Tina the Turken

by on June 20, 2012
in Uncategorized

She isn’t beautiful, but she does look interesting!
She has several names and there are different stories surrounding her unusual profile.
One of her names is “naked neck,” another “Turken,” and another is “Transylvanian Naked Neck.”
She looks like a regular chicken except that there are no feathers on her neck! She has a fluffy body and a fluffy little head, but her long curving neck is bare. She also has half the amount of feathers on her body as other chicken breeds.
One story is that the breed was developed to be easy to kill by wringing the bare neck and easier to pluck the feathers since there are less of them.
Another story is that the breed is a cross between a turkey and a chicken, but no viable offspring can come from those two.
She may have come from Hungary or Transylvania, become popular in Europe, and eventually was brought to America. There is a Turken from Australia that lays blue or green eggs, but most lay brown eggs. She will lay 120 to 180 eggs in a year and, although usually only eight pounds when grown, some raise her for meat.
Our little four week old naked neck will grow up to a calm, disease resistant, good forager, and a chicken who can do well in the hot weather and, surprisingly, in cold weather. I guess you could says the will be a chick for all seasons!
But I keep coming back to the idea that she was bred to be easy to pluck and easy to kill.
Is Leviticus one of your favorite books of the Bible? You can learn all about the details God gave the Children of Israel for the sacrificial system. . . but most of us don’t spend a great deal of time reading Leviticus.
If you do read about the sacrifices in chapter 6 you can find out about the two goats that were to be brought before the Lord.
“Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the Lord and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.” (Leviticus16:7-10)
So what happens to the scapegoat? “When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness.”(Leviticus 16:20-22)
We enjoy our pets and we often become quite fond of the animals we raise. Can you imagine raising your very best, firstborn animal– whether lamb or goat– knowing that you were choosing it, feeding it, protecting it, keeping it as perfect as possible to deliver it to the priest to be killed.
If your favorite animal was going to be slaughtered and the blood used in the sacrificial system for you to find forgiveness for your sins, wouldn’t the process become much more personal?
What if you had to take the animal you had seen born, nurtured, and took pride in—out into the woods and leave it to be killed and eaten by some wild animal? Sacrifice would become personal.
How can we wrap our feeble minds about the reality of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross that was pictured with every sacrifice made through the years?
How can we ever imagine the depth of love and pain that God endured as He saw His only Son delivered beaten and bruised, but unbroken to the bloodletting cruelty of the cross.
Our forgiveness came at an unbelievably high price.
It couldn’t have been more personal.
We need to get back in touch with the grief and pain and loss of sacrifice, and the intense life taking seriousness of sin.

Finally Catching Pretta

by on March 6, 2012
in Uncategorized

We kept trying.
Trying to catch Pretta, that is.
Remember last week? We left Pretta in the next door pasture. She had jumped the fence and was being very difficult to catch. We had tried luring her with sweet feed, but the other horses got in the way. The stud and lead mare wouldn’t let Pretta or the younger horses near us and the feed.
Then a neighbor came by and offered to help us try again to catch our pesky mare that still acted shy and trotted away as we approached her. Gary, our neighbor, and I climbed the barb wire fence carefully and began our walk to find the bunch of horses. We passed butter-yellow jonquils the sun made almost translucent, we hiked up the dusty bank of the blue-green pond that rippled in the wind, and as we made our way over a little green hill we saw them.
A big-muscled sorrel mare, a slim pinto stud, a black mare with a white stripe running down her face like dripping cream, and four more various colored horses were gathered around the round bale of hay.
We kept walking slowly toward them at an angle, our bodies relaxed, our hands loose at our sides trying to covey that we meant no threat.
Horse heads turned towards us. Deep, dark horse eyes took us in. They kept chewing hay.
We got closer. The stud shuffled his feet and started walking away as the red mare tentatively took a few steps toward us. The black mare let me touch her. I rubbed her long face, and stroked her strong shoulder, hot from the Spring sunshine.
As we moved closer to Pretta, the stud horse joined her, they dodged us, and slipped by us to gallop up the hill their tails streaming out behind them.
We were quiet and still. Slowly the two came back to the rest of the horses. As we tried again, I heard another neighbor call, “Hey, you need help over there?”
“We sure do!” I replied my voice carrying over the pasture, across his green pasture, to him and his wife who were outside their house.
They soon pulled up in their truck, and he got out to help us. Now we were four in the pasture of seven horses. As we moved slowly to work the horses toward a corner so we could catch Pretta, we were making some progress.
Suddenly Pretta wheeled, and turned, and ran by me with a flurry of hooves kicking up clods of grass and dirt.
“I need some feed,” our friend said, and his wife returned to their house and came back with a blue plastic bucket filled with fragrant sweet feed.
The three of us tried to get the interest of the other horses, and as we kept them away, our friend walked toward Bella.
He had the feed bucket in one hand, and as Pretta came near, stretching her long black neck out to sniff the feed, he calmly reached up and took her red halter in his hand.
We called him our horse whisperer as he held Pretta and Gary attached the lead rope to her halter. She took a few mouthfuls of feed and contentedly followed Gary as he led her out of the gate, down the side of the highway, and to the county road leading to our little farm.
Pretta didn’t shy, didn’t rear, didn’t pull back, or try to get away. She followed as calmly and as well mannered as she possibly could. Once, she turned to look back, but kept going forward.
After we had her in our pasture, Gary and I took Pretta to the water trough, showed her the hay, and fed her and Bella a small sweet feed meal.
What one person had a hard time doing, the four of us managed.
Pretta was hungry enough to risk coming close.
The time was right.
The Bible tells us about the strength of having more than one person stand with us.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”( Psalms 17:17) This Psalm reaffirms that there are times when we need someone to stand with us against problems or troubles.
There can be strength in numbers. Do you have two friends you can count on to be there for you, to stand with you, to hold you accountable, and help you live a spiritually acceptable life before God?
A true friend is very difficult to find; perhaps you have many acquaintances, but no one who is a constant in your life.
Don’t worry. Although friends make life sweeter when we are blessed with them, no human can be perfect or meet all our needs. There are some burdens, even friends can’t help us with.
That’s why when we invite Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord, He will come as God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to be our constant companion and source of strength. Philippians 4:13 assures us:” I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Are you hungry enough to come to Christ?
He won’t lead you wrong.