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November 18, 2019

          For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. i will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. Ezekiel 34: 11-15 (NRSV)

 

             As Nancy Frantel, from Virginia,  was on her way to work, she would drive past a sheep farm with lush pasture. One day, she noticed a young lamb outside the fence near the road. Grazing on the newly found grass, it appeared unaware of potential danger from the passing cars. Despite desperate calls from its mother on the other side of the fence, the lamb continued grazing.

            Nancy parked nearby to consider the best way to help the lamb. Depending upon her approach, it might head in the wrong direction, risking injury or worse. She ran to the nearby house and found a worker outside. Although short of breath, she was able to tell him about her discovery. After expressing his gratitude, he followed Nancy to the location and lifted the lamb over the fence. A sense of peace came over her as she watched the animal reunite with its mother.

              Then Nancy began to think about the times she had wandered away from God. For a short time, the new experience would bring happiness> After realizing her error, she would asked for forgiveness and strength to avoid making the same mistake again. When we focus on God's directions in the Bible, we are better able to walk along the right path. We can feel comfort and rest in knowing that when we stray, God guides us back to safety.

 

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your guidance and proetction. Amen

 

              

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First United Methodist Church

2728 53rd Street South • Gulfport, Florida 33707 • (727) 321-3620 • firstumcgulfport@gmail.com

Church Office Hour: Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. ~ 12 p.m.

First United Methodist Church, Gulfport, Florida