Herefords, Horn Weights,and Prairie Town Revival

A Friday evening here where the northern plains meet the north woods. Its lookin like a line of rain is racing in from the Dakotas for later this evening around here. The rains have been so much a blessing this year that I hardly know how to act anymore. I just came in a couple minutes ago and as I was coming in I seen the neighbor was combining oats. They were hauling in two gravity boxes of grain to auger into the bin. Maybe they’ll get mostly done this evening, I kinda hope so because I want to combine Monday and Tuesday when I have a little help available around here. The neighbor and us both have our own combines, both have John Deere 4400s, but we share the same grain head. No big deal, and it makes a little sense too. In reality our grain harvests are only a day or two long each. So, why should two different farms go through the expense of having two different grain heads. I can wait a couple days and the weather is looking good coming up. Our combine is totally ready to go, just gotta quick tach the head on Monday morning and get out there when its dry enough.

The other day I was driving around the pasture on the south place, just checking fencer batteries and stuff and slowly drove through the cow herd out there. Now, for years and years we mostly raised Black Angus, but I always had a small herd of Herefords that I kept around too. Lately I’ve been expanding the Hereford herd. Mainly because of their temperament which I truly enjoy. Those Angus are good cattle but those old Herefords just seem to keep on plugging no matter what. I sure learned that in the droughts we had. The Angus would suffer and the Herefords would thrive. Anyway, as I drove through the herd out there I noticed a beautiful Hereford bull calf with a set of horns sprouting. For me that’s a first in a long time. Now this bull calf is breeding bull material and our herd is large enough where I supply a good number of breeding bulls just for ourselves. Many are better than any a person could ever hope to purchase. These are from cows that prove themselves time after time. Looking at that calf I seen memories of decades ago come back to life. When I was a youngster we had Herefords on the place. I grew up with them in my early years. I remember saving a bull calf or two way back then, and what I remember was attaching the horn weights to the growing horns to make them curl downward and get the high class Hereford bull look. I decided out in the pasture the other day to do what we did back in days gone by and put weights on the horns. That’s get done starting in a few months once they grow out a bit. Trouble is I only found one horn weight from years ago laying around the place and so I Googled up the words Horn Weights and found they still sell them, only a different type than we had years ago. But I figure I’d better order me a pair and get that bull calves horns growing out proper later this year. The Hereford bulls that I buy are horned and the ranchers don’t use horn weight, they saw the horn tips at an angle and that’s supposed to cause them to curl down the way they tell me, but I have never seen that work on any that I ever bought. They just grow out straight and that’s the end of it.

Boy, when I get on the subject of beef cattle I can rattle off forever! But a finer life I can’t imagine! The other day in a post I mentioned a small book I’m reading, actually I read it already, and I’m just going over and over it. Its called Apostle Cowboy Style. I truly love that book, its so down to earth, with real people in it.Or should I say my kind of folks, country folks. Anyway, its about rodeo and also farm and ranch ministry. I like the rodeo stuff but the farm and ranch stuff really catches my eye! Here’s a little bit about when they ministered in a small town about eight hours west of here.

I think everyone was shocked at the size of the crowd in the little Congregational church that night. The building was packed. The pastor was more than gracious and after a few songs turned the service over to me. It is very difficult to describe what happened from that point. The Spirit of God fell in that little church so powerfully that my watch stopped and the taping equipment (more than one set) failed to operate. I felt caught up in a vacuum, totally enveloped in God’s Spirit. I opened my mouth and out came a torrent. Ann and others later told me that I preached the Gospel from beginning to end, emphasizing the present day ministry of Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I imparted God’s yearning to heal the sick and the need for the baptism in the Spirit of God to carry out the ministry of Jesus today.

Nobody moved; it seemed they hardly breathed. It was as though the Holy Spirit reached into every person and gripped them by the reins of their heart and said, “Listen up. I have somewhat to say to you. Its time to quit playing church and demonstrate Jesus”. When I quit speaking, my knees buckled and I sank down on the first pew. No one moved for a long while. Eventually the little pastor arose and came to the front and stood there shaking his head as though to bring himself to. He finally said, “What can I say? God has spoken to us tonight!”

The book is plump full of things like this, rural ministry, in the land that nobody notices, but God does! God moves out here too! Not only in big cities and suburbs, but in those out of the way places that don’t get a second glance from the “important” ministries today. This is the mission, to spread the Gospel down the back roads, to folks that can talk cattle, weather, crops, and a multitude of other things that you won’t find anywhere else. Tough people, hard working people, that need God made real to them. To have moves of the Spirit that breaks all the rules! In that same story that I wrote it tells about all the young people that came foreword to receive Jesus, but that ain’t all. Toughened farmers and ranchers came up in droves to, not only at that service but the outdoor services at the rodeo grounds. God moved in a small prairie town!

This is what this blog is all about. Just real people, normal folks out in the countryside. And simple rural ministry to go along with the farming and ranching. I thank each and every reader here too! When I started this blog I didn’t know how it’d go but believe me, its going. The numbers are even better than the old Northern Farmer blog! I just pray that it blesses those who read it.

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Thinking About Rural Church

A cooler day in on the northern plains. It stayed in the sixties and I wore a denim jacket while swathing a ten acre field of oats this afternoon. Its extremely busy around here but there’s always a moment to jot something down on the blog. Thinking, always thinking, mostly about what to speak in church next week and its coming together nicely, about the anointing. A feller can go a long ways on that subject! I don’t know what’s different about today but I’m so upbeat, even with a ton of work looking me in the face, such as grain harvest, allot of second crop haymaking, regular cow work, etc. Life is good out in the countryside!

Gotta get ready for tomorrow night’s Children’s Church also, no big deal there, most of the time we go so far off track of the lessons that sometimes it takes a couple of months to even get through a one hour lesson. No Dairy Queen cake this week though, sweet memories from last week can linger on for a while longer! Today though, while working, I was reviewing life in a small town rural church. Maybe that’s why I’m so upbeat tonight! Years ago whether it was no church at all or just Sunday morning get it over with type of services, life really had no meaning at all. The last four years life got totally turned upside down, a feller got a good shaking, and still get a good shaking every once in a while, and there’s purpose to life now, especially from a family standpoint. Always something going on,a person doesn’t have to search the world for something to do outside the normal daily routine. New friends, solid friends, friends a person can talk about the Lord and faith with.  Life is different, very different.

A burning desire to do the Lord’s work, a hunger that never, ever goes away. A place where one can go to get recharged after facing all the world throws at a Bible believing Christian. The discoveries that one doesn’t have to follow the American Christianity based on gaining more materialism. The appreciation of the simple God given things. The realization that almost our whole life revolves around all the different events that a small group of believers do together. Amen!

I said I was putting things together about the anointing, about an hours worth. From past experience I only get through about one half or so of what I put together for a talk, we’ll see this time. Now I was talking about the small rural church, I guess this could be translated to any church, although how a huge “super church” gets by is beyond me. Durn, I just thought, all my stuff is upstairs, the different Bible verses and stuff and I’m too lazy to go up there and get it so I’ll just shoot from the hip with some of this. The Bible says all believers receive the anointing, or an anointing. OK. So as I put this together the importance of the small rural church explodes out at me. I don’t have the same anointing as anyone else in church, we all have different anointings. The thing about the anointing we carry, its never for us, even though its our anointing. Getting this? Its for others, through us. The power of God working through us to do the works of the Lord for others. Might not be exactly theologically correct but I ain’t worried about that.

So if I say I’m anointed and figure I can live off my anointing, that it’ll carry me through the valleys of life, well, I’m badly mistaken. The anointing or anointings that I have are not for me, simple. They are for others. Take someone that is anointed in music. Those songs they sing might be great for them, fun to sing, help them worship, but you can bet through the anointing those songs being sung are changing others  as they enter into the music. That happened to me years ago, during a song the praise team thought they botched, during that song was when I received the “call”.  The anointing hit me head on, and maybe a few others in different ways than me, but God’s power flowing through the anointed praise team accomplished its purpose.

I have to be around other believers regularly in order to power up for the world out there. If I stayed at home,or just read books,listened to faith CDs and such I probably would be getting head knowledge, and maybe pick up small amounts of the power of God here and there but without the actual physical transfer taking place because of not being by anointed believers, I’d be slowly going backwards. Thus the small rural church does its job! I have noticed there’s folks that after one has been around them I can just feel the lift spiritually. And these are the ones I try to be around a little bit at least every time.

But then there’s the opposite side, instead of going for some anointed fellowship and prayer and what have you, there’s the responsibility of the believer to fellowship with the unpopular, the down and out, those feeling low. Because if we are carrying God’s power its our responsibility to spread it around! And God’s power, the anointing, is very real, both physically and spiritually. The small church has a huge advantage over a large one when a person thinks about this. The disadvantages are the small church is like a close family and can get into some pretty rough family quarrels. But I’d take a quarreling small rural church any day of the week than those bigger churches where everything is just a man made production anyhow! Oh Lord, am I thankful tonight, am I happy tonight. When a person understands how Biblical those little small town rural churches really are. Problems yes, but show me one church that doesn’t have problems and I’d say we crossed the line and have entered heaven!

Back to the Countryside

Twenty acres down today, that old John Deere 700 swather held together today with much prayer. One of those deals where I rent the swather from a neighbor and its kinda rickety to say the least. Also an almost two mile drive to the oats field on a machine that I could walk faster eats up some time. I remember years ago, don’t know exactly when but I was out on the same land a couple miles south of here and I finished up a nice field and was on my way home, the slow, slow drive home and wouldn’t you know it, it broke down right in the middle of the gravel township road when I figured I had the day in! Memories eh! Tomorrow hit a ten acre field close to home and then in a few days combine that oats and get er in the bin, then bale the straw. The crop could be considered a bumper crop from the looks of it both in grain and in straw. Also I planted hay with the oats, a mixture of alfalfa, red clover, timothy, brome grass and orchard grass. And is it ever thick and lush after I cut the oats!

Even on that rickety old swather I had plenty of time to dwell on stuff today. Funny how much a person can think of as long as there ain’t a breakdown. I’ve always said that God speaks loud and clear when the engine is running at 2100 rpm! Well, yesterday I found out that I will be taking next week Wednesday’s service. No problem. Just gotta come up with something to keep me talking a minimum of one hour. I said yes yesterday because I figured with all this field work that I’d come up with something. Totally the opposite of what a person would figure I guess. I said I was going to be harvesting grain and was asked if I wanted to forget speaking, but I said that’s the best time in the world to get ready for speaking in church, when a person is out in the field for hours and hours! So I figure I’m going to talk about the subject of the anointing.  Lots of stuff to cover in that one, allot that I know that folks in our church never heard of, that’s the way I like it.

While thinking about that as I was sitting on that old machine, engine roaring right behind me, belts slapping, hands hanging on to the two steering levers, I thought about a book I was reading last night after the nightly Bible reading. Back in April or so I ordered a few books, well, mostly booklets and one book from an outfit in Texas. They’re on the internet, that’s where I ordered from. Didn’t order with a card of course cause us poor farmers don’t do things like that. Or should I say, what looks like poor farmers, but in fact the money stays home much easier when a person does stuff the old fashioned way and doesn’t get involved with a plastic society. OK, I’m a relic, what can I say. But I can personally tesify that it sure is nice not to have hardly any monthly bills at all, except for the true basics. But I don’t want to get into that. People look at me like, “how can you live without a card?” Well I say a heck of allot better than living with one! Green’s my color and serves me well.

Getting back to where I was going, whew, can I side track! I ordered those four books and booklets a couple months or more ago and last evening I was reading one called, “Apostle Cowboy Style” and I must say its a good read! Just click on the title and it’ll take you to the site. I like reading regular stuff like this, not some big fancy multi million dollar ministry with everyone having the title Dr in front of their name. I always figured a doctor was where I went when things were going a little goofy with my body, not to hear a doctor preach. A while back I posted about signs and wonders following those who preach the Gospel and this book is loaded with that. Interestingly enough for me is all the things about healing animals. Sound different? Well, a couple years ago in church there was a testimony about a farmer having a down dairy cow and anyone that knows anything about this knows when a cow is down she more than likely isn’t getting back up! But this member of our church went and prayed over the down cow in the name of Jesus with the couple looking on that owned it and low and behold and Praise the Lord that down cow got right up and headed for the food after being down a few days. Right then she got up. So I know about healing animals and know its in God’s will, especially to show that God is in control and to show unbelievers that there is a God working through His believers here on earth.

In the book, Apostle Cowboy Style, the preacher, Glenn Smith was asked by cowboys on the rodeo circuit to heal their horses, some in very bad shape, heal their dogs, again in real bad shape, and he’d lay hands on them and pray and they’d get healed instantly. But the kicker is these healings were witnessed by unbelievers. Those who scoffed at the rodeo preacher before, just saying he was after their money all of a sudden got hit point blank with the reality of the Living God. I truly believe what Glenn wrote, quite simply because God uses healing like that to back up His ministers in an unbelieving crowd who’s whole life is centered on these animals. Rather simple really and it even makes sense! Signs and wonders to back up the preaching of the Gospel is a promise, an absolute promise from the Word of God. And in the cases mentioned above, hell lost a pretty sizable crowd!

Congregationalism or….

Perhaps, among the thousands of traveling and local preachers employed and engaged in this glorious work of saving souls and building up the Methodist Church, there were not fifty men that had anything more than a common English education, and scores of them not that; and not one of them ever trained in a theological school or Biblical institute, and yet hundreds of them preached the Gospel with more success and had more seals to their ministry than all the sapient, downy D. D.’s in modern times, who, instead of entering the great and wide-spread harvest-field of souls, sickle in hand, are seeking presidencies or professorships in colleges, editorships, or any agencies that have a fat salary, and are trying to create new fangled institutions where good living can be monopolized, while millions of poor, dying sinners are thronging the way to hell without God, without Gospel;

This is a quote of the famous circuit rider Peter Cartwright over a hundred and fifty years ago, written in his journal or autobiography. Of all the books I have this book is definitly in the top ten, maybe top five. I’ve only put down a very small portion of his lament, of how the flagship of Christianity of that day was going the way of the congregationalists. I read this part last evening just before retiring for sleep and I stayed up a couple hours it affected me so much. I’ve read it before, last winter and even had these pages underlined and marked for easy reference.

To anyone that ever read what I wrote on the old Healing Waters blog, this is not new news, although I’ve never approached it from this angle before that I know of. Cartwright laments about the vibrant old Methodist church turning congregational and in effect, dying a slow death. What was once a vibrant thunderbolt of Christianity, Biblical Christianity was softening into “church”, traditional dead church. And for me those over one hundred and fifty year old words hit deep in my heart because when a person reads the Bible he sees the pure Christianity that was poured out over this young nation and watched as it became more and more “dignified” and gradually settled into the mush called religion. I might continue this here and there because its one of the things dearest to my heart.

And I guess being from a slightly different mold than most in society today I see things different than many. I read my Bible and most of the things about church today are not in my Bible. In fact many things that are done are even talked against in New Testament scripture. In the early years of the Methodist explosion their exploits were closer to the Book of Acts than almost anything else I’ve ever seen or studied on my own. Last evening I was impressed in my heart about two things. The words are congregationalism and the other, vintage faith. In congregationalism it strikes me as an implosion, not an explosion. Old time Christianity, Book of Acts Christianity and cases as the Methodist expansion were faith explosions. There is a huge difference, like night and day. One looks in, the other looks out!

Even in the Charismatic church I do believe that they could be labeled congregational. For the simple fact they don’t look outward, just mostly inward. The focus is mostly, what can we do in church. Very, very few people get saved this way or drawn into the church seriously following God. It becomes a social center with godly fringes draped around. Most new people in churches like this are from other churches. Even the so called modern “super churches” are congregational, mostly drawing away folks from smaller congregational churches into their larger group. But still, the great commission is not what drives these churches at all. The great commission looks out, the congregational looks inward. The congregational simply does not do the great commission. I never really thought about this until last evening reading wise words from a simple country preacher that helped change the face of early America.

Maybe this is why I get a sick feeling so often in church. I truly love church, I love our church, but I must admit without a doubt it is following the congregational way. More and more. Today so many believe more and more programs are the answer to all in a congregational church, but the slow death keeps creeping in because of it. Look at this nation! After decades of churches looking in rather than looking out, the nation changes, for the worse. What ever happened to commissioning eager young men to go and spread the Gospel, commissioned by the local church to do the duty of the church? I am dwelling on this, very much.

The Holy Spirit rarely moves in a congregational setting, in congregational thinking. When a person looks back at real revivals of the past they never see congregational works, its always expansion works, taking the Gospel to any and all. A congregationalist will look at revivals of the past, such as Asuza Street and say it only last two or three years and fizzed out. They cannot see beyond their congregational nose because the effects of that revival lasted almost seventy years, strongly and are still going strong in many parts of the world today! True revival always throws congregationalism upside down !

Just thinking to myself this evening, maybe shouldn’t even be writing stuff like this. But I’m dwelling on this, dwelling allot. Why is it everytime the church sends out men with little or no education there’s a Holy Ghost explosion, and why is it when it gets all proper and dignified in the eyes of man, things go flat? Why? Its pretty much absolute, this always happens! The person quoted at the top of the page, Peter Cartwright, got his license to preach handed to him by another circuit rider named Jesse Walker. Peter was dumbfounded to say the least. It came out of no where. He could barely read or write, he had absolutely no Biblical training, no theological backround at all. And what happened? Almost twenty thousand people personally baptized by Peter himself. Because of a license to preach written on a piece of scratch paper handed to him by a circuit rider.And the recorded revivals from his preaching and the other uneducated circuit riders have really never been matched in this day and age. Where they went the POWER of God would fall, it was incredible to say the least! I want this again, to see God move like He always does when the church is in proper order!

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 8:03 pm  Comments (10)  
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Retreat?

As I write the yard is full of water puddles. Had us a good rain about an hour ago and it looks like its possible that more is on the way this evening which is gladly received. I didn’t want to cut meadow hay today with the rain in the forecast so I figured I could chop thistles in a big open pasture with the gyro-mower. Now, there’s an old farmer’s tale that says that if you cut thistles and then they get rained on that same day, they die. Well, we will certainly find out after today’s events if that is true! Personally I hope it is!

When I was cutting thistles today, it ain’t the most intense job in the world by any means as far as a person’s thought processing goes, I was reflecting on a word, a common word today in the American church. Now this might alienate a few folks from me, but that has never stopped me before and it won’t stop me now. The word is “retreat”. For some reason that word used in church dealings has always bothered me. I’d rather have a word like advance, then retreat. As I said, its a common word and nowadays its almost given reverence in the church. Bothering me as it has for a long time I hashed it over today as the tractor purred along cutting them dirty thistles down. Last evening for some reason after reading the daily bible readings I opened that old book, The Autobiography of Peter Cartwright, that rough and tumble circuit rider from a couple hundred years ago in the great Mississippi Valley of this land. He stated for the Methodist Circuit Riders, “retreat” was never considered!

As I dwelled on things I see the differences in “religion” from a couple hundred years ago and nowadays. Now retreat is a word that gives comfort to many Christians, except me of course, because I’d, to put it plainly, go stark raving nuts retreating. The differences in thoughts from then till now show a different way of life today, a different faith, and I’m not sure if what we have is better than what they had. In fact I cannot find anything mentioned in the Bible about retreats in the book of Acts. When I read books about the Chinese church I have never found anything ever mentioned either. It doesn’t seem to exist in what could be called “pure” Christianity. What does seem to exist in what I call Christianity is a never ending drive to spread the Gospel at all costs! To face persecution gladly, to face hardships for the Lamb that was Slain for us!

The modern American religion has me perplexed! I was happy with it all till I started reading the Bible seriously. To take in the Word until I couldn’t contain it any more. I started to see there was formed a religion that would please the follower and it would incorporate much of the world’s views on almost everything.  There has been a religion formed that seems to want to please man’s comforts more than to give up those comforts and do what we are supposed to do. It seems to have been incorporated in so that now in order to be a good Christian you must take vacations. Now there ain’t nothing wrong with vacations, especially when the vacation is spent serving the Lord, and I ain’t blanket knocking vacations here. BUT, more than once I’ve been approached by modern, well meaning Christians, that plainly stated to me there was something wrong with our family being we aren’t taking vacations all the time. Like there is something wrong with us, we aren’t acting like all the other people of God nowadays.  Get where I’m coming from with this?

In churches there’s retreat after retreat advertised, all of course for a pretty penny, so a person can find themselves. So a person can feel better about themselves. I ask myself, why aren’t “attacks” advertised? By that I mean, going out and spreading the Gospel! Egad, what an insane idea, what a heretic for even mentioning something like that! I’d rather spend some off time on the offensive because that’s when a person comes alive! In the Book of Acts the believers didn’t pray for peace, they didn’t pray that they’d be left alone or overlooked by society, they didn’t pray for safe vacations or a beautiful retreat, they prayed for POWER! For power to do what God has called every one of us to do! It is so simple! So simple, but so radical in this day and age.

Recently I was on the preach, and preached a thing to a small group about David and Goliath, and Lord did I feel the Holy Ghost on that one! Did he retreat? I wish I had time to go on the preach with that one tonight but it would be difficult to fit it in. Today chopping thistles I was thinking in more modern military term, even though what I was thinking about was almost seventy years old. Thinking about spiritual warfare, I got to thinking about General Patton.I had three uncles, I do believe, that served under him in WWII. The man and his army never retreated, they plowed ahead and no enemy could withstand them. Back at headquarters he drove them absolutely insane. They wanted to play war at headquarters, giving selected people glory, and Patton was a wildcard that couldn’t be brought under submission to the political way of doing things. I remember the movie, (I was a heathen years ago when I watched it), and the scene of the stubborn donkey on the bridge in Sicily came to mind.How the whole army was at a standstill because of a balking donkey on the bridge. This reminded me of the modern day church, not knowing what to do, might have to call a few meetings to decide how this problem should be handled and then go through a ton of paperwork and because of all this strain take a retreat because we are so stressed out and tired. Old Patton made his way to the front of the column, seen the situation, said many words that I wouldn’t dare put on this blog. Personally pulled out his own pearl handled revolver and shot the donkey between the eyes and had it thrown over the bridge and got the army moving on the attack again.

Not many folks these days have seen a Roman soldier as mentioned in the Bible when it comes to spiritual warfare. Paul wrote about those soldiers because the people at the time understood what he was talking about and I see nothing wrong with using more modern warfare scenarios to get a case across. But when Paul talked about putting on the whole armor of God using the Roman soldier terms there is one thing a person should notice with the whole thing. There is nothing covering the person’s backside. Why, because he is advancing forward into the fight! Not running away from it! Retreat is not an option for a Christian!

Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 7:29 pm  Comments (10)  
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Impact Ministries International

Sunday morning around the farm and its sunny out with the promise of being a beautiful day. I just wanted to put this quick post up this morning before getting ready for church. I’ll write more about it later when there’s a little more time. Its been put on my heart to post a video this morning, a video about a ministry that I respect more than most.  A ministry that gets things done and every dollar spent supporting a child, feeding a child goes to help that child. Take a look at the video if you are able. I personally know these folks and I will say right here and now, if every church, if every true believer followed Jesus Christ like this couple does the Lord would return this year without a doubt for the great commission being fulfilled!

Some of the scenes in this video were taken where my wife and daughter were in Honduras a few weeks ago when they visited Tom’s orphanage down there.  I must get those photos up and running soon! More coming up when time permits.

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 8:01 am  Comments (2)  

Where Were You?

The day is a cool day, a northwest wind, sometimes almost at a roar. Mostly cloudy out. I even wore a jacket much of the day today. Its a good evening to stay in the house tonight. This morning we moved the bulls to all the different pastures and then in later morning selected 15 replacement heifers and penned them up with a bull in the cow shed and pen. This afternoon it was to durn cold out to go and cut hay on an open tractor and probably to wet yet anyhow, so we brought in the 71 round bales of meadow hay that I baled Monday afternoon, brought them to our hay storage area near home. So at the present time we’re caught up with that. After the noon hour today the youngest daughter and a friend that’s staying over went for a walk down our gravel road, called Dairy Road. When they came back around forty five minutes later they had two really good looking grey cats following them, about half grown. Earlier we seen a car driving slow and stopping so I figure they were dumped by some town folk, a rather common occurrence out here in farm land. The girls had been walking along a soybean field, talking and having fun and all of a sudden those two kittens musta heard them and they came running right out of the edge of the field and followed the girls home and they have really settled in outside of our front door of the house! Of course my trained eye sees potential in those two as mousers on the farm!

With this cooler than normal weather this summer is the thankfulness of having abundant moister. The total for Tuesday’s rain on this farm is two and two tenths of an inch. The green countryside almost staggers me after the drought years we went through. The hills are green, the fields green, the pastures green and the lawn is so nice I can hardly believe it! Instead of trying to survive with the cattle, this year they are in plenty, and plenty fat to boot! Last evening, after church, which by the way was really fun in Children’s Church and afterwards with friends too, during my nightly Bible readings I was finishing up the Book of Job. The last few chapters where God enters the scene have always got to me. Us people think the world revolves around us so much of the time that it just becomes a way of life in many cases. Many people today think that God’s purpose is to please us, which is definitely not the case.

We have a loving God, one who wishes for no one to perish, but He is an Almighty God! The verse that always stands out for me in Job is this one;

Job 38:4 (New King James Version)

“ Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.

Now, I’ve mentioned it a few times recently about how we don’t control much farming. We do the work of tilling the soil, planting the seed and what ever else is required but God is the one that makes the crop grow. Maybe these last few years around here were to teach people that lesson, and if they weren’t, well there was a lesson to learn from it regardless. We go through the motions, but the crop is entirely in God’s hands, entirely. When I came to realize that everything changed and I mean everything. I do my work for God’s glory, not mine. I thank our God all the time everyday for His blessings on us, and they are high in number. Now an unbeliever or a person of little faith could take that same day and have nothing but gloom and doom in their heart.

Where were we when He laid the foundation of the earth. Where were we these last few years, I can tell you we weren’t able to make it rain, not one drop. The other evening on the third nice rain of the day it was almost like a tropical rain, heavy, straight down, water running everywhere. I was guesstimating how many gallons fell on the farm and let me tell you, it was allot! But we can’t make it rain, we just don’t have it in us. In reality we can’t do a whole lot except get ourselves in trouble more often than not. The Bible says we can’t add one hair on our heads. Something that simple and we can’t do it.  Mankind keeps touting up their accomplishments, but in reality, what have we accomplished? More and more trouble, a world on the brink of destruction, yup, man’s wisdom is really doing the trick.

I think its time for folks to understand that we are not all that important. God is important, we are just sinners that deserve nothing, nothing at all. Do we even deserve to live? The answer is NO. But our Almighty loved such a people regardless. Undeserving sinners. No one was good, not a one. Where were we when He laid out the earth, when He laid out the universe?

This past spring when all looked bleak as far as the farming year here, the pastures were already drying up, the fields were dust, I knew that there was not one thing on earth I could do about it all, not one thing. I gave it all to God, the fields, the pastures, the crops. I plead the Blood over them all. I told people that I had faith that God would take care of us, saying it when it looked totally impossible to the human mind. God delivered on His promises! Our farms and homes should be dedicated to Him and Him alone. Because in all reality, what else is there?

God’s ways and thoughts are far beyond the comprehension of man, far beyond. I’ve come to thew conclusion that I’ll never know much, but have faith that He does. His ways are perfect, mine are not. His ways are written in the farmer’s handbook, the Bible, for us to know His ways. That’s why I read it every day, to think like He thinks, to get the Word in me so deep that the Word flows out of me, a simple farmer. Farming for God!

Published in: on July 16, 2009 at 8:09 pm  Comments (10)  
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By Life or By Death!

Today was a different sort of day in these parts as far as July goes, we received rain! An inch and four tenths. I don’t know if its done or not at the moment cause things can form right out of nowhere today. An old fashioned summer here. I noticed it knocked a little bit of oats down but nothing that can’t be picked up by the swather in a week or two. I’ll take that situation any day compared to drought! Already the world is looking a bit different around here, although I must admit I never seen any grass burning up yet, the corn never stressed yet and the pastures were still going strong. This rain should extend that into August. The corn should make tassel without a problem and reach a good height with this rain and it looks like there will be no problem getting more than enough silage to see us through the winter comfortably. I’m so amazed at God’s goodness this evening that I’m a little bewildered on what to write. Durn hard to get all fired up with a hell fired and brimstone post when a person is practically on their knees rejoicing to the Lord for His goodness in making the land green this year. For healthy crops and fat cattle!

Isaiah 26:4 (King James Version)

Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength

I realize I put that verse in a post a few days ago but the truth is that its eating away at my heart. I truly love the verse from the Bible, the everlasting Word of God. Trust God, trust Him with all of our hearts. I praise Him for the rain today like a little child,full of joy, simple joy, He did what I cannot do. He controls it, I don’t. I can do everything right on the farm and still it means absolutely nothing without God taking care of the whole works for me. I always say, the best fertilizer is God! Cause there’s nothing that will amount to anything without God tending it, nothing.

Maybe I’m a heretic in some church circles, because some say claim it and receive it. I don’t buy that at all. To me its a carnal religion, nothing more, nothing less. And I have noticed that many who follow this religion are fairly shallow in faith and the funny thing is, they seem to end up with more problems than someone who trusts God in every aspect of their lives. Now come to think of it, this just came to me, the Lord says we should become like little children, having that simple faith in Him to take care of us as only He knows best. Because to put it bluntly, if we are claiming our will we will end up in allot of trouble and more likely than not end up in hell to boot. When a little kid won’t shut up and keeps wanting this and that all the time all a person has with that kid is a brat, right? And that spoiled brat who only thinks of himself or herself gets anything they want any time they want it, (claim it), their future life won’t be worth a pluig nickel. It just doesn’t work, its not Biblical, its a religion, a modern day religion of carnal Christians who only think of themselves, even if they think they are following God’s will. Now I’ve heard the excuses that God will bless you abundantly when you claim it so therefore a person can support money wise, spreading the Gospel. And I pray that I’m not self centered on this or off on the wrong track, but when I see folks with allot, I mean really “blessed” they sure do have allot of toys that have nothing to do with the Gospel. They sure spend allot of time on vacations and other high cost things for themselves, not financing the Gospel.  I will say right here and now that I don’t believe in tithing, why, because its not enough! God wants it all! God wants all of us! The tithe was an Old Covenant works, the Christian in the New Covenant is in a much better covenant. One where they do not live by works but live by the Spirit. Where the old self is dead and crucified with Christ. I do believe there’s going to be an answering at Judgement concerning this western religion that says we are entitled to all this carnal living.

I heard a story today, and I thnk it will always stay with me in my heart. Things like this want to make me vomit when I hear the prosperity religion. It was about a preacher of the Gospel in some country where you are put in prison for believing in Jesus Christ. They were tortured as is so common and this preacher was in prison with many other believers. The terrible conditions that they endured, the tortures, just for following Jesus Christ. The preacher was almost ready to go insane from the tortures and he couldn’t take all the screaming and suffering around him in the adjoining cells.It was like hell on earth.He prayed for God to take him away for five minutes to be in His presence, to get away from the prison and the suffering and screaming. Suddenly he felt himself depart from his body and was being lifted away. The peace was beautiful as he drifted further and further away from the prison.Then the noises came back, all the terror and screams, louder and louder and he was in bewilderment. It was worse than anything he ever experienced in prison. He was at the Throne of God! This is what reached the Throne! And the Heavens were at attention! Every scream, every pain, every tear, everything that the saints suffer in His name are what are at the throne!

I am ashamed,very ashamed at myself. I am ashamed that I even mention any of “our problems”. Christianity is a far cry from this American religion. How will a person react at the throne, at the judgment, when these saints that gave everything are there and we come with such a weak kneed religion. More and more I’m seeing its not about our needs. Its about Him, nothing else. This is why in America, in the American religion there is little or no personal evangelism. Because its all about me. Not about Him.

If we realize its about His Kingdom, not ours, that we were created for Him, not Him for us, when we realize that if we choose to follow Him we will drink from the same cup. Can we be free from our own flesh and its lusts? Can we live for God? Life  as it is, is not worth living, but the cause is worth dying for. And if we live, we live for Jesus,we love people, we honor people, we’re respectful. But we do not bow down to the fear of man, we don’t bow down to the praise of men, we don’t live for a pay check, we don’t live for things and the want of them. We live to Glorify Jesus!

I will follow You by life or by death!

Published in: on July 14, 2009 at 7:17 pm  Comments (5)  
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That Old Time Religion Still Works!

As I said in my last post yesterday evening, we are having us a different weekend around here. More like a vacation weekend. Of course when a feller is farming like this a vacation basically means doing something different than the normal routine. The chores still gotta get done and the home place needs taking care of. But with the girls off in Wisconsin and no church work to do at our church we decided to go and visit a small church around 20 miles away. It never hurts to get to know a few churches and the people, especially with the calling that we have.

So, chores really went good this morning. I had the longest sleep in years while on home vacation, got up at 5:45 and felt the day was half shot! The cows were all in their pastures, so no extra work there and nobody needed hay that were in the pens at home. So chores consisted of feeding the chickens and the four family hogs and that was about it. Come into the house and read the free newspaper, a whole county newspaper. No big news, just what’s happening around the county, plus a good farm section and want ads. That done I finally decided it would be a good day to stop by at the little church at the county seat and pay them a visit. An old fashioned Holy Ghost church. Well, we arrived about twenty minutes early and they had coffee and treats in the basement! That’s when I found out they always start their services twenty minutes late. The reason, the piano player does services in the local old folks home and thats when he gets back to church from there.

We finally went upstairs to the sanctuary and it got started. Now me and the wife sat in the back row, a safe place I figured to enjoy the service and also to observe. I always like to learn, especially when in the presence of an old time man of faith. The songs were much more old fashioned than what I’m used to. It took me back to how I imagined churches 50 or more years ago in Appalachia or down south. The Pastor was from Georgia and still talks like it.

I gotta backtrack here a little bit. When talking with the folks I came to realize a large amount were from one relation, cousins, uncles, and all the rest. It was almost the inside joke there today. But I didn’t realize that all these good old boys and their families weren’t really church going folks. They’d been coming here and there and more and more were coming till today when they had a good batch there. In many ways they were a little disruptive during the service, talking amongst themselves and such. The pastor, a man of wisdom changed his sermon that he was planning and turned up the “heat” so to speak. Now this is right up my alley and believe me, I was alert!

Galatians 5
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I was having a good time listening to all of this. Its almost rare when a person hears the old hell fire and brimstone stuff any more! Preached in the old time way, arms waving, preaching with a shout. Almost stomp and snort, so as folks that know me well should know, I was at home with this! I did notice as it got farther and farther into the sermon the small disruptions were fewer and farther between! The Holy Ghost was striking deep into the hearts of the congregation today.

At the end of a sermon I’ll never forget the pastor had an altar call. Now I’ve seen many an altar call in my days but never one like this one. The kind I’m used to are usually slow to start, like a person gotta really plead to get them up there. In fact its been a while since I seen a real altar call. Mostly just calls for the church to get their weekly blessing,instead of the church members going out being a blessing in the world. Oh well, I’d better not get started with that or the internet won’t have enough room to contain it! But back to today. When that altar call was called the response was instant. I can safely say I never seen nothing like it.I’ve read about it in the old days while reading about the old circuit riders but this is the first time I ever seen it with my own eyes. This was an old fashioned altar call, you had to come to the front, not raise a hand or secretly fill out a card or something. You had to take a public stand for Jesus. Not hide it while everyone has their heads down so it can be a semi secret thing. I guess nowadays folks don’t want to publicly take a stand for Christ. But the Bible does say something about that, and it ain’t all that good. So I get allot more out of witnessing an altar call where people must march right up the aisle and publicly proclaim Christ!

I tell you, that altar was crowded, fast, with the folks I never thought were even listening to the sermon. Apparently they sure were! Then the pastor called to us in the back seat to get up there and help with praying over those folks. He said, “Tom, get up here!”, and we sure got up there fast! Didn’t expect that but was humbled to take a part in something so special! I never expected this day to be so rewarding when I woke up this morning, but God moves when His Word is preached with no shame. Many churches today wouldn’t allow the Gospel to be preached in such a manner, to their shame. There are times when truth must be poured out on the people. Mush preaching will send allot of folks to hell, as they sit comfortably in their pews week after week.Today hell lost its hold on allot of folks and I had the privilege to witness it and to learn a lesson that will forever stick with me! That Old Time Religion still works!

Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 7:39 pm  Comments (8)  
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A Short One

Another Saturday evening, the week coming to a close and as usual I’m a tad bit tired. Got all the work that I wanted done this week done so I sure can’t complain. We have an empty nest here this weekend with both girls visiting down in southern Wisconsin. Kinda peaceful around here in fact! Tomorrow being Sunday, and the fact that we have an empty nest, we were figuring on visiting a different church for once. With our schedules always busy at our church its almost impossible to get away ever, there’s always someone in the family that is signed up to work at some job or another in church. But it seems like the stars and moon and all the other stuff in the sky must be in the right alignment, plus the hogs tipped over the slop trough, so away we go for once! Now knowing me it won’t be to some modern day fun church, no, I think we’ll go “old school” tomorrow. Probably to a preachers church that I know. An old timer in the faith. It doesn’t hurt to get some wisdom from someone who’s been involved in real revivals in the past. Its very rare to find a preacher that has ever been part of a real move of God. And being that we have one within twenty five miles, what the hey, might just as well go and get fed on the Word from a senior member of the faith!

Old school, kinda up my alley. Last winter I sat listening for hours to the preacher mentioned above, and I hardly ever talked. Why screw up a good thing I figured. Listening to the stories of faith from years gone by. Sitting on a couch with a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter night being filled with experiences that are very rare and unusual in this day and age. Funny how people sometimes meet. Who would have ever thought that I’d meet someone like that around this area? But as usual God brings people across our paths that one would think are impossible to meet around here.

I’ll just take it easy tonight writing, kick back a bit. Not worry about all to much before bed. There’s enough worries for tomorrow, why bother today.

Published in: on July 11, 2009 at 8:33 pm  Comments (6)