About Linda McCutcheon

A Single Mom who survived successfully- and found who God intended her to be while raising two girls.

Lessons from Sheep and Lambs #3

Sheep are followers.  One starts and then the rest usually come right behind.  That is a good thing when trying to move them to a new pasture.  Not so good, when the first couple of ewes head the wrong way! My hope is they are never running toward me!!!

Bill’s patience pays off as he gently tries to get the first couple of sheep to put their hoofs forward in the right direction.   Most don’t want to miss out on all the fuss and spring ahead.  A shepherd would never lead them into a dangerous situation.  For the sheep, it is a trust and risk issue. As I mentioned in the previous blog, they know his voice.

They like to hang in groups and follow each other around.  Our baby lambs get into groups of 20 or 30 and take off running and jumping altogether. It is quite a sight and we love to watch them play.

For their safety and well-being, they need a good shepherd or they will be in trouble. 

Humans are the same.  They need good people and leaders to follow.  If not, many are going down a rabbit hole.  Some believe any new diet, political issues, a new belief system, or even a new friend.  I know people who have listened to financial advisors and lost everything. We have to be careful or we can be in quite a mess. 

We don’t have to follow everything we hear. My policy is to found out what is true and risk-worthy for positive life steps. There is a lot of false teaching out there. Learning to be careful of what and who I follow is part of who I am. It is a trust ad risk issue just like the sheep.

I never have to question the Good Shepherd.  His advice is always in the best interest of His ‘sheep’.  Humans can mess it up, so I trust in God’s word. 

I have almost made some unwise decisions and choices.  I find when in a panic or facing something fearful it makes my perspective way off base. Nothing needs to be on a whim and stepping back and listening to the Good Shepherd’s wisdom and Truth is the best.  It isn’t always easy because I would rather have instant results but it is the good and right thing.

There are a lot of people out there trying to get people to follow them. They make promises, tell lies, and only want for their own gain. 

Sheep need a shepherd to lead and take care of them.  Humans need the Good Shepherd to wade through this thing called, Life!

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 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.  John 10:11,12

You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields
of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life. You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths. I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe. Psalm 23: 1-4

For me, this is a reminder to look to the Good Shepherd and ‘rest in fields of green grass and let Him lead us to streams of peaceful waters.’  I hope you do too. We need that refreshment don’t we!

Have a good week.

Lessons from Our Sheep and Lambs: #2

I’ve seen it first hand!

Just as the Bible verse says, My sheep know my voice, and I know them. They follow me. John 10:27

My husband is a shepherd.  His dad bought him his first sheep when he was about 12 years old.  He was hooked.

He loves taking good care of the flock. He takes courses, talks to experts, sheers our sheep, and makes sure they have the best possible life. I’ve only been on the scene since I married him 12 years ago and never stop learning something new.

When Bill calls the sheep, they really do know His voice.  It could be to give them grain or move them to a nice pasture.  The sheep depend on him.

We’ve just had our first session of lambing for this year.  I’m amazed that the little newborn lambs know their momma’s voice above all the sounds of other lambs and ewes blatting. The ewes know when their babies are calling them.  I find it so amazing to watch.

For sheep and lambs, listening is paramount.  For humans, it is the same.  I feel it is a lost ‘art’. Many times, we like to do things ourselves and am not interested in anyone telling us what to do. 

I’m not against doing things on our own or being empowered to grow.  However, with a lot of years under my belt, I have found:

  1. We need to be willing to listen to what others say and listen with respect and kindness. Then we have a choice to process on our own.  Not everyone’s advice is good. Its amazing all the ‘expert’ advice I got when I became a single parent.  I was able to walk away, roll my eyes, and say…next!! However, I am gained much from wise people too.
  2. The most important of all life’s plans and decisions is to listen to the Good Shepherd’s voice. He will never misguide or misdirect. His Scriptures are true and will lead us in the paths of righteousness.

Life is like standing in our barn with the deafening sounds of hundreds of lambs and sheep. In all the loud outside noises of life, it is learning to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd to make everyday decisions that will lead to true peace.

Come save us and bless us. Be our shepherd and always carry us in your arms.  Psalm 28:9

LESSONS I’VE LEARNED FROM LAMBS AND SHEEP: #1

In Old Testament days, before Jesus walked on the earth, the Jewish culture used perfect lambs as an offering to God.  Because of sin on earth, they needed the shedding of blood for forgiveness.

As Easter approaches, I am forever grateful that I no longer have to sacrifice lambs to ask for forgiveness.  Jesus came to earth, as planned from the beginning of time, to be my sacrificial lamb once and for all.

He did that for anyone willing to accept Him and live a life with purpose.  He walked the life we do while on earth, yet without sin. He understands our pain, our grief, and all the disappointments we face.  What a comfort as I come to Him, the perfect sacrificial Lamb, to seek help and guidance.

My husband and I are now into lambing season.  We have many beautiful lambs. I am thankful I don’t have to sacrifice any of them as my need to be forgiven.   Easter has taken care of that. Thank you to Jesus, the Sacrificial Lamb, for His sacrifice of giving his life so we can be forgiven.

 The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said:

Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Happy Easter. We have much to rejoice for our eternal state.

GOD HEAL OUR LAND

My heart is heavy just as David prayed,

But I trust you, Lord, and I claim you as my God.
My life is in your hands.
Save me from enemies who hunt me down.
Smile on me, your servant.
Have pity and rescue me.  Psalm 31: 14-16 (CEV)

Our world has been in an upheaval since the beginning of time.  Evil has continued to knock at our world, at our nations, at our cities, and even our own homes. It brings tears to my eyes.

As I wake up each day and live out who I am, I seek God’s Word like those before me who have lived it out for thousands of years.

My heart’s desire:

  • Let’s STAND together in unity
  • Let’s SEEK righteousness

And

  • Let’s ask God to SAVE us
  • Let’s ask God to SMILE on us.

My heart’s desire is that we STAND together.  As in the past and now the present, we have differences, many opinions, and so many voices.  People are attacking each other, splitting up relationships, making false news, and enjoying the deviousness in our world.  We don’t have to agree with everything but we don’t have to be mean either. It takes a conscious effort on my part to understand I have a right to my opinion but also to respect and be kind to those that differ.

My heart’s desire is to SEEK righteousness.  The one who is ALL-RIGHTEOUS is God. It is there that I go to my guide book and search the Scriptures. With that, I can then make wise life actions. 

Over the years, I have tried to manipulate my decisions saying they are God’s and it was the farthest from the truth.  I watch people justify their personal decisions and actions claiming it is God’s and it sadly it is not even close to what Scriptures says.  That is super scary.  Each decision I need is to have a posture of what is Truth. If not, then it is a slippery slope.

My hearts desire is to ask God to SAVE us.  We need to be:

  1. Saved from ourselves. We are human and I have personally made some stupid and unwise decisions without God.  That is why I have to keep going back to God’s Word and letting Him help me with words and actions. I can’t do on my own even though I think many times I can.  Save us God from our own human frailty.
  2. Save us from outside forces.  I need to be in a mindset every day as I listen and watch what is going on in our world. I need to be in a posture of seeking God’s words and how I react.  What part can I play for justice and peace?  What does my life say as a representative as a Christ-follower?

My heart’s desire is to ask God to SMILE on us.

More than ever right now we need God to SMILE on us, have pity and rescue us.  (vs 16) Actions of Hate and My Rights are fighting forces every day.  I pray we will sit back, ask God to work in our own hearts, minds, and actions to do His Righteousness and smile on us.

We may stand alone for a while but God is always beside us helping us as we claim Him as our God and seek His righteousness. 

God Heal our Land!

Be blessed as you listen to this song and may your heart be encouraged. We certainly need it.

Scripture app:  https://www.bible.com/

https://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Life to the Fullest #2

Someone commented that what they are living right now is all there is and to just make the best of it. I was saddened by their comment. This person was a loving and caring person and even went to a church.

Jesus said this, A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest. John 10:10

As humans we search for status, security, love, and happiness.  When we achieve something we usually need to get more to feel better.  We struggle with contentment.  If we believe that this is all there is, then we are a people without hope.

Many think that being a Christ-follower is a crutch and we can do things on our own and we don’t need rules.  I have to say, we live in a society of rules and we need help.  We can deny it but we really do.

The answer for living a life with purpose and contentment is Jesus.  God orchestrated that 1000’s of years ago to provide an answer for a fulfilled life here and to live in eternity with Him.  Jesus was our sacrificial lamb.  He desperately loved us (and still does) to help us every time we get up to start the day, and when we tuck ourselves in for the night hours.

People recommend to us the BEST tasting food, the BEST movie to watch, or the BEST holiday place to visit.  We hear them but until we trust their judgement and experience it, we will never know. The same is when Christ-followers says they are living a fulfilled life because of their faith in Jesus.

Are you feeling overwhelmed, lost, or just can’t seem to feel any sense of joy in life?  Taking even a mustard seed size of faith and beginning this Journey to search for meaning and a fulfilled life  can begin a peace you never knew because of Jesus.

I’m not talking about doing ‘religious’ things.  I am talking about a personal relationship with Jesus who gives us REAL life.  He lived this life, had many people mock him, call him names, and said He was an imposter.  Yet, He never gave up on us.  He reached out to the blind, lame, socially rejected, and those that just needed a kind word and encouragement.  Then He gave His life for all mankind.

Jesus said life will bring trouble and we will experience pain.  Who better to understand this then the One who lived it and then gave us the gift of peace here on earth and a promise of life after death.

I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world. John 16:33

Isn’t it great to be cheered up!

I hope you search for it. I also hope if you are a Christ-follower that you use the resources that Jesus promises. His life is a life of peace filled with promises of hope.  It’s a life not because of rules, or to-do lists for acceptance.  He would love to help you.

I am not sure how I would have handled the painful experiences of my life, or the months of this pandemic, or the situations where people have disappointed me. Some days I am weary from hearing and seeing the messes of our world.  But Jesus is constant, He is true, and He is offering a fulfilled life despite all the messes.

It’s something you have heard from me but it is something you have to reach for on your own.  I know it, I live it, and I am thrilled that life here is NOT as good as it gets.  Eternity will be ready for me. 

Check out the link on this blog as you search:  https://singlemomsurvivalsuccess.com/relationship-with-god/

Life to the Fullest:  By Your Side #3