Friday, March 28, 2008

The Lord is My Shepherd!

Hey, bloggers! Happy Friday! TGIF! WEEKEND!!! It's going to be a great one at CITN, and I hope that you're all a part of it.

As most of you know, a new, fourth edition of my devotional A Year In The Now is soon to be released, but some of my AYITN devotees may not know about my other devotional based on the 23rd Psalm called Twenty-Three, New Reflections on the 23rd Psalm and You. It's very different from AYTIN, but it has helped a lot of people get through some major crises in their lives. But you don't have to be in survival mode to appreciate is full of the medicine of the Word in a preventive maintenance sense. If, however, you know someone who is currently going through a really hard or stressful season, it would make an excellent gift for them.

If the following ministers to you, you would enjoy Twenty-Three...













Anonymous said...

First off all I can say is Ha Ha.
When I came on the song Tomorrow from Annie was playing. Heather would have got a giggle out of that one. The sun has to come out tomorrow. I have had a hard time blogging due to computer malfunctions & crazy feelings that I can't seem to let go. How cool you did the 23 psalms. I really need it.
C U at prayer at 9

Mystic said...

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever or think they might ever have a crisis arise in their lives--and I hear that it may be Oprah's next book club selection--I know it's only a rumor but I'm just sayin'...

Thanks for writing it, Bishop. It's truly inspired/inspiring.


Angela said...

Awesome. Look forward to Sunday!

kettly duchatellier said...

Good Morning To You All,

A call to the intercessors this Morning.

I know we have been doing it.The Lord has put this in my Spirit this Morning.To pray for a family.
Can we pray one more time for the Swelley's Family.
We do not built a man above God,
that's not what we are doing.
But when God single out, to touch a
man,like He has touch our Bishop Swilley, Pastor Debye,his children,
and the rest of their family,they all need Divine strenght. This Morning,I would like for us prayer warriors to pray behond, what we normally pray concerning them.NOT only for our Bishop, but specially for Pastor Debye,who,s a wife a mother,and the Spiritual mother for the women of the church,and more.And for other Pastors ,and care pastors.
Let us pray God,for His Divine strenght,and security, towards them all.

Apostle Paul recommanded us to devote ourselves to prayer,being watchful and thankful for them having put their life on the line for us so we can finally know the real about the Gosple.Pray that God open every blessing(s)doors,for them.
God Bless You All.

famman87 said...

Good AM family...
Not much time right now, am at the office...

Just wanted to let you know,Kettly,I'm in 1000% agreement with ya... will be there all day!

It's gooood to know your shepherds voice... and he does none of it alone, what an amazing family!!!

Be back later...

Much love...

IzJOY said...

Good morning,

Bish, here's what your revelation illuminates in me:

Who - the Absolute, Nobleman

What - leads, restores, comforts, prepares, anoints, follows and abides

When - the inception; origin

Where - beside waters of stillness and righteous paths

Why - enhancement of His name

How - His measuring utensil and authority

OK...I wonder who did the first pic. Am I imagining this? From Izumi's origami flight module, the background sure looks like earth from space!

Jesus has His hand on one guy's head. If you stare long enough at the creases of that guy's robe, you might glimpse the stone wall background from the "Celebrate Palm Sunday", pic.

And if you look "a little really" (one of my grandson's phrases for beyond or exceedingly) close to the Lord's robe, you also might see an outline that resembles the Shroud of Turin face.

Woohoo! This is a little really fun!

And if you scrunch up close and look at the bottom of Jesus' robe, it kinda looks like two figures, facing one another, at the base of massive tree trunks.

What if that's Origin? And... what if, it's Adam and Eve, restored?

AND, if you scrunch up even closer, say, with maybe your face leaving smudge marks on the monitor, I can almost guarantee you this: Somebody's gonna walk in. They'll pray for you all day.

See? From space, it's all good!

Anonymous said...

I had to catch up on my page a day calendar entries this week, to, low and behold see that today's says...

"It is hard to worry and trust God at the same time".

That is my true daily battle; walking out each day, keeping my eyes on Him, having to keep it together, not freak out at the natural state of things, not be an emotional wreck in front of the children, MOVING FORWARD moment by moment. Fakin' it till we are makin' it... getting ourselves straight so we stop this cycle of chaos. Appreciating the fact that we get to stay home more together and not focusing on the fact that gas is a luxury today! I may be stressed but i know how stinkin' blessed I am!

This made me go find my copy of Twenty-Three and bring it front and center. I so need that "medicine of the Word" to get me away from reactive mode. Thanks for shakin' the trees today, and having that delicious, juicy, fruit of the word fall at my feet! Yum!

Scribe38 said...

Good Morning Family:

Here is the word for us:

Written: Monday Morning
28 MARCH 2005! @ 0922 Hours

There must be clear marks of distinction between the enemies of GOD and God's People. For all are creations of GOD, but not all are Sons and Daughters of GOD. Sons and Daughters of GOD come forth through the need, establishment, and acknowledgement of right relationship with GOD by way of CHRIST. I am JEHOVAH GOD and I know all things. Should anyone stand by idly while the enemies, adversaries, and accusers of the brethren attack, malign, or throw rocks at their brothers or sisters without taking a stand for all that be Holy and Acceptable in mine sight, then surely they have set themselves against ME and called the powers of destruction in to devour them, unless they REPENT for not adhering to mine commands, requirements, and instructions. For whatsoever is done unto the least of mine people is also and already done unto ME! I am the Lord God Almighty: So let not mine admonishments fall upon deaf ears. Call the enemies of GOD out whenever they attempt to intertwine themselves with mine anointed, for they are deceptive and working diligently at HIDING OUT by flying in underneath the radars / detection devices. Boldly proclaim what I- JEHOVAH GOD have said and leave all else up to ME.

REJOICE! for I provide seed to the sowers and bread to those who feed mine sheep. I AM the Lord of Hosts. I decree unto thee FAVOR and GRACE by the shipyards full and no good thing shall I withhold from thee. Blessing galore and increase by the boatloads enroute unto thee quickly and RIGHT NOW, says GOD.

Hallelujah! AMEN.

Avatar said...

laura: good to see you back
angela: yes!

mystic: I think Bishop would say, "that's two."

kettly/famman87: 1000% Yes! All day.

izjoy: you ARE! your name. Last time I put my face that close to the screen it was an email that said "get up close" and then scared the beje-- out of me. Although I needed prayers that day too (LORD, I jumped) yours is definitely gentler on the heart--assuming the heart gets the whole I Am who I Am thing. (smile)

anonymous: beautiful picture, taking dominion, shaking the tree so that the fruit that can't be reached will fall.

Bishop: I'm still selahing. Not a scrabble worthy word, but you get the point.

Donald said...

I appreciate all the hard work that goes into the posts, but you could have simply put that first picture there and been done with it.
That is the gospel.

Izumi/JOY said...

The man (?) whose face was in his hands... Jesus @ Gethsemane?

Or, Jesus returning to earth's womb, carrying a branch from the Tree of Life? Key to unlock Shadow Land?

The ark and the covenant walking under the wings of the cherubim?

Iris said...

I have always loved this Psalm… I remember a sermon Bishop taught us years ago on goodness and mercy… It was incredible… It has stuck with me … It changed how I see goodness and mercy…

I thank God everyday for His goodness and mercy everyday in my life… I love the Scripture in Psalm 107:1 that “His mercy endures forever… I also love how David remembers in Psalms 136…”The seas were parted, for His mercy endures forever, Pharaoh’s armies were drowned, for His mercy endures forever…” Over and over again David remembers the blessing of the past….

So many times I forget to remember His goodness and His mercy…

Then again I love the scripture in Jeremiah 33:11, “His mercy endures forever.” Jeremiah saw the coming kingdom… He saw the lion lying down with the lamb, he saw the little child leading a lion down the street, He saw the Kingdom of righteousness and peace, and Jeremiah said, “Praise the Lord! Look what He has in the future for me! His mercy endures forever.”

Then in Ephesians 2:4…”God is rich in mercy.” His mercy reaches out to us every moment of every day… It is in the NOW…It is so awesome to think that as long as I live His goodness and His mercy will never run out… It is always here for me NOW

I decided I wanted to see where the word “endure” comes from… In the Greek it means “To conquer.” So if we substitute endure with conquer… It sounds so powerful… “His mercy conquers forever.”

So when I lay down at night… I remember all of the beautiful gifts my sight had given me… the symphony of music my hears have heard…the supernatural health I walk in… The power of each breath I breathe… and the new chance every day to proclaim…”Hallelujah! His mercy conquers forever..:”

When kingdoms have crumbled for the last time, His mercy endures forever… When dictators have waged their wicked battles for the last time, His mercy endures forever… When the stars have fallen like untimely figs from a tree shaken by the wind, His mercy endures forever… When the sun refuses to shine… His mercy endures forever… When all of us awake to the fact that we walk in His likeness to live forever around His throne… we will proclaim His mercy endures forever…

Praise God that all of eternity His mercy endures (conquers) forever…

I guess you all can tell which part I really love about the 23rd Psalm… Hmmm… I think it could be about Goodness and MERCY…

Love you all

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Hey, Laura...

...really love your stuff, Mystic...(BTW, DBA and PM, I haven't heard from either of you today, but wanted you to know that Mystic wrote something cool about you under yesterday's post)...

thanks, Angela...

I appreciate the prayers, Kettly...

We'll leave the light on for you, Famman87...

Izumi, didn't get the artist's bad...I've commented on your good hearing before, but your seeing ain't too bad, either...

Good for you, Anonymous...

Thanks, Scribe38...

I'll accept that word, Avatar...wouldn't even challenge it in a game of Scrabble...

Thanks, Donald...your cool birthday gift was on my desk when I came in this morning...I appreciate your thoughtfulness...even your gifts are witty...and thank HH for me...

Iris...glad to hear you sounding better...peace...

DoubleBack Alley said...


Thanks for directing me to the kind comments of Mystic. Wow, Mystic, that is a heavy post. Love the light is love and vice versa. Does that mean love travels at 186,000 miles per second? Is that why it's easier to love, because it takes less time to consider the God-nature than to conjure something up about another person that really isn't them? Maybe hatred operates at the speed of spite (the time it takes any one of 186,000 people to really care why you are mad). Dude, that was good. Play Mystic for me.

Sahib, I pray peace over your trip to Korea. Wish I was going with you. Do you take these trips often? Do you like to travel? Are you going to a conference? Do you get motion sick? Do you eat the native food? Do you try to learn the language? Do you pack extra underwear and remember to brush your teeth? Sorry, the Sophist side of me is coming out. Worried about my boy traveling to a place where he may not get grits. Traveler's hint: if you ask for grits and they bring them, DO NOT eat it (them?).

Additionally Sahib, I really do believe the Lord is my shepherd, but a philosophical pondering perplexes me. Would a shepherd not want to be emulated? Is the shepherding process in place so as to allow me to become a shepherd as well? I have my opinion on the matter. What? Of course I will share it… The word “Real” is used several times in the CITN mission statement. I found a definition that suits my need; “actual: being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something;” and if that is the case, it seems that I am being groomed to shepherd, with God as a resource. This, in no way minimizes God. The essence of that would be proven when the S@%$ hits the fan. At that point, I would gladly defer to the Shepherd Emeritus. I hope you hear my heart on that. I love the God that has come to my spirit over the last few years. I am not that close with my Dad physically anymore, and God the Father has really been that anchor for me. It’s funny, the more I hear from God, the more I am (didn’t see that coming-whew) reminded of my Dad.

Love your posting today, peace in Korea, hope you can brog from there. “Gaslight” with Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman comes on tonight. I am staying in for that one.

Dwelling in the House of the Lord cause I would not want to miss the spread prepared for my enemies. Took a long time to write that last statement as I was traveling at the speed of spite.

Ain’t God Good?

Friend4Life said...

Hey Every-1! Bishop, thanks for today's Blog. I have your 23rd Psalm book. It was given to me awhile back. I didn't open it until today. After reading your blog at midnight; I opened it.

I sure am feeling alot better today. Can't even begin to (Amazing Grace) tell you where I have been.

All, I can say is; God is Gr8! He sees me as I am...perfect, the way I am...Thank you Lord for EveryDAY!

I know I am in a Time of Transition. My path is unfolding DAY by DAY. Thank you Lord 4 Bishop!! BLESS him and his family today. God BLESS Every-1 who takes part in this AMAZING place-BITN.


P.S.-(Avatar) I'm here and ok. Thank you 4 all your prayers.

Avatar said...

F4L, great news. I can say with confidence that God loves YOU!

I am still waiting to see all of the pictures in today's posts [sort of gives me a sense of "blindness"]. A few have come up but the glimpses [from y'ALL's comments] of what the missing ones must be like, sure does make "seeing" sound good.

Mystic, "darkness can be dispelled by one, but blindness from the light of pure revelation must be shared to be understood." cool and deep, a not unrelevant for me right now in the pictureless state that I am in. (smile)

DBA, "love at the speed of light, easier to consider the God nature than to conjure a false image." "speed of spite". Inspiring.

PM, I remember hearing that there is a speed at which sound becomes light. True? If so, then light-speed-love slowing down becomes a sound. A word.

More slowed down it becomes an action? [help me here, PM] Possibly in that slow speed-of-spite realm where there is a choice--to love or not. And really really slow is death?

Bishop, I'm reminded of your comment "I'm moving so fast, I'm out of the building by the time people say 'h....e....l....l....o....,....B....i....s....h....o....p..."
In this context, I'm sayin'--thanks for slowing down to the speed-of-spite realm to reach out for us, but don't stop, don't stop. Keep prayin' for us to catch up!

Iz JOY said...

avatar - Uh...Popeye?

Bish - Thanks; almost noted the cross on Jesus' robe, too. But reasoned that maybe everybody woulda thought that was too much.

IzJOY said...

DBA - Speed of spite - hysterical! (OK, now... go back, take a deep breath and study the water droplet pic)

Ebony said...

Happy Friday all,
I don't ever think the 23rd Psalm is a word out of season. We all, need to be reminded that we are int he hands of the Master's shepherd, and we live, move and have our being in him. So "Twenty-Three" is next on my list, after I buy "body-life now" and AYITN. I have also have someone in mind who'd it make a great gift for. Blessings to all, I'm going to take a nap. I'm not feeling well (chest cough, fever, chills, congestion went to Dr.). And Bish, I've made a mental note to perfect my mom's Red Velvet cake recipe since I know it's one of your faves.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bishop! We wanted to wish you a happy early birthday. I made you a card, check it out:

-Brandon and Kristina Falbe

Avatar said...

izjoy, No, not one-eyed. On "I'll Be Back", I mentioned my computer not showing the pictures, but they're up now, and definitely speaking to me. Also, I finally had time to "bring forth" an answer to you on "He IS Alive." It took a while to put words to it.

dennis, what uuuuup, dude?

iris, mercy and grace. yay-ess.

I'm lovin' YOUR mercy and grace, Bishop, (make that MERCY AND GRACE!) Yesterday's angel and today's "don't-mess-with-us" Mercy and Grace. Way cool. Updating my files on them right now! Mine were way too saintly. I LIKE THESE!! Your palette of pictures profoundly present the precious truth of Psalm 23 and the GosPel with the precision and elegance of a fugue. I'm going to go "listen" again.

[okay, that p-sentence took a while to construct, but it is my heart and I hope returns to you a little of the Great Gifts you give daily to me and to ALL of us]

Anonymous said...

Of course, I don't know where you get all your beautiful pictures and illustrtions, but I would like to thank you for you hard work and diligent research to bring it to us !! thanks...Rockflower

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Scribe38 said...

Evening Family:

Don't know how many of my brothers and sisters will drop in this evening, but whoever does, I would like to humbly request that everyone sends up some prayer and intercession for me. Walking through some very trying times and "unusually difficult" situations right now.
Thanks in advance for the love, support, and encouragement. I truly appreciate you all sharing your hearts and mind and thank GOD for the opportunity to share His Word with you each day. It is an awesome thing to have those double doses of GRACE & MERCY with me all the days of my life. In case anyone has not used their entire supply of Grace and Mercy for today, send your extras my way. Thanks! Peace and Love to you. Good Night!

Mystic said...

Once again I am amazed at the depth of thought and brightness of the light of revelation in this community...WOW! Awesome dudes and dudettes!

DBA...thank you for taking that thought and running with it...loved it! "The speed of spite" really had me thinking today.

Izi/Joy...I love your honesty and your aplomb. I want you to know that I did as you suggested and actually heard others praying for me today--snap! It is certainly ALL GOOD!

Hey Laura! LET GO!!!

Scribe...thank you for that--the one thing that stood out for me was the visual of people throwing rocks at others--no, I would certainly not stand idly by--I would grab a bat and swing for the fences!

Kettly...I love you, girl and I'm all over it!

Avatar & Donald...thank you and I find myself scanning for your posts just as I do for others. know you're awesome and I eagerly devour your books, blogs, and words. Wordsmith does not even scratch the surface on you..


PS...DBA &'re not the only ones who know and like RO...what would we do without his "Essentials"?'ve made me pull out my DVD of Gaslight and, in case you like Cary Grant/Anyone combo as much as I do, there's a double feature on TCM Sunday night. (I could watch Cary Grant just sit there and be content...for a little while anyway :-) Indiscreet is on at 7PM EST and Notorious at 9PM EST. Just thought I'd let you know.

Mystic said...'ve got spades! Thoughts and prayers your way.

And Iris...thank you for that! FABULOUS! Conquering MERCY AND GRACE! I know I needed that and I thank God for you!!


Those "Word Verification" things are eerily familiar to me sometimes...are we typing in tongues?

Anonymous said...

Bishop Swilley,I always enjoy the pics you choose to post,they seem to always be the perfect vehicle to convey your thoughts.

It seems that the 23 Psalm speaks the most comforting words in all the Bible,if not all of literature.No matter what stage of life you may be in,theirs a word for you.

I only have a few thoughts I would like to share this evening and I hope their relevant.

First up,the Lord is MY Shepard.He is not just a Shepard,He is MY Shepard.He has not just chosen me as one of His sheep,but I have chosen Him as MY Shepard.God by His sovereign will has chosen us all in Christ,but at some point in time we all will choose Him by our free will.Im not just His child,but He is MY Father by MY choice.I find that awesome!

Next up,I shall not want.Sheryl Crows sings"It's not getting what you want,but wanting what you got",when the Lord is my Shepard what satisfies me changes,what I want most is His presence.I don't want to sound like a religious ogre thinking all you ever get from God is hardship and suffering,nor do I want to see God as my cosmic butler catering to my every whim either,but after being in His presence my green pasture is enough.Not that I don't ever want things,but I don't have to have them to be happy as long as I'm with Him.

Finally,He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enimies.I don't know if this is what this verse is actually saying,but this is what it says to me?Even though you are in a hostile enviroment,though they are many that wish you to fail and fall flat on your face,God will cause you to succeed any way.All those who didn't believe in you,who offered no support are going to have to come to the table of your success and offer you a toast or sit back with envy as you enjoy your success with out them.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and what I said made some kind of sense.


famman87 said...

Happy night-time peeps...Thanks for leaving the light on for me.

Have had something on my mind all day, and I'm not really sure who it's for...probably at least partially for me, but I'm sure for someone else,too.

not a famman original by any means, it's a quote from one of my all time favorites books. It can be construed as possibly a negative thought in a way, But i prefer to think of it in a "silver lining" kind of way..,

Here goes, I hope this finds whomever needs it..

"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in it's hands. You(I,We) seek problems because you(I,We) need their gifts"~Richard Bach

Scribe- I'm not sure how long I've known you, but you have spoken into me alot over the past couple of days... prayers,thoughts, and love to you.

Iz-Is it just me or can you see a shadowy Jacob at the top left side of the staircase?

Iris-Your mention of forever enduring mercy reminded me of School of the Bible III and how His love also endures forever. Choked me right up again. Do you think they are one and the same, or just alot alike?

Boy am I real glad that Mercy and Grace are on my side...That pic makes me think of RJ and BJ for some strange reason.LOL

Love you all for real. So glad I decided to come out and play with you...

Tag. You're it...

Iz/JOY said...

Here's what I meant in reference to "Popeye": Anyone w/anger management issues (ready to "pounce") that I may have offended with (what might appear as outward glibness) joy.

I realize it's sometimes hard to bear (when you're going through stuff & depleted of it). So, I choose to be sensitive to where others are in their faith.

Truth is, I'm not always so joyful. I often remind myself to set that place before me - but thank you.

Iz/JOY said...

Iris - that was great!

Thanks, Mystic

DBA - great posts; ditto for PM

famman87 - uh... I thought that was guacamole - lol

Avatar said...

izjoy, got it. [I probably should have this time since I loved your Popeye reference the last time]. With all Glory to God and His work at CITN, [in other words, its been His work on my previous life] most of the time, I quickly go to "where is the Kingdom in this?" or "okay, there's a blessing here, where is it?" Your posts are a very important part of helping us all do that!

So, definitely no offense to me [I'm not sure about any others, but I don't think that's what you were asking]. I realized when I was finally able to see the pictures in the afternoon, that I en-joy-ed "seeing" through everyone else's eyes first.

And this is cool. I think it was donald that said "the first picture was all that was necessary." I waited and waited to see what that one was. Then last night, it showed up, and it was Bishop's bookcover.

Bottom line, no sensitivity required here. And if it ever is, I promise to let you know you've revealed a soft spot and I need you to be easy on me for a sec [and assuming you'll do the same]. Hugs to you for caring to ask. (((izjoy)))

Iz/JOY said...

avatar - I'm constantly wondering where the Kingdom is in situations. So much so, that it tends to be an irritant to others who aren't in that bubble.

Someone blogged that they might be perceived as a Pollyanna because her/his outlook always seemed positive. I try to stay there too. Admittedly, I have days that would prove otherwise.

(Thank God for Orville Redenbacher and Ziggy.)

Thing is, this party's full of prophetic people. And an innocent remark here and there can seem like a drawn sword to some but means nothing to the speaker.

I wonder how many "blurkers" have refrained from wearing their party hats, simply because they don't know the language.

For instance, I know zilch about sports, the stock market, quantum physics, logistics, etc. So, I just mosey over to the Triscuits and hope somebody will be generous enough to nudge me when I have chives on my sleeve.

As for the bookcover, I apologize for not mentioning it, too. Honestly? My first thought, after seeing Jesus portrayed like that was, "Hey, He kinda looks like a dark-haired Liam Neeson. And that one looks like David Lee Roth, that guy looks like Shia Laboef - and wow - He's huggin' Amy Winehouse! Cool."

Hugs back atcha

Izumi/JOY said...

Bish, regarding "Twenty Three". I've been meaning to share this (if you can stand one more post from me today and that's it) but kept getting sidetracked.

Here's where I've returned in thought: He leads me beside still waters.

One translation for still = yet. Fascinating regarding nowness.

Isn't it funny how His voice is like the sound of many rushing waters? How can we understand what He's saying, until the waters still? Ditto for our own souls.

I read recently that we cannot see our own reflection in the rushing; only in still water!

"Still" could also signify a distillery. Reminds me of when Jesus was thirsty and how some offered Him vinegar (old wine) on a sponge.

The line: Paths of righteousness made my spirit leap. In other words, an established line of travel or access. Not some new, irrelevant, never before blazed route, but a well-worn, well-traveled, the-way-is-certain, kind of trail.

Enough! I need a bag of Chex mix and my pillow.

Night, all.