Part 1: PSALM 23:1a … “THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD”

Jane’s Heart to Heart                  …….Pastor’s Helpmate

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD Psalm 23:1a

The Shepherd and The Sheep  

Several years ago at the MARBC Conference (1999) I received a complimentary copy of a children’s book entitled: COMFORT FOR A CHILD’S HEART, The Twenty-third Psalm and Bible Promises written and illustrated by David and Helen Haidele.  While we were ministering at the Jonesville Baptist Church I compiled a series of lessons on the 23rd Psalm using some of the illustrations in that book. For the next few weeks I want to capsulize these lessons and share them with you.

In 2008 I started crocheting Loopie Lambs for our grandchildren for Christmas using ONE OF Vana White’s patterns. I made fifteen of them.

I actually only made one this size.. (most of you have met Arnie, ) because of the difficulty and cost of making the loops. So the rest were about half that size.

This year I realized that we had two more grandchildren and  eleven greats plus three more on the way, who did not have a lamb.  After making five of them my arthritis in my thumb and wrist prohibited my making any more and one of our daughters asked…. “Why don’t you make something a little easier,” and sent   a link to a darling  crocheted bunny with a little blanket.

I told her that the reason that I want them to have the lamb was for a reminder that  “The Lord Is their Shepherd and they are His sheep.” I also included a short story about the 23 Psalm for their parents to read to them.

I searched on the internet and found some little lambs that were reasonable and bought enough for the rest of the children and those on the way and embellished them a bit to personalize them.

Psalm 23:1 A “The LORD is my shepherd…”

Let’s talk – Who is the LORD?   He is the One who made the universe…the stars, the planets, apples and butterflies, owls and lions.  The LORD  made you and me and knows our every need.  The LORD  gave His only begotten Son to die on the Cross for us, the sheep.  His Son,  JESUS was also called the “Lamb of God”, John the Baptist said so when he saw Jesus coming… “Behold the Lamb  of God,  who taketh away the SIN of the world.”.

So, who is the Shepherd?  Jesus said, “ I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep… And I lay down My life for the sheep.” John 10:11-15.   The shepherd is one who watches over sheep and takes care of them. The shepherd never takes time off.  Sheep are helpless and need the Shepherd always. The Lord Jesus is the good Shepherd. He gave up His life for you because He loves you and cares for you just as a shepherd cares for one of his lambs.  He knows your name. He wants to be your shepherd.  Sheep know the shepherd’s voice.  They follow no one but their shepherd.  Just like a sheep, you can learn to know and trust Jesus as your Good Shepherd and you can learn to follow him and do what He tells you. You know – the more hurried our pace the less we experience our “Shepherd”.  If left to ourselves we will go until be fall down from exhaustion.

Do you trust Jesus as your Lord and Shepherd?

How often do you take time to be close to Jesus through prayer and Bible Reading ?

Get to know Him! You are one of His precious Lambs.

He speaks to us through our reading His Word.

How do we follow Him? …Through obedience to His Word.

                THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD

LITTLE NATE’S FIRST SERMON

parsonageMonday morning, March 22, 2010, Jennifer, (our youngest son, Nathan’s wife) called to inform us that her mother and dad, Bruce and Dawn Giehl, were coming from Ohio and she wanted to invite us to come for the evening meal.

Ken was on the road and I suggested that Nathan give him a call to see if that would work with his schedule and then Ken called me and said that we could, if it could be worked out with the management to cover for us  at Friendship Village while we were away.  We are the “Alert” phone workers.

I was expecting the manager to be back around 2:00 PM.  I gave the manager a few calls on her cell phone hoping that maybe we could get away a little earlier, but I was unable to reach her.

The mail usually comes between 12:30 and 1:15 PM, about the time that Ken usually gets home from driving.  While I was waiting I went out and got the mail and there was a sweet “Thank You” note from Jennifer’s mom and dad, which said….

“Sometimes God brings special people into our lives  and gives them a home in our hearts. You’re one of those people and you’re celebrated with love and thanks to God today.” and they added a note…. We are so thankful God brought your family into our family.

Dawn and I have established the habit for over a year now to pray together for our children whenever we happen to see one another on chats and it usually works out two or tree times a week at least.  It has been such a blessing to see those prayers answered.

When the manager got back in the office at 2:00 PM she returned my call and I asked her if she could stand in for us and she assured me that we could go and wished us and nice time.

We set out immediately for the hour and a half drive from Litchfield, MI to Kalamazoo and safely arrived at Nathan and Jennifer’s home where the boys and men were outside on the blacktop drive playing basket ball.

When we arrived we were warmly greeted and hugged. Then we all went into the house together to greet the rest of the family including Giehl’s black and white Cocker Spaniel dog, Patches.

As we gathered around the table for the meal our son Nathan made the statement,”let’s pray”….but while we were finishing our conversation and joining hand with on another, Little one year old Nathaniel Bruce got a little impatient and with his head bowed and peeking around the table, started mumbling to himself little prayerful words that sounded like “Thank. Thank.”   After we all chuckled a little his father began his prayer of thanks for the meal and fellowship.

It did not take long to figure our where Little Nathaniel learned the word “thanks” nor the idea of prayer before he ate.  

Matthew 21:16 (King James Version)

 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

After the meal and clearing the table we all adjourned to the living room where every one sat around the room and chairs were pulled into the living room from the dining area to accommodate the size of our crowd.

The little people of course were playing on the floor and were in an out some with there toys and we also had the honor of seeing Patches do some tricks for us.

We had such sweet fellowship with our dear family and as it drew close to the time for us to leave little Nathaniel went over to one of the large vacant dining room chairs and with much struggle, climbed up until he was on his knees, then finally got turned around and sat down and got his little legs to hang over the edge.

As his grandmother, I was watching him closely as everyone in the room was conversing.  I was afraid that he might fall off the chair, but then I began to realize that he was purposely getting set, just like every one else and though he can’t talk was making little sounds and looking around at everyone and making little gestures with his hand and smiling happily at every one.

At that moment I realized that Little Nathaniel Bruce in his prayer at the dinner table and his little conversation on the chair with all of us looking on had preached his first sermon to all of us.

That sermon was … “I love to do what you love to do….”

It was obvious, all of a sudden to everyone there that he was copying the rest of us.

It caused me to think…..

What if we had been arguing or swearing….

What if we had been drinking… smoking…. overeating….  You fill in the blanks to what is really important to you.__________

I know I certainly have had to do that myself lately.

What is really important to me and what are my descendants going to copy.

Lord, help us to be the example that we should be and be more like YOU, that we may nudge our dear ones closer to you. 

Joshua 24:15    “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

"I Guess the Only Thing We Can Do Now is Pray.."

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So often we who know the Lord try to do everything we can to fix things and change things and then as I heard on the news yesterday some one said. “I guess the only thing we can do now is pray..”

Prayer is not a good luck charm nor a rabbit’s foot…..

Lord, help us to seek YOUR face without ceasing and stay in YOUR WORD in obedience with right heart attitude.

Help us to call out to YOU first for guidance to make right choices and allow You to guide us.

As a young person I learned this Scripture and it has blessed me so much. I have to remind myself of this when ever I try to fix things myself.

Memorize Ps. 100. Repeat it over and over… think about it’s meaning.

The following is my capsulized version… REJOICE IN THE LORD… SERVE HIM WITH GLADNESS… COME BEFORE HIS PRESENCE… KNOW HE I S GOD… HE MADE US… WE ARE THE SHEEP… HE IS THE SHEPHERD… GIVE THANKS DAILY… PRAISE HIM… BE THANKFUL… BLESS HIS NAME… THE LORD IS GOOD… HIS MERCY IS EVERY LASTING… HIS TRUTH ENDURES THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS….

Shout this out to the Lord today… And everyday. Then when trials come you can just lift your hands and heart to HIM and say humbly “I’m here Lord, direct my path and hold out your hand to him like a small child would do.”

GOD is faithful. He will lead you through that trail sweetly.