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Recently, I heard a fantastic word on festooning scripture. You may have read my previous blog (And then it was a New Year…) on this subject. So, I thought I today, I would share with you the reflections I experienced while using Psalm 23 to practice.
Pastor Christine Suh, Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Fellowship Monrovia, was the guest speaker at the Fellowship Moms Bible Study.
Festooning basically means “to decorate”. Pastor Christine then shared that she would teach us how to festoon scripture into our soul. That definitely caused me to pause. She also explained the beautiful benefits of time spent personalizing scripture to our current life circumstances.
I’ll also add, that God’s Word is not a merely a story book. It’s not a place where we can see how scripture fits into our life, or how God fits into our life. Quite the opposite. Spending time in God’s Word shows us how we are to live with God as the center of our life and how we can live so as to honor Him and glorify Him through all that we do.
To festoon is to personalize. And because God’s word is alive, He can personalize it to us every time we decide to spend time with Him. That’s the heart of the good Father. He knows His children and what make each one of us respond to His voice.
As Pastor Christine continued with her teaching, she also showed how most passages have three parts:
I love this so much because these three qualities speak of how He works in our life to show us our path and purpose. God is the God of order and not chaos, so in no way do I want to confuse you at all. Let me be clear ~ God is ALWAYS oriented perfectly! We as humans are the ones who get disoriented and confused. This is why scripture is written the way it is:
- God gives us perfect direction ~ every time.
- When we get disoriented, God is there to keep us stabilized with the truth of His Word.
- Finally, God is there to refocus us and remind us Who is He, what He can do, and what our path is.
With that, I welcome you to join me in this exercise of festooning scripture! Go ahead and first read through Psalm 23 (printed at the bottom of this blog using the Amplified Bible version). After each verse, these are my first initial thoughts and feelings as I personalized this scripture.
Here we go ~
Vs.1 “The LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want.
~ Thank you, Jesus, that You are always faithful to lead me on the path You have set forth for me to travel. In that path, there is no fear of being lost, in danger, or abandoned. No matter what, You will always provide for me all that I need. It may not be what I think I want, but it will be exactly what you have planned to satisfy my needs.
Vs.2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
~ I’m grateful that You take me by the hand and gently lead me to places where I can find rest from my weariness; to places where I am able to rest in a peaceful state, and my mind is given rest from the distractions around me. I am thankful that there are opportunities that You provide for rest, and when my eyes are on You, I am able to see those times for what they are.
Vs.3 He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
~ You are gracious Lord to bring refreshment to my soul through your Living Word, through prayer, all with the opportunity to bring You glory & praise. I’m so thankful that by pausing in my day to read scripture, pray, and apply it to my life, that I can be refreshed even through the storms when they arise.
Vs.4 Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.
~ You know there will be times where I will allow my thoughts to wander away from Your truths & promises, causing confusion, disorientation, doubt, and fear. BUT ~ Your loving discipline will bring me back & Holy Spirit will wash my heart & mind clean with God’s truth over & for my life. I am grateful for Your gift of a comforter in the Holy Spirit.
Vs.5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
~ I’m humbled Lord by how You want to celebrate me; how You intend to gather me to Your presence to bless me beyond measure with all Your love and protection, guidance and rejoicing. With You there is nothing that I lack. When I’m filled with You, the overflow of my life will be unmistakably filled with You.
Vs.6 Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the LORD.”
~ You have called me by name, You have reconciled me to Your heart, You have come to save my soul and not condemn me. With You there is safety and joy, and that whatever trials and events come my way to cause disorientation, You will cover them and bring me to a place of peace. Forever!!
Whoa ~ such refreshment! Praise God!
I would love to encourage you to choose a scripture, maybe start with your favorite Psalm, and give it a try. When we truly meditate on God’s word and what He has to say to us, our soul cannot help but feel refreshed and renewed! Our soul and spirit long to be with the Father and what a beautiful privilege and blessing we have to openly read scripture and share with others what the Lord has done in our life.
Let your soul be festooned with the everlasting and perfect Word of God!
(Psalm 23 AMP) The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.
A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
2 He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
3 He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with [b]oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.