Archive for the ‘MEASURE – measure’ Category

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With just a few days left before Christmas i thought this story may inspire us to take one last look at the gifts we’re giving and to whom we’re giving them and then… just maybe, we will add 1 more gift as we’re inspired by the story. Let me add this to the story before reading it. Last year there were over 46 million people at poverty level. That’s 15% of our population. 16.1% of that number are children. 3.9% of the number are people age 65 and older. It means that they made less than $24,000.00 for the year. By the way that’s gross income.

The Dime…

Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby didn’t wear boots; he didn’t like them and anyway he didn’t own any. The thin         sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already.         And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother’s Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, “This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don’t have any money to spend.”

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn’t because his mother didn’t care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far.

What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity. Bobby had two older and one younger sister,         who ran the house hold in their mother’s absence. All three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother. Somehow it just wasn’t fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.

Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn’t easy being six without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to. Bobby walked from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window.

Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach.

It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun’s rays reflecting off of something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment.

As he held his new-found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when the salesperson told him that he couldn’t buy anything with only a dime.

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could         buy one flower for his mother’s Christmas gift. The shop owner looked at Bobby and his ten cent offering.

Then he put his hand on Bobby’s shoulder and said to him, “You just wait here and I’ll see what I can do for you.” As Bobby waited he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers.

The sound of the door closing as the last customer left, jolted Bobby back to reality. All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid. Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the counter.

There, before Bobby’s eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby’s         heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white box.

“That will be ten cents young man,” the shop owner said reaching out his hand for the dime. Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime.         Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for his dime!

Sensing the boy’s reluctance, the shop owner added, “I just happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?”

This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner was         holding for Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, “Merry Christmas son.”

As he returned inside, the shop keeper’s wife walked out. “Who were you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?”

Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied, “A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn’t sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway.

Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime.

“When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I too, was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars. “When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a dozen of my very best roses.” The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn’t feel cold at all.

The hope is that this story stirred the spirit of CHRISTmas in you enough to do something you may not have planned or may not even be able to afford. I’ll close today with this…, Goodness is the only investment that doesn’t fail.

I’m Dr Ed Peterson and you’re reading or listening to meandIAM. Thank you and have a Merry Christmas

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Doing my best doesn’t just happen. It must be intentional. i begin by having a plan for making small, but consistent improvements each day and thus that is MEASURE #14.

Being the best isn’t about knowing the most. Being the best is about confidently admitting i don’t know it all, while embracing every opportunity to learn and grow from the wisdom of others and through circumstances. i need to have confidence in my ability to learn, not in the amount of information i already know. i must remember that wisdom comes from gaining knowledge and experience over the course of time – not a day or a week – but over a lifetime.

Wanting to do my best, means becoming proficient at what i do. Here‘s a few things i consider and am working towards:

  • Despise not small beginnings.
  • Don’t be satisfied with Good or Better.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Outwork everyone.
  • Serve.
  • By the end of the day make sure i am a better person than when it started.

Small consistent improvements of the above each and every day allows me to be the best that i can be each and every day. Let me expand on these small consistent improvements.

Despise not small beginnings:

It’s amazing to me to see how many people think certain jobs are beneath them. i guess it’s alright for them, so long as they understand that as long as certain kinds of work is beneath them so will certain grades of pay be beneath them.

Then there are those who have the idea that they have already “paid their dues,” or who have “not-in- my-pay grade” syndrome. i am always willing to roll up my sleeves and “chip in” and help others finish the task.

Don’t overestimate myself:

One of the saddest moments i’ve experienced is having a conversation with someone who once was “all that,” but who now has decided to live off of his or her previous successes. In many cases these types of people have one year of experience at this or that, and then just repeated it over and over? I understand that past accomplishments are merely a foundation for what i am currently doing.

Never Stop Learning:

When i meet people, the number-one thing i try to discern is whether they possess personal integrity. The second thing i try to discern is are they teachable. A teachable spirit is one of the most important traits leading to success in life. Basically, it is an attitude that drives the individual to find out the “why” and “how” of things, rather than just the “what.” One tool to discern this attitude is to ask, “what’s the  most interesting book or article you’ve read recently.”

Outwork Everyone:

It’s said that, “the only place you’ll find “success” before “work” is in the dictionary. It’s sad to say this, but it is such a treat these days to come across someone who really knows how to work. The following poem says it all. The heights by great men, reached and kept, Were not achieved by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Serve Others:

The great philosopher and physician, Albert Schweitzer said, “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

That says it all.

By the end of the day make sure i am a better person than when it started:

Let me share a secret that i’ve found useful when it comes to taking on big projects – such as changing my life. The secret is, take life one step at a time. i don’t need to conquer the world today, but my small consistent improvements will surely make me better at the end of the day than when i started.

This all takes discipline. Discipline that many are not willing to apply and thus at the end of the day, week or even year they will be exactly the same or even worse than when they began. That’s why i continually remind myself that i must do today what others will not so that tomorrow i can do what others can not.

MEASURE #14 is this, Start right now, whether you have to make the plan or whether you have to implement the plan, regardless the goal is for small, consistent improvements and to that, i say “yes!”

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guard-my-heart-400Let me take a moment and explain how this works. A MEASURE has the right reserved to the people to approve or reject an act of the legislature. So with a slight adaptation here’s my use. A MEASURE which in my case is a verse, has the right reserved for me to approve or reject an act of the Word of God.

The plan is to take specific verses, present them as MEASURES, approve or reject them and then focus on applying the MEASURE in my everyday life. Maybe a simpler way of defining MEASURE is to say that MEASURES are a plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose

“My Mama taught me…” “Uncle Joe always said…” “My friend James told me…” When is it time for, “What does God’s Word say? Deuteronomy 30:19-20 points out the choice: “I call heaven and earth to witness against ed this day, that I have set before ed life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore ed should choose life, that ed may live, ed and his seed.” Choose life! Right thinking attracts the blessings of God. Garbage in garbage out! It doesn’t matter how many teachings I hear if i don’t change my mind. However, change my mind, I’m ready for a miracle. Change my mind, everything changes.

Proverbs 4:20-27 warns me to guard my heart. It says, “Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.”

There’s the foundation for MEASURE #12. Guard your heart. To vote yes on MEASURE #12 would be to agree to “listen to God’s words, and keep His message in plain view at all times, to concentrate on it and learn it by heart. It also means that we agree to speak truth, to avoid argument for the sake of argument, to end telling little white lies and no more gossip.

So what do you think? Can I encourage you to vote yes on MEASURE #12, to commit to just one day and see what happens? Change your mind, everything changes! The only way to know for sure if that’s true is for you to try it.

The following are some truths that i find useful in helping me change my mind.

  • i cannot change what i refuse to confront.
  • Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  • i must not think of cost.  I must think of value.
  • No matter how many mistakes i make or how slow i progress, I am still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  • Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how i react to it.
  • I can’t say i don’t have enough time. i have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, etc…
  • If i really want to do something, i’ll find a way. If i don’t, i’ll find an excuse.
  • In life, if I don’t risk anything, i risk everything.
  • When i stop chasing the wrong things i give the right things a chance to catch me.
  • Every single thing that has ever happened in my life is preparing me for a moment that is yet to come.
  • There isn’t anything noble about being superior to another person. True nobility is in being superior to the person i once was.
  • i will never become who i want to be if i keep blaming everyone else for who I am now.
  • i can’t start the next chapter of my life if i keep re-reading my last one.
  • If i don’t like something, change it.  If i can’t change it, change the way i think about it.

Todays closing has nothing to do with MEASURE #12 it just sounded good to me as a parent. Love and appreciate your parents. We are often so busy growing up, we forget they are also growing old.

MEASURE #12 – Change your mind, change everything!

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Let me take a moment and explain how this works. A MEASURE has the right reserved to the people to approve or reject an act of the legislature. So with a slight adaptation here’s my use. A MEASURE which in my case is a verse, has the right reserved for me to approve or reject an act of the Word of God.

The plan is to take specific verses, present them as MEASURES, approve or reject them and then focus on applying the MEASURE in my everyday life. Maybe a simpler way of defining MEASURE is to say that MEASURES are a plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose

This past week I have been sharing regarding fasting. i’m not going to spend a lot of time recapping as it’s all available in the posts or the podcasts. Today MEASURE #11 comes from the book of Esther. Again, i’m not going to spend time telling that whole story, as you can read it for yourself or you may already be familiar with it.

Henry Ford said, “Coming  together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is  success.” That’s what MEASURE #11 is about, all three of those, coming together, keeping together, and working together. If we do that and it’s a true statement, then we all will achieve success.

The short starting place for today is this. Mordecai had sent Esther a message and she responded this way, picking up in verse 11. “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any person, be it man or woman, who shall go into the inner court to the king without being called shall be put to death; there is but one law for him, except [him] to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter, that he may live. But I have not been called to come to the king for these thirty days. And they told Mordecai what Esther said.

Then Mordecai told them to return this answer to Esther, Do not flatter yourself that you shall escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion? Then Esther told them to give this answer to Mordecai,

Here’s the part that makes up our MEASURE #11.  Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I also and my maids will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish. So Mordecai went away and did all that Esther had commanded him.

There must have been a level of character already established in the heart of Esther in order for her to be able to make the choice she made at this time in her life. Over the course of my life i can look back and reflect on the times that made a huge difference in the path my life has taken. Ann Marie and I call them Spiritual Markers and let me add, they were not always easy to see at the time!

In Louis Carroll’s book Alice in Wonderland, Alice comes to a fork in the road and doesn’t know which way to turn. She sees the grinning Cheshire cat and asks which direction she should take. The cat replies, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

Yesterday I shared about my fork in the road regarding my fast, I had to make a decision as to where I wanted to go. Each of you must make that decision for yourselves, “where do you want to go”? I invite you to come with me and test the waters of fasting, if only for a day.

With some slight modification the words from Esther make clear what you will be voting for or against in MEASURE #11. Gather together all the subscribers, the readers, the viewers and the listeners and do not drink for one to three days. i will be there together fasting and praying. Then we will go to the King of Kings and present your case or need as it is today.

i’ll close with this quote from Paul Ryan, “Every  successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.”

MEASURE #10… Fear!

Posted: September 27, 2013 in MEASURE - measure
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Once again today you have two options for the “me and I Am” post. You may click on the player, sit back and listen or you can read it for yourself. I’m still asking for your patience while I work out the bugs. If the player does not show on your device try clicking in the title and see if that works. If neither of them work then I guess it’s back to the stone age of having to read it for yourself, but many thanks either way.

Let me take a moment and explain how this works. A MEASURE has the right reserved to the people to approve or reject an act of the legislature. So with a slight adaptation here’s my use. A MEASURE which in my case is a verse, has the right reserved for me to approve or reject an act of the Word of God.

The plan is to take specific verses, present them as MEASURES, approve or reject them and then focus on applying the MEASURE in my everyday life. Maybe a simpler way of defining MEASURE is to say that MEASURES are a plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose

Now with all that said, today we are considering MEASURE #10… Fear. In church world it’s said that where there is fear there is no faith and vice versa, where there is faith there is no fear. Today’s MEASURE #10 is based on Isaiah 41:10 which says, “Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.”

Fear is an emotion brought on by a perceived or real threat which causes me to quickly pull far away from it and try to hide. It is a basic emotion occurring in response to specific situations, such as pain or the threat of danger. Fear is my ability to recognize danger which leads me to confront it or flee from it, and in extreme cases it can paralyze me.

It is worth mentioning that fear almost always relates to future events, such as worsening of a situation, or continuation of a situation that is unacceptable, but it can also be an instant reaction to something currently happening.

So it’s time to do a little inventory by asking myself a couple questions. If i had absolutely no fear, would i be doing anything different than what i’m doing today? Just how much fear is there In my life? To be perfectly honest, and just off-hand, i can’t come up with any obvious fears but then that’s why I only do one of these type posts per week. It gives me time to digest what I wrote. At almost 62 fear could keep me from any one the new adventures i’m embarking on and that’s why this MEASURE is coming up today. Better to be safe than sorry. Trying to learn this podcast thing could cause me to fear as i’m not a techy at heart.

I am voting YES on MEASURE #10 by placing my name into Isaiah 41:10, accepting it as law, and making it my confession of FAITH for the next week.

So here it goes… “I do not fear [because God has not give me a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind], and [there is nothing to fear], my God is with me; i do not look around in terror and become dismayed, because even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i fear no evil. my God is with me. my God’s rod and staff, comfort me .my God strengthens and hardens me to difficulties. my God shows up and helps me. my God holds me up and retains me with His [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Audrey Hepburn said it this way, “Pick the day. Enjoy it to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.

So once again we come to the close. You must decide for yourself. Will you vote yes on MEASURE #10 and get rid of fear? Or will you hold onto the emotion which is brought on by a perceived threat which causes you to quickly pull far away from it and try to hide?

Today you have two options for the “me and I Am” post. You may click on the player, sit back and listen or you can read it for yourself. I am asking in advance for your patience as this is new software and i am not a techy at heart. Everything at this time looks to be working, but, this is said without having actually posted in this format.

I don’t think there is a day that goes by without someone saying to me that they are waiting on the Lord for this or that. Like wise I don’t think there’s a day that I haven’t thought I was waiting on the Lord for this or that. So when I heard this song called While I’m Waiting and there was an immediate connection with it. It describes my waiting with great detail. It was as though John Waller reached into my mind, put every thought onto paper and then turned it into music. It serves as a great reminder, as well as encouragement for me to stay focused. I have listened to it over a hundred times.

Here’s the link to it if you want to listen to the words and music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc7orBfhEmk

Philippians 4:9 says, Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”

I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord And I am hopeful, I’m waiting on You Lord Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting I will serve You – Serve: to render assistance; be of use; help While I’m waiting I will worship – Worship: to render religious reverence and homage While I’m waiting I will not faint – Not: used to express negation, denial, refusal, or prohibition. Faint: feeling weak, dizzy, or exhausted; lacking courage; cowardly I’ll be running the race even while I wait

I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord And I am peaceful, I’m waiting on You Lord Though it’s not easy no, but faithfully I will wait Yes, I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting I will serve You While I’m waiting I will worship While I’m waiting I will not faint I’ll be running the race even while I wait

The words “I will move ahead bold and confident I’ll be taking every step in obedience. While I’m waiting I will serve You. While I’m waiting I will worship. While I’m waiting I will not faint. I’ll be running the race even while I wait make up MEASURE #9. If you vote yes and accept this MEASURE you agree to speak and act as the words direct. If you should decide to vote no and reject this MEASURE then the “Flip Side” of verse 9 become your course. The God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will NOT be with you. i leave you with the words of Ezra 10:4, Arise! for this matter is in your hands: we will be with you: be of good courage, and do it.

Psalm 121 provides MEASURE #8. The choice will be to pass this MEASURE or reject it thus defeating it from working in our lives.

I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

He won’t let me stumble, my Guardian God won’t fall asleep.

Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep.

God’s my Guardian, right at my side to protect me — Shielding me from sunstroke, sheltering me from moonstroke.

God guards me from every evil, He guards my very life. He guards me when i leave and when i return, He guards me now, He guards me always.

Passing MEASURE #8 is to look to God as my Strength, my Protection, and as my Guardian. When passing or in this case accepting a MEASURE it is similar to making it law. Thus i am now bound to follow the guidelines of it. Of course rejecting this or any MEASURE removes that responsibility. Although It usually comes with a cost to do so, just as passing it comes with benefits.

The benefits for me in this case far outweigh the effort required to come into compliance with this MEASURE. I can illustrate this best by doing my “Flip Side” thing.

I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? Yes, my strength does not come from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

He will let me stumble, my rejected Guardian God still won’t fall asleep.

Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian still will never doze or sleep.

BUT God’s not my Guardian, so He is not right at my side to protect me — He is not Shielding me from sunstroke, He is not sheltering me from moonstroke.

God does not guard me from every evil, He does not guard my very life. He does not guard me when i leave and when i return, He does not guard me now, He does not guard me always.

Today I pass MEASURE #8 and accept it as required by law. I must trust and have faith and i must comply or apply it to my life. This is where MEASURE #8 becomes an individual matter. It is for each of us to determine what it means to allow God to be our Guardian who fulfills every word of His promises. This is not new for me but a confirmation as to what has already begun. It’s about building relationship with Him which I am working diligently to do more of.

So… what’s your position on MEASURE #8? Do you want a Guardian or will you vote no? Do you need a helper? And if He is already your Guardian to what degree are you walking in all the benefits He speaks about in this Psalm?

Joshua 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for ed and his house, we will serve the Lord.

2 Timothy 3:16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),

MEASURE #7 Today i am presenting three perspectives of the same verse and the application is simple. Prioritize! Which one is you in this season? Many can quote Pslam 23 but how many go to the next level with it? Perhaps readers will print this out and put their own name in the one that applies to them?

Psalm 23… Perspective #1 – GOD’S Thoughts – The Holy Spirit speaks it to me. I receive it. It’s personal and intimate to me.

The Lord is ed’s Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], ed shall not lack.

He makes ed lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads ed beside the still and restful waters.

He refreshes and restores ed’s life (ed’s self); He leads ed in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for ed earning it, but] for His name’s sake.

Yes, though ed walks through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, ed will fear or dread no evil, for You are with ed; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort ed.

You prepare a table before ed in the presence of ed’s enemies. You anoint ed’s head with oil; ed’s [brimming] cup runs over.

Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow ed all the days of ed’s life, and through the length of ed’s days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be ed’s dwelling place.

Psalm 23… Perspective #2 –  GOD’S Purpose – Act on it – i have received it, now… give it! It is for the benefit of others. I become a willing vessel of God and fulfill His purposes.

ed is a Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield for others], they shall not lack.

ed makes others lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; ed leads others beside the still and restful waters.

ed refreshes and restores others lives (them selves); ed leads others in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for their earning it, but] for His name’s sake.

Yes, though others walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, they will fear or dread no evil, for ed is with them; ed’s rod [to protect] and ed’s staff [to guide], they comfort others.

ed prepares a table before them in the presence of their enemies. ed anoints their head with oil; their [brimming] cup runs over.

Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow them all the days of their life, and through the length of their days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be their dwelling place.

Psalm 23… Perspective #3 – ACTIONS – The Flip Side. If Psalm 23 is NOT profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness.

The Lord is NOT my Shepherd [DOES NOT feed, guide, and shield me], i shall lack.

He DOES NOT make me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He DOES NOT lead me beside the still and restful waters.

He DOES NOT refresh and restore my life (my self); He DOES NOT lead me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, AND] NOT for His name’s sake.

Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I DO fear or dread ALL evil, for You are NOT with me; Your rod [DOES NOT protect] and Your staff [DOES NOT guide], they DO NOT comfort me.

You DO NOT prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You DO NOT anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup DOES NOT run over.

Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love DO NOT follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days, the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall NOT be my dwelling place.

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”   ―     Steve Maraboli

One of the readers shared this story with me after they had read the Measure #6 post Three Little Butterflies.

They are a cashier in a grocery store and while working an elderly gentleman came to check out. His bill was 30 something and he began looking for his credit card. After searching his pockets and his wallet he still had not found it but kept on looking. The line now growing but remaining calm. The cashier offered to get someone to help him look for his card but he just kept on with what he was doing. As the cashier apologized to the lady waiting behind this man she said, Don’t worry just keep on going and that she would pay for it.

Much to the cashiers surprise the elderly mans son was not more than ten feet away buying a lottery ticket. As he came over the elderly man said why didn’t you help me, this woman was willing to pay for my groceries and all I need from you was to help me find my credit card. Then he said, What have I done wrong in raising you? This created a little stir between them and the cashier just kept ringing up the woman’s groceries. As she finished the elderly man found his card.

His response was that he wanted the woman to get a return on what she was willing to do and so he then paid for her groceries which included his. The amount was somewhere around $250.00.

This story is a perfect example of the Three butterflies and the word which instructs us to carry one another’s burdens. We tend to think that’s limited to homeless but not so. This man was just a little disoriented.

“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”   ―     Elizabeth Gilbert

MEASURE #6 is similar to last weeks in that the application is for each reader to find and apply.

IN THE PAST… i have been over wrought with worry. i have experienced grief. i have stumbled. i know what it’s like to strain under the cloud of my daily tasks. i have felt the guilt of far too many things to mention. At the same time, being bombarded with trials and tribulations of various kinds. With all that it’s easy to see how it can become too much for one person to bear.

But for that reason the people i do life with are important. i need help when i stagger, i can use a steady hand to balance my load. If i’m straining, someone is there to help bear my burden. And if i stumble, those around me lift me up. Helping people carry the weight of their burdens is one of the main duties that ought to consume me as a disciple.

Of course, that concept is contrary to the culture, with the world promoting self-absorption. There are generations which have developed an unhealthy obsession that says, “it’s all about me” and an attitude of entitlement. Part of the problem is that i tend to interact with others in sound-bites or through faceless media.

Galatians 6:2 (MSG.) says “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

Here’s a simple story that expresses my understanding of this.

There were once three little butterfly brothers, one white, one red, and one yellow. They played in the sunshine, and danced among the flowers in the garden, and they never grew tired because they were so happy.

One day there came a heavy rain, and it wet their wings. They flew away home, but when they got there they found the door locked and the key gone. So they had to stay out-of-doors in the rain, and they grew wetter and wetter.

By and by they flew to the red and yellow striped tulip, and said, “Friend Tulip, will you open your flower-cup and let us in till the storm is over?”

The tulip answered, “The red and yellow butterflies may enter, because they are like me, but the white one may not come in.”

But the red and yellow butterflies said, “If our white brother may not find shelter in your flower cup, why, then, we’ll stay outside in the rain with him.”

It rained harder and harder, and the poor little butterflies grew wetter and wetter, so they flew to the white lily and said, “Good Lily, will                      you open your bud a little so we may creep in out of the rain?”

The lily answered: “The white butterfly may come in, because he is like me, but the red and yellow ones must stay outside in the storm.”

Then the little white butterfly said, “If you won’t receive my red and yellow brothers, why, then, I’ll stay out in the rain with them. We                      would rather be wet than be parted.”

So the three little butterflies flew away.

But the sun, who was behind a cloud, heard it all, and he knew what good little brothers the butterflies were, and how they had held together in spite of the wet. So he pushed his face through the clouds, and chased away the rain, and shone brightly on the garden.

He dried the wings of the three little butterflies, and warmed their bodies. They ceased to sorrow, and danced among the flowers till evening, then they flew away home, and found the door wide open.

Story by Van Antwerp, Bragg & Co

To each reader today I share Ezra 4:10 “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. i will support you, so take courage and do it.”

The plan is simple… make myself available for, not divine appointments but His divine people this week. That’s what has been revealed so I will attend to that. Referring back to the posts of the last couple weeks.