AVAILABILITY vs SELF-CENTEREDNESS Lesson 1

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How often we are tempted to just give the kids a place to be and then go on with our own lives... raising children is a commitment; so is being a member of a family, an organization, a volunteer group, a church... and sometimes that is not what we want, but it is what we must be a grown-up and do. Our animal leaves her babies in the care of others, but our Lord, even when exhausted, deals with the protection of His own and helps others to come to a place of peace... He is available and thereby encourages us to NOT be self-centered.

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   First serving my family, before I consider other wants or needs....  :

     First serving my family, before I consider other wants or needs....   But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 1 Timothy 5:8  Character Sketches, Vol. 2 IBLP, 1978, pages 126-139 Information also drawn from CharacterFirst !, various Character Councils, & other websites Lesson #1

Who Am I?:

Who Am I? In Nature… Love bugs Don’t like parenting Considered a parasitic nester From Scripture… Totally ostracized from friends & family Considered dangerous Lived like an animal

Brown-headed Cow Bird:

Brown-headed Cow Bird Came to North America from Mexico Latin name= Molothrus ater ( vagabond, dark) Tends to be found with cattle Eats the bugs cattle disturb & have on them Considered a brood parasite, they have been instrumental in the replacement of many smaller songbird populations.

A brood parasite…:

A brood parasite… Waits for the host to lay an egg Lays 1-5 eggs/season Finds 5 nests; if not, may put 2 or more eggs in 1 nest Most smaller birds will accept the intruder, to their own babies’ detriment; however, larger & more aggressive birds will often reject &/or destroy the parasitic egg ~ cover it up & start over, push it out, or break it… Roughly 195 species are victimized…

Growing up as a cowbird….:

Growing up as a cowbird…. You don’t know your own parents… You beat out your step-sibs, hatching first, & eating first… You outgrow the nest after a week or so & continue to demand your foster parents feed you… You continue the cycle with the next generation…

Family first…& also others!:

Family first…& also others! *Family first does not mean get rid of the other guy’s relationships, etc. *Look well to your own relationships… check in with them frequently *Take on personal responsibility for your own family, & be willing to help others do the same, without letting them “take over your nest”

Ostracized & alone…:

Ostracized & alone… filled with loathing & a legion of tormentors … The man of Gadera was condemned to the graveyard until Jesus broke the demonic bondage & self-hate…

Gadara:

*Jesus had healed a blind man *Been accused of devilry *Had his family wonder if He was insane… *Taught from the boat, then calmed the seas *Was likely looking for rest across the sea... *& then ran into the demoniac… A really busy time… Gadara

The locals…:

The locals… Greeks, part of the 10 Cities of the Decapolis… *They are terrified! **here is power over demons **here is power above their gods…. *   the loss of the pigs may have indicated (to them) a hostile god…

The Takeaway:

The Takeaway First serving my family, before I consider other wants or needs.     1 Timothy 5:8  But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Even though Jesus was tired, the Gadarene was a perceived threat… so He dealt with him immediately, guided & taught him…& then sent him home to teach & provide for his own…

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