by Lydia Floren
The Lord is my Shepherd
by Lydia Floren
This week’s blog is the first in of a series of pictoral blogs on Psalm 23. Take a moment to think about this phrase this week. What does it mean for THE lord to be your shepherd? What pictures or scenes make you think of the phrase “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”?
Snap a picture, or jot a few words down, and share it with the rest of us. It’s easy–simply post it on the Belovedlove Facebook page. (with photos, if you have time include a few words about your photo, such as why you chose it, or where you took it.)
Everyone’s eye is so different, and God speaks to each of us in special ways! Thank you for sharing part of your world with the rest of us!
I thank God in all my remembrance of you!
Pictures are such a big part of our lives, aren’t they? In the last couple of years, I have enjoyed taking pictures, and then pairing them with a saying or verse. I call them “Sunrays” because they shine a little truth into my life. For example, this photo of a lava tunnel (basically, a big hole in a rock) I took in Maui, Hawaii, always speaks to me of how powerful God is. He really can make a way where there is no way.Over the next few weeks, I am planning to post pictures of various scenes (primarily in nature) illustrating phrases from Psalm 23. Would you be willing to help?
An Invitation: Share your photos of Psalm 23 with us!
- Take some time to think about Psalm 23 (see below), maybe while spending time out in nature, and/or scrolling through old pictures.
- Pick out one or more favorite photos that speak to you in some way about these wonderful words.
- And then forward them to me via email, or simply post them on the Belovedlove Facebook page. (If you have time, include a few words about your photo, such as why you chose it, or where you took it.)
I look forward to hearing from you, and seeing a little of your world. And then passing that blessing along to many others.
Thank you! You are such a blessing to me!
“I thank God in all of my remembrance of you.”
“The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I 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 have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
In my last post, I talked about TO-DO lists, and the importance of BE-ing restored every day. That got me thinking: What are some great things to have on a TO BE list?
Be Restored. (see last week’s post for more on this)
- “He [The Lord] makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2-3
- Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12
- I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled. John 15:11
Be Cherished. You are fully known and completely loved. Not because of what you do, but because of who you are: a precious creation of God’s.
- “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
- You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5
- I have called you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
Be Forgiven. There is no reason at all to keep carrying around regret and guilt and shame. Choose to receive God’s forgiveness, and forgive yourself.
- All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:6
- He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12
- Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Romans 4:7
Be Free. Let go of worry, resentment, unforgiveness, expectations for yourself and others, old habits.
- Now by “the Lord” is meant the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, freedom is enjoyed. 2 Cor. 3:17
- For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1
- Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Set free, and you will be set free. Luke 6:37
- I run in the path of your commandments, for you have set my heart free. Psalm 119:32
Share with us: What’s on your TO Be list?
Busy-ness is a persistent parasite, like barnacles on a sea shell. Busy-ness attaches itself to my life through “extra” expectations and goals and plans. If I allow these barnacles to grow and multiply, my priorities and my calling become almost unrecognizable. I come to believe that these embellished plans are God’s will for me, and I convince myself that no one but I can accomplish these plans–not even God. My time is consumed by either working on these altered plans, or worrying about them. Gone is my willingness to begin each day in God’s presence, and to seek His guidance throughout my day. There is no time. I must hurry. There is much to do.
Through Psalm 23 my Patient Father, My Shepherd calls me back to reality, to the truth deep within me. He calls me to remember, rest, reflect, restore, and refocus:
The Lord gives me plenty–more than enough—of everything I need to do what He calls me to do.
- plenty of time.
- plenty of resources.
- plenty of His love and acceptance and grace.
He has done this before, and He will do it again. And again.
- absorb His presence, and
- remember His provision, power, guidance, faithfulness and love.
- be strengthened for the day ahead.
- step back and see the big picture, instead of being caught up in meaningless minutia.
- see my reflection,
- face my recurring tendency to wander, and
- re-clarify truth, and recognize what barnacle-lies might be attached to that truth.
- His grace.
- His love and acceptance.
- His affirmation of my identity, value, belonging.
- His calling for me
- to be loved, and
- to love,
- and to let go of everything else.
- freedom from the barnacles of busy-ness—those expectations of myself and others that attach themselves to my life, keeping me from seeing and following God’s true plan for me.
- increasing understanding of truth, and the exposure of lies I have long believed to be truth.
- new ways to love Him, myself, and others who cross my path.
Every day, in hard times and good ones, when I follow the Lord my Shepherd He guides me to Joy— the hallmark of an abundant life.
Do you ever feel like you have collected barnacles of busy-ness? How has God been leading you to joy, and freeing you of the barnacles of busy-ness? We would love to hear from you!
By Lydia Floren