Through One-a-Day Wednesday 8/21/19

A life worthy

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me (Psalm 23:4).

Through

God doesn’t just take us to the Valley.

He takes us through.

And on the other side of the valley we will find the sun bright, and the tears gone, and the pain banished, and our souls breathing easily. And we will look to the One who loves us and rejoice in knowing that never once in all the darkness were we ever, even for a breath, alone.

The valley is deep, Beloved, and the shadows are dark, but he is with you.

And he will bring you through.

It’s Wednesday, Beloved.

Keep walking.

All Him One-a-Day Tuesday 8/20/19

A life worthy

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake (Psalm 23:3).

For his name’s sake.

His 

Not yours

Yes, he loves you and wants you to walk in righteousness because that is what’s best for you–don’t get twitchy. But remember, you belong to God, which means that your behavior reflects on him, which means that his honor is on the line just a bit when he lets you galavant around the town with all your weirdness running through you.

I don’t know if it’s possible for God to take a chance–being that he’s God and all–but if it is, he’s really taking a big one letting people like me wander around bearing his name.

Walk the path, Beloved. Bring glory to the name of the One who loves you.

Happy Tuesday

The Path of Righteousness One-a-Day Monday 8/19/19

A life worthy

He guides me in paths of righteousness… (Psalm 23:3).

This verse is in the 1984 NIV.

In the more current NIV it says, “He guides me along the right paths…”

King James says, “He leadeth me in paths of righteousness…”

In the Michael Version, it reads, “He drags me, kicking and screaming, onto the path of righteousness, and smacks me with his staff when I wander away.”

Yes, I made that up, but you know what I mean.

Beloved, it takes more than guiding to keep us on the path of righteousness. It takes occasional and liberal use of the rod and the staff.

And our Shepherd loves us enough to use them.

Hallelujah for that.

Happy Monday, Beloved

Restoration One-a-Day Friday 8/16/19

A life worthy

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul  (Psalm 23:3).

And there it is.

He restores our souls, Beloved.

This world will drain your soul. This world will break your soul, grind it to dust, mix it with your tears and drink it down in a shot glass.

But the One who loves you restores your soul. He takes it in his hands and gently puts the pieces back together. He breathes life into it and heals it.

He makes you whole.

Every day

Breathe deep, Beloved. Your Shepherd calls.

Happy Friday.

Waters One-a-Day Thursday 8/15/19

A life worthy

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters…(Psalm 23:2).

Sometimes life is all storm

and rising flood

and raging river

and endless, driving rain that threatens to wash your very self away.

And God is there in the midst of it.

Sometimes the waters calm, and life is gentle brooks

and quiet mountain lakes

and little ponds tucked away in the woods

and soft, soothing waves sizzling against the sand of the shore.

And God is there, too.

I don’t know what today holds for you, Beloved. But whether the storms rage or the brooks whisper, I know that the One who loves you will be there.

And I think you know it, too.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Rest One-a-Day Wednesday 8/14/19

A life worthy

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures…(Psalm 23:2).

Lie down

Rest

Now

The verb here is makes. God makes David rest. God knows that, left to his own devices, David will work himself to the bone, trying to do more and be more and make more and become more and–

and God says to rest.

When did you last rest, Beloved? When was the last time you set aside the backpack full of gottado’s and stretched out in the green pasture for a snooze?

You can take that metaphorically or literally–your choice.

Look, I know you have a lot on your plate, and sometimes it seems like you’ll never get through it, but your body and your mind and your spirit all need rest.

And God commands it, so there.

Pull up a patch of grass and have a seat.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved

Contentment One-a-Day Tuesday 8/13/19

A life worthy

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want  (Psalm 23:1).

I originally heard this Psalm in the King James, which read I shall not want.  

The difficulty with that is that I want.

A lot

Time and teachers and translation have taught me that it’s not want as in desire, but want as in lack. I gotta say, I like this better. Though my flesh will always want stuff, I will never need more than what my Lord provides.

The Lord is my shepherd; I am complete.

The Lord is my shepherd; what more could I ask for?

The Lord is my shepherd; everything else is gravy.

Of course, I really do like gravy.

Oy, ve

Happy Tuesday, Beloved

Shepherd and Sheep One-a-Day Monday 8/12/19

A life worthy

The Lord is my shepherd… (Psalm 23:1).

Psalm 23

One of the most memed passages in the Bible. I’ve seen it quoted on bumper stickers, wall plaques, desk calendars, Christian bookstore Jesus pictures–

even a tattoo. What could I possibly say about these famous verses that you haven’t already heard?

Probably nothing…but let’s give it a go anyway!

David calls God his shepherd. God looks after him, leads him, provides for him, protects him, disciplines him, chases him down and rescues him.

God is an excellent shepherd, as the rest of the Psalm will attest.

But what of David?

I mean, if God is the shepherd, that makes David

a sheep.

David, who has been a shepherd and a warrior and a bard and a king, takes the role of the sheep here. 

Humbly

Gratefully  

Joyfully 

Yes, it is the obvious attitude to take

but 

is it the attitude we take?

Too often I see myself as the Assistant Shepherd, or the sheep dog, or even the trusty staff in the hand of the Shepherd.

But a sheep? Just one of a billion dumb, wayward, weak, bumbling, wool-headed sheep? Who wants to be a sheep?

The one who wants the Lord to be his Shepherd.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Evermore One-a-Day Friday 8/9/19

A life worthy

Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn–for he has done it (Psalm 22:31).

That’s us.

We’re the  posterity that David wrote about as he looked into the future and saw God’s praise growing and spreading. We are those future generations. And we can look ahead in faith and see that God’s praise will never end. I see it in my children, and, if I squint, I can imagine it in theirs.

You and I are blips on the timeline, Beloved.

But we are glorious blips.

Happy Friday

Everyone One-a-Day Thursday 8/8/19

A life worthy

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him–those who cannot keep themselves alive (Psalm 22:29).

Let’s say you’re wealthy.

No, wait–let’s say that I’m wealthy.

Really very wealthy.

I will worship him.

As will all the rich

and all the poor

and all the beautiful

and all the frighteningly unattractive

and all the fit

and all the fluffy

and all the wise

and all the ditzy.

We will all worship.

Not because of who we are

but 

because of who he is.

So, since you will worship for all eternity, you might as well get started now, ya?

Happy Thursday, Beloved