shared by Hilary Gibson:
shared by Hilary Gibson:
by Harry Rodenberger (photo and story)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 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.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
My first exposure to this Psalm came probably about 68-69 years ago when I attended a summer bible school at the Presbyterian church in the village of Eastsound on Orcas island. One of the components of our age class was to memorize Psalms 23.
I’ve always been especially fond of this psalm because it has given me peace in my heart during times of tribulations, stress and personal trials.
This afternoon (Thursday 11/9) I am having surgery on a stubborn skin cancer and infection inside my ear canal. I wasn’t prepared to have to go “under the knife” this week but my doctor says it is time to take care of it so I must. I’ve had a rough year with my health – a bad pneumonia, and this continuing painful ear infection and ongoing struggles with my heart so I am feeling rather fragile about this surgery. I am asking you all for prayers and the Lord’s protection as the doctor does his work.
I’ve crossed the line between life and death many times, and the Lord has tossed me back over the line, telling me it isn’t my time yet and I still have more to do here. I listen to whatever He says.
As many of you may or may not know I have a pacer/defibrillator (let’s call it my “unit” from now on, shall we?) in my chest. My first unit was installed in 2008 and was recently replaced. My first unit resuscitated me six times. My current unit will last from 12 to 15 years and is pacing my heart 64% of the time.
All this being said, with reference to Psalm 23 I have “…Walked in the Valley of the Shadow of Death…” More than once Terry was called to the hospital in the middle of the night because they thought I was going to die. These words of Psalm 23 were with me. They were in my heart, in my head. They gave me peace. I recognize that people world-wide were praying for me and what a powerful impact that had.
I am grateful for everyday! When I pray I ALWAYS thank the Lord for the privilege he has given me…another day.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever
by Brian Vander Haak, Taiwan
by Lance Crumley
In the desert of my soul
It’s a wasteland;
Locked in place;
Life hangs by a thread…
Then it comes:
Beauty and fragrance abounds!
It fills and envelops!
What once was
Is no longer;
My soul is embraced;
I give thanks!
The glory is God’s
and God’s alone;
2 Corinthians 1:5–For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
To follow Jesus does not mean an end to suffering but it means we willingly and joyfully choose to share the overwhelming burden He has borne in payment for our sin.
God sending His Son to walk among us
did not end sin on earth
but showed mankind how
to choose mercy rather than tyranny,
to offer forgiveness rather than blame,
to express gratitude rather than resentment,
to share what little we have rather than covet all that we desire.
By seeking truth, by following Jesus, the comfort found in Him will far outweigh our suffering.
He was born for this. And so were we.