Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms: Psalms 23 by Max Lucado



July 3, 2008 Newsletter
Creation – Details from God for our Enjoyment
Comfort  Poem by Robert Frost
Safe in the Shepherd’s Arm by Max Lucado
Good morning! Goodness, what a beautiful morning to write to you! When I was cleaning out a desk drawer a few weeks ago I found a little torn corner of a newspaper tucked in with a receipt. The little paper had three words. Comfort. Robert Frost. The words were scribbled from a dull pencil, now very light so I could barely make out the words. The little corner paper was with a receipt of a cabin located in the north woods that we stayed in two years ago. I can picture the scene. Silence. Green. Wood piles. Monopoly. Books on a shelf that had spider webs nearby. The snap of a mouse trap every few hours. The same little bird singing five days straight. Stars at night. Outhouse. Trails. Lots of pictures to find later no film was in the camera. Canoe on Stu’s back on portages. Blind Pomeranians trying to be hound dogs and explore. Car movie cars everywhere. One too many hot dogs. This tiny paper. How I can remember jotting those words down, for one of the books on the shelf for camper after camper was a very thick book of poetry. But what was the poem? I had no idea. This week I looked the poem up and can see why I jotted it down – for all of you two years later! Picture a quiet scene, picture finding strength in the woods, in silence. The poem read two years ago to be found now for all of you…the beauty of God’s creation and the power of observing creation for restoring our souls.

Comfort by Robert Frost:
Say! You’ve struck a heap of trouble —
Bust in business, lost your wife;
No one cares a cent about you,
You don’t care a cent for life;
Hard luck has of hope bereft you,
Health is failing, wish you’d die —
Why, you’ve still the sunshine left you
And the big, blue sky.

Sky so blue it makes you wonder
If it’s heaven shining through;
Earth so smiling ‘way out yonder,
Sun so bright it dazzles you;
Birds a-singing, flowers a-flinging
All their fragrance on the breeze;
Dancing shadows, green, still meadows —
Don’t you mope, you’ve still got these.

These, and none can take them from you;
These, and none can weigh their worth.
What! you’re tired and broke and beaten? —
Why, you’re rich — you’ve got the earth!
Yes, if you’re a tramp in tatters,
While the blue sky bends above
You’ve got nearly all that matters —
You’ve got God, and God is love.

This last week a shiny-eyed elderly woman came into the store and ordered several copies of a little gift book that she gives away to comfort and encourage her friends, Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms: Hope & Encouragement from Psalm 23 by Max Lucado. In her excitement of the power of words affecting her she opened to her favorite page and asked me to read the following section. Here are the beautiful words to follow up Psalm 23’s “My cup runneth over”…
…the overflowing cup was a powerful symbol in the days of David. Hosts in the ancient East used it to send a message to the guest. As long as the cup was kept full, the guest knew he was welcome. But when the cup sat empty, the host was hinting that the hour was late. On those occasions, however when the host really enjoyed the company of the person, he filled the cup to overflowing. He didn’t stop when the wine reached the rim; he kept pouring until the liquid ran over the edge of the cup and down on the table. Have you ever wondered why God gives so much? We could exist on far less. He could have left the world flat and gray; we wouldn’t have known the difference. But he didn’t.

He splashed orange in the sunrise
and cast the sky in blue.
And if you love to see geese as they gather,
chances are you’ll see that too.

Did he have to make the squirrel’s tail furry?
Was he obliged to make the birds sing?
And the funny way the chickens scurry
or the majesty of thunder when it rings?

Why give a flower fragrance? Why give food its taste?
Could it be
he loves to see
That look upon your face?

I love to know that God took such time in his details so that he could watch the look on my face. I think of what I do for Stu and Camden – for my friends. What you all do for me and each other – and the reason we take the time to do specific details is because we want to see the look on their faces – their delight. If I could only spend the time to give that delight to others more often and not be self-absorbed. God took the time to create these details because of his intense love for us. Can you imagine being that creative?!?!?! So, today, this week, this movement in your song – don’t forget to look at the sky. As Robert Frost states – No one can take that away from you. You’re rich! You have the earth. You’ve got all that matters – you’ve got God & God is love. Have a great week – I hope I’m working when you come into the store, but if I’m not – know that we thank you so much for giving us your business. You will never know what your little checks do for us getting more & more in the store! Go take on your week, make your day one that you’re proud of, making decisions that no one will even know you made. Give someone a book. Give someone a poem. You never know. It may change their life. Susan

Latin for this week: Causa Nostrae Laetitiae – “Cause of Our Joy”

Works Cited:

Lucado, Max. Safe in the Shepherd’s Arm: Hope & Encouragement from Psalm 23. Nashville. Thomas Nelson. 2002.

Product Overview

Words of comfort and inspiration from Psalm 23 provide readers with hope to persevere through life’s daily challenges.

In today’s world it can be difficult to feel safe and secure. That’s why in this revised and updated Safe in the Shepard’s Arms, which has sold more than 475,000 units, Max Lucado offers a 30-day devotional as a reliable source of safety and security from the 23rd Psalm. He describes this psalm as “written by a shepherd who became a king–because He wanted us to know about a King who became a shepherd.” With Psalm 23 as our guide, we can release our burdens, throw off our fears, and rest safely in the Shepherd’s arms.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1404187715
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces

Recommended in Susan’s July 3, 2008 Newsletter