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

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    The Vine Christmas Special 11:00am Sunday 23rd Dec 2018.

     

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  • The end of one season and the start of an adventure

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    Around fifteen years ago the Vine Community Church was started.  Serving Cherry Willingham, Fiskerton and Reepham.  Originally meeting in Village halls of those places.  Lots of things have happened in those fifteen years. For one,  our youngest who could only crawl backwards when the Vine launched can now walk as well as any fifteen year old.  This weekend (14th October 2018) sees the founding pastors of the Vine. Veronica and Dave Podbury step down. It is a time that we look back on the amazing times we have had under their tenure.  Starting Carols on the Green, taking on the Village Library, providing one-to-one support for people struggling with life or mental illness to name but three. 

    Picking up the reigns as the new ‘leaders’ is an exciting prospect (I am spelling exciting  -S C A R Y) and promises to be a great new adventure.  

    Some things will undoubtedly change: the Youth Group, for example, has been handed over to the experts.  Other things will stay the same:  the Values of the Vine will not change and it will continue to be a place that seeks to connect people with God and to come alongside those who need help in a relevant, welcoming and authentic way. 

    As Jenny and I start this adventure we would welcome you saying ‘Hi’ if you are in the villages.

    So who are we?

    Well, I am Darren and for four days a week I work for a large software company and Jenny (we’ve been married for over 20 years) runs the Assist service if you don’t know what that is, check out the link. We have lived in Cherry for the last fifteen years.  If you want to know more than that come and meet us some time. 

    Until then we are excited at the honour we have been given of serving the Vine and the villages and surrounding areas.

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