Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Lord is My Shepherd

      

      A few weeks ago in my preaching class, the professor asked for volunteers to read Scripture aloud in front of the class. As terrified as I was to get up and speak in front of the class in the second week of the semester, I was more determined to conquer my fear of public speaking, so I raised my hand and timidly climbed the stairs to the platform. My task was simple: read the first two verses of Psalm 23 aloud. Seemed easy enough, until my professor asked me to put emphasis on different parts of the verses, almost like I was in a drama. I recited the verse aloud a total of 7 times that evening. It was amazing what the Lord did in my heart and in the hearts of my classmates as I declared these simple words: 


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.

     After about the third reading, my heart was stirring with emotion and tears welled up in my eyes. I have heard these exact verses dozens of times, and have read them just as many. Why were they affecting my heart and the hearts around me in such a way? The difference was in the way I read the words. The most moving to me was when Dr. Bird asked me to emphasize the nouns: Lord, my, shepherd, I, etc. It made it so much more personal, to the extent that I only heard the personal pronouns: The Lord is MY shepherd; I shall not want. He makes ME lie down in green pastures. He leads ME beside quiet waters. 
      As I was reading the words penned by King David so long ago, I realized that those words were not just for David in the midst of his trouble. They are for me. Right now. In 2013. In Nyack, New York. The same God who was David's shepherd makes me lie down in green pastures. The very God who led David beside quiet waters restores my soul by doing the same. How can I not find peace in that? The Lord watches over me like a shepherd watches over His sheep. He provides everything I need. He shows me where and when to rest and leads me to still and quiet places when my heart is weary. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October Blogging

      So, three days into October and I've blogged once. I asked for suggestions and received only two, one from my beautiful friend Vangie, the other from my brother Josiah. Peace and hope were the suggestions, in that order. I've decided to use both themes, because I do not think they are exactly separate from each other. I've also decided that I will probably not post every day, and here is why: 
      Last night, it was 11:30 and I had not yet blogged. I was lying in bed, fighting with the student internet, trying to get it to connect so I could blog and go to sleep. I kept thinking about peace and how my struggle to post on my blog did not feel peaceful. So I shut my computer, tossed it over on my futon, and fell directly to sleep. No regrets. 
      Honestly, when I read Vangie's suggestion that I blog about peace for a month, my first reaction was "absolutely not."  I almost laughed out loud, actually. If you know me or have read even just a few of my blog posts, you know that I'm not good at resting or slowing down, and have therefore not experienced peace on a regular basis for the majority of my life. Living in New York, where the overwhelming attitude is one of stress and hurry, has not done a thing to aid in my quest for peace in my daily life. However, I have experienced peace in my soul since the day I gave my life to Jesus when I was a small girl. That kind of peace cannot be disrupted by the daily ups and downs of this crazy world in which we live. 
      As per usual when I start thinking about a theme, I looked up the word "peace" on dictionary.com. To my surprise, most of the definitions had to do with ending a war. I suppose that "peace" has referred to the absence of war for centuries, but that's not the first thing that pops into my head when I think of peace. The definition that stood out to me is this: "to be or become silent or still." That is what I will be blogging about this month. Please join me on this journey of discovering peace, as it is certainly an uncomfortable topic for me. This month will indeed be an adventure! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1st

      Happy first day of October! I usually make a point to blog more in October, simply because it's my favorite month and there are so many things to write about! I just got home from work, and it's technically October 2nd on the East Coast, but for today's purposes, I'm a central time zone girl.
      For the past few years, I've picked a theme and blogged about it every day for the month of October. This year, I'd like to hear from you: what would you like to read from me this month? Your thoughts are important to me! It could be a concept, a theme, or simply things you'd like to see me write about. Go!