Thursday, November 28, 2019

We are Thankful for this past year!

Here are a few things I am thankful for this year:

  1. The harvest we DIDN'T expect!  Rain was how the spring started and the rain continued and continued....continued........continued!  Yet we had a harvest!
  2. The safety we experienced!  Many long days in the field, on the road, at events that were opportunities for an accident to happen.  We were safe!
  3. The old friends we got to see again!  We have been able to experience some of the best friendships anyone could ask for.  Good salt of the earth people.  We are sooo grateful for our old friends!
  4. The new friends we made!  We met some of the nicest people who quickly became our new friends this year.  Wonderful people who love God, their families and nation!  We are thankful for our new friends!
  5. The trial of our faith!  Yes, 2019 was a trial of our faith in several ways.  Did we really trust God to give us a harvest?  Would there be any crop to put up this season?  We thank God for the trial of our faith, because HE is faithful!
  6. Renewed Hope!  For over 40 years we had hoped for change in our family legacy.  My parents had fought all the years I can remember.  They hadn't divorced, legally....but were in action!  My hope was lost, my prayers seemed unanswered!  BUT GOD, reached down and changed everything!  My parents were reconciled, they are happy, in Love.  We thank God that HE reminded us to NEVER give up on the impossible!  Hope was renewed.
  7. The gift of an amazing wife!  We have been happily married for over 20 years, never a regret of the day we committed ourselves to one another.  My wife is the most amazing woman in the world.  She is beautiful inside and out, an encourager, an example of virtue and godliness.  I am thankful for an absolutely amazing wife.
  8. Pioneering children!  Our children are growing up!  They are living out their faith!  They are venturing out into their own pursuits, dreams, goals and families.  We are starting to harvest the fruits of our parenting.  By Gods grace, the fruit is good!  I am thankful for my pioneering children who now are becoming awesome adults!
  9. Patience!  This is a hard one, but something I find myself in need of each day.  I need it towards others and I need others to have it towards me.  I am thankful I serve a patient God, have a patient wife and family, and I can see the growth of patience in my own life.  I am thankful for patience!
  10. The gift of grace!  I know I don't deserve it!  It's not purchased, negotiated or demanded.  Every morning before my feet hit the floor I ask my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for grace for the day.  Grace to respond with kindness, patience and self-control!  Grace to sustain me in my weaknesses, hard places and times of trial.  Grace, it is powerful!  It's free to those who ask for it, it's necessary for anything of good or virtue, & it's roots are found in a Gentle Shepherd whose life was full of grace, Jesus Christ.  I am thankful for Grace!

Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Whats up with "Thanksgiving?" Come on really?

In a few days our nation will celebrate another "Thanksgiving" holiday.  It seems to be one of those holidays smashed between Halloween and Christmas.  One that isn't as popular in gross sales or promotion.  It is often remembered by Football, turkey and family.  We love the dressing, the pumpkin or pecan pie. On this day we can gorge on food and then lay around not feeling guilty.  NO WORK!😋  Thanksgiving day has not always been as we have known it to be the last few generations.

Before this land was even a country, our forefathers left their native, mother country and came across the sea.  They wanted a place were they could worship their God freely.  They knew the trip would be hard, but they believed their God was mighty and able to deliver them safely.  The passage was dangerous and difficult, and many died.  They wrestled for 63 days with sea sickness, disease, doubt, and damage to the vessel.  But they finally arrived at this new promised land!  Most of the 102 souls made it alive and ready to start new.  Before they left the Mayflower, they wrote and agreed to this simple covenant:

In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereigne Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britaine, France and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc. having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honour of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civill body politick, for our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just and equall laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete and convenient for the generall good of the Colonie unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape-Codd the 11. of November, in the year of the raigne of our sovereigne lord, King James, of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fiftie-fourth. Anno Dom. 1620.

The weeks and months that followed were hard.  Their faith in God was tested again!  They didn't have adequate shelter or food for the difficult winter that was upon them.  More died!

God sent a blessing to the new settlers through friendship with the Indians.  In God's providence may years before, He had been preparing for this time that the Europeans would come to this new land.  One of the natives had been to Europe many years earlier and learned the English language, ways and life.  He had since returned to his home.  Now God used him to minister blessing on these struggling people.

The spring brought forth new hope!  Green appeared on the landscape and with the natives help, gardens and crops were planted.  The "three sisters" (corn, beans & pumpkins) were planted together.  Corn to support the climbing beans and pumpkins to cover the soil to help with weeds.  The harvest was abundant!  This next winter would be much different than their first one.  They would be ready, with plenty in store to carry the through the coming season of freezing temperatures.

I am sure hearts were overflowing with gratitude for the abundant crop they had harvested.  They also had secured better housing; homes that would keep them warm and safe.  These people had trusted their God  They had been tested, proven and found faithful in their purpose and dependence on a gracious God.  No doubt Eph. 5:20 "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,"  was on their minds when they first considered a celebration to give thanks.  A specific time to give thanks to God Almighty and their new friends, the Native Americans.

Let us learn from our forefathers!  We haven't always HAD abundance!  We have not always had fat bellies, full grain bins, super Walmarts, strip malls, Amazon, etc.  Even today, for some of our own people, things are STILL hard, it's difficult to make ends meet, more month than money, and yes, even fear for where the next meal may come from.

This Thanksgiving I challenge you to stop!  Give thanks to Almighty God for His kind providence provided to you and your family this past year:  your health, your harvest, your family, your good memories, your work, your dreams and hopes, your salvation, just to name a few things.  Give thanks to others for the many ways they have blessed your life; then show to others you are grateful  by going out and blessing those around you.  Share some of the blessings you have to those who may be in need.  A heart expressed by gratitude is always appreciated!

Martin Luther once said "See that you do not forget what you were before, lest you take for granted the grace and mercy you received from God and forget to express your gratitude each day."

Having a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving should be an everyday expression as we each remember how much we have been blessed with!

Happy Thanksgiving!😉

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A look at the past in farming!

The John Deere tractors on our farm are a blessing.  They help us get our chores done quickly, they provide us power to till, seed and harvest the crops.  I really do appreciate them!  In fact, I couldn't imagine farming without them, although it would be possible.  It would be a step back in time!
A couple of years ago, we I got the opportunity to step back in time and welcomed another power source on our farm.  A power source that dates as far back in history as is recorded.  This power source is OX power!  Yes, two 2200lbs/each milking shorthorn or Durhams (their historical breed name) working steers.  Percy & Carter are 5 years old, trained to work in the yoke together.  I have found it very enjoyable to work with them, they are so pleasant, determined and willing to please.  Spoiled for sure!  Our family has fell in love with these two big giants.  Here are a few pictures of them showing off! 😏
 Percy and Carter spend more time teaching others about the history of oxen that working on the farm
 They love doing living history!  Ancient world - 1900's are the years oxen were used in America.
             Indiana State Fair Pioneer Village.  They teach the progress of the American farmer!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

What a year 2019 has been!

My family has been farming for several generations.  As far back as I can remember I can still hear my great grandpa tell stories of how he would farm, each story included the various challenges and joys that go along with farm life.  Yes, 2019 has been a challenge farming!  Just like other years in the past.  Wet springs, dry summers, wet falls, early frost, etc.  Each year we pray daily, go to work, do what we can and trust in the blessings of God to give the increase.  The harvest this year has been unbelievably bountiful for the many challenges that faced the farmers.  As my dad told me the other day "son, we have never had a year with NO crop, God has always provided"!  Yes, my dad is correct, this great nation has not had a total crop failure in years, if ever.  We have much to be grateful for, God is good!