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                      "HONK! - LESSONS FROM GEESE"


INTRODUCTION

1. The Scriptures often point to nature for illustration and wisdom...
   a. Solomon directed the sluggard to consider the ant - Pr 6:6-11
   b. Jesus said to look at the birds, consider the lilies - Mt 6:26-28

2. Found on the Internet are facts and lessons we can learn from geese...
   a. By Robert McNeish, former Assoc. Superintendent of Baltimore
      Public Schools, 1972
   b. That can be applied to our relationships with one another in the
      church

[For example, consider our first lesson from geese...]

I. GEESE PRACTICE SYNERGY

   A. FACT...
      1. As each goose flaps its wings it creates an "uplift" for the
         birds that follow
      2. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater
         flying range than if each bird flew alone

   B. LESSON...
      1. People who share a common direction and sense of community can
         get where they are going quicker and easier because they are
         traveling on the thrust of one another - McNeish
      2. This is the principle of synergy:  two or more agents working
         together to produce a result not obtainable by any of the
         agents independently (e.g., nitrogen + glycerin)
      3. Which explains the Biblical practice of two by two - Mk 6:7; Lk
         10:1; Ac 13:2; cf. Ec 4:9

[Do we appreciate the wisdom of "flocking together"?  Closely related is
lesson two...]

II. GEESE BENEFIT FROM MUTUAL EDIFICATION

   A. FACT...
      1. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag
         and resistance of flying alone
      2. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the
         lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it

   B. LESSON...
      1. If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with
         those headed where we want to go - McNeish
      2. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others
         - ibid.
      3. Strong Christians appreciate the value of mutual edification
         - He 3:12-14; 10:24-25

[Mutual edification occurs within the context of a local church.
Whereas a group of geese are called either a skein (inflight) or gaggle
(on ground), a group of Christians is called a church.  Next...]

III. GEESE SHARE THE BURDEN

   A. FACT...
      1. When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation
         and another goose flies to the point position
      2. Similar to pace lining in bicycling

   B. LESSON...
      1. It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing
         leadership - McNeish
      2. As with geese, people are interdependent on each otherís
         skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents
         or resources - ibid.
      3. As members of the body of Christ, we are to do our part - Ep
         4:16

[Too often, brethren "burn out" because other brethren wonít "help out".
How about you?  Are you doing your part in the work of the local church?
On to lesson four...]

IV. GEESE ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO LEAD

   A. FACT...
      1. The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front
         to keep up their speed
      2. It is unlikely to be complaining that they are going the wrong
         way 

   B. LESSON...
      1. We need to make sure honking is encouraging - McNeish
      2. In groups where there is encouragement the production is much
         greater - ibid.
      3. The power of encouragement (to stand by oneís heart or core
         values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the
         quality of honking we seek - ibid.
      4. Such should be purpose of our words (honking), to build others
         up - Ep 4:29; Col 4:6

[To give a bumper sticker another meaning:  "Honk, if you love Jesus"
(and His brethren).  Lastly...]

V. GEESE CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER

   A. FACT...
      1. When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop
         out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it
      2. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again
      3. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with
         the flock

   B. LESSON...
      1. If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other
         in difficult times as well as when we are strong - McNeish
      2. Another benefit in working together, a duty of spiritual
         brethren - cf. Ec 4:10; Ga 6:1-2

CONCLUSION

1. By instinct, God gave geese the wisdom to succeed in their flight and
   migration

2. By His Word, and by His Creation, God gives us wisdom to succeed in
   our spiritual journey!
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