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.

psalm23.jpg

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

he-left-the-99torescue-me.jpg

 

Advertisements

Prepared for Your Eternal Destination

John 6.png

When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the sings I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Don’t be concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”                               John 6:25-27

There are depths to God’s nature that ho human could ever estimate, but few people have taken the time and gone to the trouble of getting to know God to the best of their ability. They believe Him and yet refuse to totally and unconditionally entrust their lives to Him. They say they trust God and yet worry themselves sick about many things. (This sounds like many of us) They are surrounded by the glory of the living God, and yet they become involved in petty religious issues that dishonor His name.

One of the most glorious facts about Christ’s teachings is their simplicity. Jesus invites the human being to a new and blessed relationship with the living God and Father. One of the basic requirements for their relationship is sincere spiritual hunger and willingness to accept Jesus as Redeemer and Savior.

This acceptance is not the result of an emotional experience or following a specific religious formula, but total and unconditional surrender to the Father. You should get into the habit of speaking to God as you go about your daily tasks, like you would speak to a friend, which is exactly what God is. As you start having more intimate fellowship with Him, He will become more of a reality to you, until every aspect of your life is made holy by God’s presence and you are ready for your eternal destination.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends                                                                                                    Eileen

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

Salvation through Christ

John 4.png     When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her,Will you give me a drink? (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink. (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.                                               John 4:7-10

When the Holy Spirit of God begins working in our conscience, we hear God speak to us. We instinctively know it is God, and we know that He is wrestling with us. Our blunted consciences are shaken back to life and we become aware of the wrong in our lives. We feel the necessity of change, and know we dare not carry on living as we are. God speaks to us, yet often we are unwilling to answer him.

We see the steep road and the narrow gate and we refuse to give God a positive answer. We are willing to listen but not to do. We have no real remorse or sorrow about our sin. That is why Christ says to us, “If only you knew…” If only you knew who is talking to you and what He wants to give you! he offers you the Water of Life–free! 

The woman’s sensual thirst was unquenchable, but Christ could quench the thirst of her soul. He gives streams and rivers in the desert. He calls, “If anyone is thirsty, let them come to Me.” Christ gives us Living Water that cleanses us from our sins and grants us forgiveness. How this woman yearned to be purified! Christ’s Living water makes us fruitful in His service to live for Him, to work and to witness for Him. If only you knew how much He loves you! How badly He wants to set you free and save you. Look up at the cross and see His pierced hands and feet, and know for sure He loves you deeply.

Prayer: Lord Jesus you laid down your life for me at Calvary, I have found shelter and salvation in your wonderful protection. I ask you to come into my heart and quench my thirst for “Living Water”.                   Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Sowing Seeds

John 4a.pngMeanwhile Jesus disciples urged him, “Rabbi eat something.” But he said to them.” I have food to eat that you know mothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” My food, said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his word. Don’t you have a saying. ‘It’s still four months until harvest? I tell you, open your e4yes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.                                Matthew 4:31-38

I began to teach Sunday School in my early twenties because I remember many who has touch my own life in my journey of faith. As I became an adult I felt it was really important to plant the seeds of God’s love in children. So between teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for almost twenty years I had the opportunity with God’s help to share his love. No I most likely never see those seeds that I have planted come into harvest time, but to me it doesn’t matter because God does. Especially during that one week in the summer is always a great opportunity to plant seeds, my church most times would have more than one hundred children each day during VBS. As a leader or a teacher or a helper we truly don’t know what a child maybe faces in their own lives, and all they longer to know is this “Does Anyone Love Me”  If we as adults in the world today would stop and take a good look of how to sow the seeds of Christ into our children and other children, perhaps maybe then our children in this world would come to have a walk with Jesus Christ each and everyday, they will know that they will always have a best friend that would never let them down, rejected them in anyway. And when we begin to do this perhaps just maybe our children would not look to have sex at an early age, begin to smoke cigarettes, begin to drink, start to use drugs because when they find the missing link, the missing puzzle part in their puzzle of life which is Jesus Christ, “The Great I Am” the will come to love themselves as Christ loves them and then they too can love one another and begin to sow the seeds of Christ into the hearts of the next generation.

 

Grace And Peace to You My Friends

Another Chance

Jeremiah 15.jpgWe serve an Awesome God, he is a God who always gives us another chance, over and over again no matter how hard we seem to mess things up. Lets read the parable that Jesus shared in the Gospel of Luke on the Prodigal Son:

Luke 15:11-32 11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So ,he divided his property between them. 13″Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17” When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21″The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22″But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So, they began to celebrate. 25″Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27  Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28″The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So, his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31″‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again he was lost and is found. 

Why does Jesus tells us this parable in the Gospel of Luke it is because he is a God who is always willing to forgive you and me, regardless of our mistakes, and because he knows our heart. Perhaps as you are reading this right now, you are saying to yourself, I really mess up big this time, I can start over, God will never forgive me, I am not worthy of it. Yes God can and he does, we are always allow to begin over with each new day. You see my friend today is called “Present” which is a gift from God, and how you use it will be your gift back to God. Yesterday is done and over we can not change anything with it, tomorrow well, that is not promise to any of us at all but here we stand at a new day call “Present” use it wisely, and remember Jesus has already forgiven you, now forgive yourself of your mistakes.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Staying On The Right Path

Psalm 2.png

Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much, preserve my life, Lord, according to your word. Accept, Lord the willing praise of my mouth and teach me your laws. Through I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. Your statues are my heritage forever, they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.                                    (Psalm 119:105-112)

There are times in our lives when life gets a little hard, well I mean down right difficult for us, and we feel and may say to God, I just can’t take another step, I just can’t go on! Do you ever feel this way, I know I do, and believe me too many times to count when I have felt that way.  However, over the years of my life I am learning to stay close to God, to stay on the right path in my own life. One of the ways in which I am able to stay on the right path is to continue to stay close to God by reading his word.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Hebrews 12:2) I have made it a good habit to spend time alone with our Lord, I go to a quiet place where no one can found me and just read his word, reflect on the words that I just read, and then to apply them into my own life. I read the devotional Upper Room each and everyday, beside the scriptures they suggest to us the reader, I also found other scriptures to read,and their are times before I open up my own Bible I just ask God to share with me when I need to read and learn and then I just happen to open my bible to that scripture. My bible is becoming worn out, which to me it is saying that I am using it for guidance in my own life. I have highlight many scriptures both in the Old and New Testament that means something to me. I just open to James 1:17 which states Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. Also Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Let me ask you something, if you own a car and never took it out of your garage would the battery died, I would say yes it would. If you never took care of your body with food, water and rest would eventually could you get sick, again I would say to you, most likely. So why then would you not take care of your spiritual body, because it too need to be feed, and not just once a week, just like out bodies need food to eat each and everyday so also our spiritual body needs food each and everyday of our lives. In order for us as human to stay on the right path in our lives with God, we also need to walk closely with him thru our prayers and with our studying of his word on a daily basis.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends