The shepherd reminds us of simpler times and slower lives. Embrace the life of a shepherd today – living more simply, moving more slowly.

Stop and have a conversation you normally don’t have time for. At some point today, sit quietly with no screen for as long as you can.

Rest now in God’s goodness.

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Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff— they protect me.

Psalm 23:4

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Ok, what is the difference in a rod and a staff? It’s the same thing, right? Well, a rod was more like a club used to protect the sheep from predators, while a staff was a walking stick with a curved top – just the size to gently put around a sheep’s neck to move him to the safe path. Both protect – one defending and one avoiding – important safety tools.

Americans spend a LOT of money to feel safe: home alarm systems monitored 24/7; handguns bought to defend from thieves, but with their own dangers from accident and misuse; and we spend $600 billion a year on our national defense – all to feel safe.

But no one is 100% safe – sometimes life just happens. As believers, we don’t have to be afraid even in our darkest moments because God is always with us. This doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen to Christians. It means that even when they do, we don’t fear because God will be with us. That thought helps me breathe deeply.

David Burroughs

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God, forgive us for trying to make ourselves safe from the world you have called us to serve. Give me the spirit of freedom from fear so that I can move and live and be the very presence of Christ as I walk through life. Help me to live as a fearless person in the grocery story, on the subway, at school, in my home and community. In the fearless name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

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As you leave this quiet space, moving on to what this day will bring, take the faith that God is with you, the trust that God is leading you, and the peace that comes from Holy contentment.

David Burroughs

David Burroughs is the president of Passport Camps, which produces He was on the design team for the first Following the Star in 2001, offered as a devotional response for teenagers living in the realities of 9/11. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife Colleen, and their teenage children, Milligan and Walker.

Jesus, Giver Of All Good Things

Jim McConnell

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