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.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

2015 - The Coming Year

What a beautiful sunrise/sunset this is . . . I just love to watch the sun rise or set in all of the earth's dark hues against the yellow - orange and pink of the fading blue backdrop of the sky.  Beauty only God could paint!

The above quote speaks loudly as I look ahead at this new year - 2015!  Read that again and really ponder what all of that means within your heart and life . . .

I have done a little new years' soul searching and I gave this a lot of thought . . . here is a little glimpse of what I found . . .

Increased riches of grace grace has been defined, not as a created substance of any kind, but as "the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it",[1] "the condescension or benevolence shown by God toward the human race".[2] It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man — "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved"[3] — that takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God.

Hearing His voice more clearlyWhile God could speak audibly to people today, He speaks primarily through His written Word. Sometimes God’s leading can come through the Holy Spirit, through our consciences, through circumstances, and through the exhortations of other people. By comparing what we hear to the truth of Scripture, we can learn to recognize God’s voice.

It has been said, knowing the voice of God through His Spirit is something we learn over time. This recognition requires that we live day to day in submission to the Lord, setting aside time to quiet our minds and still our bodies. We must also go to Him regularly throughout the day, in the midst of our tasks and obligations, joys and worries. Eventually, we will come to know His voice so well that we’ll be able to hear Him even in the most difficult and busy circumstances.               (C. Stanley)

Growing up on a farm, I bought a horse when I was in the 6th grade with my 4-H money. Her name was Babe and down through the many years that followed that purchase we became close "friends".  I confided in her - she knew all of my "secrets"!!!  LOL!  But more than that - she knew "my voice".  I could go to the edge of the pasture and call her and it wouldn't be too long and she would come running to me.  Others could go and holler for her but to their disappointment - she wouldn't come running!  My cousins couldn't understand why she wouldn't come for them.  But I knew the reason . . . Babe knew my voice and trusted me and came when I called her.   It's like that with the Lord - when we truly know His Voice - we can trust Him - we can come running to Him with whatever burden we are carrying. When we know His Voice, we can respond to that still small voice and rest in Him and know that ALL is WELL with my heart and soul.

This 2015, let's strive to . . .

Rest in His love more fully

Trust His care more completely

Walk His path more peacefully

Know His presence more intimately

Be blessed by His goodness more abundantly

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