I first met him 51 years ago next month. I was just 12 years old and didn’t really know much or think much about him. But in April of 1967 he became real as he invaded our house without invitation and took three things: (1) my 16 year old sister; (2) my mom and dad’s heart, and (3) my naive childlike view of a generally serene life without pain. Who was that intruder? His name was “death” and as the years go by I know him better and hate him more. God hates death too. It was not part of His divine design for man and He hates death so much He sent Jesus His Son to defeat it (I.e. “remove its stinger”). He also gave instructions on how to find and give the gift of comfort when we or those we love must walk through “death valley”.
That’s why I hope you will join us this Sunday as we look at the gift of comfort in week four of our series called The Farm: Life Lessons From The Good Shepherd. As we look at Psalm 23:4 and other passages we will identify what dark valleys look like and how to experience and express God’s comfort when we find ourselves on a rough road. I can’t think of a better reason or season to come by and to bring a friend as everyone has or will have to go through a dark valley. We also will be hearing from some amazing North Ridgers who have found and are finding comfort through the power of Jesus and His flock. It’s going to be a powerful day and I can’t wait to see what God has to teach us.
Time to let you go! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that you log some H.Q.T. (High Quality Time) with the Good Shepherd and with His Good Sheep here at North Ridge. If you’re kind of new to North Ridge, stop by our Newcomers Social after our 9:00 AM or 10:45 AM services as we’d love to get to know you and tell you a little more about our church. We just had 18 people complete the most recent membership class, and last week had about 30 attend week one of our Christianity 101 class! If you want to check out Christianity 101, it’s not too late to stop by this week! I sure do love being a small part of the big work God is doing through you and our crew. Keep rocking!
Together In His Love,
PS Remember to keep working on memorizing the 23rd Psalm by Easter!
Some Of This Coming Week’s Scripture Passages: (Your One-A-Day Vitamin)
Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 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.
Psalm 23:4-6 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.
Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
Isaiah 43:2-3a When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.