Speak To Them Bones!

 The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones.  He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”

   “O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”

  Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord!  This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

  So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.

 Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’”

 So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.

  Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’  Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord.  Ezekiel 37:1-13

Dry bones, nothing but dry bones. It seems like that’s the way it is nowadays. Like a prophet of old a fella sometimes wonders if anyone even cares. If anyone cares about what Jesus did for us, or is it just filling time at church, or no time at all as folks get caught in the hustle and bustle of everyday modern life. Well I had a day off today of sorts, was raining. Did basic cattle chores and that was about it and this afternoon headed to the county seat to get a haircut so I’d look half way presentable next month at the cowboy church service that I’m preaching at near here during a summer event. Figure at least if they botch the job with the haircut it gives it a few weeks to repair itself. At the county seat, and this town only has 7000 folks living there, it was all hustle and bustle and everyone was in a rush. A guy like me notices that because even though I have to rush many times around here with the work, especially in hay making season, I do realize its at a much different level. Its just man against work and most of the time man wins. But there’s none of the hustle and bustle of normal society out on this outfit. A man’s word is still his word, work isn’t a bad word, and God is God and we ain’t.

Seems like everyone got a cell phone growing out of the side of their head so they can’t even relax on the drive home from a hectic day at some job, its all the time hurry, hurry and hurry. Now, I have a cell phone but its about the least used thing I have, but it is handy when there’s a breakdown a couple miles out when I’m in the field. Folks like to stretch the truth allot nowadays too, especially to get what they figure they deserve, which is another thing implanted in folks the last couple of decades or so. Folks look at the government as something that is supposed to support them and get all high and mighty when its suggested that folks can make their own way, again, by a thing called honest labor.

Honesty, integrity, a fella’s word meaning something are all going by the wayside at a rapid pace. Now its just me, me, what can you do for me. Even religion has turned that way and is making the Lord a heavenly vending machine that has no choice but to bless you of all your earthly desires if you so called “speak it and believe it”. The folks that do go to church don’t need much of an excuse to miss to do something “fun”. And so many have turned their backs entirely away from God and are totally immersed in the world system. It doesn’t look all that good anymore from a man’s point of view, no sir it doesn’t.

But God’s ways ain’t our ways and God doesn’t want to lose a single person, the Bible says so. And I figure if it looks impossible, it looks like there’s no hope, like its all going down the tubes all I have to do is read my cattleman’s handbook, (the Bible), and I’m told differently. God can take the impossible and make it possible! That’s what keeps this old cattleman going, knowing that God will tax the furtherest star to bring in more folks into His corral.

Like I said, God’s ways ain’t our ways and that Handbook is very clear He loves us! He ain’t sittin up there waiting to hurl a lightening bolt at us for every goof up we make. I read some where, forget where, that nothing, and I mean nothing pleases God more than when we look to Him with some trust. You look at them oldtimers in the Bible and almost every one of them was a screw up of sorts, always screwing up, failing in so many ways, but God backed em up every time when they cried out to Him. There’s a lesson there I tell you! But back to the dry bones, I get so excited just talkin about Jesus I just keep on yammering. (Nothin wrong with that.)

Can God take an area like where I live and bring it back to life? Yes sir, He can! Of course He does want some solid folks to get out there and do some of the work. Solid, but I didn’t say perfect, cause like I said, them heros in the Bible were sure normal people. Just normal folks that did what they thought was impossible and changed the world. But they were folks that feared the Lord more than man and when you get right down to it, man is nothing compared to God. God can and will use anyone that accepts His call on their life. Use them big, having them do things that would seem totally impossible a short while before. He can bring them old dry bones and bring em right back to life, real life! And He’ll do it in ways that sometimes don’t make sense to regular folks. He’ll even use cowboy preachers, yes He will!

There’s gonna be some bones rattling in this region! The Word gets right into the very marrow! I’m excited to be riding for the brand finally! Excited about preaching the Word like the old circuit riders, like cowboy preachers, to the regular folks and not in a church. Over a year ago I had a vision and I don’t get visions all to often, believe me, and it was about these verses up above and I seen the dry bones in this area waking up, coming to life. But I didn’t know what to do. I knew there was the call but didn’t have the slightest idea where to start. I argued with God a bit, kinda like ol’ Moses when God called him from the burning bush, I was saying I can’t do it but God said don’t worry about the impossible details. He’d take care of em. And over the last several months what was once totally impossible has become possible, nothing of my doing. The right connections, details taken care of that I had not the slightest idea on how to take care of. All is getting set, and my only job is to speak the Word of God in the Valley of Dry Bones!

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I Am Not Ashamed….

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes….

Late Monday afternoon and I already have the work that needs doing done. Tonight there will be very little competition for the computer, funny how college classes online take up so much time nowadays. Not any class for me mind you but for the daughter. But who am I to complain, it’ll save a year and a half in the real college! Mucho dinero! They didn’t have anything like that when I was a young man.

Yesterday was so different around here that I’m still recovering.I kinda kept it a secret that it was my birthday, or so I thought. I had to give the opening announcements in church yesterday.No more than five minutes is the norm. But I ended up there over twenty minutes, and that ain’t counting the offering message I did later in the service. Seems like word got out that old Tom was a bit older yesterday and I had one pulled on me! And the funny thing is, I didn’t suspect a thing. Total ambush! I tip my hat to the sneaky people in our church, and I sure am glad they are Christians cause if those sneaks were on the other side who knows what they’d do! To put it bluntly, I got roasted up front. Don S. who has commented here in the past worked and put together a video that would ruin anyone’s life 🙂 Then the whole church sang Happy Birthday twice through being led by our praise team leader as she played her concertina! (The concertina thing was a great honor by the way!) After surviving that, barely, I came home and wondered how come the wife had so much food prepared, but a simple farmer just figures that she’s fattening up her husband for a Minnesota winter. Again, around 4 in the afternoon I got ambushed! A bunch of church folk all showed up about the same time and Tom ain’t going to get fat off of all the lasagna that was sitting there! But what a wonderful time it was! I thank each and every one!

So, with all that done and over with its time to focus on some other stuff. Up on top of this post is a verse from the 1st chapter of Romans. One of them power verses! Old Paul said he wasn’t ashamed of the Gospel, and I figure neither should I be. And I was working today and thinking allot about the year that’s coming up. With all the Christmas stuff a person kinda loses focus sometimes and forgets that there is life after Christmas. But I was thinking about spreading the Gospel. About getting together a Gospel Campaign for the coming year, to start soon after Christmas, no sense wasting life I figure. Now this just energizes me! I just gotta get myself out of the rut where a person thinks that church is where its at. Church has a great purpose but the job is to reach out beyond the walls. Besides, that’s where the action is!

I confess, I was hit with many side tracking things this past summer and fall, it even showed on this blog, but now I’m refocusing, sighting it in so to speak. It might start slowly, but the rural campaign is beginning. It is birthed. Last spring when watching the movie “Faith Like Potatoes”  it struck me how an ordinary guy can step out for Jesus and change so much of the world. In reality there’s nothing special about that. I believe God wants every single one to step out and do amazing things in His name! Just take that step and let God do the rest!

That simple Gospel, that power that is unequaled in this universe! This is my passion! God is providing every single thing! I needed Bibles, now I got Bibles, allot of them, both cowboy Bibles and a couple big cases of Old and New Testament NKJV that are totally at my disposal. God provides! God provides the music and that will be worked out shortly! Lord, Lord who’da ever though a couple of years ago that those crazy visions I had would come true! In fact every crazy vision that we ever had here has come true or is in the process of coming true. I do believe that God plants things in a person’s heart and if a person is willing God will provide all the way. But one must take hold and follow it through!

I Will See the Goodness of the Lord

After a pretty cold week, this Saturday was a pleasant warm up! Sunny, not much of a breeze and in the twenties. Almost hot outside working! This past week was a real busy one for me, including today, but it looks like I can spend a couple minutes here on the old computer. Things are going very good on the farm, cattle are fat and happy, plenty of feed on hand, most of the firewood for this winter is cut, a good time to be had here for sure.

Tomorrow’s church and I have a little speaking to do in the service and will put that together a bit later this evening. No big deal, I know what I’ll be talking about already and even if I don’t get anything put together it will get done. I have many things on my heart these past couple of days but I don’t know what I’ll write about this evening. As a person can maybe tell, I’m doing what I call a warmup here. Just chatting about what’s happening lately.

Psalm 27:13-14 (New International Version)

13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

Waiting for the Lord. I like those verses above, the kind that a person takes to heart. I’m not using those verses tomorrow, I just came up with them now. In Children’s Church we sometimes do an old fashioned preaching thing. Take the Bible and with a person’s eyes closed, not knowing of the Bible is right side up or upside down, open it, (still with the eyes closed), point a finger to a verse, open your eyes and see what you picked, then preach it. A pretty good exercise! I’ve read about old time farmer preachers who didn’t have much time to prepare sermons and stuff and that’s what they’d do from the pulpit. Point and preach.It might sound kinda crude but the whole Word of God is worthy of being preached at any time so I figure there ain’t nothing wrong with that. Now some high class folks might not like it but that’s their problem, not mine.

That wonderful Word of God! Better than anything else that there is. I could rephrase the above first line, “I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Word in the land of the living”. Now that gets me excited! The Word, the very thing that holds the whole universe together! I know that nowadays it’s not that fashionable to declare the Word, to stand on the Word as absolute truth, to say either the Word or else the world, it’s a choice.  A choice everyone in this society has to make. The Word or the world.

These last few years I just can’t get enough of the Word. Its life itself, in a spiritually dead society the Word brings life. I almost cry when I realize how little regard folks have for the Word, and I’m talking church folk. The world doesn’t understand the Word, in fact the Bible says it’s as if though the world has scales on their eyes and the Word cannot penetrate their hearts. It sound foolish to most folks and that makes it hard sometimes trying to witness to folks. But one must understand that when we witness it isn’t for those folks, as strange as that sounds. It’s because Jesus Christ is worthy of having His Word spread. The world can take it or leave it, that’s not for the Christian to decide.

Witnessing takes on a whole new meaning when done Biblically. When spreading the Word is because Christ is worthy to have His Word spread. If we spread the Word for the folks receiving it we will burn out, and fast! For Christ alone! Then things move! This is interesting cause I just took some random Bible verses and its coming clear now. “Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord!” What we do today sometimes has no seeming effect on things. We wait for results and none seem to come, but the Lord is on the move when we are on the move doing His work. Be patient, keep going even when it seems like there’s nothing happening at all.

The thing I’ve learned, and I don’t know if this is just an unusual case, is that the Lord moves when we do. When the heart is willing the Lord supplies. The moment a person learns something, or has a deeper revelation in the Word, almost instantly the revelation can be applied to a situation. This I’ve seen over and over in our own case here. And it just happened a few minutes ago here. As I’m being “stretched” by the Lord almost daily there’s things He put in my heart for a while now that I have finally decided the time is right to do. To set up an evangelistic community event, something I didn’t have the know how to do until now is coming together. And to my surprise, (which it shouldn’t surprise me), things are falling right into place. All I gotta do is ask and bam! No problem!

I remember reading the book and watching the movie, “Faith Like Potatoes”, and Angus would just step out in faith when it came to ministry and the Lord provided every time. This I am seeing for myself here a half a world away! But the stepping out is never an easy thing, old self don’t like it one bit! I don’t have the foggiest idea where any of this will leed. But I’m confident that “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!”

The Key!

Glory to God this was a good day! Not to much work to do, the cattle were good and stayed n the fences, not a problem in the world that can’t wait till tomorrow! This evening is a time to reflect a bit at what has been done these last few months and what is to come. Things just take off when God is in command and a fella has a hard time keeping up especially when the flesh still wants to do things its own way. Last December I was reading a Christian magazine and it had a small article about the South African farmer/preacher Angus Buchan who’s character is portrayed on the movie “Faith Like Potatoes”. It caught my eye and I studied up a bit on his ministry but then had to pursue other things at the moment. This past spring I found out about the movie and rented it, then bought a copy and things have never been the same around here. After that I purchased three books written by Angus Buchan, one being a devotional written by a farmer for farmers. I love that book and plan on buying several more copies just to distribute to folks in need of such things. In his book “Faith Like Potatoes” which I purchased at the same time I learned things that settled my heart for a long time to come.

The biggest revelation I received from the book was on how they structure their ministry. Much differently than what we consider the norm in the American religion which I have some difficulty with. Now this ministry is not a church, its an evangelistic ministry. One thing stood out big to me that’s totally upside down from what we in America consider “normal”. They do not pass the collection plate. Also I looked on their ministry website, Shalom Ministries, which is near the bottom of the links on the sidebar. There is no plea for money, no paypal button, nothing. How radical can they get! Who ever heard of such a thing in America?? The ministry is supported by faith from the farm they farm! Now this is radical, very radical. But extremely biblical.

Also on the farm is a chapel for the immediate neighborhood. There are several other things the farm provides for the Lord’s work. They do receive donations here and there and doors are opened that normally would be impossible. But with 90% of all expenses paid by the farm this is still radically different than what is considered ministry in America. Now why does this strike me so? Why does this excite me so? Because they are relying on God to supply their needs to do His will! Simple and direct. Not relying on if the donations will be up for the month or year, but relying on Gods blessings and the sweat of their own brows. Is it only me or is this biblical? The freedom that this gives to do the Lord’s will is unmatched in anything the American religion has! The one thing that will send so many to hell is the fact that the American religion appears as a money hungry machine. And in many ways that’s all it has become, a far cry from the Book of Acts, a far cry from the letters of Paul.

Do we have faith to let God supply our needs, helping us with the work we do to make a living and further the Kingdom? This will take an extreme deprogramming from the American religion. I think the word that puts more fear in anyone is the word “work”. Heaven forbid that I should do something as demeaning as working a dirty job when I am serving the Lord. But work gives freedom, allot of freedom from the world’s structure that has infiltrated the church. Years ago in this country the denominations that exploded across America were ramrodded by preachers that hardly got payed at all. Evangelistic surges that changed the country’s landscape bigtime.

Evangelism therefore exploded when folks that weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty were released into the countryside, mostly at their own expense. What a concept! This should put me in the loony list even writing like this, trouble is that its true. Now when evangelism is mainly done with “paid” evangelists that travel from church to church for a set fee mostly, faith is on a severe decline. We call those folks evangelists but in all reality they are not because to put it bluntly what’s an evangelist doing in churches? Think about that for a moment. That’s the last place they should be! Was Phillip the evangelist preaching all the time in the church of Jerusalem? NO! He was out everywhere proclaiming the Word of God to the masses anywhere and everywhere! And its not that easy to convince the masses, the unsaved masses to give an offering.Its more important to proclaim the Word of God to them. Today the “evangelists” find it much more financially rewarding to “evangelize” in churches cause they do take up offerings. But the truth be told, very few people get saved in churches  in comparison to evangelizing out in the world.

So the question I ask myself is “is my faith strong enough to follow a vision like this?” Through the years I’ve seen people farming that supposedly had a call from God and they just let the farm go down the tubes. But what happens if the farm is the very bread and butter of the ministry? The farm thrives because its only purpose is to further the Kingdom of God. Its a family farm, not even a tax write off for some ministry belonging to the American religion. Instead of going down the tubes it expands to meet more needs. The cattle herds get bigger and better, the crops thrive more because of the extra care as they are being tended for the work of the Lord and supplying the needs of the Lord’s workers! Anybody getting this? As I type tonight I’m looking out the window on what looks like a fairly full moon rising over a field of 91 big round bales on the highest hill on the farm. A sight to behold! Blessings from God! This is not by any means modern prosperity preaching, this is biblical to the tee. I praise the Lord for finding these books that have confirmed so many things that were in my heart but so difficult to find in the modern day American religion based on money,money from others. I don’t believe I’m a heretic thinking this way and if I am, oh well. I’ve done worst in the past I guess! I believe I’ve found the key, the key to doing things as the Lord intends for us to do!

Sunday Ponderings

This was probably one of my biggest days off of the summer! With chores to a minimum and rains yesterday to force me to slow down this was a different day indeed! Our church banded together with several other area churches and had an outdoor service at a local town that was having a summer carnival. The service was two hours earlier than our normal time but the small amount of chores got done in good order and we had plenty of time to get there early this morning. After the service we walked over to one of the local churches that was in on the service and had us a breakfast, and of course coffee for me! Did that last year too and funny how much I enjoy that! A good day, one of the best! Then when that was over with we hung around with friends and waited for the parade to start. A good parade, a big one for such a small town. Of course the little kids sure enjoy the candy, I just enjoy the fellowship, very much! Stuck around for the kids to take in a few rides, of course I stayed away from that. Either I’m getting older, or just wiser! Bought a burger and about that time in early afternoon decided to head on home after already spending six hours in town. A good day, a wonderful day!

Got home and did a pasture check that I happened to skip this morning and then figured I’d better till the garden! Why? Because the weeds were as high as the tiller! Funny how things can get away on a guy. But the weed hammering is done and in a few days I’ll hit it again and it should look allot more presentable after that hit! Now to just get a good rest tonight and hit the farm hard tomorrow. Cultivate corn in the morning when things are a bit damp yet and rake and bale hay afternoon into evening. The next day do it all over again. Things get done no matter how big the job seems at the time. So this week and the next will be full bore work! But good work and I praise the Lord for it!

So much happening, so much. And I’m not talking farming either. I’m talking faith matters. I can’t turn around and there’s something happening, something stretching me more and more. From Honduras to local. From town to farm. And from all over on the internet. The comments here and the e-mails are really special to me and I really want folks to know that. I never was a very good commenter, but the comments and e-mails really touch me and keep me going. I try and keep up with them but sometimes things slip through when I’m busy and I apologize for that.

There’s a quote, a quote from about my favorite movie of all time, “Faith Like Potatoes”, and also the book of the same name. “When God’s creation is broke, He’s more than able to fix it!” Over the last couple of months I’m starting to realize that this quote is becoming a theme for me. Just think about the simplicity of that quote and the meaning behind it! A simple sentence like that is a faith builder if ever there was one! And I know that there’s not a person alive that doesn’t need some fixing. If I was an automobile I think my tires would be bald, the engine eating oil like nuts, the tranny ready to go out, but I keep on going down that narrow road, even in that condition, trusting the Creator to keep things together enough to be used for His glory.And He will! Today I know that God does use the foolish to confound the wise, believe me! Cause He even has uses for some one like me. In all reality that’s hard to believe and it makes no sense at all, none.

He can take anyone, yes, anyone and use that person for His glory. Don’t matter if they’re rich or poor, good looking or someone like me who really ain’t. Someone who talks rough or someone who is an expert speaker, don’t matter one bit to God. He can take a farmer, a house wife, someone who works in any kind of job or someone who can’t work at all because of some injury, or age, or condition, it don’t matter to God. He can use any one for His glory. The more impossible, the better! The more unlikely, the best! In my early walk as being a Christian, (which wasn’t all that long ago), I dug into everything I could get my hands on as far as preaching, teaching and the sorts. I followed many big named preachers and ministries and I don’t regret it because I did learn allot. But something happened over the course of time, something I have a hard time explaining. The more I learned the more I headed for the simple. The more I headed for the real people. The big churches are OK, I ain’t knocking them, because who am I to do so. The big ministries that bring in ten or hundreds of thousands of people are OK, but I started getting a disconnect from them. Again, not knocking them, but just sharing here.

I started seeing the real world, or at least the world that I was being led to. The regular folks. The small churches. The ministry where a person is out with the young, the old and every one in between! Away from the big churches, away from the perfect praise teams, away from the money. Away from the business of it. Just with the people, the regular folks. Not looking for a job, just looking to spread the Good News with a simple heart! And over these past few months since deciding this, a decision that even had me end some blogs and just take the chance and have this one, things are at a roar in the faith department! From holding Hispanic services locally, to the Honduras trip with members of our family where the Gospel was spread. To being trusted to do Sunday church services in our church to who knows where and what else will come up.

When a person tells God that he or she will follow Him and do His will, believe me, He will respond and open doors in every direction in ways a person could not even imagine shortly before. This Sunday evening, this evening of rest before the storm of work tomorrow, I am amazed at how God can take a worthless life as mine and turn it around and challenge me to go ahead, to do His will, to follow Him and trust Him doing things which I never thought were possible for someone like me. I’m a farmer. There’s a farm to run, there’s a family to take care of. But when you make a covenant with God, to do His will, watch out! The farm will blossom, the work will get done, probably better than before, and He will open doors, He will make a way for a person to do His will and work in ways a person could have never imagined without thinking they were going half nuts just a little while before hand!

When God’s creation is broke, and I was sure broke, He can take a life and turn it around so that to the world they can’t even believe what they are seeing. He’s more than able, yup much more than able, to fix it!

Seek First

Matthew 6:31-33

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

A beautiful day in the northland’s farm country! The day consisted of cutting hay, half of the morning and all of the afternoon. The hay that I cut today was tall and very thick! The old JD 2520 really had a load on cutting that stuff! A better day couldn’t be found though, in the low eighties and a light wind out of the south. Those that know say there’s rain coming tonight and tomorrow and by the looks of the radar I would say they might be right.One good rain on cut hay never bothers me this time of the summer because it dries out so quick when the weather straightens out. I was thinking about heading out to a small town carnival tonight, but this sore body is telling me different, so I’ll just drink my hot cup of black tea and write down today’s thoughts.

Farming and faith, my two subjects. I always basically write about both in every post. There’s no way I can separate the two so I guess that’s why they’re always together on this blog. God comes first, before farming, before family, before anything and everything. Does that mean we drop all farming because of every church activity on the calendar? No. We have to use common sense judgement on everything when the two collide. If its harvest time and its a God given day where a person can get the harvest in, we harvest. Its our work, its our living. But all in all we try and help out as much as possible in our church even during the busy times.  But I don’t think the verses at the top of the post mean that when they say, “first seek the kingdom of God”.

Seek God, seek His kingdom, seek to have His kingdom on earth, on our farms and in our lives. Now when your seeking God and farming for God the days get a whole lot easier! Why? I figure cause the pressures off a guy. God’s in control and all we have to do is do the best job we possibly can. For His glory! Not ours. Which reminds me, a few weeks ago when it looked like we were in for another killer drought, everything was dust, some crops were even having a hard time emerging, pastures were starting to dry up and the hay was starting to stunt. There were quite a few churches that had special services or at least special prayers for some desperately needed rain. Nothing wrong with that! In fact we should run to God with all of our needs! But now that the spring drought basically busted, where’s the thanksgiving services? Where is the continual praise to such a great and mighty God? All is basically silent. Now its getting back to bragging about how good the crops look, how we did this and we did that! Sad to say, but that’s the way it is.

Here its being handled differently, and please don’t take this as being self righteous, because its not, its from the heart. Here on this farm, this family knows where all our met needs come from. And it sure isn’t from us! I have yet to make it rain! I have yet to do anything of importance. Sure I plant and go through the motions, but without God there is not one single thing that will grow on its own, not one. No matter how good the technology, God is the one who makes it grow and blossom!

Seek God first, then all these things will be added unto you. I like that! Simple really! Sure does make life worth living, and also make the thought of when life ends for us not a terror, but a grand stepping into the glory of a Loving God! To be with God forever! A person can wake up in the morning and the first thing say, “I’m ready for your return today!” Work the day on the farm as if any moment Christ will return and find us doing good. Whether in our work or in our dealings with people. I think that has really been lost nowadays in western culture, the continual thought about Christ’s return. And of course the thought that any moment could be our last and we return to Christ before He returns. Doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. One way or another any given day could be the last.

Why worry about the world? Why worry about a failing system that’s crashing faster and faster? The systems are already falling apart as the return of the King gets closer! I pray that He finds me doing His will. I pray when the world is in total terror in those final moments that we on this farm are shouting with joy!

I was going to end the post, but can’t seem to. How different it is when a person seeks the Kingdom! How different it is when we trust our Lord and Saviour! There is no separating faith and farming and I pray for those who only farm without faith, without God. What an empty existence. When farming for the Lord one can say everyday, “Thy Kingdom Come”, and His Kingdom fills the farm, fills the family, fills the home. Declare it every day! And He does come! And when Christ does return in person He will find His Kingdom already established and waiting on our farms and fields, in our homes and families!

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 8:28 pm  Comments (3)  
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On Fire!

A wonderful Sunday, its been raining lightly since around noon and this evening it still is gently falling. The land is turning such a deep green, something I haven’t seen this good in many a year that all I can do is praise the Lord! From fields of yellowish struggling oats to dead even fields of deep blue green oats that’s starting to head out, the blessings are becoming more and more apparent! God is on the move! This past spring I finally came to the conclusion that a man farming had better get right with God. The Lord wants to bless us but for some reason I always refused it. Thinking a fella just had to bull down and take what ever comes. Lack of understanding and lack of faith is all. This year enough is enough and its time to claim God’s blessings that He wants to bestow, while stubborn me has always refused them. In many fields the impossible is happening as I write, weeds are dying where its impossible for them to die. Pastures are bursting grass faster than the cattle can mow it down! God heals the land!

Today’s church service went good. I ain’t thinking about jumping off a cliff so that’s a good indication that I didn’t screw it up to bad! Funny thing, I had figured I didn’t have enough to fill an hour’s worth of preaching, but when it was done I still had over half of my notes left! Just a simple basic outline is all I go by, but I couldn’t believe how that time just raced by, almost wanted to slow the clock down. I know God’s hand was in it all, cause I had wanted to play three film segments of the movie, “Faith Like Potatoes”, and the sound system worked! Now that don’t happen all to often! The clips would come on the moment I gave the nod, it went so smooth that I was just in a dream world with that part. In my opinion, which doesn’t count for much, those three segments were about as good as it gets for getting a real faith message across! I even cut things short because I felt anything I would try to add to it would probably cut down on the impartation that came out of the film clips. The support from the Praise Team blew me away! They had me smiling during worship and that really broke up any nervousness that I carried into church! Bless them!

So now the Honduras trip pressures are a thing of the past, the Sunday service is behind a fella, and now I can get back to simple farming and doing what we do around here without my mind racing at break neck speed. Ah, farming, cutting hay, baling hay, moving it home, cultivating corn, working the pastures, life is good! I know though that God will come up with something even if we don’t so I ain’t getting all too comfy as I sit here tonight. The Christian life is an adventure, a grand adventure, that’s for sure!

For a farmer, being able to just get out there and do the work is all the vacation we need most of the time. I’m not that keen on vacations cause I know I’m not getting much accomplished and someone else sure ain’t going to do it. If I have a “vacation” let it be in the service of the Kingdom. It can’t get more satisfying than that for me. Life is a vapor and in this short time we have here the only reason we’re here is to do the will of the King. And I believe with all my heart that any thing a person does will be rewarded in the here and now, and afterwords also.

I’m just on fire tonight, on fire for the Lord! Farming for the Lord! I said, “Lord, if you want us to do Kingdom work this farm will have to pay for it, this farm will have to thrive because there won’t be any asking for handouts to finance it. This farm will have to prosper!”  In the past I’ve seen many a folk getting a “call” from God and then the farm goes down the tubes and I truly wonder if it was a “call” or just trying to get out of work. Well, the bible says we are supposed to work! And the way I read it, it says that we are supposed to work to support ourselves so we can spread the Gospel. Old Paul, he worked to support himself in a ministry that turned the world upside down!

Now when a fella starts thinking like this, things move! The farm isn’t put on the back burner cause its the fuel for the fire! A Holy fire! Farming for God, farming God’s land, raising God’s cattle and I do believe God will not short change His hired hands! Modern prosperity preaching? Not a chance! This is putting the true priorities in order! What would happen if this would spread across farm country, what would happen if more and more farms were turned over in faith to God? He owns them anyhow! The cattle are His, He sends the rain which is the most important fertilizer a farmer can get! Try farming without it and see how important man’s inputs are in comparison to His!

This evening is finally an evening of rest! What tomorrow brings is no worry of mine. God is in control! If we work till we drop we’ll be praising the Lord on our way down! Honest labor for a Holy God! Amen!

A Troubled Mind

A couple more days of being single and then life is back to normal!! Yee Haw! Getting quite a scrap iron pile in the kitchen with all the cans we went through this past week 🙂  Rain in the forecast and we can always use a good shot of that in this area. I was going to start cutting our beef hay today but didn’t get to it, but no worries. Besides once everyone is back home then I can just put in huge amounts of time in the field and know that there’s some good food waiting at the end if the day. Just have to worry about showering up and reading the Word before bed and that’s good enough for me! All is going great in Honduras and the calls and e-mails are coming regular now. This family, with the help and prayers of our church has opened the doors for future works in the back ways of the mountains of Honduras. I get a funny feeling this is just the beginning of life long adventures for all of us here.

I was working in the corn fields today and of course then I can dwell on things, which is something I should be able to do allot of these next few weeks in the fields, tending corn and making hay. Also I just finished up a rough outline for Sunday’s service at church and of course that was following the thoughts from out in the fields. And to no ones surprise the subject is faith, I said no surprises. A picture is worth a thousand words or so they say, well, I got three clips from the movie “Faith Like Potatoes” chosen for Sunday’s service. What can I say, if a feller has to be up there for an hour or more you gotta use everything you can! That’s me up there for an hour or more, not the length of the service which is a whole lot longer than that!

But the thing I’m thinking about along the lines of faith talk are really working on me. Now some say in the books I read you must build up your faith so there ain’t a shred of doubt. Easier said than done in my humble opinion. On the three movie clips I have chosen to help me out this Sunday I have noticed one big important thing in this true story. The main character’s mind doubted. But he obeyed God. Now I have a confession to make, my mind doubts all the time, in fact when I take a step of faith in obedience to God’s Word my mind roars at me. But when I look at the Bible as it talks about mountain moving faith it always talks about faith that’s in the heart. Cause if I’d listen to my mind I’d never get anywhere and I do believe that confuses allot of folks in their faith walk. The Bible says to believe with your heart.

In the last scene of Faith Like Potatoes, Angus is basically telling his foreman he’s sorry for probably bringing the farm down planting those potatoes in the drought, even though God told Him to in his heart. But even with that doubt in his mind he remained faithful and obedient putting in that impossible crop. I kinda knew that, even mentioning it a long time back in a tithing message at church. When I really dig into this all of a sudden having real faith is not an impossibility for me when I strip away the religion surrounding it. Yes religion, modern day religion that says you can’t ever second guess it. Well, our minds will go crazy second guessing it if your heart is still beating and your still breathing.  But as our heads are screaming at us that its all crazy a person just has to go on as crazy as it seems. As impossible as it seems. In reality, that’s faith.

Because if we believed it totally in our heads that would mean it isn’t impossible, and if it isn’t impossible where’s the faith come in? (Just some farmer theology here). When we break away from the doubts that are yelling at us up between the ears and do it anyhow, now there’s faith! And in the three scenes from the movie I have selected, this happens every time! In the Bible, looking back at some of the greatest heroes of the faith, the same thing happens. Look at Moses, look at Abraham, look at a whole lot more! They were troubled with doubt all the time. But they obeyed and Abraham is even called the father of faith! That’s because he obeyed even when his mind told him otherwise!

In the modern day religion in America I do believe we have sometimes missed it. Faith teachings are geared to make a person believe they have to get pretty well durn near perfect in their thoughts to have faith work. For myself I know that’s more than difficult, its pert near impossible. And I could feel the yoke of religious bondage starting to burden me with these teachings. For me now it boils down to “God loves those who obey Him”, even when their mind don’t want too, especially when their mind doesn’t want to, but they still go ahead and obey God even through the burden of a mind screaming at them not to. That is taking up your cross and following Jesus!

Following the Lord, even when our mind is screaming against it, sets us free from the world’s curses. And every step we take in doing so is a step up, one step higher! God wants to take care of us allot better than the job we are doing on our own! When we put that trust in Him, that trust to obey Him come thick or thin then God can move in our lives!

Finally Home

Back in the saddle here finally! This has been a busy week and as of tonight I’m home and things should get back to normal for a few days till next Wednesday evening when I again head to the Twin Cities to the airport. Since Sunday we’ve been in church every evening for special services, called end time services and I came out of that with allot more knowledge then when I went in! It’ll take a while for things like this to sink in all the way so I’ll leave it at that for now. Just had a call from my better half and my daughter also, a call coming from the country of Honduras. All is well down that way, except rumor has it that its a tad bit hot outside! Unlike here where it stays cool this year.

I now have three books by Angus Buchan, the South African evangelist, and I must say, they are great! These will remain in my personal library as long as I’m kicking on this old earth! In fact I’m going to order more for folks around this area and for who ever would benefit from them. And I do believe allot of folks could benefit from them!

I don’t know if I can get into a long post here tonight. Things to do around here after being away every evening for such a stretched out period of time. But the farm is doing well, I’m not behind with any jobs at the moment, but that’ll be changing as early as next week when I figure to start hay. Everything happens at once!

So as of tonight Bibles and other materials are being distributed in Central America by members of this family. This is not the common organized mission trip, its a private one. Just our family. An orphanage was visited yesterday too and my daughter has probably found her call in life! This is good, very good. I can only praise the Lord as I hold down the home fort. A rural campaign is forming in my heart for this area, time will tell. Every question I ever had about a farm ministry is being answered by the books I received this past week, every one. A common man can help make big changes in the world, this I’ve learned. After all these years writing about things like this its awesome to see things falling into place and God on the move!

Beginning At Jerusalem

Luke 24

45Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Acts 1

8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

A little something this evening as I just come into the house after a day’s work. My mind tends to skip around or at least it looks like it, but there’s always so much on my mind that its hard to peg stuff down day after day. I’ll resume shortly on the train of thought I’ve been writing about lately but am pulling a slight switch tonight. Last evening I was watching the extras on the Faith Like Potatoes DVD which I have at home again and the almost hour long extra with the real Angus Buchan really struck me. Now this guy is just as normal as a farmer type fella as it gets and it just amazed me what he is doing in the Lord’s service!

On this short post, a short one cause I just got in and there’s some stuff I want to do yet, a bit out of last nights viewing is still sticking in my mind. And this sure does have to do with rural farming and the way of life as I view it. I found two verses that go along with this and the second one I found, the one from the Book of Acts is the verse Angus uses in some sound advice. And he was addressing farmers with this. The advice was to start your ministry right where your at, in this case on the farm. That is our Jerusalem. Make the home farm a Godly place first before trying to save the world. What got me in all of this wasn’t something new, it was a confirmation of what I already knew! Amen! Then step over the border and keep expanding.

No matter what a person does, it all centers on the home farm. This is the center, this is where family is. And a farm has the ability to help and reach a tremendous amount of people. Plus room! Today I went a few places around the small towns within a few miles from here putting up fliers for the church event happening at our church starting this Sunday. This was still within the limits of our own “Jerusalem”. But there’s all of Judea, then there’s Samaria which I once read in a book called Soul Savers as being described as the shunned, the ones that society doesn’t want much to do with. Plenty of them around here, plenty of Samaritans.

Then there’s the world and we’re already involved in that! More on that coming up. But the main brunt for now and a long time will be right here in our own Jerusalem. This is our center. This is our living and life. Allot of farmers in this area, allot of agriculture. And every one needing Jesus!