Have you ever lost anyTHING?
Have you ever forgotten where you parked your car?
Sorry to say this is my new inexplicable occurrence du jour…
A friend of mine said she and her husband bought one of those recorder thing-ys for her Mother-in-law last Christmas. This thing, “As-Seen-On-TV”, allows you to speak into it & say, “I parked in 5B”, to remind yourself where you parked. My friend admitted she’d wished she’d bought one for herself as well! (Perhaps this will surface on our Christmas lists this year…)
This week I’d like to tell you about a beautifully written and powerfully encouraging book by Robert J. Morgan. John and I have been blessed to meet Rob, hear him preach at his church in Nashville (where he’s preached for thirty-three years), and read his amazing books (twenty-five and counting).
He once drove from Nashville to speak to our Book Club when we’d read 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart. Loads of men and women were beyond blessed that evening.
My challenge is to only write about one of his books as they each touch the reader in a myriad of ways. (I’ll list some of them for you at the end and you can peruse his website when you get a chance: www.robertjmorgan.com )
Let’s take a look at some of the many pearls Rob offers in his latest book, The Lord is My Shepherd—Resting in the Peace and Power of Psalm 23.
For those of us who love pets, as in dogs and cats, and for some who own and ride horses, we grasp the whole pet care/call-me-crazy concept. But how unique of Rob and his wife, Katrina, to counter offer their daughters’ request for horses by suggesting sheep!
They immediately bought four or five lambs and their daughters were hooked. They got to bottle-feed them at first. Imagine gazing out in your backyard and seeing sheep grazing!
Rob points out that even if we don’t have actual sheep in our backyard, simply from reading Psalm 23, “we can gaze out that evocative window every day. ..It’s possible to transport yourself instantly to green pastures, still waters, restored souls, overflowing cups, and righteous pathways.”
(The sheep and the pasture photos below are thanks to permission from Liz Curtis Higgs and her fascinating Scottish blog: www.MyScottishHeart.com )
NOW, more than ever, we Christians need the peace and power of Psalm 23.”
Furthermore, “ALL sheep need a good shepherd.” Uh, and that would be you and me.
Even when we think, “Oh, I’m just fine, thanks. Don’t need anything. Don’t need anyone either.” That’s exactly when we need a shepherd, because frankly, we humans are a tad bit like sheep. Wandering for a shepherd.
Isaiah 53:6 in the NIV says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Rob informs us that “a sheep is the one animal that is utterly clueless and helpless without a human being nearby….Without someone tending us, we become ragged, unhealthy, and utterly pathetic.”
Let’s look at this familiar psalm for a minute:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will 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 anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (NKJV)
Just a few of the fun facts on Psalm 23 that Rob includes are fascinating: (I’m only giving you a few so you can discover the rest when you read the book!)
“It only has 6 verses and about 100 words.
It begins with ‘The Lord’ and it ends with ‘forever’.
25% of the text includes 28 personal pronouns.
Sheep, shepherds, lambs, and flocks are mentioned nearly 700 times in the Bible.
The sheep is the first animal mentioned by name in the Bible. (Genesis 4:2, Amplified Bible)”
While Rob covers the concepts of peace and God’s power within Psalm 23, each chapter is filled with encouraging, equipping ideas for the reader to take to heart. One of my favorite parts is where Rob talks about the theme of Psalm 23. The Living Bible says, “Because the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need.”
Pages 34 and 35 show us how we will not lack for “peace, provision, hope and encouragement, guidance, deliverance, companionship, protection, help and healing, abundant life, nor for an eternal home.” He takes you thru’ each verse! It’s akin to a pep talk to press on!!!
Additionally, if you struggle with fear like I do, you’ll see case, after case, after case built straight out of the Bible to put you at peace. Rob shows us “the testimony of Psalm 23:4, ‘I will fear no evil, for You are with me.
The Bible assures us and reassures us of the real and literal presence of the Lord in, upon, and around our lives every day.
Our instant connection to Him is prayer, and one of the simplest prayers in history is: ‘I will fear no evil, for You are with me.’”
My favorite quote from Jill Briscoe’s book, A Little Pot of Oil, is also included in The Lord is My Shepherd, bringing home again, that sweet point of the Lord’s presence with us.
Jill says, “In the years following, I have never stopped learning about the Spirit’s sweet, abiding presence.
He has drawn me to Christ as Savior and Lord and
Has ignited a passion in my soul for those who do not know Him.
He has taught me how to pray when I didn’t have a clue what to say,
Enlightened my mind to the Scriptures and
Thoroughly applied them to my life, and
Overwhelmed me with grace.
He has strengthened me when I was weak,
Humbled me when I was proud, and
Sensitized me to sin. In fact,
He has been all that I have needed Him to be, whenever I have needed Him.”
Run, don’t walk, to your nearest book store for The Lord is My Shepherd—Resting in the Peace and Power of Psalm 23. You will be so blessed and you’ll want to share it with your friends and family. (My husband, John, just finished it and loved it!)
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” will never ring truer for you and me.
‘Til next time!
(This post is dedicated, bet you can guess, to author, speaker, pastor and friend, Rob Morgan. Thanks, Rob, for another beautiful book we can all savor over and over! Please keep writing! Hug Katrina for both John and me! We hope to see you soon!)
Please pray for Rob and his family and his church, The Donelson Fellowship. It’s only about five minutes from Opryland, if you’re ever in Nashville. It’s an experience you do not want to miss. The church’s website is: www.donelson.org
Rob’s website is: www.robertjmorgan.com (Checkout all of his books!)
A few of my favorite books of his include: