Saturday, February 25, 2012

In the Wilderness

Today I spent some time with my friends romping through the trees.  Of course my best buddy Bert could not be with us.  But he is now home with his Vickie resting and recuperating in his own personal luxury suite that his Vickie made for him.  You can check out how he is doing here.

One of the things we did today was help two of my dog friends with their Search and Rescue training.  MOM and I have done this before and we love it, MOM really loves it.  So Bert's Vickie went and got herself lost in the woods in one area and me and MOM got ourselves lost in another area.  (Of course I was never really lost I knew right where we were, I just pretended).

It was great fun.  We hiked through trees and MOM crawled under all kinds of thick brush.  We hiked to the river and then back into the woods and brush.  Then we sat on a log under some brush and waited to be found.  I know that being lost for real can be scary but I have to admit I had a great time getting lost.   As we waited MOM talked to me about when Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days.  He didn't have anything to eat, and the conditions were harsh and then "the Evil One" came and tempted Jesus.  I listened real good and then told MOM what I thought:

Can you find me in this photo?
 Whatever the reason Jesus is immediately confronted with three major temptations. And he is confronted with this basic question: Would he take the crown without the cross?  The temptations Jesus faced are the most basic temptations in life and they form the foundation for all other temptations. I would propose that when temptation comes our way; if we will pause and classify the temptation, we would be able to identify it with one of the three temptations Jesus faced. We will also be better equipped to answer with the words and obedience of Christ.  

Waiting to be found
There are times when all of us are tempted. None of us ever escapes some form of temptation.  I think what Jesus went through is a good reminder to us that goodness is not synonymous with innocence.  True goodness can come after a struggle with evil.

Can you find me in here?
The first temptation is turning stones into bread.  Bread is not how we live, not solely, and not primarily. We live in obedience to the word of God. If we come to God we come because we belong with him not because he has something for us. We come because our soul needs to be in God's presence not because our belly needs to be filled.

Then Jesus is tempted to jump off a high place.  And that Evil One uses a scripture to get Jesus to do it.  You know you can't just simply quote scripture, obviously the Devil can do that too, it's not enough.  You cannot manipulate scripture for your own purpose, or even for what we perceive to be the purpose of God.

Finally Jesus is tempted to serve Satan and if he does he will be given all the kingdoms on earth.  But that Jesus refuses to change the world by becoming a part of the world.  Then he tells The Evil One to move along.  (I like that part).  Of course Jesus would be tempted again and again in the 3 years to come.  But right from the start Jesus let Evil know that he was not confronting a man's power, but the very power of God. 

You know what?  That same power is available to everyone.  So I suppose the question is, "What does it mean for us?"  Some would say that to be a Christian means that life is all roses.  But even roses have thorns.  Life can be a struggle and a wilderness experience.  But in those times, when we try to find our way through the wilderness and when temptation comes and offers the wrong answers and choices, we have a Creator who will be with us and offer us strength.  Jesus went through the temptations too and this I suppose is the twist ending of Lent.  If Jesus saves himself, he cannot save us.  Jesus was tempted to take the crown without the cross.  He did not because he loves you.

A special note to my buddy Bert.  I know you will be tempted to climb over logs, and run and jump and greet every one who comes to your place.  But my friend now is the time to rest and heal.  I know the temptation will be strong, but you will be stronger if you resist.  You need anything Your Vickie is right there to be your strength and you have a whole world of friends who will lend you a paw, me included, I'll be the first in line to help.



  1. Dearest Goose,
    That is one of my favorite bible stories. Me thinks mes would be tempted If the devil had KFC. But me is a cat. God is always there, even for us animals. When me was hurting and had nobody and was in need, me purrayed, my Daddy came and took me to my forever home.

  2. Dear Goose,

    My Vickie and I always love your posts and the messages you have in them. Especially when you have special messages just for me. I promise, I will take your advice and try not to do those things that I might be tempted to do.

    We are both so glad you are our friends.

  3. Goose..what an excellent post with a wonderful message for Bert. Looks like you and your Mom had fun hiding. Nope we couldn't,t see you in some of the photos. Have a great weekend.
    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  4. Dear Goose - thank you for beeing there!
    Your very impressed Charlotte

  5. Pawsome post that really spoke to our Mommy. You lost us kittehz at the word "Temptations". MOL.

  6. Wow - you blend in real well! Mom couldn't find you at all!


  7. Great post Goose! A timely reminder that we can grow from resisting temptation. And yes, you do blend in very well!

  8. Great post. I could not find Goose in one of the pictures! Goose blends into the scenery very well!

    I agree there are some in the wilderness encountering challenging times. Much food for thought in this post. I also did not know the devil could quote scripture.

    We are glad Bert is home! Now he will be tended with great care and his friends will be there to lend a comforting word. Hooray!

  9. Hi Y'all,

    Goose you can disappear even better than I can. Have a "blessed" and restful Sunday.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  10. Goose this is a perfect post fur you to do right now. Bert is gonna need to resist a LOT of stuffs for a while.

  11. Good job Goose! You blend right into that brush!

  12. We know about pretending to be lost, too! BOL! It's part of Kuster's training. As a matter of fact, that's what we're heading up to do today!

    I think I could resist most temptations, but a squirrel would be pretty hard to pass up!


  13. Wow, Goose - you blend in so well with the brush!

  14. Oh, great post, Goose! Love the way you explain the temptations that Jesus faced - our favorite part is ALSO when He told Satan to go pound sand. So to speak. Mom likes how ALL of us can be strong if we let God inside.
    Anyway - that was nice of you and your MOM to help out with the Search and Rescue. Our mom would be really good at the getting lost part. She wouldn't even have to pretend. When God was giving out sense of direction, Mom was lost somewhere. Ha roo roo roo!
    Play bows,

  15. Happy Sunday Goose, I love this post-firstly of course the life lesson you have given us but also searching the photos for you-I found you in some but one I couldn't find you in. You are such a blessing to your mom, Bert, Ms.Vickie and all of us who come by.
    Sending lots of love your way.
    Noreen & Reggie

  16. Oh Goose, you are so wise. I used to do SAR with K's predecessor, and I loved when we got to hide for others to find us. You sure are good at blending in. Have you thought of a career in the CIA?

    I enjoyed your thoughts on temptations. We all have our demons, and the biggest temptation for me is to give in to them. But, I refuse. Thanks for helping Bert to refuse, too.

    I'm sorry that your MOM had such a rough day the other day. I'm glad that my post helped just a little, even though it seems like a tiny thing compared to what your MOM faced that day.

  17. Peek a boo, Goose...we see you!
    Nice sermon today. I think Bert will like it, we did!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

  18. S.O.S. dear Goose!
    I'm sorry to say - but yes it is YOUR MOM at Bert's place. I would prefere if you are also ALWAYS there... You know the thing with Anni...
    Please my dear friend take care of your buddy (not to much moving, no tennisballs etc.) AND please save him from seducements of all kinds...
    many thanks your Charlotte

  19. This post was beautiful, Goose! What a wonderful way to start the week with such seminal insight and opportunities for your readers to reflect. I like the quote, "You're not lost, just wandering." When I get lost ( when I don't follow directions well), I use it as an opportunity to learn something new. When I get lost emotionally or spiritually, I need to rest in my faith and do the same thing. Yay!

    P.S., Going to check out Bert's blog now. I'm so excited, as I feel like I know all about him too through your friendship!

    Happy seeing beautiful!

  20. Hi Goose
    I could not find you in the pictures , you do blend in very well !


  21. Oh Goose - Us Beaglebratz r so furry much glad that when u pretended tu b lost, u wuzn't really lost - egspeshally fer 40 days like Jesus wuz. We showed this tu mom - she lovez this story an'knowz 'boutz bein'lost an'tempted sumtimez.
    Shiloh'n Shasta

  22. Wonderful sermon, same one we had at church yesterday. Loved it!

  23. I am catching up (as usual). This is a really good post. I like how you wove the story of Jesus being tempted into being part of the search and rescue. I take it you were found in the end? :)