Lord is My Shepherd

 
The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.
 
The beginning of Psalm 23 is powerful! God can fulfill our every need and desire to our hearts’ contentment. That job making more money would be great, but you don’t need it. Whatcha need is God! That hot boyfriend with the 6 pack? Nope don’t need him either. Just God. And that brand new red sports car? Although very fast and sleek, cannot fulfill your hunger for Jesus.
 
What I have learned through personal experience is: what we “MUST HAVE NOW” and “CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT” becomes an afterthought once the temporary excitement dissipates.
 
That beautiful girlfriend who is an idol in your life cannot quench your spiritual desire for intimacy with God. The first two sentences of Psalm 23 tells us that we do not need what the world says is important: Power, Money, Trendy Clothes, Fast Cars, Strong Muscles, Extravagant House, Supermodel Girlfriend or Boyfriend, and Fame.
 
We don’t have to market our Brand, have Swagger, be Extra, or Stay Woke!
 
“All we need is God”
 
Psalm 37:4
 
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
 
People try so hard to achieve happiness. Many men (Christian or not) believe that if they are in good shape (health), have a good job (lots of money), are married to a hot wife (sexual satisfaction), have children (generational legacy), and belong to a civic group (church/government), then success and joy are soon to follow.
 
This formula could not be more wrong. Our society is filled with miserable and physically gorgeous millionaires who are seeking true peace but can never find it through human wisdom.
 
Some of us are hurting financially. Seek God and patiently await his guidance and instruction.
 
Others are being ravaged by illness. Allow the Body of Christ to pray for you and ease the burden of your pain. God is refining you in the midst of your suffering and will provide relief.
 
A lot of us are emotionally hurt and cannot get past the trauma of our past. As you draw nearer to God, you will trust him and others more while forgiving those who have scarred you.
 
All We Need Is God!”



What’s Your Legacy?

 
Do you ever wonder about what your eulogy will be?  Some consider this a creepy topic, but what will people say about you when you die?  I’ve been to many funerals and can’t help but to consider the phrase “He’s in a better place”.  Is that guy or gal truly in a better place? Cmon now! I’m sure we have pondered this question at a lot of funerals that we have attended.  Since funerals are a time of mourning, most pastors attempt to comfort families by being cliche “better place”. Yet scripture says:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.  John 3:36
What’s Your Legacy?
Is it about the sins or victories of the past? Or your current state of affairs that will not last?
How will they remember you?   By things you say or by things you do?
Will it be the friends you made? Or the debts you never paid?
Maybe the people that you forgave? Or the loved ones you tried to save?
What will be the measure of your life? Lots of money or a beautiful wife?
Will it be Your passion or your unique fashion?
Surely our days are numbered and we have to make the most. Of God’s blessings and talents but never boast.
Some of us are gifted writers, speakers, and fighters.
But Predestined for God’s glory, and chosen to fulfill His magnificent story.
There is a season for everything under the sun. Live each day to the fullest but always have fun.
Inspire the youth and help the old. Love upon your brothers and sisters, Profess Christ and be bold.
Someday we will have to see God “face to face” and give an account of how we ran the race.
Are you ready?
 
 
Freddrick Diez
 
 



Lent – Guidelines

•An Office is a time to STOP, SLOW DOWN, CENTER and PAUSE to be with Jesus. Our goal is to create a continual and easy familiarity with God’s presence each day.
•Start modestly, beginning with one Office before trying to do all of them regularly. Otherwise you risk getting discouraged and giving up entirely. Start slowly.
•Notice the silence at the beginning and conclusion of each Office. Consider being silent for 30-45 seconds between the readings/prayers also. When silent, seek to sit still and straight. Breathe slowly, naturally and deeply. Close your eyes, remaining present. Don’t hurry! If God leads you to pause at a certain phrase or verse, stay with that. Less can be more.
•Be sure to read the texts/prayers aloud (if in private), slowly, prayerfully and thoughtfully.


Lent – Morning Prayer

Silence & Centering (1-2 Minutes)

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.
– Psalm 37:7
 

Opening Prayer

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling – Psalm 27:3-5
 
Lord, help me this day to love You with all my heart and with all my soul, and with all my mind and with all my strength, for this is the first and greatest commandment, and then to love all others as myself. – Matthew 22:37-39
 

NT Reading and Prayer

Heavenly Father, grant me the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge that I may know You better. May the eyes of my heart understand the hope to which You have called me. May I experience Your mighty and powerful Spirit in my life this day. Guide me and direct me. Help me to surrender my life to You this day. (Based on Ephesians 1:17-20)
 

OT Reading (10 Commandments)

1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
Lord, help me to detach myself from all things outside of You that compete for my ultimate affection.
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol (i.e. another image for God).
Help me not to shape You according to my own fears and ideas, but to trust and follow you, like Abraham, into the unknown.
3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Enable me to represent You well in every conversation and interaction.
4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Prepare me that I may rest from all my works each day and set apart a day to put away all earthly anxieties to delight in You.
5. Honor your father and mother.
Help me to honor my parents appropriately. May I remember that the same way I treat them, I may be treated some day.
6. You shall not murder.
May my interactions today with others, and my words bring life and not death, edify and not tear down.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
Free me to live purely, rightly, and respectfully to myself and others.
8. You shall not steal.
Help me not to be greedy but to share joyfully with others.
9. You shall not give false witness.
Lord, help me to walk in the truth and to avoid false assumptions about other people and situations – not only in my own mind, but in my conversation with others.
10. You shall not covet.
May I love you above all else because “Your love is better than life.”
– Exodus 20:1-17
 

Prayer for Others/Yourself



Lent – Midday Prayer

Silence & Centering (1-2 Minutes)

Be still and know that I am God.
– Psalm 46:10
 

Opening Prayer

Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by or like a watch in the night…May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.
– Psalm 90:12-17
 
We wait in hope for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
In Him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in His holy name.
May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
even as we put our hope in You.
– Psalm 33:20-22
 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be honored.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done here on earth,
just as it is in heaven.
Give us our food for today,
And forgive us our sins,
just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
Amen.
– Matthew 6:9-13
 

Concluding Prayer and Silence (1-2 Minutes)

Lord, You say that “in repentance and rest is my salvation, in quietness and trust is my strength.” Teach me to rest and trust in You throughout the remainder of this day. “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth. Give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name…for great is Your love toward me.” – Isaiah 30:15; Psalm 86:11-13



Lent – Evening Prayer

Silence & Centering (1-2 Minutes)

When you are on your bed, search your heart and be silent.
– Psalm 4:4
 

Opening Prayer

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.
– Psalm 92:1-2
 
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love.
– Psalm 130:5-7
 

NT Reading (Beatitudes)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 5:3)
God have mercy on me, a sinner. Help me accept my brokenness, emptiness, and need for You.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (5:4)
Lord, help me not to pretend but to embrace my vulnerability, humanity, and limits.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (5:5)
Lord, grant me grace to trust You, drop my defenses, be approachable, kind, merciful, and appropriately aggressive.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (5:6)
Help me love You above all else. Purge my soul of all polluted affections, habits and rebellions.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)
Enable me to forgive as generously and consistently as You. Lord, forgive me.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (5:8)
Lord, I ask for a pure (clean, uncluttered) heart. I long to see Your face. I pray that there would be nothing between You and me.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. (5:9)
Lord, fill me with courage to disrupt false peace around me when needed. Give me wisdom and prudence to be a true peacemaker.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10-12)
Lord, fill me with courage to speak and live the truth, even when it is not popular or convenient.
 

OT Reading (Prayer)

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion,
Blot out my transgressions.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and grant to me a willing spirit,
to sustain me. – Psalm 51:1,10,12
 

Final Prayer

May the Lord Almighty grant me and those I love a peaceful night and a perfect end.
 

Conclude with Silence (1-2 Minutes)



Christian Hypocrisy

 
It amazes me how we as Christians tend to look down on homosexuals and transgenders yet are tolerant and accepting of other transgressions.
 
Let me explain: We so easily look past the sins of alcoholics, drug addicts, and adulterers but struggle with the thought of people having alternative lifestyles serving in the church.
 
Matthew 7:1 – Judge not lest you be judged
 
Too many times in my life I’ve attempted to play God by assuming what’s within another man’s heart. During these occasions, God has showed me that he is the only discerner of hearts.
 
How can we spread the “love of Christ” but look upon our brothers and sisters with disdain? We call ourselves Christians but snicker, sneer, and gossip about those who do not measure up to our personal standards for Godliness.
 
More recently I vacationed with my family in the city of Seattle. I was impressed by the vastness of beauty that surrounded the city but equally surprised by the amount of gay couples that we encountered. To that end we also attended many gay owned businesses such as restaurants and coffee shops. What was most revealing to my heart was the love and warmth that we received as customers/visitors from homosexual customer service workers and residents.
 
What’s funny to me is that as a Christian I am supposed to “mirror the love of Christ”. Nevertheless individuals (homosexuals) of whom some Christians classify as ungodly do a remarkably better job of showing a Godlike spirit than me.
 
Let us truly exhibit the love of Christ without malice, contempt, or judgement. We are all broken people who need God’s divine intervention. I long for the day when the pews of Journey Church are filled with homosexuals and transgenders because only then are we truly getting the message of God to this exiled segment of society.
 
STOP PLAYING GOD AND START LOVING!!!!!!!!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Center of it All

 

Have you ever felt like your in a wrong age or even time?  I have I have been thing about how my life before I have found Christ.  You see I have known of Christ because as a child I was a member of Church of The Valley.   Going there since I was a child was a wonderful experiences I had amazing Sunday school teacher.  There hearts had God in the Center of it all. So, for all the Sunday so teachers thank you.

 

As an Adult I was invited to a small group to be honest on my way there I actually had turn my car around to go back home.  It was hot and I was driving for awhile and I was very uncomfortable in the traffic and the heat was exhausting. As I were o my way back home God asked me to turn the car around.  I was heading back home and I was not turn again. My cousin called and ask to head back and I refused. Then just like that God told me to turn the car round and I was able to turn the car around with no problem.

 

The more I got involved with my small group the more God started working in me.  I was not fully committed to turn myself over to Christ because I felt I wasn’t good enough to be loved by him.  I have failed in a lot of areas in my life but, God keeps showing up. He has shown me that I had to work on relationships in all areas of my life.  God had force me to view my life in a different way the way he sees me. With that road I had to walk was not easy but, He reassure me that. He would break me in a million pieces that meant that I had to face my darkest moments from my past.

 

I have learn that I must keep God in the center of my life.  I had to really surrender my life for his glory. I am not perfect but, God has created someone I love and I am embracing the changes he has done in me.  Fear is not of God. God fills you with confidences to do his will. I had to surrender everything so he can work in me I am a work in progress.

 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬


By: Myra Flores