The Geese At The Lake? - A Dose of Encouragement

Fred & I enjoy going for some leisurely walks - well his leisurely walk is more like a quick walk for me because he has long legs and as I have mentioned previously "I am Petite".

Walking along one day (around a not so well known lake) I could see some large birds in the distance.

I asked Fred "Are those swans or geese?"

I was a town girl, he was a country boy!

Fred said they were swans.

I said "Are you sure they aren't geese?" and we both laughed.

Now something you need to know about Fred is:

Swans he likes - we often stop to watch them on our walks and take some pictures.

Ducks he likes - we have a lovely memory of Ducks from our life in Belgium


Geese he does not like!

You see Fred has long since told me and our kids the story of the day he was attacked by the geese on his family's farm and apparently according to Fred geese can be very aggressive and when you are a small boy they can be very frightening if they turn on you en mass and chase you, snapping at you noisily.  He has never liked geese since then.

Now Fred is quite mild-mannered but when it comes to mentioning those geese on the farm you could almost say he becomes stern.  He is also very cautious any time he is around geese because he knows he cannot trust them.



It's easy to see the difference between Geese and swans in these pictures above, the shape of the heads, beaks and necks but not so easy to see this when they are on the edge of the other side of a lake.

Often it is hard for us to tell the difference between things from a distance.

We need to be closer to objects to tell more clearly what they are like.

We need to be more familiar with certains things to tell them apart.

We need to remember the differences between geese and swans to recognise them.

When it comes to people we need to get to know them well rather than just being acquaintances to know what they truly feel or think or believe.

We need to be in their company in different situations to know by reactions and more casual words just how their minds work and what they really feel about things.

Another thing is we need to listen and hear properly what they say, not just presuming how they will finish the sentence they have just started.

From experience we will learn to know who to trust and who not to trust and from that we can make good decisions about who to spend our time with and who to not allow ourselves to have to be in the presence of too often.

I also relate this to people who are well known preachers.

Just because they are

well known 
or have a large church 
or sound entertaining 
or are talked about by many other people we know;

they may not be actually saying 
what we would expect them to say,

they may not actually be leading or pointing
 to Jesus,

they may not actually be preaching 
the truth of the Word of God
 but instead
 be preaching their own ideas. 

We need to get familiar with the differences between the men and women who are out there truly promoting Jesus 
and the ones who are really out there promoting themselves.

We need to get familiar with the differences between those promoting Jesus and those promoting themselves

Just because there may be crowds of others who live and breathe by everything that a well known preaching might say, does not mean we have to do the same.

What we have to do is 

make sure we keep ourselves grounded in the true Word of God,

keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,

and ask the Holy Spirit to be that still small voice within us that cautions us away from the falsehoods and towards the truth.

The Bible tells us we need to be alert to those who do not speak truly in the Name of Jesus.

We need to be alert to those who do not speak truly in the Name of Jesus

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will guide us to know the truth.

The Bible is the Word of God so let's get familiar with Jesus through the Bible so that we can know the differences between true men of God and those who are only of themselves.


  1. Oh yes... I am not a huge fan of geese either! They have proven to be a bit too aggressive for me (and the same could be said for some preachers, too!) ;) I am so thnakful that we have the Holy Spirit living in us, who reveals all truth! May we stay in tune with Him and follow hard after Him alone!

  2. Anonymous12:15

    What a great example for discernment! My brother got attacked by a goose too one time, but that is because he was trying to rope it, perhaps a little wisdom would have been called for there too! I was just praying that God would give me direction in this this very morning. Thank you for your words!

  3. YES! This is really great Sandra. I love what the Lord showed you through the swan vs geese analogy. I've never had a run in with a goose, but I know it happens!

  4. I love the picture of the swans. We often go to the river near us to feed the ducks. And I so agree with you on discerning people. I like people who are real and I think God does too. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Making Your Home Sing.

  5. Great post Sandra! I have not had an encounter with a goose but I do know that it happens. You are right there are some preachers who are aggressive. We need to listen for God's true voice in the midst of all the noises of the world, don't we? I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit guides us too. Blessed to be your neighbor at Tell His Story!

  6. It is important to read the Bible for yourself. Small devotional books are good, but they are not a substitute for God's Word. Even a good man can say a wrong thing, and that is a good reason to take your Bible to church and follow along to see if the preaching agrees with the Bible. Even good Christian Books we are reading must line up with God's word. Jesus must be glorified. May we be able to tell the difference between the geese and the swans. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  7. What a great post! I'm not a huge fan of Geese either ;) I know not all mega churches aren't this way, but I have never felt drawn to them because of the "BIG" of it all. I want to go to a church that is intimate, and the Word of God is preached. I don't care if the church has a coffee bar or a gift shop. Thank you for your post :) #JoyHopeLive

  8. My favorite fairy tale is The Goose Girl: ) However, I also love the story of the swan, too! This vehicle for your message drew me in! Oh, yes, it is so important to draw close, be real and know truth! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  9. Great post! Thanks for linking up with #JoyHopeLive. See you next week :-)

  10. What a great reminder - it's all about Jesus and not the one who is doing the teaching. Thank you for linking up with Thankful Thursdays.

  11. This reminded me about how from a distance people think they know our story and make assumptions that may or may not be true. It's important to take the time to get to know each other and then learn the stories, something that won't happen without getting close. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  12. Anonymous01:03

    Stopping over from Coffee For Your Heart...

    Amen & Amen - stay grounded in God's Word!


  13. What a good reminder! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in listening to what other people tell us about God that we forget to test it and see if these things are what God teaches in Scripture or not.

  14. So nice to be by water and see nature. Beautiful post. Stopping by from the Friendship Friday hop, come say hi!