Being Part of The Herd (Guess Blogger)

Hi, my name is Laurie, sometimes I go by the nick-name Lulu. I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and proud of it, yup, I am a Jesus girl. I am married to my first husband, Richard. Richard is an amazing man and father and has been putting up with me since we tied the knot in 1994. We have two amazing boys that are wonderfully amazing young men that have been a pure joy to raise thus far. We also have two fur babies. Ike is a handsome Chawiener (half long hair chiwawa and half wiener dog) and Stella is the sweetest cat I have ever had, she loves kisses and snuggles under the covers with us. I live in the Mid-West where I enjoy 3 of the 4 seasons, I could really be fine with skipping summer. In my spare time I am a writer, reader, quilter, student and employee. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, please leave me comments, my love language is Words of Affirmation and I am not ashamed to beg! Welcome Laurie

Being Part of the Herd

“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 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 forever.” Psalm 23 (KJV)
I grew up learning, memorizing and reciting this Psalm. If I had to guess, this is probably one of the most memorized passage in the Bible.
As we continue in our “Little Golden Book” series, I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at Psalm 23, and if you have not memorized it yet, I challenge you to do so.

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As a child I remember this Psalm bringing me so much comfort and a feeling of God’s protection over me. I would recite it anytime I was anxious or worried about things. I would dream of walking beside Jesus in a meadow of flowers and resting near a pretty stream. I could imagine Him catching me when I fell, and I could feel His presence with me as I would pray this Psalm.
I never once thought about what it would cost me to be one of His sheep or what it meant to be part of the herd. These thoughts didn’t occur to me until I was an adult.
So, what does it mean to be part of His herd? Why does God repeatedly refer to us as His sheep? Let’s start by looking at what it means to be one of His sheep and why we need Him as our Shepherd:

First, sheep are conformists. They enjoy being in a herd. They find protection in numbers. Sheep are good this way, but people often are not. (Nathan Tabor)
So let’s learn a little more about sheep and how we may be like them. Like sheep, we are a bit dense. While researching sheep I found a story about a sheep that fell off a cliff and the other 400 sheep in the herd followed him to their death. We tend to follow the herd people! Think about it and I bet you can find at least a dozen examples in your life where you followed the herd. We need a shepherd!
Sheep are defenseless. They cannot fend for themselves and they cannot fight off the attacks of other animals. They are the wooly snack food of the wild. Ok, I know what you are thinking right now….YOU are not defenseless. Hmmmm….are you sure? Can you really handle ANYTHING that comes your way?

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
But the most dangerous thing sheep do is wander. And they tend to wander off for no good reason. They can have everything they need right where they are but they still wander off.
We as a human race are prone to wander too. The bible is full of examples of people, cities and nations who wander away from God. It has been that way since the beginning, Adam and Eve wander over to the tree of Knowledge. The whole human race wandered so far from God that a flood came and took over the earth.
You see, we are prone to wander in our faith and that is the greatest tragedy we could suffer. I am so thankful that I have a good shepherd who will leave the 99 and rescue me!

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? Luke 15:4
I think that it is obvious that we are in desperate need of a Shepherd, someone who will watch over us and protect us from ourselves. Someone who spends all of his time with us, His sheep. Someone whose voice we will be able to discern above all other voices.

“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27
So what does it mean to be part of the herd? It means life, it means freedom from death, it means assurance that we are loved and looked after. It means experiencing goodness and mercy all the days of our life and finally, it means that we will dwell in the house of the Lets end our time now by praying through Psalm 23:
Lord our shepherd, you leave me wanting for nothing. I walk with you through green pastures and lie with you by the still waters. You restore my soul and lead me in the path of righteousness. Your protection is with me as I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil. Your rod and your staff they comfort me. When the enemy attacks, you prepare a table before me and anoint my head with oil. My cup is running over with your goodness and mercy and I delight in you as I dwell in your house forever. Amen

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God’s Garden

John15.png   I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.                                                    John 15:1-2

There are people who say that gardening brings you into close contact with nature, I do agree since I have enjoy doing it. It also enhances your property, provides flowers for the house and food for the table. In spite of being hard work, it gives great joy to those who do it. 

People in Israel were familiar with the gardener who looked after the vineyard and harvested the grapes. The role of the gardener and of the shepherd, the farmer and the judge was a reference to God. The gardener was in control of the vineyard and the vines were his pride and joy. Christ was God’s vine and thus theFather”  was the owner of the vineyard and the primary agent in taking care of the vineyard and yielding a crop. The small and insignificant Christian community who follow Jesus’ teaching, soon realized that God, the owner of the vineyard had planted a new vine and that these branches were now given preference over the old vine, Israel. In reaching his goal, God was in control of his “garden”, like any hardworking gardener or farmer, he did everything possible to ensure a good and abundant harvest.

Take note that, above the buzz and din of the world’s business God is still there and at work, looking for ways to motivate His missionaries so that He may be sure of a good and fertile crop. Sometimes He plants more vines and patiently carries on working until the first fruit is seen and He can gather the harvest that he has been waiting for. Always look around and see his wonderful handy work he has already done.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

There is Always Hope With God

1 Peter.jpgAll people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field, the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever. 1 Peter 1:24-25

Tradition and the letter itself identify the apostle Peter as the author of this book, a pastoral address to the house-churches scattered across five Roman provinces. The early Christians often met violent opposition, and Peter’s letter comforted and encouraged Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. It is hard to believe that even today their are many Christians being persecuted and also dying for their belief in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior however it is true. As you read the book of 1 Peter who is telling us: Therefore with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy. 1 Peter 1:13-16

Jesus gives you and me hope-hope that the best part of our lives is not behind you but rather right in front of you. It stretches out before you gloriously into an eternity of experiences that will get better and better. For now, through, you inhabit a world of death, sorrow, crying and pain. Let the hope of heaven empower you to live well in this broken world that is passing away. In heaven, he will wipe away every tear from your eyes-permanently! If this world were all there is, it would be tragic beyond description. When the day of the Lord comes, and believe me it will come. Jesus will replace this world and make all things new with all of his followers who will live forever with him in ceaseless ecstasy.  Let this hope give you courage to keep holding your head up high as you endure any suffering and pain. The best part of our lives truly lies ahead-stored up for us in heaven. This is true for all of us Christians both young and old. As we grow older and deal with many things such as poor health let us remember that Jesus walks besides us every step of the way. Our spiritual life can open up even wider as your soul grows strong in the light of Jesus’ presence, and when the day comes for us when we see him face to face-what a glorious day that will be.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Valentine’s Day

John316.pngIt is the day before Valentine’s Day, I am sure many people never realized how this day started many years ago. There was a simple Christian priest named Valentine who came forward and stood up for love. He began secretly married soldiers before they went off to war. In 269 AD Emperor Claudius found out about the secret ceremonies, and he had Valentine thrown into prison and deemed that he would be put to death. While waiting for the execution, Valentine now fell in love with a blind girl who happened to be the jailer’s daughter. On the eve of his execution, with no writing instruments available, Valentine is said to have written her a sonnet in ink that he squeezed from violets. Legend has it that his words made the blind girl see again. The next day February 14 Valentine was clubbed to death by Roman executioners.

Even thro the way Valentine’s day started, I feel it is even more important to share with you my readers of a greater love, which can be found in the Gospel of John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. These are beautiful words for all of us to read, over and over again, of how much you are truly love, just because you are God’s son or daughter. You see flowers that you may received will fade, candy will be eaten, however God’s love for us is forever. In the book of Romans these are the words of Paul the apostle chapter 8: 38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

When Valentine’s Day come and you feel that you are alone or even that you are unloved remember these words, you are love by God the Creator of the Universe, the Great I Am, and his love for you is unconditional for all of his children. For if some reason you begin to doubt simply cry out to the Father and he will hear your prayer, and simply open up his words the Bible to know how much you are loved my friend.

Grace and Peace to You