SSB Gathering – January 25, 2015

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Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

Emerald Falls

 (Emerald Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon)

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John 10: 7-18

(7) Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. (8) All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. (9) I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. (10) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

(11) I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (12) The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. (13) The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

 (14) I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – (15) just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep. (16) I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

 (17) The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. (18) No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my father.

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Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

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photo credit: Brian Bonham

39 comments on “SSB Gathering – January 25, 2015

  1. A situation comes to mind where a certain “pastor” responded to congregational concerns by saying he was not a hireling, meaning, I suppose, that he could not be held accountable as is usual in cases where one is being paid for services. This same “pastor,” of course, moved on when the going got rough, thereby demonstrating to all with eyes to see that he was, indeed, a hireling. A true pastor would lay down his life for the congregation, even if it meant staying to serve without pay, title or authority, all the while supporting himself, like Paul, with so-called secular employment.

    Actually, I have never known a true pastor (by which I mean shepherd). I’m sure they exist, and perhaps I’m overlooking somebody, but every “pastor” I have ever known has moved on when the going got rough.

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  2. I should clarify. I have never PERSONALLY known a true pastor. Except for some concerning which not enough time has run to know for sure, they have all moved on at one point or another. There are some who participate here, and who are active on at least one other blog with which I am familiar, who doubtless are qualified for the designation of pastor/shepherd. Still, I prefer to use shepherd in place of pastor, and I resist the notion that either term should be used as a title.

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  3. Gary W. – I fully understand where you are coming from. What I like about this verse is “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” and “I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

    Even when we were dealing with rough church experiences, I was able to see that Jesus was not what the people who represented him were all about.

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  4. Kathi, In all fairness, it isn’t just preacher’s who fail the test. Relying on 1 Cor 11:3 and Eph 5:23, many men are fond of pointing out that the husband is the head of the wife. This is done in an effort to establish dominion and control over their wives.

    Setting aside the whole question whether the relevant passages must be read in view of the 1st century cultural context, we husbands are not so quick to emphasize that Jesus’ headship over the (true) Church is the standard. Whatever else Jesus’ headship entails, it cannot contradict the demonstrated reality that He laid down His life for us.

    Just as many husbands get it backwards, insisting that their wives lay down their lives for them, so also way too many preachers insist that their congregants lay down their lives for the preachers. To the extent we allow them to do so, they devour our income, our accumulated wealth, our time, our aspirations and our God-given prerogative of thinking for ourselves. They even devour our worship, effectively insisting that we give our admiration, praise and affection to them rather than to the one true shepherd and savoir of our souls. They may begin as hirelings, but they quickly become wolves. Flee such men (and, occasionally, women).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathi – Gary W

    Some of my favoritious verses I quote often….

    (14) I am the good shepherd; I know MY sheep and MY sheep know me –
    (The self-appointed shepherds I have known, I have NOT really known.) 😦

    (15) just as the Father knows me and I know the Father –
    and I lay down my life for the sheep.
    (Yup – When the going got tough, the shepherd got going.) 😦

    (16) I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.
    I must bring them also.
    They too will *Listen To MY Voice*
    and there shall be “ONE” flock
    and “ONE” shepherd.

    “ONE” Voice – “ONE” Flock – “ONE” Shepherd

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

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  6. Amos,

    You may be surprised to hear this from me, but I am thinking I may attend a “church” service this morning. Even though it has been a good long time since I have attended a service, I don’t expect the ceiling will collapse. However, I am curious to see if I will be defenestrated.

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  7. Kathi, thank you for putting today’s post together and please thank Brian for use of his gorgeous photo. The Columbia Gorge is so amazingly beautiful and I love driving through it on my way to Portland.

    I read the verse where wolf attacks the flock and scatters it and that is certainly what happened at BGBC – – so many people left wounded over the years. But, then thankfully, I have experienced godly pastors who actually care about the hurting sheep and want to help guide them back to God – a merciful and loving God who would never abandon us.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is good for me today. I’ve been fed up with our church and pastor for quite some time, and today was the first time I’ve actually walked out of a church service for reasons other than needing to be somewhere immediately after.

    I just want to find a church that is more about God than it is the pastor’s ego. I’ve had the joy of attending a couple in the past. Unfortunately, the one we attend right now is the Pastor J Variety Show Hour, and the one we attended before that had seemingly lifted a 5-year strategic plan straight from the corporate sector– complete with gobbling up smaller, struggling churches in the region to become “satellite campuses.”

    Thank God that Jesus is our one true shepherd, regardless of what we find (or don’t) here on earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gary W

    WOW…

    “defenestration?” Where do you find these big words?

    defenestration – dictionary
    noun formal or humorous
    the action of throwing someone or something out of a window. 🙂

    Well, if you’re the victim of “defenestration?”

    I hope you take yourself, and your beliefs “lightly”

    So you can float softly to the ground… 😉

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  10. Not feeling good. Been in CA. for 2 weeks & have been dizzy, yesterday it was so bad I went to ER. All my tests came back good. However, my blood pressure was off the charts, which is odd because I usually am110/60. Asking for prayers, I will schedule appt. with Dr. tomorrow.

    I love the photo! The words that came to mind as I looked at it are from Ps.42 “As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee…

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  11. Hi Again Gail

    You write…
    “my blood pressure was off the charts,”

    Was Wondering…
    How do you want me to Pray?

    Do you want that Blood Pressure to be back to normal?

    Or, would you like a bigger chart? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. @ Julie Anne,

    You hit the jackpot with Aretha’s adaptation of Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend
    Love It !!

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  13. Lord, I speak to that blood pressure in Gail that is out of order, out of whack.

    And, I pray that blood pressure be put it back in whack, back in order.

    And, that dizziness would NO longer affect Gail.

    That Gail would “Feel” strong, salubrious, safe, and secure…
    And ALL fear would go.

    FEAR go…

    Thank You Jesus

    Liked by 1 person

  14. AmosLove- You make me smile! Love the video’s. You & Gary W with your immense vocabularies! Thanks for the prayers & music. Had to look this up!
    salubrious
    [ səˈlo͞obrēəs ]
    ADJECTIVE
    health-giving; healthy:
    “salubrious weather”
    synonyms: healthy · health-giving · healthful · beneficial · wholesome

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  15. Gail and Amos,

    Salubrious. Thanks, Gail, for the new word. I’ve heard it, and knew that it had positive connotations, but not it’s actual meaning, which, according to http://www.thefreedictionary.com, means conducive or favorable to well-being, as well as to health.

    But I’m curious. If glorious means full of glory, and if virtuous means full of virtue, does salubrious mean full of salubri? Probably not, though could we not speak of, say, the salubrification of a moribund (nearly dead) institution? Could not foul air, or drink, or what have you be salubrified?

    Seriously, though, a quick Internet search indicates that salubrious is derived from the Latin salubris, which in turn comes from salus =health. I suspect, but have not confirmed, that the Latin salubris is related to the Latin salvare =to save. All of which is very interesting in view of the fact that the Greek word for salvation, sozo, connotes not only rescue from the consequences of sin, but also the impartation of health (=well-being =salubrious) and, especially, wholeness (=wholesomeness =salubrious).

    All of which is but to state that that the Cross is both salvific (another word beginning with “sal”) and salubrious (and maybe even salubrificatious).

    And so, Amos, you see how easy it is. These words just form themselves–even when they aren’t really words.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. All, if you haven’t clicked on that picture to see it enlarged, you’ve got to see why we call it God’s country. It truly is that beautiful over here – that’s about 3 hrs from me.

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  17. if you haven’t clicked on that picture to see it enlarged, you’ve got to see why we call it God’s country.

    Julie Anne, That picture in itself is a good reason to visit Oregon and see it for myself.

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  18. Gail – Gary W

    “You & Gary W with your immense vocabularies!”

    NOPE – Not me.

    I needed another word starting with “s”
    And looked up “healthy” in the dictionary
    And found “salubrious” in the Thesaurus. 😉

    A new word for me too.

    Gary, thanks for the introduction to latin. 🙂
    Think I’ll go study some latin tonight to catch up with you.

    And I really like and agree when you mention “sozo.”

    First – It’s a small Greek word I can spell.

    Second – What Gary said…
    “All of which is very interesting in view of the fact that the Greek word for salvation, “sozo,” connotes not only rescue from the consequences of sin, but also the impartation of health (=well-being =salubrious) and, especially, wholeness (=wholesomeness =salubrious)

    Yes – Save, Heal, Make Whole, are often the same word “sozo.”
    Thayers has “sozo” translated in the NT as
    KJV – save 93, make whole 9, heal 3, be whole 2, misc 3; 110

    1) to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction
    1a) one (from injury or peril)
    1a1) to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e.
    one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health
    1b1) to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue
    1b) to save in the technical biblical sense

    John 10:9
    I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be *saved, (*sozo)
    and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

    Luke 17:19
    He said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee *whole. (*sozo)

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  19. Time for court tomorrow. Our antiSlapp appeal is down to the wire. Prayers for Alex and me would be much appreciated.

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  20. Regarding Gary and the “hireling” comment, optimally it ought to mean that a pastor will not bend with the wind and run away from the sheep, no? I obviously cannot judge whether the person Gary refers to was using it properly, or whether the pastor was more saying “my way or the highway.” My prayers for you, Gary, to find real pastors. I have known some, and I have known some hirelings and worse.

    Regarding “defenestration”, here’s the act that gave the word life. Anti-Hussite (Jan Hus was an early Protestant leader) threw their oppressors out the window, including some papal emissaries. Hence “defenestration.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenestrations_of_Prague

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  21. Thanks, Bike Bubba. Actually I have had the privilege of knowing men and women with the position of pastor who had/have shepherd’s hearts. Every one of them has moved on at one point or another, which to my mind makes them hirelings in the sense Jesus was using the term. My opinion is that they were doomed to failure because they were attempting to operate within a system of compulsory authority our Lord never intended.

    I have also known people without the title of pastor who were and are pastors in the sense of being shepherds. My thought, borrowed from Amos, is that these people are shepherds in the sense that was meant by whatever Hebrew and Greek words are translated pastor. Maybe there is a place for people we call pastors (though I personally believe otherwise), but another term ought to be used. Pastor should always and only be used as a descriptive term, never as a title. To avoid confusion, it would now be much better to use the word shepherd instead of pastor.

    Thanks for the heads up on the derivation of defenestration.

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  22. Gary, well said–just keep in mind that a pastor can move on for more than one reason. Yes, he can be running away from a situation where he is called to protect the sheep. He can also excuse himself from a situation where he finds out that the leaders of the flock are wolves. I’ve seen both.

    No polite to put it, no matter how you phrase it. And regarding using the word shepherd–or ideally the phrase “good shepherd”–instead of pastor, amen, but suffice it to say that not too many people are going to “get” the picture of what a shepherd does, at least outside places like the Umatilla Reservation. Whatever is done, it’s got to be explained and lived.

    And, at your service, Gary & Brenda. Just make sure there’s a manure pile below if you decide to do it at home. :^)

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