Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Ten Blogs of 2012!

As 2012 comes to an end, I decided to review the last 4 months of "Blogging" with EWE. We have learned a great deal about sheep & their habits. We now know why Jesus referred to us as sheep hundreds of times in Scripture.

I just want to be a sheep, Baa.. Baa!

 We also have learned a great deal about Shepherds & their unselfish lifestyles. Caring for sheep is a difficult job & requires a person of character to responsibly do it. We also were reminded that Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd, ready to die for the sheep. Pastors are to care for their flocks in that same spirit. 

I love my calling!
 Finally, we learned about a multitude of creatures from the world of nature. We met some funny, intelligent, & dangerous ones. We saw that animals can teach us a great deal about ourselves. I've enjoyed the journey & anticipate learning more together in 2013. God Bless Ewe & Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
Top Ten Blogs of 2012
1. Gumby +Deer = Flexibility- Oct.31
2. Determination Pays Off- Oct. 4
3. "Upside Down" Sheep - Sept. 4
4. Bats & Ewe! - Oct. 25
5. I "Herd" About Ewe..- Sept. 21
6. "Watch" & "Prey"- Sept. 7
7. Follow the Leader? - Sept. 8
8. Are Ewe Trusting? - Sept. 2
9. Black Friday Blues! - Nov 28
10.Great Expectations! - Sept. 20

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Baa.. Baa Black Sheep"

Have ewe ever wondered where the term "Black Sheep of the Family" originated? Well, I did a little research & uncovered a few interesting observations.

Why did I have to get such a bad reputation?

The earliest written record of the term "Black Sheep" used negatively, was recorded in 1786 by Charles Macklin. He wrote a comedy called The man of the world, which contained the phrase: "Oh , Ye villain!  you- you- you are a black sheep; and I'll mark you".

Do Ewe think I stand out?
It's really unclear why the term "Black Sheep" was adopted as a picture of worthlessness or waywardness. One possibility is that in England at the time, black things were associated in various texts with bad things. This allusion can be seen in -black moods, -black looks (in literature), & the Black Death. 
So Ewe think Ewe have Trouble? All I have to raise is Black sheep!
Another possibility is that shepherds weren't able to profit from the wool on a black sheep. They were only able to dye wool that was taken from white sheep. Too bad they didn't see value in darker colors.

Thanks for sharing, even though I'm the "Black Sheep" of the family!
The phrase actually originated due to genetics. White sheep give birth to an occasional black sheep due to the process of genetically passing on recessive traits. Black panthers & white lions are other examples of this genetic phenomenon. Sheepherders in England in the 17th & 18th centuries saw a black sheep as a bad omen. The black wool was interpreted as a "mark of the devil"!

Do Ewe have something Ewe want to say about "Black Sheep"? 

 Black sheep also have the distinction  of being included in some old English nursery rhymes. Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, published in 1744, first printed the famous rhyme below.

Bah, Bah, a black Sheep
Have you any Wool?
Yes merry have I,
Three Bags full,
One for my master,
One for my Dame,
One for the little Boy
That lives down the lane.

I'm really pretty nice, if ewe take the time to get to know me.

Sheep are beautiful creatures, created in a variety of sizes, shapes, & colors, for us to enjoy. Shepherds that spend quality time with them,  even the "Black Sheep", can appreciate their uniqueness.

Don't laugh! Try to remember how Ewe look , just after a haircut!
Today, as Ewe reflect on our Awesome God, celebrate His distinct creativity, as Ewe encounter the people He has put in Ewer life!

"For thou has possessed my reins: thou has covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully & wonderfully made;.."Ps.139:13,14a

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Greetings!

Merry Christmas everyone! I had a few friends with me that Ewe have met over the last few months. They want to wish Ewe Merry Christmas as well! God Bless Ewe & enjoy the reason for the Season, Emmanuel, which means, God With Us!
Merry Christmas & Don't forget to loosen Ewer trash lids!
Merry Christmas from Africa! I hope Ewer day is blessed ! I'm not "Lion" about that either! All animals here wish Ewe a Joyous Christmas!

Ewe will know the Truth & the Truth will set Ewe Free! Merry Christmas!
I'm stretching my neck out & saying" Merry Christmas" from the Giraffes!
A Giraffe's Merry Christmas from vacation at Animal World in Disney! 
I'm "Growling" a Merry Christmas from the Black Panthers!
Merry Christmas From the World of Stripes!
The animals from other parts of the country also wish Ewe the best Christmas ever! 
I'm barking a Merry Christmas from Alaska!
I'm going to "Ham it Up", & say Merry Christmas!

I couldn't bear going through the season without saying Merry Christmas!

The Moose send Christmas Greetings from the North country!
Sheep would also like to offer Ewe one "Baaaaa...d" Christmas! The Shepherd & the flock wish Ewe a Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas from the "Wooly" side of Life!
Cherish friends, family & the "Rich" times together this season, giving thanks to the Good Shepherd for making it all possible. Merry Christmas  to all & God Bless Ewe!
"How good & how pleasant it is when
brothers live together in unity!" Ps.133:1  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sticking Ewe-r Neck Out 2!

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It's an opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Savior with friends & family & reflect on the Goodness of God. With that in mind, let's zoom in on how the "Giraffe" world might celebrate this special season.

Ewe should always take time to sing at Christmas!
Family reunions or pictures always require us to look our absolute best! Grandmothers love to see clean kids!

Ewe-r tongue is not long enough yet , so let me clean Ewe-r ears!
When things get a little stressed, it's always nice to have someone to help Ewe carry Ewe-r burdens!

Nothing like having a friend to lift Ewe up!
House-cleaning is always a must for the holidays. Those windows  that are hard to reach, always look better with a little "outside"help!

I'm so happy to help Ewe again this year!
 When expecting company, make sure "Homeland Security" screens the guest list! Ewe wouldn't want any unwelcome guests!
Could Ewe please take out Ewe-r license & registration?
Anyone who tries to buffalo Ewe can get a "Swift Kick"!
 With all the "Hustle & Bustle" of Christmas, Ewe can sometimes find ewerself in "Knots"! Ewe don't need to explain how it happened,  just look for the nearest Boy Scout!

Don't say a word! Ewe know I feel bad enough already!
Sometimes the "Fear of the Unknown" gets the best of us, even during the holiday season! At times like that, it's good to have someone Ewe love to hold onto!

Do Ewe know the carol "Come rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"?

Ewe have nothing to fear but fear itself! Family Reunions are Fun!
 Christmas preparations have their challenges, but we must never forget to take time to laugh at ourselves, & enjoy the the "Reason for the Season", Jesus Christ!
Laugh at Ewerself ! God is certainly Creative!
 The holidays do bring about more opportunities to eat things that aren't the best for our diets! People seem to gain unwanted weight!
 Nothing to stress about.There are always New Year Resolutions!

The Diet Starts tomorrow! So many Treats, so little Time!
Sheep love having fun! The Shepherd leads them places where that's possible. Enjoy life the way He intended it!

Brace Ewerself for Christmas & Be Happy!
As Ewe continue the Christmas celebration this week, enjoy the precious times spent together! It is a gift from God!

Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is translated,"God with us". Mt.1:23

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sticking Ewe-r Neck out!

The Giraffe is the tallest living animal on land! These herbivores range in height from 13-20 feet! Giraffes also eat about 70+ lbs. of food a day ! Females weigh from 1500-2600 lbs. & males weigh from 2400-4200 lbs.! They prefer eating in the early morning or the early evening, thus reserving the shade for the heat of the day.

It's a long way down, but it's worth it!
I have 7 bones in my neck, the same number of bones as humans have!
 Giraffes live on the continent of Africa, in the sub Sahara region. Giraffes are quite unique in their structure & appearance, having individual spots unlike any other in their species. They are related to a much smaller ancestor, the Okapi, also born with a long neck, from Africa's tropical mountain forest.
Let me tell Ewe about Ewe-r ancestor, Uncle Opaki!
Stop Staring at me! This is how an Okapi is Born! Talk to the Stripe Maker!
Giraffes love to eat the  leaves of the thorny acacia tree, & due to their height, are able to reach the high, tender leaves. A Giraffe has a hard pad on the roof of its mouth, enabling it to break down the leaves & branches. It also has a 4-chamber stomach, which allows it to store its food & chew the cud. Giraffes can even go without water longer than camels!

I'm not sticking my tongue out at Ewe! It's just too long!
Giraffes have some unusual physical features. A Giraffe's 21 inch tongue is long enough to clean their own ears! Imagine having a 21 inch Q-tip in Ewe-r mouth? Yuck! Giraffes also have big hearts to go with their huge bodies! Can Ewe guess how big? If Ewe guessed 26 lbs., Ewe were  correct!

Let's not make any "tongue & cheek" remarks!
Giraffes gather in herds, mostly composed of mothers & calves. Males do compete for females prior to mating, locking necks & bumping heads until a winner emerges. After the mating is complete, they either do solitary travel or form bachelor groups. Females are then pregnant for about 15 months, before giving birth to a 6 ft. calf! Ouch! She will keep the calf away from the herd for about 2 weeks, & then nurse it for about a year.

Ewe have to have Heart, Baby, a really big Heart!
Sheep and Giraffes are similar in many ways. They're herbivores, chew the cud, & herd together! They also both have big eyes that enable them to spot danger! One notable difference they sport, is that Giraffes do defend themselves by kicking with their big feet!
I can't kick animals, but I do have a Shepherd who carries a big stick!
As Ewe go through Ewe-r day today, rejoice that there is Someone walking with Ewe, who "Walks softly & carries a big Stick"! (Rod & Staff)

"Fear not little flock, for it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No Lion Here-Take 2!

Lions are incredible pictures of sheer power & strength.These ferocious predators can roar & be heard up to 5 miles away! The main reason they roar is to warn any intruders to stay away, & also to round up any remnants of the pride. Males are very distinguished in the feline world by being the only cats having manes. African male lions have longer, darker manes than the Asian male lions in India.

I love roaring ! It lets everyone know that this is my turf!
I just had my hair done for this picture! How do Ewe like it?
Lionesses are the primary hunters of the pride. They prefer hunting at night in groups, which enables them to take down larger & faster prey. Lions Have a pecking order in the pride after a kill. The top male leader gets to eat first, even though the females secured the meal. When "Top Gun" is finished, there's squabbling that follows over who eats next. However, one thing is for sure, the cubs eat last!

Read my Lips! I will hunt Ewe down & Ewe will be eaten by the pride!
Lionesses usually remain in the pride for life , while males stay 2-4 yrs. before launching out on their own, in search of their own pride. Lionesses do the hunting & child care , while males work on the security for the pride. Many females in a pride are related & give birth around the same time. They even nurse each other's cubs !

We aren't very good at hunting , but at least we get one kill out of several attempts!
White lions are genetically comparable to Black Panthers!

Males are the second largest cat of the "big cats", only trailing the Siberian Tiger! They mark their 100 sq. mi. pride area by spraying shrubs, trees, & bushes with a mixture of glandular secretions &  urine. Males & females ruthlessly defend the pride from any outside intruders. Ewe might say , A family that "preys" together, "stays" together! Lions live up to 30 yrs. in captivity!
We Take "Pride" in our Family!

 Lions only hunt in the cool of the night, stalking their prey in small groups for short periods of time. As a matter of fact, most lions are inactive up to 20 hours a day! Lions mostly dwell in grasslands & plains, which camouflage their tawny colored hides.Contrary to popular belief, Lions are not jungle dwellers!

How many times must I remind Ewe! I don't like being woken up

Sheep have a pecking order in the sheep pen,similar to that of a lion's pride.Sheep clearly acknowledge  the dominant Ewe as the leader. Sheep also recognize that the Shepherd brings peace to their lives & restores order to the sheepfold.

Sheep have the most order & security when the Shepherd is present!
The chaos is all around Ewe in this world today! In the midst of the chaos is the Shepherd offering Ewe peace & order.Look to Him
today & watch His peace restore & maintain Ewe-r calm.

"And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" Is.9:6b

Sunday, December 16, 2012

No Lion Here!

The Lion is big-cat  predator that is traditionally known as the "King of the Beasts." Lions have strong muscular bodies & very powerful jaws! Lions will attack much larger animals & are feared in their natural habitats! Lions run up to 50 mph & weigh 300 lbs. as females, & up to 500 lbs. as males! A lion's roar can be heard from 5 miles away!
Being "King" allowed me to get a second job of acting in the movies!
Extreme times require extreme measures!

 Lions are very social animals & form groups, or prides, of about 40 lions. Prides are led by one or two males, distinguished by long, dark manes! Prides also include several females, cubs, & fairly young males.The male's role is to protect the 100 sq. mile area, while the lionesses' role is to do the hunting. Zebra, antelope, & wildebeests top the menu, however, other animals will also do. 

 Sometimes Ewe have to make the prey do most of the work!
Between hunting & child care, What time do I have left to go to Disney?
Females have a tendency to stay with the pride, in contrast to young males, who are either chased away, or leave in search of their own prides to rule! Their mission in going to another pride is to defeat the leader & kill or drive away all the male cubs.The average time for a male to reign in a pride is 2-4 years!
Did Ewe say only 2-4 years as King? Are Ewe sure that's all I have?

Did Ewe know I need 10-15 lbs. of meat a day?  Lion 1  Buffalo 0!

A lioness will give birth to 1-3 cubs in a typical litter. She will nurse the cubs for approximately 6 months, & most will be able to eat meat by the third month. Lion cubs born in the wild have a
 poor survival rate, with only 1/4 expected to make it to adulthood!They are at risk, mostly from other animals & a lack of food.

 White lion cubs are a rare occurrence!

I have a great life, while it lasts! I live about I5 yrs. in the wild! 
 Boys will be boys!
Sheep don't share much in common with lions.Sheep are prey, & run from animals, while lions are predators & run after animals. Sheep are herbivores , while lions are carnivores! Sheep have a Shepherd , while Lions live on their own in the wild! One thing they do share in common is that they both hang out in community!Lions have close-knit prides, while sheep flock together in herds!

Life is Good under the Shepherd's care! Don't worry, Be Happy!
As we draw even closer to celebrating the precious birth of our Saviour, enjoy Ewe-r day! Journey today knowing that He is always caring for Ewe with an endless supply of His Love!  
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." 1Peter 5:6,7