Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller | Book Review

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

OHMYGOODNESS!  This is definitely one of those go-tell-all-the-peoples-to-read-it-NOW books!  (Told the hubby he needs to read it before I'd even finished it.  I read the last sentence and immediately texted my sister-in-law to tell her she should read it.  I plan to email my mom to recommend this for her church book club.)

This is a very, very short book that packs a very big punch.  Keller goes through Psalm 23 line by line, imparting insights from his time spent as a shepherd.  We all know Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for His name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

The message of A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 is overwhelmingly one of reassurance and comfort.  The way that the author connects actual shepherding to the ways in which God loves us and takes care of us is so sweet as to nearly bring me to tears of joy.  

Personally, I also loved reading about the actual action of shepherding.  I'm enraptured with the idea of shepherding, and I ask the hubby to get me sheep every couple of weeks.  (So far, it's been a big, resounding "NO."  But I'm eternally optimistic.)   This book actually led me to recall two readalikes:  Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg and Adventures in Yarn Farming by Barbara Parry.  Scouting the Divine connects actual modern-day winemaking, beekeeping, and shepherding to passages in the Bible and Adventures in Yarn Farming is a good overview of modern shepherding (with lots of fantastic pictures).  I gave both of those books 5 of 5 stars too, and highly recommend all three.

*Random note:  I could not find any connection between W. Phillip Keller and the famous Pastor Timothy Keller.  Both are excellent Christian nonfiction writers, but I don't think they share any blood.

*I own my copy of A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.  Sadly, my library doesn't own a copy.  But this book was so good I would've bought my own copy even if the library had it.

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