Friday, August 29, 2014

For Free

While we were out in Colorado a few weeks ago our granddaughter Rachel was given a horse for free. Now if you figure the fuel it takes to pull a trailer to Colorado and the time it takes for BJ her dad to build fence I'm not sure it was quite free. Also as Uncle Karl said you can't just back a horse in the corner of the machine shed until you need him. 
But hey, how can you not go after Bear, the horse, when you see how much he likes his new owner. O, speaking of hay, BJ usually sells that as a cash crop. Might have to save a little back. How much hay will Bear eat? Will he like Iowa hay? Who will feed Bear?
I'll let you in on a little secret. When Rachel's mom Cassia was Rachel's age her first job was taking care of horses and cleaning pens in Colorado. She probably fed Bear since Bear is a senior citizen in horse years. Since Rachel loves horses as much as her mom does I dare to bet Bear is going to have a great time becoming an Iowan.
Since harvest is just around the corner and free time will be at a minimum we decided to invite a few friends and go racing. Only one time did the race track manager only have to ask the guys to cool it. Quite often she would put baby powder on the track which makes the track slick and slows the cars down.
We had a really good time both racing and watching even though we picked the hottest day of the summer to go. Congratulations to Brent who won the main event.
God made us to enjoy the fellowship we have with one another. That fellowship happens in work and leisure both. Giving and receiving of those friendships affirms and assures us that we have value to one another.
God also values each and every one of us. It makes sense because He is the one that made us. I'm not sure where those who don't believe in creation get their self worth. Evolutionist believe we evolved from cells that accidentally came together and then grew into a primitive form of an animal and finally a person all by ourselves. From goo to you by way of the zoo. God values us so much He gave His Son for us for free.
So what's it cost to be a friend? We are friends for free.
So what does a building project cost? Yikes, but it's worth it at twice the cost when you've been married to your best friend for close to 40 years.
Finally, what does it cost to take a Labor Day weekend off with that same best friend to go to Colorado and pick up a horse named Bear for your granddaughter? Priceless.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Coming And Going With A Purpose

We are going along focusing on our work. We look ahead and we see something or someone coming our way. We wonder if those approaching will be complimentary or critical.
A team has goals. Winning shouldn't be the only goal. In fact winning shouldn't even be the top goal. Who do we represent as a team? What do those we represent stand for? How does that determine how we act as we come and go?
Sometimes our family is the face of agriculture when visited by guests from the city. We got to meet some new friends from Anheuser Busch who were visiting Cargill/Eddyville and came out for lunch.
Sometimes our crew is a team tackling the tough jobs. We were cleaning out the shop pit and drain getting ready for company. Tough jobs go so much better when there is plenty of help.
If you are having company you need to be prepared. Karl is setting up the drinks for our appreciation supper last Wednesday evening. We went through 40 gallon of tea and lemonade.
Sometimes our family represents the future. Will our grandchildren have the same opportunities we have had? Are we training them and giving them responsibilities so they can someday be world changers as my friend Matt likes to say?
One of the benefits of living south of 92 in rural Iowa is you can come or go where you please. Just don't forget most cell phones have cameras these days.
Kudos to my wife Jan who prepared enough food to feed 280 people. And a huge Thank you to our gals for helping serve.
So does this get together still serve a purpose? I know. We don't try and write orders for Dekalb and Asgrow seed . Our seed business is still important. However I think there are other things that are more important.
Our family gets to say thank you for our business relationships. We get to listen to folks talk about the upcoming harvest. We get to just visit as friends. So often we are so busy with coming and going here and there we don't take the time for friendship and fellowship.  
But most of all this get together proves that nothing beats rural Iowa and it's hometown folks of all ages. Our lives can basically be summed up by Faith, Family, Friends, Farming, Food, Fellowship, and once in a while Football on Friday nights.
Changing gears. Our church spent an evening this past week looking where we've been, where were at, and where we would like to go. Mike from Texas moderated and asked us as a congregation for ideas how we could better fulfill our purpose. Cyndi compiled our suggestions.
Earlier this year our elders made a goal that we be a more affirming and encouraging church to each other, our guests, and our community, as we come and go serving the Lord.
The churches purpose is to help folks from 9 to 90 glorify, serve, and love the Lord with all their mind, soul, heart, and strength. The only way that's possible is for us to love our neighbors more than we love ourselves.
Another purpose of the church is to help prepare folks of all ages for eternity. Eternity is a long time.
"The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Psalms 121:8 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Majoring In The Minors

Often I catch myself doing little jobs that need done but neglect to make a plan that would help our operation and team have a direction on what needs accomplished for the week. Even when responsibility is shared someone needs to be the communicator.
We stopped for breakfast at a McDonald's where there were customers lined out the door and the manager was occupying his time cleaning the hoses on the Slurpee machine. While it was commendable for him to do menial work he wasn't accomplishing his major responsibility of feeding people in a timely manner.
We had fun with little jobs this week that were getting ready for bigger more important things. Kind of like wearing swimming suits and cowboy boots at the same time.
The PCHS volleyball team was over late last week. They had a retreat and did a service project helping on the cabin. Their first game is next week Monday evening. Wish you the best girls.
 Also the PCHS board and staff kicked off another year by getting together for supper and Ranger rides.
Jason and David are twins. They grew up in the Dallas area. They both played major league baseball out of college. They married, had families, moved to North Carolina, were successful in the real estate business, and had their own reality cable TV show called Flip It Forward where they fixed up homes for needy folks.
Their TV show was immediately cancelled when the cable network got pressure from the gay community because these men when asked about their view on marriage said they supported traditional marriage the way God designed and intended it to be. Below they are standing with two of their nine children visiting with Chuck.
Rick leaves today for Israel with Bob, Tony, Simon, and a few others. Their purpose is to meet with the leadership in that country and let them know that we as a country still care about and support them since our administration is failing to do that.
Many of you have heard me say, "don't worry about minor details". I meant the nit-picky stuff and learned to say that when my kids were young and helping and I didn't want to break their helpful spirit by micro managing them. Having said that I would and still do run the risk of looking like I don't notice or don't care when in fact I very much do.
 As you go about accepting and accomplishing the jobs you're given don't let the minor things about the job get your attitude down. On the other hand don't forget to acknowledge and appreciate those around that work with and help you.
Find a way to enjoy your work. I like this picture and will need to explain it to you because of my amateur photography skills with my broken cell phone. Kurt, Brad, and Alex are all resting triple decked on the parts shelves we are supposed to be cleaning.:) We are getting ready for our Customer Appreciation Supper this coming Wednesday evening. You are welcome to come. Have a good week.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Week In NW Colorado

This past week we enjoyed a trip to northwest Colorado. We took along our ATVs, a camper or two, and plenty of food. We stayed on a ranch just east of Walden, CO. in a large cabin.
 The ranch lays in a large basin called North Park up in the mountains around 8500 feet elevation in Jackson County. The population of this county is 1350 people, the fourth least populated county in Colorado.
 Our son BJ worked construction during the winter months on this ranch many years ago. The ranch is managed by an Oskaloosa native, Mark. BJ met his wife Cassia here when she worked for the ranch doing horse chores. Her parents, Mike and Melody, owned and operated a hardware store in Walden at the time.
The ranch adjoins a state forest with trails going to the top of the surrounding mountains. Below little Jackson is enjoying a ride with his dad, Kurt, and Uncle Mike.
 We put around 100 miles on our Rangers riding the trails and enjoying the beauty of God's creation.
 Often near the top or by a lake we would stop and eat lunch the girls prepared that morning.
 We learned to fly fish while we were there. It was a trick trying to bounce the lure off the top of the water. We did catch one fish and grilled him for supper. 
The little girls thought they needed to fish as well so they used sticks, twine, and a bobber, (no hooks), to fish in a puddle close by. :)
 Dave and Sheryl are friends of ours. Dave and I serve on a board in Des Moines together. They have a home in the mountains on 35 acres near Steamboat Springs, about an hour away. We took an afternoon and went and visited them.
 After our visit and seeing their house we went out to eat for a change at a Mexican outdoor restaurant next to a creek.
 The following morning Mark, the ranch manager, and his son, Will, stopped by just after breakfast. They said they had to check the cattle on the Johnny Moore Mountain and asked if anyone wanted to help.
 Kurt and BJ quickly agreed to help so they saddled up and loaded 4 horses and headed out. They rode most of the day.
 Later that afternoon when they returned everyone enjoyed a horseback ride.
Grandpa enjoyed playing with the grandkids. We had no radio. The TV didn't work and we had very little cell phone service. It was very relaxing.
We had family devotions in the evenings.
Waldon, CO is not exempt from all the troubles the rest of the country experiences. It has a judge and a district attorney in the courthouse to punish the bad guys. They have folks that drink too much. It has broken marriages and single parent families. The residents there struggle to keep businesses open.
However it was a good visit. It was a time to unwind before a busy harvest season. God's creation and handiwork reminded me of His promises and the fact that He is still in charge in spite of all the world's troubles we heard about on the CNN channel at our motel on our way home.
 Time off is also a time for family to appreciate each other. Thanks for the visit. See you next week.