A Fellowship of Faith ~ Guest Blog by J.D. Wininger

I love seeing wonderful jewels of God’s truth from a perspective that I hadn’t considered. J. D. Wininger is one of the most gifted people I’ve ever met at helping others to do just that, and we’re blessed to be able to have him step in as our guest blogger this week. J.D. is one of those students of Jesus Christ who strives to work with Him, not just for Him. As you enjoy the article below, we encourage you to also add his blog to your reading list. We’ll tell you how to do that in a closing note from Diane and me below.

Ron ~

A Fellowship of Faith


“so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
(Romans 12:5, NKJV)

Unless a bull gets agitated and about to charge, you seldom see them pawing or stomping at the ground with their front hooves. I can think of only a handful of times I’ve seen a mama cow do that. On this morning, I watched as “Aunt Louise” (affectionately known as “Weezy”) doing exactly that near the pond. Calving season has begun at the Cross-Dubya and God has blessed us with “bonus calves” (twins) and other healthy babies.

Warranting an investigation, my ranch foreman, Mr. John, went to look. Coming back to the house, he smiled sideways and reported, “She got ‘er one.” We laughed and commented on how they were indeed running this time of year. What’s “they”? Snakes, of course. Particularly the venomous kind like cottonmouths, otherwise known as water moccasins, that live near ponds, ditches, and creeks. An aggressive snake, I’ve seen these rascals fight, bite, and try to kill each other. While our adult cows are mostly immune, and Bubba the chocolate lab for that matter, new calves often cannot fight off the effects of their potent venom.

Mr. John and I went out to confirm the snake’s identity. Its distinctive markings immediately told me it was a cottonmouth. When he picked it up to toss its remains into the pond (food for the turtles), we both chuckled. Every time we’ve found a dead snake the cattle have gotten ahold of, it’s in the same condition. The cows smashed its head clean off! A cow will paw and strike a snake’s head because they instinctively know this is the dangerous part. And they don’t stop stomping the enemy’s head until they are certain they’ve eliminated the threat. This often means the head is ground into dust.

Late afternoon, after another calving, I watched as “Lulu Belle”, the latest to calve, lay with all the new calves around her. She alone was on nursery duty while the others were 200 yards away, munching on the lush spring grasses. The trust our herd shares with one another is inspiring.

I’ve shared with you many times about how the herd mentality of my cattle gives me wonderful spiritual insights. Thinking about the day’s events, God shared another. The herd God has blessed me with caring for is an example of the fellowship we humans are supposed to share with one another. I began thinking about how we too should model some of our behaviors after cattle.

One way is that we stick up for one another, we should strive to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) among our herd (er, congregation/family.) I can’t tell you the number of times two cows have fought over the same patch of grass or bite of hay. They’ll start by bulling each other (butting heads), then progress to chasing one another across the pasture and running into each other full speed. Invariably, one of my older cows (“Aunt Louise”, “Aunt Yolanda”, or “Uno”) will get between them and voice her disapproval. When that doesn’t work, they’ll resort to physically separating the two. Pretty soon, they restore peace in the pasture. Isn’t this something we should be doing in our own church and family? Shouldn’t our leaders seek to heal division rather than letting it fester and further divide the herd?

Another example is Threat Reduction (Psalm 27:2). Killing the venomous snake is an example of that. It’s amazing to see how a cow can differentiate between venomous and non-venomous snakes. I’ve seen them grazing beside a large chicken or corn snake yet run to stomp a copperhead. When it’s nap time, the herd places the most vulnerable in the middle and forms a perimeter around them, to ensure no predator can go undetected from any direction. For this reason, God made sheepdogs, those who serve Him by protecting His flock from those who would do it harm. This could be your church’s security team, but it should also be your elders, deacons, or other mature Christians. They must always be on guard against false teaching and other non-physical threats that can cause harm.

There are socialization lessons, too (Hebrews 10:25). When I introduce a new cow to the herd, they’re often held at a distance from the herd. They’ll push the new cow away from feeders and allow it to only take up the furthest position from the herd at nap time. It sometimes takes a while, but one of the older cows will befriend the new one. When the rest of the herd sees that, acceptance soon follows. Yet, when a calf becomes the newest member of the herd, they are instantly accepted. Cows always accept their own.

In many ways, my herd’s fellowship is an example of how we humans might seek to better interact with one another. In families of all sorts (immediate, extended, and church), there are lessons we can apply in every opportunity for fellowship. Some I’ve learned from my cattle through the years, where I’ve seen Scripture come alive in their examples, include:

The benefits of fellowship are far-reaching. It can take many forms, but there are two that stand paramount in my life. They are the encouragement I gain from those around me and the comfort I have in knowing I’m not alone in any situation. I pray my silly old cows have given you some ideas on how you can improve the richness of your fellowship in the coming weeks.

God’s blessings,
J.D. Wininger

A Personal Note from Ron and Diane . . . 


For Diane and me, J.D. Wininger is more than an award-winning writer and speaker who teaches compelling lessons about faith and writes heartfelt devotionals and books to glorify God. He’s also our friend, a trusted brother in Christ, and a continual source of encouragement and inspiration. J.D. has written for national magazines, CBN.com, Lighthouse Bible Studies, and contributed to several books. When not working his Texas ranch, he and his wife (also Diane) share God’s love in surrounding communities. We strongly encourage each of you to consider joining them on Wednesday mornings to see what God’s been doing Around the Cross-Dubya


About Ron Gallagher, Ed.S

Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Humorist, Satirist, Blogger ... "Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World" For Ron's full bio, go to GallaghersPen.com/about/
This entry was posted in Devotional, Faith, Family, and Culture, Guest Posts, Insights and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Fellowship of Faith ~ Guest Blog by J.D. Wininger

  1. Pingback: Persuaded by the crowd? - Katherine Pasour

    • Thank you, Katherine, and God bless you for encouraging everyone to get connected with a guy both of us love and respect. Both you and he are perennial doses of encouragement, and we are blessed to see God’s gifts at work in your lives.


  2. I’ve learned so much from J. D.’s observations at his ranch, and this gem is a lesson rich in God’s truths. Thanks for featuring him here today, Ron.
    Blessings to all of you!


    • Thank you so much, Martha. My life has been blessed more than I can ever relate by the insights gleaned by writers like you and J.D. It’s always fascinating to me to see how many different ways God applies the gifts He distributes to His servants. You always leave my heart encouraged every time you drop by.


  3. JD Wininger says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to share with your readers this week Mr. Ron. What an honor it is to share with them. Am most appreciative, sir. God’s blessings to you and your Ms. Diane. I and my Ms. Diane can’t wait until we four are able to sit, talk, laugh, and pray together here at the Cross-Dubya. Oh, I’m pretty sure we’ll have a few meals too. 🙂


    • We’re so very grateful on several levels, J.D. It was a personal blessing to have more time for some special family fellowship, but beyond that, getting to share you with our readers again is a treat all of us enjoy. It’s a privilege to encourage them to be regular visitors to your classroom at the Cross-Dubya. God bless you for sharing your gifts and your heart with us again.


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