Sunday, July 26, 2015

Getting Ready

In Joshua 3:5 it says, "Get ready because tomorrow the Lord is going to do incredible things among you."
 Does that happen today? Most of us know God is out there somewhere and in charge but does He show up among us? When was the last time you took a risk and did something that took faith with the possibility of failure?
 We have to recognize opportunities. We have to be ready for action. We have to believe in ourselves even as weak vessels. We can't be scared to acknowledge God in public.
 This is Monday at Grandma's. The kids are all ready to go swimming. They are just waiting for Grandma while she gets the little ones down for their naps.
 When BJ mows hay a way from home he usually loads the mower and hauls it to the field.
 This week we had a DeKalb seed meeting in Huxley to get ready for next years selling season which starts in early fall already.
 In 1941 as a senior in high school my father-in-law built this little tractor out of Model T car parts. He entered it in the gadget show at the State Fair. The judges said there would never be a need for something like this. In 1961 Cub Cadet came out with the first garden tractor. John still drives great-grandpa's tractor today. 
 Sometimes we live life remembering the past or getting ready for the future and we miss the present. 
 In order to get ready for the possibility of something incredible among us we need character, conviction, courage, commitment, and company we keep. 
 Henry Ford said that before everything else getting ready is the secret of success.
 Work for a cause, not applause. Live life to express, not impress. Don't strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.
 Our family hopes to enjoy some down time this week. I would like to thank Brad, Alex, Pablo, Matt, Linda, and Paula for taking care of business and allowing us "no worries".
We hope to enjoy God's creation and each others company this week.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Life In These United States

I have been reminded this past week what a wonderful country we live in. We as Americans too often take for granted the freedoms and blessings we have.
 This morning I'd just like to share with you a few of those blessings that come to mind.
 We are able to choose our occupations and our economy still allows us to provide for our families.
 We still have the freedom to conduct business as we choose. Below Gary from Albia is talking to us about the possibility of trading planters.
 We as a nation have come so far in feeding not just ourselves but the world. Forty years ago folks said we would run out of food as our population increased. With research and technology we have doubled our ability to grow food. On the right are some leaf blights in competitive susceptible corn hybrids and on the left are healthy leaves from our customers fields that are disease resistant.
Our food is the best and the most reasonable of any other country in the world.
 We can get up on a Sunday morning and have the freedom to share our thoughts in a blog. We can still go to church and worship without interference from government.
 We can still choose to worship and serve our Lord in a traditional or a more contemporary way. Some drive horses to church. Others of us drive vehicles. What a country!
In America parents are still in charge of raising our children in church, in home, at school.
 We have an endless list of sports, entertainment, and leisure activities we can choose to watch or participate in.
 We live in communities that work together. We have neighbors that care about each other. We greet and wave at folks we don't even know.
 When things fall apart or life gets hard we still have the resolve and desire to get up, pick up the pieces, and try again.
Our country is starting the process of electing a leader in November of next year. As you listen to the candidates and their speeches, determine whether they are they trying to sell themselves or whether they feel called to serve their country, their fellow citizens, and their God.
 We live in a country that still has generous people that thinks of others. When Foster and his wife turned 70 they had a birthday party and invited 100 couples. In the invitation was a Bible verse from Galations. The guests were to pick their favorite charity and how that verse related to their charity. Foster promised the winner $70,000 to their charity. As the guests opened their envelopes to see if they had won they discovered he had given every guest's charity the winning amount.
 We have freedom of speech. Often the news media has a bias that tells stories from their point of view. Our job is to educate ourselves on what the actual truth is. 
 Most of the Republican presidential candidates got together in Ames yesterday for a summit. They shared their views and visions with about 3000 people who came to listen.
 Afterwards a few of us got together with Frank, the moderator, Bob, the organizer, and several of the candidates.
 After that we stopped in Urbandale and met a really neat group of folks. There is always a sense of fellowship when God fearing folks get together even though we had never met before. 
Evil hopes to change who we are as a country. As I am finishing this visit this morning and see the sun coming up, I am reminded that no matter what happens in the future We have a hope in our Creator and He wins in the end. God's blessings you this coming week.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Anybody Home

Do you remember back in the day when your folks would load up the family on an afternoon or evening and drive to an uncle and aunt or some close friends for an unplanned visit?
 Generally when you arrived someone would knock on the door or open it just enough to stick their head in, and holler, "anybody home?" Someone inside would say, "sure, come on in" and you would spend the next several hours visiting as adults and playing as kids. The friends you were visiting would go to the fridge or freezer, pull out some desert, and everything work related would stop while you all enjoyed each others company.
 Today we don't just drop in for a visit. If we did it seems we would have to postpone obligations, cancel a string of appointments, or set aside an overdue workload. Our lives are in a higher gear. We have become more busy, more hectic, more complicated.  
Sometimes we plan lunch at our house. Sometimes we plan not to have lunch. However many times we don't do either and then about noon we will stick our head in the door and say, "Jan, do you have anything for dinner?" She always does.
Jackson is always watching, asking for his "Dada". He loves to help outside with his gum boots. He and his parents are about 3 weeks away from moving from Pella to their home on the farm.
Jackson's dad, Kurt, is custom feeding buffalo and got his first load in on Saturday.
Emily agreed to this new endeavor if Kurt promised they would never get out of their pen accidently.
We spent some time working on balers this week. Thankfully Gideon was small enough to crawl in the bale chamber and hold a bolt.
The North Skunk river bottom dried out enough to replant. I think we can finally put the planters away.
Jan and I made it to PC's last regular season baseball game against PCM. Dillon, one of two seniors playing this year, is at bat.
Last evening there was a group of Christian bands singing in our city park in Oskaloosa. It was a great crowd and good fellowship. Sometimes I think we do our visiting today at events, where when we were kids it was at homes.
Last week during our visit I shared with you remembering my father-in-law's life. This morning I want to share with you the day we celebrated that he has an eternal home. Jan's mom passed away 23 years ago. This is Beverly, his second wife, talking to the great-grandkids.
Becky and Brian celebrated their tenth anniversary this week and commented how fast time is flying. I agree. It doesn't seem like that long ago our children were all home growing up. Today they are all have families and homes of their own.
Gene's granddaughter Michelle was the accompanist. Granddaughter Becky and great grandson Elliott did the special music.
Grandson-in-law Brian had the message entitled "Grace and Ford tractors". He also sang the benediction. Pretty cool.
Grandpa Gene was carried to the cemetery by his twelve grandsons.
Natalie and Anton are talking to the funeral director, Mike, with Joe watching. The great grandkids asked if they could stay and watch the casket go down.
Mike not only agreed but said they could all help take turns cranking.
Many of you that share this visit every week I know. There are also many of you that join us that I don't know as well. What I want us all to remember is this is not our final home. Eternity is a long time. "In my father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you." John 14:2
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears me and opens the door, I will come in." Revelations 3:20 Have you invited Him in? Are you taking the time to have fellowship with Him as your Savior and friend?