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I am your Shepherd

I am your Shepherd
I am your Shepherd

Art Journal Note: 

I just had to use this beautiful image of the shepherd and lamb that I came across in a magazine. The image was quite large and I had to ‘crop’ it smaller to make it fit on the page, and I just glued it in – it deserves a page to itself! On the adjacent page I wanted to use part of an image of ‘green pastures’ and ‘still waters’ (again, another magazine find!) and painted a basic watercolour background for the image to rest on. As the Bible verse for this page is actually a whole Psalm, I typed and printed it out before gluing it into the art journal. If I’d tried to write it by hand I’m sure I would have run out of room!

Psalm 23 with a difference! 

I’ve been reminded lately of the time (a few years ago) when God spoke to me powerfully through the well-known and well-loved words of Psalm 23, giving me a totally fresh meaning and perspective to this passage. When reading the Psalm I felt that God was speaking it over me, and that rather than me saying “The Lord is my Shepherd,” that God was actually saying to me: “I am your Shepherd.” The reworked Psalm reads like this:

I am your Shepherd,

You shall not be in want.

I make you lie down in green pastures,

I lead you beside quiet waters,

I restore your soul.

I guide you in paths of righteousness

for my name’s sake.

Even though you walk through the valley

of the shadow of death,

You will fear no evil,

For I am with you;

My rod and my staff, they comfort you.

I prepare a table before you in the presence

of your enemies.

I anoint your head with oil;

Your cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow you

all the days of your life,

And you will dwell in my house for ever.

I can’t tell you how much this impacted me and has given me great encouragement, comfort and strength, especially at those times when I so frequently feel like a lost, scruffy, muddy little lamb, stuck in a ditch, bleating frantically, and desperately needing Him to gather me in His loving arms and carry me close to His heart (ever felt like that?).

Well that’s exactly what God loves to do. Isaiah 40 verse 11 says this:

“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.”

(Incidentally this is a great verse for parents to pray regarding their children, and that last line is just for you!)

In my Faith Art Journal I just had to use this beautiful image which perfectly sums up how I feel about being safe in the arms of the Lord, my Shepherd. Notice in this picture how He’s not afraid to get His hands dirty, or his clothes. Whatever state we are in, He just wants to hold us tight and get us back home safely.

Heavenly Father, thank you that you are my Shepherd and you provide for all I need. You guide me. You give me rest. You restore my soul. You are with me, and your presence – your perfect love – casts out all fear. In You, I am safe, blessed abundantly and have hope for my life and for the future. Thank you!

And I thank you for the precious love demonstrated by the Lord Jesus who said “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10) and who then went on to lay down His life for me.

My heart’s desire is to know your voice and follow you always. Help me to listen for you, to walk with you and to remain close to your heart.

In Jesus name,

Amen

And finally…just to remind you that Spring is just around the corner…..

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Pursuing God

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Art Journal Note:

I created this simple page today using a magazine picture I’ve had stashed for ages, I love this image of a woman relaxing on a bed, it just seems to match the security this verse offers us. Text is handwritten in a font I saw on Pinterest, with one of my favourite blue fineliner pens, the text was just ‘ripped and sticked’.

So here’s my very first blog entry, please be  kind 🙂 I’m attempting to try to post something every day in October, which may be either past pages from my art journal, or something new. It may be accompanied by a bit of a ramble, or just a couple of thoughts, I’ll try not to take up too much of your time. The format may change and evolve as I get a bit more used to it all!

Today I’m  sharing something new and relevant to me right here and now, that I hope will encourage you too.

For the last couple of days I’ve been reading Psalm 63 as my ‘just heading out the door in the morning’ word for the day. It gives me some ideas to think about and pray about while I’m cycling to work in the mornings. This particular verse has stuck with me both days, and today was the day to plant it into my art journal. I love the depth of feeling this verse evokes, about how it feels when our souls cling to God, yet safe in the knowledge that He has us, holding us securely in His hand. Powerfully reassuring.

Now, here’s the thing. Over the last few days I have begun to read The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer and am completely blown away by this book already, and am only in Chapter 1!  I only realised today that the verse he opens Chapter 1 with, is one and the same, Psalm 63 v 8! I almost didn’t recognise it, in a different Bible version (complete with some ‘eths’ and a ‘thee’) which says:

My soul followeth hard after thee:

thy right hand upholdeth me.

I always think, if God is showing me something, I need to listen, pay attention and act on it!

Well, if God shows me the same thing more than once…in different ways or through different sources, well how blessed am I? To have confirmation is very special, and Father, yes I am listening!

Thank you Father, for confirming what you want me to dwell on. Let my soul follow hard after you – cling to you. Thank you that you uphold me in your right hand. And that as my soul is being stirred to pursue you, to run after you to follow and cling on to you, I’m doing so from the safety of knowing that I am yours. You’ve got me.

In Jesus name, Amen.