A baby’s first words may be “DA DA,” or “MA MA,” but the majority of the time, their most frequent word is, “MINE!”  They want what they want, when they want it, how they want it and basically, do not want to share it! Much of a parents’ time in the child’s formative years is spent hearing this word, and teaching the child to share.

Are we any different? We typically want what we want, when we want it, how we want it and would prefer not to have to share it!  God knows and understands this deep rooted nature within us. That is why much of His Love Letter to us, The Bible, focus on the word, “MY!”

We may have grown up and matured past the primitive form of this word, “MINE,” but we still long for the “MY,” in our lives, that which we personally possess.

I hope that you have been reading through Psalm 23 with me this week. I truly hope that you were able to put your own personal name into it and understand that God is speaking to you personally through it!

Need more proof?

We cannot get more than four words in on the 23rd Psalm without seeing the word MY!

The Lord is MY Shepherd…”

It does not say, a shepherd, or the shepherd, it says, “MY SHEPHERD!”

David is talking about God here in a very personal way. The text indicates that David is speaking about someone he has a safe, comfortable, intimate, and even permanent relationship with. He is not referring to some great and mighty being out there in the cosmos! He is talking about his God in a loving, close and confident way. He is not speaking about someone he has an acquaintance with, he is speaking about someone he belongs to!

There is such great comfort in BELONGING! It brings security, knowledge, comfort and love in its connotations. David is talking about someone he knows, someone he trusts, and someone he can rely on. He is talking about MY God! Is he talking about your God? If so, than I hope you will join me in continuing to read through the 23rd Psalm daily, and this week not only put your name into it, but look up other passages in the Bible where it begins with, “THE LORD IS MY…” 

I think you will be amazed at just how personal our God truly is!

I will start you off…

“Behold, God is MY helper, The Lord is the upholder of MY life.”  Psalm 54:4



Speak Truth Love


I know Psalm 23 by heart!

 It is a constant source of comfort for me. When I feel weak and weary, it truly does “restore my soul.

I especially love the picture that comes to my mind immediately of the shepherd carrying a lamb over his shoulders. My heart is immediately soothed, and I feel calm, as I picture Jesus carrying me, his weary lamb, safe in His arms!

Read these words and picture yourself as the lamb that Jesus, The Good Shepherd, is carrying…

Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord FOREVER!

As I read through these words that are so familiar to me, I feel Jesus pick me up and carry me when I have no more strength.

I feel comforted and loved! 

But this beautiful song, sung by a shepherd, David, also begins to breathe new life into my tired, worn out, limp and weary body! It is a wonderful Psalm of comfort, but it is also a Psalm of strength and confidence and life! Through this beautiful Psalm, I receive HOPE!

This Psalm makes clear that compassionate care is mine through my Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. It is clearly a comfort, but it is also a promise, it provides us with HOPE!

As I walk this difficult path of Alzheimer’s with my mom and sisters, I face challenges and fears that I have never faced before. Decisions must be made, crises must be attended to, wisdom is needed beyond my ability and demands are pressing in nonstop. But through it all my hope remains! When we are stressed, grieving and weak we tend to go back to what we know, what we are familiar with.

Psalm 23 is familiar to most of us. For me, my grandma taught it to me, it was in a frame in my grandparents house and the picture with it was Jesus carrying a lamb over his shoulders. I memorized it and quote it whenever I felt weak, sad or lonely. It has always served as a comfort to me! 

This week as I leaned in to the 23rd Psalm, God revealed to me that while it is a comfort it is also a promise! It provides us with HOPE!

I need comfort, but I also need HOPE!

I need to know that when things are difficult, sad and out of my control that God has still got this.

I am committing to four weeks of focusing on the 23rd Psalm! I have been challenged to read Psalm 23 over and over and to focus on it with intent and purpose. 

I would love for you to join me here each week and leave your comments, prayers and insights as Jesus, The Good Shepherd speaks to us through the 23rd Psalm. 

For this week, week one, let’s personalize it! Write it out and put your name in each verse. Then read it out loud with your name inserted and feel God speaking directly to you as you do.

Write down your feelings and insights as you do this and share them with us in the comments below. 

As you go through your week remember what you have written. Jesus is your Good Shepherd and your name is written on His heart! He’s got you, you are not alone! He is the Good Shepherd, your Comforter, Sustainer and HOPE!

Be hope-filled today Friends! The Good Shepherd is there to carry you through!



Speak Truth Love


I am a mountaintop girl! I’ve shared that with you before! I love to be on the mountaintop! 

I love to be on the mountaintop both physically, I’m a mountain gal, and emotionally! . Besides reading the word of God, skiing down a snow covered mountain is my favorite place to be. I see God there, I feel God there and I worship God there!

I also love being on the emotional mountain top! I mean seriously, who doesn’t? You know what I’m talking about right? It’s that “fireworks in the sky,” shrill in your voice, happy beyond measure experience, that send you straight to the top of the mountain! you stand there, tall and straight, looking down at all of your problems. They seem so small and inconsequential now. After all, you’re on a mountain top high!

Your spirit is soaring, and you are elated! You have an excitement over some thing that just happened or over some wonderful experience that you’ve just been a part of! You are truly feeling like you are on top of the world! YOU ARE ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP and life is grand!

Then it happens…you have a feeling inside of you that is so hard to describe.

It’s a nebulous feeling that you can not quite put your finger on. Your excitement has become hazy, vague, indistinct, You have some how walked in to a cloudy fog.

You may know why this down cast feeling has taken you over or you may not even have a clue. However, there is one thing that is crystal clear…You are not on the mountaintop anymore!

If and when you find yourself here, you are not alone! One of the most famous songwriters, in all of the Bible, David, finds himself here often.

Why so downcast Oh my soul?” He writes crying out for an answer.

David felt this as a shepherd and he also felt this as a king. David did not eliminate his moments of nebulous(that cloudy, foggy feeling that you can’t explain), because he got a new job, moved to a different town or even joined a new Bible study. Whether David was sitting on the side of a mountain tending sheep, or sitting on a throne ruling the country, he went from mountain top experiences to soul wrenching nebulous experiences just like we do! 

I am so thankful that during his mountaintop experiences and during his down cast, nebulous experiences, David showed us how to cry out to God for both!

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Psalm 42:1-6b

Friends, the truth is we would all rather live on the mountaintop! It is the place where God encourages us, builds us up, and strengthens our soul! But, the reality is, we will all come down from the mountaintop. We will feel times when our spirit is down cast and in a fog. And in those times, God will take care of us, and perfect us, and make us who He wants us to be!



When we reach out to God like David did in his down cast nebulous times, we can sing out to God like David did after he puts us back up on the mountain top!

Psalm 40:9-11 says,

“I have told you the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation. behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know O Lord; I have not hidden your deliverance in my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation! as for you O Lord; you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness Will ever preserve me.

So whether you find yourself on the mountain top or in the valley below, SING OUT TO GOD! He knows how you are feeling.


After all, He does His best work when He turns our downcast souls upward!

Speak Truth Love


When you hear the word JOY, does it make you jump for it?  You know the saying….”jump for JOY!” Maybe you hear the word JOY and you roll your eyes. You are convinced that people who have JOY are simply out of control people who walk around with their heads in the clouds. Or maybe at the sound of the word, you cringe? You think to yourself…”Joy is something some people have, but not me! 

FRIEND, I have good news for you!  

JOY is for everyone!

JOY is defined in the dictionary as:

“An emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure or elation.”


“A state of happiness or felicity.”

First of all, these definitions tell us that JOY is an emotion. Like it or not friends, we all have emotions! Some of us display them fervently on the outside of our beings clearly for everyone to see. While some of us hold them close to ourselves on the inside of our beings, revealing them only when we chose to and whom we chose to show them to.

Regardless, we all have them!

Secondly, these definitions describe that JOY is displayed in delight or happiness. You can have a demure response and coyly demonstrate your JOY. Or you can have an exuberant response and no one within a five mile radius would miss your JOY!

Finally, these definitions make clear that the emotions and displays of JOY have a cause.

You know, that old “cause and effect” rule we all learned about in school.  Something exceptionally good or satisfying happens to us, hence the cause, and we have an emotion of great delight or happiness, equalling the effect!

The cause and effect together create JOY!

Our “CAUSE” for JOY is JESUS!

By this we know love, that HE laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for each other.”   I John 3:16

This CAUSE should create the EFFECT of JOY in our lives!

Because of what JESUS did for us on the cross, we have eternal life with Him forever!

If this “cause” does not bring on the “effect” of JOY in your life, you may need to check your pulse. Are you alive?

Jesus died for us so that we could live forever with Him!

That is pure JOY my friends, any way you slice it!

So, if JOY is for everyone, how come it is so hard to find at times? 

The answer to this came to me from the lips of a young child!



As I was snuggling one night in bed with my oldest granddaughter, we were having our “girl chat time,” as she calls it! We had finished our prayers and were “chatting” about the most important things in life…her birthday party guest list, her detailed plans about her party, (she gets this trait from her mother),her present wish list, (are you catching on that she is a list maker?),and she turns to me, looks at me face to face and says, “MAMMA, I am so full of JOY!” Then she said, “Wait a minute, JOY is putting JESUS First, then others, then yourself! I need to step back from asking for so much stuff!”

I cannot make this up people! She really is ‘one of a kind,’ with a very bright mind and a beautiful heart, but she had just hit the nail on the head with that statement.

I asked her where she learned that and she said her teacher!  Kudos to teachers! There are NEVER enough good ones!



“JOY is putting JESUS FIRST, then OTHERS, then YOURSELF!”




When JOY evades us maybe it is because we are not practicing this formula?  

Afterall, JESUS set it into motion with His CAUSE and EFFECT toward us!

Remember I John 3:16

“By this we know…We do not have to doubt or wander if JOY is for us, WE KNOW!

                                     JESUS FIRST IN OUR LIVES GIVES US JOY!

“that He laid down His life for us…”  The CAUSE for our JOY, the sacrifice of JESUS for 


“and we ought to lay down our lives for each other.”  For us to have JOY in our lives 

                                                                                           OTHERS come next!

And the magic to the formula is…When we do this, we have JOY ourselves!

Praying you have a JOY this week as you put

J esus first

O thers next, and then

Y ourself 

Speak Truth Love