My Sheep Hear My Voice – Rethink?

Discard the old wineskin. The old way of thinking and the old way of doing things hasn’t worked for you anyway, so set that aside…  Empty your hands of the failed things of the past so a new assignment and a new vision can find its place in your heart.  There is nothing to be gained in trying to produce yesterday’s fruit with the energies of today.  Let that all go.”  (The Father Says Today 28 September 2017)

This is a lesson being taught me right now.  “The failed things of the past” clearly includes a disastrous term breeding dairy goats from 1986-1995 (terminated because my herd contracted a fatal disease).  But am I also being asked to think again about my current proposals for breeding Damara sheep?

In July I bought my first Damara sheep because when I thought about running sheep on this land again, like my mother had done, my reaction was, “I don’t want all the dramas of docking, crutching and shearing, thank you!”  As it happens, the three lambs recently born to these ewes all have a breed called ‘Gotland’ in their bloodline.

Last week, searching for more Damaras, I was led to a breeder about 4 hours’ journey south of here.   She has the breed I was looking for, but also Gotlands – that name again!  Is the Lord telling me something?

I did some research.  Gotlands are originally from the Baltic – a wool sheep with very fine, dark grey wool.   Then the Lord seemed to be saying to me:

Well Pat, with the Damaras you have 2 products – either breeding stock or meat. Breeding stock isn’t always easy to sell – especially up here in the boondocks. And you know you don’t like selling animals for meat. With these Gotlands, you have a very fine, beautiful wool fleece product.”

I didn’t want the bother of shearing?   Hmmm…  Rethink required?

So I pulled out my mom’s spinning wheel – which over the years I’ve never got rid of.   I have no documentation, and it doesn’t look like anything on the website of our largest NZ maker of spinning wheels. Never mind – I take a photo, email it to them and say, “What model is this?” Got an almost immediate reply, “This isn’t one of ours, it was called the Pipy and you can find the history and documentation here…”

Memories came flooding back – now I remember my mom calling it the Pipy. It’s a great NZ wheel, made in 1968, and it seems the design originated with an old Irish spinning wheel that came out of a bombed house in London after the war, was bought at a second-hand shop, and brought to New Zealand.  This elegant wheel that used to be NZ made, is now discontinued.   But the son of the man who made the wheels has started making spare parts for them. Hallelujah!

Incidentally, for all those who think of spinning as a pastime of little old ladies, research on YouTube and other websites shows many young women are now into spinning wool – and teaching others, too…   Well, well!

I had intended to go on an 8+ hour round trip this morning to pick up a couple of Damara lambs (or whatever – keep an open mind) from the breeder.  Yesterday morning I was thinking about the proposed journey and not feeling very enthusiastic about it.  I shared with the Lord my concern and uncertainties and He said:

This is the path – walk in it.”  OK Lord…   I got on with preparing my vehicle for the journey.

Then Lo and Behold out of the blue last night the breeder rang me to say she now has only one pedigree Damara lamb left.  What do I want to do?   I poured out to her what I’d been thinking. We had a long chat (she is a spinner, it turns out) and I’ve decided to switch horses in mid stream, buy Gotlands from her next year instead, and go into wool: a product that can be sold, not only locally, but also on the Internet.    I think I can see some other angles too – about which, more later.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
(John 10:2-4, 27)

So I’m not half way down the line to Auckland right now, I’m sitting here at my PC and thinking, “The Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform…”

Quite often, He has to re-educate us in the process.

More next time.

Patricia

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Turn Around!

You are going to TAKE OVER and DISPOSSESS the goat nations and the goat cities and the goat economies until the SHEEP of My possession will take the high places and establish a testimony to My name.”   (The Father Says Today 11 August 2017)

I’m sure this refers not just to nations, but to all of the 7 Mountains of Influence.  Control of these mountains needs desperately to be recovered from the powers and principalities of the enemy.  Here is confirmation that this is in The Father’s plan.

I’ve been out of circulation for quite a few months – and there’s a reason for that.   Back in late 2014 I was struck by a nasty disease called polymyalgia, which came close at the time to destroying my mobility.  Fortunately, once diagnosed, the solution was revealed – prednisone.

Aaargh!  Well I wasn’t entirely happy with THAT, but does one want to walk freely or not?  In addition, polymyalgia was causing mayhem with my blood – too many platelets, anemia etc.  So my doctor put me on a modest dose of prednisone and over the period of about 18 months we tailed it back and achieved a recovery.  (Which some say is impossible.  Well, I’ve got news for you…)

In the meantime, however, I had an accident and went to a chiropractor – fortunately a very good one.   So we entered into a process of sorting out the curves in my spine and re-stabilizing my backbone.

I’d been quite depressed at the time of the polymyalgia.  The only answer seemed to be to move away from this place, which I’ve been associated with for 47 years and have loved dearly.  I’d even got to the point where I wasn’t interested anymore.

But things kept getting in my way – including shortage of finances to get the place tidied up for sale.  On top of that I had a tree fall on my roof (damage? – oh yes!) and a second tree taken down because it was in danger of following suit.   Fallout everywhere.  Funds getting even lower.   I seemed to be stuck in mud.

Maybe I wasn’t meant to go?

Then just before last Christmas, the tide started to turn.  We began to win with the chiropractic. I was no longer limping.  I’m now getting around my land as in the old days – steep and hilly as it is – and working quite hard, if carefully.  There are a few things I now cannot do, but apart from that, the recovery is little short of miraculous.  I will go into this in more detail in a later post.

I decided to stay – how could I ever have thought of leaving?  To keep my grass down I’ve taken on breeding rare breeds Damara sheep.  My first 2 bought in early July are a Damara/Arapawa cross and her daughter.  Both have had lambs – and the lambs at 2 weeks old are a delight.  Damaras hail from Namibia and are thought to be a breed from the Mediterranean that gradually moved south through Africa – a Middle East connection even in this!

My mother bred black Romney sheep here for the wool, and I am pleased to be into sheep now, rather than goats (much as I loved them).  Somehow, ever since I was born again in late 2006, I’ve not got over the biblical distinction between sheep and goats, where the sheep are seen as the flock that knows the Shepherd’s voice and needs protection, and the goats as somehow different:  notwithstanding that both species were herded by the patriarchs, and both contributed great value to the Jewish economy.   Clearly also, if sheep and goats were herded together, there were times when they simply HAD to be separated, for reasons of logistics.

I think it’s worth noting that the iconography that links the image of the goat to Baal and Satan is in fact of fairly recent origin – the Phoenecians and Canaanites depicted Baal as either a man or a man with a bull’s head.  In the bible, Satan is ‘the old serpent’.

The Good Shepherd

Jesus characterized himself, not as a fisher of men, though He used that metaphor to draw in His first disciples, who were fishermen – but as ‘The Good Shepherd’, and sheep feature so many times in His sayings and parables.  I am very happy now to have changed species, and to be in the category of ‘shepherds‘!    Every day I get great joy from this.

The prophecy I quote at the top of this post came to me on 11 August.  It fitted so clearly with what I was doing that it spoke volumes and gave me great comfort.

Jesus foretold this of Himself at His second coming:

“When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.”  (Matthew 25:32-33: The Message)

Hallelujah!

Patricia

 

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