YouVersion for the win!//Brooke

I received a text today asking about devotional/time in the Word ideas.  I was quickly reminded of the blessed YouVersion app.  You probably have it on your phone– if not it’s a quick app store search and you are done!  In addition to the whole Bible in many different translations there is a whole section called [plans] with a zillion Bible reading plans.  (The plans can also be found at bible.com.)  Here are several that I am going to recommend to my friend and you: //click on image to read more about each devo//

note: I encourage you to pick one of these or another Bible reading plan not because we must but because God is Mysterious, Grand, Near and Worthy!  Let us press on to know Him more and more.  

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Chan also has 3 other plans that are worth check out: Multiply, Erasing Hell, & Crazy Love.

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Piper also has a “15 days in the Word” devo that looks fantastic–he looks into what Scripture says about personal holiness, wealth, the sovereignty of God, fear, anxiety, backsliding, joy, humility and more!

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**Tim Keller also has a 6 day devotional on Galatians that is worth checking out!**

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A new day, a new summer//Brooke

We are back, friends! We will have weekly posts from Tidewater & Richmond staff and students all summer long!  We pray it will encourage you as you walk by faith this summer.  Big shout out to MEG WALKER for giving our blog a face lift!

One area I want to focus on this sumPicTapGo-Image (10)mer is praising God no matter what. no matter the circumstance. on the mundane days and on the happy, happy days. As you know life is hard, complex, anxiety ridden, busting with joy and surprise too but God is near and good and for us even on the hard days.  And I want to remember Him.

One thing I started doing last month was “30 days of Adoration.” One of my favorite authors(Sara Hagerty) put together this free printable & it helped be slow down and think about one attribute of God each day and praise Him for it and reflect on how I had seen Him at work in my life in that particular way.  It was really good for my soul.  I’m excited to continue it this month.

I think it’s so important for us to think about God.  To think rightly about Him. There’s SO MUCH pulling for our attention that we can forget or distort who God really is.

The famous quote by A.W. Tozer is SO true, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

Todays focus of adoration is– The One Whose Very Person Dispells Fear! And the scripture that she linked to it: “They[the disciples] had rowed 3 or 4 miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat.  They were terrified, BUT HE called out to them, Don’t be afraid. I AM HERE.”   Praise God! Don’t we need to remember that today?  That He is here and we don’t have to be afraid.

Let us remember God this summer and celebrate His character and nearness. He is good!  Let’s not miss an opportunity to know Him more.

//to go deeper into this topic check out this article//

 

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I Shall Not Want//Jocelyn

Growing up in a Christian home, Psalm 23 was one of the first lengthy (or at least lengthy for a child) passages I memorized. I can still remember the chapter being written out in marker on a dry erase board downstairs where I’d play with my toys.
Back then, I didn’t understand the deep meaning of this passage, and the same was true for many other passages that have now become really dear to me. I’m definitely not claiming to now know all there is to know about this Psalm, but over the past few years and even more-so very recently, it has come to life for me as I dive into it more and more.

Although not very long in the grand scheme of things, each individual statement in this passage could probably have its own sermon. I only want to focus on one part: “I shall not want.”


{ Fun fact: When I first memorized this chapter, I seemed to always say the first verse as one fluid sentence, which made me confused. “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want”? So I don’t want Him? What? Commas and semicolons make all the difference, people. ; ) }

I love how various versions put it:”The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” (ESV)
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.” (NIV)
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need.” (NLT)

How many of us can genuinely say that? I lack nothing. I don’t have a need for anything else. I’ll never be in want. Why? Simply because the LORD is MY Shepherd. The Psalm elaborates from there, but I think it’s interesting to note that “I shall not want” doesn’t come at the end, as if to say “here are all the reasons, and that’s why I won’t be in want.” No, The Lord is my Shepherd, and that’s it. That’s enough. I lack nothing. The rest of the chapter is simply a list of the many other benefits that come along with the Lord being my Shepherd.

I realize how much I want my heart to be able to say this at every moment. I’m convicted that this isn’t the case, but at the same time I’m so overwhelmed in the best way at how much depth this one verse has, and that allows me to sink into the goodness of Jesus.

Something that has recently allowed me to learn more about not only this one verse, but Psalm 23 as a whole, is the book “A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23” by W. Phillip Keller.
A man with firsthand shepherding experience, Keller expounds on the Psalm, each line having it’s own chapter. It’s so eye-opening to read the perspective of this real life shepherd and get further confirmation on just how humorously similar we are to sheep, and how beyond qualified God is in His role as our Shepherd.

“He came to set men free from their own sins, their own selves, their own fears. Those so liberated loved Him with fierce loyalty. It is this One who insists that He was the Good Shepherd, the understanding Shepherd, the concerned Shepherd who cares enough to seek out and save and restore lost men and women.”

In the chapter titled “I Shall Not Be In Want,” Keller writes:

“Actually the word ‘want,’ as used here, has a broader meaning than might at first be imagined. No doubt the main concept is that of not lacking – not deficient – in proper care, management, or husbandry. But a second emphasis is the idea of being utterly contented in the Good Shepherd’s care and consequently not craving or desiring anything more.”

I want. Regularly. {And for those of us who attended Radiate this year, who can forget Paul Tripp’s “I WANT, I WANT, I WANT” portion of his talk?! Again I admit, yep, that’s me.} I find myself being similar in some aspects to a stubborn ewe that Keller describes in his book. “She was simply never contented with things as they were. Often when she forced her way through some such spot in a fence…she would end up feeding on bare, brown, burned up pasturage of a most inferior sort. But she never learned her lesson and continued to fence crawl time after time.” When I seek after other “pastures,” I’m continually dissatisfied. How often do I lose sight of the lush green pastures that the Lord provides me with. Although He doesn’t promise a life with no difficulties, He does promise that He will always be with me (Matt. 28:20b) and will supply all of my needs (Phil. 4:19).

We must understand that as believers, under the loving & compassionate care of our Good Shepherd, we can proudly boast “The Lord is my Shepherd – I shall not be in want. I am completely satisfied with His management of my life.”

If you’ve grown up with this passage or are well familiar with it, it helps to have new and fresh perspectives of it. Being someone who really connects with the Lord through music, here are some songs I recommend. A lot of the lyrics came to mind even as I was writing this:
“I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad.“When I taste Your goodness, I shall not want.”



“King of Love” by I Am They.
{HUGE favorite! The whole song is basically all of Psalm 23, but the vocabulary is changed just enough that it might be easy to miss if you don’t pay attention. It’s beautiful.}“The King of Love my Shepherd is, Whose goodness faileth never. I nothing lack if I am His, and He is mine forever.
“The House of God Forever” by Jon Foreman.“God is my Shepherd, I won’t be wanting.”
I’d recommend listening to and meditating on them as you ask the Lord make this statement true in your life!
Hi, I’m Jocelyn! I gave my life to Jesus at a young age, but it was during my college years and involvement with Cru at IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania – crazy confusing, I know) that my intellectual knowledge really started to move toward heart knowledge. Jesus grew my heart for ministry along the way, and I joined staff with Cru during the summer of 2015! I’m thrilled that I’ve been placed on the Tidewater Metro team and am currently trusting the Lord to finish my support so I can head there soon! I’m really passionate about ice cream & Chipotle, and I love documenting moments of my life through videos on youtube (and Instagram.. and Snapchat :p). I could probably say more but I’m super indecisive about these things, as with most things. My personal blog is singinghisgrace.com. Stop over there or on social media and say hi at any time! 🙂