Hog Waller Sermons

I figured I’d better wish Brad and the happy better half my congratulations today on their wedding day and will put in a picture as promised that I “lifted”off of Jan’s blog. So here it is!

awheelofflowers Best I can do Brad, I ain’t no computer genius 🙂 And thanks to Jan for letting me lift the photo! Seriously though I do wish the happy couple blessing upon blessing. Ol’ Brad has been around my blogs for a long time.Not the very beginning, but soon after and he never did leave. Wow! Talk about a loyal friend! We’ve had our ups and downs together and are still doing the morning thing many mornings most weeks. By ups and downs I mean we do share more things once in a while than what we have on the blog. Not much, but important things never the less.I wish we were closer in miles cause I’da made it to that wedding if it was under a couple hundred miles! Again,best wishes!

Was cutting meadow hay this afternoon,in a  deep meadow. That means it ain’t really a tame  meadow. A lowland that can be under water if its wet enough,but its dry enough now to get the swamp hay off of It.Took me about twice as long per acre cutting that stuff.Wire grass, cows won’t look at the stuff when you try grazing it,but bale er up and they eat it like candy. Who am I to try and figure out what a cow thinks??

Then a little bit ago I was cutting some grass,or mowing it around the large cattle barn.That stuff sure grows fast and thick I tell you! But now that’s under control again for a couple of weeks. Now today in the deep meadow I dwelled on stuff but not much stuff in reality.Cutting that tough wire grass  kinda throws a monkey wrench into dwelling on stuff very deep. Praise the Lord for JD riding lawnmowers though cause then the dwelling on the Lord and faith came in loud and clear I tell you. And I was thinking about what makes me most comfortable, in a good way. Or should I say, what makes me content? Not in a lazy way, but in a way that just flows.Talking faith here. I was thinking about my roots, my spiritual roots. I used to write about that when I started the old Healing Waters blog a few years ago. And I gotta say, nothing makes me more content in the Lord than that!

I’m talking about that simple faith I always write about, with an old fashioned country mix in it. In fact I guess I’m talking about the old country faith that I cut my spiritual teeth on a few years ago! When a person tries to figure where I came from spiritually it might be a tad bit difficult for folks that haven’t read my writings over the years.At our church I have the honor of being called a hillbilly, which I just take with a smile.No big deal,and I figure its a grand compliment if I must say so. We don’t live in a run down shack or cabin. Just a nice house we built in 1979. We’re out in the country pretty much like everyone else in our church so there ain’t a whole lot of difference there. I think I got the distinction though from cutting my teeth on a more Appalachian style of faith. Even though we don’t live any where near that area its something that kinda took root in me a few years ago.

I’d listen to Pentecostal preachers from that area and something kinda clicked in me. Where a person can talk about a hog pen right in the sermon,or talk about home smoked hams, weeding the corn patch, etc. Things like this stick to me! Talkin about when the little churches where literally hopping. Where small town’s people would see them old Holy Ghost meetings going on over at that church where those Holy Rollers met, and they’d be all scared cause the church was literally rocking and many times had a glow to it! Amen! Yep, that’s the kinda thing I cut my spiritual teeth on. And I ate it up like a starving fella! Then this evening I started thinking about those simple roots of a few years ago and a hunger came back on me like I couldn’t believe! A feller like me can just start singing those old tunes that you won’t hear anywhere else, in no churches that I know of in these here parts.

And that faith those folks had, when they had so little in earthly goods, most just living on small farms trying to scratch out a living. Where the Bible and their small church was the center of their life.They weren’t trying to do anything big,they were just chasing God in their own simple way! I can identify with that! Oh can we complicate things though! And sometimes I see myself falling into the complication pit. I can always feel when that’s happening, because there will be physical effects with it. I’ll start to tighten up, I’ll get a little owly. I don’t have that simple joy that I used to. Then its time to take a good look and see what the heck I’m doing that is causing this! It’ll always be me, no one else. And every time its because I’m going a bit in the ditch on something.

No, a fella just gotta do like I did a few years ago.Just read the Bible and believe it! Get up in the morning and Praise the Lord! Don’t worry about this or that, just work like a bull and trust in the Lord all the time.I ain’t going to let no devil have a field day with me! I ain’t going to let religion rule and take away the joy I have in the Lord. Simple is what it is. And I do believe with all my heart I’m going to see times like they had back then. Only much more than they had back then.I believe that in these days when darkness is spreading across the earth that God’s simple people are going to shine bright! Even if they talk about hog wallers in their sermons!

Published in: on August 31, 2009 at 7:43 pm  Comments (9)  

I Ain’t Worrying!

A very beautiful day here in the area where the great northwest begins! Clear out, cool, durn near had us a frost last night,but missed it by a couple of degrees. Church was very good today, but just before I was going to head out over that way the telephone rang and a neighbor a couple miles away, who borders one of our pastures down that way, called to tell me his two heifers jumped his fence and were in with our cowherd. He was wondering if I was upset. Nope, not if I don’t have to do anything about it today the way I figure it. I kinda owe them folks anyhow, over the drought years I’d have a dozen or more calves in their yard every day clipping their lawn, the only green thing around and them folks never complained, not once. So I figure its pay back time,their couple of heifers can do anything they want on our pastures! Nice to be neighborly I always figure! Kinda reminds me of a Bible verse.

Matthew 6

33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.

Funny how a feller can come up with a verse like that just doing normal stuff around the farm. Now I know a lot of folks would get pretty upset with having their two heifers jump the fence and live at the neighbors but me and that neighbor ain’t going to get grey hairs over it. Live and let live I figure. Why worry about it today. Why stir up the herd of cattle out there when there is no need. This is definitely an advantage of getting along with your neighbor! Around here there’s plenty of worries, believe me. This place don’t really run that great by itself. Only thing is, it doesn’t pay to let the worries rule, or be the ruler. They sure can be if I’d let them. Huge jobs coming up, how will I ever get them done.Wondering what happens if there’s an expensive, time consuming breakdown, etc. Nope, it don’t pay to worry tonight cause it won’t change a single thing on this here earth except make me old before my time, cut apart the health I have, probably cause a lack of sleep and then less gets done the next day anyhow creating more worries heaped upon each other. So, in other words, I ain’t worrying about all them jobs,just do em when its time and get em over with.

Seek the Kingdom of God first in all things, yup, that’s what a person should do! Then it all comes out in the long run the right way. Take a moment here and there to enjoy the beauty of the countryside, our small family, our church family. Walk and talk with God all day.Oh, oh! I gotta mention,I was doing a search last evening for a post I was writing that never got written, and I came across some sites as I was doing a search on the Tabernacle of David. An interesting subject that I will try and do soon. But its amazing when doing a search when I hit a religious site or two how everything goes sour. Now I ain’t perfect, the farthest thing from it, but it never ceases to amaze me how folks can take something as simple as the Bible and twist it to their own personal agenda. In other words, hating almost everyone else except in their denomination. Sad really, but that’s the way it is.

I can’t get involved with such stuff, always looking down on others that believe in the Bible. My faith is simple, the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it! The wise look at a person like me and figure they really have a country hick in their sights. I ain’t trying to twist the Word into something it ain’t. Nope, I am getting to the point that the Word is good enough for me and I don’t really rely on any other mans interpretation of it. Oh I read books on faith by the dozens, but the Bible is basically all I go by.

Simplify, simplify, a word that I gotta live by. Follow God without hesitation, even if it makes an utter fool out of me! An audience of One is what I have the way I figure it. A person can’t worry about what other folks say or think of me, just that One who is watching over me. Everything is in His hands and a person might just as well go with the Creator of everything there is than with anything else!

I like listening to some sermons I have that were put out by a country preacher from Kentucky. He talks about the old time folks in the country, their faith and all. I just love it! About praying through, about unwavering faith! I envy that! Its hard for me to get across on this blog, but this is what I love! To wake up in the morning knowing God loves a feller. To know what ever job there is to do on the farm, God is with me! Strange folk, some of old fashioned farmer folk! Walking around talking with God, a stranger sneaking up on a person would think we’re half nuts! Maybe we are! Then so be it!

I just love that old time real faith! The world can go buzzing by, politicians come and go, but life goes on following an awesome God! Folks can go nuts chasing the almighty dollar and never getting satisfaction, but I’ll chase my God! And when its all said and done and a person is on their death bed, it won’t be a scary thing.It’ll be something to look forward to! The crossing over of that ol’ River Jordan, crossing over to the other side where the saints are singing a new song! Where there ain’t no droughts, where there ain’t no sorrow! Where our new bodies will be disease free and have no pain, ever! Amen!

This old body of mine is starting to squeak a bit, starting to wear out and i can feel it daily. The evenings are a time where I’m much more tired than even a couple of years ago. Something like that would of had me worried a few short years ago. Now it doesn’t worry me at all. Cause I know the final outcome and its something that the world doesn’t have. My Bible tells me so. No I ain’t worrying about today and I ain’t worrying about tomorrow.

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm  Comments (5)  
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Run Back To God!

Its so nice around here I hardly know how to act!! The weather is so perfect it can make me look like a liar! Cutting hay this afternoon, baling yesterday. I baled a small field yesterday and had figured that there’s be around twelve round bales off that stuff, but Glory! There ended up being 27 bales off that smaller patch! Now, I know hay, I make enough of it, and for me to be that far off has me wondering, kinda like the loaves of bread and the fish miracle! The hay just filled that baler up over and over and for the life of me I don’t know how!

Sometimes a person just gotta accept these things with joy and praise! I see the hand of God on so many things here that I almost am scared to mention many of them because they’ll probably make me seem like some sort of nut! The calf crop is almost perfect this year, the calves are healthy and growing good out in those green pastures! Now getting back to my last post, I’ve had a couple of days to dwell on that, it sure does seem when a person just lays out those personal testimonies that it always seems to affect one or more people deep. A person sometimes doesn’t find out till later, sometimes after the service or sometimes much later.

Same here in writing, you never know what will happen, but something usually does, either on the blog or by e-mail. Anyone that has ever read  a bit of my writings knows I’m not an “in the ditch” prosperity preacher, no I ain’t. But at the same time I ain’t going to grab the wheel and hit the other ditch! There is a middle and its called God’s Word!  We were discussing this a couple of days ago under a shade tree after filling up on fish, sweet corn and a host of other great vittles. One thing came up, “when folks ask us what kinda Christians we are, what do we say?”

Well, I ain’t a Baptist, I ain’t of any Pentecostal denomination or anything like that. Heck, I have no idea what I am in the eyes of man! In many ways that gives a person the freedom to only follow the Word, not some man made thinking. It also gets a feller in trouble sometimes with the religious who say their church is the only way, or the true church. The one rule to this for me is that when ever anyone says this I know they are following man more than the Word. Is there anything wrong with being in any denominations? Heck no!! I’ll say it again, Heck NO!

The last few years blogging I really ran into some strange beliefs. Mostly in the Christian Agrarian crowd. And about all I can say to many of those is that they should accept  Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, because its apparent that they are following man and not God. As far as myself goes I have turned away from this religious crowd, a man made religion, where hate really will show its ugly head to anyone that doesn’t accept these perverted teachings.

As of late I’ve written about going after God with all of our hearts. To strip away anything holding us back. To confess any sin and get on with following God that very instant. Cause God forgot it the moment a person confessed it and to put any burdens on ourselves or others is what religion does to a person. And after the last few years being somewhat involved in the religious crowd on the internet this past spring I broke away and just follow God! The rantings are fewer and farther between, but there’s no time for that when a person is chasing a mighty God. Let Him judge, I don’t have time for that anymore. Am I liberal?? NO! Do I have a political agenda? NO! Do I have a way of life I want others to follow? A way of life that says we gotta live out on the land in order to live Godly? NO!

I’m a farmer, a cattleman and I don’t expect anyone that reads this to do the same. First of all, its tough! Either you gotta be tough or else flat out stupid to live like this, but either way that’s what I do! And I love it! But living like this don’t make me one bit better in God’s eyes. No different in His eyes than an office worker, or what ever else a person does, country or city. I ain’t one lick better in God’s eyes than a street prostitute in Bombay, India! God wants that street prostitute as much as He wants me! I call Jesus Lord, the same as millions and millions of poor folk in Africa and around the world. And He loves them just the same.

You ain’t going to get religion here I can tell you! Your going to get some hunger for God coming through these writings. Young David, that sheep herder, changed a nation! He went after God with everything he had! Durn, I was going to write about those years when he was king. Already to long of a post!  Incredible! And as I staighted in previous posts, a very fumbling man he was. He got himself into more deep trouble than I can imagine. But he ran back to God, every time! The funny thing is, and here’s where it differs from so much religion, God always welcomed him back! I gotta get that into my very bones! Never to sit around in unrepentant sin, but run back to God that very instant! He will take a person back on the spot! My Bible says so!

At our church a few weeks ago, on a Wednesday evening, this was the subject that was preached, and still is up to this time. About running back to God, always! And religion will always rear its ugly head up,making us think that this is not right, that we have to live in misery for our failings. Well, failings, sin, sure aren’t good, in fact there’s nothing worse, but we gotta do like David and run back to God! Sure a person feels like a fool! We are! That’s why God sent His Son! We can’t do it! We just can’t do it by will power, by our own works. We gotta run back to God, sorry for our failings, and then get right back up and joyfully follow God!

Its so simple we miss it most of the time! So unbelievably simple!

A Late August Sunday’s Recollections

Tired out  tonight and it ain’t from work. Its from good times the way I figure it. A great Sunday out in the countryside for sure. Had us the fish fry and corn boil this afternoon after church and I would have to say that its about the highlight of the church year in my book! So this evening I’m still a tad bit stuffed, and I guess that’s the country way to be!

Today at the church service I had a small part in it, but it was interesting even if it was small. A couple of posts ago I included the first verses of Psalm 103 in it. I had the unction to read that same psalm at the end of praise and worship today. So I put it on the pulpit for when I got up there later. When the praise team started the praise team leader read that same psalm. And not off of my paper either. Now I knew this was a God thing! Then the last song they sang was one of my favorites that’s called something like, “He Sent Forth His Word and Healed Me”. I was in heaven today I tell you.

When I got to the pulpit I reread Psalm 103’s first five verses and then commenced to talk about a person I had met that was praising up a storm a couple of weeks ago even after finding out he had terminal cancer that very day. After that a quick over view of the church announcements and then its time for the tithes and offerings. When I do this it can be simple teaching, or testimonies or a mixture of both.Today was a mixture of both type of day. I talked about opening the doors and windows of heaven so the blessings of God could be rained upon us. All very biblical with verses to back everything up. Then after getting through that I go back into farmer/preacher mode and talked about pleading the blood of Jesus over field after field and pasture after pasture on this old farm. And the unbelievable results that have happened this year. This was a very compacted teaching and testimony type of thing, very limited time, not the hour or more sermons of the past. Funny how a shorter talk is almost harder than a long one.

All went well enough I do suppose, I only felt like a small fool after the talking which is a huge improvement over feeling like a big fool I can sure tell you. The rest of the service went well with myself just taking in the preaching and teaching, looking forward to the vittles coming up after the service! The service finished up about right on time, only about ten minutes late, and I figured on wolfing down one cup of coffee before heading out into the countryside to the fish fry to husk the sweet corn we brought there the evening before. As I made my way to the coffee pot in the back of church, (stand to the side when I’m zeroing in on that thing),  a person in the service cornered me and said the things I talked about really spoke to him. I haven’t gotten used to that yet, and hope I never will. When I talk I am very humble, and I ain’t kidding on this, cause I have never, ever spoke in front of folks in my entire life till this last year in particular and I always feel like I’m at the bottom of the heap when it comes to these type of things. For about fifteen minutes we talked more deeply about pleading the Blood over our fields and critters. To allow God to bless them!

Strange, strange that a person such as myself talking in church had moved someone to follow the Lord more intensly. As I said, its hard to get used to. To do a short little preaching and someone is effected deeply by it! Its a whole different world standing in front of people and declaring the Word of God. There are sometimes voices whispering to a person saying, “they ain’t interested in any of this stuff”. I sit down and almost want to curl up into a ball when its all said and done, then a short while later someone will come up, so excited, something changed in their life from some simple words, and I know its a God thing.

I wrote this so folks can understand some of the feelings that go with some of these things. Its not at all something I want to do under my own power, which ain’t much, believe me! I am learning that the farmer/preacher thing is very, very possible though. There’s getting to be less and less preaching like someone else would preach, just start talking like if I was talking to a bunch of farmers and I must say, I can sense things perk up in the pews when that farmer mode kicks in. Then it gets easier and easier! That’s when it relates to many, even when they ain’t farmers. The fella that cornered me today wasn’t a farmer, but a local businessman. Same thing in many ways. And it touched him deep down!

Where will this all go? I have no idea. But I know that no matter what I’ll be a farmer. This farm will not suffer because of the Lord’s service. If anything it will thrive more and more because of following the Lord of heaven and earth and not following the normal path. And the more and more I look around the internet and research farmer/preachers I know I’m not alone in this. There were many years ago and there still is a fair number here and there through out the south and mid-west. I just wanted to record these thoughts tonight, for myself mainly. I can’t wait to keep writing in the vein that I’ve been writing in lately. Tonight was just for recording some simple thoughts, and any reader can just glance over them for now. Coming up will be some interesting stuff here. Going after God like David did, that’s what I want to do! And the funny thing is, a whole bunch of info landed in my lap the last couple of days to really get me going on this. And being David was just a simple country boy there’s some good things in this for country folks!

Published in: on August 23, 2009 at 8:02 pm  Comments (6)  
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Over The Corral Fence

The sun shone for the first time really since this past Tuesday today. Kinda wet around the farm so I was playing around fixing up the silage chopper. I figure that its better to fix it now then wait for silage time and be in a rush. Tomorrow who knows, maybe cut some hay or something on the high grounds. In reality it ain’t so wet that I’d be scared to cut anywhere except the deep meadows. There was a good drying wind today from the northwest and I even wore a long sleeved denim shirt today, my favorite kind, Wrangle pearl snap shirts. Those are about the only shirts I ever wear because I’m so comfortable with them, plus they are very rugged! But seeing I ain’t getting paid by Wrangler for advertising I’ll keep going on to something else!

I’m looking forward to this weekend. I’ll work all day tomorrow and then in the evening go and pick a huge bunch of sweet corn for the third anual fish fry and corn boil some of us do from church. Everyone from church is invited plus anyone alse interested in hanging around us church folk too! The sweet corn is just right and I’m happier than a hog in mud! Then after church Sunday early afternoon drive a few miles from church and get to husking that sweet corn and have some of the folks boil er up while the fish are frying out in the garage. A great time of fellowship and all. My kind of stuff. Then next week if the weather forecast holds out,keep making hay in field after field.

In the comments on the last post I made it known that I can send out little mini booklets to anyone in need of one. This next week I’ll make a side page if there’s a little time so folks can see what booklets that I have available.They’re good ones, simple,written in a country way,or at least I sure can relate to them. As time goes on I’ll get a bigger selection for folks in need of them. A small thing, but every once in a while a life changer!

I always figure this blog is like talking at the loading dock at the feed mill or at a corral fence, leaning on the fence just shooting the breeze with faith the main subject.  Give it a good mix of cattle talk, crops, horses, whatever, and there still ain’t no way to escape God in the talk cause that’s the most important thing in the whole mix. Two of my most memorable moments in spreading the Word of God have happened at a corral fence.Must be something about it. Maybe that’s where I belong witnessing, declaring the love of God, and how Jesus is the only way. Something about a corral fence, outside like that, a good smattering of cattle manure to add to the atmosphere and I’m in my cathedral! In my pulpit! I hope it carries over to the internet too. It gets written the same way I talk it, I can tell you that!

So this evening I’ll just leave er at that. The days are getting shorter so in a while more time can be spent here in the evenings. More things can be done to spread God’s Word and promises to any and all who are interested. We serve a good God and I’m more than happy to do my share.

After God’s Own Heart!

At our church the teachings and sermons as of late have had to do allot with David, a man after God’s own heart. Add that to the fact that in my daily Bible readings I’m reading in Psalms, many of which were written by David himself and a person like me can sure see how David was after God’s heart! I was just listening to the CD from last evening’s service and haven’t quite finished it yet but I’m all excited to say the least. In his family David was considered the least but God doesn’t see things the way we people see things, Praise the Lord! No, He sees what’s in a person’s heart. None of the phoney bologna that us folks can put on fools God.

And the way I look at it the story of David can teach a person wanting to find God many things. There’s a common bond even though its three thousand years later now. David was a country boy, the last of all the brothers. Tending the sheep and who knows what else. Out there in the countryside every day while many in the family could pursue what could be seen as better and more important things. Kinda like nowadays when a person farms, family farms. It seems like most folks  just seem so high class with their jobs, their careers, their fancy homes, their toys and such that are boughten to give them satisfaction, boughten because they are looking for something they haven’t found yet, and never will along that path. Oh they go to church, get involved and all, but the heart’s direction is shown loud and clear by just a quick glance at the material toys that are possessed.

Sometimes I think one of the greatest blessings a person can ever have is to be broke. You heard me, broke! That really goes in the face of the modern, very far in the ditch prosperity preaching, but I do believe that aperson has a better chance of turning themselves towards God when there’s nothing standing in between them and their Saviour. And if they ain’t broke and have a nice sum on hand, to act prudently, give generously and stay as simple as possible. Well, David, being the youngest of the brothers didn’t have all to much hope for success in life in the system back in those olden days. And being stuck with the shepherding job all day long, mostly every day, alone, he got to know God! How one might ask that pops into this blog and takes a read? David seen God’s hand in all the creation around him as he was out in the field, he simply would talk with God over the long, long hours alone out there. Kinda like a Christian farmer does nowadays! Hauling manure, working the fields, doing pasture work, whatever, talking with God day in and day out!

I’ve written about this off and on many times over the last few years, talking with God while a person is farming. Alone hour after hour, doing mundane jobs that have people in what is considered a much better society look down their noses at you. It used to bother me, bothered me allot. But over the last couple of years I’ve come to realize that when a farmer spends his day working and talking to God, going after God’s own heart, what the world thinks is really not very important at all. Reading the Word every evening and discussing it during the day with God Almighty is about as fine a life as anyone can ever ask for.

A person could say,”Tom, yes I kinda agree but David was far from perfect”. Exactly! Name one person that “is” perfect! David did some pretty big public crimes and mistakes, but one must remember how we’d act with almost absolute power.That’s not the issue here, the issue is how David would come running back to God for forgiveness, and how God would forgive. In the natural David had to live with the consequences his sins produced, some terrible things, but he always ran back to God and God always forgave. This is the same God as now, no different. A God that is always ready for us to cry out to Him when we screw up bigtime. One who is merciful and forgiving. And most importantly, one who loves us more than any human being could ever imagine! That’s my God!

As I write about how David was after God’s own heart, how David loved God, one thing should be mentioned. David loved God so much that he wouldn’t back down even in the face of the impossible! Take the fight with Goliath for example. No one in all Israel would take Goliath on. David not only took him on, but ran to him in the fight! Because David knew God’s heart, a simple shepherd boy knew God’s heart!

Is something like this possible today with myself, or anyone reading this? The answer is yes! A person can go to church all their life,they can get wisdom beyond belief, but its nothing like going after God’s own heart. While on this earth, in this life, this is my only passion! Day in and day out, to pursue God, to talk with Him all the time, day and night! To Praise His Holy Name! Anyone can do this! We don’t have to be high and might, wealthy and wise, nope, just simple and pursuing a God that could never love us more than He does now. He’s waiting for us to chase Him, to let nothing stop us from finding Him. And like David, when facing opposition, knowing that God is with us all the way!

I added the first part of Psalm 103 tonight. A praise from David!

Psalm 103

A psalm of David.

1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

6 The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

I can just imagine that country boy from three thousand years ago praising God out in the field! I love writing this so much its hard to describe!

We Are More Than Conquerors

This was a very busy week around here and the later part of the week was down right hot for this area this year! Did allot of hay cutting, allot of baling and got all of the straw home that was baled the week before. The hay that was planted with the oats is really taking off this year and we needed to get that straw off the fields before the hay growth made it too high. Don’t want to be driving over nice lush hay if a feller can help it!

I guess the busyness mighta showed on this blog because of lack of posts and such. But such is life when a person is farming and for the next few weeks I don’t see it slowing down much. The corn crop is about as good as it gets. Most plants have two cobs, many have three, and all full sized! Amen! And to top it off when it comes to the sweet corn department, well, we had us the first eating corn yesterday evening and was it a special treat! I was going to have some tonight but it was raining and I didn’t quite feel like going out into the field where its planted to pick some. I would if this was a week from now when its easy to just grab any old cob and its probably good, but now I’d have to do some looking, close looking for enough for supper. And let any rain that wants to fall, fall. We ain’t short but we’re not flooded out either and its been many a year since I seen anything like this year! Glory to God, what a beautiful year in these parts!

Tomorrow’s church and I’m ready for that! Don’t have to do anything there tomorrow that I know of except sit on my butt so there’s no getting anything ready this evening. To tell you the truth I was thinking about going to a rodeo here in central Minnesota this evening but it really ain’t the kinda evening to be sitting on the bleachers. Oh well, I think there’s at least on more this year locally. I kinda like that kind of entertainment, relaxes me!

With any luck at all I’ll be able to post a bit more coming up, the evenings are getting darker a tad bit sooner than what they were so that gives me a tad bit more time. Then as the days get allot shorter I can spruce this blog up and do some of the things I had planned on doing, but summer kinda got in the way. So many good things a person could do if there was a little more time. I take this ruralministry stuff rather seriously, but I don’t do it to work my way up, cause that’s not the way it works! Saved by grace is how it is. This past Wednesday we had us a sermon or a teaching about how much God loves us and how we can be like David, after God’s own heart. Very few sermons ever affected me like that one did, and I listen to allot of sermons! And this was at our little church to boot! I truly have to follow that vein in the coming weeks because once a person understands some of that it makes Christianity a whole new ball game. It tears away the man made religion and goes right to God’s heart! And around the internet especially a person can find allot of stuff labeled Christianity that really is not. This is not a denominational thing or anything like that, walking with God certainly is different than what many teach nowadays, both on the right and on the left. I love this from Romans 8.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“ For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

I’ll probably cover some of this in the next few days, because this is the meat and potatoes of any rural ministry. The beautiful promises of God to His children. The being able to know that when we fall we should just get right back up, hold our hands out to God and let Him lift us up again, right now. Not to dwell in self pity,or self condemnation! In my daily Bible readings I’m in the Psalms and to read them out loud just brings me right up out of life’s troubles and miseries. Oh, there’s always plenty of that to go around and when one realizes what being a child of God truly means, how He took us, and not by anything we did, and loved us and sent His Son to take our punishment, our well deserved punishment, and adopt us as sons and daughters of the Father, well, what can a person say! I just gotta praise Him!

Yes, I’ll try and follow this train of though coming up. There’s too much gloom and doom, to much this and that, to much we gotta do this, we gotta follow that. No, its time to really look at who we are, how we were saved, and to those eternal promises that are every where in the Word! The last few days, on the tractor, in the pastures, any where I was working I just kept saying out loud that God loves me! Hundreds of times a day. And saying out loud that I am a child of God. I tell you, if there’s any advice I’ll ever give to any blood bought believer its to proclaim that all the time! The relationship we have with God strengthens tremendously when a person proclaims to heaven and earth their true standing! And better yet, proclaim verses 37 thru 39 as written above till it becomes a part of you, flowing out of your spirit, proclaimed with your mouth to heaven and earth, and just see what happens in your walk with God. I know it strengthened me more than I ever imagined!

A Moment To Remember

Cutting hay, cattle moving, that just about wraps up the day around here. Just came in from gathering around 20 cow/calf pairs from a neighbor’s pasture that I rent. They have it pretty well eaten down and the calves are figuring that another neighbor’s corn field is the place to be.  So a little while ago the eldest daughter and myself gathered em up in the brush, and also did some spead running outside of the fence with the six calves that decided to make the outside of the pasture their home. Getting wild beef calves in is not foot work, its four wheeler work, and fast to boot. There’s no such thing as bringing them to a gate and running them through, first of all, all of the cows would run out of an open gate so that takes care of that idea. No, I just run em till they freak out and crash the fence back into the pasture. One thing always amazes me, how those calves have not the slightest problem getting out every day, but there sure does seem to be a big problem getting back into the pasture! Anyway, we got em locked up in the neighbor’s front pasture and tomorrow morning I’ll bring that herd home for a few weeks and let that brushy pasture they were on recover.

Cutting hay these past couple of days has me in awe! Its doing so well! How many years in a row we didn’t even get a second crop because of droughts and now its almost like payback time! So I’ll keep hammering away at those hay fields, plenty more to do this summer yet and I do believe it’ll take me till fall to get er done. But there won’t be much need about thinking about purchasing hay for this winter! And while cutting hay these last couple of days I have time to think, of course, to dwell on things. The biggest thing on my mind is an incident that happened this past weekend. Its really been in my thoughts. As mentioned in the previous post, we went to a Gospel concert, or what ever a person would want to call it this past Saturday evening. Details are in the previous post.  Now that kinda thing is right up my alley, so to speak. I was always much more comfortable in a praise and shout church than in a dead pan religious church, its just the way I am. One thing though, in church I’m usually fairly quiet, more like reserved. I shouldn’t be, but that’s the way its been.

At the Southern Gospel service I really had a great time! At this old school, praise and shout Church of God that we were visiting even I loosened up. I was clapping my hands till they were sore, I was shouting, at a fairly low level, “Amen”. OH I was having the time of my life. And some of the characters in that church we visited were shouting up a storm, let me tell you, which further helped to loosen me up more cause I’d have to be pretty loud to blend in! After a great hour and a half of old fashioned, foot stomping, hand clapping, praise shouting Southern Gospel music it finally came to an end. I just had to visit their table with CD’s and stuff, bought four of em, and soon it was time to meander out the door and down the steps, find our car, (which wasn’t that hard to do cause it was right over on the side of the church), and head home.

As we were leaving there were a couple of people at the bottom of the outside steps. One was the loudest person in the place shouting praises during the Gospel show. So I figured I’d say high and see you later. Just passing by type chit chat. You know how it is. Besides that guy shouting them praises and always raising his hands in the air in pure joy is the kind I want to spend a couple seconds with. I truly admire someone who lets loose for God. What he told me is something I’ll never forget as long as I live, and I mean it. He said hi and all that stuff and then when right into telling me about his day. He was told that very day that he would die from the cancer they had just discovered in him. I was totally speechless, couldn’t offer a prayer if I tried, couldn’t hardly say anything, and that’s rare!

He said that he was God’s, he was born again to the bone, he was had no fear of his standing with God, but the devil was making a full blown attack on the only thing that he could possibly hit, his body. As I said, I was speechless, and now I know why. A person could listen to hundreds of sermons, could read hundreds of books on faith but I witnessed a person with faith in God that literally shook me to the very marrow of my bones. That had never, ever happened before in my walk with God. Incredible faith, incredible love for God, to be able to praise and shout, to be clapping to the music, to stand with his hands in the air to our Saviour, after finding out what he found out that very day. Think about it, dwell on it, I sure am.  He wasn’t moping around, he was on an all out attack against the forces of hell. A testimony that is hard to top, letting loose for an hour and a half, I would have thought that he didn’t have a problem in the world! In fact that’s what I did think during the service!

Those that know me know that I like hanging around real folks, not phonies, not people that act all high and mighty, all dignified and that. No, I like the regular working class grunts, the farmers, the folks that are considered that low class by a world that’s spiralling to hell fast. That’s mostly what the crowd in that little, old fashioned Church of God were. Not wealthy, many just plain poor folk, but they had something that allot of dignified churches lack, they were happy, they were joyful in the Lord! I want what they got! As I wrote, this had more impact on me than hundred of books of faith, more than hundreds of sermons. A living testimony, a hand clapping, praise shouting, devil stomping man that has all of hell hitting him. A poor working class grunt that has more faith and love for God than most Christians I’ve ever met. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. In all my Christian walk, no moment has ever had more impact on me, no moment has changed the way I think and act more than that one. And I’m hanging onto it!

Weekend Update

Just winding down here on a Sunday evening.Beautiful summer weather today, low eighties and partly cloudy, light wind, doesn’t get much better than that. Last evening we went over to the county seat and had us some Southern Gospel music, from Georgia to boot. We had the privilege to listen, clap and shout to the group named The Keffers. Just click on their name here and it’ll take you to their site. I was about to do back flips and just go basically out of my mind when they hit the fast stuff! Good evening, praising and shouting.

Today after morning chores we headed about 25 miles west of here to a baptism service put on by our country church. Perfect day, down by the river! Private land, park like spot, mowed grass, clean river banks, doesn’t get much better than that! Now us country folk are a different breed I guess. Anyway that’s what some of the folks attending told us later in the day. Folks that were used to big city life. Just before the service was to begin in that beautiful spot there was a single gunshot a couple hundred yards away to the northwest, and of course country folk don’t give it a second thought, of course us folk probably don’t know the fear that might send down a city slicks spine! And in a minute or so we had us the answer of what the gunshot was meant for cause the whole area smelled of fresh sprayed skunk! Durn, talk about bullfrog luck! But the Lord in His tender mercies only allowed the smell to settle in for a couple minutes and all of a sudden there was no more smell so I ain’t complaining about that at all!

Well, the folks needing the dunking in the river got dunked and after that we hit the pot luck meal which was about as good as it gets! Amen!

Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 7:54 pm  Comments (4)  
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Sifting The Wheat

We’ve had us a basically wet day today, rain this morning and now its misting or drizzling outside.We just got back from a close town, we went to the cafe there, my wife and myself, to celebrate the grain harvest being done. A ten minute drive, reasonable prices and food that’s just durn good! And being that it was a slow day around here that put me in a different mood of sorts, a relaxed mood, something rather rare in summer time. Oh, there’s still work out there to do, allot of work, and allot of hay making to do this month yet, but it looks like this winter the thought of buying feed and wondering how we’ll get through the winter won’t be crossing my mind all that much. On days like this when the noon nap is long and the work is lite, I get in that simple mood, the mood where much of my writings started with years ago, just down home simple!

Thinking about the old ways, thinking about that old time religion, thinking about the simple ways of living out here.Now we ain’t Amish or something like that, we have this computer, cars, truck, what have you, but its simple! And I was thinking about how over the years I’ve written about our little rural church and how over those years so many people would write and wish they could be having that experience too. The yearning for simplicity. This week when I preached on Wednesday evening I did an Alamo stand, or that’s what I call it anyhow. I spoke of how I drew a line in the sand and anyone that crossed it gave up any other fancy ideas about different ways or religion. I spoke how our family is dead loyal to our little country church, not looking to the right, now the left. And since this time a freedom has come over me that cannot be described!

I spoke about an area here where there is very little God in the equation. But there will be! A few years ago the very first vision I ever had in our little church was how it would send out! How it would reach into every nook and cranny in the region, setting a Holy Ghost fire in the countryside. I believe that vision will be coming to pass in the future! I think back to reading and reading about how the Holy Ghost fires spread across rural America years ago, the stories were almost unbelievable, and I know that this will happen again, only on a larger scale! Why do I believe this so? Well, if I was a regular person, (which believe me, folks say I’m not), I’d say that church has been at a basic standstill for quite some time. But recalling that vision from years back I can see God working in all of this. God has been sifting the wheat, shaking it back and forth, letting the weed seeds drop through the screen or get blown away by the wind!

Now, in farming when a fella is saving seeds to plant in the field you just don’t take some bin run grain,put it in the seeder and get out there and plant. Cause if you do that field will be choked out with weeds. You have to run that seed through a fanning mill. That separates the weed seeds from the good grain. Then you take the clean grain and fill up the seeder and go plant out in the field. In a sending out church, the operations of the church can be likened to the fanning mill, there’s screens shaking back and forth separating the weed seeds out, and any that survived that must go through the wind that the fanning mill makes in the final operation. That blows out the lite seeds at were the same size as the grain seeds and would have made it through the shaking process.

I believe in a church that God has His eyes on, that there’s a shaking going on and a good wind to top it off. By the end of the operation the planter is left with clean seed. And in our little church I think the fanning mill operation is just about wrapping up and its time to plant! Glory! Now getting back to simplicity, today I had this unction, get em every once in a while, that told me that there’s going to be a move of God out in the countryside and we’d best get ready. And I know the feeling when God is setting things up, setting people up, setting churches up. That shaking! When I look at it all from a farming perspective, (which by the way is extremely Biblical), I almost jump for joy when the realization hits! It soon time for the fields!

And I ain’t worried about some big sofisticated thing we have to do, no I ain’t! The biggest moves of God spread because of joy in the Lord, not some well executed plan! The one thing I know, it won’t be business as usual, no it won’t! Never was years ago either when the Holy Ghost swept the heartland! And, here’s something I believe is almost a rule, it happens when most say it can’t! Yup, when things look down right bleak, when it looks like nothing is getting anywhere, that’s when I get excited! Different huh? because God gets the Glory! Not a church or a group of people, it all God and He loves doing what people say is unlikely or impossible. He loves moving bigtime when others say He’s left! Oh Glory, I’m getting excited now I tell you!

So on this simple weekend, I figure on going to the county seat tomorrow evening to a Church of God, where we know some folks and the pastor and sit back and listen to some Southern Gospel music, all the way from Georgia, visit, snack, what ever! Then this Sunday we get to go to an outdoor service about twenty five miles away. Our church’s Baptismal service and its the real thing, you know, Shall We Gather At The River! Eat, fellowship and have us a good simple time! Getting the saints equipped, doing what we’re supposed to do! Lord, I’m ready! Ready for the move that’s coming! What a privilege to be born for a time such as this!

Published in: on August 7, 2009 at 7:16 pm  Comments (5)  
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