The Two Books

For me it seems as if the summer is ending today. They’re talking about a day or two of warmer temps yet, and then the much needed cool down that I look forward to when I’m chopping silage for a week or two. The corn crop is down right beautiful and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and doing my thing! Its a very good feeling to have more than enough feed for the cow herd, for the steers, for the young stock and bulls too. Thank you Lord! I’ve gone through a couple of bad drought cycles in the past and am just about recovered from the last one. The rebuilding here has been going on for the last couple of years, replacing the badly hit cow herd, the dropped numbers from the multi year devastating droughts that we had. In fact, for the first time since the droughts I have mustered up the courage to re-read the novel by Elmer Kelton, “The Time It Never Rained”. If I had to only choose two books to carry me through life they’d be the Bible and that novel. Re-reading last evening the first two chapters in that novel almost had me shaking. How perfectly written, it totally amazes me! Its all about ranching and farming and a fella can tell that it was written by someone who knew what they were talking about. Unlike most books I’ve come across.

Probably what I love the most about the book is that “never give up attitude” which society is really getting away from nowadays. Never give up! What a concept in a day when folks are encouraged to walk away from their problem, or let the government supposedly solve the problems that we create ourselves. Now, The Time It Never Rained is not what a person would call Christian fiction, its way better than that, its almost real life. Something Christian fiction doesn’t seem to get close to. At least in this life style that I live. Most Christian fiction I take a gander at and toss it to the side, mostly a bunch of bull is all written by folks that don’t have the slightest understanding of the work, the heartbreak, the hopes and losses that someone in this lifestyle endure.

One of my favorite parts in the whole book is about the appearance of the real ranchers. I love it! Because I see it all the time. You take someone in cowboy boots and clothes, all spiffed up with a big shiny new pickup and the odds are that this person isn’t a real rancher. More than likely, but not always, deeply in debt and also with a side job, or should I say a main job other than trying to make a living on cattle. The real ranchers probably look a little ragged. Their pick up trucks are dirty and beat up, full of tools, fencing supplies, maybe a rifle or pistol behind or under the seat. Bullets on the seat or on the floor with the assortment of tools scattered about every where. Their clothing is much more ragged. In summer instead of a fancy cowboy hat, there’s a worn out and dirty or dusty straw cowboy hat, tattered and worn from doing its job. The boots are wore down and scuffed to heck, barb wire cuts all over them. They come to town in these working trucks and their money is good.Many times they don’t even bring a billfold or a checkbook to town because the business establishments know that they have the real money and the monthly bill will be paid, no matter what. Their lands and cattle are paid for and there is more than likely some money in the bank. Put them along side of the weekend cowboys, they almost don’t look like the image city slicks have of cattlemen and cowboys.

But they are the “real” thing. Not some imitation. Many have started with barely anything and slowly worked and grew their herds, year after year growing the size of their herd, expanding pastures, buying as they go with everything needed for the operation. A very tough breed as in the book The Time It Never Rained. I’ve been thinking a lot about this, a lot. The endurance required. The years, or basically a lifetime commitment. Its no different with faith in God. We start at the beginning, accepting Christ as our Saviour. But that’s the the end, its only the very beginning. Now there’s that race to run, that goal to pursue. One that requires endurance and faith! Like the stubborn rancher, one doesn’t look right nor left, but keeps on going towards the goal. It doesn’t matter what the weekend cowboys do, the rancher is focused, building a dream.

This is my life. That’s why I say that those two books are all I need. Folks say,”Tom, you should take a weekend off, or take a vacation, you should be like us”. To this I just snort, “Naw, I’m busy”. But in reality I’m focused. The world says a person like that is a workaholic, but it ain’t really. Its someone who knows who they are, they know their dream, and they know when they are on their deathbed they won’t have regrets. They ran the race to the finish.

Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 7:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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Then, Now and Forever!

Glory to God! I think I have the last of the hay baled as of this evening! It was quite a ride this summer putting up all that hay with the wet weather, but I think I only have around twenty round bales that were baled up a little tough. Other than that the bales were pert near perfect! The total is 1120 round bales of hay, not counting straw. Now tomorrow get to cleaning the silage pit and start getting ready for that. Today was hot and humid, but tomorrow is supposed to be cool and windy, Praise the Lord! Perfect for that job. In fact getting ready for silage might take me all week, and the plan is to start chopping next week. The corn here is maturing very fast and I hope by the middle of September all will be done.

Yesterday, Sunday,was a good-un. The message at church hit home. But as sometimes happens, even in a message that is about one thing, questions were answered about another thing, or two. I love that when that happens. In my last post I was talkin about the Cross. Yesterday during the sermon we were in Revelations and something struck me.

“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”

This is from revelations chapter 5. These are the praises in heaven. Here’s more from the same chapter.

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

Wow! The praises in heaven at the throne are about the Cross! Now back down here on this old ball called earth I’ve heard preachers say that we got to get away from the cross and move on. But I say nothing could be farther from the truth. Because when we cross that River Jordan and head into the promised land the events of the Cross are what everyone will be singing about. Because there is nothing else that is responsible for getting folks eternal life, than Jesus on the Cross! He was born for the Cross, (thank God), and that is the only thing that gets us right with God. The Lamb Who was slain! It sure ain’t nothing that I did or you did, it was the Lamb Who was slain on the Cross that did it all.

I’ve been dwelling on this for a couple of months and now that I was directed to the Book of Revelations Sunday on another subject the pieces came together more and more! Not only is the Cross a back then event, its a now event, and an eternal event!

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

I might just be a country fella, but I do believe that this all says allot!

Where Heaven and Earth Meet

I tell you, I am happy tonight with this weather cooling down! Its been a stretch, hot and humid, the kind of weather where a person is soaking wet from morning till night. This evening in celebration I’m wearing a long sleeve denim shirt and it feels good! Had some pasture work today. This morning while making my rounds I discovered about 50 feet of barb wire fence ripped out, including posts from a bull fight. So, fix it all up this morning. Then for a little while this afternoon I checked the south pasture a couple of miles away and wasn’t satisfied with the electrical power in the electric fence there. So with the help of the Honda Rancher fourwheeler I checked out the whole works and wouldn’t you know it, two trees down on the farthest part of the pasture from yesterday’s storms. The electric wires were touching¬† the ground wires with those trees on top of em, so there I was without a saw so I just grunted and lifted and pulled those blowed down trees off the fence. After that the fence would fry a cow down if she touched it.

Now I’m on the home stretch. One more hay field to make and then get the silage pit cleaned up and start getting ready for corn silage chopping. The corn crop is about as good as it gets so no complaining here. The silage crop is what gets me through a long, long northern winter with all these cows, steers and young stock around the place. Those Angus and Herefords do like to eat, allot! So I figure a month from now things will be slowing down around here a bit. Full work days as always but the evenings will be much freer. I’m looking forward to it, those months of slower paced work. Starting the middle of September I gotta do a church service at our church and I already got the basics figured out for that one. This fall and winter will be a busy time beyond the church walls the way its looking to me though. And that’s where I love to be! The 3/4 ton pickup will be cleaned out somewhat for that duty once the last bales are hauled in. But then again if its doing some dirty work it can still get this feller around doing the work of the Lord in the countryside.

“Thus saith the Lord.” Yep, that’s all a feller really is asked to do by our Saviour. Lay it on the line to folks and don’t stray from the message of the Cross. If the accept it great, if not that’s their problem, not mine. A person is only a messenger, carrying the Gospel to any and all and its not up to us to demand results. We ain’t no better than our Master, and He didn’t convince everyone. In fact He was hated for the “Good News” by the religious.

Last evening I came across some song lyrics that spoke to me.

Tis at the cross of Christ
Where earth and heaven meet
Where sin is overcome
To God the victory!

At the Cross, Amen. I’ve been dwelling allot on the Cross lately and the more I read in my Bible the more and more important it is to us every single moment! Its not so popular to talk about it nowadays but that is the message that we are told to preach, the message of the Cross! And that message has a place on every farm and ranch in this country and beyond. Foolish to many, but powerful to those of us who are being saved! Where heaven and earth meet, durn I got struck by that!

That Cross which is so despised nowadays is where heaven and earth meet. Where God reaches to human kind in order to bring them back to Him! It doesn’t matter what a person is doing on this old earth, if we are doing it without the power of the Cross it is all for nothing, plain and simple. This is the message in a hurting rural America. This is the only hope that there is. There is absolutely no hope coming from this tailspin society, the bankrupt government, or any other human endeavor. There is only hope where heaven and earth meet, at the foot of the Cross!

Published in: on August 14, 2010 at 7:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Barbed Wire Halo

Being a dirt road, corral fence preacher makes me thankful for songs like this one!

Published in: on August 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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