Two Old Critters

Monday, the day after Sunday and usually it hits with a roar. get done with the Sunday evening service and pray I can get some sleep and manage the Monday out here without being too shot. Today was a good one, had a good sleep, was very thankful for the service last evening going well cause you never know. I had absolutely nothing prepared for it, was deader than a doornail all week, no inspiration what so ever. Walked up to the pulpit, praying for the Holy Ghost wind to blow through and it did. Preached the Alamo, how’s that for you? Believe it or not, it came out good. Today besides a ton of cattle work we were getting ready for the corn harvest. Everything is finally ready and I hope to get it in before winter hits. But one thing was on my mind today while working and no it wasn’t church or anything like that. It was my old friend Ug. She’s the oldest cow on the place by a longshot. Born in 95. She’s been the subject of allot of sermons, both here in the Northland and also in Honduras. She was the impossible!

 

I know I wrote about her before, and I have preached about her practically everywhere I preached. The calf in 95 that got sick, who’s mother lost her milk to boot, the calf went into a coma for a month, I fed her twice a day with a stomach tube, she lost all of her hair and was ugly and stunk from rot. Three times I drug her out of the warm pig nursery where I had her laying in straw, and also covered with it for warmth, to haul her to the brush and give up on her, but I’d drag her back into the barn and keep on trying the impossible. Then one night at a 2 AM calving check I opened the door to the pig nursery, turned on the light and a stark naked, ugly calf was standing there looking at me. I will never, ever forget that night. After that she never had a problem, except being so ugly.

 

I couldn’t sell her with the rest of the calves that fall, she was so ugly, so I kept her. She was runtier than anyone else and ugly yet to boot. So months later I figured being that she seems to be a permanent resident here I’d put her with the replacement heifers and see if she would get bred and have a calf. Well, she did, over and over and over right up to this year. In fact she has the record for amount of calves produced on this outfit that I don’t think will ever be beaten. The most worthless calf became the best cow we ever had, bar none. She broke every rule the big brains come up with as far as beef cattle go.

 

But today was different. We’ve been taking cows to the salesbarn, cull cows that aren’t producing good and now all the culls are gone. And Ug is alone in that pasture, although quite content. Late this afternoon I rode out to her and almost had tears welling up in my eyes. Me and Ug, oh we had some times for almost two decades. Probably the only cow I never cussed at over the years. Now she can barely walk she’s getting so old. Stiff legs, hump back, but alert. I truly understand that most people will not get this but at that moment I knew that me and Ug had shared a good portion of our lives together. All of her’s in fact. Its been a privilege really. A few years back I made a promise to never sell her or have her butchered, she earned the title to live out her years here and die with respect.

 

I truly don’t know how to explain it, me and Ug together out there for a while today. She taught me many a lesson, especially in the faith department. What the world see’s as worthless can become the greatest. I reckon I’m getting a little stiff legged too compared to 18 years ago and there we were, man and cow, all those memories as the world hurries on to its insanity. It was quiet out there and I just told Ug that it was a good ride we had and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I swear she understood. I guess if your not a cattleman you probably don’t know what I’m talking about but that’s OK. An aging cattleman and an old cow that shared so much together. My time is coming too, don’t know when but there ain’t no getting around it. Two veterans of this cow outfit, knowing time is running out. Living a life most can’t even imagine. But we did it! We beat the odds!

 

When I preach or teach I always stay away from the subject of animals going to heaven. Believe me, that’s the number one question in Children’s Church that I taught for five years. But this one time, just this one time, I’m gonna say it, I do believe I’ll see Ug in heaven. She’s special!

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Published in: on November 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Moving Along

Moving Along

Its raining out this evening and I’m in the house satisfied. When spring finally hit so late the work has been getting done and I can safely say we are on schedule with the work around here. Its warmed up enough so I don’t have to worry about the calves having a hard time when they are born which makes it a whole lot easier for a fella like me! I’m just prasing the Lord even when the muscles are sore and I’m shot. It feels good to be out and about again after such a long and tough winter. This weekend will be the last time our family is together for a long time with our daughter heading to Asia on a multi month mission. Going to fire up the grill and have us a good time this weekend for a bit.

Published in: on May 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bull Fighting Sunday

Calving is picking up steam out here and I just wished it would be about twenty degrees warmer, cause it sure is a below normal year temp wise up here in the north country. There’s still a few snow drifts hanging tough as I write at the end of April and the pens have plenty of mud in em too. But you gotta do what you gotta do in this business or else get out. And being that I have no intention of getting out just yet I gotta just get out there and do the job. It seems like if something out of the ordinary is going to happen it’ll happen on a Sunday and yesterday was no exception to that. Got some of the cattle feeding done and was going to haul out a few loads of mud out of the main cow pen. They don’t live in that pen, just come in there every morning for some silage that I haul in there from the silage pit a ways away. While loading swill into the manure spreader, which can handle swill, I noticed my cur dawg looking intently in the direction behind me and I knew something was up for her to stand at attention like that. And there was.

The bulls, five of them, were fighting and wouldn’t you know it, they were tearing down our old post and plank fence at a fast rate. Now being a preacher on the side I was dreaming up to that moment about the Sunday evening service I was gonna preach over at the county seat, but that dreaming got cut short right quick! Typical bulls, have to wait till Sunday morning to destroy the place. Well, I got on my $12 cell phone and called in for help and was trying to decide what to do and all I could think of was to haul em across the county road to a large pen we have over there that wasn’t being used at the moment. Help came a while later and then the bull fighting began, human verses bulls but somehow the humans won, with the help of a skidsteer loader if I might add. One thing about bulls, every time you move em to a new pen, or even a cattle trailer for that matter, they just gotta bore down and fight each other. That old rusty cattle trailer was really bouncing with them in there, but we got em hauled over to the other pens after about two hours of muddy work. By those pens there was still snow drifts so we even had to put chains on the tires of the four wheel drive Chevy flatbed in order to haul them over to it. More work!

But today, Monday, all was peaceful out there and they were calmed down and in allot less mud than they were before. I was calmed down a whole lot too. Its sometimes strange after a day like Sunday to have to wash up later and go preach to folks when I person was so strung up with the wild day just hours before. But its reality. In fact last night I just talked my sermon just like if I was talking to someone over the corral fence. And it reminded me, that’s the way I should always do it. Simple, personal, and from the heart with no fake in it. That’s how Jesus did it, simple, and so folks could understand it.

Published in: on April 29, 2013 at 8:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Stone Was Rolled Away

Sometimes a fella has to put a song up cause its just plain good!

Published in: on October 5, 2011 at 9:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

High Horned Red Cow’s Calf

Sometimes its hard to describe being a cowman to “normal” folks. I ran across this video and it sure does describe a common experience. Things so simple but so touching to a fella. Its things like this that probably shows why I love this way of life more than any other I could imagine. Young calves sure do get some personalities, they’re so curious and want to have fun sometimes. Of course a pretty young calf like the one described in the video more than likely just got confused.

It just came to me, how we can be like that young calf described in the video. We pretty much know what is safe and secure, but every once in a while we end up following the wrong thing. And probably don’t even realize it at the time. Just like in the video the cow was warning the calf, the calf heard it but still couldn’t quite put two and two together. The calf knew after a bit things didn’t smell quite right, but at least he was following something that he thought was mama. But when it finally hit him he turned tail and headed back to that familiar bellering that he knew was mama for sure.

I know its not an earth shattering story, but living here, running cows, a fella like me understands this so well after seeing it so many times. Calves like to follow a fella right after you chase em down and ear tag em too. We try to eartag when they are under a day old so they’re easier to catch, after that they gain allot of speed and smarts to. Those calves after being chased down for a bit, caught and ear tagged, all of a sudden follow the fella ear tagging for some unknown to man reason. Its OK except when the cow has murder in here eyes for the man doing the ear tagging and she really gets mad as the calf is staying right up with the man. Now a feller kinda wants the calf to shoo away especially with a hot headed 1200 pound mama in hot pursuit but sometimes those calves have really attached themselves to who ever did a job on their ear. But that old mama cow ain’t giving up all that easy.

And I can see that God doesn’t give up all that easy either! No matter what we have attached ourselves to in this world God isn’t giving us up all that easy. If we only could see how He comes after us, full charge, coming to save His own I do believe we would be amazed to say the least.

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Published in: on June 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Now I See

The man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” John 9:25b

Years ago I was my own man. Figured I knew allot. But lookin back I was heading at a roar for certain destruction and death.  I was blind, blind as any feller can be. Used to cuss out preachers, oh I was a wonder! Figured how could them slick handed fellas that never do any honest work tell me how to live. Oh but I was blind. Of course that doesn’t change the fact that some of them preachers are really lacking in the working department but I can overlook that some what better nowadays.

I know allot of folks these days in Christian circles like to tout it up that when a person becomes a Christian that your problems melt away. Some say your supposed to speak your problems away and I don’t buy that for a minute. Cause the Bible does say that troubles will come and I can attest that they sure do! Back a few years ago when I got saved it was the start to one of the hardest times in my life. Things were going OK, cattle were bringing a good price, had some money in the bank and the bills were all paid. But believe me, it didn’t get better after I got saved because the following months were the start of a three year deep drought. And with the amount of cattle we had here that spelt trouble. The drought was region wide so the chances of even buying hay at a reasonable price was impossible. Through those long three years I watched feed crops wither up and die, I watched the pastures become a barren dirt lot, just someplace to haul feed out to in order to keep the cattle from starving. It was rough. Folks used to tell me when I would mention about the drought, “don’t speak those words, it’ll get worse if you do.” Well, I wasn’t born yesterday and I know a person that has gone over the edge of religion when I see em. I’d look em right in the eye and say, “everything is dying, the crops are shot, there is no hay to speak of, the corn burned back down to a small withered plant.”

But the one thing I held in faith was that God would see us through, and He sure did that. It was rough, no denying that, but God came through time after time when everything looked like it was going down the tubes. Now years later I dwell on all of that. How God seen us through. I am so thankful that it wasn’t me that had to get us through it, God did the impossible so many times. Things that I could have never arranged.

Yep, I was once blind but now I see! Jesus loves a fella and won’t let simple faith down. Jesus understands folks like me that make a living this way. Jesus was a country preacher, it was in the big city where trouble came.

 

Leaning On His Everlasting Arms

The week is coming to a close soon and what a week it has been. Unlike any other week I’ve ever had. Bedridden much of the time because of last Friday’s surgery. Durn, them folks almost split me in half now that I finally got a bird’s eye view of what they done did to me. No wonder I couldn’t do anything. Well, I’m progressing nicely and doing heavy duty jobs already like making coffee, (for myself), and cookin breakfast which has always been the one meal a day that I have cooked. Now when I talk breakfast I ain’t talkin about a little packet of instant oatmeal, no sir, I’m talkin bacon and hashbrowns, toast and eggs, maybe some sausage or a beef steak, and of course coffee. When I’m operating normally I need energy and this gives it to me.

But there are some advantages to sitting around all day, day after day, a fella can read some stuff he normally would never get around to. The bed is full of livestock papers and magazines, two different Bibles, a cowboy cookbook, an old Methodist hymnal, and various other items that make one wonder about my personality a bit. Amazing how nowadays I can look over the Livestock paper out of Montana, look at cattle sales results and know some of the people who did the buying, know them personally. Seen one friend who A.I.s our heifers every summer was a high buyer out in far western North Dakota a couple of weeks ago. I always like working with him, just as I do with just about anyone who loves cattle like I do. He just lives a half an  hour west of here.

And in this downtime God is working on me mightily. The last few years I’ve I’ve been focusing on just doing what ever I could to help build the Kingdom of God, some successful, some not. But the fire was always there, pushing me on to do the Lord’s work. My focus has always had a farm and ranch base, always. Sometimes when I get real busy doing to much church work it would lose the focus so a couple of months ago I put in my notice to quit Children’s Church which I taught every Wednesday evening for five years with the plan of being able to spend more time working on farm and ranch ministry. God must think a little different than I do because the moment I retired I ended up getting set back mightily with the gut problems that had been plaguing me since around Christmas. To make a long story short, here I am recovering from going under the knife last Friday. One of the most interesting things for me has been digging into some of the old time hymns. Now I know many folks only want “modern” music nowadays or else something different than many of the old one, but when yu get right down to it some of them old ones could literally shake you with the power of the Holy Ghost! Now I’m a cattleman, I like western music, I like some of the modern church songs too, but back around Christmas when the wife and I went to see the movie True Grit on a Monday evening I durn near shook with the way that movie was made. The Christian hymns in it were unreal and such a good movie to boot. This week I was self examining myself, you know, I like cowboy church and all of that, (I really do), but I wondered about myself, do I just want to go that direction. Well, I like that direction but the thoughts kept coming to me to have an old time hymn thrown in the every once in a while too. I mean if they could make one of the best westerns ever made and have them old hymns in there that literally added bunches to the movie why not farm and ranch ministry.

I’m hoping to hit the road by later next week, when I should be feeling a little more up and up. I am looking forward to it allot. Looking forward to man hunting again! No greater game can be found. I figure a cowboy parson is like an old time marshal or bounty hunter, going after those that Jesus wants! Getting on the trail and not letting up. It does take grit allot of the time I can tell you. This is going out where you don’t see any nice church building. This is going out to those that are shunned by normal church folks live. Kinda going out to no man’s land in a way. That’s where I come alive! Can consider it the same as heading out to outlaw territory. I know it might sound a little funny, but in reality this is exactly what it is!

So I’ll close tonight, don’t want to over do it and had better go and lay back down for a bit. Getting ready for what God has called me to do, arming myself more and more as God knocks me down for a bit to get me straightened out!

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mud Runner!

November, the time has sure flown by! Harvest is done for us, although there’s plenty of action in the area and will be for at least a couple more weeks as the corn comes off the area fields. We were done more than a week ago, then it rained, and rained. Thank the Lord we got done because today we went out to one of the fields that we harvested and baled in order to bring home round bales of corn stalks and let me tell you, it was soft. In fact we promptly got the three quarter ton pickup stuck. Had to unhook the bale trailer, plus push four bales off of the truck bed, (those bales were literally sinking the truck down), figured we’d have to call home for help but God is good, and that three quarter ton, after a few back and forth spins, shot forward, mud flying, a sight to behold! Took the tow strap, hooked it to the rear of the bale trailer, pulled it back a hundred feet or so onto a bit safer ground, and home we went. All in a day with this life style!

Oh Lord, a lot got done today, kinda nice after last week’s miserable weather. Things are going well on the faith side of things too. Getting busier and busier, week after week. Doing a part in every Sunday church service too at our little country church. So as we progress towards winter things will balance out. Less work with the cattle, more time for ministry. I love it!

Published in: on November 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Some Fiddling!

Sometimes a fella just has to kick back and enjoy a little fiddling! This video really caught my eye, and ears!!

Published in: on September 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Are You The One?

Matthew 11

Jesus and John the Baptist1After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.

2When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

4Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

7As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is the one about whom it is written:
” ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’ 11I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. 13For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15He who has ears, let him hear.

I’ve read these passages countless times in the past but today at a small mid-summer joint church service which our little church was involved in these verses literally exploded into my heart. It was a beautiful day out here in the countryside. Sometimes we take it for granted living out here that this is the way it is for everyone, but I know that its sure not when a person sits down and dwells on it. But today’s message, given by a local county chaplain who is a rarity amongst them, one who is one fire for Jesus Christ and not just a generic chaplain,  was a life changer of huge proportions!

The message was about doubt, about wavering faith. The message was about how a person can be on the mountain top with all the faith seemingly possible and then be brought down into the pit and the faith starts to shake. Now some religious folks figure a person has to maintain an air of perfect faith all the time and never complain or question, just keep putting on the show and making it look like everything is OK. Well, I don’t know about anyone else but sometimes things are not OK. Ol’ John was in prison for months for speaking out the truth against Herod. John had seen Jesus baptized,he had seen the Holy Spirit descend on Him. John knew that He was the Lamb of God. But John was now locked away for a long time and doubts started to creep in. Where was this new Kingdom,where was this new day?

Ever have times like that? I sure do, all the time. They creep in quietly, they creep in especially after being on the mountain top where a person figures it’ll never get bad again. But that’s when the hit comes. It happens to all Christians, the question is how do we deal with it. How did John deal with it? How did others in the Bible deal with it? The answer is that they came directly and asked God, are you Him? How did David deal with everything that happened so tragically in his life? The answer is he came and asked God, sometimes in anger, sometimes in frustration,but he always brought it to Him.

How do we deal with tragedy? Do we just try and put on our church act where we act like everything is OK? That’s just dishonesty. It ain’t OK, so why put on a show. The saints can’t help, or share when the show is being put on. When John had his disciples come to Jesus there wasn’t a rebuttal for unbelief. On the contrary Jesus gave John the Baptist some pretty good praise! Because John honestly questioned while being down in the pit.

This got me thinking today. A good day by all standards. Was at the small town joint church service. After that had some treats and coffee from a neighboring church. Then found a good spot, set out the lawn chairs and watched the annual parade for an hour. Came home and in an hour or so got together with some really close friends from church and went to the city 35 miles south east of here and ate and then went to a plant nursery where everything was bare bones price. My kinda deal. Both families each bought a cherry tree and we helped each other plant em at our respective places. Got home this evening did pasture checks and I was still dwelling on this message today. A life changer if I ever heard one.

Jesus knows what its like to be in the pit. He knows what its like to wonder where God is. He knows the darkest hour and the terrible feeling of not knowing where God is in all of it. Don’t believe me? Yes, He knows! Matthew 27:46

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus will never leave us, never! He knows what we go through, no matter what we go through. In our darkest hours we have the right to call out to Him! You know, that’s real faith! When all hell is breaking loose, to call out to God. A person is smashed down to nothing. What we perceive as faith is almost non existent. And in the misery and dispare we call out, we cry out, we yell out, or we can’t even find words and just groan. Is God ashamed of us as some religious folks would have us believe? The Biblical answer is no. That’s when He is closest!