Lessons of Nature

From a Modern-Day Shepherd

Non-Fiction - Religion/Philosophy
115 Pages
Reviewed on 08/14/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Lessons of Nature: From a Modern-Day Shepherd by Don F. Pickett explores nature's beauty and harmony as creations of God. What better way to explore these wonders than through the role of the shepherd? On deeper reflection, many examples can be found such as modern-day herdsmen moving with their flocks and the incredible variety of plants and trees they encounter. Focusing on the role of the shepherd, this devotional serves as a biblical guide that highlights the connection found in the relationship between God and nature. Paired with a poem at the beginning of each section, these lessons explore the harmony that is apparent within nature.

The poems draw you into the Word and set up a link before getting into each lesson. The style of the poetry subtly weaves beauty through simple rhyme and word choices that capture the majesty of God’s creation. The language has an empowering effect with phrases that include infinite greatness. Wording such as describing a little spring as God’s show and tell helps to create a mindset that sees the discipline within nature. These highlight key lessons found throughout the devotional which include the importance of nature and senses, and how everything comes together harmoniously. Don F. Pickett takes a poetic approach to God’s plan by addressing the laws of nature, the nobility of animals, and the importance of taking shelter before a storm. Each chapter features a poignant lesson that can be used as a daily devotional or even paired with biblical study.

A prominent theme is understanding the role of a shepherd, whose occupation permits them to be in nature and closer to God. This is seen repeatedly in ways that will have you thinking more deeply such as animals spending time resting instead of behaving aggressively and how the plant and animal kingdoms defend themselves against potential threats. This is an easy source to read and understand as its primary goal is to provide enlightenment, specifically using a shepherd as a metaphoric example that can be followed. A herdsman relies on the mercy of the creator as a way to bridge his weaknesses and calm his fears. Lessons of Nature pinpoints the extraordinary in the ordinary with a philosophy that uses the role of the shepherd to exemplify discipline, obedience, and harmony.

Philip Van Heusen

The marvels of God’s creation are astounding. Being a modern-day shepherd, Don F. Pickett has spent many years alone with nature and God. In Lessons of Nature: From a Modern-Day Shepherd, he shares lessons of life that could never be taught or learned in a formal setting. As the Psalms say, “The heavens declare the glory of God,” this book shows God in nature. Being a shepherd teaches humility, which is necessary for learning the true lessons of life. While science can be observed and duplicated, natural lessons are from deep within. Lessons from nature include learning how to live by faith. These lessons affect the physical, moral, and spiritual parts of mankind. One such lesson is that if one ever hopes to see a rainbow, one must endure going through the storm. Don explains the interconnectedness of all three parts: physical, moral, and spiritual.

Don F. Pickett wrote Lessons of Nature in a conversational style. Reading this book feels like sitting across the table from Don as he shares the life of a shepherd. Along with explaining the life of a shepherd, Don shares lessons everyone can learn from nature. This book intertwines the physical, moral, and spiritual life. Time alone with God’s creation teaches lessons that can be learned in no other way. Each chapter begins with a poem. If God teaches His creations how to live, will He not do the same for us? Yes, He can and will if we take the time to listen, observe, and act on the revealed truth. This book will hold your interest and help you in your daily walk. I highly recommend reading this book and allowing it to lead you to a deeper and closer walk with the Creator.

Alma Boucher

Lessons of Nature: From a Modern-Day Shepherd by Don F. Pickett opens with a message to today’s youth in America in the hope that they may gain insight from the poems, Bible-based stories, and advice about reconnecting with nature and taking better care of the environment. Pickett shares his knowledge through fifteen lessons on how to protect the earth and its inhabitants. We learn that shepherds put themselves in the best position to view what we might call the first law of nature, which is obedience, followed by the second law, which is that everything in nature has a purpose. The shepherd has gained insights that scientists might never be exposed to thanks to his everyday encounters with the earth and those creatures that inhabit it.

Lessons of Nature by Don F. Pickett is an extraordinary story. Life lessons and the experiences of a lifetime spent alone as a shepherd have been woven together with Bible verses and stories. Picket shares his thoughts on leading a meaningful life and appreciating the numerous gifts our Creator has bestowed on us. Picket suggests experiential learning for the youth to promote a better understanding of what goes into the process of producing food and getting it from the farm to our tables. Each chapter has a lesson that gives an overview of what to expect in the narration that follows. Readers who have grown up attending church and have an interest in learning more about Christianity will enjoy reading this tale and will relate to the Bible-based stories.

Munir Muhammad

Lessons of Nature: From a Modern-Day Shepherd by Don F. Pickett is a well-written and heartwarming account that offers a unique perspective on nature, life, and the human spirit. Drawing from the author's experiences as a modern-day shepherd, it is a treasure trove of wisdom, insights, and lessons inspired by the natural world. From the beginning, Don captures the reader's imagination with his lyrical prose and vivid descriptions. As a shepherd, Don has a unique opportunity to witness the rhythms of nature up close, and he expertly translates these observations into timeless lessons that resonate deeply with readers. Each chapter unfolds like a fable, with stories of the animals, landscapes, and changing seasons, serving as metaphors for the broader tapestry of life. Lessons of Nature instills an appreciation for the small wonders that surround us daily. Whether it's the behavior of a flock of sheep, the flight of a bird, or the growth of a plant, the author's keen eye and reflective insights reveal the interconnectedness of all living beings.

Don F. Pickett encourages readers to slow down, to be present in the moment, and to connect with the natural world. In a fast-paced and technology-driven society, this message is particularly relevant and provides a much-needed reminder of the importance of finding solace and grounding in nature. Lessons of Nature highlights the bond between humans and animals. Through Don's anecdotes and experiences with his flock, readers are reminded of the empathy and compassion that can be cultivated through our relationships with animals, promoting a deeper understanding of the world around us. Don's poetic prose and heartfelt storytelling transport readers to a world of simplicity, harmony, and profound insights. It serves as a gentle reminder to find meaning and connection in the simple joys of life. It is a gem for nature enthusiasts, seekers of wisdom, and anyone looking to reconnect with the world around them.

Adanna Ora

Lessons of Nature: From a Modern-Day Shepherd is a philosophical book that heralds the beauty of nature, described as the works of the Creator, comparing them with modern realities and finding synergy between the two worlds. It also uses stories and scientific facts to pass on its messages of truth and knowledge. Lessons of Nature is a book that cuts across religions, science, technology, society, government, farming, building, and more. Author Don F. Pickett uses the life and work of a shepherd to analogize life situations and pass on messages appropriately. The book contains poems at the beginning of each chapter, which give a preliminary background to the chapter and involve conversations about shepherding, nature, theology, and rational thinking.

One thing that sustained my interest in Lessons of Nature was the language. For example, God is described here as the Creator, and the book is written in an expository manner. It is also replete with many empirical facts and is a good source of information for readers. It contains many life lessons that can help one successfully navigate life. I admire Don F. Pickett’s broad knowledge of different areas of life and his efforts to use all of them to pass on his message. Even though Lessons of Nature contains a lot of biblical passages and analogies, it can be read and enjoyed by people of different faiths. I enjoyed the stories the author uses to pass his message and the invaluable lessons that can be gleaned from them. I recommend Lessons of Nature to every lover of knowledge.