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Deaf Ministries Worldwide
Encouragement Today
by Diane Musil



Diane Musil is a special friend of this ministry. I asked Diane how long she has been a Christian, and she responded, "I was saved 7/7/1977. Diane explains, "That is when I first became saved and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord!!!!" She is a women of faith and a powerful prayer warrior. Diane loves the Lord with all of her heart and has a deep abiding relationship with Him, born out of life's struggles.

Since the beginning of this ministry, Diane has been an encouragement to Rhonda and me. We asked Diane if she would be willing to write devotionals, which we could add to this website, so that other people would be encouraged too. Diane graciously responded, "Yes,".
Diane is Deaf and legally blind, caused by being born almost three months premature. Many years ago, Diane was visiting at the Retreat Center here and preparing to share in chapel. Diane was in the kitchen, and I happened to walk in on her as she was reading her Bible and praying. Diane had her Bible within three inches of her eyes as she diligently, slowly, was reading the Word of God. I backed out of the kitchen. That image of Diane reading her Bible has spurred me on to be faithful in reading the precious Word of God. Rhonda and I pray that God will encourage you as you read Diane's devotionals each month. Diane has lived in the Chicago area her entire life.
May God encourage and bless you,

Diane holding her dog "Pup"
PS: Would you like to experience peace, joy, and eternal life? You can! Click here.


May 2008


Hi Friend:

We have been exploring the "riches" found in Psalm 23, and will continue to do so for the next few months. We are focusing this month and next month on verse 4. I encourage you to read the past devotionals on Psalm 23. Scroll down to "Archives" to read. I pray that God will use this devotional to be an eye-opening, insightful blessing to you!


PSALM 23:4
"Yea, 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." (New King James Version)
 "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." (New Inernational Version)


Many people think Psalm 23:4 is a verse to be read during a funeral service or at the graveside of a loved one. But I have good news!


"Valley of the shadow of death" is referring to our life experiences. Yes it refers to death and sorrow. But it also referring to our fears, fears for tomorrow's "unknowns", tragic things that happen in our world today, going through deep valley of pain and suffering, a deep depression, health crises, financial crises and serious marriage problems.

As we learn to know and trust our Shepherd, Jesus, then we, His sheep, are able to go through the darkest times in our lives.

I am at high risk for food allergies. Sometimes my deepest fear is that I will become extremely sick, or even die, from an allergic reaction to food."

Here is a picture of a deep valley. The land on both sides of the valley is rich, green and beautiful. But King David gives us another picture. The valley is the home of wolves, it is a dangerous place, a dark place of the unknown. The shepherd knows His sheep love being on the mountain top. But there are times when the shepherd leads his flock through deep valleys of darkness. The sheep must totally depend on the shepherd as he leads them. We, too, would rather be on top of the mountain where life is good and all seems fine. But real life is not always experienced on the mountain top. Our shepherd, Jesus, also leads us through the dark valleys in life.

In Matthew 27:46-50 we read of the dark valley that Jesus went through on the cross.
"About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?'&emdash;which means,
'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, 'He's calling Elijah.'
Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge.
He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
The rest said, 'Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him.'
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice,
he gave up his spirit" (New International Version).
In Luke 23:46 we read,
"Jesus called out with a loud voice, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.'
When he had said this, he breathed his last" (NIV).

Jesus knows and understands the dark valleys we go through. As He was dying on the cross a deep darkness covered the earth. Jesus cried out, "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?" At that moment the Father in Heaven turned away as His only begotten Son took all the sins, guilt, shame, and grief of the world. Our "deepest valleys" were laid upon Jesus. Jesus took His last breath and said, "Father, into Your hands I commit (yield up) my spirit."

In John 19:30 Jesus said,
"It is finished! (NIV).

Jesus went to the cross for us and paid the price, once and for all. He took our battles, our deepest fears and lowest valleys upon Himself.

In Revelation 1:17b-18b we read,
"Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!" (NIV).

The good news, the VERY GOOD NEWS, is that we are not alone. JESUS IS WITH US! And He calls out to us, "DO NOT BE AFRAID!"

Friend, I do like being on the mountain top just like, I'm sure, you do. However, when I am going through the valley, this poem comforts and encourages me. May this poem be a blessing to you.

"In the Valley" Author Unknown
Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
It's then we have to remember
That it's in the valleys we grow.
If we always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
We would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.
We have so much to learn
And our growth is very slow,
Sometimes we need the mountain tops,
But it's in the valleys we grow.
We do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.
The little valleys are nothing
When we picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan's loss.
Forgive me Lord, for complaining
When I'm feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it's in the valleys I grow.
Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share Your love with others
And help them find their way.
Thank You for the valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it's in the valleys I grow!
MY PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You for sending Your only begotten Son, Jesus, our very good Shepherd, to die on the cross for us. I pray that we will experience your joy on the mountain top and your peace in the valley as we recognize You are always with us. Thank you that we are never alone. AMEN.

If you have questions send an email



Home | Letter from President Gary Barrett | Contact | Outreach and Ministry Opportunities | | Team |
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