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 20, 2011

Strength & Courage

It takes strength to be firm
It takes courage to be     gentle.
It takes strength to stand guard.
It takes courage to let down your guard

It takes strength to conquer.
It takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain.
It takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in.
It takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend's pain.
It takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to hide your own pains.
It takes courage to show them.
It takes strength to endure abuse.
It takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone.
It takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love.
It takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive.
It takes courage to live.

--Author Unknown

Girlfriends - Soul-Sisters

This is for my friends, my soul-sisters, whom I love and this is my prayer for each of them . . . 

Dear God:
 Help her live her life to the fullest. Please promote her and cause her to excel above her expectations. Help her to shine in the darkest places where it is impossible to love. Protect her at all times, lift her up when she needs you the most, and let her know when she walks with you, she will always be safe. Help her to trust in You no matter where she is or what she is doing. And let her know that she has a friend and let me be that friend to her that will be there for her no matter what she is going through. Thank you God for the bond of love you have put between my  "soul-sisters"!  Amen.

Love you Girls!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Live your Life from your Heart

The Race of Life (Rat-Race!)

I was running the race of life, and the wind was at my back;
there was never a fairer day to run, never a smother track.
So with my head held high as the miles raced by,
I ran with careless ease.
I would run this race, I would win first place
so my Master I would please.

Then an unforseen hand rudely pushed me down,
and I fell with a thud in the cold, cruel ground;
and broken and bruised, I began to cry
as the other runners all passed me by.
"Lord, help me please! I'm tired and sore;
I don't think I can make it, I just want to die,
I don't even have what it takes to try.

And as I lay bleeding upon the ground,
a vast "cloud of witnesses" gathered round.
They were heroes of old, all the saints of the ages,
who through weakness were strong
and through faith made courageous.
They started to cheer and to wildly applaud,
and their voices rose up giving glory to God,
and then to myself I said, "How can this be?"
For the saints of the ages were cheering for me!

Then Abel cried out, "There is power in the blood!"
And Noah said, "He'll keep you safe through the flood."
Then Jacob said, "Weary one, lean on the Lord,"
And Moses cried out, "Child, look to the reward!"
Then Sarah stepped forward, holding Abraham's hand,
and they both said, "Trust God when you don't understand."
In God's promises, child, you must always believe,
For sometimes He'll do things you just can't conceive.
Come on! You can do it! Get up off your face
and run with endurance the rest of the race,
and remember, my child, when your strength is all gone,
the saints of the ages are cheering you on!"

So I rose to my feet midst their thunderous ovation
and started to run with great determination;
and that's when I saw Him, my Savior and Lord,
And I knew in my heart I must win the reward
to cast down before Him the crown that I'd won,
and to hear Him say to me, "Well done, child, well done!"

~Janice Rogers Edmiston~

Can you relate to this word picture of the race of life? Sometimes life's race seems more like a "rat race".  Always chasing after that bit of cheese!!  It is sometimes hard to understand as that "unforseen" hand pushes us down to the ground bruising and breaking us and our spirits.  Sometimes it seems that others do run right on past us leaving us in the dust.  Others get the "breaks" in life, or so it seems, the job promotions, the raises, the new cars, the new house, etc. 

It is at this point the devil wants to rub it in and make us feel helpless, useless, and unworthy of anything good in our lives.  But what we don't always see is that vast "cloud of witnesses" that are gathered round us.  Isn't that exciting?? Isn't that challenging to think and listen real close and hear that faint, "come on, you can do it"?  Sometimes that is all we need!  And then we feel the energizing strength flow through us as we hear:

"Come on! You can do it! Get up off your face
and run with endurance the rest of the race,
and remember, my child, when your strength is all gone,
the saints of the ages are cheering you on!"

Keep on running your race, don't give up, pick up the pieces and carry on to the finish.  Trust God to give you strength and determination to run your life's race . . . on to victory!!! 

"but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward for those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."     Phil 3:13-14

Rules from God

1. Wake Up !! Decide to have a good day.

"Today is the day the Lord hath made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it."
 Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up !! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance;
but the Lord looks at the heart."
I Samuel 16:7

3 . Shut Up !! Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.

"He who guards his lips guards his soul."
Proverbs 13:3

4. Stand Up !! For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything.

"Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time,
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good."
Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up !! To the Lord.

"I can do everything through Christ
who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

6. Reach Up !! For something higher.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your
 own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him,
And He will direct your path."
Proverbs 3:5-6

7. Lift Up !! Your Prayers.

 "Do not worry about anything;
Philippians 4:6

Pray changes things. 
Pray lets the impossible become possible
When we let God do what only

Sunday, February 13, 2011


For God so lo V ed the world, 
 That He g A ve            

His on L y       

Begott E n       

So N    
                       T hat whosoever

Believeth I n Him    
      Should N ot perish, 
         But have E verlasting life." 

                                                            John 3:16

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Erma Bombeck

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."                               ~Erma Bombeck

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day By Day

I left work on December 30, 2010, and knew something was up. When I went into work January 3, 2011, I was told that after 9 1/2 years I had no job!  So I have been job hunting for the last month. For me (at my age!) it has been a time of soul searching to find where God wants me - what He wants me to be doing - and trusting His divine leadership as He guides and directs me.  I feel like this door was closed, after so many years, but I am confident that God has a plan for me and will open the next door at just the right time.  I am anxious, I want to know what's ahead, I want to know everything about tomorrow!!!!  (Patience, Diana, patience!) It has been a little confusing and yet I have a calm assurance that God knows what, where, when, and how!  I am using these days to search out God's will for me and following God's direction day by day!  This hymn  - Day by Day - has always been a favorite of mine.  How fitting that I share this hymn story with you today! 

It is a common tendency for people to look ahead. They wonder - what will happen next? That's why the pseudo science of astrology is booming today as never before. Because we are apprehensive of the future, wondering about some health problem or perhaps a financial difficulty will surprise us, we long for a reassuring word of comfort.

"Day by Day" was a hymn written by a young Swedish woman who learned early in life the all-important lesson of living each day with the conscious presence and strength of her Lord.  Lina Sandell has often been called the "Fanny Crosby of Sweden" for her many contributions to gospel hymnody. From her pen flowed approximately 650 hymns which strongly influenced the waves of revival that swept the Scandinavian countries during the latter half of the 19th century.

At the age of 26 Lina had an experience that greatly influenced her life. She was accompanying her father aboard a ship to the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, across Lake Vattern. The ship gave a sudden lurch and Lina's father, a minister, fell overboard and drowned before the eyes of his devoted daughter. Although Lina had written many hymn texts prior to this tragic experience, now more than ever poetic thoughts that expressed a tender, child-like trust in her Lord began to flow freely from her broken heart.

Day by day and with each passing moment,
strength I find to meet my trials here;
trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
gives unto each day what He deems best,
lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
mingling toil with peace and rest.

Ev'ry day the Lord Himself is near me
with a special mercy for each hour,
all my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me.
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
is a charge that on Himself He laid:
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
this the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in ev'ry tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises,
O Lord, That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a Father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

Practice the kind of deep and peaceful trust that Lina Sandell has expressed in this hymn. Focus only on the challenges and difficulties of today and trust the Lord for tomorrow.  Sing this message as you go:

The protection of His child and treasure
 is a charge that on Himself He laid.
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

-Hymn Stories - Kenneth W. Osbeck-

"Let us therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."  -Hebrews 4:16

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved."  -Psalms 55:22

The Lord is the one constant thing in life, the one true friend - come boldly and cast your care on Him in your time of need and find His grace and mercy!

The Master Painter

Beyond my windowpane I see
God's lacy snowflakes silently
Descend and paint an artist's scene,
All glistening white and so serene.
And as I gaze with rapt delight,
My heart is quickened by the sight
Of sparkling "diamonds" in the snow,
Transforming all with Heaven's glow.
With certainty and joy I know
The Master Painter made it so.

-Vi B. Chevalier-

"You fixed all the limits of the land;
Summer and Winter You made."
Psalm 74:17

Cardboard Testimonies - West Ridge Church

Humor For Lexophiles (lovers of words)

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger.
   Then it hit me.
Police were called to a day care . . . where a 
   three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off?
   He's all right now.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table
   was Sir Cumference.

The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and
   got a little behind in his work.
To write with a broken pencil 
   is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes 
   take debate.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was
   a small medium at large.

A thief who stole a calendar 
   got twelve months.
A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement
   he became a hardened criminal.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be
   charged with stalking.
We'll never run out of math teachers because they
   always multiply.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, 
The math professor went crazy with the blackboard
   He did a number on it.
The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes
   was on shaky ground.