The Year of the Vision

Well, the snowstorm is finally out of here and I ain’t done yet cleaning that white stuff up around here.Maybe get some more of it plowed away tomorrow with a little luck. Things are in good shape though around here because it was a warm snowstorm, not much goes wrong when its in the twenties above zero. With the year winding down I’m already getting the thoughts in my head about spring work, even though its a long way off yet. I haven’t thought much about it until today, must be because Christmas is over with. But its in a farmer’s blood, looking forward to spring and planting, new calves running around the place doing the calf dance as the sun is setting later in the evenings in late spring. Those rascals can really get going when they are a week or two old!

One project I want to do this year is start a tree nursery on the farm. Not trees for sale but I want to plant a few hundred seedlings every year in a patch behind the place and in a couple or more years take the larger healthier ones and plant them around the farm. This would be mainly pine that I buy from the county and also allot of Red Pine that I dig up on a farm I rent.They have a huge stand of Red Pine and near the edge along the field that I rent there’s literally thousands of seedlings sprouting, thicker than heck with no chance of ever growing where they are at, so dig up the little baby seedlings and plant them in the tree nursery!  Plus in the nursery there will be various hardwoods started and then the fruit trees to be planted every year also The fruit trees will not be seedlings for the most part and they will be planted in place  permanently. I don’t know what the future will bring but I figure a fella should leave this world a bit better than how he found it.

I look at the farm somewhat different than modern ag does.I use many of modern ag’s methods and equipment but I see a family farm as something to hand down in better shape than when a fella started.  In the cow pastures in the wooded areas we will section off an acre or two here and there for a few years with electric fence so that new trees can sprout up and get ahead of the cows, taking off and repopulating on their own. In woodlot pastures the youngest trees don’t have any chance, the cows nipping them off when they sprout. This will solve that dilemma over the long haul.

The very fact that a farm like this is not only a traditional family farm but also a ministry has me looking at it a bit different than if I just wanted to mine the land to get the dollars for day to day living. And by ministry I’m not talking any kind of tax write off type of thing as most are. This is different. Every Christian has a ministry, its just up to them to go with it or to refuse it. This is the way I look at it, ministry is the very life blood of our family and farm from now on till the end. The past few years as I look back now with the year coming to a close, the Lord has set up His ministry here without me hardly realizing it. With so much direct marketing to families the farm takes on a totally different direction than if a person just “shipped” their product. There’s literally a few hundred people that are our customers, including their families.

It dawned on me that the interaction with so many people is something rather unusual in this day and age on farms in this region. It also sets up many possibilities in ministry. It sets up a vision;

The Great Commission, preaching the gospel to the lost.

To take care of widows and orphans.

To equip the saints for the work of the Lord.

This is the three fold vision of our farm ministry. Plus the fact that this will be a fully operational farm, supplying much of the needs of this vision.I have faith that the farm will prosper as it fulfills these visions. There’s not enough space to go into the three fold vision tonight, I just wanted to write it down. The way it looks at the moment, the internet will be about the smallest part of this vision. But I do want to keep it going as long as it takes. Yesterday after church, after I did a short message in church and I always figure I botched it so bad I never want to show my face there again as long as I live, I would safely say that at least one third of the church spoke to me afterwards and said they really received from my message. One brother in Christ came up to me and said that I gotta get on local farm radio with a farm gospel program. I gulped, but didn’t say no, just said if someone sets it up, takes care of the details, I’d do it. I can speak the Gospel farmer style, but I’m not very good at details such as radio or media. For about two years the radio thing has been placed in my heart, but I’ve never spoken a word of it to anyone till now. But God has a way of setting up details that I don’t think are possible. But we’ll see. This farm ministry thing is virtually exploding and I just look on in awe.

So as we get closer to the new year I have no idea what or where this is taking us. All I know is that I have faith in the Lord through it all. If I make a total fool out of myself for Jesus, well, so be it! All I know is that I couldn’t imagine any different way of life than doing it all for the Lord! This gives a person life! This gives a person a vision to go after! This past year was the year of faith, faith put into action. This coming year will be that, plus the start of the vision, the vision that God has planted and has supplied so many things to get it started!


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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Tom,

    If you do go on the radio, think about using “Good Morning Neighbor” as your theme song! I’ll bet the folks around your parts are missing it by now.

  2. Hey Rick!!

    Believe it or not, I thought about that today while feeding cows this morning! All those years that this area heard that song just before 6 AM every week day. Yep, I figure this area needs that again 🙂 Of coarse besides Porter’s version there’s you’re version too 🙂

    For anyone who’s wondering what the heck we’re talking about here’s a video of Rick and son, the Ridgewood Boys playing Good Morning Neighbor!

    Besides, Rick, your kinda guilty in this stuff 🙂 The only recording equipment I ever spoke into was yours when you came here over four years ago! It was kinda neat! Take Care!

    God Bless!

  3. May God bless and lead you in this next year!!! Praise God that you have a heart to serve HIM!!!!

  4. Oh Pastor Tom, the Lord just keeps on moving! Praise God! Just take a deep breath and let the Word of the Lord go … it’s like casting bread on the water.

    We’ll be prayin’ over this way.
    Have a great day, and may the Lord bless you folks!

  5. Thanks Heather and Lee Ann!

    May we all serve the Lord in many more exciting ways than we ever had in this New Year that’s coming up!

    God Bless!

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