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.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Verses That Guide

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Jeremiah 29:11’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Proverbs 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
Psalm 25:12 Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
John 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
Psalm 25:9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.
John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 2:6-9 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


In an effort to clarify questions about the purported durability and unusual physical characteristics of Twinkies, I subjected the Hostess snack logs to the
following experiments:


A Twinkie was left on a window ledge for 4 days, during which time an inch and a half of rain fell. Many flies were observed crawling across the Twinkie's surface, but contrary to hypothesis, birds -- even pigeons -- avoided this potential source of substance.

Despite the rain and prolonged exposure to the sun, the Twinkie retained its
original color and form. When removed, the Twinkie was found to be substantially
dehydrated. Cracked open, it was observed to have taken on the consistency of
industrial foam insulation; the filling, however, retained its advertised


A Twinkie was placed in a conventional microwave oven, which was set for
precisely 4 minutes -- the approximate cooking time of bacon. After 20 seconds,
the oven began to emit the Twinkie's rich, characteristic aroma of artificial
butter. After one minute, this aroma began to resemble the acrid smell of
burning rubber. The experiment was aborted after 2 minutes, 10 seconds when
thick, foul smoke began billowing from the top of the oven. A second Twinkie was
subjected to the same experiment; this Twinkie leaked molten, white filling.
When cooled, this now epoxy-like filling bonded the Twinkie to its plate,
defying gravity it was removed only upon application of a butter knife.

Extreme Force

A Twinkie was dropped from a ninth-floor window, a fall of approximately 120
feet. It landed right side up, then bounced onto its back. The expected
"splatter" effect was not observed. Indeed, the only discernible damage to the
Twinkie was a narrow fissure on its underside; otherwise, the Twinkie remained
structurally intact.

Extreme Cold

A Twinkie was placed in a conventional freezer for 24 hours. Upon removal, the
Twinkie was not found to be frozen solid, but its physical properties had
noticeably "slowed." The filling was found to be the approximate consistency of
acrylic paint, while exhibiting the mercury-like property of not adhering to
practically any surface. It was noticed the Twinkie had generously absorbed the
freezer odors.

Extreme Heat

A Twinkie was exposed to a gas flame for 2 minutes. While the Twinkie smoked and
blackened and the filling in one of its "cream holes" boiled, the Twinkie did
not catch fire. It did, however, produce the same "burning rubber" aroma noticed
in the irradiation experiment.


A Twinkie was dropped into a large bucket filled with water, the Twinkie floated
momentarily, then began to list and sink. Viscous yellow tendrils ran off its
lower half, possibly consisting of a water-soluble artificial coloring. After 2
hours, the Twinkie bloated substantially. Its coloring was now a very pale tan
-- in contrast to the yellow, urine-like water that surrounded it. The Twinkie
bobbed when touched, and had a gelatinous texture. After 72 hours the Twinkie
had increased roughly 200 percent of its original size. The water had turned
opaque, and a small, fan-shaped spray of filling had leaked from one of the
"cream holes." Unfortunately, efforts to remove the Twinkie for further analysis
were abandoned when, under light pressure the Twinkie disintegrated into an
amorphous cloud of debris. A distinctly sour odor was noted.

Summary of Results

The Twinkie's survival of a 120-foot drop, along with some of the unusual
phenomena associated with the "creamy filling" and artificial coloring, should
give pause to those observers who would unequivocally categorize the Twinkie as
"food." Further clinical inquiry is required before any definite conclusions can
be drawn.

So be it said that I will not be eating "TWINKIES"!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hymns For The Aging

Precious Lord, Take my Hand (And Help Me Get Up)

It is Well with My Soul (but my back hurts)

Nobody Knows the Trouble I have Seeing

Amazing Grace (Considering My Age)

Just a Slower Walk With Thee

Count Your Many Birthdays, Name Them One by One

Go Tell It on the Mountain (And Speak Up)

Give Me that Old Timers Religion

Blessed Insurance

Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah (I've forgotten where I parked)

Friday, October 12, 2012


In our search for a suitable pastor, the following scratch sheet was developed
for your perusal. Of the candidates investigated by the committee, only one was found to have the necessary qualities. The list contains the names of the
candidates and comments on each, should you be interested in investigating them further for future pastoral placements.


He has 120 years of preaching experience, but no converts.

He stutters; and his former congregation says he loses his temper over trivial

He took off to Egypt during hard times. We heard that he got into trouble with
the authorities and then tried to lie his way out.

He is an unacceptable moral character. He might have been considered for
minister of music had he not fallen.

He has a reputation for wisdom but fails to practice what he preaches.

He proved to be inconsistent, and is known to fold under pressure.

His family life is in a shambles. Divorced, and remarried to a prostitute.

He is too emotional, alarmist; some say a real pain in the neck.

Comes from a farming background. Better off picking figs.

He says he is a Baptist but lacks tact and dresses like a hippie. Would not feel
comfortable around him at a church potluck supper.

Has a bad temper, and was heard to have even denied Christ publicly.

We found him to lack tact. He is too harsh. His appearance is contemptible, and
he preaches far too long.

He has potential, but is much too young for the position.

He seemed to be very practical, cooperative, good with money, cares for the
poor, and dresses well. We all agreed that he is just the man we are looking for
to fill thevacancy as our Senior Pastor.

Thank you for all you have done in assisting us with our pastoral search.

The Pastoral Search Committee

My Simple To-Do List.

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” 

 My simple to-do list: 
  • Count my blessings.
    The blessings of my children, my wife and the beautiful life we share are more than enough.
  • Practice kindness.
    I will always give the best of me.
  • Let go of what I can’t control.
    It’s not me. I surrender. Take me as I am, wherever I am, and I will follow.
  • Share my heart.
    I will share my heart, and trust that others will respect it and cherish it as much as I do.
  • Be productive, yet calm.
    There is a reason, and a purpose, behind every setback and disappointment.
  • Just breathe.
    Every moment is precious. I want to cherish each one.
Sometimes the simple path to a simple to-do list begins with getting smacked with a dose of reality, and then rather than responding with anger, chose to make a new to-do list that is simpler and sounds more like you.

The smack was just what I needed. My new, simpler to-do list gives me the opportunity to check off the right items – the ones that sound like me:

Being Love – Check
Finding Hope – Check
Showing Kindness – Check
Remaining Faithful – Check
Letting Go – Check
Enjoying the Moment – Check

The list may be just words written on paper, but each word has the ability to end the drought and fill the well with happiness.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

African Baby


This is a story written by a doctor who worked in Africa .

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator).

We also had no special feeding facilities.

Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.

Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates)..

'And it is our last hot water bottle!' she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles.

They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

'All right,' I said, 'put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts Your job is to keep the baby warm.'

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one ten -year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. 'Please, God' she prayed, 'Send us a hot water bottle today It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.'

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, 'And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?'

As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say 'Amen?' I just did not believe that God could do this.

Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.

Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the verandah was a large 22-pound parcel I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children.. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.

Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the.....could it really be?

I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried.

I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.

Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, 'If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!'

Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!

Looking up at me, she asked, 'Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?'

'Of course,' I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator.

And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child - five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it 'that afternoon.'

‘Before they call, I will answer.' (Isaiah 65:24)
Isn't it funny how much and how often God calls on his people all over the world to send something important as a "hot water bottle" & "a doll"??  Even if from some people back home away far from Africa - 5 months in advance!   Our God is such an awesome God!!!!!