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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Gracious Words

Years ago growing up on the farm, one of my fondest memories was the year we robbed the "honeycomb" out of the big tree down in the pasture!!  I will never forget that moment.  My Aunt Jinny and Uncle Howard were out visiting. They came out to the farm almost "weekly" and Aunt Jinny was "game" for almost anything.  She is the same aunt that we made divinity in every color of the rainbow - now just the traditional pink, white or green - every color . . . just to see if it tasted any different!!  LOL!

My brother came up to the house from checking on the cows in the pasture and said, "there's a big "honeycomb" in a tree down in the pasture"!  That is all it took for Aunt Jinny to perk up and say, "let's go rob it"!!!   And so we all - the whole family - tracked down the well-worn cow path up and down and around and over until we saw the bees swarming around the tree.  It brought back memories of Pooh Bear!!!  LOL!

We all kept our distance watching as Aunt Ginny and my brother, John, slowly approached the bee hive.  Moving slowly, so as to not upset the bees, they got the honeycomb down out of the tree, put it in a 5 gallon bucket, and managed to get only a sting or two. Leaving the confused, angry, buzzing bees behind, we trailed single file back up the old cow path to the barn and on to the house.

Aunt Jinny knew just what to do with the honey.  I remember it was the clearest, most tasty honey I had ever experienced. We decided that fresh, clear honey needed to top off some pancakes.  So mom was busy making hot pancakes and Aunt Jinny was taking care of getting the honey out of the comb and we kids anxiously awaited our feast of hot pancakes with fresh honey on them.  Mmmmmm . . . was that ever good!

I will NEVER forget that afternoon of robbing the honeycomb out of the tree in the pasture and pancakes dripping with the "best honey" I have ever eaten!!  

Just as that honey was the sweetest honey I have ever tasted - straight from the honeycomb - I realize how important our words are.  They too need to be pleasant, sweet, healing, uplifting, and encouraging.  Our words can have a positive influence on the world around us.  Let's strive to make our words . . . sweet to the soul and healing to the bones . . . just like that honey dripping from the honeycomb!

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Probverbs 16:24

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