End of a Blog

A few weeks ago I decided to shut down all my existing blogs and start one and only one. Northern Farmer will be shut down very shortly also. The new blog is called Christian Farm and Ranchman. I’ve been trying to get links up and all, but things take time so I hope anyone that follows this is patient, especially this being my busy time of the year!

I’ve really enjoyed this blog, it was so kicked back and relaxed. But being overwhelmed with maintaining multiple blogs has been wearing me thin. So its down to one and only one. Click here if you’d like to take a gander. If not, its been fun and I thank you!

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 6:14 pm  Comments Off on End of a Blog  

Cattle Herd and Faith

My legs feel like they’re gonna fall off! Took out 3/4 mile of electric fence this afternoon, the fence that held the cows last fall down in the meadows, swamps, fields and brush. Saved me mucho hay bales doing that and I figured it was a good time to take it down today before the manure hits the fan around this place. So as of now everything on that 80 acres is good! The field roads are drying up nicely, the cow lot where they get fed silage is even drying up which really surprised me! The fields would still swallow a tractor but they’re setting up more and more every day. I drove one of our tractors to the county seat today, about a twenty five mile trip, and even over near the Mississippi River they’re not doing field work yet. Those are sand flats that dry up quick. Mostly big farmers and corporate farmers over that way. A big crop there is potatoes and from spring to fall the areal spraying seldom stops. Glad we don’t live over that way, could be more than hazardous to a feller’s health.

Today though, working rolling up electric wire and pulling small electric fence posts out of very moist ground was a treat indeed! Almost no noise in the territory today, very little wind and nobody in the fields yet made for a day when a person could just get out and enjoy the open spaces. Allot of thoughts go through a person’s head, farming and faith, faith and farming. And of course don’t forget family which is in both farming and faith anyhow. Don’t want it to look like I’m belittling that! Never! On the farming and ranching end of things, well, its no secret that these last few years have been tough with the multiple, back to back to back droughts. Long before there was worries about the economy on the media and in this nation as a whole there were tough times here, sometimes very tough. And those thoughts out in the meadows while taking down fence as far as the farming and ranching end of things are concerned were about continuing the dream of years ago before they were almost entireloy stomped out by these last few years. To have a second to none cowherd, the type of herd a person could be proud of. reputation cattle! The fact is they are pretty high up there as far as reputation cattle go in these here parts. And most folks in the area haven’t the slightest clue how that herd took a hit over the last few years. Two years in a row I didn’t even keep replacement heifers, not enough feed to carry them through a winter. The cowherd has gotten a little over the hill as far as age is concerned. There wasn’t much a person could do except hold on tight and pray that things would turn around sooner or later.

This year I held back a nice batch of replacement heifers, both Black Angus and Black Baldies. Good stuff. Get some young blood back in the herd! There’s gonna be a network of new corrals built this summer in the spare time when I’m not making hay or something. These are buit with railroad ties and oak plank, heavy duty. There’s going to be renewed effort in getting the place and the herd top notch! Almost had er once, but got beat back a bit, now there’s a new fever in me to continue this and see it through. I write this cause sometimes people might wonder about someone who has faith in God and a calling to boot in the ministry, wondering if they let the cattle operation and the farm slide and just fool around with church stuff. Maybe some do that, I don’t know, but this cattle business is in my blood just as this faith is. And a person has to make a living, might as well do it good! There ain’t know way I could ever do church stuff, faith stuff, when I’d be knowing that I ain’t doing the job right on the farm.

I was going to write more on this but am behind a bit on other stuff so with any luck I’ll be able to finish it off sometime. There’s Kingdom work to do and cattle herd work to take care of. Spread the Gospel the best a feller can, and take care of the herd and make a reputation herd that a person can be more than satisfied with!bible-open-ws-sm-v9

Easter Thoughts

Well, its an Easter evening around here and I have a few spare minutes to sit on down and relax at the old computer. The day was good, very good! Church took up allot more time than normal and that was OK with me. Chores went slick this morning and I got done really quick and was able to ramble on to church with the old three quarter ton flatbed Chev. Everyone else went a tad bit earlier from this family so I had to drive solo in the old truck. Made er though and that’s a praise in itself! Had a deer running right down the road straight at that old truck when I was in the hills driving on an up and down tarred township road. Seeing I was only going thirty miles an hour on that narrow hogback road I wasn’t taken too much by surprise and the deer musta figured out that it wasn’t good to run straight into that old Chevy so he bounded off into the woods on the side. I’m not really all that hungry for road kill venison at the moment anyhow so that was OK with me today.

The day was fairly nice this later morning and some of us were able to stand outside of church and shoot the bull a bit. What a relief to have winter pretty much over with! There was an Easter egg hunt for the youngsters in the little town our church is in, in fact it was put on by the church. The kids made a killing with candy and a few other prizes and I just watched all satisfied! Oh, to have that simple fun again like those kids can have at any given moment. Plus many of the kids gave Pastor Tom an offering, some candy from their stashes and I guess I wasn’t complaining as I was munching away! Train em young to take care of the people that have the call I say!

And with evening here there’s only a few things to get ready for this coming week’s midweek service. I figure I can work like a bear the rest of the evenings and just make it to the Wednesday service, break up the huge load of work for the week and get recharged to hit er harder the next day. There’s oats to clean for seed this week too, that sometimes take the better part of the day but is well worth it. When you have the seed that works on your particular farm, stick with it! I don’t know why, but I’m really optimistic about this year’s growing season!

Now this being Easter and all I start thinking about planting seeds, about something dead coming to life. Something we have no control over. We clean the grain in faith, we get the fields ready in faith and we plant the seeds in faith. And last evening in my nightly reading of the Bible I reread these verses that explain it so plainly! From Mark chapter 4,

Parable of the Growing Seed

26 Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. 28 The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. 29 And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”

Now that’s what I love about the Bible, about the Gospels in particular, a country feller like me can make sense out of them! Those seeds don’t really look all that action packed when a person is handling them or just taking a look at them. They’re just little things that get planted in the ground and if a person really and truthfully didn’t know what was happening it would never make a lick of sense, to be putting those things in the ground, really it doesn’t! But we know that it does work, we know what to expect. Plants should appear from almost every seed that was put in the ground.And a person has to modernize this a tad too. Because most of the time a farmer ain’t out there scattering seed by hand, although I have done that once in a while, here and there. We use a planter, a grain drill for small grains such as oats and barley and a corn planter for corn. A big difference between the two. And after its planted, especially with small grains, there’s not a thing that a person really does with the crop until harvest time. Plant in late April or early May and don’t touch the crop until late July, early August. Then comes the harvest and most of the time there’s a good one, and even on the bad years there’s always something to harvest.

The thing that strikes me in that parable is the similarity to spreading the Gospel, which I do believe is the main point of course here. Our job is to plant that seed, just like the farmer in the parable or the farmer writing this. It don’t hurt to take extra care preparing the fields because that makes a huge difference in the harvest! It don’t hurt getting into the Word every single day to make sure the seed germination percentage is high. No sense planting poor seed. It don’t hurt walking the walk, talking the talk, being a true living example of Christ on this here earth! And the time will come when the harvest is ripe and ready to be cut and combined. Where the shakers and fans blow out the bad seed, the weed seed and poor light grain that one does not want in the storage bins.

This Easter I’m just dwelling on this. How easy it is to understand the planting and harvesting written about in the Gospel. Keep er simple and its easy to understand. Spread the Good News in faith that it will soon sprout and grow. Have the faith of a farmer or a rancher that knows that he must do the initial work and after that the Lord promises to take care of the growing and the ripening. And then comes the harvest! The more I get into the Word, the more I am coming to realize the simplicity of it. Those yoke destroying promises from a risen saviour that loves every single person right where they are at. Easter reminds a person of that although I guess I should be reminded of that ever day. Sure wouldn’t hurt none! He is risen to set people free! If we only understood that more, if we only would have the faith to throw off the shackles that bind us and be Christians like in the Book of Acts, believers that had such simple faith that God moved mightily with them. He still does today, exactly the same as in the Book of Acts, that is if we let Him.

On a closing note this evening, this Easter evening, I had a brother in Christ tell me something this week that struck deep into my heart. So many times we invite folks to church, we try and witness to them and get a cold shoulder, mainly from the folks being religious. They very seldom go to church but have some way out teaching that they were baptized as a baby, or got confirmed as a teen and they might make it to heaven if there is in reality such a place. My brother in Christ mentioned the parable about the King inviting all the normal people to the wedding and everyone had an excuse not to show up. As I say, this really was thrust deep into my heart, confirmed by the Holy Ghost. The parable goes on to have the King say, go through the countryside and invite all the poor, the lonely, the sick, the rejected, (Tom’s translation here so forgive me). I must say, this was a confirmation to what’s been on my heart for a long time now, to fill the pews with the downcasts of society, the sick, the lonely, the folks that would hardly be welcome in a normal church setting today with the dead religion or the lust for material wealth that is so accepted among the western masses that call themselves Christians. This is the meaning of Easter to me! These are the people Jesus hung around with, these are the people that followed Him! These are the people that believed and were healed of every disease and malady. And these are the people that need Jesus today and who will believe like they did back then!

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Good Friday

Good Friday evening and I just got in after a long day on the farm. Cleaned the big loafing barn out, the manure pack was around three feet deep and that’s kept me busy the last couple of days. But its clean now and the cows can come back in if need be.  The jobs are piling up, as they do every year at this time and they won’t let up for a while either. But that’s OK with me cause winter drives me half nuts!

As far as faith matters go, well I’m dwelling on some stuff for a long time now, many months. The answers are coming, sometimes in very unexpected ways. I guess I do most of my duties at church all right, but there’s always something eating at me that never goes away. The countryside is pulling me, strongly. Never was a city type person, just always wanted to farm. Still do, nothing changed in that department. In fact I think I’ve been pretty successful spending most of my life farming one way or another. Not money wise, I mean spending my life doing it. Maybe that’s one reason I like our little church so much. A person doesn’t have to put on a show and make believe that your something special. Just come as you are. Works for me!

For 18 years now I’ve received the Christian Ranchman paper from Fort Worth, Texas. I’ve wrote about it many times here, either in posts or comments. That newspaper is so very special! I just love how it has stories and testimonies of regular farm and ranch folks who love Jesus! For 18 years that ministry was my favorite. Still is!

So, I ramble on about it, all tired out from a hard days work. All this writing over the last few years about country churches, about circuit riders, about farmer/preachers, about cowboy preachers. This is a love of mine. And this is what will continue to be written about here. This is where ministry is pulling me. To the simple folks, not to fancy churches. I’m simple so I figure that must be where I belong!  Blue jeans for dress clothes. Good jacket is denim, a Wrangler in fact. Got cowboy hats everywhere, some beat up, some clean. Got cattle coming out of my ears. Got two pickup truck and ones a flatbed to boot! Don’t own a pair of shoes, just have boots, mostly western boots. Don’t own a tie, just have western bolos. In other words, I don’t fit the typical way people look at someone in ministry. Get more of a thrill going to a rodeo and listening to the opening prayer than sitting in a big city church that has supposedly arrived. Sitting in a salesbarn I get the feeling that someday I’ll preach in one. Nope, this ain’t the usual call the way I figure it.

So I’d better get myself cleaned up tonight and get into the Word of God for a bit. Between farming/ranching and faith a feller gets pretty tired sometimes. This is one of them times.

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A Second Chance

There are some memories in life that stick with a person. I don’t know if it was because of the impossible odds or the miracle itself, but it sticks with me. Years ago when we we relatively new to the beef cow business there was an episode, an episode that will be with me till the end of this time on earth, and maybe beyond.

It was in the spring of 1995, late March and it was calving time on the farm. I had some old cross bred cows that I had bought a couple years before and an old black baldie cow had a nice baldie heifer calf. Uneventful as can be, all was well. In a few days I noticed that the calf was scouring and needed a bit of medical help. I did my duty giving her the pills and kept an eye on her. As the next few days went by, no matter what I did to treat her she kept going down hill.  After a time she couldn’t even gather the power needed to go suck her mama for some fresh milk. So putting the cow in the headgate I attempted to milk the old girl and soon discovered she had no milk to speak of. Now I was in a pickle.

The next step was to feed the calf milk replacer. The calf kept going down hill more and more and soon wouldn’t even suck on the bottle that I was trying to feed her with. So reluctantly I decided to go the next step and use a stomach tube to feed her in order to somehow keep her alive until she could start getting her strength up to suck again. This went on for days and days until the calf was almost dead. Her eyes were always closed, basically in a coma. Her breathing was raspy and I could hear gurgling in her lungs. This didn’t look good but after all the work already put into her I just had to keep going. I moved her out of the cow barn pen that she was in, to the hog nursery a little ways away and laid her in a pile of dry straw. I’d pile straw on top of her to keep her warm as she laid there in a coma day after day.

As the days went by she started to stink, she was literally starting to stink from the high fever and then started losing all of her hair. When it was time for feeding her with the stomach tube a person almost gagged from the smell of the rotting body that I had to work with. I remember three different times that I pulled her outside to throw her in the manure spreader and haul her out, all hope gone. But before I’d get around to that job I’d always have an unction, like a little voice saying, “don’t give up”. So I’d just go over to her and drag her back into the nursery and put her back into the fluffy straw.

This went on for four weeks, feeding her twice a day. A breathing, naked calf, no hair left on her body, in a coma and always that gurgling sound coming from her lungs. It would be a pain sometimes coming in from early season field work and mixing the milk replacer and feeding a calf like that, not much hope.

One night after about a month of this I was on a night check, checking the cows to see if any were calving in the middle of the night. I decided to poke my head into the hog nursery for some reason and when I turned on the lights I almost fell over in shock. There in the straw pile was a calf, no hair left on its body, just plain ugly looking standing up and looking at me. It took me a while to realize this was really happening and I walked over there and the naked calf seemed just fine! It is really hard to describe the feelings I had at the moment but they were joyful! And she never elapsed, just stayed awake and alert from that time on. Now this was one ugly calf, no hair left on its body, just like a big pink brand new baby mouse. After the days and weeks when by its hair started growing back, some black peach fuzz, but that sure was an ugly calf but it didn’t matter a hill of beans to me! It would always be there when I’d come with the milk bottle to feed it and it would suck that milk down lickidy split!

Come fall, after looking her over, well, there was no way that calf could be sold, it didn’t have calf sale ability, that’s for sure. So I decided it could live with the replacement heifers, the heifer calves born the same spring but in a whole lot better shape. These heifers would be bred the following summer. The following summer came and that ugly heifer calf did fairly good, but there was something a tad bit different about her and I knew I couldn’t really sell her, would take a beating on that, so I just left her in with the replacement heifers to get bred and let the chips fall where they may. The next spring that heifer had a calf without the slightest problem and was about the best mother in the whole durn bunch to boot!

As this spring approaches she’s still in the herd, the only one out of that nice batch of heifers from the 1995 calf crop. Since her first calf in 1997 she’s had a nice calf every single year, always in the first three weeks of calving, and last year she had the first calf of the season, eartag #1. And that was even after a couple hard and lean years of major drought in this area. Everyone here agrees, she’s not being shipped, or butchered or anything. That ugly little hairless calf that somehow survived a month long coma and after all these years turned out to be the best cow on the farm will retire and live out her life here. She’s special.

Life on the farm is different I guess. A person sees what God does, a person can understand how God operates just by how we have to operate. We see the impossible happen, not once in a while, but all the time. Its a faith building life, and I don’t see how anyone could farm without that faith in God. That stinking, rotting calf always reminds me of myself before Christ set me free. There was no hope what so ever, but He set me free! Life was a little wobbly at first and I know through the years I ain’t the prettiest in the herd. But this little farm parable shows me that being what the world considers good really doesn’t mean much in the end. God can take a stinking, rotting person and change them, change them to produce for the Lord, keep going steadily year after year and when its all over, well, its just beginning!

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Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 5:01 pm  Comments (16)  

The Corn Patch Gospels

Now, before the spring season begins there’s still a little time to be had to write some things. Although from past experience things got written even during our busiest times around here. Now today on the farm I was doing not to much, just the basics which takes me durn near all day anyhow. Jobs speed up when the temps hit sixty or above, so for now things still keep going at that humdrum pace seven days a week.  There’s a couple of folks working on our big dairy barn roof, getting ready to put steel roofing on there and covering the battered shingles with it. They also do a thing where they put three sets of cables in the haybarn and tighten them up in order to prevent any roof sag in the future. So in the afternoon when I went into that barn to feed and water our four hillbilly hogs I decided to go up into the haybarn and see what was up. Hadn’t inspected the job yet up there so now’s a good time I figured. All looked good and I was more than satisfied with the job that was done. Now when a person is up in a huge old haybarn there’s just something about it all. Its almost cathedral like up there with the high sloping roof that was built over a hundred years ago. The haybarn is almost empty except for a couple feet of loose hay on the floor all over so its quite a large room. And I was thinking, always thinking, thinking about that book that Brad sent this way a while back called the Cotton Patch Gospel. Now that book is kinda neat, written in a country style and a person like me can learn allot from the stories and the way of country writing that the preacher who wrote it used.

So I was thinking about how easy it is to speak like that and to understand stuff written in a country way compared to all the big city stuff that a person is basically forced to read when everything else good is read a hundred times over. Now I was thinking about writing a thing called the Corn Patch Gospels, but not follow the Gospels as closely as the preacher did on the Cotton patch Gospels. More of a country parable type of thing. Its easy to come up with stuff like that because the Bible, mostly the Gospels were the blueprint for country ministry. Jesus spent most of His time in the country and all was pretty good out there. It was the big city where He got in trouble mostly. Even any troubles He had out in the country were from bigshot city religious leaders coming out into the countryside to check on Him!

And I have noticed these last few years many church folks from the countryside figure that they will experience God better in a big city church, especially if there is some big named TV preacher showing up to do the preaching. I did that once, (not preaching, just going to see a big named preacher), and I was more than happy to get back to our little country church and do what we do. I’m more than happy to talk faith at the kitchen table, or by the corrals, or out in the field, a person don’t need some Cristal cathedral to find God, He’s everywhere! Even in the corn patch, or maybe especially in the corn patch. When a person is on a tractor working in the corn patch there’s so much time to dwell on God, just like when cutting hay or raking it. There ain’t no better time to get lost in talking to God. The motor hum or roar really doesn’t interfere at all from my experience, in fact God comes in loud and clear at 2100 RPM!

So coming up in the near future I might write some country parables called the Corn Patch Gospels or Corn Patch Parables, don’t know which one yet but it really don’t make much difference. Not like allot of people will ever read them but I think I’ll have some fun putting faith back nto a country perspective. I love story telling, am kinda good at it so why not I figure! Besides, it’ll arm me with some good faith building stories to recall when the time is right along side of some corral fence or at the local co-op or someplace like that! Yup, that’s what I’ll do if I don’t forget🙂

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Published in: on March 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm  Comments (7)  
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Just Stay Hillbilly!

Glory to God, its a Friday night. Although that don’t mean all that much here on the farm, but what the hey, I guess most other people are happy its Friday evening so I guess it spreads a little. Now I was getting a little spring fever a week ago or so, but the temps have dived and there’s a sea of crusted over mud all over the place. The wind has a bite to it and I  lay low as much as possible, the kind of wind that’ll make the glands swell up almost instantly in a feller’s neck. Funny how there ain’t much problem with that in the dead of winter when its bitterly cold, but come March and early April it can get a little tricky staying in good health.

Wrote a little while ago on Northern farmer, but I guess I feel like writing some more because of the day being so uneventful. Although its easier to write when it is eventful, except then there probably ain’t enough time to write because of the events! Boy, can I go on and on or what! But I was thinking today, and sometimes that gets me in trouble, but I was thinking. This is a strange year, a strange year in ministry for me cause there’s a couple different directions I feel called to go and I just don’t know which to do. One or the other or a combination of both. As most folks that know me know, I’m more of a down home feller. Besides, I do farm full time and that really keeps a person close to home, everyday. I’d like to get out more, but many times I can’t because of putting food on the table, so I do stay home. I’m absolutely loyal to our little country church and try and do as much as I can over that way. But I do feel inadequate in much of the things I do.

I know I can never preach, cause I don’t think I got it in me. I can spin a country yarn without a problem. Or maybe I should rephrase that. I can’t teach like what is normally considered teaching. Whether to children or adults. But let me talk farming, or country stuff with it, well then it becomes easy. Hmm, I’m answering my own ponderings tonight, not bad, not bad at all. I can’t talk like big time preachers, or small time ones for that matter. I bore myself with that. No, just good old farming and country talk are easy.

You ever want to see someone get uncomfortable, well you just put me with some professional preachers and you’ll see one uncomfortable farmer in the crowd. So now where does this leave a farmer with a preaching license that gets more and more confused as the days go by. The way I figure it I’m just going to quit worrying about it. Quit worrying about if I’m making a fool out of myself and stop trying to act like a regular preacher and all. I’m just a farmer that loves the Lord and I ain’t going to try and be someone I ain’t! And the reality is there are people being touched by just being who I am. This is not bragging, heaven forbid, but I do reach many more people every week than any pastor that I know of in our area, and I don’t even have a church. Again, this ain’t a head count, its just flat out reality.

But a person has wants, like actually seeing some fruit, which might be selfish in reality, but that happens anyhow. (Things like this pop into a person’s head when the weather is disagreeable and I don’t work hard enough to get all tired out.) But come spring time, real spring things take a turn. A person gets busy and things just flow. Now I shouldn’t be complaining and in reality I’m not cause no one is on the safe road to hell when they come over this way. Three weeks ago a couple stopped by I hadn’t seen for years. Just a good old boy type guy and all, but as unsaved as I was years ago. Well, him and his wife got the gospel preached to them and they were unbelievably receptive! I had to laugh at the absolute shock on their faces when after a while of talking I told them I was a licensed minister of the Lord. man, what a Kodak moment. But they didn’t run for it and there might be a couple more folks coming through the pearly gates because of that Saturday afternoon on the farm!

I’ll get er pegged down one of these days, which way to really go in ministry. But the covering we have for the ministry recognizes this, that it is a period of finding our own path and all. Takes a little time and the thing is, no one can really tell you which way to go except the Lord. Until then I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. The Kingdom of God is getting more and more citizens as time goes on out here in the countryside and every one is important. Will I ever have a church, I doubt it, it would drive me half nuts to be truthful. It’d be the same as taking care of a big room full of two year olds the way I figure it. No, just do what a person does in the countryside, spread the Gospel and live life to the fullest!

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Published in: on March 27, 2009 at 7:25 pm  Comments (5)  
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Saturday Evening

Saturday evening on the farm. Things are a tad bit muddy around the place but all is well. Chores shouldn’t be all that bad tomorrow morning before church unless I get the Bobcat stuck feeding hay. Otherwise everything is on safe ground. Kinda a boring day today really, cleaned the hog pen for some excitement. That’s a job done with a pitchfork and scraper. The old fashioned way for our old fashioned pigs. Gotta get a little bit together for tomorrow’s church service tonight, mostly done. Got a bunch of Bible verses to go by and that’s about all I need as far as I know.

I figured I’d put on a video here. My kinda church service to say the least. Of course I do have that country wild streak in me🙂

Published in: on March 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm  Comments (16)  
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Some Old Time Religion

Things sure do change around these parts fast. Last week a snowstorm, then twenty below zero. Now a few days straight of fifties and a fast melt taking place. Whole fields are open already and the world ain’t totally white no more, YEE HAW! Pretty muddy, but I noticed some of the mud already drying up on the driveways and such. Cattle are comfey and I get all slopped up walking around but what the hey, this sure beats winter! Didn’t even wear a jacket the last two afternoons, not to mention shedding the insulated coveralls the last few days! I feel so lite!

Deuteronomy 26

Harvest Offerings and Tithes

When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession and you have conquered it and settled there, 2 put some of the first produce from each crop you harvest into a basket and bring it to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored. 3 Go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him, ‘With this gift I acknowledge to the Lord your God that I have entered the land he swore to our ancestors he would give us.’ 4 The priest will then take the basket from your hand and set it before the altar of the Lord your God.

5 “You must then say in the presence of the Lord your God, ‘My ancestor Jacob was a wandering Aramean who went to live as a foreigner in Egypt. His family arrived few in number, but in Egypt they became a large and mighty nation. 6 When the Egyptians oppressed and humiliated us by making us their slaves, 7 we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors. He heard our cries and saw our hardship, toil, and oppression. 8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey! 10 And now, O Lord, I have brought you the first portion of the harvest you have given me from the ground.’ Then place the produce before the Lord your God, and bow to the ground in worship before him. 11 Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household. Remember to include the Levites and the foreigners living among you in the celebration.

These are some verses that I’m pondering over the last few days. Reading what old Moses had to say about things. Now in country preacher tradition I figure a feller aught to talk about Moses here and there. I listen to the old fashioned preachers and some of the best sermons were about Moses, Joshua, David and a bunch of them folks from way back. I always perk up when the stories get good!

Well, here old Moses is teaching the people how to bring their tithes and offering to the Lord, how to make an acceptable offering, a holy offering. And it still follows through today. Of course we ain’t bringing some bull to church to get slaughtered up front, (which by the way might be interesting with some of these Black Angus that I raise. By the time all would be said and done I don’t think there’d be much left in the front of the church building).  I might follow further with this after Sunday’s service and explain the meaning for today from these verses, first I’ll do the church thing.

For tonight I’m just gonna kick back and get ready for tomorrow heading to the salesbarn to sell calves. Read the Bible and get me some sleep! Glory!

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Published in: on March 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm  Comments (6)  
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Getting the Itch

I posted this same post on Northern Farmer, but wrote it for here this evening.

I’m getting the itch, or should I say the fever, spring fever! Was only twenty below this morning! Truthfully though, it set a record low, kinda like the rest of the winter has done. So much for global warming. I finally realized that in about a week spring officially arrives, even though that doesn’t mean a whole lot in this neck of the woods, it still is a reason for hope. Its been cold since November and I’m tired of it. Dug behind the seat of my silver farm truck today and found two farmer hats I wear for summer. Beat the dust and dirt off of em and might have to get them somewhat back in shape cause they’re all flat and bent. Ah, but the season’s coming and I gotta get my stuff ready! Oh, did I mention, one of our un-wed heifers decided to have a calf this morning being that the temps were so nice? Couldn’t wait even one more day!

So with the temps warming up, or so they say, there’s a few hundred ton of manure to haul when it unthaws. Maybe more than that, but there’s allot of that farm raised fertilizer to spread on the fields. It’ll go a long way too and save an incredible amount of family money. Get that stuff straightened up and life does have a much better outlook to it! But I can’t wait to hit the dirt. Something that’s in a farmer’s blood! Yes, I have the itch, that same itch folks have had since the beginning, to go and work on the land. That feeling a person has turning over the soil, getting fields ready and planting the seed. The Bible is full of the planting the seed kinda stuff and I know its preached and preached till folks are just full of that preaching. But its something special to someone that actually makes a kiving on it. Different to someone that depends on it. Planting the small grain seeds. Planting corn seeds. Planting grass seeds. All are done differently, but the faith that there will be a crop is the same with every one of them.

Then comes the tending of the crops, from picking rocks to cultivating row crops. There’s hay to cut and dry, rake and bale all summer long if there’s enough rain to have multiple crops. There’s small grain harvest in late July and early August, swathing the grain, leaving it in the windrows for a few days and combining out the grain and usually the next day baling the straw from the same field. There’s meadows to cut and bale during the mid summer time when its dry enough to drive down in those low lands. There’s pastures to tend to every single day of the week, checking fences, counting the critters and seeing if anything is wrong with any of them. Pumping water in the remote pastures, filling up the stock tanks for another day while counting the cattle.

Come early September much of the corn is chopped for corn silage. That’s where the whole plant gets chopped up and we put it in a silage pit. That’s a big long pit in the ground where we dump the loads of silage. Push it around with a Bobcat leveling it off and packing it down by driving on it with a tractor, back and forth, forward and reverse. A good year would give us a thousand ton of corn silage and that’s enough to make it till grass in early May. The last harvest job is pickin corn, pickin the corn cobs with an old two row corn picker. Filling up corn cribs and snow fences set up for temporary cribs. By then winter is knocking at the door once again.

And this wasn’t even mentioning raising the chickens outside all summer, tending the multiple large gardens, raising a few family hogs, and a host of other things. In the longest days of summer its rare to get in before sundown. Even if there’s no big farm job to do we head out to the garden to wind down for the day. There’s something about being out there on a summer evening pulling weeds or some other garden job, listening to the country sounds that are so clear that time of the day. The wild geese and their families down by the creek usually are giving us a honk, the killdeers are making an evening racket, a pheasant doing what pheasants do in some field near by.

Church activities and also small town activities pick up this time of the year when the area comes out of its winter slumber. There are festivals in the towns and villages. There are special activities at church. And not wearing a pile of winter clothes sure does set a person free. There’s visiting where folks can sit outside, fire up a barbecue and shoot the bull for hours. This coming June there will be special services at our little country church. Almost a week long series of revival meetings and its looking good. It should be before hay cutting and after planting so for once things might work out for me!  Glory, things like that keep this old dirt farmer going!

I don’t know what will happen in this world but at the moment I’m not going to let it get me down. And after the moment it ain’t gonna get me down either! The country life is different, not the same as what city folks consider the norm. Between dirt farming and church I couldn’t ask for a better life. Family farming and working for the Lord when the day’s work is done. Or even during the day’s work if the opportunity arises! Come in every evening and the last thing a feller does before hitting the hay is read that Bible no matter what. Get the Word into the very marrow of our bones. Get so much of the Word into us that it must be spoken forth all the time!

Published in: on March 12, 2009 at 6:48 pm  Comments (8)  
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