• Reames Family – death of Revonda, service will be graveside only, Thursday, June 11, 11am, Forrest Lawn. Jimmy is also very fragile right now.
• Malinda Chalmers – at home, recent hospital stay with diverticulitis.
• Jim Davis – now home after stay at NHC with congestive heart failure.
• Pat Henry – home, considering next steps for heart issues.
• Mike & Susan Little – Mike taking cancer treatment, Susan has several health issues.
• Debbie Campbell – Rehab at Foothills Presbyterian in Easley after accident.
• Francis Feighner – cancer related to her lungs, beginning treatments soon.
• Linda Dickens – recent stroke, slowly recovering.
• Keith Blore – recent procedure for small tumor, considering next steps.
• Wayland Sherman – diagnosed with prostate cancer. Started chemo, doing very well.
• Bryson Davis – recovering remarkable well four wheeler accident, hand surgery today.
• Jim & Elaine Sumeral – homebound, ongoing health issues.
• Allyson Sherer- continues to do well overall, positive recent doctors’ visits.
• Carolyn Madden – cognitive/physical issues.
• Jane Ivey – recent surgery, hopeful to begin to feel better.
• Bill Ramey – continuing to take treatments.
• Joan Owings – NHC, continues to receive care/treatment.
Worship Options: We will continue to post a worship service every Sunday on our website and via the FBC Laurens App. You may also listen to our service on WLBG at 11:05 each Sunday morning.
Worship Resumes in Person on June 21: We will offer identical services at 9am & 11:30am each Sunday. Sunday School will remain virtual for the time being. Please read carefully the June issue of The Tie for guidance regarding worship.
Upcoming Youth Opportunities: Youth Study, 6:30pm each Wednesday evening online. Youth Kickball this Saturday night, June 13th, Colyar Park at 7pm. Please contact Haymes Harlan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or George Lewis Compton (email@example.com) for more info.
Sunday Evening Vespers: This Sunday Evening, June 14 at 6pm at Thomason Shelter. Bring an outdoor chair, food and join us for fellowship and a brief time of worship. We will sit an appropriate space apart to practice good social distancing.
Senior Adult Sunday School on the Radio: Join us at 3pm each Tuesday afternoon on WLBG. The 30 minute lessons will be offered by a FBC Sunday School teacher.
Read: Psalm 23
Over the next several weeks we will be taking a walk through the 23rd Psalm. Beginning next week, we will be taking one verse from this psalm as the focal point for our reflection time each week.
I feel certain that most of us are more than familiar with Psalm 23. Tucked between the profound anguish of Psalm 22 and the exuberant exaltation of Psalm 24 comes the beloved, cherished, and precious Psalm 23 with its endearing references to a tremendous shepherd, nurtured sheep, and vistas of rolling green pastures and fully loaded banquet tables.
Psalm 23 has been a “best seller” for literally thousands of years. It is as if Psalm 23 is embedded in the souls of humanity. It is recited at funerals and weddings while providing crucial words for these significant life events. The psalm was even quoted by President George W. Bush when he addressed the nation on the evening of September 11, 2001. And, it remains appropriate today as we face another national crisis that stretches both our resources and our nerve.
Psalm 23 was written by David who was more than familiar with tending sheep. After all, this had been his job at one time. He knew firsthand what it was for a shepherd to protect and provide for his sheep and describes his relationship to God in these terms. What David had been for his sheep, God had been for him. Notice that the Lord was not a generic shepherd to David. Instead, he was David’s personal shepherd.
The 23rd Psalm can be broken into two parts. God as the Shepherd and God as the Gracious Host. Both of these present the same general thought of God’s guardian care.
There is also a progression of a relationship within the psalm. The first three verses speak of God in the third person. Yet, these same verses remind us that God’s care is constant and abundant. Verses 4-5 speak of God in the second person, marking a transition from a statement about God to a relationship with God.
The final verse contains the promise that we and those we love can never stray too far from God’s goodness, mercy, and the tremendous invitation to “stay with Him in the house of the Lord forever.”
Our journey through Psalm 23 over the next several weeks will be one through familiar words. These words have been present during our most trying times, yet they keep on giving the more we tap into their riches. It is my hope and prayer that we all find truth, comfort, and hope along the way.
• Read Psalm 23. What are some of your memories surrounding this psalm? How does this psalm connect with the situations you recall?
• What images in the psalm are more meaningful for you? Why?
• Describe what you know of David, the author of this psalm? Think about his experience, his personality and his faith.
• Read Psalm 22 and 24. In what way does Psalm 23 “build a bridge” between these two psalms?
Prayer: Father, thank you for your great love for us. Thank you for your amazing promise of eternal life but help me to also be aware of your presence and tender care for me each day. Bless me as I begin this journey in Psalm 23. Teach me to become more like Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen