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.

Friday, November 11, 2011

With Praise for Aging Veterans

A veteran's not a rookie.
A vet has paid his dues.
A veteran knows the hell of war
just nuanced in the news. 

A veteran loves his country.
With pride he greets its flag.
He stands up straight (still soldier-like)
although his shoulders sag.

A veteran knows life's precious.
Old memories make him cry.
He wonders why God let him live
when he watched others die. 

A veteran models friendship.
His buddies know he cares.
Although they live twelve states away,
he'll find a way to share. 

In Saving Private Ryan,
civilians got to see
the bond this band of brothers feel
when one's in jeopardy. 

I've seen what I'm describing.
You see, my dad's a vet.
His brave example makes me proud
of who he is. And yet

my dad's just one of millions
who fought so we'd be free.
Without regard for life or limb
they served us selflessly.
So how can we repay them?
It seems there's just no way,
except perhaps to honor them
with thanks on Veterans' Day.

By Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos

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