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, June 7, 2011

Rising Above it All

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love – Marcus Aurelius

The world is hurtingHopelessness is spoken
in every language right now.

We are hurting.  Devastation, despair,
conflict, pain is felt in the in the aftershocks
caused by the earthquakes, the hungry faces,
and the wars that just won’t end.

The world is hurting.  Faith is being covered
by landslides of grief so thick it’s hard to recognize

where it once lived.

We are hurting.  Bombs are falling.
Nuclear plants are failing.
Solid ground is giving way
to shifting sand.

The world is hurting.  It needs a lift, a boost;
a chance to see a glimpse of hope
through the ashes.

Arise and pour out your kindness.
Let it fall down and wash away
the pain with its healing grace.

Arise and pour out your faith.
Let it strengthen the weak
so they can clear the debris
and claim their homes again.

Arise and pour out your love.
Kiss the souls of the brothers and sisters
who will be part of your family forever.

Raise your voice to tell
the world you are here.
Lift your eyes to see
what you can do.
Reach out to touch
your world.

The moment to show
your beautiful colors
is today.

- Alex Blackwell -

All around us there are "things" happening - war, fighting, hate, out of control fires, flooding, homelessness, poverty, pain, hurt, frustration, cancer, fear of the unknown . . . the list could go on and on!!  But TODAY is the day to ARISE, STEP UP and REACH OUT to those around you.  Look around you today - what do you see?  What can you do today to touch someone's life?  Can you point them to the One who can offer hope, help and healing?  Jesus is waiting to make this a special day for you and those you reach out to. Lets step out in faith and reach out and touch someone today!

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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