Graze: To feed on growing grasses.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

-Ps. 23:1-6

Growing up on a farm, I used to watch the cows, sheep & horses graze in the pasture. Each morning we would open the gate to the barnyard and they knew there was freedom from that small pen they were in. They also knew there was nice green grass beyond the barnyard. Once the gate was open, look out because those animals wanted to get where the tall, green grass grew – the pasture! They would take off sometimes even running up the old fenced lane that went up over the hill through the cornfield to the lush green pasture on the other side of the farm. There they would graze for a while then lay down and rest for a while then graze some more. They did this all day long. Come evening we would go over to the pasture’s edge and call the cows – 'come boss, 'come boss. They would gather at the pasture gate. Sometimes we would have to go round up a few stragglers and when all were accounted for, we’d open the lane gate and back over the hill they would go to the barnyard for the night. The next morning was the same routine, day after day.
What a life, huh?!

Oh that we could just graze and rest in shady green pastures all day long! But we can rest and graze in God’s green pastures and restore our souls . . . The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Ps. 23:1) I believe God wants us to slow down and “rest” and “graze” and “feed” on His Word. Life throws so many things our way and we are so busy – busy doing good things. But are we running on empty a good share of the time? Are we feeling stretched to extreme? Are we content with who we are in God’s divine providence? Slow down and take some time to just leisurely graze, rest a while, then graze and feed on the good things God has provided for you. Graze, rest, and enjoy the “shady green pastures” of God’s abundant love, grace, and mercy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Life is a Theater - Who's in Your Front Row?

Life is a Theater...Invite Your Audience Carefully.

Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a DISTANCE.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not going anywhere relationships or friendships.
Observe the relationships around you. Pay close attention. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill?

When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don't really understand, know or appreciate you?
The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you...the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.

Remember that the people we hang with will have an impact on both our lives and our income.
And so, we must be careful to choose the people we hang out with, as well as the information with which we feed our minds.

We should not share our dreams with negative people, nor feed them with negative thoughts.
Who's in your front row? ~author unknown~

This unknown author penned some very interesting thoughts, especially in our day and age of neglect and abuse. There is so much of that out there and I believe it has become so common place that some people just accept it as “this is the way life is”. When in all reality, we need to recognize the neglect and the abuse that is all around us. Many times we never question we just carry on like all is well. People around never know and we find it hard to accept the fact that some relationships are not healthy. This can be a cold hard fact when faced with the possibility of an abusive relationship, whether it is visible physical abuse and neglect or hidden emotional, verbal, or financial abuse. It is hard to understand – hard to cope with and does not affect just you. Its impact is felt by those close to you as well! So never, ever think it is just impacting you alone.

Unhealthy relationships must be “fixed” before something gets “broken”. Take a look at your theater . . . who and what is in your audience? Look at your relationships. Are they healthy, loving, truthful, uplifting, and encouraging? Or do your relationships beat you down, drain you of all ambition and health, belittle and smother your self-esteem keeping you from being “you”? Any relationship that keeps you from being “you” and growing as the person God created you to be, need to be looked at closely.

If you are dealing with visible or invisible wounds in your heart and life, seek help from those people in your audience that will lift you up and that you can lean on when needed. Trust God to direct your every step to recovery and healing. He will guide and direct you and restore your very self. God isn’t fooled by our exterior – He sees what’s inside and He cares! Psalm 44:21 says, "He knows the secrets of the heart” and “nothing is hidden from Him” - Hebrews 4:13. Yes, He knows, He loves, and He cares about each of us and our circumstances whatever they might be!! Look to Him and His Word, the Bible, for the answers you need. If you are struggling with some relationships - take a look at your audience and the impact these relationships have on your life and your family’s.

If you are not struggling in this area, stop and look around you. Who do you know that may be feeling trapped in some unhealthy relationships? What can you do to help them break this unhealthy cycle? Let God open your eyes to see an audience of people that need your encouragement, strength and prayers! Then come along side of them and let God use you in miraculous ways!

Life is a Theater - Who's in your Front Row?? God is the source of our life and He above ALL should be front and center in our “Life Theater”. How is your theater?

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