Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jesus Is My Good Shepherd

I woke up with the phrase, “I shall not want.” Years ago I read these words 
and exploded in anger: “Not want?” ‘God, life is a mess. The car needs work,
the kids are sick, we are facing a move, and Glen is away for the next two
weeks!’” I had mistaken the “not want,” for “no problems, no stresses.” However,
as I have walked through life, I have found there is “no lack” of provision
in the midst of circumstances, but sometimes it is difficult to see that. But, the
HE makes me lie down in green pastures
HE leads me beside still waters
He restores my soul.
HE leads me on paths of righteousness
HE leads me through dark valleys
HE prepares a table before me
HE anoints my head with oil.
SURELY goodness and mercy will follow me
All the days of my life, AND,
I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Papa, I love the ending, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” but in the
meantime I live here and I am so like a sheep. Sheep are dumb and they can’t 
protect themselves.  Alone they cannot find safe green pastures; will be swirled
away in swift water; they wander from the path; they have nothing with which to
protect themselves. Whether they like it or not they cannot make it without the 
shepherd who sometimes leads them through difficult situations. Well, I don’t want
to be weak. I want to be strong: “Give me the wheel. I want to be in control. I can fix this.”
Fear keeps me from resting in the green grass; drinking deeply from the cool, refreshing water
and in my fright I run off. I actually do best when I am weak, broken, and know that
I cannot live this life out of my own resources. I find the most peace when
I can celebrate my humanness and rejoice that Your Life 
dwells in me and I am safe when I dwell in You!  AMEN.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Tender Merciful Shepherd

Of all the names given to God in the Bible, none is as sublime and solemn as the Name “Jehovah.”  
So awesome was this Name that Jewish scholars refrain from pronouncing or writing it.  
Instead Biblical writings call Him:
THE Name
The Great and Terrible Name
The Peculiar Name
The Unutterable Name
The Distinguished Name
Then there is David who took this particular Name of God and attached it to The Shepherd! 
David spent many days and nights alone with his sheep. He provided 
them with green grass, still water, safe paths, and protection. He was intimately
acquainted with each sheep. If he had to take them through dangerous valleys, he 
walked before them. He used his rod and staff to protect and rescue them. David 
understood that Jehovah God functioned like a shepherd to him. David realized 
that he could not safely take care of his sheep, but needed God’s help. David’s
God was not “The Great and Terrible Name,” but the Tender Merciful Shepherd.
His own personal Jehovah Rhoi!
Papa, As I continue to ponder these five words, you keep adding insight to my
quest. Did Moses or Abraham or any of the early Hebrew patriots grasp that, You,
The Self Existing One, The Eternal One, The I AM, was also a Shepherd? Did it 
take an uneducated teenager to both discover and dwell in the Shepherd heart 
of God? Would you continue to unfold the outrageous truth that THE LORD IS

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Monday, February 27, 2012

I Shall Not Want

I have had nothing to write in the past ten days. There is an issue that has brought me down. 
For the past week I could see no way out. BUT, during this time I have been meditating 
on the first verse of Ps. 23. God has had me in the exact place in scripture that I needed! 
I got some great things out of the first five words but had zero faith regarding my own issue. 
However, as I pondered the words of David, hope in HIM began to bubble up inside
 of me--in spite of the fact I felt I was at a dead end with no way out.
Here is what I found:
The words, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” is actually a Name of God: Jehovah Rhoi.
Jehovah is the Hebrew word for “Lord” in this passage.  Some of the meanings of 
Jehovah are:
The Self Existing One
The Eternal One
The Unchangeable One
The Unique One
The Holy One
The Ever Loving One
He was and is and is to come!
He is the I AM. He is always in the now.
I do believe that it will take an eternity to unpack the Name, Jehovah. 
(Which one of these meanings do you need today, dear reader?)
Rhoi,  My Shepherd
This Name refers to the One whose shepherd love, care, and resources are 
available to me as I face an unknown future. The good shepherd in John 10 lays
down his life for his sheep. The shepherd is tender, forgiving, merciful, and 
strong. The picture that forms in my mind is that of the shepherd with the lamb 
slung over his shoulders. I feel as if He has been pursuing this forlorn lost lamb. 
I have not been lost to Him. In light of all of this, “I SHALL NOT WANT.”
Papa, I confess that my faith always lets me down. You want me to live out of
“the faith of the Son of Man,” and not by my own effort to believe. As I meditate on
Ps 23:1, hope bubbles up inside of me before the issue shifts. Then today
came a sudden crack in the walls of the dead end and I could see possibilities
laid out over the landscape. Does it matter if any of them bear fruit? Not really.
But, the crack in the impregnable wall makes me laugh in wonder!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Beholding Him Through Scripture

A number of years ago I was introduced to Biblical Meditation. This way of reading the Bible is slow
 but goes deep. It gives the reader time to listen to God’s heart and then to use it as a prayer back to Him. 
Meditation means to ponder something. I would read one or two verses over and over and 
let the words sink into my spirit. Then the words would come up as I went about my day 
and I would “chew” on them again.  This practice has continued over the years and has resulted
 in a rich store of wisdom that is available to me as I live my life. 
I found it helpful to take a chapter but write out only one to three verses at a time. 
I would then write down my thoughts as I waited before the Lord in an attitude of prayer. 
When I finished I would write or speak a prayer using the meditation as the spring board. 
This, then, became the foundation for how I prayed for people that day. 
(Beats saying to God, “bless this person.")
For those of you who are interested in trying this, I would suggest taking the first verse of Psalm 23. 
Begin by writing down each word of that verse as a list, one below the other. Take one word each day 
and write down your thoughts next to it.  
(right away you can see that you would be in the first verse of Psalm 23 for at least nine days!)
So the first day you would meditate on “THE Lord is my shepherd.”  
The second day it would be “the LORD is my shepherd.” 
The third day would be “The Lord IS my shepherd.”
The fourth day would be “The Lord is MY shepherd.”  and so on.
Now, you may think that you can't get something out of just one word, but try it! If you end
up reading the first phrase of the verse and then the second phrase, that is OK.  Frame a 
picture, draw it on paper, reflect on being with the shepherd. Expect the Lord to speak to you 
but do not be discouraged if you find your mind flying about or cluttered with the trivia of the day. 
Bring yourself back into His presence and wait for insight into the word you are on. Our Lord
wants to speak to you and give you hope.
Now for all you brave ones out there, put your thoughts down in the comment section below this post 
so others can be encouraged by how God has  spoken to you--maybe for the very first time.  
It is amazing how one person’s meditation can open a window for someone else!

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Beholding Him

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, 
with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, 
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
IICor. 3:17,18  NAS
The context is important and Paul is referring to previous verses where Moses had to veil his face
 when he left the Tabernacle. His face was transformed in the presence of the Lord, 
but as he went back among the Israelite, the glory faded. 

The Spirit indwells us and gives us liberty to go into His presence with an open face
 to behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord.  As we behold as in a mirror, His glory,
 we are being changed from one degree of glory to another.  What a verse!  
Behold means to “gaze upon, to look steadily at.”   
The mirror part of the verse became a huge puzzle to me. How in the world 
do I look in a mirror and see anything but myself?  I have pondered this verse for months. 
I am not nearly finished with it and as He reveals to me more of what it means, I will share it with you
For now it says to me that Christ dwells in me and as I gaze upon Him in me, 
I am in the process of being transformed!  That is what the verse is saying. Amazing!  
The first time I sat down to gaze upon Him all I could see was light and fire.
Over the years I have read many books about being transformed in my behavior, thinking, feeling. 
Nothing has worked and that is what it has taken, much work! 
The scripture says that “I AM a new creation” but how does this play out in my life?
This verse indicates that transformation comes out of fellowship, relationship,  
in the presence of the Lord. This takes time. It is not a quick, “how are you?” 
and “See you later,” to the Lord.  

Friday, February 10, 2012


What if the Christian life is a relationship? God romancing me? 
He takes the lead, and I respond. It is a dance. 
am cradled in his arms as we glide across the floor called life. 
He leads; I follow. In the movement of the dance I forget how I look, 
how I feel, how I move my feet, for I am caught up in Him as His eyes flash with joy. 
We move together in perfect harmony. I read His love letter to me (the Bible) 
and then I talk to Him about it (prayer). 
Conversation, courtship, relationship, overflow, all rolled into my life in Him. 
Obedience is not difficult when one is in love!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

For Me to Live is Christ

 A Christian is one who has become spiritually alive from the dead. The presence of spiritual life within him
 is the one foundational thing that distinguishes him from the unregenerate world about him.
This spiritual life is not native to us, nor can it be developed out of anything we have or are by nature. 
It must be given to us. So God has given us eternal life, “and this life is in His Son,” 
through whose possession of us when we believed on him we were born from above; “not of blood, 
nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God;" by which we have become a “new creation” in Christ, 
being thereby made “partakers of the divine nature.”

The life of a Christian, therefore, is the life of Christ within us through the Holy Spirit. 
It is not a life similar to his, it is his life. This is shown by the fact that what we receive in the new birth 
is not only “everlasting life,” but also “eternal life,” which is far more than “everlasting life.” 
For while everlasting life has no end, yet it may have a beginning; but eternal life has neither beginning nor end.

Now the Triune God is the only one in the universe who has eternal life. The only way He can give us eternal life, 
therefore, is to possess us with his own life, through Christ, by the Holy Spirit. 
This is one thing Paul meant when he said, “For me to live is Christ.” This is a mystery that is too high for us. 
We can none of us understand it; but we can believe it.
J.E. Conant

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Touched by your wondrous love
Cradled in arms so strong
Before the world began
Before the stars were spun
Radiant beauty,
How you have stolen me.
Your love is a perfume I pour at your feet.
What love is this beckons me in
Drenches my heart in wine
I can but forsake all other loves
Now I am Yours and You are mine
Radiant beauty, 
How you have stolen me.
Your love is a perfume I pour at your feet.
By Michelle Wooderson

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This Thing Called Piety

My husband is speaking on Piety and it has generated a lively conversation at the dinner table! I asked my daughter what she thought of as piety and she said, “the Pharisees.” When I think of piety, I think of “oughts.” I ought to pray more, read my Bible more, reach out to the poor, share the Gospel more.  Ought and More. Ug! I have spent most of my life trying to attain something in the eyes of God and others. The outside can look good while the inside is a perfect mess of self effort!
BUT, what if piety is a romance? God romancing me? He takes the lead, and I respond. It is a dance. I am cradled in his arms as we glide across the floor called life. He leads; I follow. In the movement of the dance I forget how I look, how I feel, how I move my feet, for I am caught up in Him as His eyes flash with joy. We move together in perfect harmony.  I read His love letter to me (the Bible) and then I talk to Him about it (prayer).  Conversation, courtship, relationship, overflow, all rolled into Piety. Obedience is not difficult when one is in love!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Little Bird

A little bird I am,
Shut from the fields of air;
And in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me here;
Well pleased a prisoner to be,
Because my God, it pleases Thee.
                                                                                                        Jeanne Guyon

Jeanne Guyon was imprisoned in the Bastille in the 1600s by the Church. Her walk with her Lord was considered radical.  Go to to get a copy of her Autobiography. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012


The women came to the grave. They were empty; desolate. 
They came to the the tomb, to weep and mourn their great loss. 
Instead they found: 
an earthquake, 
the stone rolled away, 
guards frozen with fear, 
an Angel, 
and an empty tomb.  
The Angel said to them: “Do not be afraid, for I know 
that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 
HE IS NOT HERE, for He has risen as He said. 
Come see the place where He lay...”   (Matthew 28:1-8)
Papa, I came to You empty and expecting nothing. Instead
I found a risen Savior and HOPE.
Blessed be your Name!