Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl

The Good Shepherd

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I was reading in Psalm 23 the other day and thought/studied a lot about shepherds. There is a very special relationship between a shepherd and his sheep. A shepherd is a manager and a caretaker. He is the owner of his sheep…and he loves them.
One of the things I learned is that a shepherd marks his sheep with an instrument called a “killing knife.” Now, it may not sound very loving, but sheep do not instinctively take care of themselves. It may hurt them, but the shepherd knows the temporary pain is ultimately good for the sheep. So, he makes a distinct mark in their ear that identifies them as his own and cares for them almost like children.
In much the same way, many of the trials and tests we go through can be quite painful while “killing” the flesh. However, the Holy Ghost knows what He is doing in us is working toward our spiritual maturity. The question is, which do you think is worse: the pain of change or the pain of never changing?
In John 10:11(KJV), Jesus says, I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 
There is so much we can learn about our relationship with Christ from the lesson about shepherds and sheep.
In the first verse of Psalm 23, David says, The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (KJV).

He lacked nothing because he knew that God was with him, always working in his life, changing and maturing him. It doesn't mean that we will always have every little thing we want. But while we are waiting on things we’re praying and believing God for, we can be content knowing that He is always with us and will provide exactly what we need.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. This is talking about entering into the rest of God. Not resting from activity…but resting in activity. There is a peace that comes from trusting in the ability and power that God gives us to do what He’s called us to do. It is this rest that causes us to step out in faith and do great things in His name. It’s faith in God’s faithfulness. 
Learn to rest in Him. He will lead you along the right paths for his name’s sake. As we rest in God, He works in our lives, and renews our minds. The scriptures have the power to change us. One of the things I studied, is that the sheep will choose the soft ground, the comfortable and easy places to wander into. But they can get into trouble and become easy prey for other animals. They will stay in the same pasture forever unless the shepherd moves them. And he will move them regularly so they can stay healthy.
Be open to change, a challenge…a new pasture. 
Even when you walk through the darkest valley…  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
A shepherd carries a rod and a staff, which he uses in different ways for different reasons. The rod is just a big, long stick with a little knob or bud at the top of it. A staff has more of a hook at the end of it.
The shepherd will practice endlessly so that he’ll be able to accurately chuck that rod at a predator or even at an unruly sheep to keep it in line. Sometimes an animal will wander off too far from the others. The staff is used to hook a wayward sheep and lead it back into the fold. At other times, it’s used as an examining tool to check the animals for parasites or other ailments.
It's comforting to know that whenever we lose our way, He will use His staff to lovingly and gently guide us back onto the right path.
Those are just some of the ways a shepherd takes care of his sheep. And to think we have the Good Shepherd who takes care of us. What are you asking God to do in your life? Whatever it is, know that He will always be with you…and He will always provide just what you need. He is the Good Shepherd and He has already laid down His life for us!!

6 Things You Should Say on Purpose

Thursday, April 2, 2015

God has given us the incredible ability to bless, encourage, praise, sing and worship with our words.

But too often our mouths—and a tiny instrument called the tongue—get us into trouble. If you have an “unbridled” tongue—and I struggled for years in this area—there’s no end to the havoc you can create in your own life and the lives of people around you.
But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness!(James 3:8-9).
Our words can do severe damage to our relationships, our careers and the world around us. But here’s the good news: With the help of the Holy Ghost, they can also do great good. God can give us the wisdom we need to control our tongues and learn to speak life-giving words that reflect the love of Christ and what His Word says. 

1. We should use our words to bless others.

Our words have the power to bless or curse. Proverbs 18:21 says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. We need to pay close attention to the way we talk about ourselves. People who have not disciplined their mouths say some of the most awful things about themselves: “I can’t do anything right. Nothing ever works out for me. Nobody loves me…” Instead of speaking out of our feelings or circumstances, we need to say the same thing that God says about us in His Word.
One of the first things I say when I get up in the morning is “God, I bless this day in Jesus’ name. I bless my husband, children, grandchildren and myself in Jesus’ name. I’m blessed when I come in and blessed when I go out.”

2. Be thankful and say it.

Psalm 100:4 says we should “be thankful and say so.” Tell people you’re thankful for what they do for you—and thank God for everything. Take a few minutes every day and thank God for everything you can think of—your family, your health, food, hot water… God has given us a mouth to glorify him!
Every morning, I take time to thank God for working in my life. One thing I’ve learned is when we’re waiting for a breakthrough, we need to thank Him for working on that situation behind the scenes. 

3. Encourage, edify and build others up.

I love lifting and encouraging people every day. Every day I ask the Holy Ghost to show me who I can encourage and lift up.
Isaiah 50:4 says The Lord God has given Me the tongue of a disciple and of one who is taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.
Think about the people you already know you’re going to be around and ask God to put something in your heart that you can say to them that will build them up.

4. Tell the truth.

The Bible says in John 4 that true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth. If you’re waiting for a promotion from God then you need to be committed to the truth. Proverbs 23:23 says Buy the truth and sell it not. Holding on to the truth might mean losing a friend or your reputation. If you’re going to be committed to the truth, there will be times when you’ll have to make a sacrifice. Hang on to it no matter what it costs you. It is so rewarding—the Bible says then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).

5. Speak the Word of God.

Jeremiah 23:28-29 says He who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. … Is not My word like fire? says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks in pieces the rock? Keep hitting your problems with the hammer of God’s Word. Speak the Word out loud faithfully. It’ll break the hardest things you’re facing into pieces.

6. Don’t talk too much.

A lot of times, we just need to be quiet. Proverbs 10:19 says In a multitude of words transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent. I think it’s interesting that we have two eyes, two ears, two nostrils—and only one mouth. We need to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to get angry.
Galatians 5:16 says if you walk by the Holy Ghost, you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. If you’ll concentrate on God’s goodness, and encourage others along the way, you will experience more joy. God loves you so much, and with His help you can control your tongue and be led by the Spirit daily.
Hope you have a blessed day!

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Lake Havasu in Pictures

Friday, March 27, 2015