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  • Transformation Garden - November 17, 2020
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    Today's Text and Thought of Encouragement:

    "Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High; and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."

    Psalm 50: 14, 15

    K.J.V.

     

    We Thank Thee

     

    "For flowers that bloom about our feet;

    For tender grass, so fresh and sweet;

    For song of bird and hum of bee;

    For all things fair we hear or see

    Father in Heaven, we thank Thee!

    For Thy dear, everlasting arms,

    That bear us o'er all ills and harms;

    For blessed words of long ago,

    That help us now Thy will to know –

    Father in Heaven, we thank Thee!"

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Today's Study Text:

    "He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in paths of righteousness."

    Psalm 23: 3

    K.J.V.

    EXPLORATION:

    "Psalm 23 Part 10

    "My Shepherd Leads Me Right"                                           

    "Throughout the ages, sheepherders have been leaders by profession. A shepherd can't afford to lead his flocks into dead end canyons or into an area with no water or that's off limits. He can't take them into barren wastelands or into a fenced area where they'll be trapped. He can't backtrack with them, or get lost, or wander in circles. One misstep can end tragically. He has to know where he is going, and he has to know the route. He has to go before the flock, check out the pathway, and lead them in the right routes with confidence and in safety. Without good navigation, the whole flock can perish in just a day or two."

    Robert J. Morgan

    Have there been times in my life when the path before me seemed perplexing and I didn't have any knowledge as to how I would proceed or where I would go?

    How do I feel, knowing with assurance, that my Father knows the way before me and has plotted out a path of righteousness for my life?

    "I know not the way God leads me, but well do I know my Guide."

    Martin Luther

    INSPIRATION:

    "The chasm between the Shepherd in glory and His poor sheep might seem to be an infinite one; but it is bridged by this one sweet, tender word 'leadeth.' As in the East the shepherd always precedes the flock, to discover the greenest patches of grass and the least stony path, so does Jesus ever keep in front of the soul that trusts and loves Him."

    F. B. Meyer

    Years ago, my dad would take groups of teens, that were under his care, on weekend jaunts up into the Superstition Mountains in Arizona. Known for rugged terrain, this rocky, desert area can be a daunting challenge to an inexperienced hiker. Fortunately for the young people who followed my dad, they were blessed with someone who was not only well-equipped to lead the group, but also an individual who understood what it meant to plan ahead.

    One particular morning, I decided to get up before sunrise and when I looked over at my dad's sleeping bag in our family tent, I noticed that it was empty. Once outside in the brisk morning air, I started scouting around, trying to see if I could find my father. In a few minutes, I recognized his blue flannel shirt coming down a path toward our campground.

    Of course, at this point my curiosity took over and although, at the age of only eight, my dad thought I was too young to go on the all-day hike, he satisfied my inquisitiveness by showing me what he'd been up to. All along the pathway out of our camp, he'd placed markers with plastic flags attached. Come to find out, this wasn't the first excursion my dad had been on for I found out that while most of the campers were putting up tents and getting meals, my dad was plotting out a trail and marking it well – even to the point that he knew exactly where the rest stops for food and water would be taken.

    I found it interesting that all through the years, whenever my dad took a group of young people on a hiking or boating expedition, not once did their parents ever seem concerned about the safety of their children for they knew the guide. What's more, they trusted the guide. They knew my dad would take their children on the right path.

    This is what David so eloquently shares about the Lord, his personal Shepherd. Having watched over a flock of sheep, David understood the nature of the creatures within his care. What's more, he also understood the way sheep acted when in a group. He knew sheep needed to be lead.

    Having scant knowledge regarding what a shepherd actually does for his sheep besides providing them with food and water, I have found it enlightening to uncover some of the historical information collected down through time, which I might add, gives us a clearer perspective about leading sheep in the "right" path.

     
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