Summary: We go through a valley but God is with us.

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We are walking through with HIM

Psalm 23:4 “yes; though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm.”

Let us see THE IMPORTANCE OF living right EVERY DAY in a story. Andre Previn said, "If I miss a day of practice, I know it. If I miss two days, my manager knows it. If I miss three days, my audience, knows it." He was talking about the piano, but the same is true about your devotional life. When you’re spending time with God on a consistent basis, it shows. When you aren’t, it also shows. You’ll notice it first, then those closest to you, and, pretty soon, it’s obvious to everyone. Paul said that you could be "transformed by the renewing of your mind" RM 12:2. This renewal, this transformation, occurs during those quiet moments we spend in the presence of God, when we open his Word and open our hearts to what the Spirit would say to us. No matter what one accomplishes, this time with God remains a daily priority. If Andre Previn needs to practice the piano every day to stay at his best, we need to practice the presence of God every day to stay at our best. Steve May

IS 43:2-3 “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; neither shall the flame kindle on you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior:

We need to Hold Fast to our Dreams.

Poet Langston Hughes said, "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly." Here is what gives this meaning. Auguste Bartholdi traveled to Egypt in 1856. He saw the grandeur of the pyramids, the majesty of the Nile, and the serene beauty of the Sphinx. While there, he met another man, Ferdinand de Lesseps. De Lesseps was there to sell the idea of cutting a canal from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. He succeeded and began a ten-year project that became the Suez Canal. Bartholdi’s artistic genius was inspired by the idea of so grand an achievement. So he began designing a lighthouse to grace the canal’s entrance. He drew plans and built models. He discarded one plan after another until he achieved what he regarded as the perfect design. But how could his dream become reality? Who was going to pay for its construction? No one was interested. So the Suez Canal finally opened, but without a lighthouse. Defeated, Bartholdi returned to France. Ten years of his life and labor seemed totally wasted. Yet he never quite gave up his dream. Moses would have understood that sort of disappointment, wouldn’t he? After dreaming of the freedom of his enslaved race in Egypt, he acted at age 40. The plan blew up in his face. For still another 40 years, he appeared to be a defeated man scratching out a living as a desert nomad. But he never quite gave up his dream. Then God acted. And things happened. Moses’ timing had been all wrong. He had taken the initiative rather than waiting on God. Time passed. God called. He was empowered to live his vision. But let’s get back to Auguste Bartholdi. What became of his dream about the lighthouse? After he returned to France, his country’s government announced its intention to offer a gift to the United States. The timing was right to offer his design. It stands now in New York harbor and is known as the Statue of Liberty. Noble dreams eventually find the right open door. Their time comes. Circumstances change and makes what was once impossible into reality. Know anybody in these tough times with crushed dreams? Has your own life vision been blurred by something that has happened to make it seem unworkable? Don’t scrap your dreams. Hold to them through the dark hours. Keep them alive until God paves the way to their fulfillment.

Our God is an ever-present God. There is group out there that has a 60-60 plan to experience the presence of God. They set their watches to beep every hour. When they hear that beep they are to think that God is present with them right then. They are to do this for 60 days. Would this be a good idea for all of us so that we might keep our focus on Jesus and not all the problems we see?

I want us to look at who are the travelers that going through the valley of the shadow of death.

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