Rural Outcasts

Fall is in the air around here and water is on the ground.I never checked but we musta picked up over an inch today again.I was soaking wet this noon from morning chores, being all of my chores are outside, year round. I kinda notice the weather. Maybe it’ll dry out a bit starting tomorrow and things can get a little bit back in order around here. The silage pit is covered up with plastic and loaded down with a few hundred old tires to keep it from blowing off to the east coast. Now its mainly cattle work with a healthy dose of field work thrown in for good measure. And with fall comes thoughts of weaning calves, turning weaned off cows out into fields and meadows to save on feed that is stored. Plus it really fattens the cows and gets them in a well tuned up shape for when the blast of winter hits in a couple months, (or sooner).

Sales barns usually get hopping this time of year too with the yearly calf run. Most folks do sell in fall but we don’t. Most of the time I prefer January. Seems to work good for us, backrounding calves and taking their weights up a little higher. The prices are fairly good then to with the heavy fall run trickling out and buyers still wanting to fill their pens. The last few years selling fat steers directly to customers right off the farm has cut into the number we sell at the sale’s barn but we still sell a nice lot of calves every year. I was thinking about that today, how I do enjoy the salebarn way when it comes to selling calves. Of course a feller had better have a good salesbarn to go into the equation, that does help matter some!

In the salebarn “culture” are some of the misfits of society that most “normal” people have very little to do with or want to as far as that goes. I always termed it as good old boys, and that’s basically what they are. Most are day workers because most salebarns only have a main sale once a week and sometimes have special sales in season or have an occasional horse sale or something that isn’t in the normal schedule. And I’ve always noticed when I’m around folks like that I’m drawn to them for some strange reason. I always wondered about that, I’ve always got along perfectly with most of em and can understand the way of life and the way we talk.

Now there are some pretty rough characters here in this bunch I’m talking about. But I trust em. And they seem to trust me so that’s always a plus. Same with many of the other “lower class” jobs around rural areas, the folks are easy to get along with.Many people pretty well stay away from folks like this but it seems I’m most at home with em.Same with some rough and tumble farmers, their places ain’t the prettiest, in fact they ain’t the prettiest, but that’s where I seem to be more than comfortable. Junk men too, many having good hearts and would go that extra mile for a feller, are pretty well thought of as the low class by the people that have found that comfortable nitch in life where they think they’re country but truly love suburbia. Now I ain’t got nothing against someone that wants more and more stuff, that wants everything to be brand new all the time so they can better their neighbors and impress relatives, but I truly would hate to be in that bondage of thinking that is what life is all about.

I think about the Gospels, allot, I read em over and over till they become a part of me right down to the very marrow of my bones. How Jesus went to the outcasts, the compassion He had for them, and still does. There is room for folks to do as Jesus did, to still take the Gospel to the outcasts. In rural areas its generally figured that being there’s churches in every town that the area is pretty well covered but that truly is not the case what so ever. And remember, I write this as one who truly loves the rural church. A person would have to be spiritually blind though not to see that the multitude of churches are not even making a dent into the rural population. There are suffering folks out in the country and to be very, very honest, and not pointing fingers at all here, the churches are satisfied mostly playing church and doing things the way they have always done.I was talking to an area pastor and to my surprise he agreed one hundred percent with me. No defensive walls came up at all and I truly was blessed finding someone who wasn’t ignoring these facts.

You know, there comes a time in a fellers walk that he just gotta turn away from the crowd and do what supposed to do and not worry what folks thing or say. We say that we have Jesus in us, or that’s what we say in Children’s Church anyhow, but sometimes I really wonder about that. Would Christ be satisfied just coming to church all the time and doing the church stuff, doing the programs, acting the act, putting on that nice churchy show. The more and more I read the Gospels the more convinced I am that He wouldn’t. In fact I believe He is grieved at how the organization called the church becomes the central point in our supposed faith walk. I submit to you that it is not!

Oh Lord, how we get caught up in things, how we get caught up in the traditions of men. How we feel church is where its at. How we get in our rut and figure that this is how church is supposed to be and that’s how this should be run in church. I truly don’t care because Jesus truly doesn’t care! Its not that important! Come judgment our Lord isn’t going to ask me how many programs I did in church,how many times I spoke, was I popular in church or wasn’t I. He’s going to ask me what did I do with what He gave me! I have to remind myself every day, there’s a judgment coming, for me, and I can’t say, well my pastor can speak for me, or ask my church. God doesn’t care about that. He will want me to show what I did for Him.

So I ask myself, what is ministry? Is it a position, a title, a business? Or is it being the feet of Jesus, the hands of Jesus, the mouth piece of Jesus? Is it being all refined and proper or is it going to the outcasts as the Lord did?


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey Tom,

    I was doing some catching up on the blog here and I saw the Cowboy Church video in the last post. I have to say that would be my kind of church!

    Ya know, I find fellowship with the Lord in the most lowly of places. Fancy buildings never did impress me. I feel closer to God in a cathedral of maple trees or even while I slip slide may way through a yard full of chicken manure doing morning chores than in some civilized $500 thousand dollar structure filled with Sundays best, strait laced prim and proper suit and ties.

    To me, church is where we’re at. Church is people. Church is a picturesque sunrise or sunset. Church is a rainbow after a warm summer rain. Church is a sky full of a billion stars.

    Sure am enjoying your posts these days brother!

  2. Morning Russ!

    This kinda thing has a strong draw on me! Many folks probably don’t like it but such is life. You know, I wouldn’t mind little churches like that springing up all over the countryside! We went to one of those probably about 12 years ago or so quite a ways from here and I still haven’t forgotten it! I loved it! I’ll be checking one out about an hour south of here one of these days and if all goes well I plan on bring things like this into this area too!

    You and me think allot alike and I sure am glad you enjoyed the video, cause I sure did!

    God Bless!

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