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.
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, November 23, 2010
Parrot with a Bad Attitude
A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The
parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.
Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious
and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to
change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only
polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could
think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.
Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot.
The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the
parrot got angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation,
threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the
freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed!Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.
Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened
the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out
onto John's outstretched arms and said "I believe I
may have offended you with my rude language and
actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my
inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do
everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."
John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.
As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a
dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very
softly, "May I ask what the turkey did?"
Just a little "Thanksgiving" humor to remind us how much our words and actions can offend others or build up and encourage them - many times much more than we even realize!