Friday, September 27, 2013

I USED TO

Suggested Reading: Psalms 42-44

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Fleeing from King Saul, David and his men spent time among the caves around the oasis of Ein Gedi. They certainly would have appreciated the fresh water falling from the desert plateau above. There are several waterfalls of differing sizes that flow down to the Dead Sea nearby. Psalm 42:1 says, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God."

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Psalm 44:1-2a

We have heard with our ears, O God,

Our fathers have told us,

The deeds You did in their days,

In days of old:

You drove out the nations with Your hand,

But them You planted…

 

“The good old days” may not have been so good after all! We have a tendency to exaggerate how good it was in days gone by. Psalm 44 reviews some bad days too. It is obvious that God’s long-term purposes include the good and the bad events of our lives. Today’s reading ends with a prayer; God will put the final period to the history book of our lives!

In the first two chapters of our Bible reading, Psalms 42 & 43, the same question is asked in each of these writings…”Why are you cast down, O my soul?” The words “cast down” were very familiar to the shepherd King David. When a sheep is on its back, it is unable to turn over and get up. It will lie there and eventually die unless someone helps it to turn over. We need a shepherd who cares about us, and in fact we have such a Shepherd. In both Psalms we find the life-saving answer to being “cast down.” It is “Hope in God!” An answer to the question, “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” may be found in the previous verse, 42:4, “I USED TO GO…TO THE HOUSE OF GOD…” Worshiping together with others, along with the teaching of God’s Word by a caring shepherd pastor, will put us back on our feet; we’ll be able to feed on green pastures and drink from the still waters.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, my soul thirsts for You like a deer in the desert looking for water to drink. I hear “the noise of Your waterfalls.” I drink from Your Word and Your refreshing presence. I pray that I will be faithful to go to Your altar, “To God my exceeding joy” (43:4). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m in church every Sunday. Some Sundays I’m asked to bring a message from God’s Word, but at 77 years old, most Sundays I’m there to be blessed by the ministry of others. I’m no longer “cast down.” As both Psalms 42 and 43 tell me, I’m no longer “disquieted.” Life is sorted out. I’m content, and my spirit is calm and peaceful. The Apostle Paul writes, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some.” I’m reading from the New Testament, Hebrews 10:22-25. If for some reason I don’t get out to church, I’m conscious of an emptiness in my life that day.

Norma-Jean and I lived for 18 years on the farm and in the farmhouse where she was born. We kept sheep for many of those years. When it came time to sheer the sheep, I would help to turn the sheep over onto their backs (cast down). They resisted, of course, but I learned how to do it successfully. We sold the wool, but most of all we enjoyed the sheep. Norma-Jean was the true shepherd. She helped many as they were being born. Some of the little lambs she had to feed from a bottle. They knew her and she knew them by name. When she called them, they came running. I could call all day and they would ignore me! Like our Lord, she spent much time with the sheep and they knew her voice.

Yours for green pasture and still waters,

David

Another waterfall in the beautiful desert oasis of Ein Gedi.

33 thoughts on “Friday, September 27, 2013

  1. Our only hope is in the Lord. That’s why the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is such Good News! We can’t save ourselves, we need a Saviour, His name is Jesus Christ. To learn, to adore and to be nourished by the scriptures that speak of Jesus and His miracles is to understand why a group developed around Him which was once called “The Way”. An encounter with Jesus can still lead to “The Way” when we learn to surrender our will, our desires and submit to His glorious new life for us. By faith, Jesus is the way, our life and our hope. Trust in Him alone as Lord and He will lead you to to a new and better way in this life and beyond.

  2. Father God
    This morning I ask you to rekindle my thirst and passion for you.
    I ask for your refreshing presence and your word.
    In Jesus name
    Amen
    could you pray for my sister in law she is going in for an operation
    on her chest next Friday . Its only for one day but I am concerned for her
    during and after as well that there will be no complications.
    Thanks everyone
    Lianne Hogg

    • Dear God, I pray for Lianne’s sister-in-law as she faces surgery next Friday, give her a sense of your presence and loving arms around her, and that peace that passes all understanding. May she have healing in her body and no complications. Amen

    • Amen, Lianne! Praying for your sister-in-law next Friday, that she be held by the loving arms of Jesus. God bless you, sister-in-Christ!

    • yes the web site worked fine – and I am so grateful for the songs God ignites in our hearts… especially when it speaks to our everyday lives through the word. The ‘old’ songs become new – fresh – as the Holy Spirit reminds us day after day of God’s faithfulness and grace. The song ‘Jehovah Jireh – my provider – His grace is sufficient’… amen Bless His Holy Name and seriously ALL that is within us bow and say Abba Father – and that is another awesome song of praise… smiles take care… our journey is gentle unfolding by His Will and Love.

  3. As David says the pictures are so appropriate for our reading today, and your prayer Pastor David is for all of us. Let us drink from the well that never runs dry, JESUS.

    I want to thank everyone who prayed for my family yesterday. We sensed the presence of God and felt His love around us. Things were not finalized as we would have hoped, but His timing is perfect and He is never late, so we wait with the joy of knowing He is in control.

    Have a wonderful day as we enjoy the beautiful weather here in Ontario.

  4. I googled Ein Geidi. It sure does have a history according to wikipedia. This incudes Masada, the battle of the kings mentioned in Genesis (Tidal, Chedorlamar etc) and also it is the site of Qumran.

  5. I rarely miss church but when I am unwell and stay home, I look forward to the many wonderful Christian programs on tv. We are so priviledged to have them available. I love to hear about the sheep. I only recently learned that sheep do not LIKE running water – hense STILL WATERS.

  6. Oh how refreshing to see the waterfall I can hear it in my spirit it is calming to my spirit I know the voice of the great Shepherd and I will follow no other , I used to think God was mad at me but now I know He loves me , I used to put myself under great pressure by saying to myself you dont pray enough , you dont read your bible enough , you dont do anything for God since I retired my life totally changed I used to help so many people , but now my life is just full of prayer thats my minisrtry and whatever God wants me to do I am more than willing
    Thank you David and Norma Jean for your life s experiences I love to hear all of them
    God bless you and your day and everyone who reads these life challenges .

    • Lord God, we pray for Miranda, and lift her up to You. Keep her at rest and in comfort so she doesn’t over-do it and experience pain, dear Heavenly Father. Bless her with assistance so she may focus on caring for her own physical and spiritual needs at this time. Allow her recovery to reflect the greatness of Your tender loving mercy and grace. In Jesus precious name, we pray. Amen, amen, and amen.

  7. Hi David, l’ve read through the bible several times with different versions, and have loved it. This time is the best, as we all read and learn together, connecting to the very heart of our God. Thank you once again, l love it, l love it , l love it! l can’t keep this blog to myself, and have recently shared it with some of my friends again! We are feeding on absolute treasure! Have a great day everyone!

  8. Lord, please be with Lianne’s sister-in-law during her surgery next Friday and touch Miranda as well as help her not to overdue it. Love those shepherd psalms. Yesterday in our ladies’ meeting we were blessed as we sang many psalms. Enjoy this sunny day. The farmers are back harvesting potatoes and grain. Blessings.

  9. Yes what a lovely picture, the Shepherd guiding, nourishing protecting His sheep! The joy of hearing – hearing His precious voice above all the other noise. I can picture the sheep hurrying to be the closest to Norma Jean – what a joy to recognize His voice.and desire to come as close as we can.. O the glory of HIS PRESENCE! We don’t need to hide in the shadows, God wants to walk with us in the ‘pastures’ of our lives, we are never alone – like the Garden of Eden to stroll along in fragrant courts, flowers, streams, gentle breezes and then in the quiet suddenly the air is filled. We turn listen, strain towards the source, God has joined us on our stroll. The Lord of All the heavens – all things are transformed by His loving voice. This I believe, with all my heart – every possible circumstance known to man is altered and can be turned into joy. Ashes into diamonds… amen.. blessing to you and Norma Jean as we travel this blessed ‘sod’ singing this is the day the Lord HAS made, and we are rejoicing and full of gladness in it.. Carolyn’s amplified version.. smiles

  10. Your son’s pictures just keep getting better and better! I feel refreshed just looking at them. Thank you Lord for all your goodness to a thirsty soul.

  11. I am so struck by Psalms 42 and 43.

    Why are you in despair, oh my soul?
    And why have you become disturbed within me?
    Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him.
    For the help of His presence. (Ps 42:5)
    For the help of my countenance, and my God. (Ps 43:5).

    The psalmist speaking to himself–to that tired, dark and deep part of himself; reminding himself to hope and call out to God and return to his house of praise and worship. I feel the same way as David, about attending church. I feel incomplete and empty when I do not go to worship and give thanks to my God. That must have been a wonderful time with the sheep on the farm for you and Norma-Jean, David! I can hear the joy in your voice looking back on your memories.

    Yesterday, I watched 100 Huntley Street and saw Anne Graham-Lotz. It really made me think about the post I made. I mentioned I always look at my role in things and try to correct myself. I am honest enough to know I have that seed of judgement within me. Recently, I gossiped about and judged another person in our church. I believe what happened in the prayer group, which I spoke of, was God’s way of bringing it back full circle to remind me. How humble am I, dear Lord, that You would show me the truth and the way. Praise God!

    Be blessed, fellow saints, on this precious day….

    • Yes, our Lord has done that many times in my life, brought someone in my life that wounds me exactly in the same way I have wounded another and it is always smarts to realize that. I sometimes forget the spiritual principle of reaping what I sow, but it never fails to be true. If we have teachable spirits we will learn more from our failures than we will from our successes. God bless you for your honesty– it is helping many of the saints who are going through similar things but haven’t developed the trust and wisdom the Lord has obviously grown in you.

  12. What a Great Shepherd we have…JESUS…He lifts us up when we fall down…and leads us on the right path for His Name sake…and leads us beside the still waters, where we drink of the living water of life that flow from the throne of God!! How Great and wonderful is that?

    Praise His holy Name forever and forever!!! Amen.

  13. Dear Rev. David M.
    I can picture Norma – Jean caring for a newborn sheep feeding him with a bottle , what precious memories you both have . Thank you so much for sharing that with us .
    Last Wednesday night in Bible study at church our pastor studied with us the first two verses of Psalm 23 and asked us a very simple question , who is The Lord , for each of us and we all came with different answers . The Lord is Jesus , is our Saviour , our Redeemer , our Heavenly Father , our Provider , our Jehovah , our Abba , our Holy Spirit and the list goes on and on and then our pastor reminded us of the grandeur of our Creator and the whole universe gave us an example of a sattelite sent by NASA 37 years ago which is travelling at the speed of light and yet it has barely reached our solar system . And then the pastor dropped a coin on the ground where we were sitting in the church and said like the coin we are just a little speck in all the universe and yet our Heavenly Father sent His one and only Son Jesus for our salvation. Thank you Lord and thank you Jesus Amen.
    PS. will be keeping Liannes sister in law and Miranda in prayers.
    Have a blessed day everyone.
    xxxx Carole.

  14. The wars against Roman occupiers starting in about 66 or 67 a.d. and ending with Masada wiped out a huge number of jews. They were killed as David described in today’s psalms. Some fled to the mountains. I think this is also how the scrolls in Qumran caves got there. It is still only a foreshadowing of what is coming because Jesus has not yet taken back the earth, which happens after the desolations. Remains of pig were found at Masada. Romans sacrificed pigs to their gods as did Antiochus and also defiled God’s alter in that way. Hitler placed a swastika on the alter of the Lutheran church and declared himself high preist. The psalms are relevant to that history in Ein Gedi including that David hid there and the jews who were murdered there before Masada and obviously here and now. It was not all good as David Mainse said but it is very important and relevant to scripture.

  15. Hi David, l was just telling my husband how our prayers are working. God is amazing! l’ve written in the back of your book “This Far by Faith” quoting you saying “As both Psalms 42 & 43 tell me: l’m no longer disquieted. Life is sorted out. l’m content and my spirit is calm and peaceful.” The wonderful hymn comes to mind ” It is well, it is well with my soul!” What a marvelous testimony this is!

  16. I couldn’t help but think of the piece of news we have heard this week from the doctor wanting assisted death when I read what you said so very well. “God will put the final period to the history of our lives. ” I don’t want to enter this debate but I loved the way you made that statement and this is how the issue makes sense to me.

  17. I am keeping all my fellow bloggers in my prayers…especially the ones with requests today and in the past. God is good and in HIS timing, he answers all.
    I am so thankful to David and his family for this site…every morning I start my day with God and the message he brings through the gift of this site.
    Blessings to all, on this wonderful day!

  18. Thanks so much for the lovely message, David. I especially enjoyed your story about taking care of sheep. They can teach us many lessons! We are very fortunate if we can maintain relationships with nature and animals to be more closely acquainted with God’s handiwork, his timetable, etc.
    All the best to you and Norma Jean.
    Love to all in Christ
    Catharine.

  19. I LOVE YOUR BLOG. WHAT AN AMAZING MAN OF GOD YOU ARE DAVID. BILLY AND I PRAY FOR YOU EVERYDAY AND I LOOK SO FORWARD TO YOUR TEACHINGS AND WONDERFUL INSIGHTS AND ESPECIALLY YOUR PERSONAL COMMENTS AND PRAYERS. I HOPE YOU GET THIS MESSAGE. I WILL KEEP POSTING TIL WE CAN CONNECT. BILLY AND I LOVE YOU AND NORMA JEAN AND APPRECIATE HOW GOD HAS USED YOUR LIVES. WHAT A TESTIMONY AND BLESSING. GOD BLESS YOU DAVID, YOUR FRIENDS IN KINGSTON, BILLY AND MINA

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