Farming For Jesus

The last few years things have changed quite a bit around here. Mostly in the faith department, but also in the farming department, the farming change being the direct result of the changes in the faith department. As I look back a bit I can see the grand design in it, even though I had no idea when it was starting. Most farms around here sell their commodities on the market, through the regular channels, never having any contact with the consumer. We still do that somewhat but the percentage is changing in the direct market direction more and more as time marches on. When the direct marketing started I never even gave it a thought that the farm would be involved with so many people, so many families. In the beginning of all of this direct marketing I put an ad in a newspaper from a small city 35 miles away, offering hamburger cows. Either in quarters, halves or wholes. The results were rather poor to say the least, I sold a couple and that was about it. But it sure beat taking them to the meat packer so I struggled along and sold one here and there.

The following year we had a large group of calves weaned off in the fall of the year and traditionally we sell them in January after backrounding them a bit. Backrounding is getting them going on silage and hay, putting on a few more pounds and getting them in better shape than fresh weaned calves. That way the buyer of them is more assured that the calves will enter his feedlot healthy and raring to go and grow. At the time we were attending the church we go to now for a few months and I was just hungry for the Word of God, something that has never diminished one lick since then, in fact it grew more and more, the hunger for the Word! Here I was with a nice batch of calves averaging between five and six hundred pounds and deep inside of me I heard the voice, the Holy Ghost, say that I should hold back a nice bunch of those steers and direct market them. To put it bluntly, I didn’t want to, I figured take the money and run! Calves were at an all time high that year and in many ways its almost insane to hold back calves, grow them out and probably make less money on the full grown steer than calves were going for at that time. There comes a time though when a person knows that the voice deep within is God speaking to you so as any good farmer would do, I argued with God!

By my reasoning this was a disaster in the making.I know how direct marketing works and sometimes its not easy. I never had the ability to advertise and talk with folks very good and when a person reads about direct marketing all I would read was the tremendous amount of work required to try and sell the product. In other words this looked like the stupidest thing I could possibly do. Now when arguing with God I finally said I’d hold them back, about 25 or so steers back then, but I know my limits when it comes to people skills and God would have to take over the management in the selling and public relations department because I never talked to hardy any strangers in my life without stuttering and stumbling along. And deep down I sensed God say, “you raise em and I’ll sell em”. Now this was a step of faith for this farmer I can honestly say! And there was one more thing, “never advertise” was what I heard. Now this was breaking every rule in the book when it comes to direct marketing to say the least. How in the world was a person supposed to raise up that much beef for starters, never advertise, and expect to sell even a tiny percentage of them directly to families? I knew though that I didn’t want a faith walk without anything that would test it, I’m kinda that type of person so I agreed!

Now these steers were different sizes, I saved some of the largest and some of the smallest so they wouldn’t be ready at the same time. A fact as I look back on it shows me I had some sense. Because the local meat processors couldn’t even begin to handle a batch like that all at the same time. So this is the way it went, steers growing up gradually, naturally raised, not grain fed, becoming available almost year round. The processor agreed to do three at any given time and when the were done to do up to three more, but never more than that at once. Sounded good enough to me and still does, it really works good. The raising them up and the butchering were my department. But there was still the problem, or perceived problem of selling that much beef in quarters, halves or whole that had me nervous! I never did advertise once in the paper or anywhere else. Never spent a penny on advertising, not a penny! The front runner steers were getting almost to weight and I just kept raising them in faith, and back then I had so little understanding of how faith works so I can honestly say this was simple farmer’s faith in action. A few weeks before I figured the front runners were ready to butcher somehow, someway, I had folks asking for beef. Funny, know one ever asked me that before!

The first three sold before slaughtering and by the time the next three were ready they were sold because of word of mouth. Now years later this has continued right to this day. The amazing thing is that without any advertising there’s always buyers when steers get ready. When there is a couple of month lull waiting for some to get up to weight I won’t even receive a phone callΒ  or an e-mail. Then I get a bit nervous again, but when I look back a phone call or e-mail wouldn’t have done any good at that time because they would have to wait a month or two. God’s timing is always perfect!

A few years ago if anyone would have told me a story like this I’da called him or her a liar, but after experiencing this myself its shown me how real our God is! A farmer’s simple faith. Turning it over to Jesus. The natural says I was taking risks but the reality is there are no risks when relying on God! This was probably about the simplest thing that God does, taking care of those that rely on Him. It sure is not a big deal for Him to manage the business, the farm, and this is just the very foundational base of farming for Jesus. I could write a book about all of the things He has done over the last few years here when He was given control, absolute miracles that stun me even as I think back to them. Maybe I’ll put them together someday, that is if I can contain them in something as simple as a book.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Amen…We need to keep ours “ears” tuned to the Voice of Holy Spirit.

  2. That is so awesome! We have many similar stories. God is just plain awesome! Keep these accounts coming … folks need to hear how God moves in everyday life.

    May the Lord bless you and your family.

  3. Hi Patti!

    Agreed! I was just listening last evening to a CD from a preacher that was at our little church last summer and he was really getting into that. I liked the one major point he expounded on, get into the Word everyday, no matter what, get into the Word and a person will start hearing the Spirit much more.We’re able to recognize the Spirit if we feed our spirit the Word!

    God Bless!

    Evening Lee Ann!

    Hey…..its above zero this evening!! Yee haw!! Pretty good! Now where was I…..
    Oh, I agree, these simple stories cut to the heart! You know the saying, “Live what you preach”, but allot of times in what I call simple farmer evangelism the most effective thing is to “preach what we live”! There’s power in that and it cuts to the heart of many folks. Quite simply its because its nothing more than a true testimony and the Word says that we overcome that old snake by our testimonies and the Blood of the Lamb! I know that for me the most effective things I preach are just true stories coming from a man of the soil, nothing more, nothing fancy. It never ceases to amaze me when I do this sort of thing the response afterwards. I’m not talking about writing here, I’m talking about preaching to group in church or where ever. Plus the fact that its so easy to do unlike in depth teachings.

    Thanks and God Bless!

  4. This just blessed me…when He tells us to do something, we’d better listen & obey, no matter how “odd” it sounds!

    Nina Ruth πŸ™‚

    p.s. it’s 73 degrees here in San Diego. Someone forgot to tell us it’s winter! πŸ˜›

  5. Hello Nina Ruth!

    Uh…….73 degrees…….uh…..that’s nice 😦

    There, I’m done crying! I learned that faith is just believing that God can. If it ain’t faith its disbelief, simple as that! The more and more a person exercises simple faith the more and more the faith grows.

    Last night at church I was told, (and this sure ain’t bragging so don’t take it as that please), I was told that I was the kind of fella that reads the Bible, takes in the Word, then believes it and acts upon it. Those weren’t my words. Later at home I was dwelling on that and I must admit that its somewhat true. That’s maybe why last spring when the movie, faith Like Potatoes came out in America I identified with it so much. Angus would act on simple faith like I have and the results have been the same. One thing happens when a person lives this way, I have to tell others because if I don’t, if I keep it under cover, basically that is sin, its denying my God to the public. So if I make a fool of myself for Christ, so be it. I will not deny what God will do in a person’s life when a person lives more and more by faith!

    73 degrees………that’s 66 degrees warmer than here right now 😦

    God Bless!

  6. And yet, I’d give up this beautiful weather, all the comfort around me & everything I have for God to open a door for me to return to the rural Midwest (especially Walworth County, WI). Will y’all out there reading this blog, pray that for me?!

    yes, Brother Tom, SIMPLE faith! That’s the way my friend Shane is…when he gets a word from God he simply believes it & acts in faith on it.

    I’ve been waffling, wavering, doubting, sinking…

    Help! Lord, keep me SIMPLE!!!

    Nina Ruth πŸ™‚

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