Psalms: Songs of Hope - Week #1

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April 18, 2020 • Beth Guckenberger

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Are you feeling troubled, afraid, or without hope? It’s time to move past the fear and anxiety that is prevalent throughout our culture. Beth Guckenberger kicks off our brand new message series, "Psalms: Songs of Hope."

Message Transcript

Hello and welcome to Vineyard Cincinnati Church, where we believe small things done with great love can change the world. We're glad you have decided to worship with us. And because you matter to God, you matter to us. We pray you are encouraged today and invite you to worship and study God's word with a hopeful heart.

Well, Hey, I'm JR Cifani. I serve on staff here at the Vineyard and thanks for joining us today. In Luke 4:18 Jesus read the following from the prophet Isaiah. He read: "The spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind to set the oppressed free to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Now, city gospel mission, who you may know about, is a local organization that proclaims the good news of the Lord by helping the homeless and the hurting break the cycle of poverty and despair right here in our city. And last weekend, the vineyard committed to give all of the online giving over the Easter weekend services to support their ministry. So in just a few minutes, Beth Guckenberger is going to share the amount that we as a church generated for City Gospel Mission just last weekend.

Now I know many of you know that on the outside of our main church building, are carved the words: Small things done with great love will change the world. So no matter what amount you may have been able to contribute large or small, your gift matters to helping City Gospel Mission serve the city, especially during this covid-19 crisis. And you can also participate in the great work God is doing through our church by giving online at vineyard, or text the number that you see on your screen and enter the amount you want to give and just know that your ongoing faithful giving really does matter to the vineyard. Being able to continue to serve the city of Cincinnati, especially during this season. So thank you for your generosity vineyard and now I'm just going to pray over our offering. So father, we're just, we're just grateful for the continued faithfulness and generosity of your people in support of the city of Cincinnati. We just ask that the gifts that are shared would be used to bless your people, bless those that are most needy, father, and use them as fuel to do what you want to do. Your will be done. We trust all these things in your son's name. Jesus. Amen.

Hello, I'm Megan Pielage with Life Reset here at Vineyard Cincinnati Church. You have countless opportunities to engage with other churches and ministries online. Thank you for joining us today. We hope you've been encouraged during medical emergencies. Having a fully stock supply of blood donations can be the difference between life and death, especially in this unique season we're in. That's why we're partnering with Hoxworth blood center to host a blood drive on Saturday, May 2nd from nine to three at Vineyard Cincinnati chapel. Because of social distancing guidelines, the Hoxworth staff will lead the way by providing an experience that is both safe for the community and for you. Preregistration to donate blood is required. Visit our website for more information. Let's do this Vineyard. Looking for a fun way to bless and serve in this season of coronavirus. All you need to do is tag your neighbor. Number one, it's easy.

Simply go to our website and print the tag that looks like this. Number two, it's family friendly and a great way for parents and kids to serve together. Number three, it makes an impact. Your neighbors will feel the love and will be prompted to pass it on. Most importantly, be creative and have fun and while you're at it, post a photo with the hashtag small things, great love and Vineyard. Cincinnati now go be the church. As our church has moved completely online, there's a chance that you've just found us and you're brand new to the Vineyard Cincinnati family. If that's the case, welcome. We're glad you're here. We'd love to get to know you better and we'd also love to share what makes this community so unique, so we have created a digital connect card, especially with you in mind. Visit to share your details and someone will be in touch real soon. It's that easy. Again, that's if you would like to know more about the heart of Vineyard Cincinnati Church, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,

Hey Vineyard Cincinnati. I'm Beth Guckenberger and I am so excited because in just a minute I'm going to be joined by Roger how he's the president of city gospel mission. I'm going to get a chance to tell him about your radical generosity. Remember last weekend over Easter when we decided to give away our weekend offering to the good work that city gospel mission is doing right here in Cincinnati during the Covid-19 crisis. We're going to get to tell Roger that we see the work that he's doing and some of the most vulnerable populations and we not only see and appreciate the work he's doing, but we are standing there with him. We are right behind him. Let's see what his reaction is. Hey everybody, this is Roger Howell he's the president of City gospel mission and now I get a chance on behalf of all of you to share about your radical generosity. Roger, thanks for joining me. Thanks for having me. So excited. So Roger, as a church body, we were able to collect last weekend, $42,195 and 86 cents.

Good one, 42,000 what an amazing generous group. Thank you.

Oh, I hope that you feel and sense that the body of Christ in this city is behind you and we're behind the good work that you're doing and that we mostly want you to feel things like encouraged and empowered and like we were standing behind you and before you and around you and lifting you up in the work that you're doing.

Oh, thank you so much Beth and thank you all, everybody in the community of vineyard church. I really, really appreciate it and I'm totally shocked and blown away at the amount and wow. Thank you. Thank you very much,

Roger. Let me say a quick blessing for you and those that work alongside you. Jesus, thank you for the work that Roger and his team are doing. Thank you for the ways in which, um, as a, as a kingdom, we stand together with you in the middle of this crisis. Lord, would you continue to show us how to open our hands out to open our hearts and when we should step forward and raise our hand for your service. Thank you. Protect Roger and his team and continue to, um, just breathe your life and power through their lives as they minister in the city and I pray all these things in your precious name, amen

and Lord Jesus, we just pray for Beth as she leads the vineyard and Lord, we just pray for everyone in the vineyard church. You would bless them, guide them and protect them. We thank you Jesus, in your name we pray. Amen. Amen.

Welcome to the first of our series in the book of Psalms. Psalms is a really great book. If you're familiar with the Bible or if you aren't, there's a lot of wisdom and truth and comfort and insight for us during this season that we're all in the middle of. I find that for me, really what Psalms does is it steadies my heart. It puts words in my mouth that I'm looking for of praise or questions. David, who wrote most of the Psalms is a great question-asker and God loves a good question asker. Probably if you asked me, my favorite verse of the Bible comes out of the book of Joshua. It says in Joshua chapter one verse eight, do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth, but meditate on it day and night so you can be careful to do everything that's written in it.

Then you find yourself prosperous and successful. That word meditate in that passage, it's kind of a soft word in English and it comes from this root word. This Hebrew word, hagad, and hagad in Hebrew is an onomatopoeia. Anybody remember this from high school English classes? Onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like what it is. So in English we have the onomatopoeias of "pop" and "hiss" and "boom", Hagad The word we translate as meditate literally means the sound a lion makes when he consumes his prey. So nobody actually says hagad the way I'm saying it, they would actually say it in a way that would sound like they were eating something. So that verse is better translated as do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth but consume it like a lion would its prey so you can be careful to do everything that's written in it.

Then you'll find yourself prosperous and successful. I'm going to take one of the most familiar Psalms that we have, Psalm 23 and we're going to consume it like a lion would. It's prey, we're going to put it, we're going to chew on it and think about it and pull it apart and look at it and turn it around and smell it and see what God has for us in that passage. It starts out the Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures and I kind of like right off the bat, the first thing that my shepherd does when he declares himself my shepherd is he tells me to lie down and to rest. We live in a pretty anxious culture. I mean, just take a look at the toilet paper situation, right? We have a pretty anxious culture and God is telling us right off the bat, you know what?

I'm your shepherd. Lay down here. Rest everything that you need. I'll provide for you. I can remember, I was traveling to Israel one time and I was, we were just on a bus, like driving through the country and we stopped our bus to observe a shepherd that was on the hillside with a bunch of sheep and goats that the shepherd was taking care of. And the first thing I noticed was the sheep. They were lined up in these straight lines. I didn't know anything about sheep in the wild, but they walk in straight lines and the goats were kind of all over the place. And I was like, that's interesting. And the shepherd was walking along between where the sheep were all lined up and was like talking to them and pointing something out. And after observing them for a minute, I said to our guide, a man named Ray Vanderlawn, I said, um, did we just not pick like the sharpest shepherd to look at?

Because he's got a bunch of animals up on that hillside and it's like rocky and brown. And I don't even see any grass. Like what, where are they grazing? What are they eating? And he said, Oh, Beth, look underneath the rock. The dew from the morning gets stuck up underneath those rocks. There's little tufts of grass under those rocks. You can see them and when I moved one of the rocks under it, I could see underneath it he was right. There was a little tough to grass, really no bigger than my human fist, just like a little tuft of grass. And then I was always paying attention to like, okay, that's what they're doing. They're reaching underneath the rocks and eating the grass. I was watching the shepherd from his vantage point, his height, he could see ahead where different tufts of grass were hiding and that's what he was telling the shepherds, the sheep he was pointing out to them and that that, that word that we get that describes a straight line, the the sheep are walking on, comes from the same word where we derive the phrase path of righteousness.

Really the sheep are on a path of righteousness listening for the voice of the shepherd. And as I was watching them, I'm like, Oh look, they're biting one of those Tufts of grass, and like a tuft of grass this big only takes you like two steps to eat, right? They just like to take two bites. You swallow it, then you need like more food. So you're listening again for that shepherd. And he was pointing out again where that sheep was and so where that grass was. And so we're like just walking like watching the sheep. They're like taking a bite, step, step, listening for their shepherd, taking a bite, step step, listening for their shepherd. And as you're sitting there, I said, nobody better get out their Bibles and read to me Psalm 23 because when I think about a shepherd who's leading me to a place of green pastures, I'm thinking about a field full of waist-high alfalfa.

I'm not thinking about a little tiny tuft of grass, hidden underneath some rocks in the middle of what looks like a wilderness, like a desert. And as I thought about and I was challenged to think about the image that I had in my mind that I thought the shepherd was going to give me those green pastures. It was a, it was an image of independence. Like I want, I want a field where I can eat whatever I want, however much I want, as long as I want. I mean, I'll tell God thank you before and after, but give me an abundance. The image that I was looking at was exactly like what David would have been looking at when he wrote this song and he was creating a picture of dependence that those sheep needed to be dependent on the voice of the shepherd staying in that path of righteousness so they could get the sustenance that they needed in that space.

That's why there's an expression that sometimes rabbis used that worry is like eating tomorrow's problems on today's grass. There's just not enough for today and tomorrow. We've got to stay in the moment we're in and when we learn how to settle on a path of righteousness and listen for the voice of the shepherd and be grateful and satisfied about the the gift that he's giving us in that moment, that's when that's when we begin to experience that kind of rest, but sometimes we find ourselves in the rocky wilderness and we think to ourselves, what kind of shepherd would take me here? But you can read all throughout your Bible that God actually often led his person, his people into the wilderness because that's where he got, he got to know them. That's where he got their attention. In fact, the word for wilderness literally means "the place of the word."

Think about the different biblical characters. He took into the wilderness, right? He took Abraham there. He took Moses there. He took Isaiah there. He took Jesus there because inside of that wilderness, in that place of the word, people were able to focus on him. They were able to get to know him and that that that idea of the Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, green pastures is it represents new growth and if there's anything I think that we can all testify that has happened to us in the last month or so is we've had some new areas of growth. We've had muscles we've had to use and and experiences that we couldn't have even have imagined at the start of the year. We're in this area of new growth and can we believe or trust the Lord is leading us there. He's in that space with us and will sustain us and we will lack nothing in the midst of it.

It goes on to say he leads me beside quiet waters. I don't know about you. I can thirst for all kinds of things, but only my shepherd knows what kind of waters are safe for me to drink. There's a verse in Jeremiah, it's chapter two verse 13 and it says this, my people have committed two sins. He's speaking through the prophet Jeremiah. My people have committed two sins. They've forsaken me, the spring of living water. God has always represented himself as the fresh water, the living water, the water that sustains the water that we most need. They forsaken me the spring of living water and they've dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that can't hold water. And I, I, I can just tell you, I mean, have we ever felt as thirsty or can you remember a time when, as a country we felt as thirsty as we are feeling right now?

And there's all kinds of places we can go to quench our thirst. One of those paths lead us to the living water where we find the gifts that he has for us. And one of those paths lead to other kinds of things that actually in the end leave us feeling even thirstier than when we started. In the desert, believe it or not, one of the chief causes of death is actually flooding. I know that doesn't even make sense in the desert, but there's limestone mountains and, where David would have written this. And what can happen is the, it doesn't rain very often, but when the rain does come, they run, they don't absorb into that limestone. They create these things called Wadis and the water can rush really fast down those wadis and anything in its path will be drowned and then after the waters stop and the rain or the sun would dry up, most of it, there'll be a little patches of water still left in the Wadi, but that water is not safe.

That water's dangerous. Cause if you get attracted to that water and there's a flash flood, you'll be taken away and a good shepherd knows, no matter how thirsty you are, dangerous water won't satisfy. In fact, it'll put you at risk, and we have a shepherd this Psalm teaches us, that leads us away from our dangerous waters and instead takes us to quiet waters to waters that are peaceful or still that satisfy. It goes on to in verse three to say this shepherd, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his namesake. Psalm 19 seven, we'll go on to say this: The law of the Lord is perfect. It refreshes our soul. So what refreshes our soul? God's word refreshes our soul. It gives us things like encouragement. It gives us things like conviction. In church history There's this person that I I never met.

Um, but I have long respected her ministry and what has happened as a result of her ministry. There is a Sunday school teacher in, uh, California. Her name was Henrietta Mears. She was, um, the Sunday school teacher at first Presbyterian Hollywood in 1928. She started her ministry. Probably the most famous thing that she created and Sunday school material was a book that was simply called What the Bible is All About. In her ministry that was her chief goal, to make sure those that came through her class understood that this word, this thing that we're supposed to meditate on day and night, that's supposed to bring refreshment to our soul. This is where we get what we need for all the circumstances of our life. She wasn't really all that fancy but she simply taught and live the Bible. Here are some of the students that came through her class.

One of them is bill and vonette Bright. Bill and Vonette went on to found campus crusade for Christ today known as cru. Cru is all over the world. One of the things that they have done is create something called the Jesus film that has been seen by 8 billion people. It's simply a retelling of the gospel in a way that would be accessible to people across every corner of this globe. One of the people that went through her Sunday school class was Dawson Trotman. He was the founder of navigators. Today Navigators that ministry has staff in 103 different countries. Jim Rayburn, he is the founder of young life. Young life is a ministry that led my husband to the Lord. Another one of her students was Richard Howardson. He was the U S Senate chaplain for 15 years and the and the chairman of world vision for over 20 years.

Another one of her students was Ronald Reagan. He, of course was our 40th president of the United States. Another one of her students was Billy Graham. Billy Graham preached in person to over 80 million people. Somehow these students and her Sunday school class caught the most important thing as the most important thing, and that's this word of God, that this is what refreshes our soul. She understoodm this Henrietta Mears, this example, and in our church history, she understood this idea of planting a Tamarisk tree. Now bear with me for a minute. This is a momentary lesson and biblical horticulture, but a Tamarisk tree is a tree that grows, that doesn't actually full bare all of its fruit for a generation or two or sometimes three, it's slow, it's slow growing. Um, one of the reasons why the Tamarisk tree gets a little bit of attention in the Bible is because God made some promises to a biblical character named Abraham.

You can read all about his story in the book of Genesis. He basically told Abraham two things. You're going to have as many descendants as stars in the sky and you're going to have a land in which they're going to dwell, and that was crazy town because the man was really old and his wife was barren, but he believed that that was true and on the edge and in Genesis chapter 21 you can read it on the edge of that promised land he believed was going to be his. He planted some Tamarisk tree as a symbol of his faith that he knew that land was going to be theirs and in it would live the generations that were to come, even though at that moment he didn't know it, that there's a a saying that we should be planting Tamarisk trees every day. We should be doing things on a regular basis that will not be for our own immediate benefit, but will be for the benefit of the generations that come behind us.

That's the kind of example that Henrietta Mears understood that by her doing what God has asked her to do and investing in those who are in her Sunday school class, that they would go on and touch people in every country of this world. I think about, um, they, they found this, um, declaration for, for lack of a better phrase, that the declaration that she wrote on the inside of her Bible and I've been reading it lately just wanting to remember. In the world that's competing for our attention that's offering us all kinds of water from broken cisterns at every corner. What is the most important thing? Here's what she wrote inside of her Bible. I will win the personal allegiance of every one of my class to the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, in a world where we're trying to get likes for ourselves and all of our social media pages, she says, you know who the only person I want to get likes for, I want to get likes for the Lord Jesus Christ.

I will walk and I will write and I will pay and I will remain close to them until they are established. I will associate with them and fellowship. I'll make myself available to them and I will see that they are committed to some definite task. She understood that principle that our Bible teaches us that we have been called for and to something and that we can take hold of that which God has asked of us. She says, I'll put the cross back into my Christianity and I'll pray as I've never prayed before for a new vision of God. I will spend and be spent in the battle and will not seek ease or rest. I will seek fellowship with a man of sorrows as he walks through this stricken world and I will not fail. That kind of firmness of conviction can only be sustained when we go like that, like it says in that Psalm and get refreshed by the word of God.

It goes on to say in verse four even though I walk through the darkest Valley, I will fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me and I just want you to imagine with me, any scene you've ever seen of a shepherd with sheep in any setting, right? We can picture, there's always like a staff, right? Think that great big tall stick that he uses to put the sheep to get, keep the sheep on that path of righteousness to pull them in together. We don't usually see images of shepherds with a giant rod in their hand, but we have a shepherd who not only wants to collect us and bring us together and keep us safe, but he also wants to be aware of that which is coming to threaten us. Our shepherd has a rod in his hand because he understands we have an enemy and that enemy is after us and he with his rod can protect us from that, which is coming.

One time when I was um, over in Israel, we were looking at those great big gladiator stadiums. Can you picture that from any movie you've ever seen? Gladiator fights with like the sand on the ground during a terrible season of Roman rule. They had different sports where they would bring, um, humans out the gladiator pits and they would fight to death. And one of the games in particular was they would chain two humans together and they would release those two humans against a wild animal. And if the two humans could learn to work together, they almost always defeated the animal. But if at any point those humans began to fight against each other, the animal won every single time. And Paul would use some of that language later in some of his letters when he talks about as being chained together, I think about the stories that, that God has written for us in our lives and the people that he allowed us to be connected to, right.

The people that he's allowed us to be alongside or back to back with. And he's saying to us, listen, I will protect you. I will keep you in. Recognize who you're in this story with. Fight again. Like when I think about the wild animal. 1 Peter will talk about how our enemy's like a roaring lion wanting to devour us at any turn. Like we have this opportunity to recognize that we have a shepherd with a rod and a staff, and it is his desire to take care of us and to protect us. It goes on to say in verse five you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. If I was writing this, which I didn't, but if I was writing this, I'd say there'd be a table for just the two of us far away from the enemy. Right? But that's not what God wrote.

He wrote, we're going to have a table and I'll prepare it for you, but we're going to be in the presence of your enemies and do I think the enemy is satisfied with just watching me sit there and eat with my savior? Absolutely not. He's going to be constantly trying to pull up a chair to my table. He's going to be constantly trying to talk to me and invite me and talk me into allowing him to have space at my table. He's going to be saying things to us in the middle of this covid crisis, like this is really bad and you are not gonna make it and you better listen to me because I'm the only thing that brings you comfort or relief or convenience or a way out. This enemy, what he wants to do is cause you to trip up and stop following Jesus because he, he wants you to think that there's no point in continuing because it is his desire to hurt us because he wants to hurt God and we are God's kids.

And if he can hurt us, he'll hurt our father. And that's his chief goal. Who the enemy is saying like, you know, I'm, you're not, you're, I'm going to take you in the Valley and in that Valley, you're not gonna make it. But we have a shepherd that says to us, I'm actually going to be with you in the Valley and you don't need to worry about anything. You lie down and rest. I've got a rod and I've got a staff, I'll, I'll take care of you. We can't really control what enemy prowls around our table while we sit there. We have been given authority like God has given us authority as his kids to invite people to and from that table we've been given this gift of free will so you have the ability to say, in the name of Jesus, enemy, you don't have any place at my table and in the name of Jesus.

I'm not going to listen to you any longer in the name of Jesus, I'm going to consume this word of God like a lion with it's pray because I believe this is what's going to sustain me and I think that the measure of the peace of God that we have in our lives is that is the countenance of our faith. Like the look of our faces in the middle of the presence of the enemies. If we can be calm. Last week on Easter, we talked a little bit about that word Shalom, that filling in of the cracks. If we can believe that God wants to fill in our cracks and wants to be with us in the middle of that table, then it doesn't matter what anybody wants to roar around us. It doesn't matter how much noise they make. It doesn't matter how many lies they whisper.

It doesn't matter because we have a shepherd and he's here with us at that table. He goes on to say, your head, uh, you, you anoint my head with oil and my cup overflows. There's this Bedouin custom buttons are like nomadic shepherds. They existed a long time ago in ancient days and they still exist today. You can see bedouin shepherds in different parts of the world today, they have this custom. If you get invited into a Bedouin shepherd's tent, they're going to offer to you something to drink, probably tea or coffee or water. And if you drink everything that they've all the liquid in your cup, their assumption is you want more and they're going to give you more. They're going to fill your cup again. And if you drink everything the second time being a good guest, they're going to give you a third cup.

In fact, if you want to signal to your host, you don't want anything more to drink, you've got to leave a little bit more in your cup. And that's this idea of the overflowing cup. God says, you know what? I'm going to make your cup overflow. You drain your cup. I'll fill it again. You drain your cup I'll fill it again. You drain your cup. I'll feel it again. If you want me to stop filling your cup, leave some there for yourself. Start self-preserving and take care of yourself, but here's, here's the deal. If you pour yourself out on my behalf, I'm going to overflow your cup. It goes on to say in that last verse of Psalm 23, surely your goodness and your love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

That word, surely man, that sounds like David is confident of God's love for him and he's confident that love will actually follow him. Another way to say that is the love will actually pursue him and you know what pursuit looks like, right? You know what it looks like to be pursued. I was thinking about when I first met my husband, we were high school students and it was about a month after Valentine's day and I remember saying to him on our first day, like where were you a month ago when all the girls in my high school were getting like flowers and chocolate and I was walking around all by myself. Like you showed up a month too late the next day at school and first period the door knocked on my first period class and there was like a messenger from the office and there was a dozen roses and the card said, sorry, I'm a month late.

I was like, Oh, that's so sweet. Then I went to second period and second period there was a knock at the door and there was another bouquet of flowers and another note about, you know, this is making up for all the days I lost this month. And then third period and fourth period. And we had eight periods in my high school junior year. So I went home that day with eight bouquets of flowers. And when I showed up at my house, my dad's, this looks like a guy who's in pursuit. Like that's what pursuit looks like. It's a chasing after you. God says in this passage, what's going to chase after you goodness and love all the days of your life. I can't stop it. It's going to overwhelm you. Goodness and love are going to come for you because you're my kid and surely it's going to happen all the days of your life.

When I think about, um, the power of this passage, if in the week to come, you find yourself in any moment overwhelmed by the circumstances you've got going on by the unknown of your future, by the questions you have in your heart. By the temptation of dangerous waters, by lies that are being whispered into your ear. What what? What tool do you have? What choices do you have? You can get out this Psalm 23 and you can just pray through it. Use these words. If you don't have the right words, close your eyes and read through it and say, the Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. Lord, thank you for being my shepherd. Show me what it is that you've given me. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. Thank you for teaching me what it looks like to rest.

Thank you for the waters that you have that will punch my thirst. He refreshes my soul. He guides me along. Just pray through each of those verses and allow the word of God to sanctify, to to wash over, to realign our thinking. I think that's, I think that's what that verse and Joshua 1:8 that I started with. I think that's what it means when we're supposed to meditate on it day and night when we're supposed to consume it, because what it ends up giving us is actually more than we can hold onto. It's like hope, comfort instruction. It meets us uniquely whatever our storyline is and walks us into what God has for us next with his presence and his peace. That's his fingerprint. When you begin to feel, feel that filling into the cracks, that's, that's the fingerprint of God.

I'm looking forward to spending the next couple of weeks in Psalms with you. I'd love to hear about the way in which you use Psalm 23 this week in your life. Let us know how that happens and would you pray with me now? Jesus, thank you that you're the shepherd. Thank you. We can trust you in all ways. Thank you that you are leading us and guiding us and sustaining us and that no matter what Valley we feel like we're in the middle of or, no matter what enemy we feel roaring around beside us. Thank you that our faces can demonstrate our understanding of the fact that you are there in the midst of it with us. We trust you, Lord. We trust you with what we can't see, with what we don't know, with what we don't like and what we can't control. We trust you with it. Would you continue to bring your truth,

your presence, your love, and in through our lives, and I pray all these things and your Holy and precious name.


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