Shepherd's Song : Finding the Heart to Go On

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2000-09-01
  • Publisher: Howard Books
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Your life is going well -- you are winning the battles of faith and enjoying your relationships with people and with God. Suddenly, you stumble. Things go wrong -- you lose your job; your marriage crumbles; or a loved one dies. Through prayer and perseverance, you recover and regain your strength; but disaster strikes again -- unexpected temptation shakes your faith -- and you find yourself searching for answers. Suddenly, you hear a friendly, calm voice singing a song of strength and renewal. A handsome man from the past appears; he extends a hand of hope and lifts you to your feet. He introduces himself as David, the shepherd. He begins to sing a beautiful song -- the song of his life, his struggles and victories -- and the melody of his life amazingly resembles your own. "We're not much different, you and I. Your victories...failures...surprises...and disappointments -- I know them all. Come, and I will share the secrets of finding the heart to go on." Accept his invitation and discover how the most thrilling and adventurous life in Scripture holds valuable meaning for your own life of faith. Anderson's extensive research and travels throughout the Holy Lands eminently qualify him to lead you on this journey of faith. At times, you will visualize David's adventures so clearly you will feel as though you are there. Other times, your view of the shepherd turned king will be eclipsed by the reflection of yourself. But at all times, you will hear the song -- the shepherd's song -- and it will give hope and meaning to your own life's song.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Prologuep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Sheep could not report on David's performance, so, in the face of danger, he could just as well have fled, but he didn't--Because He Had the Heartp. 3
David has paid his dues, and he shows the value of three vital elements when--Facing Giantsp. 17
David lost his position, his integrity, his dignity, and the people who cared about him, but he reveals a sure source of hope and comfort--When You Hit Rock Bottomp. 29
Three steps that will help you, as they did David, to come back from being out of touch with God, in a hostile land--Running from Our Rootsp. 41
Five revealing questions David might ask you about your career--"When I Get My Ducks in a Row"p. 53
David helps us see and understand a little more of God's awesome holiness--God of Death and God of Dancingp. 65
David teaches us by his example how to react to disappointment--Shattered Dreamsp. 77
David's life underscores four axioms regarding sexual temptation--Taking the Big Hitp. 89
Nathan demonstrates five requisites for an effective approach--Caring Enough to Confrontp. 103
David's lifestyle influenced his family the same as ours does--Families in the Fast Lanep. 117
How children of today (especially adult children), the church, and the crushed parents themselves can help--When a Father's Heart Is Breakingp. 131
David exemplifies how to adapt to a new phase of our lives--Aging with Classp. 145
The drama of David's struggle with grudges reminds us that we all are complex creatures--Trying to Forgivep. 157
In spite of all his problems, David knew deep joy because of his relationship with God--He Went Out Singingp. 169
David sometimes doesn't understand himself, but he becomes "every man" to let us know God is for every man--On through the Fogp. 181
Discussion Questionsp. 193
Notesp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.


In midwinter of 1809, at a log cabin in HardinCounty, Kentucky, a baby boy was born to the subliterate Lincolnfamily. They called the boy Abraham. Abe Lincoln! The world atlarge paid little mind to this obscure but history-changingchild. Far bigger attractions held global attention—it wasin that year that Napoleon marched iron-shod through Austria,crushing all resistance and threatening the order of the Westernworld.

In the year 1020 b.c. another significant birth had gonevirtually unnoticed. Few took note of a redheaded little boy,born to a poor sheepherder named Jesse, near the vague parameterswhere the humble village of Bethlehem dwindled into desolatepasturelands. Hebrew eyes followed a far more dramatic figure.Roadways rang with war songs of the massive, swaggering,charismatic new King Saul. Yet while Saul drifted unwittinglytoward disaster, God was quietly shaping the heart of the eighthand unknown son of Jesse, who would become one of the mostcolorful and visible figures of history. They called him David.

King David!

This book aims to lead twentieth-century, fast-lane people topoints of intersection with David. The reader, hopefully, willspot himself or herself in the wide range of emotions andexperiences of this struggling man.

David's era strikingly parallels our own.

Decline, disillusionment and danger: three words of our times.Decline? People are living in a world with no stuffing, a societyin decline—and they feel the life running out of them.Disillusionment? Nothing works. Nothing will change. No one meanswhat he says. Danger? We are worried sick about unemployment andso terrified of AIDS that we burn down the houses of schoolchildren. Elderly urbanites die of heat suffocation, afraid toturn on the air conditioner lest they cannot pay the bill, andafraid to open the windows lest they be robbed. How do we findthe heart to go on?

Those same three conditions—decline, disillusionment anddanger—also marked the times when David stepped from thepastures to the palace. Decline. In those days the Hebrew peoplewere descending the lower slopes of long spiritual and socialdecline. Joshua and Moses were forgotten. The public conscienceseemed numbed by the lust-driven religions of Canaaniteneighbors. After three hundred years under an assortment ofjudges, pure chaos prevailed. "In those days there was noking in Israel: every man did that which was right in his owneyes" (Judges 21:25 kjv).

Decline fed disillusionment. Leader after leader began well andended badly. The fans screamed for a new quarterback and gotone—but Saul, "the people's choice," turned out tobe a psychotic and murderous blunderer.

Decline and disillusionment were surrounded by danger. From theAegean Islands, a warlike maritime people had migrated to thecoastal plain of Palestine. These Philistines established fivecity-states, ruled by five shrewd and bloody princes. Theirbooming economy was capped off by a monopoly on iron andblacksmiths. Israel had only bronze and wood.

The plains trembled under thousands of thundering Philistinechariots; wheels armed with spinning swords were capable ofcutting down whole Israeli divisions, like mowing grass. ThePhilistine infantry must have resembled mobile forests of steelas weapons flashed in the desert sun. The Israelites, on theother hand, were armed only with slings, arrows, assorted farmtools, a few knives, and instruments of bronze. In fact, at onepoint, in all the hosts of Israel only two warriors wielded ironswords: Saul and Jonathan (1 Samuel 13:22). Even the deadlyaccurate Israeli arrows could not pierce the metal Philistinearmor.

Israel's hosts huddled on the hillsides in terror, watching theawesome panorama unfolding on the Philistine plain. No doubtstark panic spread across the camps of Israel, tugging at thetent flaps and tightening throats. Finally, the filthy paganenemy massacred much of the ragtag Hebrew army and carried thesacred Ark of the Covenant, the very dwelling place of God, intothe land of the Philistines.

Decline. Disillusionment. Danger. The time was right for God tointervene and to make His choice (1 Samuel 13:14). Our man Davidwas given the nod of God—but why?

Many know King David only for his bright hour with Goliath andhis dark hour with Bathsheba; yet the Old Testament usessixty-six chapters to unfold his saga. The New Testament mentionshim no less than fifty-nine times, and only God knows how many ofthe psalms flowed from David's pen.

Millions of birth certificates of all races bear the name Davidor Davita. Novels, poems, paintings and movies about David touchall continents. Fluttering over every flagpole in the independentstate of Israel is the Star of David. And in Florence, Italy,every day, people from all over the world pay money and wait inline to see a fourteen-foot marble colossus, shaped four hundredfifty years ago by the twenty-six-year-old hand of Michelangelo,depicting the spirit of David.

Such legendary proportions are misleading, for they balloon Davidlarger than the flesh-and-blood reality portrayed in Scripture.

David was not a "biblical character." There are nobiblical characters. The people in the pages of the Bible wereordinary human beings like you and me, who just happened to bearound when the Bible was being written. David is no different.In fact, the human spirit resonates so universally with the heartof David precisely because he was a street-level, earthy man. Itis not his gargantuan mythological proportions but the plainprofile of his humanness that makes David "the man for allmen."

How will this give me the heart to keep going?

Read on!

Excerpted from The Shepherd's Song: Finding the Heart to Go On by Lynn Anderson
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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