Sunday, September 28, 2014

Looking Forward

Good morning. It's been a busy week. I'm looking forward to Sunday. We were created to get things done. We were also designed for a day of rest. Still can't sleep in. We'd miss our visit. 
I'm thankful for a family that's smarter than me when it comes to technology. All our planter data is downloaded into the combines so we know how hybrids, populations, and planting dates effect yield and drydown. 
Having the crop sold and committed before harvest allows us to look forward. It gives us a plan. We know what we have to do. Get it on wheels and get it to Eddyville.
We arrive at the shop just after 5 am. Half the crew heads for the field. The other half jumps in the old van and heads down to Cargill/Eddyville where the loaded semis have been put in line the previous evening.
Harvesting this way is not possible without trucks. Thanks to Kevin and crew, Luke and crew, Mike and crew, and Bruce for your hard work.
Neither is harvest possible without a dedicated crew. Thanks to family. Thanks to Brad and Alex. Thanks to Pablo, Matt, and Andy. Thanks Eli for coming out to help your dad yesterday. You did talk my ears off while you helped me in the combine. I loved every minute of it.
A dedicated crew isn't possible without supportive and understanding gals who don't see their husbands much during harvest. Thanks girls for putting together family time tonight. 

I'm also thankful for grandkids that are full of energy, like to help, and love the outdoors. Cody shot his first buck. Ezra and Elliott stayed home from school to help while their parents farm was combined. Gideon raked hay for his dad. Ethan and John have both been up early helping. Jackson has rode in the combine with his dad where he likes to chew on everything. I love it when they help and look forward to the future.
With uncertainty because of crop prices it's easy to get bogged down and put off decisions about next year. Farming takes optimism, looking forward, and making a plan.
We are adding a cover crop to our fertilizer spread and working it in on our hilly ground to prevent erosion.

Thanks to Daryl, Colten, and Gene for a good week. Thanks to Brian for helping. Thanks to Kyle for lifting the trusses with his crane.
Kinze thinks our latest project is a dog house. She better enjoy it during construction because if you know Jan you know it will be off limits to animals when it is finished.
It doesn't matter whether we're talking family, school, church, or business, the future sometimes looks uncertain. However if there is no faith in the future then there is no power in the present. I'm looking forward on all fronts. Have a restful and worshipful Sunday.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Promising And Belonging

Last Sunday was the baptism of Brian and Becky's fourth son, Harris. Baptism reminds us of God's promises to us and our children. It also reminds us of our promises to Him that we as parents, family, and church, will teach our children that we belong to God.
Cousins hanging out and interacting together definitely broadens their horizons.
Harris is growing but then you about have to when you belong to a family and hang out with older brothers.
Our crop in the northern part of the county was in an area that was hit hard with a wind just before pollination. Harvesting goose necked plants takes concentration and can make you dizzy watching the corn come into the corn head. The yields in these area of the fields are down about 25%.
It's always fun when family comes out and helps. Emily and Jackson are helping Kurt in the grain cart.
For the most part the weather cooperated this week and the ground firmed up some as we continued with harvest.
We have about a third of our commitments fulfilled that we had promised to deliver to Eddyville in earlier contracts.
Market basis is the difference between what an elevator pays and the board of trade. This week Cargill/Eddyville went from a +33 cents to a -35 cents basis on their bids making corn worth 70 cents a bushels less in just a week. This will be slow to recover with the promise of such a big crop in the field. 
John drove the grain cart yesterday and followed his dad who was combining. 
The Terpstra family got together yesterday for coffeetime. Jan's mother who passed away when Kurt and Karl were just three was the oldest of ten children.
Uncle Dave was the youngest of those ten kids. He lives in Colorado. He gave us a lamp he made out of moose, elk, and mule deer antler sheds.
Like Harris we all need to feel we belong. This is true in our families, in our businesses, in our churches, in life in general. And also just like Harris we have the promise that we will be taken care of by the One we belong to.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Be Still And Know

The pictures in our visit this morning tell a harvest story.
I even had it written not knowing the internet had quit working and none of it was saved.
So I went to the cabin and put the potatoes in the oven for Harris's baptism dinner today.
Then I drove up north and checked the dryer.
Now I'm back with the internet working. I often wonder what you folks like to read about.
I sometimes wonder what God wants me to share about in our visits.
God often reminds me life is not about us.
He also reminds me I can't control things like the weather so it really doesn't do much good worrying about it.
He teaches me that things don't always go as planned and we are all totally dependent on His will and purpose.
He reminds me all our abilities come from Him and we are to try our hardest with the talents we are given.
God is honored and pleased when we have conversations with Him that include praising, thanking, asking, and listening.
He values relationships and wants us to show His light and love to others through serving.
13 years ago this past week our country was attacked. People from all over our country filled churches and asked God for help. How soon we forget. 
God is also glorified when we as churches seek out ways to share the good news we are given with others and help those outside our circles to enjoy and celebrate worship.
"In his heart man plans his course, but the Lord determines the outcome."   Prov. 16:9
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will be successful. The Lord works everything out for His own ends."            Prov. 16:3-4

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Adapting To Our Environment

Sometimes life is overwhelming. Sometimes it's relaxing. Many times it can be both in the same day depending on our environment. We live in a changing world. Weather, prices, technology, people. How we adapt will determine whether we succeed or fail.
 A story is told about a devastating storm on a Caribbean island in 1989. It literally blew down thick timbers. Everything had changed.
 Then something started happening after the destruction. Flowers started growing where the trees had once stood. Now never seen before beauty was coming to life. Those flowers were a gift from a loving Creator.
 When we started visiting Jackson County Colorado 14 years ago the mountains were covered with trees. Most homes were secluded.
About ten years ago a beetle migrated in and killed most of the Lodge Pole Pines. The forward thinking ranchers adapted and harvested the dead pines for firewood. It totally changed the landscape.
 Today a whole new crop of timber has started from all the dead pine cones and is flourishing. Many environmentalist don't give nature the credit it deserves for having the ability to adapt. That's because most value nature more than they do the One who created nature.
Last week Sunday we went to church in Walden. This couple ranches nearby. The gentleman is the part time pastor and his wife runs the power point. While they lead worship their cute little 6 year old daughter is as active as ever wandering around the sanctuary. She has learned to adapt because she was born without arms or legs. 
The gentleman sitting next to Jan and I was an out-of-state elk hunter. He told us he woke up in his tent and was so asphyxiated by his heater he couldn't stand. He decided to go to church and thank God for sparing his life.
The machinery used in our ag environment has so changed over the last 40 years. Back then the universities said these 4-wheel drive dinosaurs would become obsolete because of no-till and herbicides. They recommended a farmer own just 3 pieces of machinery, a planter, a sprayer, and a combine.
Back when Jan and I harvested together she drove the combine and I unloaded the wagons. Our 50/50 rented farms were divided by the row in the field. We both had kids in the cab with us.
This fall will again have it's own unique changes and challenges. A bigger crop takes more time and work. Lower prices take more planning and budgeting. Storm damaged plants might mean being more timely. Bigger ears and kernels with lots of rain might mean slower dry down. Storage will be an issue. The fields are soft this year.
The attitude and disposition a farmer takes to the field this fall will have an effect on his productivity, his safety, his health, his family, and his success.  
No matter what your occupation there will be good days and worrisome ones. Be thankful for a new day every morning. Thank God when the work of your hands produce abundance with His blessing and grace. Lean on Him when you need help. And remember most clouds have silver linings. Be willing to adapt.
The way we communicate has also so changed over the last 40 years. We email. We text. We snap chat. We blog. Life is instant and we have fewer face to face conversations where we listen and relate.
 Sometimes our instant communication skills rub off on our prayer life. It's something we believe is important. We are just always in a hurry. Find a place and start your day listening and relating to a God who is very big but also very close.