Simply Blessed – Word For Today

February 3, 2014

Psalm 23

King James Version (KJV)

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

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Can there be anything more beautiful than the 23rd Psalm?  Images, poetry . . . we read it, recite it, love it . . . books are written on it, yet it seems the most profound message, and the simplest, escapes us in our day-to-day walk.

As I faced the challenges of my day this morning I was reminded of its value  as a prophetic message of life with Christ.  Surrender, follow, absent of fear, absent of stress, carrying no heavy load.  Sheep who do this have joy and purpose, and rest and all their needs and more are met.  The ones  who run on their own?  They also are sought after in love and given the same grace.

I needed to be reminded of this.  Perhaps you did too?  Blessings!

 


If A Tree Fell In The Forest . . .

November 19, 2012

You all likely know the old saying about “if a tree fell” and it came to my mind just now in relation to some things the Lord has revealed to me just this morning which I’d like to share with you.

Speaking for myself, I’d never doubt that the sound the tree makes when it falls would be the same whether I hear it or not, but then there’s the question of God’s grace . . . and His timing.  In pondering this, I find my thoughts changing on whether or not the tree falling was soundless.

A favorite scripture verse of mine is Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,  and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”

In my life, as with most people, there are a number of “why is the Lord letting this happen” or “when will healing of this situation come” and so forth.  The truth is, we are showered with His grace all the time.  Miracles happen every day.  We often fail to notice.  That’s a huge revelation to me that He made me aware of in the last 24 hours or so.  For, in order for His grace to rise upon me, I have to realize it!

Let me say it another way.  Think of another favorite scripture of mine, the 23rd Psalm.  Now sheep aren’t known to be all that intelligent so perhaps that’s why as they were led beside the still waters, their souls were restored and rest came and so forth.  I have to admit, this blessing might not have gotten to me all at once and it could even have taken a day or two as I thought about the  near miss with the shadow of death and perhaps wondered what might be lurking beneath the surface in those still waters and maybe, just maybe, as I lay in the green comfy grass and became thirsty, I’d perhaps have given thought to how deep the water is and what if I fell in . . .

Think about it.  God’s grace is here.  We own it, if we allow ourselves to trust and receive.  The sheep is every bit as “safe” while he’s worrying about all those things I mentioned, but the peace and grace he’s been given isn’t his because he’s not open to receive it!  The realization of what he’s been given is not upon him as clear as it seems to us reading the verses and I don’t know about you, but I’m not all that different from the sheep sometimes.

Looking at this from another angle, I am recalling Jesus with His disciples in the temple.  You’ll recall He saw a poor widow giving all she had in the temple “collection plate” so to speak.  Jesus noticed and was so pleased.  We know this., yet did He walk over to her and speak love, blessing, and encouragement to her?  No, He spoke of this in encouragement to His disciples.  Why?  It didn’t mean His love for her was diminished, but clearly she didn’t need the encouragement.  She was of strong faith.  The disciples needed the teaching, the encouragement.  He gave them what they needed.

Pretty interesting, don’t you think?  As I pondered these things, I realized some . . . many ways the Lord has given to me and yet I worried still and wondered “where are you, Lord?”  I cried out “help me” and “let me know your peace” and all the while He had His loving, healing hand on me.  As I look back, I can see such time wasted worrying and in retrospect can see that my problems were solved long before I quit stressing over them.  I can see so much lost sleep over things He had all worked out.  I wasn’t like the widow, who was of strong faith and knew all would be well.  I need to be more like her.  Miracles happen every day.  We don’t always notice, or I don’t . . .  so I ask again, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear, does it make a sound?  You decide.

by Martha L Shaw – words and images Copyright 11-19-2012


Quote of the Day – Simplicity

November 16, 2012

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo Da Vinci –

 

As I pondered the quote above, I found myself connecting it to the wisdom of the 23rd Psalm.  Think about it.  Those sheep, known to be a pretty um . . . stupid beast . . . lived a great life.  Is this not what we all want?  All they had to do?  The answer to simply living a great life?  A life, through little  effort of our own that is also quite sophisticated?  They simply followed the shepherd.  He took it from there.  With faith, we can do the same.

Psalm 23

King James Version (KJV)

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


You Never Let Go!

September 5, 2011

Do you need some Matt Redman for your Monday?  Described by some as “for the broken-hearted” this song is actually amazing and uplifting!  When you break your heart wide open let Jesus fill it with His Holy Spirit, it’s just the best gift you could ever receive and “even though you walk in the valley of the shadow of death” life is STILL amazing and you are blessed!  

Click this link to hear Matt Redman’s “You Never Let Go” and sing a song to the Lord! 

Let your soul dance!  Great video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36V7ByKaGvg

 


He Leads Me

July 21, 2011
Mepkin Abbey – South Carolina

To learn more about this amazing place, click here and you’ll be taken to their website.  Tour it online or plan a visit and walk freely about the vast grounds on  your own, view the gardens, rest beside the water, paint or photograph the natural beauty, or stop in their information center where you can purchase art or books or ask for a guided tour. 

 


Dumb Sheep?

March 3, 2011

Okay, I admit it.  I’ve always thought sheep were cute.  I’ve also thought of them as wonderful suppliers of wool!  As one of my favorite art forms is fiber art, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.  It came as a surprise to learn that sheep were rather stupid creatures.  I suppose Psalm 23 should have clued me in, but quite honestly, I always thought of it as pretty poetry and never really thought of it as a lesson about the intelligence of sheep or lack thereof.  Having recently read things that made me pause and consider, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions.  The wool supplying creatures,  left on their own, really don’t have a clue how to stay out of trouble – actually would in fact walk right into the enemy territory and likely end up being “dinner.”    They are also ALWAYS in the company of a shepherd  who is there to tend to their every need.  They are never out of his  sight.  He has taken on suffering to save them from trouble, to elmininate stress from their lives, to provide them with comfort, with food, and with a life of joy.  So why then do we read of “lost sheep?”   Obviously they do not all follow where the shepherd leads them.  Well, there you have it.  Sheep are dumb.  Obviously, we wouldn’t do such things, right???

How’s your life going?  Stress free?  Do you sleep well?  Eat well?  Keeping out of trouble?  Okay, come on . . . think about it.  Is your  life “easy” to manage and comfortable and full of joy?  Really?  If you think about it, most of us struggle to achieve “good enough”  and are seldom without stress of some sort.  We consider ourselves intelligent, so how can this be?  How much of your life is spent hunting for those green pastures?  The still waters?  Seeking comfort?  Have you walked through “the valley” and felt alone?  Scared? 

Think about those sheep again.  Most of ’em don’t get lost.  There’s always that one or two who foolishly think they know better than the shepherd.  Are  you shaking your head in dismay at the thuoght?  You really shouldn’t.  The sheep have a human shepherd.  We on the other hand have the Lord.  His Holy Spirit is with us every moment.  We have free will, so we can stumble about like those lost sheep, or we can call upon Him.  He will carry our burden.  He will lead us to those places of rest, will feed us, will provide for all our needs, will protect us.  All we have to do is ask and wait and listen . . . Seems to me most of those sheep, the unlost, aren’t really so stupid.  That’s what they did.  They waited, they listened, they followed.  We tend not to, though.  Ah, but our Good Shepherd, like those tending the lost sheep, is always there.  When we get ourselves into a mess of trouble, He’s there to rescue us and carry us though.  So, look in the mirror.  Do you see a sheep looking back at you?  Seems to me those sheep are onto something!


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