“He Spoke To His Sheep . . . “

June 25, 2013

“and the sheep got out their date books, scheduled a time to get together, and then at the appointed time sat at the round table and discussed how to interpret what they’d heard before voting on which action to take . . . ”  Was that it?

NO!  It wasn’t.  The sheep knew His voice.  They didn’t stop and think about it, they didn’t sleep on it, nor did they call the lead sheep to get permission to act on what He instructed them to do.  They followed Him.

This is huge.  There are several reasons I’m thinking of this just now.  My life has been “nuts” in some stressful ways for what seems a long time now . . .  close to five years.  I can see HUGE LIFE CHANGING BLESSINGS which I truly believe only came to me because of the HUGE SCARY “HELP ME JESUS” stuff that is also in the picture and not entirely resolved.

That being said, I truly do feel His presence, His love, and when I’m focused on Him I know He is leading me and has a plan.  People close to me sometimes seem to think their plan is the one.  They do not agree remotely on what their plan is.  They don’t think this sheep is listening too well.  They often seem pointedly urging me to change paths and disregard His instruction.

Well, I’m not living in a palace, surrounded by gold, or any of that.  But, thus far, I have not been tossed on the street begging for a crust of bread.  I still believe, when I’m not scared and cranky, that He has a plan and that it’s gonna happen and that He loves me and has something more than I could desire or pray for in store.  So, I shall pray, get scared, and pray some more . . .  and follow Him.

John 10:4

When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

 

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No “Buts” Bible Verse of the Day For Thursday

December 6, 2012

This verse is so comforting.  It answers all the questions and doubts that try to edge in . . . rest in this:

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““I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15


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


Monday Quote of the Day

November 19, 2012

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.  – Pema Chodron –

The Lord is moving in me in some amazing ways, so look forward to revelations of a variety of sorts, meanwhile He keeps placing certain Scripture in my hands, heart, and soul, especially Psalm 23.  When I read this quote, I could not only relate to its spiritual significance in my life, but it also struck me as very much like the verse “yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . . ” Dear readers, we all know how THAT story unfolds, don’t we?

 


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 Are Free!

July 23, 2012

Those words may seem unrealistic . . . overly optimistic . . . childish . . . completely outside the realm of reality . . . but they are true.  When human sin took our freedom away from us and we hid from the only chance we had at regaining it – repentance and a relationship with God, He was compassionate and loving and showed this to us by sending us His Son who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  Our freedom is within us and has been won for us by Jesus Christ.  In living in His great love and accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, that personal relationship breaks the chains of bondage that we placed around our true selves and the eyes of our hearts can then see that the door is not closed and locked.  We are indeed free!  My internet access has been down for days and is supposed to be down right now.  I’m believing that the reason I am able to check my email and be online just now is to read the following quote which I was just sent and am sharing with all of you:

Free your heart from hatred — forgive. Free your mind from worries — most never happen. Live simply and appreciate what you have. Give more. Expect less.

– Stephen Covey –

Jesus died on the cross convicted of our sin.  Forgiveness is hard.  We or I tend to feel so hurt.  I don’t like it, and nor does anyone else.  It’s hard to feel the pain and realize I have to also forgive.  “They” did hurt me.  “They” willfully chose to.  I am a victim, so why should I forgive?  God wants to carry the heavy stuff for us as a shepherd carries the burdens for the sheep in his care, so our Lord God wishes to simplify things in our own lives.  In choosing not to forgive, we are carrying a heavy load which we are so weighted down with that we cannot live into the real and amazing life He has for us.  I know this because I carry pain just as all of you have done at some point.  In forgiving I am not saying “what you did is okay” but only saying “I release this to your loving hands, Lord God.  The life you have for me and my personal walk with you is so much more important to me than this load that’s holding me back.”  The sheep in this world can’t carry their own load.  What a mess life would be without the shepherd.  They’d get into dangerous situations, find no rest, likely be hungry and unable to find food or drink.  What a worrisome life.  But, the shepherd takes it on himself and leads, protects, provides food, drink, and rest.  The sheep trust him, know his presence and his voice, and live in the love and care of a shepherd . . . . free!

In our Lord God, we can be like those sheep and He is our Shepherd.  In releasing our burdens, our worries, our hurts to Him, we are free to live a much simpler life.  The path will not always be green pastures and the waters will not always be still, but we will never be lost for His crook is right with us and when we stray, He will draw us near.  He will guide us through the uneven slopes.  He will feed us and meet all of our needs.  We truly are free – for the freedom we seek is within us.  How can we find it?  He is the Way!


Keep It Simple

July 21, 2012

Well, I have had so much work to do in the last few days and this is just the time that my ISP had some major “outage” and thus NO INTERNET.  Gosh, do they not know I had a couple of deadlines to meet, research on some new projects to work on, an online course to complete, and on it goes and . . . . it’s not just me.  We do rely on technology these days.  Wow.  So, I did a few bits of writing with . . . yes, a pen and notebook.  Amazing how odd and inconvenient it seemed.  I also, having a forced upon me clearer schedule had a good bit of extra time to pray, read some scriptures, and catch up on a book I needed to read. 

Honestly, even though having my fingers away from the keyboard was making me twitch a little, my day was delightful.  I’ve been working on some spiritual growth issues, or I should say the Lord’s been working on me.  There was one point He seemed to really drive home in me today.  He reminded me that the sheep did not run about seeking the shepherd but rather the shepherd went after the sheep.  Can’t speak for all of you, but when I’ve gotten my self lost spiritually or otherwise, I tend to waste a lot of energy running about trying to “find” and all the while the Lord knows what I need before I came to even need it in the first place.  I don’t need to run off looking for Him, He is pursuing me!  I just need to see with the eyes of my heart, turn to Him, and let Him handle things.  Look, listen, obey . . . He pours His favor on us.  We, like the sheep, really have the simple part.  Why do we make it so hard? 

We are so amazingly loved.  When we stray, He’s not only there to love us, forgive us, and lead us home again, but He’s excited about it!  When we turn to Him with all our stuff, the good and the bad, He’s overjoyed and takes such delight in showering us with His grace.  We just have to let Him!  At one point today I was reading a hard to receive message from the book I’m studying.  I found myself starting to get anxious about it and this time I STOPPED.  I put the book down, and asked Him to bring me to a peaceful place and help me to be receptive to the message He had for me in it.  I felt His peace at once.  It was only then that I could hear the message of love and reassurance He had for me.  There is just nothing better.  Let Him love you!  Keep it simple.  Be like the sheep!

 


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