Converging Closure and the Journey

December 31
The wind is gusting up to fifty miles an hour...
it must be trying to blow 2008 out of here and bring
on 2009! The fabulous technology of laptops and
wireless has afforded me the comfort of writing
from bed under a down comforter...cozy! Piled
around me on the bed are 2 Bibles, 3 journals,
3 devotional books, 2 books on Psalms, and 2
study books and Jesus is speaking through them all!

The ascension of Christ still lingers in my mind.
Just as we close the door, leaving 2008 behind and
journeying into 2009, Jesus left his role as God in
the flesh and journeyed off to love us from heaven.
Yes, Jesus went, but Jesus continues to come into our
lives day after day, after day.

The word converge is looming.
Definition:To tend or move toward one point or one another;
come together; unite in a common interest or focus
.

Occurrences have passed that we cannot change and those
results converge with the uncertainties we face as we step into
today and tomorrow, but we go with confidence that Christ is with
us, moving us towards heaven, with the common focus as believers
to share this Good News with others!

Let's pray three amazing scriptures:
Joshua 1:9, Lamentations 3:22-23 and Hebrews 4:12.

Father, you have commanded us to be strong and of good
courage; to not be afraid or dismayed for You are with us
wherever we go. Because of Your great love we are not
consumed for Your compassions never fail...they are new
every morning and Your faithfulness is great! We will
go with the flow of life as we face 2009 trusting in the
Word of God which is both living and active; sharper than
any double-edged sword and able to penetrate even to dividing
soul and spirit, joint and marrow and able to judge the
thoughts and attitudes of the heart! With the excitement
of knowing You are always up to good, we wait as faithful
servants seeking Your next assignment. May Your kingdom
come. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Relinquish

December 29
Relinquish-to withdraw or retreat from;
leave behind; give up; to stop holding physically;
release; to give over possession or control of.

Webster's explains this is not a word related to
strong feeling, yet rather a yielding.

Finishing up a study of Luke, Jesus is found
ascending into heaven and relinquishing His bodily
presence on earth...yielding to God's plan. The
disciples are blessed to witness this and the Word
says they worshipped Jesus and returned to Jerusalem
with great joy, staying continually at the temple,
and praising God.

With the New Year approaching it affords us a great
opportunity to reflect back and ask the Lord to
reveal what we might want to relinquish from our
lives in order to grow closer to Him!

Let's Pray: Father, to be closer
to You is the cry of our hearts. If there are habits
or situations that are controlling us, help us to
relinquish those and cling to You. In Jesus' Name,
Amen

Sustaining Peace

December 28
A violent stomach virus has been flying through our family
this Christmas. Frustration sets in as a mother when you
can do nothing to relieve the symptoms of such an illness.
The prayer..."Father give them sustenance to get through
this" has floated off my tongue.Sustenance is defined as
something that gives support, endurance, or strength;
to sustain is to give support or relief to.


Finishing up a study of Luke, I am thinking about what
was sustaining the apostles after the crucifixion and
resurrection of Christ. They were hanging out together.
Can you imagine their conversations? Then Jesus shows up
and scares them speechless! They think He is a ghost.
He says...Peace be with you!

In Beth Moore's "Personal Reflection Series" she asks the
reader to consider what their countenance would reveal if
a photograph was taken of them. Does our countenance
reflect a peace of someone who is walking with Christ who
sustains them?

A comment I made to one of my children reveals a false
since of joy that we can be trapped into...I said, "When
my children are happy, I am happy." My children's joy
cannot be where my peace comes from. Yes, I continue to
pray for happiness in their lives, but the Lord has them
on their own journey and it will by no means be one without
bumps.

My peace must come from Christ alone and the remembrance
that He is always in the photo with me!

Let's Pray: Heavenly Father another year
has come and gone,it was just a blink to You. We thank You
for sustaining us through the ups and downs. If we close
our eyes right now and call to Jesus, He is here. Jesus
whispers, "I love you my friend" and we are strengthened to
go on and face another day in peace, believing in the promises
by faith. Praying in the name of our Lord, Amen

Ponder the Wonder

December 24

On the fireplace mantel in my bedroom sits a
beautifully hand carved Mary on a donkey, with
Joesph by her side. Oh, the journey they made!
My litter (what I like to call my children who
were all born so close together and play together
like a litter of puppies) has traveled far and overcome
airport and traffic hurdles to get home for the holidays.
What should have been a five hour trip took one son
eleven hours. They are happy to be together and
moving around in a pack, making the most of their days
together. The four boys left here together at 4AM to
drive one girl friend to the airport, then they are
heading to a local dive that stays open for 24 hours
to have breakfast together! That's fellowship!
Yesterday our three week old grandson arrived. This
is his firt big family gathering. The festive cheers
and belly laughs at the dinner table were a bit much for
him, so I took him into the living room and sat by the tree
with him. His mother came in to say she hated for me to miss
dinner and all the tales being told. I assured her I was
perfectly content to sit there and ponder the wonder of this
precious child.
Sitting there I thought about Mary in the stable that first
Christmas morning and the pondering and wondering she must
have been doing. No way could she ever imagined what lay
ahead for her son and for all mankind who calls Him Savior.

Jesus is the reason for the season, may He be a big part
of it always!

Merry Christmas to each of you.
Love, Boo

Angels on Either End

December 22

Angels...Mary heard on high in Bethlehem that starry night.
Angels by the tomb of Christ gave some women quite a fright!

There are angels watching over us, every step we take. Most
of you know of my white birds which sail into the cove early
in the morning. Usually it is just the single Holy Spirit, but
on occasion the Father and Son join in the sight, which delights
me!
This morning I think the twelve disciples came along for the ride.
One of our children said, it looked like a flock of angels soaring
around the dock. When I went to the other side of the house to let
Moses(our dog)out, two black crows were stationed at the top of our
driveway by the gate. It appeared as if demons were blocking the entrance
to our property. I began to pray for the battle encamped around us.

As I sat down to write by the Christmas tree, I noticed on the table a
small fictional book by Max Lucado called An Angel's Story.
I want to share the introduction with you.
"Spiritual beings populate the stories of Scripture. Angels singing.
Demons infecting. Heavenly hosts fighting. Satan's gremlins invading.
Ignore the armies of God and Satan and you ignore the heart of Scripture.
Ever since the snake tempted Eve in Eden, we've known: there is more to
this world than meets the eye.
We know less than we desire about these beings. Their appearance? Their
number? Their strategies and plans? We can only imagine....I tried to
imagine the spiritual conflict around the coming of Christ. Surely
there was much. If Satan could preempt Christ in the cradle there'd be no
Christ on the cross. Don't you think he tried? I do too. The conflict
was, no doubt, far grander and dramatic than anything we can fictionalize.
But we can be sure of this: we know who won. Because we know He came."

Let's Pray: Lord, we thank You for the creation of angels.
May we encourage them with our songs of praise and cheers of thanksgiving.
What a grand time it will be when we hear and see their choirs singing in
Heaven. We stop right now to give thanks to the angels who watch over us.
Father, I am going to place a pair of angel wings on my kitchen island as
a daily remembrance of the unseen blessing angels are. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Smile Indulgently

December 20-21
Indulge:to give free rein to; to take unrestrained pleasure in; gratify; to yield to the desire of; to treat with excessive leniency, generosity,
or consideration.

There will be a variety of indulgences this Christmas/New Year's season.
For many the financial atmosphere may bring a change to the gift indulgences
of previous years.

I had a 2:30AM wake up call from the Lord and went and hung out by our tree
with a couple devotionals and a journal. It was a sweet time. One devotional,
from God Calling had the title "Smile Indulgently." It read, "When
things do not fall out according to your plan, then smile at Me indulgently,
a smile of Love, and say, as you would to a human loved one, 'Have Your way
then' knowing that My loving response will be to make that way as easy for
your feet as it can be."

We choose what we indulge in. May we take unrestrained pleasure in and
indulgently love on Jesus in this week ahead. Let's give praise for the
baby who was born in a manger, walked here on earth setting an example for
us, and died an excruciating death because He loved us so much and was
obedient to His Father. We may get a smile on our faces when we bite into
Grandma's Christmas pie, but when we smile indulgently at Jesus his radiance
in us, lights up a room!

Bright Morning Star

December 19

For the past three days the fog has settled into our valley
and on the top of the mountain where we live. Our son's
flight this morning was cancelled and I will have to drive
him to Greensboro. A few other disappointments/frustrations
are being juggled in my life, (tis the season) so the Lord
and I were chatting this morning. He sent me to just the right
devotional which related this idea...In times of discouragement
and disappointment, failure and fear, indecision and
indecisiveness, grimness and grief we can call out to God to
give us courage to hold out until our morning star rises in our
heart. (2 Peter 1:19)
Revelation 22:16 says I am...the Bright and Morning Star!

May the fog and darkness be lifted from your day and the
Bright and Morning Star light your path and give you peace.
Love, Boo

Invitation

December 18
To invite someone is to request their presence
or ask them to participate in an activity or event.

Living in my hometown in the same neighborhood for forty-seven years made for some party hopping at Christmas time. There were times there were multiple parties to attend on the same night. Then moving to a resort/retirement area the only party we attended the first year was our own where I invited total strangers! Whether you like to go out or not, it makes you feel good to have your presence requested by others!
Studying the Word this morning there is one reference after another where people invited others to their home. Revelation makes an exciting note of the ultimate invitation!
Revelation 19:9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' "

Making the guest list for a wedding is tough. The limitations come in several forms from space to financial to personal desires.

Matthew 22:14 makes this mention in a wedding parable:
"For many are invited, but few are chosen."

If we know the bridegroom we will not be left outside the church!

Let's Pray: Lord, Your invitations are numerous! "Come to me you who are weary and I will give You rest." You tell us to come to You like little children and lay our burdens down. You have made clear that for those of us who know You as Savior we have an invitation to occupy a home that You have built for us!
Father, for those we know for whom it has been difficult to give an affirmative RSVP...maybe they have felt they don't have proper party etiquette or suitable attire...may we give encouragement and share how they don't want to miss this party!
Forgive us for the times we have left You off our guest list. Just as You asked Zacchaeus if You could come to his house, You want to be invited into our homes!
You may be represented in our homes this holiday season as a baby in a manger. May You always be recognized as our God, King and Savior whose name we praise!
We love You Lord and pray in Your name, Amen

Reign/Rain

December 17

The word on my heart this morning was reign.
Great word! I began to sing "And He will reign for ever
and ever!" (Coming right from Ex. 15:18)

Do you ever analyze where your dreams have come from?
Sometimes I do that with the words God gives me. Last
night my husband was watching Fox News and listening
to the latest of the Chicago mess and I kept hearing the
phrase "President Elect." Maybe that had me thinking
about the reign of Christ and the hope in 2 Tim. 2:12
If we endure, we will also reign with him.

Then I laughed and thought, maybe it was "rain" for all
day yesterday and last night I was coming in and out of
the rain. By my bed are several devotionals I enjoy, but
rarely get to read these days. Selecting one called "God
Calling" my faith was increased and the reality of God
being so very personal confirmed. Check out what I read
for Dec. 17th.
"Conditions of Blessings"
"Rejoice in the fact that you are Mine. The privileges
of the members of My Kingdom are many. When I said of My
Father, 'He maketh His Sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust,' you will
notice it was of temporal and material blessings I spoke.
I did not mean that believer and unbeliever could be treated
alike. That is not possible. I can send rain and sunshine
and money and worldly blessings equally to both, but of the
blessings of the Kingdom that would be impossible."

For me the message was not about reigning or rain...it was
about how real and personal our God is! He speaks and I need
to remember to take time to listen!

Let's Pray: Reign in our lives Lord! Be forever
real! Savior like a Shepherd lead us and rain down Your hope upon
us on parched days that tend to zap our strength. Father, Christmas
treats will abound in the days forth coming, but there is nothing
that can compare with tasting of Your goodness. We love You.
In Jesus Name, Amen

Adoration

December 16

The word today is adoration.
The definitions allow it to cover a broad spectrum:
to worship or honor as a deity or as divine;
2:to regard with loving admiration and devotion;
3:to be very fond of
.

I awakened singing "O Come Let Us Adore Him" and thought to myself that is what this season is to be...a time for us to reflect on our adoration for and appreciation of the Lord. When we gather these next few weeks will we share the likes of Psalm 22:22
with others. Check out The Message below:
Here's the story I'll tell my friends when they come to worship, and punctuate it with Hallelujahs: Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers; give glory, you sons of Jacob; adore him, you daughters of Israel. He has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around. He has never wandered off to do his own thing; he has been right there, listening.

True confession here. With adoration on my mind and reading the third definition to be very fond of, my mind did slip to our precious new grandson who is two weeks old. I do adore him!

Let's Pray: Father, we come today to worship You and the gift of Your Son, the Perfect One! With hallelujahs in our hearts we will sing out carols of praise and top on our list of giving will be a gift that brings glory to You.
The world can spin out of control around us, but like a ballerina finding her spot, when we are focused on You...all is bright! In Jesus Name, Amen

Preparation

December 15
Preparation:the action or process of making something
ready for use or service or of getting ready for some
occasion, test, or duty.


It's ten days before Christmas and one day before our
first Christmas program at SMLCA, so no wonder that I
would awaken with the word preparation on my
mind. Today the middle schoolers are coming here to
make sugar cookies and study the Christmas works of
Helen Steiner Rice and the Christmas art work of
Norman Rockwell...the dough is made, but I am really
not prepared!

Refreshment came the moment I began looking up the
word prepare in my Bible concordance! Then
when I went online to www.biblegateway.com today's verse
was: “But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid,
Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child
and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name
Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the
Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his
father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob
forever; his kingdom will never end.
”- Luke 1:30-33
Wow, now there is an example of a life in which God prepared
the way for a big assignment!

May your hearts be thrilled as you reflect on all God has
prepared for you. He will see you through!

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so,
I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place
for you.
John 14:2

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do
good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than
all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It
was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets,
some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the
body of Christ may be built up.
Ephesians 4:10-12

None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they
had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who
love him."
1 Corinthians 2:8-9

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be
prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give
the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with
gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:15

As one of my students says when he is frustrated.."Snap."
I don't want to close my Bible and go to work! I could
hang out here in God's Word all day!

Let's Pray: Lord, You have prepared all things!
Whew, what a worker bee You are! We stand in amazement of
who You are and all You have done and continue to do! Father,
this time of year our "to do" lists can get a bit out of whack.
Will You please control our time and give us minds to see what
is of worth to You and have the Holy Spirit convict us, stopping
us and put us into action, prayer or maybe even being still when
need arises. In the Mighty Name of the One who came to earth to
die for us! Amen

Double Whammy

December 13-14

Yesterday I was blown away when after writing
the devo I went to get on the treadmill and
picked up a book I had started last month.
Opening to the next chapter the word
anointing stared at me again.
(Just the word the Lord gave me yesterday.)

Studying in two different books today, both
happened to be on knowing God has Abba
Father, Daddy! Beth Moore says, "Abba acquired the
warm, familiar ring which we may feel in such an
expression as 'dear father.' When Christ fell on
His face and cried out to God to 'take this cup
(of crucifixion) from Him, he cried, 'Abba, Father.'"

It is our Abba, Father, who gave us the 23rd Psalm,
which speaks of His adoring love for us...a love that
lasts forever. With that love in mind we finish up
studying this Psalm with these final verses turned into prayer....

Abba, Daddy, we love You! Thank You for your love letter
to us and the assurance which tells us....surely goodness
and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives and we
will dwell in Your house FOREVER! You are the Good Shepherd,
who laid down His life for us. May we love You well and be
obedient to Your calling on our lives in response to this
warm relationship You have established with us. In Jesus
Name, Amen

Annointed

December 12
Thou anointest my head with oil.
My cup runneth over.


Have you ever been anointed with oil?
Years ago I was very ill from an infection following
back surgery. The doctors could not get the cultures
to grow to help them identify what IV antibiotic would
be most effective, so it looked like they were going
to have to open me back up. A friend asked if she could
bring her minister and have him anoint me with oil and
pray for me. I was open to anything at this point. I put
on a pair of loose fitting overalls and a bikini undies,
thinking he would need to anoint the incision on my back
and this would be the most modest way for this to happen.
Boy was I surprised when he anointed my forehead!
The amazing thing is the next day I went to UVA for what
we thought would be more surgery and thesurgeon said,
"I think your body is trying to heal itself and you will
be much better off if this happens and we don't have to
do surgery and antibiotics! Praise the Lord the healing
did occur.


Our cups do run over from the goodness of the Lord.
We just don't focus on that enough. When you are in
your kitchen today, take time to take a cup and let the
water overflow and thank the Lord for His abundance of
mercy, compassion, provisions and love.

Like a good shepherd....Jesus is near!

Let's Pray: Lord, thank You for
shepherding us on the mountain tops and in the valleys.
If we need sheering today, help us to stand still, trusting
You and recognizing the benefits of this process. May we
take time to reflect on how blessed we are to be annointed
by You and rejoice in the fact that our cups overflow from
blessings we often neglect to recognize! May the joy of
the realization of who we are in Christ light up another
life today. In Jesus Name, Amen

Preparing a Table

December 11
Thou preparest a table before me in the
presence of mine enemies.


There is some table preparation going on
these days! My dining room table has a
long garland of pine and pine cones
running down the center of it and
crystal candle sticks with candles
waiting to be lit. The food prep will
begin in about ten days when my crew
starts arriving! It is always a joy
to prepare a table for friends and family
and God feels the same way! Oh, what a
banquet we will share together one day
dear friends!

In Keller's book for children on the 23rd
Psalm he explains: "Some of the finest sheep
country in the world lies on high "table"
lands...A good shepherd will take time to go
ahead of his flock to make sure the mountain
pastures are safe."

I've had three wonderful days caring for my
new grandson and his parents. I've prepared
meals, laundry, Christmas gifts for their
friends and the house. Today I leave knowing
God has prepared my way home and He has prepared
the way for this little new family to walk in
His ways!

Sheep Sheering Scenarios

December 10
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

Say what? Comfort from a rod or the hook of a
staff around our necks????? The rod actually
was a wooden club that the shepherd carried and
was very skilled with. He could throw that rod
and kill a snake in a split second. There have
probably been times in all of our lives he should
have tossed that club at us and knocked some
sense into us!
God gives us a rod to toss out there and use for
our defense...His Word. We need to memorize it
and have it ready to pull out at any moment.

I wish God had used the hook of his staff more
often in my life and drawn me back from situations
I did not need to wander into.

Keller has two excellent "sheep" analogies:
"Sheering sheep is hard, dirty, smelly work, but it
helps the sheep before they go to the summer range.
The shepherd does this miserable job for the
welfare of his flock. Sometimes when we get proud or
sassy, our Master has to shear us down to size with
His Words. 'It hurts, but it helps.'"

"Sheep playing follow the leader can cause damage to
the land. They cut gullies into the ground and damage
the grass. They don't think, but just do what the sheep
in front of them does. People act like this sometimes as
well, just following the crowd. Unfortunately, the crowd
goes the wrong direction at times, leading us to trouble.
We shouldn't be foolish. Jesus, our kind Shepherd, comes
to lead us down the proper path and wants us to follow Him
in ways that are useful, kind and loving."

There is a wonderful old hymn about our life with the Shepherd.
Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us
Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine, do Thou befriend us, be the guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Let us early turn to Thee.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Let us early turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our bosoms fill.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.

We Never Walk Alone

December 9
Yea, though I walk through the shadow of death.

That would be "yea" as in woe, not "rah, rah."
We do walk through some tough times and sheep do too.
Sheep get caught on cliffs and stuck in thickets and
there is a tiny insect which can inflame their skin and
be very irritating (like sin in our lives). Poisonous
weeds can be a hazard so the shepherd pulls those up
to avoid the sheep eat them. Rams fight for the right
to mate cracking their heads together; sometimes even
killing each other. That sounds dumb, but no more so
than some of the stubborn quarrels we get ourselves into.
Shepherds grease the heads of their rams to prevent this.
We need the gracious healing oil of the Holy Spirit to help
us slide through some rough situations.

Keller writes this about conditions for sheep:
"The weather is usually good, but fierce storms can blow
up suddenly and the shepherd shelters his sheep under trees
and talks to them quietly until the storm is over. For us
days can start out cheerful and bright and unexpectantly
go wrong. A fight with a friend, a mood change with a
parent or teacher, or other unexpected disappointments.
Ask Jesus to talk you in His arms and keep you close
until the storm blows over."

Yes, there is a Good Shepherd and He cares about us
deeply and no matter what we are walking through Psalm
23 tells us we are to fear no evil for our Shepherd is
faithfully with us!

Like a Good Mama

December 5-7
He leads me beside still waters, Ah refreshment.
He restores my soul. Ah, healing.
He leads me in paths of righteousness. Ah, guidance!

The commercial says, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."
Well, as I am studying about shepherds and the care they give
their sheep I see an analogy to a good mama! Twenty-four hour,
versatile care! Offering refreshment and convincing us to
take a break, healing our hurts and showing us the right way!

My heart goes out to moms during the holiday season. In
addition to the all consuming daily family roles, holiday
baking, gift buying and wrapping, decorating, school programs
and get togethers are added to their busy schedules. I don't
think the shepherds got caught up in all of this. Try as
I may, I cannot undo it at my house.

I think I will set up a sheep station and copies of the
Twenty-third Psalm to remind us to take time out to be
with our Shepherd. (And our mamas!)

Let's Pray: Lord, yesterday I read a story about your
birthday party. It was very convicting as the story
shared what a strange sight it was to see people giving
each other gifts and not You, the birthday boy. You said it
appeared a bearded man in a red suit was the guest of
honor, not You. Please change our focus this Christmas
and let it be about You, not the hoopla. May the way
we do Christmas be contagious and give others the courage
to celebrate our loving Shepherd who came and set a very
good example of how we are to live. In Jesus Name, Amen

Rest

December 4
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

Can you remember back to your preschool days and
rest time...a break in the day when we were made to
lie down and rest. My guess is the Lord has had to
stop everyone of us in our tracks at some
point in our adult lives to insist we rest. Often
that resting provides a frame of mind where we can
reflect and know that He is God!

Rest...another timely message for this time of year.

This weekend I have the opportunity to go love on our
brand new grandson and give our son and his wife some
rest. Whether it is a grandchild, a hurting teen, a
struggling college student, heart broken young adult
or maybe a very elderly parent, one of the greatest
gifts we can give to another is to snuggle up to them
encouraging them to sit and rest!

How precious those moments must have been for Mary
when she sat and held Jesus! Who do we know that
might simply need to be held?

Let's Pray: Father, as the Good Shepherd you have
lifted us up out of despair and carried us to safety
time and time again! Today, give us eyes to see others
in need and show us how to shepherd them with loving
care. In Jesus Name, Amen

No Wanting

December 3
"I shall not want." Now there is a verse
for this time of year! Every mall in America
has a Santa, who is asking "What do you want?"
I think I will go sit on his lap and say..."I
want everyone to fall in love with Jesus!"

In Keller's children's book on Psalm 23 he says:
"Picture a fat, frisky, happy sheep never complaining
or grumbling. We can be like that if we let the Good
Shepherd care for us. We may still have troubles and
learn hard lessons growing up, but we don't have to be
afraid or uneasy because we know and trust Jesus."

Sheep are happy in the countryside with their shepherd.

May the Lord teach us contentment today.
May he use the hook of his staff so we don't stray.
May we learn there is peace when we walk in His way.

Baaaaautiful thoughts!

More Shepherd Thoughts

December 2
The Lord is My Shepherd-Keller writes:
"Not every shepherd is kind. Some are cruel,
lazy, and unloving. A bad shepherd doesn't
give his sheep fresh water, green grass, shade
from heat or protection from harmful insects and
animals. Their life is miserable and they wish
they could be free to follow a good shepherd.
Some of us are like that too. We never come into
the good generous care of God. We do not really
know and follow Christ. We have never been set
free from our old owner. Quite often that old
owner is our selfish nature. We are being the
boss of our lives. A smart move is to let Christ
take over our lives by inviting Jesus into our
hearts.
Sheep are special to the shepherd because he has
paid a lot of money for them and put a lot of hard
work into caring for them. It is the same for Jesus.
He paid for wrong doing (sins) by dying on the cross
for us. Even when we go astray, He comes looking for
us. A shepherd searches all over for his lost sheep.!

Let's Pray: Lord, Precious Shepherd,
we give thanks for all you provide for us. As we wake
up this morning may we acknowledge Your presence,
protection and provisions. When we see Nativity scenes
and the Christ child in the manger, may we be quick to
remember the Christ who became man and died upon the
cross for us. In Jesus Name, Amen

Here's a fun idea. Make a shepherd's staff and us it
for a book mark to remember whose care we are under!

The 23rd Psalm

December
There is no way to slow time down.
It is on a roll and rolling faster the
older we get! What we do with that time
is to be evaluated. A splash of being still
and knowing He is God must fit in with the
time spent investing in the Kingdom's work,
while the human side of us has many desires
we are trying to satisfy! Oh and the essentials
of dirty laundry and housework.

Being the holiday season and our focus being on
Christ, I thought we could be like children and
wander with Phillip Keller through his book
A Child's Look at the Twenty-Third Psalm
and glance at who Jesus is as our Shepherd!

The Lord is my Shepherd
"The Lord" is a favorite name for God, who made all
people. We are His children and his calls us His
sheep, because we behave like sheep wandering off and
getting into trouble sometimes. "Jesus is always ready
to help us. He does not become moody or mean like some
people. He understands us. He gives us His life, energy,
and guidance to help us succeed."

Let's Pray: Lord we come bowing before You, admitting our
need to be led in the right direction. Reach down today
and guide us in Your ways. We love You caring Shepherd.
In Jesus Name, Amen