Lessons from a sheep dogAn almost deceptively simple book, this slim volume promises to be a parable of our own relationship with God in His love. It is that, and it is a reminder of our true purpose as Christians and in our walk with God.

A rather striking passage towards the end of the book reads, “Many of us fail to realize what a noble honor it is to be called the friend of God. We are not often shown what a stirring challenge it is to be called to suffer with Him. We do not seem to see that amid all the varied vicissitudes of life He really does know what He is doing with us. He can grasp the whole scheme of things and see far beyond our finite view.”

The entire volume, all 73 small pages of it, is full of insights such as these, gleaned from the life of a sheep dog.

Phillip Keller intended to raise cattle, but after paying for the land that became Fairwinds, he only had enough left to buy sheep. At times, he questioned why God had him raising sheep, but he eventually came to see how much God was teaching him through caring for the “stupid, timid, frail” creatures. In the process, Phillip adopted Lass, a difficult border collie who had been previously abused. In caring for and loving Lass and helping the dog to heal, his own relationship with a loving adopted Father God was constantly brought home to him.

The lessons in this book of loving trust, loving obedience, loving faithfulness, and loving discipline seem, at first read, to be simple ones, pat answers we’ve all heard before. I’d advise you to read them again. Read them slowly. Savor them. They are deep truths, put in a way that makes them easy to grasp and begin to understand. Applying them to our lives requires patient effort, in much the way that bringing Lass out of her dark past and bad behaviors took the same patient love constantly applied.

At such a small size, Lessons won’t take much time out of your life to read, but I highly recommend doing so. It is worth the journey.


From the Cover:

When Lass the sheep dog came to live on the sheep ranch at Fairwinds, she was anything but. She was gaunt, angry, and seemingly untrainable—a product of years in the hands of an unloving master.

In this newly revised edition of the classic bestseller Lessons from a Sheep Dog, Phillip Keller tells of those first tense weeks with Lass and allows us to see Lass’s dramatic transformation from a scrawny, enraged animal into the strong, vibrant worker she was bred to be. Through Keller’s unwavering patience and love, Lass learned the lessons of trust, obedience, faithfulness, and discipline.

Woven through this simple parable is the profound spiritual truth that, just like Lass, we can be transformed into the magnificent beings we were created to be, if we will simply listen and obey the Master’s voice.


— Megan Payne

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