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.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Choosing a Successor
A successful businessman knew it was time to choose a
successor to lead his business. Instead of appointing
one of his directors, or one of his children, he decided to call the company's young executives together. He said, "It is time for me to choose the next CEO. I have decided to select one of you."
The young executives were shocked, but the CEO continued. "I am going to give each of you a SEED today - a very special
SEED. Plant the seed, water it, and one year from today bring
what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will judge the plants you bring, and choose our next CEO."
One of the leaders, Jim, excitedly told his wife about the plan.
She helped him get a pot, soil and compost, and he planted his seed. Every day, he watered it and watched to see if it had
grown. Soon some of the other executives began talking about
their seeds and the plants beginning to grow.
Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Weeks went
by, but still nothing. Everyone else was talking about their plants, but Jim had no growth and felt like a failure. Six months passed, but still nothing in Jim's pot. He concluded he had killed his seed, but said nothing to his colleagues.
He continued watering and fertilizing the soil - he desperately
wanted his seed to grow. When the year ended, the young executives were instructed to bring their plants to the
CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife he refused to take an
empty pot to his workplace, but she urged him to be honest about what had happened. It was going to be Jim's most
embarrassing moment, but he knew his wife was right.
Jim took his empty pot to the boardroom. When he arrived,
the variety of plants the other executives had grown amazed him. They were beautiful - in many shapes and sizes. When
Jim put his empty pot on the floor, many of his colleagues
laughed. When the CEO arrived, Jim attempted to conceal himself in back.
"My, what wonderful plants, trees and flowers you have grown,"
said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!" Then the CEO noticed Jim. He invited Jim to the front - with his empty pot.
Jim was terrified. "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will
have me fired!" When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked what had happened to his seed. Jim explained despite his best efforts, nothing had grown. The CEO turned to the group and asked everyone to sit down, except Jim. He then looked at Jim and announced, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!"
Then the CEO explained: "One year ago today, I gave everyone
in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back in a year. But I gave you all boiled seeds; it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have
brought healthy plants and flowers. When you found the seed would not grow, you substituted a different one. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief
It is said: If you plant honesty, you will reap trust. If you plant
goodness, you will reap friends. If you plant humility, you will reap greatness. If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment. If you plant hard work, you will reap success. If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation. If you plant faith, you will reap a harvest. So be careful what you plant now: it will determine what you will reap later.
"The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked
paths will be found out" (Proverbs 10:9).
"The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are
destroyed by their duplicity" (Proverbs 11:3)
Have you ever wished you knew what to do when the pot didn't
produce anything from the seeds??? When no matter what you
planted - nothing came up? One might think oh, how
embarrassing this plant is - but that is just the way it is!
But when we stand back and look and listen we can see that this
is just the way it is. It is what it is! It is all of those little things
that add to great things! It all comes down to "integrity"!
That is where it is at for all of us!
Hi, there! I'm Diana and I grew up on a little Iowa farm. I have so many memories of those "farm-fresh" days! I live in the city now so I guess that makes me a "city-farm-girl" but my heart is still in the country! As I "graze through life" I always look back to the many life lessons that I learned first hand from life on the farm.
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I want to pray for you this week. All of us have needs in life. I want to sow seeds by helping others in need, and the most powerful way I can think of is through prayer. If you have a special prayer request, feel free to email it in confidence and I will pray for you. (Be sure to put "Prayer Request" in the subject line of your email)