"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!'"
November 7, 2012
I recently read this story entitled, "When to Help Others." I'm not sure of its origination or who wrote it.
"A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package; what food might it contain? He was aghast to discover that it was a mouse trap!
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning, "There is a mouse trap in the house, there is a mouse trap in the house."
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell you this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me; I cannot be bothered by it."
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mouse trap in the house!"
"I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse," sympathized the pig, "but there is nothing I can do about it but pray; be assured that you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to the cow, who replied, "Like wow, Mr. Mouse, a mouse trap; am I in grave danger? Duh!"
So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected to face the farmer's mouse trap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mouse trap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife, and the farmer rushed her to the hospital.
She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.
His wife's sickness continued so that friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
The farmer's wife did not get well. In fact, she died, and so many people came for her funeral the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide meat for all of them to eat.
So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when the least of us is threatened, we are all at risk."
Hebrews 13:16 says, "Do not forget to do good and to help one another, because these are the sacrifices that please God."
I think this story is pretty much self-explanatory, if you take time to think about it and consider it's meaning. We don't necessarily have to get involved in everyone's problems and help, but many times we make excuses because we don't want to be inconvenienced. And we fail to consider the possibility that next time we may be the "mouse", needing the help of others.
When we tell someone, "You're in my prayers," do we honestly keep them in our prayers, or is that just an out so we don't have to put forth an effort to do something?
Numerous times on Facebook I have seen posts where someone is asking for prayer or relaying an adverse situation regarding themselves or their family. They will get many, many responses from individuals saying that they will be praying. I have to wonder at times how many actually take the time to pray. Words are so easy to say or write, but often harder to follow through and do. Even those of us who may be faithful church attendees and christians will often tell someone that we will pray for them, then get busy and forget. Saying we'll pray is often an "easy out" that eases our conscience and makes us feel that we've done our duty.
Other times our attitude can be that of the chicken and cow; the situation has nothing to do with us and we don't want to be bothered by it. Our attitude is one of, "That's your problem; not mine!" And we can even have the attitude, "You brought this upon yourself and are only getting what you deserve!" While that may be true at times, what better time to reach out to someone and show love than when they've reached bottom and need to find their way back out?
But what about when we're the ones dealing with adverse circumstances? How would we feel if everyone took the attitude of not wanting to be bothered or making empty promises of prayer? What if no one was willing to lend a hand or reach out to us or stand faithfully by our side or support us with their prayers? We never know when a change will happen in our life and we will be the "mouse" needing the intervention or support of others.
Let us all remember and take to heart the message of Hebrews 13:16 and not forget to reach out and help others. When we sacrifice and do so, we please God.
A popular author of the 1980's wrote about a powerful tool called the Somebody Else's Problem (SEP; wikipedia has much more on this). Anything can be hidden away from a person's mind by simply making it a Somebody Else's Problem. Once the other animals were able to categorize the mouse trap as an SEP, they didn't need to worry about it, or even remember it existed.
There are a lot of things we make into SEPs. Probably half of them are political. We're coming up on an election, so that's an especially important one right now.
It can be a little overwhelming to make other people's problems our own. The best tip I can give is to stop and consider how Jesus thinks of each person, instead of just thinking about ourselves.
1 pkg. fresh cranberries
8 oz. Cool Whip
3 c. sugar
1 c. chopped pecans
3 c. seedless red grapes, sliced
The night before serving: grind or chop cranberries. Add sugar; stir and refrigerate. The next morning: drain cranberry mixture. Add sliced grapes, Cool Whip, and pecans. Stir together and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. This is a delicious salad to serve with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Also, buy cranberries while in season and freeze for a cool treat in the summer.
(Jon) Sometimes the memories that stand out to kids are completely different from those of parents. I'm sure that I remember things completely differently from my mom. I remember the Bambi sheets that mom bought me one time. She was convinced that Bambi was my favorite storybook character, and I couldn't convince her that I really didn't like Bambi; and I honestly didn't like Bambi. I think that was something she liked and thought was cute, so thought I should like it, too. Others things that stand out in my mind are the corduroy pants Mom bought me that went zzit, zzit, zzit when I walked. I hated those pants! But I was told that she had paid a lot of money for them, so I had to wear them. Then there were the green jeans! What can I say about them?! And I also remember the infamous cowboy boots, that hurt my feet when I was about 8-9 years old. My cousin, Matt, and I were racing across my grandpa's garden after he had plowed it. It had rained, and the garden was a giant mud pit. We were attempting to race across it, and my boots got bogged down in the mud and I couldn't get them out. I had to pull my feet out of them and leave them behind to get out of the mud, and was so happy to be rid of them! By the time we got across the garden, we were dragging ourselves through mud that was about waist high. Later when it dried out, Grandpa dug my boots up but they were in such bad shape by that time, Mom agreed that I didn't have to wear them anymore.
God never grows two people the same way. The Creator is a hand-crafter, not a mass producer. - Luke Lang
We love you!
Loretta & Jon