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    Our Shepherd

    And you, my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are my people, and I am your God, declares the sovereign Lord.’ ” (Ezekiel 34:31 NET) The 23rd Psalm is one of the most familiar and dearest passages of the Bible. It is a beautiful poem about God, the shepherd, and his people, the sheep, that speaks to humanity’s desires and fears. As such, it is a lovely reminder that the LORD is a merciful and compassionate God. Furthermore, it reminds us that, like sheep, we depend on God’s care and provision for survival. (2)

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    I Shall Not Want

    “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” This quote from Dickens’ best describes my memories of summer days as a child. I could hardly wait for summer vacation. No school! No homework! The whole day to play. It was truly the best of times. No sooner was school out than the days became too hot to do much of anything. Friends went away on vacation or away to camp. I quickly became bored with no where to go and nothing fun to do.  It was also the worst of times. Sitting in a class room on a warm May day looking out the window as…

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    The Lord is My Shomer

    The Hebrew word “shamar”  (shaw-mar) means to guard, watch, keep, observe, and beware. It has a large range of uses in the Old Covenant of the Bible derived from the primary significance of keeping watch or guarding. Is it distinctly the shepherd’s word – the shepherd keeps watch-guard over his sheep. Someone that shamars is a shomer. That is, the Lord is our shomer!

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    Restoration and Reliance

        Physical pain is something I run from. I have a low tolerance for pain and often look for ways to quickly alleviate it. Whatever it takes!     In Ephesians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul talks speaks of prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers and evangelists equipping the saints for the work of the ministry. The word equipping is often understood as teaching or instructing. In addition to this meaning, equipping means to restore or mend as if setting a broken bone back into place. That sounds hopeful yet painful!     Sometimes restoration does not feel like things are being restored. Sometimes it feels like things are getting worse. Sometimes the things…

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    Shadowed Valleys and Splendid Tables

    The dark night closes in around us, like a foggy mist clinging to the soul. Night give ways to another night, and it seems daybreak misses its cue. We step forward but stumble, reach out but cannot find something steady to which we can cling. In such moments all we want is a person, a presence, a guide. David, expressing the longing of his heart and ours, penned a promise for dark seasons. Often read at funerals or resigned to bookmarks, Psalm 23 gives hope to every journeying soul. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with…