I Will Pass Over You!

Where the northern plains meet the northwoods a warm fall is hanging on for a day yet. Then its back to more normal temps in the lower sixties and fifties. I’m looking forward to that. Seems like when the fall gets warm, every kinda bug there is tries to have its last hurrah. A cool down takes care of that. Snakes are looking for some place to hole up for winter too, and there was a little one in the basement the other day that ended up under the heal of my boot. Such is life. Calves are weaned and have quieted down, getting used to the new way of living, without their mamas. They’re starting to eat more and more and now instead of running away when I come to feed, they’re waiting on the other side of the gate, waiting for me to open it so they can hit the bunks and chow down. Another three weeks or so life should settle down here, the corn will be harvested and stored in the bins. Many times that’s not a fall job here, because everything gets chopped into silage for the cows and calves, but this year it took less than half of the acreage to fill the huge pit and anything not chopped is turned to cash. Its nice when that happens.

“When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Exodus 12:13

Last evening while reading my Bible I came across this part of a verse and really hung up on it. All day its been speaking volumes to me. God saying when He sees the blood He’ll pass over me. By passing over you gotta remember, it ain’t like He’s ignoring you, nope, it means He will pass over you and you do not face His judgment. Which is a pretty good deal as far as I’m concerned cause there ain’t one person on this earth “good enough” for God. We’re all fallen, we’re all sinners. But those who believe Jesus, believe what He done for them, are washed in the blood, and judgment will pass over the believer.

Now, the Gospel ain’t really all that complicated when you get right down to it. God made it simple and even a fella like me can understand it. He made it so simple that little kids can usually figure it out without a problem while older folks are trying to come up with some rules to make em feel like the accomplished something on their own. But no one accomplishes anything remotely good in God’s eyes. That’s why we need the blood. Which works out fine with me because I fail and fail. I remember in religion, years ago, when I was in a religion totally based on work, our own works to get us to God, how I failed and how miserable I was. A fella just knew he was headin for hell, there was no doubt, and I never heard the Good News,  just heard church doctrine. Never heard about a loving God that don’t want any to perish, just heard about a god that gave total authority to the big wigs of the church to lord over us as we tried to accomplish the impossible.

But you know how God got in this house? And it took a long time to sink in, believe me. Way back in 1991 I was paging through a cattle magazine because that’s what I read, cattle and ranching, and there was this ad about this cowboy organization that believed Jesus and they’d send anyone a free newspaper. Back in them days there was no internet, at least not out here, so a person did it the old fashioned way, wrote a note requesting the free paper, included the name and address, and mailed it off in the mailbox. Weeks later I got the first issue, still have it 20 years later, and there was a story about this rancher that was going down and down, drinking hard and all, and how he found Jesus and how his life changed from that time on. I betcha I durn near memorized that article, read it over and over, wondering about such a thing like I’d never really heard of before. A God that loved you, and a way to Him. Oh Lord, that caught my attention. Month after month, year after year, the paper came and I read it from front to back over and over, this really was something I could understand. And I knew, way back then, a person headed for hell, that there was only to things that I wanted to accomplish in this life. One was to ranch and the other was to be a cowboy preacher. Many years later I surrendered to Jesus and haven’t looked back. I was washed in the Blood, finally! God’s judgment would pass over me! I was His!

But there is work for the Lord to do. Not to get me to heaven, the blood did that, but to work because of what He did. To spread the gospel to folks like me, cause I do understand folks like me. I see em all the time and I know how they feel. It was a cowboy ministry that had a huge part in leading me to the Lord over the years, and it is in a cowboy ministry that I’ll do my part, its just plain natural to preach the gospel where your at. If God ever wants me some place else, than so be it, but for now and as long as I can see there’s gonna be a cowboy ministry in the livestock country of central Minnesota. I have never been so at peace with anything in my life, although there are plenty of unknowns in it. I just am so durn thankful to folks like Kevin Weatherby of Save the Cowboy that allow me to hook up with such a good outfit. Now there’s a job to start, and its going to be a quite a ride. Riding by faith in Jesus!

 

 

Advertisements

Worry Ain’t Healthy

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:27
Amen and that’s what Jesus is asking us. I’d bet the herd that them worries probably take away quite a few days from a fella. Not only the lost days worrying, but run ya down earlier in life than it should’a been. You know, when you get right down to it, worrying is simple unbelief in Jesus. I don’t need that. Out on the land, running cattle, a person can get over burdened with worries if you let it take root. Besides raising a family and making sure everything flows smooth there, the cattle, the pastures, the crops, and hundreds of other things are on a fella’s mind every day. Battling the weather, which we sure can do in the northern plains is another thing to throw into the mix. And how worry can creep up on a person, basically its fear taking root. Its all relative though. Funny how there’s times when I start to worry and I do believe its God talking to me all of a sudden, telling me, “what are you worrying about?” Now this ain’t the normal message that tells a person to trust God in the face of everything and anything thrown at ya. Cause I don’t care who it is, there’s going to be a little worry or fear in many a situation. Its what you do despite it!

God has a way of telling every person in a way that person understands. Might be way different for me than for others, but God can figure anyone out and He’s always right. I remember going to the doctor’s office and the news wasn’t really the greatest on earth, in fact they were suspecting something real serious and I remember giving it to God in them times. I worried a bit, yes I did, but I did have a calmer reassurance that surprises me to this day. And God sure does use that to remind me in my day to day worries that pop up around here running cattle and land. That reminding voice in my heart will tell me, “remember in the doc’s office how you thought, I’ll never worry again about the day to day stuff if I can get out of this situation OK?” At that time I’da given anything for the day to day worries around here which in reality are absolutely nothing in comparison to what I was going through at the time.

God takes care of us in different ways, at our own levels and there ain’t a one size fits all solution coming from heaven the way I figure it. He is in control and all we have to do is rely on Him in simple faith. Church today is way to complicated in my humble opinion. Guess that’s why I love the simple cowboy way of doing church. Keep it simple, keep it in faith, believe Jesus and live for Him. And I ain’t going to worry my life away. Would rather talk about Jesus and what He did for a fella like me.

Believe Him

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

 Glory to God this Sunday evening, a beautiful day in the northland, almost too beautiful, was in the 80s again and will be for one more day according to those that supposedly know. In for the evening now, was out in a pasture a little bit ago and following Sunday tradition there were some cattle out. They only get out on Sunday’s, that’s a rule around this place. But they’re in now and so am I. Went to church this morning and that’s the last time till a couple weeks from now, will be on the road next weekend preaching. Figure when I come home from that I’ll have plenty of time to get the escaped Sunday cows in again. But the season is changing, the grass is getting to the point where the cows ain’t all that happy with it anymore. Everything changes, constantly changing but the verse up above is one of those verses I hang on to when all else seems to be getting out of control. Jesus ain’t changing with man’s times, no He ain’t and that’s something a person can stand firmly on.

 Used to be years ago when a fella was just a life long church goer that there was no such thing as a Jesus that is the same as He was in the Bible. Seems like He was a “was” and someday He’d be a forever and ever, but for now it was just the same old, same old. Once heard a feller on the radio, some Christian expert, that said God doesn’t do things like in the Bible days cause nowadays we don’t need Him to do those things and instead He gave us the Bible to guide us through life nowadays. But he was persistent saying that God did not preform miracles or do things like when Jesus was in the flesh or the first apostles walked the earth. In other words, this man was preaching total unbelief in the verse up above. Yes he sure was. No wonder Christianity has fallen into such a humdrum religion.

 But one flaw in this unbeliever’s thinking. If the Bible is to guide us, how can we get guided in unbelief. If the Bible says Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, why ain’t He now if that’s the case? In other words we are to read the Bible and be guided by it, but not to believe it. Well, that’s exactly what it boils down to! The unbelief is staggering in Christian circles today and I am so thankful that Jesus is the same today, and that He moves by faith in Him. And He always moves by faith in Him. Not just when a bored God figures He wants to make a move. Oh folks, without belief in what the Bible says the only thing a person has is dead letter religion. One might be saved, having accepted Christ, but after that leads a life almost totally apart from Him because of unbelief.

 Well, folks will say, “if its God’s will He’ll move”. That’s true, but God’s will is spelled out clearly in the bible and we are to stand on His Word. God said He will provide. How many believe that? No where does it say that maybe God will provide if He feels like it at the time or we’ve been good enough. Nope. A fella got to trust in Him. Gotta trust the “fact” that He’s the same today, in everything. He doesn’t change, His will doesn’t change, His response to our faith doesn’t change, not one bit.

 I tell you, its a whole new way of life when a person believes God, believes His Word, because that’s when heaven can invade earth, through belief, trust, faith. Believing that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He’ll do. Don’t get caught in mans fallen wisdom that says those days are over with. These are just folks that don’t hardly believe and want others to come down to their level. Believe God, only believe, and watch Him move!

We Walk By Faith

Well, its a Saturday evening here on the home place and I’m plum tuckered out tonight. Didn’t do anything big or special to make me tuckered out, just allot of little things with the cattle today. Plus I’m on the verge of starting silage making which is intense when we start. Hoping to get that done in a week or so and behind us so I can get going on fall jobs that I enjoy. Not that I don’t enjoy making a couple thousand tons of silage, smells good and don’t itch, but its one of those things that I’d rather have behind me than in front of me. Just getting a few things ready for church tomorrow, got some speaking to do there, nothing much, nothing like last Sunday’s outdoor event where I was blown away by how good it went. Trouble is tomorrow I won’t be speaking with my cowboy hat, durn. Every day is a bad hair day for this cattleman.

 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Now one of my favorite subjects is faith, could talk about it till the cows come home, and if they’re out in a lush alfalfa field as they were today, (against my wishes), they ain’t coming home on their own anytime soon. One thing I know in life is that when we have some faith in Jesus, its a whole new ball game. Years ago I was so hungry for this, but I will admit, in religion its not important. There its more important to follow man made rules and such. Oh how many decades did I hunger for God, but always had religion instead.

Years back, when I finally gave up on religion and this old world and came to the altar something happened. Something incredible. I found what I had always been looking for. I found God! Finally! And found out that God is the same now as He was back in them Bible days of old. Right off the bat, without even realizing it, I was using simple faith. I’d read it in the Bible, let er soak in, and believe it, and as folks that know me say, “Tom, you learn it, you believe it, and you apply it!” Well, I don’t want to be a braggart, but looking back its true enough. And I couldn’t imagine any other way once a person comes face to face with a merciful and loving God.

A fella just gotta walk the walk by believing Jesus. Simple as that, just believe. Oh how I love simple because over the years I’ve found out that simple is the most powerful faith. Simply believing Jesus. And that’s when heaven comes to earth and there are no exceptions.

Published in: on September 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

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.

 

Trust In God!

Our mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to disciple believers in their personal and spiritual growth.

There! Just coming up with some simple stuff for around here. Simple and to the point. It might have a very rural flair, but its not fake, because I can’t preach the Gospel any other way. Well, its a Saturday night here and I’m still on the mend. Had a scare today on this outfit. Around two in the afternoon I got a telephone call and was asked if I seen any of our cattle running past our place. I looked out the window and no I did not. But the caller, (a family member), said a pen of steers spooked and got loose. Great! Here I am, about as in shape as a slug, trying to recuperate from some pretty big cutting surgery and I have to go and chase some wild eyed steers which I had no part in spooking. Grr! Well, luckily the steers that busted down a heavy duty gate didn’t hang a left and head down the road. They stayed with in the outer fence and ran over to have a look at the cows with a fence separating them. Plus the snow was so deep there those steers couldn’t get much momentum to jump over to the cows. More and more help arrived and we closed off the outer perimeter gates and then it was just to get them into a main corral which they willingly did Praise the Lord! By the time all the action was done this old cattleman was done in and I hardly done anything. Oh Lord, let the recovery continue till I’m back up to snuff!

“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5

So as I sit here tonight thanking the Lord I didn’t get tore apart today in the excitement, I’m putting together a little something for church tomorrow. Seems they want to get me back up there pronto and who am I to say no! I’ll be doing some preaching on the Holy Ghost Cattle Sale which was posted on the blog “Heading Towards Home”. Talk about a story of the Lord answering what was commited to Him.

Yep, sometimes things don’t go according to our plans, but does that mean that the Lord is looking the other way. No. He’s looking the right way! He knows the best out come even when it might not seem that way to us. He sees eternity, we don’t. Most of the time we can’t see past the end of our noses, let alone the big picture. Trust in God, trust in God, trust in God! God is good, God is all good, there is no bad in God, none what so ever. So no matter how it looks, no matter what I see I’m going to trust in Him. And when that day comes when I cross that River and head into eternity that trust will be well worth it!

Surrounded By Him!

 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 1 Corinthians 1:27

Windier than the dickens today on the northern plains. March weather, blowing, possibly snow drifting, but spring keeps getting closer and closer. I was out checking the shape of the cowherds a while ago and spring can’t come soon enough, the snow and ice pack in the feedlots and corrals is making the cattle a whole lot taller lately. The top boards don’t seem all that high anymore. On the average I would say that the pack ice is a couple of feet thick. Oh well, reckon one of these days the south winds will blow for a few days and things will start breaking up.

Been laid up here mostly in the house, feeling better and better as each day goes by. Counting the days till I can return to some real work. I’m thankful that we calve later here on this outfit. Learned that years ago, don’t pay to fight the weather, I’d rather live with it smoothly, the less work involved the better for the same outcome. I love it when a calf is born during weather where it doesn’t have to scramble to just stay alive. No night checks, no freezing calves, no freezing cattleman, yep, I like it allot. I guess that goes against the grain of those who are the experts in the cattle business in the north country but I’ve been around longer than many of the experts, and am still in operation too!

I reckon God had it planned for me to be a cattleman, cause it was in my blood from the very early days. There ain’t nothing I’d rather be doing cept for preaching the Gospel, and raising cattle and preaching go hand in hand for this fella. No, I ain’t some educated man when it comes to the Bible either. I just read it and believe it. Simple. Don’t really try and figure it out, cause men allot smarter than me have tried and failed, but those who believe it soon find that its the very power of God, a power that is always available to them who only believe.

Must be why the simple can explode with so much of God while those who are all high tuned, educated till they can’t even remember all their degrees, basically have a blah life. Out here a fella can see God moving in everything, and I mean it! Especially in that season when things are reborn on the northern plains, when the southern birds return, when the grass starts to green, that first spring thunderstorm and the grand beauty of the cloud formations that sometimes go with it. The creek running through the pastures is teeming with fish making their yearly spawning run. New born calves all over the place and when the sun is setting on those spring evenings the calves do what I call the calf dance, they gang up, go running like the wind kicking their heels in the air and having a blast.

How could I not preach the Gospel when I’m surrounded by His presence? How can I not tell others about what He has done?

There Is Nothing Free Except…….

“You must pay for everything in this world one way or another, there is nothing free except the grace of God. You cannot earn that or deserve it.” from the novel True Grit.

No, there ain’t nothing free when a person is trying to make a go of it out here with the cattle and all. Sometimes money is pretty hard to come by and when it comes it seems to sometimes go out faster than its coming in. Then there’s the sucker biller. Things that a person really gets nothing for but in this day and age many times its the law you have to pay these bills. Such as different insurances and such. Years ago, and I ain’t all that old, there were very few sucker bills and a person worked for the things he needed and was sometimes able to even save some for hard times. Times were simpler then and I do miss that.

When building a cattle outfit there’s a tremendous amount of work and long term investment put into it. More like a lifetime’s worth. Allot of sweat and back aches, allot of sleepless nights when the weather is rough. It ain’t a free ride by any means. Get a bug in the young calves with some rough weather to boot and a fella finds out what life is all about and it ain’t easy. There’s people problems too, from family to total strangers, a person never knows what a new day will bring. There ain’t nothing free in this life apart from God.

Well, a person could say there’s allot of things that are free and we can enjoy them. Yes, true, but all are provided for us by the grace of God. Its not only salvation that is provided free to us undeserving folks, but all the little things too. All those small and large joys that warm the heart are gifts from God.

Salvation is the ultimate gift though and without it everything else is done for nothing. It took me decades to realize that but thank God I do realize that now before its too late. A free gift for us, but it cost and incredible price to obtain it for us. Nothing we could ever do could take its place. Take the place of Jesus on that old rugged cross, shedding His Blood for us, to pay for our sins. Yes, its free to us, offered freely to any and all who will just surrender and accept the very fact that Jesus suffered, died and rose again to save us from ourselves.

This is the Good News, this is the message of all the ages. That we have been offered a free gift, we just have to accept it in faith!

Whatever He Says

Its getting near Christmas and things are holding together fairly well around this outfit. The weather has been basically mild so far and that’s OK with me. The cattle are doing well, no stress at all and that means no stress for the guy taking care of them too. I have been planning on setting up around here for transporting and selling grain but that’s as far as it has gotten so far, just planning. Funny how I never can quite get to that basically simple job. Always something else pops up. Maybe try again tomorrow.

A couple of days ago I came across something from the Bible. I had read it many, many times before and as is the case so many times a person doesn’t catch the huge significance of the words till someone else brings it to my attention.

His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” John 2:5

I read this the other day on the computer, in a little thing by a cowboy preacher from Texas. Every once in a while something like this hits a person, seen it a hundred times and never really paid much attention to it. But just examine the words that Mary, the mother of Jesus said at the wedding feast. What ever He says, do it! Amen?

I always say about the Bible, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it!” Although even if I didn’t believe it, it still would be true but I figure it don’t hurt being on the winning side in all of this. The command to “do it”  just staggers me though. How simple, how true! Just obey! In other words that is putting faith into action. Because without doing so, faith is dead.

Sometimes we can complicate the Bible, we can create religion. But there ain’t nothing better than just getting down to the nitty gritty and believing it and obeying it and just doing it! And sometimes we don’t quite understand it, but when we do it, the understanding comes. A feller can sit around and try and try and try to figure out the Word, and basically never get anywhere in their whole lifetime as they try and try to dissect the Bible. Trying to prove if its true. But take a verse or two and get off our butts and obey it, just “do it” and understanding comes to even the simplest of the simple which includes me!

 

 

Through Our faith

The wind is roaring outside this evening as I write, a rather  brutal day out there. Got everything done I have to get done and head for cover. The cows are doing OK, so that takes that off my mind. The crops are in for the year, although there’s a few hundred round bales of hay and corn stalks out there yet to bring home. And with over four inches of rain the past few days that job will be put off for a bit.

1 John 5:4 (New Living Translation)

For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.

I came across this verse the other day in this translation of the Bible and it floored me! This excites me more than I can write! Oh Lord, what a promise!

 

Published in: on October 26, 2010 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,