He’s More Than Able To Fix It

John 14

9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?

10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.

A Friday evening and it was trying to rain outside so I’m inside. Rain hasn’t amounted to even getting the ground wet but if I was outside I reckon I’d be wet. But I have faith that this will be a good year! Even with the dry conditions things are going well. The hay is still growing and the pastures are doing fine! The corn came up perfectly even, the planter working great and the crop has a blessed start! In my last post I mentioned healing the land and this has been on my mind something powerful today. At the same time I’m reading a work book from our church bookstore which isn’t all that big, the store would fit in a closet with room to spare for clothes and guns and all the other stuff a country person might pack in there. The workbook is about healing and it shows that its God’s will to heal, to heal them all. Now I know that a heck of allot of Christians balk at this and I always did to until a person does the unthinkable, the almost unimaginable thing today in this day and age, and that’s get into God’s Word.

Funny, after a lifetime of going to church here and there before finally giving in and accepting Jesus I had all the traditions of man in my mind and in my heart. And I see this everyday with people I come in contact with. The thought that God is the author of disease, of natural disasters, of everything that hurts a person on earth. They say it must be God’s will. And the biggest revelation I ever had when reading the Word of God is the realization that it is not! And while on that thought I do believe one of the most asked questions I come across in day to day life concerning faith matters is, why does God allow these things to happen? Or a terrible disaster strikes a person or family and the folks think it was God’s will that such a thing should happen.

When farming a person has allot of time to think and to talk to God, yes for anyone who doesn’t understand, talking with God. If someone was to sneak up to me when I’m outside working on a fence or something they’d be looking around for a bit trying to figure out where the person was I was talking to! And I do know and am very thankful that in my lifetime I’ve had the opportunity to live this life on the farm away from much of the hustle and bustle of the rat race.  The one thing I know with all my heart is that God is not the author of accidents, sickness and the death of loved ones. People also blame God for the storms, catastrophes, earthquakes, droughts and floods that happen. The news, insurance companies and people of faith even call these “acts of God”. The thing I learned from the Word is they are not acts of God, they’re acts of satan. Even saying something such as this has set off firestorms from the “religious” in the past and present, but the funny thing is, the same thing would happen when Jesus would speak to the religious in His day. And I’m on a roll with this and will continue it in almost every post because this is a foundation of faith that the early church had that got messed up and almost lost over the centuries.

Now it hardly pays to even discuss this with someone who doesn’t believe the Bible, and I’m not talking about a non church goer, but church folks that believe their church has the way and don’t believe the scripture to be the final word. Traditions of man is what I call that. But as a man of the land I see things all around me, I appreciate the beauty of nature every way I turn. The Word tells and describes the world before man sinned and all was lost. There was no death, no injury, no disease. Sin entered and the devil took the dominion of this earth from man. The devil has the legal right to it and is the author of every terrible thing that happens.

When Jesus walked this earth He used His authority, a sinless man filled with the Holy Spirit, the Son of God made man, to rebuke the storms, to rebuke disease, to raise the dead. We don’t see Jesus bringing any storms on people, we see Him calming the storms! We don’t see Him sending disease into people, we see Him healing them by casting out the devil who is the author of disease! And with this in mind, we don’t see Him sending disaster on our farms and homes. That is a different author, not God! Jesus never rebuked God the Father!

Understanding this simple and fundamental cornerstone of faith changes everything that was instilled in me years ago. God is our friend, He loves us and is not the author of the terrible things that happen to us! I don’t want our family and farm to be under the devil’s control! And it doesn’t have to be!  “When God’s creation is broke, He’s more than able to fix it.” And our faith opens up the door for Him to do that! Reclaiming the rights we had before sin entered this world! yes, creation is groaning for Christ’s return, and until He comes down from heaven He’s welcome to have the authority on this farm and in this family now!

Romans 8:18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 9:06 pm  Comments (7)  
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Healing The Land

Nice day in the countryside around here, not too windy and around eighty. More of the garden is planted this evening with some crops that aren’t late so we’re catching up fast! Got things to do around here the next week or so then half the family is heading to Central America and I ain’t talking Missouri either! Of course this old farmer stays behind this year to keep tending things around the farm. I figure if it rains this year I’ll go next year, typical way of thinking for a farmer. My biggest job with this trip is driving down to the Twin Cities and saying adios.

The funny thing is, while working around here today, I was thinking! I wonder how many times I write that “I was thinking” thing? But I was. And I was thinking about how part of this family is going down there and will be spreading the Gospel and depending on how things go, setting up a kinda ministry down there. Pretty good huh, going international already! But such is the way of God, you just never know what’s going to fall in your lap, so to speak.

When I’ve been down in Central America those folks and me just get along fine. And they really like it that I’m a farmer cause then they know they got someone interesting! I can look at the soil, look at the crops, look at the animals and basically I know what’s going on and understand everything without any problem. There’s that universal farm language that knows no barriers. And as I wrote, this got me thinking! And this will be covered much more later!

Back to the farmlands of Central Minnesota now. The hay is growing but needs a drink. Who knows, maybe one of these days. I just ordered three books from the computer, all by Angus Buchan of South Africa. (I was trying to get closer to home now but again shot half way around the world). Angus is the guy that the movie Faith Like Potatoes portrays. Now a fella like me kinda connects with some farmer/preacher even if he’s from way down South Africa way. I might not get to that side of the Atlantic but I can see what a brother in Christ is up to, spreading the gospel through the southern hemisphere and up over in the British Isles. Farmers on the land are the same the world over. Same problems basically. Some might have more political problems than we do now in America but I feel our easy days are swiftly coming to an end in that department.

Anything we do, anything we try and change without the hearts of the people being changed first is short termed at best and basically useless. This raises allot of eyebrows in Christian circles in America, but I believe this more than almost anything. Nothing will change for the good without the hearts of the people being changed first. God will not bless good legislation if the people aren’t behind the reason for it. This happened in the Old Testament too. I believe it was King Josiah, this is just off the cuff so I could be wrong. That good young king that destroyed all the pagan temples and places of worship in old Judea. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord but the people’s hearts weren’t changed and after he died that ancient country was destroyed by Babylon.  The hearts must be changed.

The standby verse for this thought is usually 2 Chronicles 7;14

If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land. (N.I.V.)

Says allot in my book! The land needs healing. The families, the forgotten and there’s allot of them. As mad materialism keeps up its rampage to destroy the hearts of man the only answer is the saving grace of Christ. The only answer. And how does it spread, how does it get heard? By those that are saved taking it to the unsaved. This is the mission of every blood bought believer, no exceptions and believe me, a feller can sure come across a wide variety of excuses.
For a few years this has been knocking at my heart, the healing the land thing. I even had a blog named Healing Waters Flow, not really knowing why I did. I played around with a ministry name called Healing Waters Ministry, again not really knowing why, but it was just there. This verse that I’ve known for years answers allot of my questions concerning this. As this becomes a farm journal, a journal of rural life and ministry things will come out about what we are doing. Both here and now abroad. Amazing how so much can be done with so little if a person’s heart is for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Healing, healing the body, mind and spirit. Healing the land. That is one of the things the Gospel is all about. In fact that’s it in a nutshell. Covers about everything in my eyes. God is waiting, wanting to pour out His blessings on a fallen humanity. Now is the time to get started on this!

Published in: on May 28, 2009 at 8:23 pm  Comments (4)  
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Trusting A Loving God

The evening after Memorial Day and it sure was a busy day around here. I won’t go through the list of jobs cause folks would think I’m a liar! Plus this evening we just got in from the big garden out back, this was the first time really working in it. Got the onion sets planted and also the potatoes. Late, later than most years by a long shot but we’ve been busy getting in the main crops. Today the last field work was done, planted some oats, not for harvesting but for grazing in summer. Planted it on the cattle lot, about two and a half acres and that thing is getting overloaded with weeds from feeding cows there winter after winter. So I figure on putting oats there for a few years and grazing it down, disking it up, planting again in later summer and graze er down again. Keep repeating the process for a long time and keep working them weed seeds into sprouting and then killing them before they go to major seed! What can I say, it works and it does give a little grazing here and there. Back to the garden, get most of the stuff planted in the next week or so and we’ll be right on time with the summer garden crops so no problem there. Chilly out today and this evening so I have no temptation to even think about putting out tomatoes or other plants like that.

The nice big rain system that came into Minnesota yesterday never found its way to our place. Kinda used to that happening the last few years. Last night before bed I checked the radar and durn near let out a whoop! I figured there was no way that the rain could miss us this time but upon waking up this morning the dust was still in control around here. I guess the nice rain clouds did the good old central Minnesota split that I have become so accustomed to. Life goes on though. In fact I was thinking while planting potatoes, thinking about where does a person put their faith, or what do we believe God should do in situations like I just mentioned. Now through the years I’ve come across folks that say that I should believe for rain, claim the rain in faith and it will come. But no matter how I look at it I can’t quite accept that way of thinking.

Looking back over the multi year droughts we had I can honestly say there was not one time where we were in “need”. Things were pretty short, but there was always enough to get through. Many lessons were learned and I do believe we’ve come out of this with allot more heaven sent wisdom. Not to mention how through these past few year how we’ve come along spiritually to the point of even being in ministry. Now I’ll go into this a bit more cause it does concern faith. I believe that God has taken care of us through all of this in ways that He gets the glory. Simple. I know some folks that get all proud when they attend a church service when there’s a dry spell, a church service that they pray for rain and then a rain comes in the next week or so. I get the whole 9 yards listening how God listened to “their” church concerning this. Then its back to normal, how they grow such good crops. How they did this and that. How they even prayed for rain. Not giving God the glory in any of it.

My Charismatic friends say that they claim it, and receive it because we have the authority. But a while ago when I was planting potatoes in the dust, (kinda like a movie I wrote about a couple weeks ago), I believe I heard God speak to my heart. It went something like, “I take care of all your needs so that I, (God), get the glory”. Now these last few years I kinda knew that in my simple way of knowing things but tonight it all came together. God took care of every need we had during the droughts, every one. Sure it took huge amounts of money buying hay, but the money was there, and that is even after tithing to our little church. Some folks see that as a waste, or as foolish, but God honors those that honor Him. During the droughts even when it looked bleak there were always beef customers calling at exactly the right time, always. Nothing that I did, nothing at all. Now if a simple feller like me could get going and believe and receive I know with everything I have that in a while I would start figuring I’m something special being able to do this. Now I believe in believe and receiving, cause the Bible says so. But what do I believe for?  Do I figure all my needs will be met if it rains at the times I desire it?  Will all my needs be met if all goes as I planned on the farm? Will God become a heavenly vending machine where I can just order anything I desire? I think it would end up that I’d be trying to take the glory instead of giving it to who rightly deserves it.

What I believe God showed me is that when a person has faith,  God moves and comes through like only He can do, and a feller like me just gets bewildered and can only give Him the glory! Cause I sure didn’t do it! And yes, I’ve seen miracles, many times over. God taking an impossible situation and turning it right around for His glory and if I don’t write about that it would be like turning my back on God! Faith that God will come through for us, simple faith, trusting a loving God that wants the best for His children. Might not be the best in our eyes at the time, cause we see things in a worldly way, through mortal eyes, but to put all our trust in Him, all our faith, there is no way a person can go wrong!

Published in: on May 26, 2009 at 7:53 pm  Comments (6)  
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More On Simple Faith

Well, its a whole new world now that the crops are in! Was cleaning up some winter mess all day. First time there was ever a chance. Still didn’t get to the garden but that’s coming quick! This evening second daughter and myself rounded up the ducks in the yard and decided they didn’t like it here. So we had us a “duck drive”. Kinda like a cattle drive but a whole lot slower. Got them through the yard, onto the gravel township road and a quarter mile later they were in a pond we had made a few years back. Ended up carrying one drake the last leg of the drive cause he tired out from the long distance. A permanent pond, kinda deep and the place is a duck’s paradise! We even have a sand beach on the north end for them! The pond is surrounded by lush grass and the pasture/field that its in has tight net wire fencing all around it to keep out large predators. There is no shelter there for them, but I figured what the heck, they were outside in the yard here all winter. They never, ever went inside the building, they slept under the pine trees n the back yard and it didn’t matter if it was thirty below with strong winds they were outside, day and night. never watered them all winter, they ate snow. Fed em some shell corn and that was it, nothing else. Now we put a dash of grain on the sand beach for them tonight and the last time I was over that way they were cleaning themselves up near the grain. Some happy ducks in my opinion!

On the faith side of things, besides the faith that them ducks will have it made over in the big pond, I’m brushing up on faith, simple faith. And with simple faith about the only requirement is to know who God is and who we are in God. Old Smith Wigglesworth, a preacher from days gone by, in the first half of the last century said it well, “only believe”. Simple as that. Now today we have allot of distractions, more than anytime in history. Nowadays we are bombarded from every angle with things that cause disbelief and shake our faith if not totally destroy it. I know for myself I stay away from allot of media, and I will say sometimes even Christian media. Because remember, even if its Christian radio or the like that doesn’t mean that the world view isn’t coming across loud and clear. Does this mean that I’m a recluse? the answer is no. But I do know that being overwhelmed with the world’s views will eat away at the simple faith that I have. I keep up with the news somewhat, but don’t let it become an obsession.

Over the last few years we’ve done away with most magazines, newspapers, and television. What we have discovered is that the quality of life has risen by leaps and bounds. Just imagine with television alone, the hours and hours every week, the hundreds of hours or maybe thousands of hours a year that a person eats away from their life here on earth sitting there watching the world instill it’s wayward faith in a person. Just imagine how much of the Word a person could get into them if even a small percentage of those hours used on the world system media were used instead for study of the Word of God. Eternity is a long time and this life is a vapor, here one minute and gone the next and what has a person accomplished inviting the system that will be destroyed into their very home. Now don’t take me for some legalistic person concerning religion. No way!

Years ago I had always wondered why the Bible, (the little I knew about it), why there was miracles and wonders and all of that and there was nothing like that today. These past few years since turning away from world media and getting into the Word I understand. Now some folks say that the age of miracles was only for that generation that started the church. That God doesn’t work miracles anymore because now we have the Bible and miracles aren’t needed. I couldn’t disagree more with anything! Around the world God is moving with miracles and signs and wonders like never before! I personally have witnessed several. In the “poorer” nations miracles are common place on the mission field and evangelistic drives.

God promised to be with us with miracles, signs and wonders as we reach the lost. Miracles were not really made for in the church building! I never really realized that until lately. Miracles, signs and wonders are to back up the preaching of the Gospel to the unsaved. And they are happening at astounding rates everywhere around the globe. Yes I’ve seen miracles and I know that the reason was so that I would have that faith to obey God’s Word and do what I’m called to do. The miracles, signs and wonders that I’ve mostly seen were right here on the farm in normal day to day life. And I know that many of these would have never have happened if I was immersed in the world. But the simpler life gets, and I’m not truely talking about back to the land stuff here, I’m talking about going about the normal day with God in mind and letting the world do what it does and don’t let it bother a person too much, the more a person notices things that show God in total control. The mind isn’t wrapped up in the falsehoods of the world. Anybody getting this?

As I wrote on the last post, I’ll be touching more and more on this shortly, first because it really interests me and also because this is the way of faith the Bible talks about. This isn’t a denominational way or anything like that. Without faith a person cannot please God, that’s what the Bible says. Well, I want to please God! No matter what a person is doing for a living, whether its farming or working a job, this is reality beyond all earthly realities! This is from God! This will continue!

Published in: on May 22, 2009 at 8:52 pm  Comments (6)  
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Starting With Faith

The corn is all in, the cattle are all on their permanent pastures and all is well. It feels kinda different having that huge spring load of work behind a person! I am more than a bit thankful. Now comes some straightening up around the place which in all reality shouldn’t take too much. I never was able to get around to things like that when winter ended and went straight into spring work. This late afternoon I even worked the garden. That’s about the latest that ever got done, but it shouldn’t matter a whole lot. Just will be getting the early garden crops in late and the late crops will be right on time. Hoping to start planting tomorrow evening if its agreeable outside.

Last evening I was in church, was really in the church for the first time in a long, long time. Wasn’t teaching Children’s Church and it was so very different to be able to sit in there and learn something. It was about the Book of Proverbs and I must admit it was really interesting! About Wisdom. I can’t wait to dig into that book here at home now that some things were explained to me. I gotta toss that around in my head a while in order to make it come out on the keyboard!

Now with things calming down here somewhat its time to get back to basics. I never fell out of step with the daily Bible readings but now there’s time to dig deeper before bed at night. The one thing that keeps gnawing at me is the word faith. I was thinking about that today while cutting the tall grass around the garden out back. Because when I think about what to say in front of a church or something about the only thing that comes to mind is faith, simple faith. My Bible says that a feller can’t please God without faith so I figure there must be something to faith!

The more and more I think of it the more I keep coming back to simple faith. Not some complicated thing that a person got to turn ten shades of purple trying to achieve, and more than likely never achieving it. Faith, trusting in God, knowing God. Trusting like a child, well, the Bible says that’s how we’re supposed to be! When doing stuff around the farm all day, (and sometimes night), when I just trust God it all goes so well. A person ain’t burdened, not like he’d be when taking on the job with their own will and power.

Faith that no matter how crazy this world is getting in the hands of man that God is still in control. God is watching out for His own children. He’s watching and helping a person, helping a person grow in faith. Helping a person shed the world’s problems like water off a ducks back.

This is the key to living out here on a farm. Wake up in the morning and dedicate the day to the Lord. Dedicate the work, the crops, the animals, the family, dedicate all to the Lord cause they are all His anyhow and I’m just a steward of it all. For years and years I went to church and never realized any of this. I was a standard Christian, going through the motions and it was only a few short years ago when I learned about faith, and the importance of it. This isn’t some modern teaching, this isn’t some church fad, this is biblical!

Now that the spring work is completed pretty much it is time to get back in the saddle here more often and go through some of these subjects from the perspective of a cattle and corn farmer. It might be a bit different than some, but it will be interesting.

Published in: on May 21, 2009 at 8:13 pm  Comments (4)  
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Some Updates

A Saturday evening and the week is winding down. With yesterday’s rain there’s a much brighter outlook around here to say the least. Hard not to be happy! Now as this blog is very slowly taking shape I have added and updated somethings and will continue to do so as time permits. In farming ministry we’re somewhat like the old Methodist circuit riders, we’re bad weather preachers. by that I mean it reminds me of the saying I had on the old Healing Waters Blog, “nothing out but crows and Methodist preachers”. An old American saying that meant everyone was hunkered down because of the weather except for the crows moving about and the endless wanderings of the circuit riders. In this ministry its the bad weather days when a feller has time to go on the computer or make a visit. Not only from my perspective but also being that the local farmers are probably holed up and not out working in the weather on major jobs. Just some common sense I figure. Its different than a suburban ministry that prays for nice days so they can enjoy the weather in a relaxed environment. Anyway, check  the side bar on this site, I’ve updated the “About” page and also added a Calendar page where I’ll be posting happenings in this immediate region and soon to start posting a personal schedule when we are personally involved in events, meetings, whatever!

I don’t know if this will come to pass, but another thing that’s been on my heart is to make some videos here. We have the ability to make em and post em and I’ll see what we can come up with in the very near future once all this planting and calving calms down somewhat. There’s always work to do, but this has been on my heart recently. Just some farm talking, talkin farming and faith, simple and direct. Won’t ever make TBN but that’s probably good!

So this is just a small update post and I’m all tired out tonight, its been a hard but good week.

Published in: on May 16, 2009 at 8:32 pm  Comments (5)  
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This afternoon we received a much needed rain in these parts. An even inch of that precious water! This evening even with a cool northwest wind blowing the land seems much, much healthier! The hay fields are greener, the oats fields have a much deeper green color. The ground isn’t like walking on cement anymore and the air has a much different smell to it, a beautiful smell! This morning while it was sunny out I finished planting the main acres of corn and only have around 15 acres left so I more or less consider ourselves pretty much done with that. Both small patches that are left are on high ground and they can be worked easily early next week.

After the rains this afternoon we decided to go to a small town a few miles away and have us a supper at the small town cafe and it was sure good. A person has that thankful attitude when everything works out just right and the majority of rural folks that came into the cafe were in the same mood as me, very thankful for the rains! There was even water in the road ditches on the way to town and also in the town! Water, its so precious especially when a person knows the affects of multiple droughts over the last few years. There’s a scene in the movie, Faith Like Potatoes where they have an out of control brush fire and when Angus prayed for rain, God delivered it in an hour to put the fire out. The part that affected me was his thankfulness standing in the rain. That’s the same for a drought farmer in North America too! Thankful! Praising the Lord!

With the field work getting more and more done, with a good God given rain to see the new plantings and hay fields along a person can only reflect on the wonders of a good God! Its been a few months since we have done anything extra in our little church but tomorrow afternoon we’re heading there for a leadership meeting and I know that Sunday after church we’re going to be visiting with a special lady from our church covering also. A little while ago at the small town cafe we had us a good conversation with the owner and in my humble opinion there’s really room for a rural ministry in these here parts. Besides one on one ministry there’s things pressing me about starting some good country Gospel meetings in this area. These would be with music and the works, country music, bluegrass music and the like. The thing that is amazing me is how God throws it right into a person’s lap. I’m finding out its not that difficult to find musicians that are willing to help out and play. So the main hurdle is looking a little small at the moment.

So now its just to get through this weekend and see what the Lord brings! Next week back to farming with a passion! All is well!

Published in: on May 15, 2009 at 7:36 pm  Comments (6)  
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The Harvest Meal

Windy, really windy out. Was planting corn all afternoon into evening. Got one field done, so that’s a start anyhow! Looks like some rain in the Dakotas that could be heading this way and I’m hoping it’ll hold together and make its way here. Nothing is stressed yet as far as dryness but I’m a tad bit gunshy from these last few years. I’m looking forward with faith that we’re going to have us a good crop year and an even better winter with plenty for the cows to eat and stay fat!

And when a feller is out there planting there’s always the vision of a plentiful harvest! I mean who in their right mind would plant expecting a disaster, no, there’s always that hope and faith that things will grow and produce abundantly. Expecting a good harvest, planting the seed, tending the crop. And then the harvest. I remember years ago, and in reality it wasn’t that many years ago when neighbors would help each other in many of the harvest whether it was grains, corn for both grain or silage, and bailing and putting away hay in those large old haybarns on hot summer days. When the harvest was ready everyone worked hard getting it done. Sometimes in fairly sizable crews. And one thing a person always remembers is the big meals that would go with all of that! Work hard and when it came to meal time, eat big! And the food was so good! Especially when a person had worked hard and was really hungry. The table would be surrounded by the workers and those that had prepared the meal really made sure that you got your fill. The fellowship was great and everyone knew that they gave their best and had worked hard as the talk was going on around the table. And many harvests went on day after day, hard work and big meals. The main one being supper, many times well after dark when a person couldn’t work anymore.

My Bible says there’s a harvest of souls out in the fields too! And I was thinking, (as always), how similar farm life is to some parables that were spoken around two thousand years ago. A farmer can understand those Gospel parables pretty good in my opinion! The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. How familiar! Familiar right here on the farm!  Now when a person is born again and filled with the Holy Spirit they become a new creature, and that new creature is a harvest worker for the Lord that saved them. The number one proof of a born again Spirit filled believer is a desire to be the feet of Jesus, to walk like He walked and to do as He did. To go out, to spread the Gospel with the same love He did. To give hope to the hopeless.

Now if Jesus could talk in farm parables I guess I can too if that’s the case. Now what does a person think would happen if all those farm workers, those harvest time workers would stay around the table and just pray that the harvest would come in by itself?  Well there sure wouldn’t be much of a harvest, that’s for sure. When I was working on crews like that the food and fellowship was something to be remembered, but the reason for it was to feed the harvest workers so the job could get done, either that same day or the next and next. Its the same with church, that’s just like those harvest time meals, the gathering of the workers to relax, get fed, fellowship and basically get recharged to continue the important work. In church its to get recharged for the real reason a person is a Christian, for the harvest. To get fed on the Word, to get uplifted by the testimonies of other believers. The local church is the harvest workers table!

I don’t know about anyone else, but when its put this way it sure is easy for a dirt farmer and cattle man to understand. Makes perfect sense! That must be why the Son of God spoke so many things in such a way, because they are timeless and the simple can understand it, which by the way includes me.

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 8:30 pm  Comments (8)  
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Creation Groans

The week is winding down on the farm, calves were born this week and all is well with those little things. We’re gearing up for corn planting this coming week, this week spent moving cow/calf pairs to different pastures which cuts down the winter chores considerably. I personally don’t rush getting the corn in real early because of the fact most of it is chopped for silage and I really don’t like doing the chopping too early in the season when its warm or down right hot outside yet. The middle of September works the best for me, me being the guy chopping the corn in a JD 4320 with an old weather guard cab and no air conditioning. The engine and transmission can really make things hot in the cab, almost unbearable when doing a job that works the engine as hard as corn chopping does. Live and learn, I try and do things that work out for the best around here.

Today was down right cool outside and it still is as I write, cloudy and cool, with a wind to boot. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warmer with the week ahead looking more seasonal and warmer. Even if its cooler out its still almost hot compared to wintertime so I ain’t complaining! And with tomorrow being Sunday that gives me something special to look forward to. To get back to our little church family, we missed the Wednesday evening service because of the Hispanic outreach we were involved in at another church. Ah, no place like home says ol’ Farmer Tom as he clicks his boot heals together!

In the last post’s comments we were talking about bringing Christ to the people because to put it bluntly a person can’t expect people to come to church on their own. Some do, but a very small percentage. I was one of those in the very small percentage, but that’s more to do with a wife and family that did encourage me along that line. But what about those who have no such encouragement?  I’m re-reading a book called “Soul Winning”, I’ve read it through a couple times before and its been about a year since I picked it up. Last night I did pick it up again and I will say its probably the best book ever written on the subject of taking Jesus Christ outside the confining walls of the church building. An easy to read book, a rather large book really, but written with so much Biblical common sense that it makes a person truly wonder why the regular way of thinking about church has strayed so far from the Biblical way of thinking and living it.

Now that I’m re-reading it, and it all seems brand new to me, kinda like the Bible, no matter how many times a person reads it its always new and fresh, it couldn’t come at a better time. As stated in the last post and comments, doors are opening up, even doors I tried to ignore for the past year, opening up so I can’t hardly avoid them without flat out running away and I have no intention of doing that! Rural ministry outside the church walls. The first time I can remember ever writing about this was almost two years ago in a post called “Outside the Walls” and it has been burning ever since in my heart. Of course many things have happened since then and we are doing things I never dreamt we’d be doing in the Lord’s service back then, but God keeps putting things in front of a feller to stretch him and it never gets comfortable for long.

The last couple of days have been mostly tractor driving and a person has the whole day practically to think and think. Plans form that I’da never believed even a year ago. The planning is easier, not the impossibility that I’da though it was a year ago! OK, I know I can beat this subject to death, but I write what’s on my mind and that’s about all that’s been on my mind as of late. Of course most things that develop will be chronicled here as time goes on.

What an awesome God! I think of that every day as I go about my business outside! People in the city could hardly imagine the wondrous life that surrounds us out here on the farm. The sounds in the morning, the wildlife that abounds around us at all times of the day! Thinking like this i’m reminded of some verses in Romans 8

18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

How creation is eagerly waiting for the return of Jesus! It puts a whole different perspective on things out on the farm in the early morning when the wildlife noises are coming from every direction. Creation is waiting for God to reveal who His children are! The age of the curse, the age of sin will be over with. Glory! How could a feller not spread the Gospel to any and all when even the creation around us is eagerly waiting for the day!

Published in: on May 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm  Comments (6)  
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Hope When There Is None

Well, there’s one job on the agenda tomorrow morning that I know of. Gotta lock up a cow in the squeeze chute cause she don’t like her calf. These cases are few and far between, in fact this was the first one this year like that. A repeat offender this cow is, but its not a difficult one to fix. Just catch that cow tomorrow morning in the head gate and then let the calf at her. That calf knows what to do, just the cow don’t want her. In a case like this its fairly easy to snap the cow back into reality and have her accept her calf. First thing is to make sure the calf gets a gut full of milk. Its a big healthy calf so I can hold off to tomorrow morning with this. The weather is warm and the lot is dry. I kept this cow near home cause I knew her track record. After the calf gets a gut full tomorrow morning one of two things will happen. The cow will start to accept her calf. Or if not I take the calf and pen it away from the cow so the cow can’t get close to her. Then later bring the calf back to her and many times a strange thing happens. The cow sometimes is eager to be reunited with her calf and will snap right then and there and become a super mother. But whatever happens I have never failed to reunite a pair. In fact I’ve grafted many a strange calf to a mother that had lost her calf for various reasons. Many times taking a twin and giving it to the calf-less mother. It works using the same procedure but many times takes a bit longer than with a cow’s natural calf.

All in all its been a great day here on the farm. Good weather and with a head full of good memories from last evening doing a Hispanic outreach in a local community to keep me humming, to becoming a grandpa for the fourth time today, well, its a good day! All is well!

Now with all that under the belt and some serious corn planting coming up in the next few days I’m also thinking about summer coming. There’ll be allot of time to think about all of that in the next week or two as I sit in the tractors doing field work, knowing I have very little chore work on the farm to take time away during the day. The focus will be on what I’ve mention many, many times, rural ministry and when God’s involved many things fall right into a feller’s lap. I can try and get out of it and right out of nowhere will be a confirmation that I was on the right track. This happened to me last evening. Was talking to a young pastor and we were discussing rural ministry and I must say, it is really something when someone else says everything that I agree with! He’s from the big city and we were discussing how so many rural churches try to make their church look like a suburban church, how the outreach is almost nil.  And the surprising thing, the one that’s been on my heart was, inner city ministry and rural ministry are very much alike.

Country folk are not suburban folk, oh there’s some out here, but to try and make a country person act and think like modern American suburbia is a disaster waiting to happen. Most churches that are “where its happening” are in suburbia. A form of religion that has accepted much of the modern culture and blended it with a form of Christianity where its extremely comfortable to live totally like modern society and play church. Playing church and not really caring what goes on outside the walls. Comfortable with building numbers by bringing in folks from other churches in the area. Meanwhile the area as a whole is probably about 90% unsaved, (or more), and the church folk are plain satisfied that all is well and God is tickled pink because they have such a growing church and programs and entertainment!

But what about that huge majority that aren’t in a church, what about that huge majority that get turned off by the phony religion where we act so good and proper on Sundays and live like hell the rest of the week? I personally can’t blame too many people for not coming to church! Quite simply, because they are right! But when was pure Christianity ever about getting people into church? It ain’t in my Bible! Pure Christianity is nothing more than once a person is saved, to be and act Christlike. For real. Its so simple that it staggers the imagination of modern day church goers! Bristles em up let me tell you because when a person says this it goes against much of what is the main focus of “church” nowadays. And let me state right here and now, I’m not a church basher like so many preachers on the internet. My dream is to see rural churches wake up to who they really are, not what they’ve been taught to be.

To be Jesus Christ in these rural areas, to offer hope for the hopeless, not a program, not rules. To offer a Gospel that throws off the burdens and sets a person free. And there’s plenty of folks in rural areas just as in the inner city who are burdened. To put it bluntly, the burdened, hopeless folks don’t want “church”. They want answers, they want God! I remember a few years back when I was searching for something to fill that hopelessness that’s inside of every unsaved person, I wasn’t looking for “church”. I was looking for hope when there was absolutely no hope what so ever. I found that hope in a small rural church cause no one ever paid me a visit or anything like that telling me the “Good News”. I searched everything I could find about our churches in this area and finally settle for a couple of them. I will say, its a hard thing to walk in from the world into a church, a total stranger. But this first choice of churches was a strange church indeed. They preached the Word, they sang the Word, there was no show and in a few short weeks I had the answer to everything I was seeking. To accept Jesus. And since that day I must say it has never, ever let up. The drive to spread the Gospel. But I thought that a person has to be educated beyond educated to spread the Gospel. In order to do something, anything, I volunteered for being a childrens church teacher and that is an education in itself!  To teach the Word, to preach the Word, to set up worship, to pray with the kids.

The years passed by and the call never let up. The passion to spread the Word beyond Children’s Church. Things just fall right into our laps. It staggers the imagination to see it happening over and over. The farm work gets done without a hitch even with the time spent doing these things. In fact I truly believe the Lord blesses those that follow Him! My case was a rare case cause I was so desperate for answers that I walked throught he doors of a strange church and strange people to me, and found God. Now I only want to share the Lord that saved me, that turned my life around. That gave me the answers to everything.  To be a follower of Christ is the greatest privilege in the universe! No matter who you are, follow Him and you will be set free!

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 8:13 pm  Comments (6)  
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