Feeling Alone

A Monday evening and its the last day of November. This past October was nothing but wet and cloudy, but it looks like November made up for it. As I write there’s harvesting going on in every direction from this place. As I have written several times before, we are done with all of ours except for around eight acres of picking corn. That stuff can wait till April or so before it gets picked cause if I picked it now it’d just rot in the cribs. Much to high of moister yet to consider cribbing so I figure let nature do its job instead of me worrying about it. The deer move out of that area in winter so there shouldn’t be much damage by them four hoofed critters, plus the fact there’s going to be corn here and there left standing by folks with the same mindset as mine.

Well, with the big holiday weekend over with I can say that there ain’t much to complain about around here. I don’t get sucked up into much of the stuff that regular society says we should get sucked up into. In other words, I didn’t go shopping or anything like that. Although I did attend a horse auction this past Friday evening for a while. Then again I don’t know if attending a horse auction is exactly what the big money folks figure I should be doing with my holiday weekend.  I kinda enjoyed that, didn’t spend anything so that was a successful evening if there ever was one. Yesterday at church was very good. I even talked a tad and it came out fairly smooth, only two major mistakes that I know of and I don’t know if anyone else caught them. Talked about faith, and that’s one of my favorite subjects because its impossible to please Him without it!

Ephesians 2:8 (New King James Version)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

How many years and years of church attendance I spent without ever really hearing that. In fact, never hearing that! Just follow the “church”, just do all your duties. Don’t think, just follow. No wonder I was totally turned off from organized religion for so long. Dead religion, no hope, just what seemed like misery. But like countless folks through over the last couple hundred years the Word of God got to me, despite religion’s attempts to hide the facts. The feeling of being set free is almost indescribable!

Now, life is totally different. Oh, there’s still allot of ups and downs, but for the most part, its more than blessed! Anything that ain’t blessed is where I probably am still holding on with my fleshly ways. But as time goes on those fleshly ways start to weaken and gradually disappear. The Spirit Filled life takes over more and more!

I think the biggest problem, and I mean this, that modern American church goers have is that we want to have one foot in the world and one foot in the heavenly kingdom. Trouble is it don’t work out that well. Now this should alienate me from some but then again I won’t be judged by some, I’ll be judged by Him. This past Thanksgiving I go through my annual repulsion. This is where the Holy Ghost literally repulses the body from something. No, I ain’t talking about food or stuff like that. The Spirit knows I don’t over eat, (not too much anyhow). Besides, I need my calories to work around this outfit. I’m talking about something that many folks don’t even think of. On TV, and it sure seems like folks have enough of them big ones nowadays, this past Thanksgiving I was “exposed” to them. We don’t have TV except for DVDs and videos, no network or satellite or anything like that. Its been that way for the last few years around here.And those few years are like centuries when a person hasn’t had TV and is exposed to it now. It has changed drastically! And this is only over a short period of years. Football was on the TV, which I have no interest in what so ever. But I ain’t against football either. Don’t bother me either way.

The repulsion, and its truly physical, is from the commercials. How far we’ve fallen and don’t even realize it! Being daily brought down into hells gates. The most bothersome thing in my heart is the fact that so many ministers of the Lord are totally immersed into this snare from the pits of hell. Oh, I sound like some wacko here I know, but the sad fact is that its true! We invite hell right into our homes and wonder why life is so bad at times. We wonder why our faith never seems to produce any powerful results.Its easier to go to a non Spirit Filled church, go through the motions and come home and set our fat butts down and let hell right into our living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and heck, probably they have those flat screened hellevisions in the bathrooms too!

Do we really want to snub the Cross? Do we really want to crucify Christ over and over again in the name of leisure, an American pastime? One of the saddest things for me to see is seeing God’s anointed ministers falling, falling slowly but surely as they allow the gates of hell opened into their living rooms. Then to take it a step further they will even have Super Bowl parties in church. Now if it was just the game, I can see nothing wrong with it. But they’ve given the keys of the churches to the devil, and the deeds too, by allowing the world to pour out its filth in what was once thought of as a house of worship.

See what holidays do to me? Living a Spirit Filled life a person takes no interest in these worldly things, especially not when its the open gates of hell pouring out its filth into supposedly Christian homes. Sometimes I feel lonely on this old ball called earth. The acceptable thing is to go to church, to act the act, and think nothing of living in sin when a person gets home.I want to just cry when I think about it. Church, church, there is a God that is the God of the universe. There is a God that is holy and wants for His children to be holy. Why do we throw it all away? Why?

We praise God on Sundays and after that give Him the boot and live like the devil the rest of the week. This is not a game, this is reality! We cannot invite the fleshly lusts of the world into our homes and expect to someday reach our heavenly home. It doesn’t work that way, not at all. And especially for pastors who have been entrusted to deliver the Gospel, to be having an allegiance with hell right in there own homes is totally unacceptable. Some “tough guy” pastors might think it makes them macho, but they’re nothing more than wimps of hell, inviting the world into their homes like that.

I ask myself, where are the Christians? Where are those that would stand up to the gates of hell and truly declare the Gospel? There’s a form of religion, as the Bible say, in these last days. I’ll take a faith that might make me look like some sort of back country hick, but I’ll stand on that faith! This is one of the many reasons for a powerless church in America today. Powerless in almost every way. Society marching on, spreading death at every doorstep, and the church, the so called church, well they’re sitting in their homes watching hell’s review. Enjoying the false promise they have in their heads where they think they can have God and have the world too. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.

How could anyone that truly gave their hearts to Christ do such things? How can they justify it. I feel like Jeremiah, alone in this. I say things like this probably to be ridiculed, laughed at. But the tragic thing is, what I say is true.





Colossians 3:17

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Tonight on the eve of  Thanksgiving its cooling down outside and there’s a brisk northwest wind blowing. All is well though around here and I’m looking forward to the morning because allot of the mud might be froze and make for some easier walking. Late this afternoon I smoothened the ruts in the mud that the skidsteer loader has made the last few days feeding cattle so if it freezes the mud hard it won’t be so durn bumpy feeding in the morning. Today not allot got done,just brought some equipment home from across the county road now that the cow herd is home from there.The equipment consisted of a power generator that gives me electricity out there in a remote pasture setting. Its allot cheaper running a generator than having power put in.I don’t think I use ten gallons of gas a season out there pumping water for the cows. Another thing brought home was the electric fencer and a large solar panel we have rigged up with that set up out there. The electric fencer is our high powered on that almost equals a top of the line plug in fencer, but it is a tad bit hungry for electricity.The solar panel extends the battery life about a day this time of the year to a total of two days before the battery goes dead. But I tell you, its worth it cause that fencer isn’t some little tickler! It’ll knock em on their butts!

This Thanksgiving I am kinda settling in for a good one the way I figure it. The first time in a few years where there’s plenty of feed around here, a surplus as a matter of fact. The cows are rolling fat, just the way a feller wants em to be when the north winds blow and its thirty below zero. All is well with the family as the girls keep getting older and the days of having a full nest around here are coming to a close. The next few months this cattleman will be working on getting the oldest into Bible College and that’s all new to me. I never dreamt years ago that I’d be having children going into ministry, heck I never dreamt that I’d be in ministry as far as that goes. But the Lord works in mysterious ways! Was thinking about that today, about leaving a legacy where the family works for the Lord. That sure would have never happened if this crusty beef cow guy wouldn’t have wandered into a little Bible believing church in a very small rural town a few years ago.

Thankful? Yes,very! Life has its ups and downs, its good times and rough times but our Lord is worthy to be praised through them all. Blessed is the word. Very blessed, no matter what happens, this family is blessed! I was praising the Lord when I brought home the hams and bacon that just got done today in town three miles away. Award winning bacon, they say its the best in the state. Add that to home raised pigs that were raised heavily on garden scraps and every time I have some bacon sizzling in the stove top I can be praising the Lord in thanksgiving. Tomorrow for thanksgiving I’ll be having a new treat, besides the traditional I get to eat some buffalo ribs. Now we ain’t making them, but where we’re going about an hour from here they say they do em up right. Well, I sometimes rant about to many traditions so now I get to eat like I write, non traditional! If they’re really good I’ll probably write about them!

This coming weekend I plan on going to a livestock event, just to be there. A feller never knows what will come up, but I figure that a person representing Jesus is needed sometimes at things like that. The Lord put it on my heart to just show up. So that’s what I’ll do. Don’t know where that’ll lead, but a fella just has to be obedient, let the Lord take care of the details. As I sit here writing I’m listening to the northwest wind howling here where the northern plains meet the northwoods. A land of allot of livestock. Everywhere you turn there’s cattle or horses. By the thousands when you add up the area. Rolling hills with fields and woods, rivers and lakes. A nice area. And its a privilege to be able to do the Lord’s work here. There’s so much coming I wonder how a person can even attempt to do any of it, but these are the days of the harvest and the workers are needed.

One thing set me at ease a while back. That’s the fact that it’s the Lord’s ministry, not mine. In America,or this society we tend to think by the numbers. God don’t look at it that way. He thinks by our obedience. He wants obedience. When He says go, then go. If not a single thing happens that would put a feather in our hats, the fact that we went is what the Lord is looking at. It took me a while to get that through my skull! Its His ministry, not ours! This frees a person up to do the Lord’s will! So when the Lord says go, then go! In reading the book, Apostle Cowboy Style, this was a huge fact that got imparted in me. And in another book about how Jesus evangelized the thing that stuck out was the fact that Jesus did spontaneous evangelism. Where ever there was a need, there was Jesus. Nothing planned, just walking along and there was an opportunity. An opportunity to set someone free. He took the time with the people that society and religion shunned. He helped the losers that were outcasts. He gave them life. This is what it’s all about as I read the Bible, to help the helpless, to free the captives!

Thankful, yes I am. There’s everything to be thankful about. A new life in Christ that was given freely to someone so undeserving. The impossible made possible! There is nothing bigger than that, nothing!

Gathered Em In

It sure was a murky day in these parts again. That’s a few in a row. But I wanted to get a cow herd home that was south of here before the weather starts to think like winter and even in the murky wet conditions we brought em home with the cattle trailer, load after load and were done around ten this morning.I tell you, it sure does feel good having them cows home because now the chores are all in one place, not scattered all over the countryside. That’ll cut out much of my afternoon work so I can go on to better things instead of being saddled down with here and there chores. I was thinking today that since October 1st we’ve had about nothing but mud around here. Even when you get a few sunny days in a row it doesn’t dry much up because of the sun being so durn low. There isn’t much that’s going to get rid of that mud except for the weather to get cooler and solidify the stuff. In spring it can dry out faster with the sun being so much higher and the days so much longer.

I learned today that I ain’t exactly a spring chicken no more too. Man, running in that mud with knee high rubbers on loading load after load of cows had me nearly doubled up a few times during the festivities. Nope, I ain’t getting much younger, that I can tell you. But then again I’d bet there’s quite a few folk my age that would have a tough time keeping up with me on jobs like that. There is an adrenalin rush for sure, especially when a feller figures he’s about to get crushed by a few huge cows in a narrow spot. Come noon I took a good long nap today, I was durn near done in, but got a good second wind after all of that!

This is my life though, what can I say. I can’t hardly imagine doing anything else. In fact after all of these years what else could I do? It’d be rather difficult having to just follow orders and put in a day, difficult in the mind maybe, but probably easier on the body. That is unless I had a ranch job so I’d have to do allot of the stuff I do now.This is a strange life though.When I think about it and the years keep rolling along, I wonder sometimes how come I was blessed to live like this, that is if you’d call it a blessing! Some I know would call it a curse. But it all depends on how you look at it I guess.Every day, seven days a week a fella works. There’s no days off.  Just some days with less work that others. There is never a day when things go as a feller planned. There’s always something coming up to throw any schedule a person could foolishly come up with right out the window.

That’s the way it is though, every day. There’s no guarantee that I’ll be home at any given moment, ever. A person gets a different attitude in life than what people would figure as normal. No well regimented days, ever! I figure even though the days are totally unpredictable that a person is fairly free living like this. Take for example after the cow moving morning a feller was free to take a little rest, get recharged and get on back out there. When a weekend rolls around there ain’t any desperate longings to go do something for a couple of days cause a person is out in the land where the city folk come to get away from it all. They battle the traffic every weekend coming up from the Twin Cities and battle it back on Sunday afternoon and evenings going back to their home in what they once thought was the place of promise. Only to find out that it ain’t all that hot living like that. I’m glad most live down there though otherwise it would be a tad bit crowded out here!

I got a few good friends that when we talk about this subject we always agree, we’re country and its pretty tough to take us out of the country! Now we might not have them high paying careers like so many have but I know we have something that their money can never buy em, we’re happy! Most of us avoid debt like the plague cause we know that debt will put us into a slavery that a person can never hardly get out of.Wake up in the morning knowing that there ain’t a huge multitude of bills to pay because we just had to have some “stuff” and a feller can walk outdoors, free! I know society figures in order to be a good citizen that we’re supposed to be in debt so that allot of folks can make a living off of us,but I never was one for job creation along those lines.

Nope, just give me this freedom we have, work hard and not only believe the Word of God but act on it too! In ministry a person is free too out here! Not saddled down with trying to act like society wants a person to act. Now I know this gets to some folks that figure you got to dress a certain way and act a certain way if a person is in ministry, but such is not the case with yours truly. The other day I was talking with a pastor’s wife from the big city and I think she mighta thought I was half nuts, which is certainly not out of the question. The way I talk don’t sound like a well groomed preacher and I hope I never figure I’m so special that I gotta talk high faluting! I can’t remember what decade it was when I last wore a suit and a tie, no kidding. I figure if it takes a suit and a tie to stay in a place I’d rather get the boot!

Going formal to me is a pair of black jeans I bought at the co-op and a shirt that I probably bought there too. Add a bolo tie and the black pair of cowboy boots I have for special occasions and I’m set to go. Its no gimmick, that’s life to me, nothing less. I was looking on the web researching all I can about rural churches and particularly cowboy churches and allot of them are alright.But once in a while I hit a denominational church trying to do that.Then I see pictures of the pastor in his western garb, but then I come across when he’s with some other church bigshots and he’s all spiffed up wearing a suit and tie and looking big city. I don’t do that, no not at all. I figure the bigshots can accept me the way I am or else forget it. I ain’t putting on a show. Luckily, and its a blessing, our church and the covering our church has takes no notice of the outward appearance of your’s truly. I guess they look to the inner man, not the outward appearance. Now I ain’t saying I’m a slob, far from it, just country. I mentioned black jeans, Wrangler to be exact, but that’s for very, very special occasions, normally its regular Wranglers, blue and half faded.

Boy, I’m just a rambling on tonight. Must be the mud. But better times are coming and I ain’t complaining one bit. God is good!

Some Other Gospel

Thus ends a beautiful week in these parts. It looks like the weather is going to head south for a while,probably till June, but its that time of year. The time this week was used wisely, bringing in the firewood while the going was good and easy. Working in the woods was like working in a nice park. Didn’t need a jacket most of the time, nor mud rubbers either. So a person was working without a heavy load on the shoulders and feet. Made life pretty nice if you ask me. And with the calendar moving on and the weather getting more and more fickle I figure early this next week I want to bring the cow herd from across the county road home safe and sound.There’s plenty to eat out there yet but I get a bit nervous having them out there this time of year with the possibility of blizzards and all.Its not a simple thing getting them home and it really can get rough with them across the tar road towards the middle of the next section if we get a couple feet of snow and wind. Better to be safe and sound at home where there’s more than enough feed to last right through next summer of need be.

Just got back from the county seat a few minutes ago, figured we could go out to eat in a restaurant once in a great while. Now you may wonder what a beef guy eats when he goes to town on rare occasions like this.Well, I eat steak! Sure I eat steak all the time at home, (and never get tired of it either), and when I go to town I figure on having a cattleman’s meal too. Never was a chicken man, what can I say, although I sometimes eat it on Sundays just for tradition’s sake. Just give me beef and I’m happy! But we’re back home now, resting up for early chores tomorrow morning so I can get to church. Ah, a Sunday with nothing to do in church and this Wednesday there ain’t no Wednesday evening services either so I can relax when it comes to church work for a few days. I never really tire of it, in fact I feed on it. But this will be a welcome break for a few days. Gotta travel an hour this year for Thanksgiving and I’m really looking forward to that! Nice to get away for a few hours and like I said, I hope all the cows are home by that time cause my daily workload will drastically cut back when them cows are home.

This coming year will be a year of new things for me in ministry. My passion for a long time has been to have some country type of services, with music and the whole ball of wax. This on top of what we normally do. But for several years now its been a dream of mine to have some country services, and I mean country! This along with the possibility of having services at different farm and ranch events in the area has me pretty excited! This is my kind of stuff, something I’m at home with. I never was one for regular suburban religion, just a country boy is all. Surrounded by country folk. You give me a band with a fiddle or a banjo and I’m at home. Now I like allot of different kinds of worship music,but it all boils down that I’m still country and that’s who I am.

Through the past few years I’ve blogged about Gospel Barns and such and no matter what I get into with ministry somehow I return to that dream. As for me, all roads seem to lead to a Gospel Barn type of event. And this could be the year that it all starts to come together. It don’t hurt when your church backs you up on this either, let me tell you! So over the next few weeks I’ll see what the Lord whips up and shoves in front of my face. (Hey, it does work like that sometimes!) I know when I start thinking about who should I stop by and visit, about who would be responsive to things like this, it don’t take long to come up with folks.

And now that the fieldwork is getting accomplished in this neck of the woods that also means farm visits will start to pick up.The local farmers will gradually be wrapping up their harvests, some are done already, and then there’s a bit more free time in the evenings to just stop by. I’m excited about it all this winter and for good reason. There’s a King of kings, a Lord of lords that a feller works for that is worthy of everything we can possibly do for Him. He suffered and died for us, and we sure aren’t worthy of that, but He did anyhow, to bring us back to Him. I know one of the most common things many folks say is ” why does God allow suffering in this world, if He were a loving God He wouldn’t allow that.” I used to be perplexed on that one. But now the answer is simple, “if” a person believes the Bible and not having it changed through man made tradition. Here’s where many church folk miss it and miss it big. The train of though that God has everything under total control, where anything that happens is the will of God. That is unbiblical and wrong. And that’s where confusion sets in, thus unbelief and lets just throw in a little misery to give us a total package of misbelief.

Think, if God has everything under complete control, if everything is according to His will, then most folks will be going to hell without a chance or a choice because they are in God’s will to do so. NO, no, no! Its not God’s will that this earth is in sin, its not God’s will that folks live in sin and deny Him. Its His will that we come to Jesus, to be reconciled back to the Father. When bad things happen its not because its God’s will, its because its our will, man’s will, shaking his fist at a powerful and loving God that loves us so much He gave His only Son as a way out of this insanity called the world. A dying world.

I’ll have to touch on that subject. Its a subject that can set people free, releasing them from the lies and bondage of religion that teaches that everything that happens is God’s will. Oh, I can just see some collars getting steamed up over this. But its the most easily proven thing that there is, the truth about the creation of man, the fall of man, and the answer which is Jesus Christ. The reason I like to write about this, and will write about it shortly, is that this is one of the most common things a person hears when bringing the Gospel to folks. The brainwashing that they have received through the years that sends them into despair, that hardens them. I ask, why are people rejecting Jesus around here? The answer is that they were and are being taught something other than the Gospel, (the Good News), of Jesus Christ.

Some Beautiful Days

This week has been far above normal as far as temperatures go. A sharp contrast to the month of October which was way below normal in that department. Its down right pleasant working outside this week with very little if any wind. The last couple of days I figured I’d better get some firewood made for this house. The wood pile was looking rather small out beside the outdoor wood boiler and I had visions of digging through snow in mid winter trying to scrounge up some firewood to keep from freezing to death here. That’s all we burn for this house is firewood and a fella had better have enough to stay comfy through the winter and well into spring. In this area the elms are dying off, again, like they did about thirty years ago and most of them are standing yet and losing their bark. When they die like that the wood really gets good and dry and makes an excellent firewood in the outdoor boiler. I’d hesitate if I had to burn it in an inside stove because it sometimes ain’t perfectly dry, but out there, who cares! No worries about chimney fires with that rig.

Today I had some help around the place and to speed up the making of that kind of firewood we went out in the woods with the skid steer loader.The reason, most of those trees won’t fall all the way down because of all the trees surrounding them. So the solution for extracting all those dead trees from all over the woods and to a place where a fella can saw em up and have a wagon right along side is to pull em out of the thick stuff to openings where a tractor or a pickup can drive into. We cut allot of trees today, some barely even moving a little bit off their stump.Hook up the chain which is hooked onto the loader and pull until they fall down, (the opposite way from the skid steer), and drag em out.We then sawed up a huge truckload before calling it quits and doing the late afternoon chores.Now I’m looking forward to this job the next couple of days, talk about easy street! Just drive the flatbed truck alongside of the drug out trees and get to sawing and load em up without working in the deep brush. A fella couldn’t hardly have it any better than that in my books. Besides, its work like this that keeps me lookin so durn young, (well, I can dream can’t I).

26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

That’s from Matthew chapter 6. I think allot of folks have read this or heard it here and there.Of course these are the words of Jesus telling us not to worry, God will provide.Very true and I sure do want to get that deep in my heart too. But sometimes folks get a little over board as they do on so many things of the Word. I’ve read of folks who figure they don’t have to do anything because if they believe in faith that God will just drop everything in their lap.But the Bible sure don’t say that at all. Notice it doesn’t say that God feeds the bird in their nest. Them birds gotta get out and rustle up the food that God provides, not sit in the nest with their mouths open waiting for something to drop in! Ever think about that?

I think sometimes folks go overboard on the spiritual and can’t see the reality God has provided for them. Our needs are met, but it ain’t a handout. We are expected to do something about it too. Take getting firewood for the winter here on this outfit.God provided the wood, God provided the good weather, God provided the strength and the time to get out there and do the job, and haul it home putting it on a good big stack for the winter. Now I don’t think I’m off when I say, God has provided! Cause He sure did! That firewood wouldn’t have gotten very far if I’da sat in my nest here and spoken that I had faith that the firewood would be provided. God provides, in every aspect and expects us to do our part in the deal.

Besides, if a person really gets right down to it, there’s few jobs in the world where a person can talk to God better than stacking firewood. There’s just something about the job, getting a good healthy workout, out in the outdoors in the fresh, cool air. In these northern climates its a great time to spend hours with our Creator and Lord!

Soon winter will hit, when I don’t know but one thing for sure, it will come. Out here in the countryside with the cattle here and there all around us, the firewood pile getting bigger by the day, the work getting done job after job. This cattleman is a happy and thankful fella. Next week with Thanksgiving coming around there is allot to be thankful for. In fact most everything. This winter there won’t be no skinny cattle, the house will be warm, the days will be short for a few months so a person can regain strength for the work months. Get into the Word a bit more, get out and go from beef raiser to beef raiser,with a few horse folks thrown into the equation and preach the Good News to families that don’t even set foot in a church building, but might if a fella brings them the Good News right to their farm or ranch. Allot to be thankful for is right. God is good, all the time.If we follow Him,it will be good no matter what the world throws at us. Through ever joy, through every trial, God is good and with us all the way!

A Person’s Word

The day started off around twenty degrees, the ground froze a little bit in the early morning but by ten it was all thawed out except in the shade. Butchered two cows today for ground beef. Did a few other things and its dark outside.The days sure do go fast! I didn’t even have dinner at noon today, just worked straight through till supper. A pretty long stretch from 5:30 in the morning till 5:30 in the evening! But now I can sit back with one cup of coffee and write something or at least attempt to!

I’m hearing allot of deer hunting reports from allot of different folks in the area and the numbers harvested are way down this year. It has allot to do with all the standing corn around here. The farmers around here are combining but its going rather slow because of the long drying time per batch. But the moister did drop since early last week and the harvesting in the area is moving along and there’s a few more good days left weatherwise the way it looks. But one of these days the weather will head south and then its a whole new ballgame. There’s even quite a few bean fields in this area yet standing. They had better get going is all I got to say!

One of these days I gotta get at least fifteen yearling steers sold at the salesbarn up north. I’m getting a little over crowded here and will still have plenty of steers and heifers on hand for butchering. With later calving sometimes there’s a few born in mid summer and come time to sell the calf crop they’re just a tad bit to small for me to want to sell them.So I take the tail enders and raise em up. Being small they don’t really take much feed the first winter and come this time of year they’re pretty big and will bring a decent price.Calf prices are a little soft this year but the yearling prices aren’t really terrible so I figure it won’t hurt to get rid of a few before winter sets in. There ain’t nothing like a worry free winter in my books. Relieve a little over crowding, there’s more than enough feed to keep the whole herd fat all winter into a late, late spring, so I only have to gather a bit more dead wood for firewood and it looks like the first winter in years with a surplus. feels different, feels good!

The last post when I was writing about those cowboy Bibles really got me thinking and reminiscing. Thinking about all the cattle deals through the years, thinking about how we do business yet today. And I must say, its different than what “normal” society does. Time after time, day after day, a person does business on nothing more than their word. No contracts or written agreements, no lawyers or advisors, just done the old fashioned way. When I go to town its very seldom I even have a billfold with, or a check book. Just get what I need and pay at the end of the month. A few years ago most places of business around here came out with all these rules and regulations saying a fella couldn’t charge. When I asked,such as at the co-op which changed policy like this, they said, “That doesn’t mean you Tom, we trust you.” Well, I tell you, that was quite an honor! In fact most businesses around here have a no charge policy since credit cards came into being, but in all those places I can go in and pick up what I need, no questions asked.

But ain’t that the way it should be? I can’t even imagine not paying a bill! When I call someone up for something, they jump trying to help, cause they know my word is good. At church too, a person follows through with what a person says they’d do. After a few years it becomes accepted, trusted. The Bible says we are supposed to be Christ like. Jesus said that if you seen Him you’ve seen the Father. The Father’s Word is good. Jesus’ Word is good. So isn’t ours supposed to be good?

Trust worthiness is kinda a lost thing nowadays in many areas of life. But I believe that if a person is following Christ its one of the most important. If we are His ambassadors on this fallen world we should at least have that old fashioned way about us, our word never changing. We mean what we say and follow through. Through the years I remember so many deals that were rather large, all on our word, nothing else. Never was there a bad deal.The worst deal I ever got into was a written contract for cattle years ago, then there’s a thing the world just loves, called fine print. The trick is to get that print so fine that a person signs away what is beneficial to him so someone who’s only goal in life is to steal your money don’t get thrown in jail as they do attempt to steal you and your family’s money. I’m happy to say that I won on that deal, just by invoking the name of the state’s  attorney general. Funny how money flows when a person does that! Of course no money would have flowed back to me if I wouldn’t have mentioned that! So a person can see what kind of people these “businessmen” were. Since then its only the old way of your word and that’s it.

No, you just give me the old fashioned ways and I’m more than satisfied. Where a man goes by his word. If more folks did that there’d be allot less problems. To me this is one of the basic truths of Christianity, that our word must be good. When I sense someone’s word isn’t, I back away quietly. No sense playing the fool. Durn, I didn’t even get any scripture in here tonight. Must be the kinda night just to set down and hash over some things. They all pertain to Christianity, even if a person ain’t quoting Bible verses and such. The way I figure it,a person can help the poor, but no sense in making some money grubbers richer with our family’s hard earned money.

In ministry a person can operate on the same principles, look a person in the eye in all honesty and make one’s word the way it is. Even in ministry there’s folks who’s word ain’t worth a hoot.That’s just the way it is, every one is human, so it should be no surprise that there’s folks in ministry promising this or that and never delivering, never. As I get older and wiser I can accept this as fact. Ministry ain’t something you just trust no matter how much they don’t deliver their word, just because they say they are working for the Lord. In ministry its like anything else, they should be folks who a person could ride the river with!



Standing Behind His Word

Around the cattle yards here are heavy duty corrals. Eight foot rail road ties sunk into the hard clay ground about three feet, firmly packed every six to seven foot apart. Then there are some oak plank nailed onto them with pole barn nails. Anybody who knows what pole barn nails are knows that you can’t pull em back out. Mostly four inch long ones are used unless we run out of them and have to go with longer ones than that. The gates are steel gates, heavy duty boughten ones that don’t bend all that easy. Of course I said all that easy cause once in a while there get’s to be one bent when a cow really presses into it or smashes into it depending on the crazy thing happening at the moment.

In the summer time we take used motor oil and “paint” the oak planks. The wood soaks the oil right up and this really helps preserve the planks. Even though the oak lasts a long,long time, I like having them oiled. Plus its a good kid’s job, oiling them planks. To me a corral is a work of art, in fact any fence building with the exception of a one wire temporary electric is a work of art. Those one wires are usually put up quick and I ain’t all to worried about it. It’s the electricity that holds em in, not the wire. Even on five and six wire barb fence the work put into the detail is allot to say the least. I’m a firm believer in having a “legal” fence. Something that will hold the animals in so I don’t have lawyer worries in the future. The corner post system is strong,very strong. Again all corner posts are rail road ties, with an angle brace which is also a rail road tie that is fit in by chain sawing notches into the upright posts, sawing the perfect angle onto the brace and fitting it in there like a piece of a puzzle.

There’s nothing quite like riding around and looking at the corral systems and fences, miles of fences, and seeing the herds grazing in the grazing months. In the off season its good to have heavy duty corrals that take the worry out of raising a large bunch over winter. Its also good when there’s a spooked critter that really wants to crash through anything and it can’t. That’s satisfaction in a work of art! Over the years I’ve seen so many dysfunctional fences and corral systems that I truly wonder how anyone could attempt to raise beef like they do. Have we had wrecks over the years? The answer is yes. I’ve seen fighting bulls tear down the strongest corral! Luckily that doesn’t happen all to often!

Corral fences are also a great place to sit on! Especially if there’s another cattleman around or even a pile of kids. Its just natural for folks to climb up and sit their butt down and josh a while as they look over the cattle. Now there’s something about a bunch of beef cattle that really sinks in deep with allot of folks, and they don’t have to be cattle raisers either. There’s a relaxing thing that happens in folks. Through the years I noticed allot of folks like to watch the beef cattle while they’re talking. Of course I’m kinda used to watching them, seven days a week, year round, but they even relax me daily. They know my voice, the know the way I walk. They barely bat an eye when I’m around but if there’s a stranger they know it instantly and are on full alert for a while. Gradually they calm down but keep at least one wary eye out on things.

Today, Sunday, Sunday evening to be exact, I’m just thinking about the day to day life. Today at church the case of cowboy Bibles was waiting for me. And this afternoon while I was waiting around pumping water in the fall pasture across the county road to a bunch of thirsty cows I had myself around forty five minutes to look over those Bibles. Well, to be exact I only took one with me in the three quarter ton pickup, but I was paging through and was pleasantly surprised I could read them without my reading glasses! Of course I didn’t hold them all that close, more like pretty extended! I learned that these Bibles were exactly what I was looking for, perfect! Small, but not to small, easy to read, and with a bunch of testimonies and other stuff that strikes interest in the average cattle or horse people. Even the picture of the kids sitting by a corral fence musta struck something in me!

Yep, they passed the test! These are great! These are a good tool! Something many folks can identify with. Here’s a couple of quotes from the first few full color pages;

“The word cowboy has stood for independence, honesty and freedom for more than a hundred years. Its a return to a simpler time where the rich smell of fresh dirt behind the plow or the aroma of a new batch of grain at the feed store was all you needed. A time when a man’s life stood behind his handshake and his word was as good as money in the bank.”

I don’t know about anyone else, but this is different! This is pretty different inside of a pocket Bible! I like it and it stirs me, allot! In this business, in this way of life, just about everything we do is done on our word! I do believe there is allot of that yet in the American cattle business, in fact I know there is. I was thinking about that the other day too. About the deals struck while leaning or sitting on a corral fence. To me this is life and I know it sure ain’t the normal way of living in this day and age.

I see a difference, in ministry too. When approached from this angle. Just the dead on, at my word way of doing things. In the countryside, with beef people and horse people this is the way it mostly is yet. A man stands behind his word. Whether it’s talking about cattle, dealing over cattle or talking about the Word of God, a man stands behind it!


Heading Outdoors

Friday evening has rolled around and its a dark and drizzly night. Allot got done this week and the week ain’t over yet anyhow. The last few days in any spare moment I’ve been out cleaning up a fence line. Box elder trees mostly. Allot of branches on them things for the amount of wood a fella gets. These are younger trees, maybe less than twenty years old, they grow like weeds, especially on fence lines. Give em an inch and they’ll take the field or certainly attempt to! One thing nice, they cut easy and the wood ain’t half bad when dried down for a season. One winter a few years ago I burnt nothing but box elder and it worked out fine in the outdoor wood boiler. It’d last twelve hours between fire ups and the house was good and warm all winter. Not bad from burning a weed the way I figure it. Tomorrow catch a couple cull cows out of the herd for butchering this coming Monday and then I’ll probably fool around making some more wood if all goes well.

Rumor has it that the Bibles I ordered early in the week have arrived and I will be able to pick em up at church this Sunday, Glory! Them’s them cowboy Bibles I was writing about a post or two ago. Funny how things go sometimes, I’ve had similar things happen this past year also. Things fall into place ministry wise without any help from me. I just gotta remember to follow and do the things I’m supposed to do when they plop at my feet. I never dreamt that this is the way it works but for me things sure seem to work out this way.

Oh, I wish I could write about all of the stuff happening but I really can’t cause some of it shouldn’t be let out just yet. Kinda tough for a big mouth like me to keep quiet but I’m learning. This coming year though might shape up into being an interesting one to say the least out here in the countryside. I don’t know how far it’ll all lead but it looks like there’ll be some outdoor church services coming up. These won’t be regular church services for the regular congregation, more of an outreach at events and so forth. Farm and ranch events, to clarify it a bit. I’m really excited about that but at the same time I gotta do a little planning. Not all that much mind you, but still this is uncharted territory for me. For some reason I’m really drawn to this and I sure don’t feel bad about it.

The one thing I love is the fact that a fella will be speaking to a good percentage of unchurched, or backsliders too, and it’ll be different than being in regular church. More out in reality the way I look at it. The message can be simple, direct and not all that complicated. Kinda like some old recordings I came across of Billy Graham in his younger days. Direct, simple and with power! And all the speaking that I’ve been doing in church this past year has helped like you wouldn’t believe when it comes to speaking in front of folks. Something I never done, ever, in my whole life before coming to a little rural, Bible believing church!

Yep, it’ll be strange this coming year. Looking back over the last few years of writing I can see the hunger build to do this sort of thing. Without every realizing that it could ever come to pass. God works in ways we can’t understand or fathom. I believe with everything I got that when He puts a hunger in a person, if that person starts to follow that hunger, that God will open every single door down the path that He has pre-chosen for a fella. A person just gotta be willing to step out in faith and away we go!

Because God’s plan for us is much greater than any plan we can come up with on our own. Why fight it in life, trying to do what we figure is the best way when God’s way is always the perfect way for us. Plus the fact that when we follow God’s plan for us it does set us up allot better in eternity compared to if we go bullheading through life on our own power and plans. I have a feeling a year from now if I’m still on this earth that the writings will be kinda different than now. The same message yes, but I sit here in wonder as I see God setting up things for this coming year out in the rural area that we live in. What different experiences spreading the Gospel will there be by this time next year? Once the “safety” of the church building is no longer surrounding me. Will things look different? Will a person grow and mature more in Christ being out there?

Oh Lord, this draws me like a magnet! In the evenings a fella reads the Bible and books of faith. During the day working with the cattle and doing all the other things that need doing around this place thinking, dwelling, talking to God and the revelations come!


The Same

Another beautiful day here in the Northland! Sunny with a light wind from the south. The cattle were grazing and the deer hunting pressure is low during the week. All the field work was finished up today around this place, all the tillage is done. Cleaned off a platform where I have thirty yearling steers later in the afternoon. And I’m planning on cleaning the lower platform and corrals out tomorrow if nothing else comes up. These jobs I have to do weekly cause with so little evaporation in the air because of the coolness things get a little sloppy fast. One of our ways that we get income is by yearlings, besides selling calves. What really happens is that I take the summer born calves that are to small in my book for selling with the main load of calves and I raise em up. So instead of selling some really little summer calves they go out as some beautiful yearlings. I guess you could call it adding value. Or flat out making more money compared to selling a little thing. They do really good once the bigger calves leave. Looking so small it doesn’t take em long to pick up weight and blossom! Plus it gives me an excuse to sit in the salesbarn during the fall run. Ah, salesbarn coffee,lubricates a fella!

Also today was grinding some feed and the unloading auger literally broke off its base that’s connected to the main mixer. Was able to shut er off in time to save the gears that drive it all.Then lookin at it I figured this was a fine mess to get into. A plump full grinder mixer and the unloading auger’s base busted up.  Then after some careful looking I figures it was fixable and I drove it alongside of the shop and in a half an hour the thing worked better than it ever has in our thirty years of owning that old John Deere 400 grinder/mixer. The thing is I found out many years ago its almost impossible to get parts for that model anymore. I guess they made em to good.They last and last till the manufacturer wants to forget about them. Another adventure under the belt! That got me thinking about how many things we can fix on a daily basis! I mean,it has to be pretty complicated for us to have someone else fix something around here. Plus expensive! A fella has to know about every trade that there is to survive on a place like this. Hmm, maybe that’s why going into ministry was not so difficult of a decision.

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.

The above verses are from Hebrews, chapter 13. For me that means the Word is the same too! I was listening to a ministry school on the internet, in fact I have it on the sidebar of this blog, it’s labeled Glenn Smith sermons but it’s really ministry training. I sometimes put links on the sidebar so I have em, in case this computer loses it’s mind or something. But this to me is the base of a Christian’s belief. What the Word says, such as in the Book of Acts, the church book I call it, is still the same today.With so many folks saying it was a thing of the past, digging deeper and deeper into man made traditions as they go, I want it known that I believe the Word as being the Word, not some guide that we can accept or discard.

This is why I sometimes do tell a real life testimony on how God works, whether it be healing, financial, whatever.With so many folks going so far into the other ditch with these things, making a formula out of them, especially TV evangelists, all I can say is I believe the Word as it is written. Does God want us healed? Yes, or else the Word is lying. Does God want us to prosper? Yes, over and over it is said in the Bible. Now I know some folks really balk at the healing part, they figure they’re glorifying God saying that God wills them to be sick. Think about this, if God wills for you to be sick then when you take a pill, go to the doctor, when you do anything to try and relieve the pain, to try and cure the sickness it is sin, flat out sin. For if it is the will of God that you are sick, when a person tries to do something about it they are directly defying the will of God!

Do you see this reasoning? If God willed it, what right have we to go against His will and still think we are following Him? But thankfully that is not the case. We live in a fallen world and Christ came to deliver us from all the curses of this world. Saved we say,we are saved. Saved from what I ask? Many folks think its just getting into heaven but Jesus came to set us free from this world system! And by that I don’t mean the government or man’s systems so much but from the curses of this world brought by sin. The government will always be over people as long as man is around and in charge, but as Christians in the countries that persecute Christians know, they have a job to do regardless of the government system in place. I look at the Chinese Christians with awe and respect! They know that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.They don’t water it down with man’s traditions! And that church is so Spirit Filled it makes us in the west look dead. They accept the Word as the Word and everything the Word says becomes reality in their lives. Here we limit the Word, denying the Word in many areas. The Spirit does not move with unbelief, and that’s what it simply is in this country, unbelief. So we traditionalize it saying the mighty works of God went out with the death of the original Apostles. I can safely say that that is a lie from the very pits of hell! When someone preaches it, run from them with everything you got and don’t look back. Run to Jesus, not man’s traditions! God loves us, period! Everything they had back then is available now!

This is a message I can never back down from, never! This is reality, this is truth. This is the promise of salvation, that we are set free!


A Beautiful Day

A stunningly beautiful day around these parts today. Abundant sunshine and light winds added up to a day to cherish, especially after an October that was almost totally miserable from start to finish around here. With deer hunting going on around here I tend to stay near the yard a bit more than normal to avoid complications in my life, so to speak. It didn’t seem like much hunting pressure today compared to yesterday though,kids have to be back in school and adults mostly have to be back to work. The farmers are slowly harvesting corn around here. Its going very slow with all the moister that’s in it.

I found out that the Bibles I ordered yesterday have multiplied, over 100% multiplication, God is good! Now instead of twenty pocket sized Cowboy Bibles there’s a case of fifty on the way. I know that this is the start of something good in these parts. Every where a person looks there’s beef and horses. Small place or large, don’t matter, and I tell you, I kinda enjoy driving around the countryside nowadays and see all the places with all the beef cows and horses. It does something to the area, and its good. Every once in a while a small beef producer will really get the bug and end up turning into a big beef producer, especially for these parts. A couple miles away a younger fella started out a few years ago, plus over these past few years he’s bought a few bulls from us. Now that guy is almost as big as we are and I can tell, he’s doing most everything right. Doing it cheap! Plus with the blood he’s been buying from us he’s ending up with some sale topping calves. Last winter I was north of here around forty miles to the big beef salesbarn and was surprised to see him there too. I didn’t know he sold there but I guess I musta told him a couple of years ago that I sell there and he’s not one to learn the hard way, he listens, and low and behold his herd was there and got some market topping prices the same as us. And I tell you, there ain’t a much better feeling to a cattleman than to see someone who studied our operation run through a batch of market toppers!

Last Wednesday evening when I did the service at church I spoke about having reputation cattle. Now some might be wondering how that fits into a sermon but it does and not as an example, but just stating facts was all. Having a reputation herd opens doors in rural ministry! How you say? Well, to put it bluntly when a fella with a darn good herd speaks people know its the real thing. People listen, there’s a respect one gets from the hard work and dedication involved. Plus I never said that when I speak in church that its normal!

Those years of getting beat back by droughts really took a toll on me in more ways than one. I can still feel it very much financially, after buying all that hay, after putting in all the crops and not getting much back in return. But the Bible was the driving force for me keeping going. The herd shrunk a little, but is fast on the way to full recovery. When a person raises beef for a living they know that there will be some tough times here and there, so that’s really no surprise when it comes, but it still hurts. In that time, years really, I got born again, (before the droughts started), and I had a hunger that wouldn’t stop and it hasn’t stopped to this day, studying the Word. A strange thing happens when a person totally immerses in the Word, the Word wants to come out!

I’m still in awe at the way things are working out around here. Our little church has bent over backwards recognizing the call on my life. The support will never be taken for granted.You know, its amazing how sometimes it takes a small church for a person to take the reins and grow! There’s opportunity in small Bible believing churches that might be much more difficult to come across in a big church. And I was thinking today after I got the mail and received my minister credentials. Before I was ground level, a licensed exhorter. Well as of today, well its dated November 4th, I’m now a full fledged minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Who’da ever thought! I guess if God could knock old Saul, later to become Paul, off his high horse and make him into the great Apostle He can do the same to a northern cattleman.

I don’t really have any dress code, a suit and tie would probably kill me, but I will wear a bolo tie at formal events such as a hog roast 🙂 Seriously though, this is more like being a country missionary. Working loyally out of our little church, scouring the countryside for Christ. I said in church yesterday there ain’t no farmer or rancher than can out spit me, so I figure I have some good things going for me. I can talk the talk, I can blend in. Plus being a cattleman of reputation cattle gets that respect that’s hard to get any other way to folks that don’t trust preachers in general.I gotta go upstairs and look at that big white envelope again, because I almost fall over when I look at the name and address on it.In big print the address starts off: Reverend Thomas Scepaniak. I’ll bet the mail man, who’s a beef guy a few miles down the road, took a second glance at that 🙂