The Good Shepherd

5 REASONS WHY I’M ASTOUNDED BY MY GOOD SHEPHERD

(June 16, 2021) Mama Lava shares some recent scriptural observations…

Sometimes we skip by the most incredible things in the Bible and are not stopped in our tracks by them, simply because we don’t have the experience by which to fully understand them.

I am not around animals much… but while observing flocks grazing near my neighbourhood recently, I suddenly saw scripture come alive in respect to my Saviour. Result: The following five reasons why I am astounded and amazed at Jesus, my good shepherd…

1. He knows his sheep by name
‘The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out’ (John 10:3).

What? How on earth? I was downright impressed when I observed those flocks, thinking of this verse today in amazement. There were so many animals! How could I ever know them by name?

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LEARN TO REST IN JESUS!

(June 4, 2021) Carol Round encourages us to draw closer to God…

Confession time!

I’m a recovering perfectionist addict. Rest doesn’t always come easy for me.
 
Recently in a national advice column, a woman wrote in about her ‘drive to be productive, to take action, to keep things organised, and stay perfectly on top of everything.’  In other words, she was battling perfectionism. Oh, how I could relate. At least to the ‘old’ me.
 
The writer, a young woman, recognised her problem. She was so overwhelmed by her drive to do everything perfectly, she had trouble sleeping. Her question for the advice columnist at the end of her letter read: ‘How do I learn to become okay with being still and to rest better?’
 
Learning to become okay
As I read the advice columnist’s reply to this young woman, it was as if she were speaking to the younger me. The younger me could have written this letter, seeking help for the desire to please others by striving for perfection. However, I hadn’t recognised at my younger age what the advice columnist explained to the letter writer.
 
Perfectionism is often inherited. I was in my late 40s when I realised my mother was a perfectionist. And so was I. But it wasn’t until I experienced new life through a relationship with Jesus that I was able to begin my journey of letting go.

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WHAT A SHEPHERD, WHAT A TABLE!

(January 16, 2021) Maureen McQuillan shares…

In these trying days of the worldwide covid-19 pandemic, its associated troubles, and regular TV bad news, it’s great to relax. Even to take a short break away from home driving around the refreshing open countryside minutes from where we live and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Often, I spot sheep relaxing round the paddocks, those fleecy animals that cause me to reminisce about them, about shepherds and David’s refreshing Psalm 23.

Reassurance
Some folks have wrongly associated Psalm 23 with death … often Robert has its reading requested by non-churchgoers at funerals. But I see it as an encouraging psalm about life – a good life here and now not just in eternity, filled with the love and kindness of God!

David had been a shepherd in his youth. Although he’s talking about God removing doubts and fears, I see verses two to four of this psalm as reflecting on his own responsibility to ensure the flock under his care would be at rest, need of food and water supplied and, when frightening disturbing threats came along, his promptness to defend using shepherd’s weapons (and muscles as in 1Samuel 17:34-36a).

A thoughtful and fearless shepherd, David knew to care for these emotional animals (Yes, not only are humans emotional… a 2009 report published in Animal Welfare describes sheep are capable of experiencing a whole range of emotional feelings from fear to anger, despair, boredom and happiness). (more…)

HOPE – AND GDPR!

(June 19, 2018) Norman and Margaret Moss share a great reflection…

Ah, what tangled worldwide webs we weave!

There’s a new acronym around: GDPR… which can, among other explanations, mean General Data Protection Regulation (European Union), Global Defence Posture Realignment (DoD Transformation Plan), Gross Domestic Product per Region, Group of Deputy Permanent Representatives (on the public disclosure of NATO documents), Graduate Degree Progress Report (Southern Methodist University; Texas) – or how about this one… Grateful Dread Public Radio (Baltimore, MD internet public radio station)!

 

But, Christian readers, sons and daughters of Almighty God, disciples of Jesus, GDPR does not stand for Get DePRessed – though I almost thought so when I first heard about it.

The Christian GDPR
Now this acronym stands for a great Bible truth of… God’s Deep Presence Rewards! (more…)