The most-read passage of Scripture is Psalm 23. It is the earliest psalm written in first-person language. God moved on David’s heart with very familiar terms. David was an experienced shepherd. David knew the character and behavior of sheep. David knew sheep are instinctively more reliant upon a leader than any other animal in the world. Sheep feel very secure in groups of five, six, or more because being in a group discourages predators. Sheep will drink from standing water or shallow water much more often than fast-running water. The noise from fast-running water disturbs them. Also, unfamiliar water sources are not a risk they are willing to take. Still water appeals to their quiet nature. If an unsheared sheep falls in or wades out too deep while drinking, his wool will take on water. That will pull him under and drown him. Sheep are very wise animals. They generally will follow only a shepherd who provides, guides, and protects them. They will know and follow his voice. How much more personally could God have touched David’s life than to inspire him to pen the words in Psalm 23?
VERSE 1: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” I understand I need to be completely dependent upon the Lord for all my provision. He sees ahead of me in every circumstance I encounter. His wisdom and understanding are perfect and is as precious as rubies. He has the power and authority to provide, guide, and protect me as a completely helpless sheep being stalked by a predator. What do I have to fear? I do not need to fear what man or Satan can do to me if my trust is completely in the Shepherd and His provision. Nothing can separate me from Him or His presence; absolutely nothing.
VERSE 2: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.” The valley the shepherd chooses for his sheep is filled with peace. It’s shady; vegetation grows freely. The tender, green grass leads to the creek. It looks so inviting. A good shepherd’s sheep are happy and healthy from grazing on quality grass. In the valley, pure water collects from the snows which run down the mountainsides. The shepherd knows valleys are the last areas to be affected during a dry season. How about the dry and rough times in our lives? If we lie down where our Shepherd leads us, it will be very comfortable. We can calmly allow God to refresh and renew us before we travel on. What a difference it makes in our lives! My Great Shepherd understands me and knows how to furnish me with life-sustaining water so peacefully. He’s able to protect me from drowning in the cares of life. How peaceful and soothing is the soft running water in the brook He chooses.
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NEW JERSEY FOR JESUS CHRIST
Jonathan Olavarria serves as pastor of The Hub Church in Jersey City, New Jersey, a ministry of the Church of God of Prophecy since 2016. Jonathan has served in various ministry roles including summer camps, youth, children, Christian education, pastoral care, and evangelism. Pastor Jonathan is also a vice principal with Newark Public Schools. He and his wife, Noemi, have been married since 2012 and have been blessed with two sons, Adrian and Benjamin.
First to Join Pioneers and Planters
Michael Edwards is pastor of Orange Grove Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A fourth-generation bishop, he is the grandson of former General Overseer M. A. Tomlinson and great grandson of A. J. Tomlinson. Bishop Edwards is a graduate of Tomlinson College (1979). He and his wife, Cindy, have been married more than 45 years.
Celebrating God's MIRACULOUS PROVISION
We are always excited to share the testimonies from the nations of the miraculous provisions of God. Rejoice with our family as they celebrate.
CARING FOR KIDS IN CRISIS Children and Depression
Depression is a common and serious medical illness. It is real, it happens, and it is treatable. Society has put a stigma on mental illness, and as the salt and light of the world we must put an end to that stigma.
The Significance of Planting Churches on New Ground
Bishop Chin Kang Mon is the national overseer of Myanmar. Bishop Chin has planted numerous churches throughout the country. One of our newer nations, Bishop Chin has 35 churches, 3 missions, and 1,550 members under his care as well as three orphanages. One of his greatest accomplishments is the establishment of South East Asia Mission College. Bishop Chin writes, The ultimate objective of this college is to prepare, equip, and train his people to be effective workers of God in Myanmar and beyond. Its vision is to adequately produce and multiply planters, evangelists, missionaries, and cell-leaders. SEAMC graduates and students are enthusiastic in different fields of ministry in Myanmar. There have been 425 graduates from SEAMC and 75 percent of graduates have been serving the Lord as missionaries, evangelists, pastors, and association/church key leaders in Myanmar. Fifty percent of the graduates have been serving the Lord in new mission fields among unreached people groups.
HOW PENTECOST CAME TO ANEGADA
Bishop Adrian L. Varlack, Sr. became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 14 in an island-wide revival in his native Anegada, British Virgin Islands. He has been an ordained bishop since 1972 and has spent 48 years in international missions promotions, church administration, preaching, teaching, and writing for the Church of God of Prophecy, including three years as overseer of Canada, where he supervised 40 pastors. He has traveled and ministered in over 90 nations and territories. September 1999, Varlack joined International Leadership Development and Discipleship Ministries as a member of the faculty of the Center for Biblical Leadership and served as an instructor for 19 years. At the 2006 International Assembly, he was also appointed church historian, and in September 2018, consultant to the general overseer. He lives in Cleveland, Tennessee, with his wife of 54 years, Janice Smith Varlack, also of the British Virgin Islands. They have seven children, 25 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Pioneers and Planters in Central and South America
Our Leaders on Mission
Marsha Robinson is the Communications department publications coordinator for the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices. She is the managing editor of the White Wing Messenger, Mensajero Ala Blanca, and Le Messager a L'Aile Blanche. She is an ordained Church of God of Prophecy minister and actively works as a community chaplain.
The Will to Serve
Wilson J. Rodríguez is from Nicaragua. He is a 22-year-old member of the COGOP in Nueva Guinea, a city in southeast Nicaragua. Under the leadership of his national supervisor, Bishop Jorge Marrero, and his local pastor, Uriel Mejia, Brother Wilson serves the church in youth, children's, and discipleship ministries as secretary and assistant treasurer. He also has his own ministry collecting food to distribute to those in need.
Time in the Bank
You might think that money is the most valuable currency in the world. All of society seems to run by cash or card. However, it’s not the change in your pocket that’s your most valuable possession. It’s something even more sacred— and I guarantee you, you’re rich in it!
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