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.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Friend Is . . .

A friend is one who is not hard to find when you are penniless.
A friend is one who makes your grief less painful, your adversity more bearable.
A friend is one who joyfully sings with you when you are on the mountaintop, and silently walks beside you through the valley.
A friend is one with whom you are comfortable, to whome you are loyal, through whom you are blessed, and for whom you are grateful.
A friend is one who warms you by his presence, trusts you with his secrets, and remembers you in his prayers.
A friend is one who gives you a spark of assurance when you doubt your ability to fulfill your noblest aspirations, climb your special mountain, or reach your secret goal.
A friend is one who helps you bridge the gaps between loneliness and fellowship, frustration and confidence, despair and hope, setbacks and success.
A friend is one who is available to you, understanding of you, and patient with you. A friend is no less a gift from God than is a talent; no less a treasure than life itself.
A friend is also someone who listens.
                            -Barbara Johnson

"A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."  
 -Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)

The Message Version says it this way: 
"Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble".
"Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family".
Proverbs 17:17; 18:24

Do you hear your friend's footsteps beside you?  I hope you have these kinds of friends. Friends that are there to see you through whatever circumstances you are going through.  Friends that stick by you "like family"!!

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