Category Branches

Free Christmas Gift for You

I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. (John 15:5, The Message) In the U.S., the Thanksgiving holiday is over. Yet my thankfulness exceeds a five-day weekend feast. […]

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Branches Devotional Genesis: The Beginning “I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I and you, you will produce much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5 When I first became a believer, I had no guide; well, I did, but I didn’t know it. […]

Heaven on Earth Forever

Surely, goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 As a believer, I understand and embrace the peace of this last verse. Though scholars are divided as to when this psalm was written, I surmise it must have […]

Heavenly Host

Our Cup Overflows You prepare a feast for me In the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup overflows. Psalm 23:5 The psalmist turns here from the image of the Lord as Shepherd to the Lord as Host. One of the biblical margin notes refers to the story in Luke […]

The Shadow of Death

Be Comforted in Him 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. For you and me, death does not always mean physical death. More commonly it means the internal death that comes with […]

The Lightest Burden

He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3 In His sermon by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus told His followers to not be obsessed about food or clothing. He pointed out the birds and the flowers to illustrate how God feeds and arrays them. He […]

Rest and Peace

He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters. Psalm 23:2 Did you know that sheep will not drink from running water? They will only drink from quiet, still water. We are God’s sheep. He knows we will only hear His voice when we are still and quiet. I’ve come […]

My Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd I have all that I need The Good Shepherd The word for shepherd used in this verse is the Hebrew word, ro-eh for tending a flock. The Greek word is poimēn. The grammatical extension of the Hebrew word, as listed in Strong’s Dictionary, is “to associate with as a friend.” […]

The Twenty-Third Psalm

A Psalm of the Shepherd, by the shepherd Probably like you, I have read and recited David’s psalm many times. It is only recently as I asked the Holy Spirit to take me deeper into this beautiful prayer, that I have seen its timeless beauty, felt new life in its words, and understood the expansiveness […]

The Persecuted, part 2

Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 “While American churches squabble over doctrinal debates and celebrity pastor faux pas, in many places in Africa and the Middle East, thousands of Christians have found themselves in the middle of conflicts where they are easy targets […]