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- A Weekly Message -
 
 

 

 

-- FROM THE DESK OF --

 

Rev. Jim Burton

 

jim.burton.jpg

Dear Friends:

This is my last "animal parable" for you.

There once was a farmer who owned a mule. He had no family so this beast of burden was not just a mule but a friend or pet that he had named Maude.

Maude was a plow mule. She could GEE, go right, and HAW, go left, on command. The one thing she refused to do was go backward. Now, Maude had the run of the farm and would always show up for her morning and evening feeding time.

One morning, the farmer went out to feed Maude. She was not there but it didn’t bother him as he knew that she’d come back soon to eat. He left the food for her. Besides, it was two days before the plowing was to start. Around din-ner time, he went out and Maude had not come for her morning meal. He walked around calling for her to no avail.

The next day was a complete duplicate of the first day’s events. The farmer grew very worried about his pal and pet, Maude. On the third day the farmer put on a hopeful look and walked out to the paddock praying to see Maude waiting for him. She was not there! He turned on his heel to walk toward the house when he noticed in the sky, buzzards cir-cling about a half mile behind the house. The farmer teared up. He was thinking that Maude was dead and the buzzards were getting ready to feast. He quickly went to the barn and got a shovel, as he was thinking that he was going to go find her body and bury her.

He walked toward the circling buzzards. They were off his land and in a bit of a swamp. As his feet moved into the wet over-grown area he kept calling for Maude hoping that she might respond to his voice. Suddenly, he looked through the watery and vine laden area to see Maude’s carcass. Cry-ing loudly, he approached finally falling on his knees just to touch her. As he did this, he let go of the shovel handle and it fell hitting Maude’s rump…. and the mule’s body jumped. The farmer’s tears of anguish turned into tears of joy. Maude was alive!

Maude had walked into the swamp and had gotten her legs tied up in vines. Maude didn’t go backward. She had walked in circles until the vines tripped her up. She had really tied herself up. The farmer removed the vines and made a gur-ney to drag Maude back to the barn, her home.

Back at the barn, he nursed her back to health. She soon stood up. That day the farmer put a lunge line on Maude to teach her how to walk backward. Funny thing, she couldn’t walk backward well, but she did learn how. Maude, learned to do the impossible.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER - Have you ever had a problem similar to Maude’s problem? When have you struggled to learn? Are we teachable? What does it take for us to want to learn?

I thank God for you

Pastor Jim

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 While we do not read all of the Lectionary passages during Sunday Worship,

your experience can be enhanced by reading the suggested

scriptures in preparation for worship.

 

 

-- FROM THE DESK OF --

 

Rev. Jim Burton

 

jim.burton.jpg

Dear Friends -

For this and the next PIPE LINE, I will be sharing two "animal parable" stories. They have us look at our faith. To be honest they are old stories and I don’t know much of their origins. However, they speak loudly to me and I hope that you enjoy.

There’s a parable of "blind men and an elephant" and it probably originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent. It is a story of a group of blind men, who had never come across an elephant. The men learned and conceptualized what the elephant was like by touching it.

Each blind man felt a different part of the elephant’s body, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then described the elephant based on their partial experience and their descriptions were in complete disagreement on what an elephant really was. In some cases, the blind men in the story came to suspect that the other persons were dishonest and fights ensued.

MORAL: Humans have a tendency to project their partial experiences as the whole truth, ignore other people's partial experiences. It is prudent to consider that one person may be partially right and may have partial information but that together there is truth.

THEOLOGY: Do you practice "elephant theology" with others? What is your view of the world? Describe your view of God and how that view might translate to other people not in your tribe, community, or world.

I thank God for you!

Pastor Jim

-------------------------------------

 

                                

cornlet3-navy.gif
cornlet4-navy.gif
 While we do not read all of the Lectionary passages during Sunday Worship,

your experience can be enhanced by reading the suggested

scriptures in preparation for worship.

 

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