Sunday Ponderings

This was probably one of my biggest days off of the summer! With chores to a minimum and rains yesterday to force me to slow down this was a different day indeed! Our church banded together with several other area churches and had an outdoor service at a local town that was having a summer carnival. The service was two hours earlier than our normal time but the small amount of chores got done in good order and we had plenty of time to get there early this morning. After the service we walked over to one of the local churches that was in on the service and had us a breakfast, and of course coffee for me! Did that last year too and funny how much I enjoy that! A good day, one of the best! Then when that was over with we hung around with friends and waited for the parade to start. A good parade, a big one for such a small town. Of course the little kids sure enjoy the candy, I just enjoy the fellowship, very much! Stuck around for the kids to take in a few rides, of course I stayed away from that. Either I’m getting older, or just wiser! Bought a burger and about that time in early afternoon decided to head on home after already spending six hours in town. A good day, a wonderful day!

Got home and did a pasture check that I happened to skip this morning and then figured I’d better till the garden! Why? Because the weeds were as high as the tiller! Funny how things can get away on a guy. But the weed hammering is done and in a few days I’ll hit it again and it should look allot more presentable after that hit! Now to just get a good rest tonight and hit the farm hard tomorrow. Cultivate corn in the morning when things are a bit damp yet and rake and bale hay afternoon into evening. The next day do it all over again. Things get done no matter how big the job seems at the time. So this week and the next will be full bore work! But good work and I praise the Lord for it!

So much happening, so much. And I’m not talking farming either. I’m talking faith matters. I can’t turn around and there’s something happening, something stretching me more and more. From Honduras to local. From town to farm. And from all over on the internet. The comments here and the e-mails are really special to me and I really want folks to know that. I never was a very good commenter, but the comments and e-mails really touch me and keep me going. I try and keep up with them but sometimes things slip through when I’m busy and I apologize for that.

There’s a quote, a quote from about my favorite movie of all time, “Faith Like Potatoes”, and also the book of the same name. “When God’s creation is broke, He’s more than able to fix it!” Over the last couple of months I’m starting to realize that this quote is becoming a theme for me. Just think about the simplicity of that quote and the meaning behind it! A simple sentence like that is a faith builder if ever there was one! And I know that there’s not a person alive that doesn’t need some fixing. If I was an automobile I think my tires would be bald, the engine eating oil like nuts, the tranny ready to go out, but I keep on going down that narrow road, even in that condition, trusting the Creator to keep things together enough to be used for His glory.And He will! Today I know that God does use the foolish to confound the wise, believe me! Cause He even has uses for some one like me. In all reality that’s hard to believe and it makes no sense at all, none.

He can take anyone, yes, anyone and use that person for His glory. Don’t matter if they’re rich or poor, good looking or someone like me who really ain’t. Someone who talks rough or someone who is an expert speaker, don’t matter one bit to God. He can take a farmer, a house wife, someone who works in any kind of job or someone who can’t work at all because of some injury, or age, or condition, it don’t matter to God. He can use any one for His glory. The more impossible, the better! The more unlikely, the best! In my early walk as being a Christian, (which wasn’t all that long ago), I dug into everything I could get my hands on as far as preaching, teaching and the sorts. I followed many big named preachers and ministries and I don’t regret it because I did learn allot. But something happened over the course of time, something I have a hard time explaining. The more I learned the more I headed for the simple. The more I headed for the real people. The big churches are OK, I ain’t knocking them, because who am I to do so. The big ministries that bring in ten or hundreds of thousands of people are OK, but I started getting a disconnect from them. Again, not knocking them, but just sharing here.

I started seeing the real world, or at least the world that I was being led to. The regular folks. The small churches. The ministry where a person is out with the young, the old and every one in between! Away from the big churches, away from the perfect praise teams, away from the money. Away from the business of it. Just with the people, the regular folks. Not looking for a job, just looking to spread the Good News with a simple heart! And over these past few months since deciding this, a decision that even had me end some blogs and just take the chance and have this one, things are at a roar in the faith department! From holding Hispanic services locally, to the Honduras trip with members of our family where the Gospel was spread. To being trusted to do Sunday church services in our church to who knows where and what else will come up.

When a person tells God that he or she will follow Him and do His will, believe me, He will respond and open doors in every direction in ways a person could not even imagine shortly before. This Sunday evening, this evening of rest before the storm of work tomorrow, I am amazed at how God can take a worthless life as mine and turn it around and challenge me to go ahead, to do His will, to follow Him and trust Him doing things which I never thought were possible for someone like me. I’m a farmer. There’s a farm to run, there’s a family to take care of. But when you make a covenant with God, to do His will, watch out! The farm will blossom, the work will get done, probably better than before, and He will open doors, He will make a way for a person to do His will and work in ways a person could have never imagined without thinking they were going half nuts just a little while before hand!

When God’s creation is broke, and I was sure broke, He can take a life and turn it around so that to the world they can’t even believe what they are seeing. He’s more than able, yup much more than able, to fix it!

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Seek First

Matthew 6:31-33

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

A beautiful day in the northland’s farm country! The day consisted of cutting hay, half of the morning and all of the afternoon. The hay that I cut today was tall and very thick! The old JD 2520 really had a load on cutting that stuff! A better day couldn’t be found though, in the low eighties and a light wind out of the south. Those that know say there’s rain coming tonight and tomorrow and by the looks of the radar I would say they might be right.One good rain on cut hay never bothers me this time of the summer because it dries out so quick when the weather straightens out. I was thinking about heading out to a small town carnival tonight, but this sore body is telling me different, so I’ll just drink my hot cup of black tea and write down today’s thoughts.

Farming and faith, my two subjects. I always basically write about both in every post. There’s no way I can separate the two so I guess that’s why they’re always together on this blog. God comes first, before farming, before family, before anything and everything. Does that mean we drop all farming because of every church activity on the calendar? No. We have to use common sense judgement on everything when the two collide. If its harvest time and its a God given day where a person can get the harvest in, we harvest. Its our work, its our living. But all in all we try and help out as much as possible in our church even during the busy times.  But I don’t think the verses at the top of the post mean that when they say, “first seek the kingdom of God”.

Seek God, seek His kingdom, seek to have His kingdom on earth, on our farms and in our lives. Now when your seeking God and farming for God the days get a whole lot easier! Why? I figure cause the pressures off a guy. God’s in control and all we have to do is do the best job we possibly can. For His glory! Not ours. Which reminds me, a few weeks ago when it looked like we were in for another killer drought, everything was dust, some crops were even having a hard time emerging, pastures were starting to dry up and the hay was starting to stunt. There were quite a few churches that had special services or at least special prayers for some desperately needed rain. Nothing wrong with that! In fact we should run to God with all of our needs! But now that the spring drought basically busted, where’s the thanksgiving services? Where is the continual praise to such a great and mighty God? All is basically silent. Now its getting back to bragging about how good the crops look, how we did this and we did that! Sad to say, but that’s the way it is.

Here its being handled differently, and please don’t take this as being self righteous, because its not, its from the heart. Here on this farm, this family knows where all our met needs come from. And it sure isn’t from us! I have yet to make it rain! I have yet to do anything of importance. Sure I plant and go through the motions, but without God there is not one single thing that will grow on its own, not one. No matter how good the technology, God is the one who makes it grow and blossom!

Seek God first, then all these things will be added unto you. I like that! Simple really! Sure does make life worth living, and also make the thought of when life ends for us not a terror, but a grand stepping into the glory of a Loving God! To be with God forever! A person can wake up in the morning and the first thing say, “I’m ready for your return today!” Work the day on the farm as if any moment Christ will return and find us doing good. Whether in our work or in our dealings with people. I think that has really been lost nowadays in western culture, the continual thought about Christ’s return. And of course the thought that any moment could be our last and we return to Christ before He returns. Doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. One way or another any given day could be the last.

Why worry about the world? Why worry about a failing system that’s crashing faster and faster? The systems are already falling apart as the return of the King gets closer! I pray that He finds me doing His will. I pray when the world is in total terror in those final moments that we on this farm are shouting with joy!

I was going to end the post, but can’t seem to. How different it is when a person seeks the Kingdom! How different it is when we trust our Lord and Saviour! There is no separating faith and farming and I pray for those who only farm without faith, without God. What an empty existence. When farming for the Lord one can say everyday, “Thy Kingdom Come”, and His Kingdom fills the farm, fills the family, fills the home. Declare it every day! And He does come! And when Christ does return in person He will find His Kingdom already established and waiting on our farms and fields, in our homes and families!

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 8:28 pm  Comments (3)  
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And the Rain Came!

Habakkuk 3:17-18 (New Living Translation)

17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

What a day! It started out cloudy, the drying was very slow until around noon when the sun came out. Around 1 in the afternoon we raked an 18 acre field and I was baling by two.  In a little while I noticed the skies getting dark to the west. Durn! And I barely made a start in the field! Top it off I forgot to tie a bale of twine to the one being used and it ran out and I had to rethread the baler, took time. The hay was running very heavy and the going was slow, always tying bales. Around 4;30 a few small drops of rain hit the tractor windshield and I still had a long way to go. This field is way back and its a chore just to get there and I truly didn’t want to come back tomorrow and have to finish it then. I prayed for God to hold back the rain till the last bale was baled. For over an hour and a half I seen rain all around me but not in that field. Passed the one hundred mark as far as bale count and had a few more small rounds to go. I didn’t hardly look up, just kept thanking God for holding back the rain. The baler count was at 115 big round bales and still the rain was falling every direction but I was high and dry! Got done with number 116, ejected it and I was done with the field. Was I ever praising the Lord! Then I decided to run over the corners of the field where I miss a little hay every time I make a turn. Well, I didn’t go a hundred feet and a lightening bolt cracked, close! My hair stood up on end let me tell you. The very next instant the rain poured and I didn’t even get out of the tractor to crank up the baler pickup. I drove the mile home in pouring rain, a hundred and sixteen bales of hay done up perfect! I was praising the Lord because I knew that He held off the rain right to the last second, with not a moment to spare! The signal that He was through with holding back the rain on that field was rather dramatic! Wow! Never in all my born days did I experience anything like that. Now I figure some folks would say I was lucky, but I know better! The Lord hears the prayers of His people! Faith, faith in a God that hears a person’s prayers!

God is good, all the time! Even when things weren’t going all that great these last few years our family has been blessed with more important things than what we considered important at the time. The verse above really struck me last evening, was reading it just before bed last night. Talk about some farm talk coming from the Bible! Even when everything looks bleak from our point of view, there is a God that wants the best for His children! I gotta have faith in that!

So its a Wednesday evening, missed church, but that’s the way it is when a fella is farming. Its harvest time, hay harvest time. A while back I had me a talk with God and said that He’d have to make this farm flourish in order for us to pursue His ministry work. Its not like we can get money from anyone to support it. We had a nice sum of money given by our church for the Honduras trip and I am forever grateful for that, but don’t ever want to make it a habit. Nope, just want to work hard here on the farm and the fruits of that can support anything we do. Farming for God, having a good family life, well a guy can’t ask for much more than that! And since that talk with God a few weeks ago this farm has done a complet turn around! From drying up fields and pastures to a paradise of lush grass and crops. Today’s incident really sealed it for me, God wants things to flourish here, but for His glory, not mine. There’s not one thing that I did this year that has made the crops better than the last few years, not one. God holds to His promises and I had better hold to mine! To publicly praise Him and give Him the glory for every single thing! To spread the word about Jesus Christ to any and all! I know it’ll make some think that I’m over the edge, living a life of faith when a proper person should leave God in the church, I just don’t see it that way.

That close lightening bolt this afternoon a few seconds after the last bale was baled made my skin tingle, the hair stand up! But after I landed back in the tractor seat I knew it was a God thing! He kept His word! He answered the prayer of a farmer and at the exact moment the farmer was done and the prayer cover was finished, BOOM! And the rain came!

Published in: on June 24, 2009 at 7:49 pm  Comments (2)  
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Normal Days

With high humidity and temps well into the 90s this was about as summer time as it gets around here today! Baled hay later this afternoon after receiving a small rain around 2:30 in the afternoon. When the sun came back out, and the heat, well in less than an hour the hay was dry enough to rake and bale! The baler worked great and there was no fooling around at all. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I hit a bigger field, about three times bigger, with extremely thick hay on the neighbor’s farm. Get that baled up and Thursday and Friday cut, cut, cut! Licking at the chops just to be out there and work! Plus I’ll put the cultivator on the JD 4320 and see if I can knock off ten or fifteen acres of corn fields every morning before the hay dries off.

Today was great, I had a good sleep last night even though the house was like an oven, boy was it hot. This morning after chores the first job that got done was putting the window unit air conditioner in! Funny, it takes a super hot house before a fella gets the hint! Tonight everything is comfortable upstairs and should be a wonderful sleep. I reckon I should have a Bible verse or something for this post but being I just got in from baling a bit ago I’m not prepared at the moment. I’m just amazed at the turn around in the conditions here, I seem to mention it a bit lately.

God is Good! Had a feed man stop by this afternoon while I was staring at the cloulds, thunder was rumbling and then we had a short rain. Got the tar wet was all. The feed man had to laugh, he said it was many a year since he stopped in to someone’s place and seen them outside watching the clouds during hay time. Brought back memories! Yup, that’s the was it was years ago before drought after drought hit. Summer consisted of many days scrambling to get out of harms way when thunderstorms came crashing through in mid afternoon. During the droughts there was no such thing, just heat and dry. Never anything to interfere with the day except big grasshoppers jumping and sticking onto a person. This is much better!

I’ll probably be missing church tomorrow evening, the harvest has to be taken care of. I’m already covered and that sure is great! But when its time to make hay, we make hay! Can’t expect to many second chances on that! But as I wrote in a previous post, God is blessing this place and although its a harvest time now, when its done with we’ll get back to the soul harvest. But then again there might be a soul here and there that get touched even during the harvest. Amen! A fella always meets up with someone during the day, even if its only for a moment.

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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On Fire!

A wonderful Sunday, its been raining lightly since around noon and this evening it still is gently falling. The land is turning such a deep green, something I haven’t seen this good in many a year that all I can do is praise the Lord! From fields of yellowish struggling oats to dead even fields of deep blue green oats that’s starting to head out, the blessings are becoming more and more apparent! God is on the move! This past spring I finally came to the conclusion that a man farming had better get right with God. The Lord wants to bless us but for some reason I always refused it. Thinking a fella just had to bull down and take what ever comes. Lack of understanding and lack of faith is all. This year enough is enough and its time to claim God’s blessings that He wants to bestow, while stubborn me has always refused them. In many fields the impossible is happening as I write, weeds are dying where its impossible for them to die. Pastures are bursting grass faster than the cattle can mow it down! God heals the land!

Today’s church service went good. I ain’t thinking about jumping off a cliff so that’s a good indication that I didn’t screw it up to bad! Funny thing, I had figured I didn’t have enough to fill an hour’s worth of preaching, but when it was done I still had over half of my notes left! Just a simple basic outline is all I go by, but I couldn’t believe how that time just raced by, almost wanted to slow the clock down. I know God’s hand was in it all, cause I had wanted to play three film segments of the movie, “Faith Like Potatoes”, and the sound system worked! Now that don’t happen all to often! The clips would come on the moment I gave the nod, it went so smooth that I was just in a dream world with that part. In my opinion, which doesn’t count for much, those three segments were about as good as it gets for getting a real faith message across! I even cut things short because I felt anything I would try to add to it would probably cut down on the impartation that came out of the film clips. The support from the Praise Team blew me away! They had me smiling during worship and that really broke up any nervousness that I carried into church! Bless them!

So now the Honduras trip pressures are a thing of the past, the Sunday service is behind a fella, and now I can get back to simple farming and doing what we do around here without my mind racing at break neck speed. Ah, farming, cutting hay, baling hay, moving it home, cultivating corn, working the pastures, life is good! I know though that God will come up with something even if we don’t so I ain’t getting all too comfy as I sit here tonight. The Christian life is an adventure, a grand adventure, that’s for sure!

For a farmer, being able to just get out there and do the work is all the vacation we need most of the time. I’m not that keen on vacations cause I know I’m not getting much accomplished and someone else sure ain’t going to do it. If I have a “vacation” let it be in the service of the Kingdom. It can’t get more satisfying than that for me. Life is a vapor and in this short time we have here the only reason we’re here is to do the will of the King. And I believe with all my heart that any thing a person does will be rewarded in the here and now, and afterwords also.

I’m just on fire tonight, on fire for the Lord! Farming for the Lord! I said, “Lord, if you want us to do Kingdom work this farm will have to pay for it, this farm will have to thrive because there won’t be any asking for handouts to finance it. This farm will have to prosper!”  In the past I’ve seen many a folk getting a “call” from God and then the farm goes down the tubes and I truly wonder if it was a “call” or just trying to get out of work. Well, the bible says we are supposed to work! And the way I read it, it says that we are supposed to work to support ourselves so we can spread the Gospel. Old Paul, he worked to support himself in a ministry that turned the world upside down!

Now when a fella starts thinking like this, things move! The farm isn’t put on the back burner cause its the fuel for the fire! A Holy fire! Farming for God, farming God’s land, raising God’s cattle and I do believe God will not short change His hired hands! Modern prosperity preaching? Not a chance! This is putting the true priorities in order! What would happen if this would spread across farm country, what would happen if more and more farms were turned over in faith to God? He owns them anyhow! The cattle are His, He sends the rain which is the most important fertilizer a farmer can get! Try farming without it and see how important man’s inputs are in comparison to His!

This evening is finally an evening of rest! What tomorrow brings is no worry of mine. God is in control! If we work till we drop we’ll be praising the Lord on our way down! Honest labor for a Holy God! Amen!

Has Shown Me Much Love

Friday evening out here on the farm and the sun has come out. Funny thing, I was cutting hay all afternoon and was getting drizzled on and I get done about supper time, soaking wet, and the sun comes out! At least the hayfield was cut. Tomorrow hit another one, a bigger one that’ll take me about eight hours to cut it down. Hoping for an early start with that one so as to not go to late into the evening. Even getting drizzled on was OK out there today, had a couple of deer come an visit me, not concerned in the least with me on the tractor. Its always nice to see that when I’m working out in the middle of the section.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that we received over two inches of rain yesterday evening! That’s a grand total of over four inches this last week and a half here! I’m so very thankful for that! It was badly needed and much appreciated! The countryside is turning that deep green color which every farmer loves, a healthy green! And with the temperatures turning up a notch the corn is going to take off! Praise the Lord!

God is good! That’s why I write and write about my faith and what I believe. How could I not!

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.  Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”

“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.

Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

“That’s right,” Jesus said.  Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Amen to that! “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

This has to be one of the biggest verses in the Bible for me. Not much more I can add to this one! He takes a total wretch like me and changes it! I know folks that lived a rough life before getting saved and it seems like the rougher the life beforehand, the more on fire they are for Christ now. The old gang just says “well, that’s what they do, go from one extreme to the other”, but that’s not it at all. These verses truly show that its not uncommon for a bigtime sinner to become more on fire for God than someone who spent their whole life in a church, probably bored half the time.

And how can God use a farmer, one that lived a tad bit on the rough side most of his life. Well, He’s done more amazing things than that through the course of history. In fact I believe that God wants to use allot more folks that just live out here in the countryside. They don’t have to have some big title like Dr in front of their name to be a burning witness for Christ. In fact it might help to throw out them title, repent and simply follow God. Cause God uses the foolish things of this world, (in which I’m a charter member), to confound the wise! Every day a person can wake up and farm for God! IN fact anything else is a gross waste of time in all reality, a losing proposition.

Now most folks that read this aren’t exactly in the world’s bigshot club. Most are ordinary folks, many from the countryside, and quite a few from the city and suburbs. But whatever the case, put God first in everything we do and watch the life changing events happen, sometimes rather rapidly! When I used to farm for me, me, me, things were empty. Oh, I’d get those farmer thrills of having a great crop and all, but in realty it was totally empty. Now I watch and see what God’s purpose is for those good crops, for a beautiful herd of beef calves! There’s always something in His plan to further His Kingdom and to take care of our every need in the process!

I look out the window this evening while writing this, finishing up my cup of black tea in the process, and I see a farm that’s bursting green! The life giving rains have returned, just in time. The hay is almost as high as the tractor wheels as I cut it! Lord, use it for Your Glory! We praise You for it all. Your taking care of us so we can do the one thing we are on this earth to do, to spread Your Gospel to any and all!


Published in: on June 19, 2009 at 8:19 pm  Comments (4)  
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Backing Up The Word

The last evening without the whole family here and I can’t wait till tomorrow night. I usually don’t care to drive down in the Twin Cities but tomorrow I’ll do it with a smile on my face! I won’t make it to church tomorrow evening, its rare I miss, but this is important! Gotta get to the airport and the flight arrives at 9:55 PM from Houston. It has truly been an exciting week listening by phone and reading by e-mail the reports from down in Honduras. I guess the time has come that I’d better brush up on my Spanish and start thinking about heading south!

Its been a moist day in Central Minnesota, and we’ll take er! Its drizzling as I write tonight and I’m hoping to get another inch or more of rain this week. The soil can take it without the slightest problem. We’re about ten inches away from being wet! The crops are looking great though, the grass hay is getting higher than it has for many a year, and I’ll take that with thanksgiving to our God! The corn is starting to stretch, its a little behind but that can catch up fast, especially with the forecast we have, in the low eighties and moist. Just watch er grow! The oats is starting to head out the last couple of days. I do believe that it will be a great crop by the looks of it. Oats thrives on a cool first half of June like we had, and now with this moister as it heads out, well, lookin good!

A little over a week ago it wasn’t looking all that great around here, not by a long shot. The hay was thirsty and barely growing. I took the gamble and didn’t cut when every one else was and I do believe the crop has doubled in less than a week! I just remember that everything was dust. The eyes were red every evening from the grit that was blasted into them daily by the high, dry winds. The ears were like a gravel pit. I itched every night from the dust and pollen. I’m not allergic to anything that I know of, it was just harsh physical conditions that were responsible.  A neighbor was over a couple of Saturdays ago to pick up a bull that he bought from us. It was dry out, very dry. And of course farmers talk about the dry conditions cause that’s what you do in farmland.

But I decided I wasn’t going to be a complainer. Now I know these folks that bought the bull, I also know that they don’t go to church. Of course that means nothing as far as them being good people. They just ain’t saved and they are a rather rough bunch if you catch my drift. Good folks though, a fella can trust them. Well, in this walk of faith called a Christian life I decided to publicly stand on my faith in God. Besides, the Bible says that we are to be a godly example to those outside the church. Especially if a person is in any sort of ministry. Paul told young Timothy that very thing.

1 Timothy 3:7 (New Living Translation)

Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.

So standing by the corral fence I took the leap of faith. Now I can say I have faith any old time but to put something on the line to a bull customer is jumping in with both feet. I said its going to rain and rain good. I believed that God answers prayers and I believe my prayer for rain was answered, even before the fact. He looked at me kinda strange but a farmer that has gone through multiple droughts will notice when someone says its going to rain, even when the odds ain’t that great. So in a while we parted ways. I said to God, “I witnessed to him my faith in you, now I sure do hope you deliver!” In many circles today what I told God would be considered an extreme lack of faith, but I’m just an honest farmer talking to Him.

That event was on my mind all day, through the evening and night and next day. Coming home from church I had to stop in town on the way home and pick something up at the gas station. I was almost walking in the door and I heard someone shout my name from a car parked over to the side. It was the bull customer’s dad. He said, “Hey Tom, my boy said you said it was going to rain a good rain!” Now remember it was still dusty drought outside during this conversation. I came over by him and said yep! I’m believing God for a good soaking rain! He was still smiling but I knew it cut to the heart. And the answer he gave will always remain with me. “I’m believing with you!” Remember, these folks don’t go to church and I know they ain’t saved.

Oh Lord, old foot in the mouth Tom did it again I figured. But I do believe and I do know that God backs up anyone that will put his faith in HIm when spreading the Gospel. Even if its spread by little things like I just mentioned, like giving God the credit for everything, including crop saving rains while the dust is still blowing. That Sunday evening we went to church for the special revival services that were being held there and still no rain. That night after church I came home and i couldn’t sleep because of the conversations the past weekend. I musta stayed up till two in the morning waiting for rain. Finally I fell asleep. The next morning water was standing everywhere and I think I was dancing like a wildman! What a God! A few days later I ran into a family member of that family that bought the bull and I could tell something was a little different. They are wondering about this old farmer, wondering about that guy who said that God would make it rain a good rain when it sure didn’t look like it!

Putting faith into practice reaching the lost. That’s what its about. God says He’ll back it up with signs and wonders when we put our trust in Him while spreading the news about what His Son did for us. Its not always cut and dried evangelism, its how we act when we’re with the unsaved that speaks volumes. Did it bother me? Yes it did. I didn’t stay up most of the night cause I had nothing better to do! But God showed me that when we trust in Him, even when the mind and flesh is screaming against it, He delivers to show the lost that He lives!

Published in: on June 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm  Comments (7)  
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A Troubled Mind

A couple more days of being single and then life is back to normal!! Yee Haw! Getting quite a scrap iron pile in the kitchen with all the cans we went through this past week 🙂  Rain in the forecast and we can always use a good shot of that in this area. I was going to start cutting our beef hay today but didn’t get to it, but no worries. Besides once everyone is back home then I can just put in huge amounts of time in the field and know that there’s some good food waiting at the end if the day. Just have to worry about showering up and reading the Word before bed and that’s good enough for me! All is going great in Honduras and the calls and e-mails are coming regular now. This family, with the help and prayers of our church has opened the doors for future works in the back ways of the mountains of Honduras. I get a funny feeling this is just the beginning of life long adventures for all of us here.

I was working in the corn fields today and of course then I can dwell on things, which is something I should be able to do allot of these next few weeks in the fields, tending corn and making hay. Also I just finished up a rough outline for Sunday’s service at church and of course that was following the thoughts from out in the fields. And to no ones surprise the subject is faith, I said no surprises. A picture is worth a thousand words or so they say, well, I got three clips from the movie “Faith Like Potatoes” chosen for Sunday’s service. What can I say, if a feller has to be up there for an hour or more you gotta use everything you can! That’s me up there for an hour or more, not the length of the service which is a whole lot longer than that!

But the thing I’m thinking about along the lines of faith talk are really working on me. Now some say in the books I read you must build up your faith so there ain’t a shred of doubt. Easier said than done in my humble opinion. On the three movie clips I have chosen to help me out this Sunday I have noticed one big important thing in this true story. The main character’s mind doubted. But he obeyed God. Now I have a confession to make, my mind doubts all the time, in fact when I take a step of faith in obedience to God’s Word my mind roars at me. But when I look at the Bible as it talks about mountain moving faith it always talks about faith that’s in the heart. Cause if I’d listen to my mind I’d never get anywhere and I do believe that confuses allot of folks in their faith walk. The Bible says to believe with your heart.

In the last scene of Faith Like Potatoes, Angus is basically telling his foreman he’s sorry for probably bringing the farm down planting those potatoes in the drought, even though God told Him to in his heart. But even with that doubt in his mind he remained faithful and obedient putting in that impossible crop. I kinda knew that, even mentioning it a long time back in a tithing message at church. When I really dig into this all of a sudden having real faith is not an impossibility for me when I strip away the religion surrounding it. Yes religion, modern day religion that says you can’t ever second guess it. Well, our minds will go crazy second guessing it if your heart is still beating and your still breathing.  But as our heads are screaming at us that its all crazy a person just has to go on as crazy as it seems. As impossible as it seems. In reality, that’s faith.

Because if we believed it totally in our heads that would mean it isn’t impossible, and if it isn’t impossible where’s the faith come in? (Just some farmer theology here). When we break away from the doubts that are yelling at us up between the ears and do it anyhow, now there’s faith! And in the three scenes from the movie I have selected, this happens every time! In the Bible, looking back at some of the greatest heroes of the faith, the same thing happens. Look at Moses, look at Abraham, look at a whole lot more! They were troubled with doubt all the time. But they obeyed and Abraham is even called the father of faith! That’s because he obeyed even when his mind told him otherwise!

In the modern day religion in America I do believe we have sometimes missed it. Faith teachings are geared to make a person believe they have to get pretty well durn near perfect in their thoughts to have faith work. For myself I know that’s more than difficult, its pert near impossible. And I could feel the yoke of religious bondage starting to burden me with these teachings. For me now it boils down to “God loves those who obey Him”, even when their mind don’t want too, especially when their mind doesn’t want to, but they still go ahead and obey God even through the burden of a mind screaming at them not to. That is taking up your cross and following Jesus!

Following the Lord, even when our mind is screaming against it, sets us free from the world’s curses. And every step we take in doing so is a step up, one step higher! God wants to take care of us allot better than the job we are doing on our own! When we put that trust in Him, that trust to obey Him come thick or thin then God can move in our lives!

Walking the Fields

A beautiful Sunday here in the farm lands of the upper midwest! This morning while checking pasture before 8 AM I realized this was the first truly summer type morning this year doing that job. No jacket, no long underwear, just short sleeves and summer wear, praise God! The sun was already warm out there and there was no wind at all. The grass was brilliant green out there, the hay crops and oats fields were a healthy color also! The birds were singing in every direction, turkeys gobbling, pheasants cackling, and sandhill cranes making it sound like somewhere in Africa! Just a wonderful morning to be alive and doing what God wants me to do, to farm. The cows were content, laying around already at that time in the morning, already had their early morning fill because of the still lush grass.

The last couple of evenings I’ve been working getting things together for next Sunday’s church service. Never done a Sunday service before and I truly am looking forward to it! Gonna talk about faith, simple eh! Faith from a farmer’s view of it. This won’t be any high class seminary stuff, just real life from someone who knows what it takes in the faith department because believe me, farming takes faith! Meanwhile during all of this I wait for the short phone calls from Honduras. Last evening I received one and the news was out of this world! All the Bibles that were taken down there were given away to people that are truly hungry for them! Receiving the Bible for these people is precious! My wife and daughter are going house to house, farm to farm bringing food, Bibles and the Good News. They’re praying over the sick, they are bringing God into homes that have never had God before! Without truly planning it, our family and probably our church has a brand new mission field now! Our family’s farm ministry does for sure! I never would have dreamed that we would have any effect on the world, let alone international, but God sees things different than man does and He sets it up, He paves the way, and all we have to do is follow! When this is wrapped up in a few days I’m sure I’ll have allot more to report in that department, so I’ll lay low for now.

Around here in farm land there’s been allot of action going on too, witnessing action and also putting faith on display with God backing it up. The local farm ministry is the dearest to my heart even though the other aspects of our trust in God take us well beyond our region. I was just browsing on the internet last evening looking up some stuff for next Sunday’s service and I came across a quote from a South African farmer/preacher who’s name I won’t mention, “When you speak from the heart, life listens!”  Simple. And I have sure found that to be true. People listen when what a person has to say about the Lord comes from the heart!

This weekend I was talking with a farmer who is in rough times. Other preachers have tried unsuccessfully to get him to become a church goer. Tried to make him like them. Doesn’t work to put it bluntly. Trouble is the preachers that half heartedly tried don’t know squat about farming, don’t know squat about how folks like that think. Now this ain’t nothing against the preachers that tried to bring this feller into the American religion, but to put it bluntly, it don’t work! Its hard for a hard working, crusty farmer to take interest in something a person that has hardly ever got their hands dirty has to say, has never lost a crop due to hail or drought, has never had sick animals and dead animals to take care of, has never been seriously hurt or sick and had to keep working through it all in order for the farm to survive. And has never had to stay home because he couldn’t afford a vacation to recharge, has never had to do without in order to pay the property taxes, has never had the little savings they had wiped out at the John Deere parts counter. No, its hard to listen.

But have a farmer talk about what Jesus has done. Have a farmer talk about crops, animals, taxes, the high cost of production and all of a sudden doors are kicked down, fast. The human spirit is hungry for God, but the average farmer like I’ve written about has very little trust in churches. Most were brought up in religion, dry religion, and they want very little to do with it. I used to be in the exact same boots! But give a person God! Then things happen! Have God given to them from someone like themselves!

Oh Glory! Gotta finish putting together next Sunday’s service later. Like I say, I’m looking forward to it. But I truly look forward more to what we have been called to do outside the walls of the church! That’s when a person comes alive!

Published in: on June 14, 2009 at 6:12 pm  Comments (4)  
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Finally Home

Back in the saddle here finally! This has been a busy week and as of tonight I’m home and things should get back to normal for a few days till next Wednesday evening when I again head to the Twin Cities to the airport. Since Sunday we’ve been in church every evening for special services, called end time services and I came out of that with allot more knowledge then when I went in! It’ll take a while for things like this to sink in all the way so I’ll leave it at that for now. Just had a call from my better half and my daughter also, a call coming from the country of Honduras. All is well down that way, except rumor has it that its a tad bit hot outside! Unlike here where it stays cool this year.

I now have three books by Angus Buchan, the South African evangelist, and I must say, they are great! These will remain in my personal library as long as I’m kicking on this old earth! In fact I’m going to order more for folks around this area and for who ever would benefit from them. And I do believe allot of folks could benefit from them!

I don’t know if I can get into a long post here tonight. Things to do around here after being away every evening for such a stretched out period of time. But the farm is doing well, I’m not behind with any jobs at the moment, but that’ll be changing as early as next week when I figure to start hay. Everything happens at once!

So as of tonight Bibles and other materials are being distributed in Central America by members of this family. This is not the common organized mission trip, its a private one. Just our family. An orphanage was visited yesterday too and my daughter has probably found her call in life! This is good, very good. I can only praise the Lord as I hold down the home fort. A rural campaign is forming in my heart for this area, time will tell. Every question I ever had about a farm ministry is being answered by the books I received this past week, every one. A common man can help make big changes in the world, this I’ve learned. After all these years writing about things like this its awesome to see things falling into place and God on the move!