Tag Archives: shepherd

Called God’s Friend

Story of the Day for Friday May 11, 2012

Called God’s Friend

                     And he calls his own sheep by name.

                                                        John 10:3


I sometimes dream of an idyllic world where I take my car to an auto mechanic and he says, “Excuse me, but have we met before?” Unfortunately, my car guys call me by my first name, and if things get any worse we’ll be exchanging Christmas cards.


This morning my wife took our van into town to have the tires changed (in Montana studded tires are legal — but only until the end of May). I loaded the summer tires into the back of the van and sent her on her way. A couple of hours later, I got a phone call. The car guys told me I had the wrong size tires.

I found the right ones, drove the pickup down Pinkham Mountain, and brought them to my friendly car guy.

“Oh, hi Marty. It’s about time you brought the right tires.”

“So,” I asked Joey, “how long you think it’ll take to switch ’em?”

“Oh, give me a break!” he said. “First, I’m sittin’ around here waiting on you, and now you want to know how soon I’ll be done!”

I told him to quit his whining and made a veiled insinuation that the service industry was going to the dogs.

It was a gratifying moment. He felt comfortable enough to give me a hard time and I felt free enough to dish it back, and we both had a good laugh.

Can you imagine what would happen if Joey talked like that to a perfect stranger? The offended customer would’ve complained to the owner and Joey would now be selling herbal cures for hair loss on the internet.

When we know someone, we treat them differently than we do strangers.


If you want to get lost in a nameless crowd, you can’t do better than becoming a sheep. Gaze at a flock of sheep they all look like identical bags of wool.

But not to a shepherd. Shepherds in Palestine can distinguish every sheep in their flock and give names to each one. When a shepherd leads his flock to new pastures he can call them all by name.

When we trust in Jesus, our relationship changes. We’re no longer strangers. We belong to him, not because of  how fast we can walk, but simply because when he calls our name we trust him enough to follow.


Once Abraham got into a “disagreement” with God. When God told Abraham he intended to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness, Abraham kept bargaining with God not to do it. I always felt Abraham was a little cheeky doing that.

But over the years I’m beginning to realize that Abraham could talk the way he did — not because he was disrespectful — but because he knew God so well. He was bold because of his faith.

No wonder the Bible says of Abraham: “and he was called God’s friend.”

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Dashed Dreams and a Higher Plan

Story of the Day for Wednesday June 8, 2011

Dashed Dreams and a Higher Plan


                    “. . . Moses named his son Gershom, explaining, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”  

                                                                            Exodus 2:22

 Moses’ life is curious in that his personal tragedies set him on the road to a higher purpose. Persecution forces his mother to float her baby away in a reed basket. But then he’s discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter.  Moses is raised in the shadow of the pharaoh, yet is later is forced to flee into the desert. In Midian, he marries and raises a family and learns the peaceful, nomadic life. But then God makes him go back to Egypt as a vocal, public figure. All of the major disappointments in Moses’ life are the prelude to a higher plan.


David Thompson, born in 1770, was raised in poverty. Yet, due to this, he found a steady job in Canada with the Hudson’s Bay Company when he was only fourteen. His work as a fur trader, unfortunately, was disrupted when a serious leg injury forced him to convalesce for two winters.

This setback, however, enabled Thompson to spend time with surveyor, Philip Turnor, who refined young David’s skills in math, astronomy, and surveying. When Thompson recovered, his company promoted him to the position of surveyor.


In 1797, David Thompson left Hudson’s Bay to work for the North West Company. After surveying 4000 miles – which included Lake Superior and the headwaters of the Mississippi River – Thompson was sent west. The North West Company had heard that their American rival, John Jacob Astor, had sent a ship around Cape Horn to claim the Columbia River for his fur trading empire.

Thompson was sent to discover, and map, the route of the Columbia River before Astor’s ships arrived. Ironically, Thompson found the Columbia River twice, but didn’t know it. At its source, the Columbia flows for two hundred miles in a northerly direction – the opposite direction it was “supposed” to flow. Thompson and his men took an arduous 600 mile detour through my present stomping grounds in Montana before they discovered the Columbia as it flowed southwest.

The confusion cost Thompson two months. When he finally reached the mouth of the Columbia, he learned that Astor’s ship had beaten them . . . by two months.


David Thompson didn’t know at the time that rights to fur trading were trivial compared to what he accomplished. His seemingly futile wanderings caused him to map 2,340,000 square miles – more than any geographer who ever lived. He visited Edmonton, Calgary, and Portland before these cities had even been invented. Though he failed in his attempt to ensure beaver pelts for his company, he accomplished something far greater: he mapped and defined a nation.

Dashed dreams which initiate a higher plan – do you think that was only true for Moses and David Thompson? Or do you believe God is doing the same thing in your life?

                                     (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)