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, August 28, 2011

Daily Living Tips

I feel encased within a timepiece that can at times rob me of my peace. Left unto ourselves, some of us would race and others of us would rust. Either way we would speed past or sleep through the joy. We need to make peace with the timepiece so we don't spend our time beating our heads against the clock.

Here are some tips. I'll try them if you will.

1.  Don't cram everyday so full you can't enjoy the journey.
2.  Don't under-plan and miss the thrill of a fruitful day.
3.  Don't underestimate a nap, a rocking chair, and a good book.
4.  Don't become a sloth.
5.  Do offer your gratitude for the moments assigned to you.
6.  Do celebrate even the passing of days.              -Patsy Clairmont

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."     -Colosians 3:23

The Almighty says: "see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."    -Malachi 3:10

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flooded Streets

"This is the day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad." (Psalms118:24)                                      

Streets Flooding in Council Bluffs

We had a storm the other night - wind, golf-ball and larger hail, and lots and lots of rain!  Just what we do not need with the flooding in our area. But we got it anyway for reasons we have no clue.

But you know God knows whats going on down here far better that we do, so I just put my trust in Him.  He created this earth and even when we don't know the "whys" of these things we can know the "Who" that made it all work together. 

After the storm the other night I got up to go to work and my sister-in-law called to tell me they had water in their basement, that some of the streets were closed due to flooding, and the schools were not going to start for a while. So I drove down a couple of streets on my way to work.  Actually these streets were in a 10 block area of where I live!  I count my blessings every day when I just have a few spots of water in my basement and these people have water draining from their basements all the time! 

Sure enough there was street after street filled with water.  So many feeling so bad about their houses, cars, etc.  What do you say to these people???  I know it is hard to "rejoice" and be "glad" in it when you are the ones in the middle of all this water! But I can say that God is still true, He is still watching over you, He is still on the throne of this world . . . even when it may not seem like it at the moment!  Just remember that He cares for you, He loves you, He wants us to look to Him in our time of distress, in our times of need. 

Psalms 34:8 says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that takes refuge in Him."

Turn to Him and look around you and taste and see what God has in store for you today! Look for that smile, hello, how are you doing, that flooded street, that kid enjoying running through the rain!  Look and See!
I've found that many times it is the small things in life - those ordinary things that turn into extraordinary things.  Things like a smile, a hug, a kind word, a little compassion. It's in these things that I sense His tenderness and His graciousness.  I think every day is filled with God - if we will just look around us and feel His touch, His face, His voice, His love.  Look around you and see if you can "rejoice" and be "glad" and "taste and see" that He is good - even when the waters are high, tensions are strained, finances are stretched. Look and see for He is Good! 

These kids on this next block made the most of the water situation in their street and yard and the parents seemed to be making a memory those kids will never forget as long as they live!  A friend of mine commented on this picture . . . "Iowa a place to row"!!  Enjoy the moment - even when it is somewhat difficult - trust God to help you today!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


THE RUSTIC CHICK: BACON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: "Well folks I did it! I made these Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies last night because when I saw the recipe I couldn't resist trying them. They..."

Check these out - my daughter made these cookies and brought me some!  They are so good you may want to try them.  Hannah shared the recipe on her blog - The Rustic Chick (click up above)!  They are Yummy Good!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Wish You Could Reboot?

Don't you wish when life is bad and things just don't compute, that all we really had to do was stop and hit reboot?

Things would all turn out OK, life could be so sweet. If we had those special keys: Ctrl, Alt, and Delete.

Your boss is mad, your bills not paid, your wife, well she's just mute. Just stop and hit those wonderful keys that make it all reboot.

You'd like to have another job but you fear living in the street? You solve it all and start a new: Ctrl, Alt, and Delete.

Turn to your Bible and “reboot” in God’s word . . .

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” –Romans 8:37

Remember, safety is not found in the absence of danger, but in the presence of God. This quote by Fitzhugh is so true, "Though danger lurks on every side, in Christ our Lord we will abide; Our God is strong, our hope is sure - In Him alone we are secure!"  "Why are you cast down, O my soul? . . . Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him."   -Psalm 42:5  Hope for the Christian is a certainty - because its basis is Christ. 

"My sheep I know, they are My own, I leave them not in trials alone; I will be with them to the end, their Hope, their Joy, their dearest Friend."  -Unknown
There is ALWAYS "Hope" in God!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Those Old Westerns

Someone once said, "Every Happy Memory Makes Happiness Happen Again!" Here's to some of those "Happy Memories!"

One look at this film clip and you'll be young and old all over again. This clip has pictures and names -- so after 50 or so years -- say "Howdy" to some of those mini-heroes from your youth.

Just "click" and enjoy . . . Those Old Westerns

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oatmeal Days

It's not always the "red-flag crisis days" that are hardest to take. It's the "Oatmeal Days." The ordinary, "zero" days of little or no consequences. The ho-hum days filled with nothing of any particular interest. Colorless. Uninteresting. Unfascinating. Unspectacular. And unfun. The days everyone deals with.

We cope. We wend our way through the tangle of tedious activity and sandpaper people scattered through our day and get no applause, because coping is expected. We just carry on!

Not so during the "red-flag" crisis times. People tend to rally behind us with loving support. We're lifted above the crisis and enabled beyond human comprehension at times. Isn't is amazing what a little support and loving-kindness can do to get us through these times. And then with God's help - whew, we made it!!!  Have you ever said that??  I know I have many times.

On oatmeal days, after a crisis has peaked, it may seem as if friends have forsaken us, as if God doesn't care. But the reality will be that life has merely pushed us and our friends one step further in the Christian Growth-Walk. We've learned what it means to love, carry someone's burden, and lift and make the load  more bearable. We've learned what true Christian Growth-Walk is all about!
The God of the crisis times IS the God of the oatmeal days, too. Because He said He is. Because He keeps His promises - always. Because we can't get along without Him . . . and because we wouldn't want to if we could.   (Source Unknown)

So just remember that the God of the "red-flag" crisis time is also the God of the "oatmeal days! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Flooding 2011 - Patrolling the Levees

Here's a quick view of the flooding here in the Council Bluffs, area. Not very far from me many are battling the water in their basements. My house is still dry - Thank the Lord!

Who's Packing Your Parachute??

So the philosophical question here is this: how's your parachute packing coming along? Who looks to you for strength in times of need? And perhaps, more importantly, who are the special people in your life who provide you the encouragement you need when the chips are down? Perhaps it's time right now to give those people a call and thank them for packing your chute.