about everything.  He's a big show off chauvinist and I think he's great.  He's got himself a go tee now and stands with his head at my shoulders (I'm 5' 11").  He's a pretty tall guy.  He often stands on his back hoofs and raises his face as high up in the air as he can as though to announce that he's, "The man!"  When he does that he towers over me about a foot.  He loves to "wrestle" with the boys, including the 41 year old boy in the house.  They put their heads together and chase each other.  Duke, the buck, swings his head and knocks over a Dougal man and then the Dougal man pushes Duke and they chase each other some more.

When you've got goats, at minimum, you've got some good entertainment.

Are there highways in your heart?  I was reading Psalm 84 this morning.  Verse 5 really struck me:

O the happiness of a man whose strength is in Thee, Highways [are] in their heart. - Young's Literal Translation
There are highways in my heart.  They were pioneered by Christ.  He's gone before me and I follow His trail with the Holy Spirit as my guide.  It's not the well-worn highway of the world.  It's not a broad road either.  It's high though.  It's not the way I would naturally choose.  On this highway, that ends face to face with my living Lord, there are steep and narrow paths.  Some areas are thorny.  Many areas are dry and barren and I thirst.  And there are long valleys of weeping.  In those long, dry, hot stretches,  I remember He's gone before me.

It's a highway of the heart.  It's a pilgrimage of the inner man.  The inner me is journeying home, even though I'm sitting in Surprise, Arizona.  It's a highway of faith in Christ.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. -Hebrews 12:1-2

Where's your life going?  Is there a highway in your heart?  Or are you just adrift?  A dead fish going with the current downstream?


Darla, Daylight and Daisy

I'm a goat momma! Getting to be there to watch my doe Nubian, Darla, give birth to her twin does, Daylight and Daisy, was one of my top ten life experiences for sure.

For the last couple days I've been thinking it was "the day."  By my dates she was due on March 11th.  Monday she started pawing at the ground, loosing lots of mucous (I won't go any further for queazy stomached folks) and generally acting different.  But last night I noticed one of her teats was shiny and more full than before and was pointed outward.  From what I'd read, an outward pointed teat may mean delivery is imminent.  So I slept on the couch and woke up at 1:30 to check on her.  Nothing.

When I got the boys up for school at 5:45 she was still just laying down in her pen.  But at 7am I saw her squat twice and when I went out to check on her I witnessed the breaking of a goat's amniotic sac.     I was so excited!  I ran all the way back to the house like a first time dad running for car keys when his wife says, "It's time!"

I let the boys stay home from school, partly because there was no way I was leaving my momma goat at that point to do the hour drive to get them to school and back, and partly because they really wanted to stay home and watch her give birth.  Ryland made it. He watched the whole thing quietly.  Connor saw the fluid pouring out of Darla's back end and said, "No thank you.  I'll be in the house."  But he came out right after the first doe was born and did stick around to witness the second one coming into the world.

It was just plain cool.  The whole experience.



Ruins of glory

We live among ruins.

More than 12 years ago, James and I went on a cruise. One of the places we visited out of Cancun, Mexico was some Mayan ruins... can't remember what it was called. When you visit a site of ruins there is intrigue and interest in what the ruins speak of. The old rock formations tell of a people and a time long gone. There was life there once...

I often find myself thinking, "We live among ruins. And glorious ruins at that." If we could just hear what the ruins of this life speak of. I think we're too enamored with the beauty and pleasures to be found in the ruins to see that they're just old rock formations, lifeless, compared to the living glory they at one time displayed, and one day, will once again display.

Today I took my boys to attend the funeral of fallen Phoenix Police Detective John Hobbs.  I didn't know Detective Hobbs or his family.  But,  because I am the wife of a detective his age, with kids his kids' age, I felt very compelled to go honor the man and support his family.

It's amazing how close we can get to truth and yet float right on past it.  I heard John Piper recently say we're like a rocket in space that comes oh so close to landing on the planet of truth in Christ yet we never actually enter the atmosphere and drift right on by.

Detective Hobbs was apparently a very honorable man and excellent police officer.  He had a reputation as a man who put his family first and apparently he also openly confessed his trust in Christ as his savior.  The pastor of his church said that Hobbs was a man who was turned off by overly "spiritual" people who professed to be Christians yet didn't walk the walk.   I think that's probably true of most honest, hard-working men in general.  They want to see the proof in the life not just the church-speak and thus are often resistant to the shallow, club-like American Christianity they are surrounded by.

The pastor also used the opportunity of a funeral to point the audience to Christ.   He mentioned that even as good of a man as Detective Hobbs was, he was still a man who needed a Savior.  He compared what Detective Hobbs did in sacrificing his own life to save the lives of his fellow officers that day, along with protecting the public, to what Christ has done for us.  He said, "Christ came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.  He said, 'Greater love has no one than this,  than to lay down one's life for his friends."

I looked around the audience at a room full of mostly men in police uniforms and prayed, "Oh Lord, don't let us come so close to the truth of our need for Christ, even looking at ruins of an example of your sacrifice to save us in the death of this officer, and leave here without landing our hearts on our need for Christ too!"

Detective Hobbs life and death was a ruin of glory.  He was a man created in the image of God yet fallen; a man with a God-ordained authority and job that speaks through the ruins of his fallen life of the God-Man who has all authority and who laid down His life to save those who trust in Him.


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