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800px-The_Sunday_at_Home_1880_-_Psalm_23{WIKIMEDIA}

Learning that I’m originally from New York State, most wrongly assume I’m a NY City girl.

I was born in the city of Syracuse but raised in the rural neighborhood of Mycenae. I was a country girl; with one cow pasture across the road and another right next to our home. There, a picturesque creek divided farmer May’s pasture property from ours.

We had no nearby sheep pastures; yet, I assume Mr. May protected his dairy cows in much the same way as a shepherd.

Seeking peace in the pasture…

“Bethlehem Ephrathah,
you are small among the clans of Judah;
One will come from you
to be ruler over Israel for Me.
His origin is from antiquity,
from eternity.
Therefore, He will abandon them until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of His brothers will return
to the people of Israel.
He will stand and shepherd them
in the strength of Yahweh,
in the majestic name of Yahweh His God.
They will live securely,
for then His greatness will extend
to the ends of the earth.
He will be their peace (Micah 5:2-5a HCSB).”

Trusting the Good Shepherd…

 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11 HCSB).”

 

 

 

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Jesus Loves the Little Children’   

[Clare H. Woolston/Public Domain]

Jesus calls the children dear,
“Come to Me and never fear,
For I love the little children of the world;
I will take you by the hand,
Lead you to the better land,
For I love the little children of the world.”

Refrain:
*Jesus loves the little children,
[*Jesus died for all the children,]
All the children of the world;
Red, brown, yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
*Jesus loves the little children of the world.
[*Jesus died for all the children of the world.]

Jesus is the Shepherd true,
And He’ll always stand by you,
For He loves the little children of the world;
He’s a Savior great and strong,
And He’ll shield you from the wrong,
For He loves the little children of the world.

I am coming, Lord, to Thee,
And Your soldier I will be,
For You love the little children of the world;
And Your cross I’ll always bear,
And for You I’ll do and dare,
For You love the little children of the world.

*alternate text for refrain

Jesus loves children.

 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:6 NKJV).”

He gave stern warnings to any who might shun or harm the children.

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.  For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost (Matthew 18:10-11 NKJV).”

Idol Worship

 

 

 

 

{Image: etsy}

Found or forsaken?

Fate or faith?

“Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: ‘Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!’

And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the Lord that was before the vestibule of the Lord (2 Chronicles 15:1-8 NKJV).”

 

 

Who?

“Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has conflicts? Who has complaints?
Who has wounds for no reason?
Who has red eyes?
Those who linger over wine,
those who go looking for mixed wine.
Don’t gaze at wine because it is red,
when it gleams in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a snake
and stings like a viper.
Your eyes will see strange things,
and you will say absurd things.
You’ll be like someone sleeping out at sea
or lying down on the top of a ship’s mast.
‘They struck me, but I feel no pain!
They beat me, but I didn’t know it!
When will I wake up?
I’ll look for another drink (Proverbs 23:29-35).”

We each have a choice…

“And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18 HCSB).”

Bernard P. Fife

To quote words of wisdom by Bernard P. Fife, “Nip it!”

“To start a conflict is to release a flood;
stop the dispute before it breaks out (Proverbs 17:14 HCSB).”

Yup; nip it. Stop the disagreement before it ‘blossoms’ into a raging battle of trying to prove who is right.

Imagine a caution light. It can serve as a warning.

Next, put your brakes on as the light turns red.

In anger, you may be seeing red but stop.

Wait until the light turns green. Regain control behind the wheel of words before leaving the scene.

You have nipped conflict in the bud.

Congratulations!

Unclean & unruly, acting out and acting up.

“Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him anymore—even with chains— because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him (Mark 5:1-6 HCSB).”

The man was about to go through total transformation.

Legion to liberty…

“And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don’t torment me!’ For He had told him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’

‘What is your name?’ He asked him.

“My name is Legion,’ he answered Him, ‘because we are many.’ And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region.

Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Him, ‘Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.’ And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there. The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and told about the pigs. Then they began to beg Him to leave their region.

As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him. But He would not let him; instead, He told him, ‘Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.’ So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed (Mark 5:7-20 HCSB).”

Tombs to testimony!

 

 

 

{image:SnappyGoat.com/flickr}

The Prince of Peace lifts the downtrodden. He puts a spring in the step of the discouraged.

“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer
and sets me securely on the heights (Psalm 18:33 HCSB).”

Today, I was lifting my legs and feet while walking in place; prancing horses came to mind. They move across a track or circus ring with pageantry and precision. The imagery is exhilarating. 

A beggar found healing, lost his inhibitions and put his legs to the supreme test.

“But Peter said, ‘I don’t have silver or gold, but what I have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!’ Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong. So he jumped up, stood, and started to walk, and he entered the temple complex with them—walking, leaping, and praising God (Acts 3:6-8 HCSB).”

Note the progression. The man was healed in the name of Jesus. With miraculous healing, his feet and ankles were instantaneously strengthened. He jumped up from his place of hopelessness, stood and walked. God transformed lame legs into legs of leaping. In response, he praised God!

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