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Sunday’s Memory Verse, 9/19/21

“If your law had not been my delight,
    I would have perished in my affliction.” Psalm 119:92 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

Are you ever too hard on yourself? When confronted with our failures or weaknesses, we can feel like we’re not good enough, not measuring up. I struggle with this sometimes, especially when I have been too harsh with my middle school students. Why can’t I be more patient?

When we’re too hard on ourselves, we get discouraged and feel like giving up. Nothing could make Satan happier! Remember: Satan is “the accuser of the brethren.” and “a liar” (Revelation 12:10, John 8:44) But the promise of God is this:

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NIV

Sunday in church, I was feeling discouraged. We sang the song His Mercy is More. As we sang, the Holy Spirit comforted my soul like only He can. The lyrics say, “Our sins they are many. His mercy is more.”

I felt the love of God embrace me. God is not a hard taskmaster. He is loving, merciful, and kind. No matter how many times we mess up, He still loves us more than we will ever understand. Let the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, speak to your heart through God’s Word.

“Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;” Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

His mercy and love are greater than all our failures, mess-ups, and shortcomings.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.” 1 John 4:16 NIV

The Apostle Paul wrote, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power …… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV   

“Though the mountains be shaken
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” Psalm 86:5 NIV

This is our God. If you need His encouragement today, I urge you to listen to and sing, this beautiful song. I pray that it will comfort you as much as it comforted me. God’s love is reaching out to us every day.

Lord, may we have a deeper revelation of your love.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian, women

Friday’s Verse, 9/17/21

“How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    and delight in obeying his commands.
 Their children will be successful everywhere;
    an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.” Psalm 112:1-2 NLT Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Verses for Meditation, 9/16/21


“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 ESV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Quote of the Week, 9/15/21

 “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” 

Martin Luther KIng, Jr.

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Tuesday’s Verse, 9/14/21

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by lauren barton on Unsplash Cumberland Falls, Kentucky, USA

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Monday’s Verse, 9/13/21

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NLT Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Michael Alain on Unsplash Red River Gorge, Kentucky, USA

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Sunday’s Memory Verse, 9/12/21

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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A Shepherd’s Perspective on Psalm 23

“I have concluded based on my years of experience that sheep are stupid. Not just stupid but mind-numbingly stupid— sometimes I wonder how they manage to breath and eat.” Glenn Brunkow, Rancher¹

Somehow, that quote from Brunkow gives me comfort. God wants to lead us, feed us, and guide us. Our responsibility is to just obey.

*********

I’m re-reading a fascinating book by Phillip Keller called A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.² Keller was a shepherd for years and explains many things about sheep that most people don’t know.The book is eye-opening and provides a deeper understanding of our relationship with the Lord, the Great Shepherd.

I memorized Psalm 23 as a young child and received a glow-in-the-dark cross for a reward. I can still recite it after all these years! I am thankful for my Sunday School teachers who required it and my grandmother who helped me learn it. I consider it a great blessing in my life. (If you haven’t memorized it, I highly recommend that you do!)

“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.” Psalm 23 KJV

The shepherd watches over his sheep day and night. They cannot take care of themselves, and they get into all kinds of trouble. They will drink polluted water, wander off and be attacked by a wild animals, get stuck in the same fence repeatedly, etc.

” … he who watches over you will not slumber” Psalm 121:3 NIV

Sheep are fearful, timid, and skittish. A rabbit hopping by suddenly can send them into a panic. But they calm down when the shepherd walks into view, and they are comforted. So many times in my life, when I was in a panic, the Lord has comforted me and calmed my fears. That’s when I wonder how people who don’t know Him get through tough times.

We do “not want” because Jesus is always with us, in good times and in bad.  Our joy and peace comes from His presence in our life, not in what we have or the way life goes. We are content to be led by Him, doing His will.

One thing I found interesting is the fact that like humans, some sheep refuse to follow the shepherd and instead do their own thing. (Ouch!) This can result in lots of serious problems for the sheep, problems they would have never experienced – if only they had followed the shepherd. (I could write a book about all the times I did my own thing instead of following the Good Shepherd. It never turned out well!)

Without a shepherd, the sheep blindly follow other sheep. When one walks over a cliff, the others follow right behind him!

Keller tells how he would lead his sheep to a clean, clear stream and a stubborn ewe would go off and drink from a polluted, parasite-infested puddle instead. Isn’t that what some people do? We choose the unclean ways of the world instead of the ways of God.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37-38 NIV

A good shepherd provides good forage for the sheep, lush green vegetation, so that the sheep can have plenty to eat, grow, and thrive. However, some sheep will wander off and eat from barren, dry brush instead. Many times, we prefer to feed on the barren ground of the world around us instead of the peace and comfort that comes from dwelling in His Word and walking in His steps.

The final parallel I want to share is the most extraordinary. Sheep must have plenty of pure clean water. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to lead them to a lush green field heavy with morning dew.

The sheep can keep fit and hydrated for months just by grazing right before dawn when the field is heavy with dew. The sheep feed heavily and are most content at this time of day. A good shepherd will make sure his sheep have this opportunity to drink in the “still waters” of dew.

“In the Christian life it is of more than passing significance to observe that those who are often the most serene, most confident and able to cope with life’s complexities are those who rise early each day to feed on God’s Word.” (Keller)

These are just a few of the many insights from A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller.

I don’t know about you, but it gives me great comfort to know that I don’t have to be smart to thrive. I need only to follow Jesus, the Great Shepherd. He leads us by His Word.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Isaiah 53:6 NIV

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 NIV

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14 NIV

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

¹https://www.agupdate.com/midwestmessenger/opinion/columnists/glenn_brunkow/the-questionable-intelligence-of-sheep/article_69540f07-7577-5559-bfde-a31ea95acc0c.html

²ISBN 0-310-26790-0 available on Amazon

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Friday’s Verse, 9/10/21

“But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
    on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,” Psalm 33:18 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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