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.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Important Things

I love the mess to clean up after a get-together
   because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
I love the lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning,
   gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.
I love the taxes I pay because it means I have a job,
I love the clothes that fit a little too snug
   because it means I have enough to eat.
I love the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot
   because it means I am capable of walking.
I love my huge AC bill in the summer
   because it means I have stayed cool.
I love the lady behind me in church who sings off key
   because it means that I can hear.
I love the piles of laundry
   because it means my loved ones are near by.
I love weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day
   because it means I have been productive.
I love another huge heating bill
   because it means I am warm.
I love the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours
   because it means I am alive!
                 ~Author Unknown~

When I read this I couldn't help but think of all of my nagging, complaining and fussing about "things" that happen.  Sometimes not even realizing what I am complaining about! Things in my life that really are just "things"!  Things that I could live without, things that I really don't need and that someone else could better use, things that take up my time and really don't accomplish much, things that are of no real benefit to me or those around me, things that at the moment seem so important but later when looking back I realize were nothing! Things tend to clutter up my life and keep my focus off of the most important things in life many times. I'm trying to downsize, reorganize, refocus, and de-clutter not only my home but more importantly my life.  This means I must look at everything in my life in a totally different way! With God's help and "His" eyes, learn to "love" these "things" because of the deeper meaning of them.  Learn to look beyond the surface to the real things - the real-deal.  Learn to "love" those things I so quickly complain about! And learn to be truly "thankful" for all that comprises my "little" world!  I can choose to look beyond and see that there really are important "things" to be thankful for in the midst of my circumstance, situations, trials, and blessings! 

Am I really thankful for that early morning alarm that goes off at the break of dawn - when I could be snuggled under the warm covers and hit the snooze for the fourth time!  Let me see, am I really???!!!

 .  .  .  Yes, I am because I AM ALIVE!   Thank you, Lord!

(A thanksgiving psalm)  On your feet now--applaud GOD! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence. Know this: GOD is God, and God, GOD. He made us; we didn't make him. We're his people, his well-tended sheep. Enter with the password: "Thank you!" Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him. For GOD is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.                       ~Psalm 100:1-5 (Message)

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