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Showing posts from September, 2016

Psalm 23 – Part III – Dark Valleys, Rods, and Staffs

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  I have everything I need.  We may not have everything we want.  We may not have everything that we have asked for.  However, we realize that we have everything that we need.  God sees us and knows us…and knows what will truly bless us, strengthen us, and sustain us.  We find as we ask, seek, and knock in accordance with the will of God, seeking out His Kingdom and His Righteousness, that we will receive, we will find, and the doors will be open before us.  God has, will ,and always will provide.  As we learn to be content rather than covetous, we find that God has blessed us with an abundance and we can truly say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” God also brings us to grassy meadows and tranquil waters…to green pastures and still waters.  God gives us times and places for rest and peace.  God gives us an opportunity to be renewed and strengthened,  places and times to have our lives refreshed and our souls restored from our day to d…

Psalm 23 – Part II – Following The Shepherd

Where are your still waters?  Where are your green pastures?  For some of us it may be along a lake or a riverbank where the water is as slick as glass or a field of green, maybe filled with colorful flowers.  For me, still waters are anything but still, my still waters are crashing with wave after wave hitting my green pastures of sand and shells.  Still waters and green pastures are about places of peace and refreshment…and while I will admit that sitting on a boat in the middle of a river or lake on a cool fall morning is peaceful and refreshing, trust me, real green pastures, dotted with ragweed this time of year are anything but peaceful and refreshing for me. Last week we began exploring what it means to live with the Lord as our Shepherd.  Just why has this Psalm, one of a hundred fifty we have in the Bible, become the one that so many of us, so much of the world, has adopted as the one we know better than any of the rest?  Is it because Jesus identifies himself as the Good Shep…

Psalm 23: Part I: What Do You Want?

I have to confess that this well loved and well known Psalm caused me trouble for many years as a kid.  I mean, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  That’s exactly how it reads and that is exactly how I heard it for much of my life, beautifully read out of the traditional King James Version.  For those here who know the 23rd Psalm by heart, I could almost guarantee that is the version of it that you have memorized.  It is truly beautiful, though I don’t know if that beauty lies in the accuracy of translation or simply with how it connects us to what is one of the most familiar passages of Scripture.  The King James Version is so much a part of what this verse is to so many, I have this King James Version of the Bible just for the reading of the 23rd Psalm, in the event I have to read it in a public setting. However, I have digressed.  I mentioned that it caused me problems as a kid.  What was the problem?  It is because I didn’t know just how to take that first verse, specific…