Sheep and no Shepherd...

As I started writing this article I was unaware that I was about to be confronted by the sad news that my brother had taken his own life. I continue to write this a little over twelve hours later and the words of probably the most famous Psalm in the bible becomes particularly focused to me.  Most people will have heard of Psalm 23, " The Lord is my shepherd,  I will not want, he gives me rest in green pastures...".   It is often read at funerals or printed in cards given to people in loss or at times of need.  For me, knowing Jesus, the giver of peace the words of this Psalm are truth that brings comfort.  Psalm 23 also highlights what I may be feeling if I did not have that relationship with Jesus.  If you take God out of the Psalm the vision of peace and security the words portray is turned on its head.  

 

 Psalm 23 when The Lord is not your shepherd.  

1 The Lord is not my shepherd; 

I am missing things  I need. 

2 I don't get to rest in green meadows, are there any? 

All I see are raging torrents that threaten to sweep me away. 

3 I have no strength 

No-one to guide me along right paths, 

so I dishonour those I know. 

4 When I walk 

through the darkest valley,

I am  afraid, 

no-one is there to be close beside me. 

There is nothing to 

protect and comfort me. 

5 I am alone and hungry  

and surrounded by my enemies. 

My head longs for soothing but there is none. 

I have nothing to comfort or sustain me. 

6 If only someone was  good to me and could love me 

all the days of my life, 

and I could live in comfort, peace and love 

forever. 

I thank God that the Lord is my Shepherd and the real  version of Psalm 23 applies to me.

 

Psalm 23:1(NIV)

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, 

he leads me beside quiet waters, 

3 he refreshes my soul. 

He guides me along the right paths 

for his name’s sake. 

4 Even though I walk 

through the darkest valley, 

I will fear no evil, 

for you are with me; 

your rod and your staff, 

they comfort me. 

5 You prepare a table before me 

in the presence of my enemies. 

You anoint my head with oil; 

my cup overflows. 

6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me 

all the days of my life, 

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord 

forever. 

If this article speaks to you why not come and have a chat with us or find out more about what it’s like to live with Jesus at https://greatcommission.co.uk/category/watch/changed-lives where you can hear ordinary people talk about their extraordinary lives or why not ask a question at Looking for God.  Want to ask a question of a real person, come and see us at the Vine or try https://chatnow.org

 

Psalm 234 fullscreen

Darren

 

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Vine Life

A collection of the latest news and articles from The Vine

  • Summer is Here

     

    Summer is here.

    Welcome to the Summer update.  
    As minds turn to summer holidays and yet more sun, the Vine will take our 'traditional two-week break' followed by the One Event.  We also have exciting news about the Vine Centre

     

     

    What's on when

    Sunday Services


    22 July 2018 - Normal Service
    29 July 2018 - No Service
    05 Aug 2018 - No Service
    12 Aug 2018 - Normal Service
    19 Aug 2018 - Normal Service
    26 Aug 2018 - Join us at the One Event at Lincolnshire Showground
    02 Sept 2018 - Normal Service

     

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    Home Groups

    The 'Tuesday' & 'Wednesday' mid-week groups are not on during the summer.  They will restart in September.

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    Community Choir

    The Community Choir will not meet in August.
    The first rehearsal in September will be the 10th September at 7.30pm

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    Assist 

    The Dementia Support group has finished now for the summer and will resume on Wednesday 5th September.

    The main Assist service will continue through the summer.

    Coffee Connect

    Friday the 20th of July will be the last Coffee Connect before the summer.  It will resume on September the 7th.

    Prayer

    Thursday Morning Prayer will be on throughout the summer - Prayer powers this place - come and plugin.

    Meet at the Vine Centre at 8:45am

     

     

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    Today is the last That Saturday Thing until September.

    Join us if you can otherwise - enjoy the Summer.

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  • Every Contact Leaves a Trace

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     Have you heard of this principle?  Evidently (sorry about the pun!) it’s a basic concept of forensic science – that when two people or things or places come into contact in any way, there’s always a trace left. The contact time can be extremely brief, a fleeting forgotten moment, but nevertheless, a trace is left behind.  If you’re a fan of any of the police/detective series so popular at present, you probably know quite a lot about this field already.  But for all of us, it’s an amazing idea – wherever you’ve been and whoever you’ve been with, you’ve left a trace of yourself there.  You have changed the scene, leaving evidence of your presence. 

    This is a thought-provoking idea, especially for any of us who sometimes feel insignificant, unnoticed, or even invisible. Even when you’re feeling you don’t make any difference, and nobody has noticed you, the fact is, every time you go anywhere, you actually change the place, whether you’re aware of it or not.

    Thinking about this I have gained a new insight into what is actually happening when I walk past some people at the bus stop, my feet making contact with the pavement each step I take, or when I sit on a seat on the train (which seat shall I choose? and who shall I sit next to, my sleeve touching theirs?)  I know now that whoever I touch, even briefly, I will leave a little of myself with them.  A few molecules will pass from me to them, sticking to them, remaining after I have forgotten I’ve ever seen the person or shared a space with them. Does this sound freaky? Or a surprising insight into how interconnected we are, and actually how powerful each of us is.  We’re all changing the world constantly, as we move about, as we live, as we breathe. Perhaps a few molecules, tiny particles of hair or skin, don’t seem to matter, but the words we say, perhaps carelessly or moodily, or the touch of a hand, can remain with people long after we’ve left the scene…for better or worse, we can’t take it back.

    Knowing we are constantly changing the world around us, for better or worse, should be a wake-up call. Today I read in my Bible,

     “Be very careful then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…Therefore do not be foolish…”  

    I shall try to keep this in mind today, remembering that everything I do, everything I touch, everything I say, leaves a trace.

     

                   Veronica           

    Revd Veronica Podbury, Pastor of The Vine Community Church

  • How to make biblically based decisions

    Making decisions under pressure is tough; the dangers and long-term consequences of making the wrong choice can be huge. Fear of being wrong can force us into not making a decision at all, while desperation can lead us to decisions we’ll live to regret.

    Read Veronica's latest blog for the American Bible Society's "Blog.bible" site.

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