Watch Out for Those Teasers

In case some of you may not know this, I’m “crazy” about my cattle and livestock. I talk, rub, and pray over them daily. Some say “JD has the most pampered cattle in Delta County.” While the tiny community of Ladonia, TX may or may not be in Delta County, it depends on which side of the road you live on, I can assure you I do not have the most pampered cattle in northeast Texas. My young Christian friend, Miss Kelsey Shetler of the KLS Cattle Company takes that prize. That’s her sitting atop one of her bulls (“Uno”) in the photo above.

With her daddy’s help, she started out showing cattle as a young girl; and her love for ranching and animals has grown from there. “All grown up”, Ms. Kelsey oversees a cow-calf operation specializing in producing high-line cattle for sale to other breeders around the United States. In these parts, many call her a Triple Threat Cowgirl; meaning she is pretty, intelligent, and capable—driven to succeed at everything she attempts. Without question, she is all those things.

Having watched her grow and mature these last years, I refer to her as a Proverbs Girl. Why? Because I think her much more than being a Proverbs 31 woman (often thought of as a godly wife and mother). Proverbs Girls are triple-threats in their own right. When I think of this young lady, I see someone who is also wise, kind, and humble. These traits make her more than a successful businessperson or rancher; they make her a beautiful and godly person I am honored to call my friend. Among all these traits, if you ever meet her, I expect you’ll agree it’s her kindness that makes Ms. Kelsey Shetler such a special person. When I think of this young woman, Proverbs 12:10 always comes to mind.

We both stay busy with ranching and working, and go to different churches, so I don’t get to see my young friend as often as I used to. She does post photos and videos of her cattle on Facebook™ often, so we stay in touch. It was in viewing one of her posts last month that this blog post was born.

Unlike my little cow-calf operation, producing commercial beef cattle, Ms. Kelsey focuses on breeding stock. With her focus, she pays careful attention to ensure calves (bulls or heifers [boy or girl]) have the right traits and characteristics needed to produce other top-quality cattle. One way she controls quality is through artificial insemination (AI). By using specially selected materials, rated across more than 25 different Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs), or traits, she can generate a herd of cattle that meets her selection criteria.

Every rancher should consider whether or not to use AI or natural (bull-bred) methods; as there are pros and cons to each. Each straw can cost anywhere from $12 to $200, in addition to other costs. With AI only being sixty-to-seventy percent successful, many still need to factor in the cost of a “clean up” bull. Another consideration is how careful you have to watch your heifers and cows for signs of estrus (generally a 21-day cycle). Ms. Kelsey has chosen to use “Uno” the teaser bull for this job. “Uno” is a Holstein bull, which means he’s only useful to dairy farmers who are interested in making more dairy cows, or hamburger. In “Beef Country”, Holstein bulls are sort of like placing a milk bucket under a bull; it’s there, but it ain’t good for much.

So what do you do with a bull that’s not much good for making beef cow babies? You give him a job as a teaser bull. A teaser bull is a healthy bull, with as much testosterone as any male, who has been rendered infertile. Yes fellas, bulls can get vasectomies too! While the drive and desire to procreate is still there, they are effectively “shooting blanks”, which makes them ideal for spotting heifers and cows who are ready for an AI procedure.

When female cattle enter their estrus cycle, when most fertile, they become receptive to being bred. One sign of this is trying to mount one another. A sure sign is when they enter standing heat, which means they will allow mating to occur. Thus, teaser bulls are ideal to determine the best time to AI a cow.

So now that you’ve learned more than many of you ever wanted to know about ranching and raising cattle, I’d like to share with you what I learned from Kelsey’s post about “Uno” being on the job, spotting as a teaser bull. Reading her post, I realized how Satan employs that same method to identify those who he can tempt and have the best chance of success; he teases us through any myriad of ways, which all find their source in one of the three primary methods we are warned about in 1 John 2:16.

“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16 NKJV)

In this verse, we (saint and sinner alike) see how every worldly temptation we face stems from one of these areas. Satan knows this too, and is a master at using them.

  • Lust of the flesh: This is pleasure-focused temptations such as food, sex, other “guilty pleasures”, etc.
  • Lust of the eyes: These focus on our carnal human nature to possess material things such as homes, cars, money, etc.
  • Pride of life: This is the self-focused part of human nature that makes us want to compare ourselves to people and things. It’s what causes us to be boastful, arrogant, with little or no concern for others.
Satan doesn't play by the rules. How can you avoid being tempted by his teasers? Click To Tweet

Unlike cattle, we humans were made with the capacity to control our desires and apply self-control so as not to act on instinct, but with discipline and integrity. Unfortunately, God also gave man free will; and Adam and Eve chose themselves over God. In doing so, our human nature was corrupted. The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found in John 3:16 (NKJV); “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” In the person of Jesus Christ, we can be born again and upon our true salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us.

It is only through His indwelling that we can begin the reformation of our incorruptible spirit. Through the spiritual gifts He blesses our lives with, we can develop the tools (e.g. discernment, knowledge, wisdom) and armor (Ephesians 6:10-20) needed to withstand Satan’s teasers in this life.

I realize these are not radical new spiritual concepts to many of you, but as my mind focuses on “the reason for the season”, I wanted to take just a moment to remind each of us that God has not forsaken us. He will not surrender His greatest creation, made in His own image, to this corrupted world. I leave you with the words of the Apostle Paul from 1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” In the coming year, will you join me in desiring to spend more time in the Word than in the world?

God’s blessings,

38 thoughts on “Watch Out for Those Teasers

  1. Oh my goodness, J.D.! Again I have learned much from your post. Thank you for doing such a good job of helping me be a “life long learner.”
    And again you’ve given us a great rancher analogy. Satan doesn’t play by the rules and has many deceptive tools to lure us into sin. Or, perhaps we don’t fall deep into sin but get distracted from our calling and purpose to the point we’re not doing our part in kingdom building.
    Thanks for another insightful post and Merry Christmas!

    1. Ms. Connie, you humble me my sweet friend. Thank you for all your kindness and encouragement. I pray each post I write will help someone see how God is working in our lives; sometimes from a very different perspective. I agree ma’am. Satan may not cause us to abandon or lose our faith; if he does, then I have to wonder how genuine it really was to start with, but he can certainly knock us off course. I spent many years thinking I was a Christian, but in reality I was just pretending to be a “cleaned up” version of my old sinful self. When it’s real, you know it! 🙂

  2. I go to class when I read your blog posts. I learn more about cattle than I anticipated in this post but I appreciate your ability to draw the spiritual parallels and the “teasers” as you say that don’t escape any of us. As usual, I will never look at cattle the same way again and not sure how I’ll handle beef on my Christmas dinner menu. Merry Chris!

    1. What a kind thing to say Ms. Marilyn. I hope I don’t put you to sleep too often ma’am. Hmm… haven’t thought about beef for CHRISTmas; we’re usually turkey and ham here. I do have a nice prime rib cued up for our Anniversary dinner on New Year’s Eve though. Maybe Diane can use some beef and make a lasagna for the pasta dish for CHRISTmas this year. 🙂

    1. Thank you Ms. Kathy! I’m glad you enjo9yed ma’am. Satan is a master at making apples look good isn’t he ma’am? We just have to remember that sometimes those crab apples we’re looking at! God’s blessings ma’am.

  3. You always amaze me, J.D., at your ability to weave a lesson from your cattle into the spiritual concepts we all need. Thanks for that biology class also. I learned somethings I didn’t know! And yes we need to be aware of that “teaser” satan uses to try to trap us. Thanks for the post!

    1. Well thanks Ms. Barbara. I wondered about the biology part, but knew I didn’t want to leave questions about why they call “Uno” a teaser bull. Hope it helped draw the parallel ma’am.

  4. Your challenge is a tough one, Jim. Seriously, more time in the WORD than in the World? Wow. My 1-2 hours per day are not cutting it. Even with a few minutes here and there when I meditate on a verse, or some “teaser” sends me for that “It is written.” verse to combat it…. more time than in the world? Oh my. I think I’m not.

    1. Very few, if any, of us are Ms. Jackie. I think the point I wanted to make by that question. We can all spend more time studying and thinking on God’s word, but we must still function and get along in this world. One way that I am going to strive to be in His Word more than in this world next year is resolve myself to doing a better job of living out His Word in my life. If I am following Christ’s example in my life more, by the way I interact with the world, then I am “in His Word.” If I can spend more time applying the lessons He is teaching me than being worldly, then maybe the world will take note. I think it’s time I spend more being Christian and less time trying to convince people I’m Christian. Hope that makes sense my friend.

        1. Am so very pleased it made sense Ms. Jackie. I don’t often do that my friend. Am so honored that we’ll be spending the next year seeking Him more as friends. God’s blessings ma’am.

  5. J.D., you did it again, friend! Pulled me into such an interesting post about Kelsey, the Proverbs Girl. And what a powerful analogy to Satan spotting those he can easily tempt. 1 John 2:16 always reminds me of the Garden of Eden. When you think about the first sin, all 3 of these elements, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life were present. I’m joining you in 2020 to spend more time in the Word than the world.

    1. Absolutely Ms. Karen. And when you look at the temptations Christ faced during His time in the desert, we see Satan attempting to apply those same tricks. And how did Christ overcome them? The Word! 🙂 2020 is shaping up to be a God-honoring year my friends. Thank you for joining in Ms. Karen. God’s blessings; and Merry CHRISTmas ma’am.

  6. I continue to be amazed with the lessons we can learn from God’s creations, if we only take the time. And you do a marvelous job of helping us learn those “lessons from the ranch.” And, oh my goodness, am I so happy to keep this in the forefront of my mind: “It is only through His indwelling that we can begin the reformation of our incorruptible spirit.” Thank you for the interesting ranch lessons and valuable thoughts you gave us in your post.

    1. You and me both Ms. Julie. God’s natural world never ceases to show me new lessons, concepts, and ideas. This might sound strange to a few, but I suspect you’ll understand; “When I am in harmony with nature, I am most alive. It’s as though our two worlds feed off of one another.” I stand in awe of a Creator who had the forethought to do that. Yes! Someone picked up on my idea that we are all “reformation projects” as God slowly reclaims us for Himself as we learn to be more like Him with each new tidbit of knowledge and understanding we learn in surrender. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post ma’am.

  7. Your messages continue to inspire and encourage me and I always learn something. I don’t know anything about cattle ranching and I truly appreciate your insights and wisdom. Learning about God’s creations is something we can do everyday. Merry Christmas!

    1. Awww shucks! Thanks Ms. Melissa. You are too kind ma’am. I too try and learn something new every day. God is such a patient teacher isn’t He ma’am? God’s blessings; and Merry CHRISTmas to you, your family, and of course, Licky the Lizard. 🙂

  8. Thanks for a thought-provoking post. We escape the devil’s snares by using what the theologians used to call “the ordinary means of grace”–such things as prayer, the word, worship, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper, and fixing our minds on heavenly things. I’m very, very far from perfection, but am thankful for what the Lord has done for us and in us.

    I’m not sure that “free will” is the right terminology. I know that our will is sufficiently free that we are responsible for our sin (unless/until it is removed by the Lord Jesus), but our will is sufficiently bound that nobody will come to Jesus unless the Father draws him or her. How does all of that fit together? I suspect that it’s too deep for our minds at present.

    1. Thanks Mr. Jim. Appreciate your insights and comments sir. When I think on “free will”, and I’m certainly no theologian, I think of my ability to choose to follow Christ or not. Yes, I understand the concept of predestination, etc., but have elected to accept that some things are what I deem “eternal questions.” Those are the many things I would love to understand, yet can accept that my finite human mind will never be able to understand my infinite God. Until that day, I’m okay with not knowing. JD’s version of “dumb and happy.” 😀 Am so glad we are on this journey called life as Christian brothers my friend. God’s blessings and Merry CHRISTmas!

  9. You are a hoot J.D.! I love the idea of a teaser cow. It’s perfect and practical and very funny. And to find biblical truth shows that we can learn about God everywhere. And truth – Satan tests and takes advantage of us at just the time when we’re weak. Fun post. Thank you!

    1. Honest Ms. Cathy; that’s what we call them, “Teaser Bulls.” Am glad you enjoyed ma’am; and especially glad to see how God can show Himself through the world around us. Even when yours is the back-bay area and the Cape and mine is cotton fields and cow pies. 🙂 God’s blessings; and Merry CHRISTmas my learned friend.

  10. Your post brought back a lot of memories. When I was a child (and on through young adulthood), we had both beef cattle and dairy cows. I had to milk cows by hand daily and we often used AI for breeding, although we had beef bulls that did not shoot blanks. Your analogy about the bull and the similarities to Satan as a teaser are right on target. We learn so many lessons from nature. Thank you for your 2020 challenge to be more in the Word. I accept, but I hope you will encourage me! Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas!

    1. OMGoodness Ms. Katherine. Am so glad you were able to chime in and offer a perspective most of our readers, followers, and friends don’t see a lot of. Here in TX, at the few dairies left (large ones almost exclusively these days), they do a lot of AI. Given how long they can keep a cow lactating, I guess that just makes economic sense. Especially when you have a couple thousand head of Holstein or Jersey cows. That would require a lot of bull-power care and feeding wouldn’t it. As for milking at your family’s dairy by hand? Remind me to hug you but not shake your hand my friend. 🙂 I am honored to join with you and others here in the #2020Challenge my friend. We encourage each other so much, this will be both joy and pleasure. God’s blessings, and Merry CHRISTmas to you, “Farmer Bob”, and the whole clan.

  11. J.D., you teach me so much and make we want to hang out on a ranch. Loved the application: Satan employs that same method to identify those who he can tempt and have the best chance of success; he teases us through any myriad of ways. I want to beware and armored up. Thanks so much.

    1. Well you and that amazing writer husband of yours are welcome at the Cross-Dubya any time y’all find yourselves in this neck of the woods Ms. Debbie. I’ll leave the bunkhouse open fer ya ma’am. 🙂 I’m grateful that you choose to be up-armored ma’am. The battle seems to be growing with intensity each week ma’am.

  12. Okay JD, I was wondering how you were going to bring this one around to showing us one of the Lord’s lessons. You did it masterfully. Teasers, decoys, distractions – all Satan’s ploys. I don’t want anything in the way of the Holy Spirit’s work of transforming me to be conformed to the image of the Son. More time in the Word will give the power to live it. Challenge accepted.

    1. I’m glad I was able to bring it together for you Ms. Dottie. I was wondering that same thing myself ma’am. 🙂 Am so pleased to know I’ll be coming alongside friends in prayer and praise in the coming year ma’am. God’s blessings.

  13. Wow! Just wow! J.D. you amaze me. I love your ranch stories. You tied everything together so well. A great lesson and motivation to spend more time with the Lord to gain the strength we need to walk away from satan’s teasers.

    1. From your mouth to God’s ears my friend. You’re exactly right though ma’am; the more time we spend in the Word, the better able we are to withstand Satan’s arrows, and his teasers. Of course, the more we prepare, the harder he seems to attack. That’s why mature Christians must show, through discipleship, those following a “Bring it on” attitude. Our God wins!

  14. Oh my. I will never take a glass of milk, a hamburger, or a steak for granted again. Kind of like when we did a tour of the post office. Ever since I saw everything that goes on between one mail box and the other, I’ve never complained about the price of a stamp again.

    Thank you for the challenge of Bible reading MORE in 2020. The older I get, the more I realize that God’s Word is our only lifeline. Merry Christmas, J.D.

    1. Isn’t it funny Ms. Lori. The better we understand the source, the more appreciation we have for it. Isn’t that the work of the Holy Spirit? To help us better understand our source, the Word of God, so we gain a better appreciation for who we’re supposed to be. 😀 God’s blessings dear friend.

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