THE NEW EWE

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

November 18, 2009

LIFE IN THE FOLD:

Matthew 20:26 says, “...whosoever desires to be first among you, let him be your servant.”

That philosophy doesn't seem to make sense. If we desire to be first and be great, then we should be servants?

In our minds, we tend to link servanthood to those who are there to cater to the needs of the rich and famous. They're the ones who fetch, carry, and serve the wealthy or well-known. These are the people who clean the toilets, serve the meals, answer the door, act as chauffeurs, and do all the menial tasks. If we're honest, most of us would rather be the one who is being served, than the one who serves. But according to Jesus' attitude towards servitude, those are the ones who will excel and be first among us.

That doesn't mean that we allow others to run all over us or demean us. But it also doesn't mean that we become so “humble” in our role as servant that we become full of pride. There are those who are so proud of having a humble attitude, that they become obnoxious and are judgmental of those who don't act as they do. They think there is a particular way that people should conduct themselves as meek individuals, and tend to criticize when others deviate from that behavior.

When Jon and I went together to Singapore several weeks ago, we saw very vivid examples of those with servant attitudes and those without.

We took a particular airline from San Francisco to Singapore; with a layover in Seoul, Korea. On our way there and also on the way home, we had one group of flight attendants and pilots from San Francisco to Seoul. Then during the layover, the pilots and flight attendants changed to another group for the flight between Seoul and Singapore.

On our way there, the flight attendants from San Francisco to Seoul were absolutely exceptional. We were both amazed at the level of service we got during that 10 hour flight. It was as if they couldn't do enough to serve us. There were two meals served on that flight. But in between the meals, they were either bringing the drink cart around offering us something to drink; such as soft drinks, water, juices, coffee and tea. When they weren't doing that, they would bring around a tray with cups of water or juice. Then they once brought around a basket where you could choose from a variety of snack items. Another time they brought around a basket of apples. During that entire flight they were coming by about every 20-30 minutes offering us something to eat or drink. I saw them helping passengers with various things throughout the flight. When they weren't serving us food or drinks, they were walking the aisles picking up your trash or seeing if anyone needed anything. We were back in the “cheap” seats, but we spent that entire flight feeling very pampered. It was an incredible experience. The flight attendants were very accommodating and very pleasant. They didn't make a big deal over it, but you could tell that their purpose was to serve the passengers and make them as comfortable as possible. Here was a group of beautiful women and nice looking men who presented themselves very professional, yet they didn't feel it beneath them to walk the aisles of the plane for 10 hours meeting the needs of the passengers.

On our way home, we were expecting that same type of service on the flight from Seoul to San Francisco. But it was a totally different group of flight attendants. We still got the two meals, but we were never offered any snacks. They only came around to offer us something to drink maybe once every 1-2 hours. In between them serving us meals or drinks you rarely saw them, except to pick up the trash or plates. Apparently, they were all gathered in the galleys of the plane. It was still a nice plane and a good flight, but the level of service was completely different from what we'd experienced on the flight there. It seemed as if the flight attendants were only doing the very minimal work that was required of them. They definitely didn't go above and beyond the call of duty as the first group did.

That paints a picture of the heart of a servant, and those who just do what is needed to get by. It also shows the difference between those who have a heart for people and who truly enjoy serving, and those who feels as if it's only a fulfillment of a duty.

There are also those who feel it's their “right” to be served; and that they somehow deserve anything and everything people do for them. They seem to think it beneath them to serve others.

I want to be the kind of servant like that first group of flight attendants; ready and willing to go above and beyond what is required. Not only that, but to do it with a loving attitude. Not an attitude of, “Look at me! I'm humbly and meekly serving others. Everyone should be like me.” But an attitude of, “I love people and want to help out of the abundance which God has blessed me with.” By “abundance” I don't mean wealth or material possessions, but rather all those daily blessings which God bestows upon me. God has blessed me and Jon with a wonderful family, health, a home, a car and truck, a great job for Jon and my getting to stay home and be a housewife, protection, favor, and the list could go on and on. Since God has done so much for me, how could I not serve Him by serving others?

JON'S PERSPECTIVE:

Just as there are those who are easy to love and those we have to grit our teeth and choose to love, there are those who are easy to serve and those we really don't want to serve.

But the most difficult part of serving others is when we need to serve people who don't appreciate it. So for the sake of others who enjoy serving, please show your appreciation.

I've been working with some people who are very difficult to serve. And it's easy to get bitter over it. But it just isn't worth it. The bitterness only hurts me. And I end up looking bad because of it. So, I'll carry on, knowing that those who count most know, and understand: God, Loretta, myself, and probably one or two others.

ON THE MENEWE:

Pumpkin Soup

4 Tbsp. Butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 (16 oz.) can of pumpkin

4 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. Salt

1 Bay Leaf

¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg

¼ tsp. White Pepper

½ tsp. Curry Powder

¼ tsp. Ground Ginger

1 cup half-n- half or evaporated skim milk

In medium saucepan melt butter and saute onion until soft. Stir in pumpkin, chicken broth, salt, spices and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Puree in blender, if desired. The soup can be refrigerated or frozen at this point. Add half-n-half just before serving.

LAMB TALES:

When Jon recently went to Singapore on business, he had time off on the weekend. On Sunday he went to the Bukit Timah National Reserve. It is a rainforest and has hiking trails. When he arrived he went to the visitor's center to pick up a map of the trails. There were several monkeys running around the area where the visitor's area was. A lady was sitting on a bench with her backpack opened beside her. A monkey was acting as if it was totally ignoring her, but suddenly ran up and grabbed a bag of chips of our her backpack. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words:

THOUGHT TO PONDER:

It's easier to let the cat out of the bag, than to put it back in.” - Will Rogers

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU:

We hope everyone is having a wonderful fall season.

We love you!

Loretta & Jon

E-Mail: shepherd@grayengineers.com

http://www.graysheep.org