Christmas was very nice this year, my wife and I were invited to a friend’s home for Christmas dinner, and we enjoyed it greatly. The weather here, like most years during this Christmas season was beautiful. The weather was warm, with sunshine the entire day, and a gentle breeze coming off the water.

To close out 2011, I want to say to all who have been fighting for their lives in 2011. May this new year bring you good health, and faith in the Great physician(Matt 2:17).

I would like to write down my thoughts to Psalms 23.

The Lord is my Shepard – A Shepherd protects his flock, and will fight anyone or anything that would try to harm or kill one of his sheep. Here I am reminded that Christ is my Good Shepherd, and he knows me, and I know him (John 10:14). It is also brought to my attention that he is not only my Good Shepherd, but he gave his life for me, just as he says in John 10:11.

I shall not be in want – I am content, I am satisfied, I am not coveting things, or things others have. I am not allowing todays trends to cause discontent in me. May my conversation be without coventness, and may I be content with what I have, because my Good Shepherd has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”(Hebrew 13:5).

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – I have SLL/CLL, how shall I sleep at night, must I worry hour upon hour, until sleep overcomes me? When I lie down, I shall not be afraid, yea I will lie down, and my sleep will be sweet (Proverbs 3:24). The Good Shepherd says,” I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down,” saith the Lord(Eze 34:15).

He leadeth me beside the still waters – Have you ever been fishing in a fresh water stream, as I have, and come upon an area where the water is still. Do you recall how quiet and still everything was, and how peaceful you felt, being alone, looking at and feeling the awe of what was around you. How your mind wondered, your dreams coming to your mind, and thinking, all was just right. Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth(Psalm 46:10). And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, “Peace, be still.” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm(Mark 4:39).

He restoreth my soul – As I have written in several posts, how my soul was restored. It was not restored by wealth, pride, joy, envy, religion, faith, family, etc, but by Jesus Christ, through the sorrow that I felt, seeing someone, who thought she was losing me to death, then I realizing how much she loved me. Christ used that sight to make me finally realize how much He really loved me, and how He wanted me to care for and love others. Oh Lord, thou has brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit(Psalm 30:3). I said Lord, be merciful unto me: heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee(Psalm 41:4). I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble, thou hast known my soul in adversities(Psalm  37:1).

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake –  Am I righteous every day? Not in my flesh, but yes in Jesus Christ, my Good Shepherd who leads me daily, and I follow Him. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name be exalted(Isa 12:4). And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins(Matt 1:21). And in his name shall the Gentiles trust(Matt 12:21). But these are written that you might believe, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life through his name(John 20:31). I write unto you little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake(1John 2:12).

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – Many of us are knowingly walking daily with the shadow of death upon us. We know, first hand that there will be an end to this life. Unfortunately many others do not ever think about it. Life will go on forever for them, but reality shows that way of thinking is false. Some where I read that every 1 out of 2 people have some kind of cancer, and those that don’t, have some other problem. For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house for all living(Job 30:23). What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave(Psalm 89:48)? Precious in his sight, is the death of his saints(Psalms 116:150).

I will fear no evil – I am sad when I think of leaving this current life, but after much thought, I have come to realize that the sadness I feel, is not that I am going to die, but I will miss those that I love, and they will miss me. I know my missing them will stop immediately, but for them, it will linger, for some longer than others, and sadness is not what I want for them. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord(Romans 6:23). And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever(2Tim 4:18). Whosoever believes in Him(Jesus Christ) shall not perish, but have eternal life(John 3:15). Do not be sad for me, or anyone that has Christ as their saviour, let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content, for He has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you(Hebrews 13:5).”

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me – The shepherd’s staff would direct his sheep, whom he loved. He would use it to direct them to good pastures, clear, fresh water, and with his staff, he would stave off those who would try to harm his own. In all thy ways, acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths(Prov. 3:6). As we look at the lineage of Jessie, we find Jesus. There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jessie, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots (Isa 11:1).

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies – When you find that you have a cancer that has no current cure, you can be assured the Good Shepherd will not leave his flock, no matter what the odds. Jesus said “I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd gives his life for his sheep”(John 10:11). David said concerning his trust in God, “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that has set themselves against me, round about”(Psalms 3:6).

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over – Over the span of my whole life, I must tell you that my cup has always run over. I have been appointed to live a wonderful, fulfilled life. I have received all the good that this life has to offer. As you look back, my hope and prayer, is that you will say the same. I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord(Psalms 116:13). And whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, very I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward (Mark 9:41).

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – And they have. I have trusted in thy mercy, my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation(Psalms 13:5). I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever(Psalms 52:8).  But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us(Eph 2:4). Oh that men would praise the Lord  for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men(Psalms 107:8).

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever – Finally, and how sweet it will be. Now at the end of a sin ridden life, I thank Him, Almighty God, who has given me a wonderful life, with many more years yet to come. May I spend them, showing the love of Christ, to all, especially my wife, children, and grandchildren. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you shall be also(John 14:3). The Good Shepherd Jesus Christ.