Archive | October 2015

Baa-baa FAT sheep!

Sheep leaningReading Ezekiel 34:1-31 this morning (Yeah, strange, huh? But that’s where the reading list sent me.)

First the Lord condemns BAD SHEPHERDS of Israel: those who reap the wool, milk/curds, and meat of their flocks for themselves, not caring for the animals – neither the good ones nor the sick and weak ones, not looking for the lost lambs, letting the wolves get them.

Next the chapter talks about BAD SHEEP. Yep, you heard me. The verses describe them as “fat” sheep (as opposed to the “lean” ones).

~~~They eat their fill of green pastures, then tramp the rest of the grass down so nothing is left for the others.
~~~They drink their fill from cool, clear, still waters, then walk all through it to muddy it for the other sheep.
~~~They push and shove and butt each other to get the best for themselves.

MEAN, huh? Surely there can’t be any of those in the Lord’s congregation!

The last third of the chapter speaks of the Sovereign Lord himself as the GOOD SHEPHERD taking care of the sheep, feeding them and letting them lie down in green pastures beside cool still water, binding up the weak and lame, searching for the lost ones and bringing them home.

Reminds me of Psalm 23 (shepherd & sheep)

And of Jesus in John 10:7-16  (the Good Shepherd)

And, on third thought, also of  1 Corinthians 11:17-22 and 33-34 (bad sheep)

DO SOME READING IN THE BIBLE TODAY  about sheep and their caretakers – you will be blessed indeed. (click on the above references)


Praising God’s Faithfulness!

My soul magnifies You, O Lord!

Hymn.faithfulnessGreat is thy faithfulness, O God, my Father. There is no shadow of turning with thee.

You change not! You are always here with me. You never leave me or forsake me. You hear my heartbeat and my prayer; You know my woeful complaint, my soul’s anguish, my bitter regret, and my good and sinful desires.

You are with me always wherever I go in body or mind. Whenever I kneel to pray or walk stubbornly away, silent and rebellious, You somehow are by my side. If I am sorrowfully penitent or selfishly proud, grievously sick or full of vitality, there You are!

I am your child!

Oh, the privilege of this! The awesome awareness of this! How unworthy I am to walk, stand, sit, or lie down in your presence!

I stray as a willful child (or a mindless pet on a leach sniffing out possibilities for delight). Why do I DO that? When I could be abiding in Your presence always – each second of my life? O God, my Father, make me more like You, more like Jesus.

More heart’s love and obedience. More fear and humility and confession. More following exactly in your steps, never wavering. More heart’s desire to serve You in “your courts,” in far fields, in prisons (even of my own making), in sickness, sorrow, and death. O to be always content in the circle of Your will!

More like You!  More pleasure to You. More glory for You.

Your compassions, they fail not. May I be half as unwavering in my devotion and love to You.

As you have been — O Alpha and Omega, First and Last, the One who was, is, and will be, the same yesterday, today and forever — You forever will be!

O great (and wondrous and awesome) is Your faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I SEE!  All I have needed Your hand has provided — for my  life and godliness: (1. pardon for sin, 2. peace that endures, 3. Your presence, 4. comfort and encouragement, 5. guidance, 6. strength, 7. bright hope for tomorrow). Blessings all mine with TEN THOUSAND beside.

Manifold witness to Your great faithfulness, Your grace,  mercy,  compassion, forgiveness, and love, are everywhere I look — above, below, around, and inside.

O God, my Savior and Redeemer….may I have such faithfulness to You!

“You are with me continually. You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel. And afterward — after this life –You will receive me to glory.” ~~~ from Psalm 73


With appreciation to the Word of God – Lamentations 3:23 – and thanks and acknowledgments to lyrics writer Thomas Chisholm and composer William M. Runyan for the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” 1925