From My Pen...

I'm a journaler. I like to journal about life, love and my Lord. I also love technology but busyness keeps me from being as tech-savvy as I'd like to be. This blog gives me a chance to play computer and learn a few new tricks along the way; all the while serving as my 21st century journal. A journaler is just a writer by another name and writing defines me almost as much as my faith does. I've always had a desire to blend my faith and my writing into a ministry of encouragement. This blog gives birth to that desire. Be blessed as you read these weekly devotions taken from the pages of my old-fashioned journal.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

MY THOUGHTS ON PSALM 23

Psalm 23 - my favorite and the first scripture I learned from memory. When I was a little girl my favorite uncle, Pastor Bruce Harnum, came to our home church to fulfill a speaking engagement. He stayed with us. I loved that. He was tons of mischievous fun. Every little girl loves that and, since I have a larger than normal mischievous side, it’s no wonder he gained such favor in my eyes! In amidst the fun of that week Uncle Bruce made it his business to have me learn Psalm 23 from memory. To say it “by heart” was to be my parting gift to him. So I worked on it and he would have me practice by standing, as though on stage, reciting my lines. I did it and I never forgot the moment, the memory or the affirmation; nor did I forget the Psalm. It’s one of the few I still most often recite fully King James. J It is my favorite memory of a great man of God - the man my mom (his sister) called “Big Brother Bruce” to distinguish him from my own brother to which we referred as “Little Brother Bruce” – go figure! But I digress.

Psalm 23 – more than just a funeral Psalm. I have come to think about it as a life principle. It speaks to me that sufficiency is all about perspective and contentment.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads 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 You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs 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)

In my most recent reading of the Psalm I jotted my thoughts that day. With a nudge to my spirit and a few minor adjustments these thoughts became a devotional that I shared in the local senior’s complex a couple of weeks ago. Today, with a nudge to my spirit and a few minor adjustments, they become my blog post in hopes that these thoughts might encourage you.

Having enough – some of you can remember times when there has not been enough - not enough money to pay the bills; not enough in the pantry to feed a large family; not enough time to get everything done that you needed to do. There was never enough. The psalmist said that God was with him so he lacked nothing. God was sufficient. That was his perspective. He was content to know God. From an earthly perspective many would look at me and, perhaps at you, and say we lack much. When I was younger I probably would have agreed with them. I am a little older now and I’d like to think I am wiser for it. Having stuff is not what makes me happy or content. I’m rather more like the Psalmist than I was when I was younger. I have God in my life – the Lord is my Shepherd – therefore I have everything I need. He is enough!

When the Lord is my Shepherd He gives me rest and feeds my soul in green pastures; in the spiritual abundance of His presence. He satisfies my spiritual thirst with deep refreshment found in Him – the Water of Life. When the Lord is my Shepherd I am led by His unseen hand. I don’t need to stumble at any decision or crossroads when I follow His lead because the path He sets me on is the right one. Even face-to-face with life’s darkest valley, death, I am comforted. When the Lord is my Shepherd no fear need overtake me. He offers correction so I am brought back to a place of safety. My enemies cannot gain the upper hand. When the Lord is my Shepherd blessings of every kind are abundantly poured upon me until I overflow. His goodness, His love is mine until I die and then I will be forever where He is.

No matter how you say it ‘tis true…
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” (KJV)
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I lack nothing.” (NIV)
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need.” (NLT)