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.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sleeping at Desk

Five Best Things To Say If You Get Caught Sleeping At Your Desk:

Number 5: They told me at the Blood Bank this might happen.

Number 4: This is just a 15 minute power nap they raved about in the time-management course you sent me to.

Number 3: “Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-out. You probably got here just in time!"

Number 2: Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when you put your ear down real close?

Number 1 and My all time Favorite: (Raising your head slowly) . . . in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ziploc Omelet

This works great, is quick and easy with hardly any clean-up!!!

Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into a quart-size Ziploc freezer bag (not more than 2) shake to combine them. Add your favorite ingredients: cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa, etc. to the egg mixture in the bag and shake. Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip it shut. Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for 13-15 minutes. You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in a large pot. Open the bags and the omelet will roll out easily. Serve with fresh fruit and coffee cake.

Step Out of the Traffic

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nation, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge”. (Ps. 46:10,11)

A couple of other Bible translations say it this way.
Our God says, "Calm down, and learn .. (Centemp. English)
God says, "Be quiet and know .. (New Century)
Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me .. (Message)

Be still . . . Calm down . . . Be quiet . . . Step out of the traffic! No matter what translation I read this verse from, it comes down to “me” and what I am doing and it tells me this one thing. “God says . . . be quiet – calm down – be still – step out of the traffic . . . and know that He is God, that He is with me and that He is my refuge!

I must admit that the past few years of my life have been quite overwhelming at times. I have had some very draining times, some times of hard questions, times when there seemed to be absolutely no answers, times of physical, mental, and emotional overload. I’ve had times of weariness of body, mind, and soul – when I was just simply “tired”!

Have you ever been there? Have you ever been in a place where you just needed some protection and strength to draw upon? Life can sometimes be overwhelming – major life changes, whatever they might be, can do this to us. But we can trust God’s Word to be true and know that God says - He will be with us, He is our refuge, He is our God.

In the midst of all that life gives me I sometimes have to remind myself of this verse - of these words – be still, calm down, be quiet, step out of the traffic! I sometimes forget and get busy - busy talking, working, doing things, having fun, worrying about the grass that needs mowed, the gutter that needs fixed, the “how’s” and “when’s” of getting these things done – the list could go on and on! You know how it is, there is always something pressing us. But again and again I’m reminded to be still, calm down, step out of the traffic, and be quiet!

If you have read my blog, you no doubt know that I started the year trying to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Some days I make it, some days I’m a little short, and some days I go beyond the 10,000 steps!! Lately my walking schedule has been interrupted by all of this rain we are getting. I’ve been amazed at the number of times I will start out with the sun rising and shining through the trees and then after I get back home the rain will start! Thank you, God – You are my refuge!! Other times I have to walk in the evening. But “weather” early morning or later evening I have come to look forward to this special part of my day. Yes, I did start walking to get in shape and loose some weight and I’m thanking God for every pound lost and for helping me get healthy! Believe me, after two knee replacements it feels wonderful to be out there walking every single mile every single day!

But more important than that – I’ve come to enjoy that hour of my day because it has become my quiet time – my “calm down time” – my “be quiet time” - my "step out of the traffic time". I’m walking every day with God who is with me and I see, feel, and sense the many ways He is exalted in this earth of ours. I take it all in as I walk - I feel the soft breeze blowing against my face, the sunshine, the clouds, the sprinkles of rain, the sunrises full of His special palette of “sunrise colors”, the birds singing, the smell of the flowers, the squirrels running from fence to tree, the ants at work along the sidewalks busily going in and out of that little pile of dirt – their ant-hill. Too many sights and sounds to put down here but God brings so many things to my attention as I walk and I know that HE IS WITH ME – HE IS MY REFUGE!

I love music – I enjoy listening to music as I walk. Max Lucado once shared something about music. He talked about playing the piano and how you can pound out every note, add runs and arpeggios, add triplets, trills, accidental notes, etc. but you can’t forget the rests that are written into the music. Sometimes amongst all of those notes written on the sheet there comes a “rest” where everything stops – all music pauses – it is quiet for that one rest and then it begins again. That rest is important. That pause in the music adds depth, dimension and dynamic to the music that follows. That one little “rest” builds for the remainder of the song making the music more distinct and sweeter after the rest . Ps. 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord”. That is kind of like a “rest”. Take time to wait, take time to be still, take time to calm down, take time to step out of the traffic, take time to be quiet, take time to rest . . . to do nothing – like the little black "rest" on that piece of music.

When you are weary and need a “rest”, a place of refuge, be encouraged and know that God is with you – just “wait” for He is your strength and your refuge! “Be still and know that I AM God” Ps. 46:10
As you walk through your day-to-day routine and life seems to be swirling around you – stop – be still – wait – do nothing – calm down – step out of the traffic . . . and don’t forget to “rest”!! Then continue on and enjoy the music this life and God sends your way! Take time to really look, listen and hear it – it is for you! God is with you and He is orchestrating a very special symphony just for you . . . TODAY!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Life is a Theater - Who's in Your Front Row?

Life is a Theater...Invite Your Audience Carefully.

Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a DISTANCE.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not going anywhere relationships or friendships.
Observe the relationships around you. Pay close attention. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill?

When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don't really understand, know or appreciate you?
The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you...the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.

Remember that the people we hang with will have an impact on both our lives and our income.
And so, we must be careful to choose the people we hang out with, as well as the information with which we feed our minds.

We should not share our dreams with negative people, nor feed them with negative thoughts.
Who's in your front row? ~author unknown~

This unknown author penned some very interesting thoughts, especially in our day and age of neglect and abuse. There is so much of that out there and I believe it has become so common place that some people just accept it as “this is the way life is”. When in all reality, we need to recognize the neglect and the abuse that is all around us. Many times we never question we just carry on like all is well. People around never know and we find it hard to accept the fact that some relationships are not healthy. This can be a cold hard fact when faced with the possibility of an abusive relationship, whether it is visible physical abuse and neglect or hidden emotional, verbal, or financial abuse. It is hard to understand – hard to cope with and does not affect just you. Its impact is felt by those close to you as well! So never, ever think it is just impacting you alone.

Unhealthy relationships must be “fixed” before something gets “broken”. Take a look at your theater . . . who and what is in your audience? Look at your relationships. Are they healthy, loving, truthful, uplifting, and encouraging? Or do your relationships beat you down, drain you of all ambition and health, belittle and smother your self-esteem keeping you from being “you”? Any relationship that keeps you from being “you” and growing as the person God created you to be, need to be looked at closely.

If you are dealing with visible or invisible wounds in your heart and life, seek help from those people in your audience that will lift you up and that you can lean on when needed. Trust God to direct your every step to recovery and healing. He will guide and direct you and restore your very self. God isn’t fooled by our exterior – He sees what’s inside and He cares! Psalm 44:21 says, "He knows the secrets of the heart” and “nothing is hidden from Him” - Hebrews 4:13. Yes, He knows, He loves, and He cares about each of us and our circumstances whatever they might be!! Look to Him and His Word, the Bible, for the answers you need. If you are struggling with some relationships - take a look at your audience and the impact these relationships have on your life and your family’s.

If you are not struggling in this area, stop and look around you. Who do you know that may be feeling trapped in some unhealthy relationships? What can you do to help them break this unhealthy cycle? Let God open your eyes to see an audience of people that need your encouragement, strength and prayers! Then come along side of them and let God use you in miraculous ways!

Life is a Theater - Who's in your Front Row?? God is the source of our life and He above ALL should be front and center in our “Life Theater”. How is your theater?

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I've often wondered . . . .
what makes "normal", normal?
What really is normal?
Does anyone really know for sure?
I once heard that "normal is just a setting on the dryer" ! ! ! !
What do you think?

Memorial Day

I love holidays - special times when family gathers for good food and wonderful fellowship! Our usual destination is "the farm". Those from out of town and those of us nearby find our way to "Honey Creek" where farm life is truly "sweet as honey"!!! Family and friends gather at mom and dads where we catch up on what's going on with each other. We gather around the picnic tables, sit in lawn chairs, we laugh, the kids play, the adults tease and play too, the guys grill and we all eat the abundance of food the ladies brought! Why is food such an intrical part of fun and fellowship???!!! Just look at us and you can tell we have plenty of fun, food, and fellowship!!! LOL! Well, anyway, I think all of us had a wonderful day together at the farm - fun, food, and all!

Some of us go on hikes, John usually has his camera in hand as he heads across the field to who knows where! He gets some really nice pics and video, I must admit. The kids usually hike down to the pond and take a swim and stop at the "bungee-swing" hanging from the big tree down in the pasture before they head back up to the house. Sometimes we have a good old "jam session" and gather around with guitars, keyboard, harmonica, mandolin, sax, auto harps, etc. and play and sing the good old songs we grew up on and love! The enjoyment of music has always been a highlight of our lives whether it was as kids singing songs all the way into town or a backyard jam-session. We all have a love for music! We didn't have a jam-session this Memorial Day but we may have to plan on one July 4th. Mom bought a keyboard at a yard sale! I told her and dad that they better get practiced up for the next jam-session - mom can play and dad can sing along!!! LOL! This Memorial Day we just enjoyed visiting with each other, relaxing, and just simply enjoyed the day! It is so relaxing to go to the country and enjoy not only family and friends but also God's wonderful creation!

I always enjoy sitting by dad's pond listening to the water cascading down into the bigger part of the pond. The waterfall sound is kind of like "music therapy" to this brain of mine! I was sitting there enjoying the sound and looking for the fish when dad came over and asked me if I brought my fish with me ? ? ? What? He laughed and said if I wanted to enjoy any fish in his pond I would have to bring my own. The racoon got all of his fish. He had some really big ones in there so those old coon must have had a feast! It was still nice relaxing there in that corner of the yard.

As the day passed and the food was once again brought out for the evening left-overs, those that wanted something got another plate. The afternoon turned into dusk and the sun began to set across the hills. There are always beautiful sunsets on the farm! I have always loved the early morning sunrises and the evening sunsets on the farm! A constant reminder to me of the vastness of our God and His creativity! Where did He get the colors to put in each sunrise and sunset?? Oh, that's right - He made them - every one of those beautiful, breath-taking colors!! Master Artist among other things, I would say!! What an awesome God we have that every single day brings this kind of beauty into our lives if we will take the time to stop and notice. Thank you God!

We had a wonderful Memorial Day! Those that had to travel back home left and those of us living close by gathered around the fire ring. Uncle Bob "loves" to build fires! A while back, around another campfire, I told him that when I was a kid my mother and grandmother told me that if I played with fire . . . I would wet the bed!! He didn't even care!! He kept poking at the logs and throwing more on until we had the perfect campfire for roasting marshmellows and making S'mores! What a wonderful end to a awesome day with family and friends - from gathering around picnic tables earlier in the day to gathering around the campfire talking, laughing, sharing, and visiting with my loved ones! Oh, and eating S'mores!!! Can't forget that food - even if it is 10:00 at night! Thanks, Bob, for "playing" with fire! We all enjoyed the blazing warmth and smell of the campfire! I will always keep these special heartfelt family times forever ablaze within my heart and soul. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful family that is always there offering me encouragement and support. I am so thankful for each and every one of them - see you all July 4th!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

23rd Psalm

A Sunday school teacher asked her class if anyone could quote the entire 23rd Psalm. A golden-haired, four-and-a-half-year-old girl was among those who raised their hands. A bit skeptical, the teacher asked if she could really quote the entire psalm. The little girl came to the front of the room, faced the class, made a perky little bow, and said, "The Lord is my shepherd, that's all I want." She bowed again and went and sat down.

What a great interpretation of the 23rd Psalm!

The Lord is my Shepherd = That’s Relationship!
I shall not want = That’s Supply!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures = That’s Rest!
He leadeth me beside the still waters = That’s Refreshment!
He restoreth my soul = That’s Healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness = That’s Guidance!
For His name sake = That’s Purpose!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = That’s Testing!
I will fear no evil = That’s Protection!
For Thou art with me = That’s Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me = That’s Discipline!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies = That’s Hope!
Thou annointest my head with oil = That’s Consecration!
My cup runneth over = That’s Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life = That’s Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That’s Security!
Forever = That’s Eternity!

I think the little girl had it right . . .
. . . The Lord is my shepherd, that’s all I want!!!