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Summary: The Valley is a reality but it is only temporary. We are called to go through the Valley, not to dwell, to stay in it. The Valley will make you or break you. Beloved let the valleys transform you into the image of Christ.

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For those not familiar with an Anglican Service there a four Scripture readings that proceed the Message. Today's appointed readings are: Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19-25 and John 10:1-10

BIBLE "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." END

King David is the obvious person to write such a psalm. A Psalm about the shepherd and his sheep.

For He ..... David, was a shepherd.

He was a Shepherd Practically from childhood ..... all the way ..... to young adulthood...... following in the footsteps of his father Jesse

He writes ......from experience.

He shares the relationship of a shepherd ......with his sheep .... and mirrored it ..... to our relationship with God, ..... the Shepherd of our life.

The Lord is our Shepherd.... (Long Pause)

A Sunday School class teacher .....required all the children in her class .....to recite the whole chapter.... of Psalm 23.

Each one was required to recite the whole chapter ......on the day .....of their graduation.

All the kids were so excited except one, .......Robert, was very shy .....and had difficulty memorizing.

Well.....Graduation day came .....and every child was wearing a robe .....and a corsage.

One by one, .....the children recited Psalms 23 ..... with much enthusiasm.

Robert was to recite last.

As he watched the other children recite the Psalm, he ducked under his seat .....fidgeting with the tassel of his cap ...... and the buttons of his robe.

When it was his turn, ......he jumped off his seat, .....grabbed the microphone, ......cleared his throat ......and with much gusto he declared,...... "The Lord is my Shepherd".... there was a pause for several seconds.

Then with even a louder voice he continued, ......"That's all I need to know".

Indeed that is all .....we need to know.

Beloved..... Can you to proclaim.... The Lord is my Shepherd?

Today I would like to look at one verse ..... in this Psalm, ...... and share at least three perspectives to the journey of life.

David states this verse in the Psalm,....... "Even though I walk through the valley" (REPEAT)

First (1 Finger) Accept the reality ..... of the valley.

Why do sheep .....need to go through a valley .....if it is such a difficult path?

Shepherds in the past and some even to this day ......take their flock on a long journey to the mountains ......at least once a year.

During the spring, ......they graze in the fields near their home .....while the mountaintops are still covered with snow.

Then in the summer they seek the newer fields .... up in the hills.

They take the route through the valleys because it is cooler under the summer heat, ..... and it is well-watered.

The journey may not be easy, .....but it is necessary. (Pause)

And There will also be valleys in our lives.

Days when the sun does not shine as bright, Days when things look a little dark.... a little gloomy.

Valleys are inevitable. Yet we must learn to accept .....the reality of the valley.

There will be persecution and problems ....in life.


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