Sunday, May 25, 2014

Finding Rest For Your Soul

On a beautiful summer-like weekend, with the countryside bathed in sunshine, Pastor Shannon greets us warmly. “I am grateful you’ve chosen to worship with us here this Memorial Day weekend. The theme in our message today will be from Psalm 23."

We’re going to try to do Friendship Dinners again. Be sure to sign up.
Next Sunday the softball team will be gathering for practice at 2:00 p.m. in Twig.
Saturday, May 31: Church cleaning day.
VBS will be the week of June 16 at Grand Lake Community Church. Volunteers still needed, especially for help preparing food.
Tuesday, June 10: Ladies Day at the church, 9:00 a.m.

Chuck, Ken and Darlene led us in worship on this Memorial Day weekend and Sixth Sunday of Easter.

Finding Rest For Your Soul

"My message today is about my own spiritual journey and trying to wrestle with these issues."

Brad began his message by sharing a story about trying to cut down a tree at his mother’s house. It proved to be far more work than he realized when he started. On another day this week he tried to get things ready at their cabin but once again tried to do too much work in too short of an amount of time.

Too many of us these days are always in a hurry. All too often we rush to the store, hurry through chores and also try to rush our relationship with God. Psalm 23 offers a perfect antidote to this stress-producing way of life.

Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want… He restores my soul.”

Each phrase in the psalm requires a decision. "The Lord is my shepherd" is the first fork in the road. Without a shepherd, all the issues of our life are our responsibility, and leave us in a state of worry about all the details or everything. Alternative, we can let God take care of our cares.

The solution to our harried living style is not a pop culture maxim to add margins in our lives. It begins by asking Jesus to be our Good Shepherd.

Sheep spend ten hours a grazing and the rest of their time chewing their cud. Ruminating. To ruminate, sheep must be relaxed.

Brad provided us a technique for getting more out of a passage of Scripture: break the phrase down, word by word.

The Lord.
The Lord is. He is real.
The Lord is my…. It’s personal.
The Lord is my Shepherd. Think about what the shepherd does so that the sheep do not have to think about.

The next phrase: I shall not want. Because the Lord is caring for me as the good shepherd, I can live a joyful, satisfied life. I do not have to live a life driven by unsatisfied desires.

Sheep are followers. Sheep aren’t reflective. They are passive followers of the sheep in front of them. Isaiah wrote, “All we like sheep have gone astray.”

Here's another fork in the road decision: choose gratitude. Find satisfaction in the shepherd’s presence rather than his gifts.

Who is happier, the one with lots of boxes and always wanting more, or the one who has but one box but is content? More is not better.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. Too often we do not want to lie down. We want to control everything. But sooner or later we must face the fact that we’re not really in control. We’re not created to carry the burden of controlling everything.

If the Good Shepherd is present in your life, wherever you are is a green pasture.

Your life is a gift. Rest in this competent God is a gift.

Prayer is rest in God. Letting God be the one at work.

He leads me beside still waters. Sheep need still waters. When sheep fall into rushing waters they can drown.

Be still. Be still and know He is God.

He restores my soul. The good shepherd walks confidently, competently… and He says, “My sheep know My voice.”

Let Him be your shepherd. Instead of worrying about stuff, ruminate on Him. Instead of wallowing in discontent, be grateful for Him. Instead of trying to control everything through frantic activity, surrender to Him. Instead of having all this noise and chaos, listen to Him. Then you can stop living on the edge of your seat, and live with a restored soul.

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