Some Cattleman’s Thoughts

The wind has been howling since yesterday in these parts, from the north. Luckily it isn’t really cold out or anything like that. Some minor snow drifting is all, nothing to be concerned about here. Today, this afternoon to be exact, we sorted calves here for selling this week. A beautiful batch this year and a while ago I just got off the phone with one of the truckers that will be coming around noon tomorrow to pick them up and head em north to the beef feeder sale at the salesbarn. Prices have firmed since the fall run of calves so I’m looking forward to this sale Wednesday afternoon. My kind of place with my kind of people! Reputation cattle is what we have got, I’m finding this out. Today, this morning,I called the salesbarn and listed the calves. The manager knew me instantly, didn’t have to tell him where we live, didn’t have to tell him what kind of cattle we have, nothing. He knew! He said our cattle were second to none and backed it up saying they were the top selling cattle at the barn two different years. That floored me I tell you. I always knew we got top prices every year but that statement really got to me. In fact it humbled me more than anything. Funny how when a person is with those cattle year round he starts to figure that they ain’t that great and sometimes even wonders if they are good enough to sell even at a half way decent price. A feller gets to used to them I guess but when they come out onto the salesbarn floor it just goes wild! Last year was crazy to say the least. They opened the door to let the cattle onto the floor and from where I was sitting in the stands I could see that they we our cattle back there. And were they wild! They were trying to climb the walls and everything! Most came flying into the ring full speed and turned around and flew back out. They did this several times,wilder than heck and I was starting to sit pretty low figuring who in their right mind would bid on a crazy wild batch like that? Well, after several attempts to get that batch of steers in there they finally got em in and they almost filled the ring. Then the bidding started and it just went through the roof, I couldn’t believe it! Guess them feedlot folks want some cattle with zip! Well they sure got it!

So get them calves loaded and on the road tomorrow, then go to the old dairy barn and the corrals around that and separate three larger butcher steers and head them down to the calving barn for butchering on Thursday. So by Thursday afternoon all this cattle stuff should be a memory for a bit. Crazy week but at least it breaks up the winter somewhat. Plus it’ll be a little less work with the main batch of calves finding a new home. Then start getting somewhat ready for spring here although a person is never fully ready even when spring arrives but somehow everything always gets done. I’m looking for more pasture land this week too with a couple of hot leeds in that department. I tell you, all it takes is a year where the rains return and a fella sure does get that younger feel again!

With the salesbarn event happening this week it points me to the thing I truly love, the cattle business. Nothing quite like it and I consider it a privilege to spend a good share of my life time in it. I know allot of folks that are living a life that they really don’t want to be living and I’ve been there and done that. A long time ago, (believe me), I always dreamed of running cattle. That was always my main dream concerning what I wanted to do to make a living. Its not for the weak hearted either. You name it, it can go wrong. You got everything to contend with from every angle. Not to mention a critter that could easily kill you if they so desire. But its in my blood and that’s what I do.

Thus comes the mix. A cattleman and a preacher of the Word. It took me more than twenty years to even believe that I had become a cattleman and it seems to be taking a bit for me to believe that I’m actually in ministry too. I must be kind slow in certain ways I guess. Yesterday I was feeding a bit during the day and it dawned on me, (its amazing how I really forget this stuff), that I’m really, truly in ministry, even officially. Sure don’t seem like it at times. Nobody addresses me as pastor or reverend around here, nobody. So I forget except when I get the mail and there’s a letter addressed to Reverend Tom. Don’t matter though because I am who I am and that’s good enough. A strange thing is happening though. Folks are coming to me for spiritual matters. So I just keep it simple and things happen. There’s folks talking that won’t talk to no regular preacher. I know I’ve touched this before but it never ceases to amaze me. There’s a trust of sorts.

What a wide open harvest field there is around here! To bring Christ to folks where they are at. Not to try and make them into something they aren’t. The Gospels never said to believe and then go live like the Pharisees, nope, they brought the Kingdom of God right down to the people. Not trying to bring the people up to the religious. The Gospels are chuck full of ministering to outcasts. In fact that’s the theme. The down and out, to those that just don’t fit in. That’s the beauty of it in my eyes. Hope for the hopeless. A common people’s hope. Hope that society or religion just can’t seem to materialize.

That’s the thrust here. Never to compete with a local church. There’s no competition at all. There’s plenty that will never step foot in a traditional church but are hungry for truth, hungry for God’s love. Wanting to know the way to salvation but turned off by the religion in it all. Turned of by dead tradition. I don’t think there are very many people that get more turned off than me by meetings and churchy stuff. I love truth, I love the Gospels, I love the hope for the hopeless and believe me I was there! Only the Word pulled me out, simple as that. Hearing the Word, not some canned sermon. And Jesus set me free and I have never looked back since then.

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