Psalm 23

A Psalm of David that speaks to our soul. It holds a special meaning for me because Holy Spirit gave it to me one night when I was wrestling for words to share with my mother, who had been in a very serious car accident. I knew God was with her. But, if He wanted her home, I didn’t want to hold on to her. If He wanted her to be with us, I didn’t want her to be released.

As I wrestled that night with the Father asking Him what I should tell her when I saw her, He spoke to me and said, “I am her Shepherd. She is my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. Tell her to listen to Me. Tell her that she knows my voice. If I tell her to fight, she should fight. If I tell her to come home, tell her it’s okay.”

I shared those words with my mom the next day. She was in a coma, and was for many days following. Moments were tense along the way, not knowing if she would make it. However, I had a complete peace that the Father was going to do exactly what HE wanted, because even in her physical state, her spirit could HEAR HIM. Her spirit was LISTENING to HIS voice because He is her Shepherd.

My mother is alive and well today. That day was 16 1/2 years ago. Doctors said she probably wouldn’t walk. She walks. She didn’t think she would travel to Israel 4 years ago, but she did and I was able to take her to places I never dreamed she would see. I released her to the Father because of the words below. HIS WORDS of TRUTH.

Friends, read these words with new understanding. HE is taking care of you. He is watching over you. HE is bringing peace to your soul.

There are two versions below. Both are favorites of mine, even after memorizing it from the NIV. May they be a blessing to you today. May they provide you with a new DEPTH of His love.

Psalm 23 Complete Jewish Bible

(0) A psalm of David:

(1) 

Adonai is my shepherd; I lack nothing.

He has me lie down in grassy pastures,

he leads me by quiet water,

he restores my inner person.

He guides me in right paths

for the sake of his own name.

Even if I pass through death-dark ravines,

I will fear no disaster; for you are with me;

your rod and staff reassure me.

You prepare a table for me,

even as my enemies watch;

you anoint my head with oil

from an overflowing cup.

Goodness and grace will pursue me

every day of my life;

and I will live in the house of Adonai

for years and years to come.

Psalm 23 The Passion Translation Version

David’s poetic praise to God

The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.

I always have more than enough.

He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.

His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.

That’s where he restores and revives my life.

He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure

and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness

so that I can bring honor to his name.

Lord, even when your path takes me through

the valley of deepest darkness,

fear will never conquer me, for you already have!

You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.

Your authority is my strength and my peace.

The comfort of your love takes away my fear.

I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.

You become my delicious feast

even when my enemies dare to fight.

You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit;

you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows.

So why would I fear the future?

For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.

Then afterward, when my life is through,

I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!

I know this is a chapter we have all read over and over. However, I believe that both of these versions take it a step deeper and really give us an insight into WHO God is for us.

The Complete Jewish Bible does its best to take us to the true understanding of the Hebrew message that was intended because the writers of the Bible were Jewish and had that identity and heritage they lived.

The Passion Translation was recently written and has received critical attention. I appreciate what the author has done with the language. I believe it truly brings a PASSION to the Word of God that can be missing in other translations.

I would not use it as a historical document that understands all the Hebrew idioms and lifestyle, but in the case of Psalm 23, read it. Soak in it. Let it just wash you with HIS LOVE.

So many people are experiencing trauma and fear because of the Covid19 scenario that has affected the world. It has placed many into radical scenarios and situations. This leaves many people in financial situations, depression, and anxiety.

Friends, the words above are what we NEED to hold onto. We need to know deep within us:

Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have!

You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.

Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear.

I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.

The last line is TRUTH. Speak it. Claim it for yourself. Know that HE is your Shepherd and wants YOU taken care of.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rose Horton

Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler on Unsplash

Love—Living for Jesus

We’ve all seen the romantic movies and seen young love in person—the hope, the elation, the infatuation.

These glimpses of romantic love are not false; they are just part of the story. The “happily ever after” part is often assumed, but it is anything but certain. After the honeymoon, Christ is going to be desperately needed in order for two separate souls to become one and learn to cherish each other even while forgiving, forbearing, and even over-looking each other’s shortcomings.

The same thing is true in friendships, work relationships, and even in churches. Agape love (God’s selfless, unconditional love) will need to come in to each and every situation to allow us to transcend the rough realities of living in this fallen world.

Sometimes, we might be deceived into believing that God is only needed in crisis situations, but, in reality, he is needed in our daily waking, working, and resting life.

We only need the faith and the humility to yield our moments to him and his sovereign will.

If we learn how to do this, then there will indeed be “happily ever after.”

Our work, our friendships, and our families will be redeemed and transformed into works of beauty for the world to witness the majesty of Christ and the sufficiency of his grace and power to sustain and prosper his children.  

We need him hour by hour, year in and year out.  And he needs for us to be in step with him in order for his will to be accomplished in our generation.  To God be the glory, honor and power!

— Brad Heilhecker

Owning Sin, Disowning Achievements

To move forward in Christ, we must “own” our own sin.  We don’t need to identify with it, to have a sin based identity, but we must own up to our own mistakes and failings.

When we fail, it is not God’s fault, it is not our parents’ fault, and it is not the church’s fault. It is just us and a holy God, and we must face him honestly.

When we “walk in the light, the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.”

The corollary truth is equally important. When God has cleansed us from our sins, and has us walking on water, the glory and the praise belong to him. Christ is doing the work; he is living through us; our part is only to yield to him.

These truths will yield a fruitful, joyful, and satisfying life, pleasing to God and helpful to man. We will have God’s praise and honor, and he will rejoice in us, his obedient children.

In addition, many will be saved, heaven will rejoice, and we will have many friends.

This is “abundant life;” this is “eternal life;” this is life in Christ, now and forever!

— Brad Heilhecker

Look Up

While in worship a few weekends ago, I suddenly felt like I was on a roller coaster.  It was the most bizarre feeling that perhaps I have ever felt supernaturally during a worship service.  When naturally odd things like this happen to me, I now know that it is the Father trying to get my attention to speak to me.

Not only could I feel the momentum and inertia of a ride like a roller coaster, but I also found that I could not move my head to either side!  It was as if I was strapped in, with a head guard snugly fitting around my face, keeping my head in position.

My eye sight was also restricted as I found that I could only look up and not side-to-side or even straight ahead.

When I came out of the encounter, I heard the Lord speak very clearly regarding a new season of momentum coming to the Bride.  

He reminded me that on a roller coaster, because of the speed and the gravity and inertia that pulls you forward, backward, upside-down, etc., a person’s eyes can never look to the side or even down.  

When on a roller coaster, you usually have only two real choices: A person can either close their eyes, or they can look straight ahead on the ride. Looking up or down actually feels quite uncomfortable at that speed, and thus usually people choose to just close their eyes completely.


HOWEVER, I felt the Father say that He is realigning our sight to only ever look up. Especially amidst the momentum of where the Lord seems to be taking us in this season, the only healthy and safe place is for us to look UP.

Just like looking up on an actual roller coaster is not always the easiest or default thing to do, looking up when the world is spinning, tilting, rocking and speeding past may seem abnormal to those around you.  But I want to remind you that as CHILDREN OF GOD, we are not called to a worldly normal.  Our lives are SUPERNATURAL, thanks to Jesus and our faith in Who He is!

Jesus is our confidence and the lifter of your head (Psalm 3:3-4). Even if there are ups, downs, acceleration, even those turns that make a person feel sick because they are upside-down and shaking all over, our gaze can always be HIM. He’s locked into you and I, and invites us to lock into HIM.

We cannot afford for our gaze to not be locked into Him.

Before the encounter ended, I felt it go into a peaceful, gentle and restful slow motion once I actually looked up and kept my gaze there. I felt His longing for us to gaze upon Him and learn to be still while we gaze. I felt His desire for our full surrender to His gaze. In that moment, nothing else mattered but me and Him. I think He loves it when that’s all that matters to us.


Despite what seems like a roller coaster ride in the nations today, let us always stay surrendered to His gaze. May we continue to LOOK UP and surrender fully to the ups and downs and twists and turns. He is our confidence, the lifter of our heads, our protector and our Psalm 91 safety. The more we surrender, the more fun we have and the more joy will be manifested in us.

LOOK UP!

— Mandy Woodhouse

Good Name to Reflect Your Great Name

We don’t need to go in search of another great name.  We already have Christ’s name.  We are Christians.  We are part of the royal family.  However, we do need to cultivate a good name in order to reflect the greatness of our inherited name.  

Our character and actions need to reflect the grace, beauty, power and love of our Savior. People should say of us: “You can tell that they are Christians by the way that they live.”

Kindness, mercy, graciousness, and magnanimity—these are our imperatives. Service, self-sacrifice, humility, and courage—these are our ambitions. People no longer have Jesus to observe; they only have us. We should show by our actions, what we say we believe.

It is written: “A good name is more desirable than great riches.” Even those that labor for riches are secretly hoping that their wealth will buy for them a good name. We, however, through faith, love, integrity, and uprightness will gain a name and reputation that wealth can’t even dream of acquiring.

Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 6:8, “And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living?” Solomon seems to be implying that the wise man as well as the fool will die, but, aside from this fact, knowing how to conduct oneself in this life is a great treasure both for now and for eternity.

— Brad Heilhecker

Impartial Judge—Double Edged Sword

The first letter of the apostle Peter reminds us that God judges our work impartially—that he does not show favoritism.  That is both a comforting and a fearful thing.

However, we wouldn’t want it any other way, because if he showed favoritism to us, then he might show favoritism to our enemy as well.  

Even when the angel came to Joshua in Joshua 5:13 in the Old Testament, and Joshua asked him if we was on their side or the enemy’s side, the angel responded only that he came representing the Lord of Hosts.  God is on his own side; the question is: Whose side are we on?

Fortunately, we have a mediator in Jesus who is on our side. He represents us before God’s throne 24/7. He indwells us, directing our thoughts, words, and actions; and he fights our battles for us, if only we will let him. We only have to whisper his name and he stands ready to come to our defense.

Good thing, too, for our enemy, though thoroughly wicked, is able to inflict great harm upon those who don’t know how to resist him by calling on Jesus.

Impartial? Yes, our God is utterly fair and impartial. But he is also exquisitely compassionate and tender hearted toward our weaknesses and frailties. In this cold, dark world, we can lose sight of this fact and be deceived into thinking that maybe our Father is cold and aloof. Only when we call on him in faith will we realize the extent of his love.

He has already made the first move; it is up to us to respond and call out to him for his love and favor.  He stands ready and waiting to run to us and shower upon us his comfort, courage, strength, and hope.

— Brad Heilhecker

Time To Rejoice

A new era at hand

It is time to come out 

from behind the veil

Wash your face

Anoint your head

Put your best gown on

Your season of overflow is here

It is time to rejoice

To sing a new song

Put on your dancing shoes

The hills are made plain

The flowers announcing 

a new day 

The turtledove is singing 

a new song 

The wine grapes releasing 

a heavenly fragrance

Winter is past, you have passed

all your tests

Lift up your head

Wipe your tears

You kept your focus through 

the ups and the downs

Walked in reckless obedience 

when your world caved in

You did not blink an eye in the 

face of opposition

Pressed through every battle

You carried your cross with a 

smile on your face

Day after day you were 

transformed by My Spirit

I was your best friend when 

you went through the valleys

I was your anchor in the 

midst of the storm

I calmed your heart when you 

wanted to give up

Your past a mere memory 

of precious lessons learned

My faithfulness your beacon

Leading you to the promised land

Every chain that was placed 

on you are broken

Every negative label removed

You are altogether lovely

A representative of My heart

Gather now beautiful ones

There is much work to be done

Open the cages of the forgotten 

Shatter the chains of the broken 

Release the atmosphere of My 

heart wherever your tread

The sound you release will drip 

with yoke breaking revelation

Shift atmospheres, times, even 

seasons

Pierce through the hardest of hearts

You will walk in uncommon 

wisdom and favour

You have paid a high price

Decree and declare

Bring heaven to earth

What you have contended for

is here!

— Ebigale Wilson

Time To Rejoice

The Journey

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2 Chronicles 26:15 – Helped Until Powerful

We are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are cleansed from our sins by the power of the word. We are forgiven and given the hope of heaven by the power of the shed blood of Christ. We are now the beloved children of God by the powerful love of the Father.

Like the king in 2 Chronicles 26, we have been greatly helped and we have been greatly empowered to overcome all the power of the enemy and to bring Our Father great glory.

We can love deeply, pray fervently, and minister powerfully the works of God.

We can continue to do all these things, if only we will avoid King Asa’s mistake of becoming proud.

Let us always remember that the kingdom, the power, and the glory belong to God. Like Samson, the Old Testament judge of Israel, we can do mighty exploits as long as we remember that our power flows from our devotion to Christ and that it is Christ himself who does all things for us, in us, and through us for his greater glory, our greater good, and the Father’s holy, loving, and divine purposes. Amen.

— Brad Heilhecker