Friday, August 27, 2010

My Prayer

The other morning as I woke and stretch my mouth to form a big smile and then began my attempted  "habit" to speak Thanksgiving to the Lord for being alive, 
This verse came to me and I began to quote: 
                                Psalms 23 (memorized in Sunday School as a little girl).

As I laid in bed thinking a bout the words, I became curious about the meaning behind a prayer that calls my Lord (Jesus) my Shepherd.  I was most curious about the Rod and Staff.

Later, I had the chance to google  "Rod and Staff".  What I read touched my heart.

I've said before in my blogs that I'm very visual and I learn by "stories" (like parables in the bible).

The following is Psalms 23 and then some excerpts from what I found the Shepherd's duties in caring for His Sheep.  Even know I don't think that the word "duty" and "caring" belong in the same sentence.  At least not when it's calling Jesus the Shepard.  The proof of His love is in his willingness to Die for our sins.  (a brutal death).

Since I found this truth about the Shepherd guarding, guiding and caring for his sheep, I have found a deeper peace in the face of concerns, worries or challenges.

I pray you hear and then take into your heart this same truth.  

We have a Shepherd that is watching over us.  Stop thinking (talking to me) that I'm in control of my situations. 
 I'm only in control of my choices!! 

I choose to LISTEN to my Shepherds Voice
I choose to allow my Shepherd to lead me
I choose to not be anxious since HE is PROTECTING ME, Guiding me, Leading me..... Providing for me.

I Trust my Shepherd

When a disturbing thought (worry, anxiety, concern) comes into my head I then picture I'm in a beautiful Green pasture.  There beside me is my Savior (Shepherd).  The sky is blue... the breeze is soft and I am at peace.

Salute!  To your health and wellness too

Psalm 23

 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 3He restoreth my soul: 
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil: 

for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

found at:
When the shepherd is afield with his flock in the high country, it is customary for him to carry a minimum of equipment. This was especially true in olden times where the sheepmen did not have the benefit of mechanized equipment to transport camp supplies across the rough country.

The rod was what he relied on to safeguard both himself and his flock in danger. And it was, furthermore, the instrument he used to discipline and correct any wayward sheep that insisted on wandering away. interesting sidelight on the word "rod" ... the slang term "rod" has been applied to hand-guns such as pistols and revolvers which were carried by cowboys, and other western rangement. The connotation is exactly the same as that used in this Psalm.

We turn now to discuss and consider the shepherd's staff. In a sense, the staff, more than any other item of his personal equipment, identifies the shepherd as a shepherd. No one in any other profession carries a shepherd's staff. It is uniquely an instrument used for the care and management of sheep -- and only sheep. It will not do for cattle, horses or hogs. It is designed, shaped and adapted especially to the needs of sheep.

The staff is essentially a symbol of the concern, the compassion that a shepherd has for his charges. No other single word can better describe its function on behalf of the flock than that it is for their "comfort."

...the staff is used by the shepherd to reach out and catch individual sheep, young or old, and draw them close to himself for intimate examination. The staff is very useful this way for the shy and timid sheep normally tend to keep at a distance from the shepherd.

The staff is also used for guiding sheep. Again and again I have seen a shepherd use his staff to guide his sheep gently into a new path or through some gate or along dangerous, difficult routes. He does not use it actually to beat the beast. Rather, the tip of the long slender stick is laid gently against the animal's side and the pressure applied guides the sheep in the way the owner wants it to go. Thus the sheep is reassured of its proper path.

Being stubborn creatures sheep often get into the most ridiculous and preposterous dilemmas. I have seen my own sheep, greedy for one more mouthful of green grass, climb down steep cliffs where they slipped and fell into the sea. Only my long shepherd's staff could lift them out of the water back onto solid ground.