Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Word...

During my time down with the UYWI crew we bantered around some text of scripture that would serve as a theme for next year's conference. One text that jumped out, (I don't know if it will be a part of the theme or not) - Psalm 23. John Lewis encouraged me to read it out of The Message since I had a copy with me. It really struck me between the eyes. It reads:
God, my shepherd
I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows
you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

Even when my way goes through Death Valley
I'm not afraid
When you wank at my side
Your trusty shepherd's crook
makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I'm back home in the House of God
For the rest of my life.
I've read this text possibly hundreds of times. Something about this translation grabbed me. We've been in a season of reaping and blessing with the ministry. The credit union is close to being a reality, our youth programs kick off in a matter of weeks. The golf tournament was a resounding success. Things are definitely moving forward and it's feeling like the three years of hard work are beginning to pay off.

However, on the home front it's been a time of testing and perseverance. My wife Melissa's job at New Creation Home , (that she loves dearly) can be challenging. It's not the the work, it's just that it's painful to watch young people struggle to make right choices. In ministering to students, it's sometimes hard not to take their poor choices personally. In addition, without going into too much detail, there are some personal challenges to us regarding faith and finances that we're working through.

Ultimately, I think we're feeling a little weary from the last few intense years of planting and ministering.

So - I'm hanging on to this text. I'm praying for "quiet pools and lush meadows" for our family. I love the words, "your beauty and love chase after me". I believe and trust that God grace and love with not only chase but overtake us.

Not to sound too depressed, we're thrilled to be serving God and and our community. God is a faithful and loving God! I'm glad to be resting in the palm of his hand!

Q. What's going on in your life? In what areas do you need "quiet pools and lush meadows'? How does this translation of Psalm 23 speak to you?

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