Real Milk or Milk Replacer

Fall on the northern plains and northwoods usually means calves bellering, weaning time all around in every direction. Its short lived, after about three days the only sound you hear is a stubborn calf with a raspy voice trying to get some last bawls in, but there ain’t much enthusiasm in it any more. The cattleman is satisfied, the calves are learning the bunk, the waterers, bedding down nice where its dry. All is well. There’s some late calves, a little smaller than the front runners, but they’re full of zip and no problems with them either. Another year, calves are in the backrounding pens and there’s a thankful looking back at the season, from spring till now. A large group of calves, good looking and no bottle calves this year. During spring calving a person has priorities, one is to make sure calf and cow are alive and well after calving, doctor anything that needs doctoring, and up there in importance is to not end up with bottle calves.

A person will go the extra mile to make sure there isn’t any of those labor intensive little fellas around the place. You can feed a 100 cows in the time it takes to feed a bottle calf milk replacer twice a day. One of the most dangerous jobs around here is making sure this doesn’t happen. It involves locking the cow up in a headgate and trying to get the calf to suck if its a dumb calf. Or on the other hand, the cow is crazy and mean and hates the idea of being a mother till fall, same thing, lock her up and help the calf to get safely along side the cow, close enough to the cow so when the cow tries to kick it to death, the calf is pressed along side of would be mama and is fairly safe. Mean while the person trying to help all this along gotta watch for their lives when them kicks come at lightening speed and make sure they miss by a hair. This doesn’t happen all too often anymore on this ranch, the problem cows have pretty much gone down the road to grace fast food establishments and supermarket meat counters. Every once in a while for one reason or another, it all fails and a fella ends up with a bottle calf, either that or the calf dies of starvation.

At first its kind of fun, feeding the little rascal, knowing its life is saved. Soon you become the center of that calf’s life. It’ll be ready when you come there with the bottle of milk, it’ll follow you around anywhere. Kids like to help with this, for a couple of days, then there’s some important school work to do or some other excuse. And the thrill soon fades away leaving the busy cowman to tend to it twice a day, seven days a week. The calf eats and eats day after day, but soon falls behind the calves that are getting milk from there mammas. There’s already a loss, in money that is for what ever the reason the calf is living on milk replacer, the cow didn’t do her job, the expense of the milk replacer, not to mention labor, allot of labor for so little. Come fall the milk replacer calf has a poorer hair coat, is scrawny with very little meat compared to the pastured calves who were with their mammas. The calf can’t be sold in a large group because it doesn’t fit in at all. Most of the time, when selling, they’d get sold alone for allot less than what they would have brought if they’d a been normal.

Christians are like those calves. Some will grow up on mama’s milk, grow fast, have shiny coats, and be able to take right off growing fast after weaning. They had the real milk. The real milk is God’s Word. It builds strength and endurance, it has everything needed to grow healthy and fast. But some end up on formula milk, something that isn’t real milk, has additives and is different from the real thing. Formula milk, or milk replacer, is full of additives. Programs, works, reading Christian book, but not the Bible, following ministries because they’re popular and entertaining. But lacking the immunity building ingredients of the real milk, the Word. They’re still Blood bought Christians just like that milk replacer calf is still a calf. But they end up as spiritual runts, and have very little defense when the world’s problems hit em.

A person has a choice, get into the pure, true, sincere milk of the Word. Or a synthetic “formula” from a bag, that man has produced, instead of God.

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Published in: on October 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm  Comments (8)  
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  1. Another good ‘un Tom.

    Yet the “milk” is only a part of the Word. The Word of God is nothin’ more nor less than a full fledged banquet: milk, honey, meat and ‘taters. Like after weanin’ a calf, either from mama or the bottle, it’s time ta head to the feed bunks. Cain’t stay on milk fer-ever.

    Hebrews 5:12-14
    12) You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.
    13) For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.
    14) Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

    1 Corinthians 3:1-2
    1) Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.
    2) I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger…

    Psalm 34:8
    8) Taste and see that the LORD is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!

    • Yep, I fully understand what your saying. But without the milk in the beginning you just got a bunch of runts at the bunk come weaning time. I see it time and time again, Christians that have been believers for decades still stuck on some man made milk, chasing super star preachers, flashy ministries, but don’t hardly have some good starter milk in em to get em going. Their bellies can’t take solid food yet, ain’t prepared for it. Just take a good calf, it relies on milk at the very beginning, then in a few days its nibbling solid food, ,more and more, day after day, getting used to the solid food that’ll get it through life the way its supposed to go. In a while the solid food is the majority and the milk just puts the bloom on em. Now, I eat solid food, believe me, plenty of meat, but I do like to wash er down. The way I figure it, (the Gospel according to Tom), old Paul said he crucified the flesh daily. Took me a while to understand that it wasn’t a work Paul was talking about. It was that simple faith, the same as the very beginning, of believing that Jesus paid the price for us and that we never could. That we totally rely on Him. Daily, daily, every day, believing that. Believing what Jesus did on the cross for us. That could be considered milk cause its the first step in salvation. Could be considered milk, but without it daily the solid food won’t go down. I won’t hang up on this subject, the scriptures you have there are correct. Always remember though the main base of all of Paul’s writings, coming to the cross daily. Its the only way a feller can swallow the meat 🙂

      • Arnie, I just gotta clarify one thing. Might save some trouble and writing. I almost fully operate in evangelism, which might seem at odds to someone who for example, teaches. I’m always down in the milk, always writing about the milk while feasting on the meat myself. Its what I do, its what I’ve been called to do. Jesus didn’t preach meat to the down and out, He spoke love and hope to em. The 12 got some meat as time went on. For me to operate in teaching, even when I know the subject from the Bible, doesn’t work so well. Even my daily FB verses, some might call em soft. Maybe they are, but its Jesus reaching for folks, not to club the down and outers over the head but to give em hope. I rarely condemn, why, because the folks already feel condemned. My job is to give em Jesus.
        I was taught a few years ago the huge differences in callings of pastors, evangelists, teachers etc. I understand the differences. My message to cowboys is the same as Jesus walking down the street or in the countryside having compassion on the people. That’s why I rarely debate with anyone on the internet, cause I’d be out of my calling and would have to answer for that at the believers judgment. I could hold my own without much problem but don’t waste the time.I stay out of politics, out of worldly affairs cause my job is to hunt people, to spread the Good News, and every time I slip, get pulled into politics or the like I have to repent. I just deleted about a dozen folks on FB that talked politics all the time, yes allot was true, but it derailed me on preaching the Good News. I know that I know that God had me do that.
        Durn, I gotta get to bed 🙂

      • Actually that’s what all Jesus’ teachings boil down to:

        Matthew 10:38
        If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.

        Matthew 16:24
        Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.

        Mark 8:34
        Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.

        Luke 9:23
        Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross DAILY, and follow me.

        Luke 14:27
        And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

        But after takin’ up the cross you’ve got to MOVE. Standin’ in one place’ll get ya nowhere, move with that cross, as you say always , daily, rememberin’ that Cross, WHO went there ahead of us, but movin’. Just my humble opinion.

  2. Ooops, got that last post in before I saw your previous, up there. Anyway I hear where you’re comin’ from Tom, but I think a lot of the time you and I are preachin’ to the choir. By that I mean we’re preachin’ to folks already beyond the “milk” here on the Internet, be it FB, Google or our personal blogs. Most of the unsaved won’t even bother readin’ my blogs, or posts over on google, it’s “foolishness” to them as Paul says. Yet we read each others posts and blogs and I for one have been blessed by a lot of what you say, if for no other reason as a reminder of what and why I believe. We (you, Kevin and I) also speak to each other’s roots, i.e. cattle and cowboyin’. That’s enough to send most city folk, saved or not, runnin’ fer a Starbucks, if ya catch my drift there. What you have to preach, I think, is more basic than the Internet, one on one or face to face with a rodeo arena or sale barn fulla folks who’ve never heard the Word, the real milk, preached the way you do it. Just my opinion there, and I’m headed fer the rack my own self, got brakes to do on the cattle hauler tomorry. ‘Night Tom, best to you and yours.

  3. One last thought ta leave ya with Tom, your insights between the “milk” and the “meat” are outstanding, I think there’s a lot more teacher in you than you suspect. For instance your post over on yer other blog “Go Back the Way you Came” just happened to be the kick in the seat a the pants I needed WHEN I needed it. Just some food for thought…

  4. I’ll let you in on a little secret, we may be preaching to the choir mostly, but every once in a while it hits home with someone and they find Jesus. I know it sounds almost impossible but over these past six years I can name dozens of folks that found Jesus from my blogs alone. Then the fact that I get allot of e-mail, personal messages, prayer requests, you name it. And I mean allot. I got stories that would almost be unbelievable of changed lives from just all this simple, down home writing. So many times I want to throw in the towel, but God works in ways that we sometimes think of as stupid. I guess the cowboy’s handbook, (the Bible), says it best. It says, (in Tom’s translation), that His Word never comes back void. We send it out, we obey in faith, and maybe we’ll never know, but its gonna get to someone that needed it. Every once in a while God lets us have a peek, lets us know that it hit home with someone. The only reason I have a computer is to send out God’s Word, that’s it.
    Sometimes a feller can get down though. That’s what that post I wrote about last week was about. It wasn’t no teaching from me, it was me down in the dumps for a couple of weeks, of seeing victories and knowing that very few people care. I am learning what its like not to worry about pleasing man or church or who ever, just keep on pluggin for God. He brought them scriptures to me one day, and after a couple more days of dwelling in them, I picked back up and returned the way I came. And its fellers like yourself and Kevin that help so much keeping me going, its priceless! Love it when I can have a connection with like minded folks. And I thank you!

    • Tom, I guess that’s the gist of it–all we can do is keep pluggin’ along as the Holy Spirit directs. It’s all about God’s will bein’ done, whether we see results or not—He see’s and He knows and that’s all that counts.

      And the thanks goes right back at ya, my friend!


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