THE NEW EWE

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

April 24, 2013

LIFE IN THE FOLD:

Philippians 4:19 says, "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Often when we think of God supplying our needs, we tend to think of the material; such as God will make sure we have food to eat, a roof over our head, money to pay the bills, clothes to wear, etc. I do believe that God will provide for the material things that are necessities, and I have stood upon this promise many times throughout my life.

In Matthew 6:25-30 Jesus addresses this: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds in the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable then they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you -- you of little faith?"

God made sure the Israelites had food and water on their forty year trek to the Promised Land. When they didn't have water, God would cause water to flow from a rock; enough for all the people and their animals. When they didn't have food, God sent bread from heaven. In fact, Deuteronomy 29:5 says, "I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet."

When we are faithful to God and trust in His provision, He will be faithful to honor His word. Our needs will be met, just as He provided those forty years for the Israelites.

But what of our spiritual, emotional, or mental needs? I believe that Psalm 23 is a promise of provision and protection for those needs.

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." Another version says, "The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack."

The following verses describe what the Lord, as our Shepherd, will do:

"He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

"He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

God provides a place of rest for us when we're weary. He refreshes and restores our soul. Even when we go through those periods of time when we are walking through the deep, sunless valley of the shadow of death, we don't have to fear or dread, for God is with us. His rod (to protect) and His staff (to guide) will bring us comfort. Even when we are facing the enemy, God will prepare a table for us so that we can be nourished and strengthened. He will anoint us and cause our cup to overflow. Only goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives. The house of the Lord and His presence shall be our dwelling place forever.

God doesn't give us everything we need for our entire journey all at once, and then we have to worry about whether or not we'll run out of supplies. But each day, each moment He will give us what we need for that time.

When Jon and I have traveled internationally, packing has been a big ordeal. When we went to Singapore, I looked up climate information and found out that it was pretty much steady temperatures 24/7 because of Singapore's proximity to the equator. But neither of us had ever traveled internationally and I wasn't sure what the hotel laundry service would be like, what the customs were for dining in the evening, etc. We were there for three weeks and I didn't want to be there without the necessary clothing. So I ended up way overpacking!

When we went to Germany, I knew a little more what to expect and knew that we could count on hotel laundry service so it wasn't necessary for me to take as many changes of clothes, although we were there for 2 1/2 weeks. But the problem was the time of year we went. There were times when we needed a heavy coat and winter-type clothes, but also times when we needed short-sleeves and just a lightweight rain jacket. So there was a variety of clothes that we needed so I had to try and figure out how to utilize our limited suitcase space. It ended up the jacket I took was perfect for about the first week we were there, then it warmed up and the jacket was too heavy. But it would be sunny and warm, then would suddenly (and I do mean suddenly) turn cloudy and the temperature would drop 10-15 degrees and would rain, then just minutes later be sunny and warm again. So I quickly learned to never go out without a jacket. I ended up buying a lightweight rain jacket while I was there.

I had to try and plan what to pack for a 2 1/2 to 3 week trip so we would have all the necessities with us. It was difficult because I couldn't really plan for anything unexpected and had to go by the information I found online. Shopping in Germany was fine if we needed anything. But in Singapore, the clothing in all the shopping areas surrounding our hotel was horribly expensive (name brand stores like you would find in NYC or Hollywood). We knew before we left that we would have to adapt and get by with what I took; because I really didn't know what I was doing.

My point being, God will daily give us what we need for that day. We don't have to worry about how we're going to get through next week, next month, or next year. We don't even have to concern ourselves with how we're going to manage tomorrow. God is not going to forget about us but will consistently provide for our needs. He's not going to make us guess or try to adapt or just get by; but God will give us what we need, when we need it.

Take comfort in the knowledge that: 1. God will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory. 2. The Lord is your Shepherd, you shall not want or suffer lack.

JON'S PERSPECTIVE:

When the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, God sent them manna to eat. I'm not sure what exactly manna is, but I've been told it was like bread. But it only lasted one night. God told them not to gather more than they could eat that day. Of course, some people took more than they needed, to keep some for the next day, just in case God let them down. The surplus they took spoiled.

In another story, Elisha stayed with a widow who was almost out of cooking oil. Each day, the oil jar had enough to cook with for the next day.

On the other hand, Joseph was able to interpret a dream warning the Egyptians to save up one fifth of each harvest for 7 years to help them through a 7 year famine.

There are times in our lives when God will provide for us each day, and we need to trust that He will provide for us the next day. There are other times when God will prosper us, and we need to have the wisdom to save a portion for famine later.

We need to pray for wisdom to know which is which.

ON THE MENEWE:

Mexican Surprise Cake

Cake:

2 cups Flour

2 tsp. Vanilla

2 cups Sugar

20 oz. Crushed Pineapple

2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 cup Nuts

2 Eggs

Mix ingredients together. Put in 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Icing:

1 stick Butter, softened

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 pkg. Cream Cheese, softened

2 cups Powdered Sugar

Beat ingredients together until smooth. Spread on cooled cake.

THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER:

I just want to thank my sweet husband for buying me a new zero turn mower this year! I have done all the mowing and yard work for the past 5-6 years and have used a self-propel mower. Our yard is fairly big (it took me about 3 hours to mow it), and for the past couple years I've been trying to convince Jon that I was getting too old to walk behind a mower in the heat of summer! I really, really, really like my new mower and I can now mow and weed eat our yard in about half the time it used to take me. And I have to say that I'm just pretty good with the zero turn! I'm a happy woman!!

THOUGHT TO PONDER:

Content or discontent -- which tent do you live in? - seen on a bank sign

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU:

We love you!

Loretta & Jon

E-Mail: shepherd@grayengineers.com

http://www.graysheep.org