Sunday, April 26, 2015

What's Our Future

Twenty six years ago this evening I was planting corn when Jan called on the two-way and said it was time to go to the hospital. I asked her if I could finish the field. 1989 was a very dry spring. That night God blessed our family with two more sons and our crop with two inches of rain. Happy Birthday Kurt and Karl.
Last month Becky took Jackson's(on the right) picture. His dad's(Kurt) picture is in the center. His granddad's(me) picture is on the left. 
A long time ago on our wall in our old house Jan started with her and my baby pictures and then our 6 children's around them. And our grandchildren around that. However Jackson, Harris, and Malaki aren't up yet and we are out of room so when we move to our new house we will need to find a bigger wall.
Thursday Mike called, said he was working east of Blakesburg, had a flat, and needed a spare tire. He told me not to worry about a jack.
BJ and Mark had a productive week planting corn. There was some talk in our state about whether or not to continue planting with cooler and wetter weather coming. Our theory is if soil moisture is dry, it's time to plant. Planting in wet conditions will get you in trouble. Proper soil moisture is way more critical than proper soil temps.
The sprayers are hurrying to keep up with the planted acres and have put in some big days. Kurt and Karl did most of the spraying this past week.
Because we are getting along well with corn we decided to move some earlier planned bean acres to corn. Looking forward into the future $9.00 new crop beans just don't pencil out a profit.
Our emerged corn is currently shivering and waiting for next week's warmer forecast.
Monday evening the kids did a great job at their Sully Christian School spring program.
Preschool through 4th grade and their teachers did an excellent job at their Technicolor program Friday evening at Osky Christian School. With religious liberty starting to be attacked in some states I pray for the future of our Christian schools and the kids that attend them.
In 2014 during the mid term elections we heard a lot of promises from politicians wanting our vote only to go to the legislature, listen to their leadership instead of their voters, and back out on their promises. Now we are only about a year away from a presidential primary. The candidates see Iowa as an important state and we the voters need to get it right. Governor Bobby was in Oskaloosa Friday evening.
If you think back just a few years and how we as a country have changed concerning Israel, Iran, immigrants, marriage, religious freedom, IRS targeting Christians, and leadership, our countries future and life as we know it is in jeopardy. Our problem isn't a lack of good folks. It's a lack of good folks taking action. Rick had coffee in Knoxville on Saturday with some good folks.
 One of Kurt's landlord stopped by Monday for a visit. We didn't talk about acres, rent, or crops. We talked about fun memories, relationships, and our Hope. He talked about his aggressive brain cancer and said other than a prayed for miracle he had come to say good bye.
Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 8:7 "Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come." We don't know what our future holds. However we do know Who holds our future. We also know we were all created for a plan and purpose. That is an encouragement for us, our kids, and our grandkids. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Children's Children

Good morning. It was an eventful week. Congratulations to Karl and Kristin who welcomed Malaki David into their family Friday morning. He weighed 10 lbs. 6 oz. and was 23 in. long.
A lot of corn went in the ground this week for mid April. Dry soil is a gift to a farmer at planting time. Planting in wet conditions can hinder a corn crop all season. With the soil temp in the low 50s the little seeds are growing. Our April 6 planting is just about emerged. 
Becky had a birthday this week. I remember April 15, 1983 we hadn't turned a wheel yet in the field because it was wet. Everyone was telling us that spring they sure hoped we had a girl to add to our boys. I really didn't care but after she was born I remember being thrilled at having a daughter. I still am. I remember enjoying telling folks she weighed 10 lbs. 15 oz.
Two sprayers ran hard this week. It's important to get planted corn sprayed as soon as possible after planting. There is less chance of crop injury. There is always a chance of too wet or too windy later. Last evenings 4 tenths of rain was perfect to incorporate the 28% and herbicide.
Mark and Stacy had an anniversary Thursday. I'm not sure they have celebrated yet. Mark planted a lot of corn this week. You realize you are getting old when you have kids that have been married 16 years.  
Alex worked day and night trying to wrap up the NH3 applications for farmers. One morning he had a hitch break, lost his tank, and pulled his tank hoses apart. Leaking NH3 is quite a site and soon it was reported to the 911 center by a passing motorist. Alex quickly and safely got his tanks shut off. Thanks for a good week Alex.
After yesterday we now have a teenage grandson. Happy 13th Birthday Gideon.
Sometimes you don't need soil temps to tell you spring is here. Landlords Marv and Jean have tulips blooming and apple trees blossoming.
This is my brother Doug and Ginger's daughter Olivia and her date for prom. It's hard to believe she is 16 already. Although I don't feel old, signs are pointing to the fact that I'm definitely getting there.
It doesn't seem like that long ago that I was a teenager. Then reality hits when you get together with your 8th grade class and everyone talks about their grandkids. Thanks for getting us together John.
Do you ever wonder what things will look like in 40 years in families, in churches, in schools, in business, in our country? So much is changing. Will our children's children have the same freedoms and opportunities we have? Do we care enough to think and pray about it?
In church we baptize our children and promise to God we will raise them in the faith. We also need to promise each other we will have a church environment that makes our kids and grandkids want to keep coming.
Gloria shared some memories at the 75th anniversary celebration at PCHS yesterday. Son-in-law Brian shared about passing our heritage to the next generation, being surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, and our next generation playing in the dirt meaning taking on the responsibility of educating our kids by parents standards and not governments in both private and public schools.
On April 26, 2006 PCHS broke ground for a new school campus along the 4 lane in Pella. Our family donated four seasons of dirt work during construction. I have a passion for my grandkids getting an education that honors God.
We also have a responsibility to take care of what we've been entrusted with and to leave our grandchildren things better than we found them.
Jan and I hope to enjoy life together on the farm as long as we are able. However we are also planning and looking ahead to a time when we are no longer here and hope our grandchildren can look back and found that their grandparents were faithful.
"Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation." Joel 1:3

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Wide Loads

Have you ever come to a place when your load was wider than your road?
 Chuck says there are three types of folks when it comes to finding a solution. There are the innovators, the maintainers, and the inhibitors.
 The innovators go right to work to find a way to cross their bridge. They also fix the problem so next time it's easier for themselves and others.
The maintainers wait for help or direction on what is their next step. They also come to the same bridge with the same load and the same results every time they need to cross.
 The inhibitors not only think it's not possible to cross their bridge, they don't want you to cross yours either.
 While helping grandsons chore before I took them to school one morning I noticed the old hybrid. In 1977 I only had one tractor and couldn't afford a second so I combined a 1956 1 ton truck I bought for $500 with my father-in-laws Graham Bradley tractor. My father-in-law had come up with the idea 15 years earlier.
 Today's planters are a wide load going through the little town of Givin just south of where we live.
 This guy is the largest resident of Givin and lives in the old store on the only corner.
 We had a big week. I am so thankful for the opportunity and privilege to work with a whole team of innovators who with God's blessing make things happen.
 Also a big thank you to the gals who saw very little of their husbands this week and kept everything going on the home front.
When we work for crop retailers we are on the road a lot, especially when we get rained out in Ottumwa and Grinnell is dry. Thanks for being understanding about all the wide loads on the roads during fieldwork.  
 Thanks to Brent's team who came and trimmed all Jan's trees. Now Jan also has mulch.
 Looks like Becky has a trucker driving through the newly planted wide rows in her garden.
 Kristin and Jordan's son, Gavin, came for coffee one morning to see his Grandma Linda who helps us with bookkeeping.
 Jae Marc is a kindergartner at Joshua Christian Academy. He directed the student body choir during their annual fundraising banquet this past week. These kids do an amazing job of memorizing and reciting scripture. 
 Sometimes when your load seems wide and your road narrow it helps to just take things a day at a time. Keep a positive attitude. Keep tackling the jobs on your list and before you know it you will see results.
 Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy loads, and I will give you rest." Because of last weeks empty tomb, we celebrate, we worship, we rest. Enjoy your day of rest with your Lord, your family, your friends. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

First Thing

One of the first things the grandkids like to do as soon as the weather warms up is to go on Ranger rides with Grandma.
You know spring is here when sprayers first start to hit the field.
Mark took down Virgil's barn this week with his trackhoe. If you were ever east of Pella you could see it was wanting to come down for some time.
I have always thought it was good to take advantage of opportunities meaning if you are given a time to get something done you need to get it done.
Taking advantage of opportunities can happen in every day jobs. It can happen in business in general. It can happen with people. It can happen in our faith walk.
This is a picture of all the semis waiting at the terminal waiting to load NH3. Since less nitrogen fertilizer got on last fall this spring is over busy. We are running 4 tool bars.
The big planters weren't hooked up for lack of tractors so we planted some with Kurt and Karl's old 8 row. The first thing Matt and John had to do was to weld the marker hinges.
It always takes some digging the first time you go out to plant. Two inch depth is about right for early planting. Saturday's 4" soil temp cooled down to 44 degrees after our cold spell. A corn seed needs 50 degrees to germinate.
BJ is helping Gideon and John with their shooting skills.
First grader Ezra shot his first turkey yesterday.
Becky and Brian have been in Sully church for five years already. Their family has grown from four to six while serving the CRC church there. It's been a blessing for them to be there. 
On Easter morning the Bible says the women went to Christ's tomb first thing wondering how they were going to get it open to finish preparing Jesus's body for death.
Not only did they find the tomb open, they found it empty. Christ's resurrection changed everything. Death is no longer final for us. Remember this gift and believe. First thing.