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.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Don't Be Such a Skeptic!!

A new doctor had arrived in town. He could cure anything and anybody. Everyone was amazed with what he could do - everyone except for old Mr. Thompson, the town skeptic. Grumpy old Mr. Thompson went to visit this "miracle doctor" to prove that he wasn't anybody special. When it was time for his appointment he told the doctor, "Hey, doc, I've lost my sense of taste. I can't taste nothin', so what are ya goin' to do?" The doctor scratched his head and mumbled to himself a little, then told Mr. Thompson, "What you need is jar number 47." So the doctor brought the jar out, opened it, and told Mr. Thompson to taste it. He tasted it and immediately spit it out, "This is gross!" he yelled. "Looks like I just restored your sense of taste, Mr. Thompson," said the doctor. So Mr. Thompson went home...very mad. One month later, Mr. Thompson decides to go back to the doctor and try once again to expose him as a fake, by complaining of a new problem. "Doc," he started, "I can't remember anything!" Thinking he had the doctor stumped now, he waited as the doctor scratched his head, mumbled to himself a little, and told Mr. Thompson, "What you need is jar number 47, it's..." But before the doctor could finish his sentence, Mr. Thompson was cured and fled the room!

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LOL!! How many times have we set out to prove a point only to find out that what we were trying to prove had a quick cure such as the illustration with the new doctor and his advice??!! There have been times when I was so sure, so certain, unmoved in my stance only to be put in my place over what I thought to be absolute, unfaltering, and unfailing. It is no fun to be backed into a corner as Mr. Thompson was only to have to admit and face up to our wrong ideas, our wrong thinking, our mistakes, our doubt, etc. I've found that it is OK to NOT be "right" all of the time. It is OK to admit I was "wrong", I didn't "understand", I "failed"! It is "freeing" to know that "right or wrong" the "truth" always prevails and frees our inner spirit of many things, including guilt, hostility, hate, neglect, procrastination, anger, carelessness, fear, mistrust, doubt, strife, even envy . . . the list could go on and on.

It is "freeing" to not have to live with the doubt and skepticism that so easily eats away at our very being turning us from the "positive" and forcing us to focus on the "negatives" in life. Free yourself today!  Focus on "truth, trust, and hope" and break free from the skepticism life tries to ensnare us in.

God offers us the answer as we begin to speak the "Truth", trust in God and everything around us will look different.  "Hope" for the best life has to offer each of us knowing God is ultimately in control of all things. "Trust" in God, yourself, and others with an everlasting, eternal hope that will brighten your day, your whole world, and YOUR LIFE!  Let us not become a "Doubting Thomas" but become a "Blessed 

" Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."   (John 20:29)

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