I am excited to announce the Christmas Ornament fundraiser had begun for our adoption. Each week for the next 5 weeks, I will post a new ornament. I'll send you an ornament for a $5 donation. For a $25 donation, I'll send you the whole set. The ornaments will range from religious to whimsy. All ornaments will be available while supplies last. Supplies are limited. Get yours here - Christmas Ornament Fundraiser
I am starting with the shepherd's staff ornament. Being a "Sheppard" myself, as this is my maiden name, I have always been drawn to the role shepherds have played throughout history. I am waiting for a Tudor's episode with some kick-ass shepherds! From House of Names, the Sheppard name is Anglo-Saxon and comes from when its first bearer worked as a shepherd, the guardian of sheep. I did endure a few baaaas growing up, but I didn't mind. From Wikipedia, Shepherding is one of the oldest occupations. There are battle axes on the Sheppard coat of arms because ancient shepherds were employed to dig sod around the embattlements of a Saxon village as means of defense, hence the term "the shepherd's ring". Now if you google shepherd's ring, you'll get information about The View's Sherri Shepherd's, engagement ring. Anyway, other cool Shepherd tidbits are: Shepherd Moons are moons which literally shepherd the contents of a planetary ring, giving it a crisper edge and more definition. And you can't forget about Shepherd's pie. Here's a good recipe from the Framed Cooks blog - Shepherd Pie. Yum!
The shepherd Biblical references are probably the most common. Many Biblical heroes were shepherds, among them the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob, the twelve tribes, the prophet Moses, and King David; and the Old Testament prophet Amos, who was a shepherd in the rugged area around Tekoa. As from the verse on the ornament, angels announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds. The Good Shepherd is one of the thrusts of Biblical scripture. This illustration encompasses many ideas, including God's care for his people and his discipline to correct the wandering sheep. The tendency of humans to put themselves into danger's way and their inability to guide and take care of themselves apart from the direct power and leading of God is also reinforced with the metaphor of sheep in need of a shepherd.
From John 10:11-18:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who doesn't own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and flees. The wolf snatches the sheep, and scatters them. The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand, and doesn't care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I'm known by my own; even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd. Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father.
That's some pretty powerful stuff.
I am one of those types of people that like to figure things out for myself, which makes it hard for me to ask for a helping hand. It also sometimes takes me down the long, less travelled road. Adoption is one of those instances that you need support from your family, friends and maybe from people that you didn't even know. Our adoption will cost about $25,000. Now that's a whole lotta sheep, but worth every penny. So I ask you to consider donating $5 and I'll send you an ornament.
The Sheppard motto is Fide et virtute, by fidelity and valour. It's still a good motto to live by. Who knew a little printed verse on cardboard and a plastic staff could hold so much weight? That's worth 5 bucks, right?
Donate here - Christmas Ornament Fundraiser
Sources: houseofnames.com; wikipedia.org, and of course The Bible.