Although I was familiar with this psalm it has come to mean much more to me over the last year.

I attended a local church in St. Ives on a Tuesday evening which was presented by who was to later become a friend Penny. She is the local representative of our area for telling us about opendoorsuk.org an organisation about persecuted christians.

She was explaining that in China there are many christians who do not possess a bible and sometimes only have a scrap of paper with just one verse on to feed on spiritually.

She gave us all a small piece of paper and asked us to think of one verse that meant a lot to us. My mind went blank. As I looked around me I saw people scribbling down a verse they knew. I was never very good at memorising scripture like that, still not really. My mind was still blank.

By now Penny was getting ready to ask us to read out the verses we had chosen. I still had nothing. I literally could not think of one! Then out of nowhere the verse came into my head “The Lord is my Shephered, I shall not want”. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing added and nothing extra, just those words. To be honest I was relieved just to speak out something.

I kept hold of this piece of paper with the words from Psalm 23. Little was I to know how I would need them and come to understand how much Jesus is my Good Shepherd.

You know what it is like when you want a bible to hand it is never there, but this scrap of paper always seemed to be there and so I would read it and digest those calming words “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want”. I have come to realise that I lack for nothing that God provides for my every need. I am often ill and I know that God has placed me in a beautiful place to live overlooking St. Ives Bay Cornwall which I see from my bedroom. I have a loving husband whom I married last year who takes care of me. For the most 40 years of my life I have had no support whatsoever, no family to turn to.

Jesus has shown me that I can talk to the Shepherd whenever I want and whatever I want to talk about.

This is not just a verse in a bible it has become a living reality with my Lord, my God and my Shepherd who went after his lost sheep and found me. He’s going after the others also I know. I hope they too realise how loving Jesus really is and just wants to help us back to the Father in Heaven and bring us peace.

Thank you Jesus that I can share this at such a time as this. May you bless all who read it and turn to you Saviour, Friend and the True Shepherd. AMEN

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New Beginnings

February 9, 2007

Well I managed to get to my local church this morning for ‘stitch and chat. It is a place where people come to do all sorts of crafts. I nearly turned back but with good resolve I kept going. But unfortunately within an hour I felt my exhaustion coming back, nausea and hot sweats. I offered my excuses. My plans to visit a friend afterwards I had to put aside and go straight home.Where I live there are lots of hills and it was agony getting home. I prayed for the Lord to ‘just get me home please’. I put my daughter off coming round but as I gained strength some three hours later I invited her to come round. Helen is no trouble.Dog walking time came round and again ‘Lord please help me’ I decided on a quick walk with Cindy. My speed has reduced dramatically and as I thought about my tiredness or rather exhaustion I concluded that this is now happening 90% of the time. I smiled as I thought that 10% is God’s remnant. My weakness I realised is allowing God to show me His strength! I have never felt this close to the Lord before because I took pride in my own physical strength and ability to get around.My walk with Cindy concluded for over an hour. I was like a snail and my back pains were constant. But I praise God because I have a love of photography and God’s creation and I spotted a group of small daffodils coming through and took a picture of them. The scenery was spectacular and I was able to take a few photographs. So the pace I was going was quite lovely. I stopped quite regularly and I think my dog Cindy appreciated this so she could sniff around a lot more.I have always seen getting through tasks as a competitive exercise. The more to accomplish the better, the more stars I could get. But with my family it didn’t matter if I did anything good they would never have recognised it. For years I know I have been striving, striving, and striving all the more. I became a martyer and my puffed up pride of juggling 10 things at once made me feel I could accomplish anything.God had other ideas. It’s funny I was reminded about the children’s story of the Tortoise and the Hare. I used to be the Hare but I am decididly the Tortoise now. I commented this thought to my hubby and he smiled knowingly and said ‘but the tortoise came first’. This reminded me of the scripture:2 Timothy Chapter 4 v 7-8‘I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith and now there is waiting for me the victory prize of being put right with God, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day – and not only to me, but to all those who want wait with love for him to appear’.  Walking the last hill to my flat, still in pain but knowing yet again the Lord had got me home left me complete and confident that the Lord had got me through yet another hurdle. My daughter waiting for me at home yet another warm welcome, her company always a pleasure.I sat down and looked through some of the photographs I had taken and told Helen about the daffodils coming through. Contemplating painting flowers again I had come full circle to where the Lord wanted me; at peace with Him and His creation so very much a part of His Glory.God Bless Jacqui xx 

Marriage God’s Way

February 4, 2007

Lysa TerKeurst

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure…”
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)

I was saddened by what my friend was sharing. She was tired of her husband so she was leaving him because she found the man she dreamed of being with. I was shocked by my friend’s decision.

I had been in their wedding and heard the lifetime promises made from their hearts. I had been with them to celebrate their first anniversary. I had been with them just after the births of their first and second child. I had shared their laughter, encouraged them through their tears, and enjoyed doing life with them.

While their relationship had not been perfect, they did love one another. But something had gotten broken in their relationship and neither of them knew how to fix it. It led to a stale quietness that seeped into their home and made each feel lonelier and isolated than they ever knew was possible for a “couple.” He had grown distant. She had grown frustrated. Life was busy, finances were stressful, and they stopped making time for romantic conversations they used to enjoy. They used to be a team and felt they could beat anything life sent their way. Now they just fought against each other. Then she met an attentive, financially secure man who seemed to be the answer to all of her unmet longings.

She traded her life for the thrill of something new, the lure of something she perceived would be so much better.

But just two years later I ran into this friend and was stunned by her confession. With tears in her eyes she admitted that she’d discovered fairy tales don’t exist. Every relationship feels exhilarating at the beginning but then real life happens and marriage is hard work no matter who you are married to. When I asked her to tell me about her new husband she smiled shyly and said, “Well, he’s hairy.”

What?

What did she just say? My mind was spinning. Of all the words, all the descriptions, all the romantic terms I expected her to use, “hairy” was no where on the list. How telling that the man that was once so irresistible that she traded everything for him, had now been reduced to one word…hairy!

I’m convinced that in marriage the grass isn’t greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water and fertilize it.

Dear Lord, please help me see my marriage as a sacred thing. May I always understand that being married was not meant to just make me happy but make my character more holy. Help me remember being married is less about having the right partner and more about being the right partner. Shape me into the wife my husband needs and deserves. Help me to pause before I speak so I don’t react out of anger, frustration, or selfishness. Show me how to respect, love and give to this man in a way that honors You and brings joy to our home. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Marriage Life Coaching Call with Lysa TerKeurst

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:

Write a list of all the things you love and admire about your husband. If you can’t think of any now, list what you liked about him when you married him. Find some time today to share the list with your husband. Spend some time in prayer for your marriage and for your husband.
Consider signing up for a marriage coaching conference call for women with Lysa TerKeurst. Follow the link in the resources section above to learn more.

Reflections:
As a wife, is your goal to help your husband become all that God intends him to be, or all that you intend him to be?.

Have you bought into the cultural idea of marriage being some sort of fairy tale?

Sometimes, being a helper is actually a lot of work. How can you better fulfill your God-given role as a helper to your husband?

Power Verses:
Genesis 2:18, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’”

Matthew 19:5-6, “’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Inspiration « Anything & Everything

Removal of Cross at a University Chapel Causes a Stir « Anything & Everything

Removal of Cross at a University Chapel Causes a Stir « Anything & Everything

bekindtostrangers1.gif The following was written by a of Metro Denver Hospice Physician:I just had one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and wanted to share it with my family and dearest friends.I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die – I barely managed to coast, cursing, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn’t even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the “quickie mart” building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a Gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay.
When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.
At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.
I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying ” don’t want my kids to see me crying,” so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, “And you were praying?” That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, “He heard you, and He sent me.”
I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald’s and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City . Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn’t have money to pay rent Jan 1, and finally in desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.
So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.
I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road.. As I was walking over to my car, she said, “So, are you like an angel or something?”
This definitely made me cry. I said, “Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.”
It was so incredible to be a part of someone else’s miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I’ll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won’t find anything wrong.

Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings…

Psalms 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

Here is the prayer:

“Father, I ask You to bless my children, grandchildren, friends, relatives and email buddies reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace, In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.”

Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.

He sets the time for birth and the time for death,

the time for planting and the time for pulling up,

the time for killing and the time for healing,

the time for tearing down and the time for building.

He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy,

the time for mourning and the time for dancing,

the time for making love and the time for not making love,

the time for kissing and the time for not kissing.

He sets the time for finding and the time for losing,

the time for saving and the time for throwing away,

the time for tearing and the time for mending,

the time for silence and the time for talk.

He sets the time for love and the time for hate,

the time for war and the time for peace.