Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Psalm 23

This is one of the Psalms I grew up with.

A Psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even 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 overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Psalm 23:1-6, NIV

Reading through the newsletter from CBN.com in the section of Spiritual Life a guest columnist Dena Dyer tells a story of reading through her magazine USA Today.

She goes on to say, " As I sat on the couch, I opened the USA Today. Inside the front section was an article detailing the ways to prepare for all sorts of terrorist attacks. As I read, visions of duct tape and plastic sheeting danced in my head, and the fact that I live a mere twenty miles from a nuclear power plant crossed my mind more than once. Then I tried to go to bed. Right. (What was I thinking?!)But after I crawled in the covers, with my mind swirling and my heart racing, I looked up my daily reading in a devotional book. As God's providence would have it, the selection was Psalm 23. And as I read, I realized the words were timeless. They comforted me, and I began to think of ways that they might apply to our current situation in America. Here's what I recorded that night in my journal:

The Lord is my shepherd— In the midst of the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, and the spiritual warfare in my soul.
I shall not want— with him as my Savior and provider, I'm perfectly content. While others strive for and worry about
a bigger house, a newer car, designer clothes and jewels, I will rest in my calling and purpose— knowing God and making him known in this hurting, harried world.
He leads me beside still waters— Cool, clear streams of peace in the midst of orange alerts, space shuttle disasters, stock market fluctuations, and baggage inspections.
When emotional baggage threatens my sanity, he renews my mind.
When grief and despair descend, he heals my heart.
When doubts and fears assail my tranquility, he restores my soul.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death— filled with threats of biological and chemical warfare,
nuclear bombs and ghosts of past regrets—I will fear no evil.
Not AIDS, or smallpox, not child abductors or doomsayers. Thou art with me—even when I feel alone in a crowd.
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me—especially when I read the paper or watch the news.
(Why do I read or watch? I know the ending!)
Thou anointest my head with oil—the oil of gladness and peace, with a calling to be light and joy in a dark, fear-filled world.
Help me to be a peace-full, grace-full person, Lord, in the midst of a chaotic world.
Truly, my cup runneth over. You have blessed me so much!
I have friends and family who love me, a warm bed, freedom, grace, (more than) enough food, and a fulfilling purpose.
Surely goodness and mercy—your grace, love, forgiveness and compassion— shall follow me all the days of my life.
Every second, every minute, you are before and behind me, with your arms of love outstretched.
And one day—when all wars and pain, terror and shame will come to an end . . . (Come quickly, Lord Jesus!)
I will dwell in the house of the Lord, your glorious kingdom, where you've prepared an eternal home for me.

It is very easy to understand how we can apply the 23rd Psalm to life today, either version. And I believe not exclusively to the United States. We in the West have drugs, and terrorism to deal with on a daily basis as do other places around the world. There are some people who say we are in 'THE LAST DAYS' as is in Revelations. There certainly are more floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, famine, disease, war, terrorism, global warming...(if one believes in it)...false prophets...(seemingly coming out of the woodwork)many so called new religions / dogmas / doctrines...call them what you will. Just have a look at what is happening in Israel...now this is a story that has been prophesied for many a year....thousands in fact. New world orders, some very charismatic person that will fool many people for a few years then show his true colours...gees, I wonder to whom that refers to. As for President Bush being called the great satan, well no matter what he is, he is nowhere near as bad as what will happen if the obaminator gets into the White House.
Speaking of... In the November issue of Reader's Digest, pages 56 - 65, there are results from some huge GLOBAL survey, some 17,000 people, that says obama would win hands down if people the world over could vote in the coming election. However, voters in the United States aren't so sure. An interesting article, but this Aussie is hoping with all her heart that obama does NOT get elected President of the United States of America.
But then again, who can argue with what has been foretold? Events must take place as is written.

God's guidance is even more important than common sense . . . I can declare that the deepest darkness is outshone by the light of Jesus. —Corrie Ten Boom

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