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!

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Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 8:13 pm  Comments (6)  
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  1. To be honest, I don’t know where we would be if someone upstairs didn’t take a shine to us and help us thru all the rough times. God definately watches out for his followers, thats for sure.

    On a local note, just finished Jaimes new pantry, so I think I am going to take it easy the rest of today.

  2. Hey Tom, I finally came over to your new blog and I really like it. Well I better get off of this computer and head to bed; gotta get up early and do some chores. Darrell Adkins

  3. Morning…

    Now Tom….. That post sir hit close to home. I wonder how to reach out to those people too. I was lucky enough to have a church going wife, so the first time I found myself on the other side of those doors it wasn’t so bad….

    My big thing when talkin with folk around here about it is they say more often than not: ” We should be going to church… we should do better” . Its almost like they feel more guilty about not heading for a building on Sunday, than they do not hangin out with ol Jesus. I tell em that church ain’t anything… Gettin close to God is the right way.

    This kind of is my tractor sittin thinkin lately…. How can I get people closer to God… How can I let them in on this beautiful secret you and I and many others try to get out, but seem to keep.

    One way is through getting em into church, but how would another way be…. Something simple… something that wouldn’t upset their routine, but keep workin at they’re mind until they grow and grow into the church more.

    You know that many seed parables have been used through the bible. An oak tree seed starts small and keeps growing until its very strong. It doesn’t just get planted and become an oak tree. I sit on that tractor and think about how can I plant that seed so its just a small idea that keeps growin in a persons mind. It sure ain’t an easy answer. I’m gettin the feeling my butt will wear out beefore I get an answer to it!! 🙂

    Ahh well… No oak tree thinkin today. I do believe we have a roof to finish up. Hopefully the rain will hold off here and I can get it done. All the cows and mommas seem to be gettin along around here. No head catchin for me….

    I’ve got my new manure grapple back and it looks like its going to make a whole alot a jobs a whole lot easier!! Things are gettin back to normal.

    Have a GREAT day,

    Brad

  4. Hey William, Darrell, Brad!

    I figure a person wouldn’t get very far if God didn’t take a shine to us 🙂 I’m kinda self destructive! I hope your day was a laid back day William!

    Gotta pardon me for not keeping up here. There were some thunderstorms well off to our south early yesterday evening and it looks like one of em must knocked out the main station of “Third World Internet”. Plus I figure there might’a been a shortage of TWI workers being that this is fishing opener weekend in Minnesota. That and the deer hunting opener are the biggest holidays in this state! So no internet last evening, last night and it didn’t get up and running till mid afternoon. I quit early today from hauling manure, got eight loads out today and was hauling them two miles south onto the south farm so that’s the reason for only eight loads, (but these are rather big loads I might add). And thanks Darrell for the kind words, as I always say, kind words are the oil that lubricates my blogs, (well OK, I never said that before but a guy always can start).

    Ok Brad, I was sitting on my butt most of the day, the cows were behaving for once and I didn’t have to go out of my mind trying to get them things back in order half the day, calving season sometimes gets more than a little crazy! So sitting on my butt in the JD 6410 driving down the roads and through the fields spreading a sweet aroma through out the countryside I was thinking today, big time thinking. This thinking is getting to me I think 🙂 But anyway, I was thinking like you were thinking and then a feller can get in trouble! Ever since writing this post Thursday evening its about the only thing on my mind, how to reach the countryside, effectively I might add.

    For almost a year I’ve had an unction, I figure it must be from God cause I sure don’t want to do it 🙂 Things are falling into place as I wrote and I know its from God cause He ain’t letting me weasel my way out of this one.Plus last weekend watching the movie, Faith Like Potatoes it hit me like a ton of bricks! That movie in many ways is a parallel to my way of life and what drives me, so that’s why I like it so much. I know I ain’t alone now 🙂 But old Angus, he just took the Gospel to the people, his Gospel, on the movie and in real life. It is simple! So in the coming weeks and months prepare yourself for some crazy things coming your way from this blog. But these crazy things will work out here in the countryside. It sure ain’t churchy, but the Gospel will be spread to folks that don’t or won’t set foot in any church! I figure if I’m crazy you’ll stick by me here on the blog cause if you stuck with me this long……well…. 🙂

    Anyway, back to where I tried to go in the last paragraph. A year ago I was in a small town at a graduation party in a community building rented for the purpose. I know that I know that I know that the Spirit of God told me that there would be Gospel services in that building. In fact I can’t hardly remember the party and I don’t drink so that can’t be the reason. The unction was so strong, call it prophetic, call it crazy, it don’t matter, all I know it was real and it was strong. Since this time over the last year everything keeps falling into place even though I don’t do anything to follow through. In other words, God is setting it up, showing me that He means business in this 🙂 So all day yesterday and today on the tractor my mind’s gears were smoking, (plus a prayer here and there too). Tomorrow I’ll start investigating different needs for events such as this I mentioned. Shouldn’t take much cause God has already set me up with “all” the right people, (funny how that works).

    Anyway, I’m a tad bit long winded here and better go do something yet, there’s allot of day light left, just don’t feel like hauling any more manure.

    Thank You All and God Bless!

  5. Are you with Cowboys for Christ? My friend just took over leadership of one here. I keep hoping I can get to the meetings some time, when things slow down.

    I’m from California, but live in the south now. Here, everyone pretty much considers themselves saved, because Mammaw and Pappaw went to church and revival and prayer meeting and everything.

    But there are those who are just so tired of seeing the Sunday Christian. It’s hard to get the truth out there. And it can be very difficult to try and reach an entire community. However, I’ve found that real, classic Christianity is very catching. Especially in this end times climate. When you unashamedly speak of Christ and loving and serving our Father, then you live out what you believe, people begin to take notice. Our particular church that we attend now has only been in existence a year, but has made great inroads — actually in the body itself. LOL

    People here in the south tend to be very quiet about their personal relationship with the Lord, and are quite uncomfortable being open about that. Real prayer, other than ‘religious sounding’ ones is hard to come by. Dropping what you are doing at a moment’s notice because someone asked for prayer, rather than just saying, “I’ll be praying for you,” and waving good-bye. When someone has a need, rather than just praying, you actually show up and do something about it. No money spent on the church building, because we don’t have one, or on programs, because we don’t have them. Instead the money is given to people in need. Many in the church, and a lot of people we just run into in the community who need help.

    These types of things really make an impression on people who have been turned off by ‘religion’. And they begin to see that it’s a relationship that changes people instead.

    Another change that I think is so important is actual in depth Bible study. Not devotionals or sermons, but really digging into God’s Word and finding who He is, what He wants… everything about him. It renews our minds, transforms us. “Seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened.” Not enough people are truly seeking and, honestly, a lot of people don’t know how because there are few examples and many excuses about time and lack of understanding.

    To know Him is to love Him! The more I know, the more I want to follow and obey Him. The stronger He makes me. I see things through His eyes and this life becomes less and less of an entanglement.

    Anyway, looks like I can get a little long-winded myself. I am passionate about living out my faith, but even more so about coming to know YHWH through the Words that He gave us to know about Himself. I love Him more and more every day.

    Enjoying your blog. 🙂

  6. Hi Faith!

    No, there are no chapters in Minnesota at the present time. Years ago we would drive an hour or so east of here to the one they had in MN at the time and it really impressed me!My biggest acquaintance with Cowboys for Christ has been through their newspaper, “The Christian Ranchman”. Been getting it since 1991. I just love that paper! Mostly because of the real testimonies.

    You wrote, “And it can be very difficult to try and reach an entire community. However, I’ve found that real, classic Christianity is very catching. Especially in this end times climate. When you unashamedly speak of Christ and loving and serving our Father, then you live out what you believe, people begin to take notice.”

    I couldn’t agree more with anything! Classic Christianity, or Biblical Christianity is catchy. Its what the world is hungry for. That’s not saying everyone willingly accepts it, but the hunger in people is for the real thing.

    I personally don’t believe that it matters where a person lives in this country, the story is the same. Here in the upper midwest the countryside it heavily covered with “churches” but the faith of the area is basically cold, or cool at best. And I want to state here, there are many, many good churches everywhere and I’m not a church basher, but that should never stop a person from being a Christian. Uh, am I confusing anyone 🙂

    OK, when I have a bit of time I’ll hit on this subject because its basically the subject that I keep tickling with durn near every post.

    I gotta copy and paste one more quote from you, “To know Him is to love Him! The more I know, the more I want to follow and obey Him. The stronger He makes me. I see things through His eyes and this life becomes less and less of an entanglement.”

    To know God! Yes! Once Lester Sumrall was asked what faith was, he replied, “faith is simply knowing God”. Knowing Him personally, intimately! By prayer, by getting into His Word, (which I always stress as so very important and it grieves me to see Sunday Christians who never open a Bible during the week, missing out on the greatest thing in creation, the Word and knowledge of God). And by being Christlike and helping those who have no help. By being a friend to those who have no friends. This is Christianity, simple.

    I could write more but gotta give up for the evening. I really want to thank you for this comment, its a keeper 🙂 And it truly made my day and also confirmed again something I was pondering! The Lord is at work!

    God Bless!


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