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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A River of Change - Flood of 2011

A River of Change - so it would be called once again!  Here are a few pictures taken this week of our "changing" Missouri River as it expands!

Interstate I-29 - 680

Interstate covered and closed

This is the jail.

Road going around Big Lake

Railroad track running along the interstate

Along the interstate

Road covered by jail

Road next to the interstate

Railroads are raising many of the tracks
this one was cut and sand bagged

Not much farming around here!

Rick's Boat Yard overlooking the rising river

Flooded ball diamond - notice the batting fence!

Beautiful Sunset!

Another beautiful sunset!

More of God's beauty!

A lone duck enjoying swimming in the
flooded parking lot!!

I look around me these past few weeks and see "change". Water has covered roads, interstates, farm ground, buildings, parks, parking lots, playgrounds, etc.  Detours have been set up to take people around the covered highways so they can get to work. People have loaded up their household belongings and moved out of their houses. Others are sorting, taking things to the Good Will, setting things out on the curb.  Some, like myself, emptying the basement and moving everything upstairs or even out to friend's and family's homes.  I'm thankful I have a two-story house to put things up on the 2nd floor hopefully away from the water that may be coming!! People are making preparation for "change".  Change that the Missouri River is bringing our way - "A River of Change" as it has been called in the past.  The last big flood was is 1952. I don't recall it first hand but I have seen the pictures and heard my family talk about it.  A "change" that brought about the levee system to help control the "Mighty Mo".  Now we are hoping that this levee system can withstand the outflow of water from the dams above us and hope they can hold out for the predicted 3 months they are talking about keeping this water contained.  Already water is everywhere and spreading daily!  God only knows what is ahead! We continue to make the changes necessary and trust God to give us the sources and strength to get done what needs to be done this week.  The full impact of the water release should hit us Thursday or Friday.  Then we will know what this "River of Change" is going to do to our area. 

This morning as I read my devotional I was encouraged by Max Lucado.  He talked about the future - I don't know if my house will have water all around and in it or not - but I do  know that my faith, hope, and future is in God and God alone! 

Read the words from my devotional below:

Can you tell the future? Sure, there are lots of people who claim they can tell you what job you will have, whom you will marry, how long you will live - some even claim to know the day and the hour that Jesus will return. One thing is certain: The future is in God's hands and only He knows what is in store for you.

This doesn't mean you can just sit back and not think about what is ahead. Plans should be made for your well-being and security. Goals should be set. You do need to look ahead to the coming years. What it does mean is that when you place your faith in God's leading, you don't have to worry about what lies ahead. God will give you the ability to gain what you need; He will provide you with strength to survive in times of trouble; He will give you a heart big enough to hold the joys He has is store for you.   -Max Lucado

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3;5-6 NKJV), When you walk by faith and live by faith, you can trust in God to guide you through your future and on into eternity.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." - 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

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