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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Black Sheep of the Family (10/03/13)

TITLE: Living Water


“Black Sheep” a song recorded by John Anderson, hit the charts in 1983. It went to the top for one week and stayed in the top 40 for fourteen weeks. Country music fans connected with John’s gutsy rendition, “I’m the blaaack sheep of the family.” The song tells the story of three brothers and a sister. One brother is a doctor, the sister is married to a banker, and the black sheep of the family is a semi-driver. His lifestyle consists of making payments on a two room shack, a wife who waits on tables and at night she rubs his back. A typical down on your luck country song, but this one is different. Maybe, it’s the way John belts it out because the listener begins to root for the black sheep. And the conclusion is that things aren’t as bad as they seem.

Our society defines being a black sheep as something that is negative. But in the book of Genesis black sheep are used by God to fulfill a covenant promise. In chapter 30 we read a story about Jacob. Because of his deceptive ways he had left Canaan, his homeland. He arrives in Haran only to be deceived by Laban, his father-in-law. Jacob spends 20 years as the caretaker of Laban’s livestock. God’s covenant promise to Jacob is that Jacob will return to Canaan (Gen.28:15). Jacob presents a plan to Laban so he can return home. “Let me pass through your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats and such will be my wages” (RSV Gen. 30:32). When the flocks come for water Jacob places tree branches in the troughs. Susposedly this influenced the genetics (color and size) of the animals. Thus, Jacob’s flock flourishes and Laban’s becomes weaker. Now Jacob is wealthy enough to leave Laban. When he returns home he buys a parcel of land in Shechem.

Almost 2,000 years later Jesus enters Sychar. Nearby is the parcel of ground that Jacob had purchased. Jesus, weary from his journey, sits on the well. A woman comes to draw water. Jesus asks her for water, but then He offers her the “living water.” The woman questions Jesus, “Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” (John 4:12). Jesus replies that His water is everlasting life and those who drink of it will never thirst again. When Jesus reveals the woman’s past, five husbands and her current live-in relationship, she perceives that He is a prophet. She leaves her water pot, returns to the city, and urges those to come and meet the Christ. This is a down on your luck woman, the black sheep of the family, who comes and meets the Great Shepherd. With joy she returns to the city, for now she knows, things aren’t as bad as they seem.

WC 480

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This article has been read 144 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 10/10/13
Nicely done, and certainly on topic. Good job.

Thank you. God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/11/13
This is an interesting devotion. I really like how you used a song that many people can relate to before transitioning to your Biblical message.

The one thing you may want to smooth out is e transitions. On the message boards there is a thread that talks on this and gives ways to transition smoothly. I'd urge you to check it out and participate, if you haven't already. It's called Jan's Writing Basics. Jan's great about responding to each person who posts on the thread too. Here is the link: http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=37269

Overall, though you did a really nice job. I like the message and the retelling of the Biblical stories. You did a nice job of writing on topic too. Keep it up!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/11/13
Oops sorry for the typo. It was supposed to be the transition not e transition. For example between the first and second paragraphs, you might want to reinforce your last statement. Ex: Our society sees black sheep as something negative, but sometimes it can be a good thing.

You really do a nice job of demonstrating your point. It makes the reader stop and think which is always good. I think you did a nice job picking great scriptures to go with your message. Great job.
Amelia Brown 10/11/13
You presented some very nice points in your piece and shared a different perspective. However, I read the 1st paragraph and totally forgot about it while reading the 2nd and 3rd. Using good transitions will tie each paragraph together and makes the writing flow. I like the message delivered though, keep writing.
Larry Whittington10/13/13
I am not a music person but the illustration of the family in the song was understood.

The message presented in the rest of the article well written and easy to follow.

Nice work.