Monthly Devotions

I Wish I Had Been There! I Wish I Had Not Forgotten!

            I planted the plum tree three years ago with great anticipation of one day partaking of it's delicious, large, sweet fruit. I remember when I planted it how small it was and how long I would have to wait to reap a harvest. Even so, I made sure it had plenty of water and everything it needed to grow and be healthy. I even cut back some pine limbs to make sure it received enough sunlight to make it as productive as possible.

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If God Can Use a Dove....?

            Last week I was working in the office when I received a phone call. Because my cell phone does not work well inside the office, I stepped outside and just walked around the yard as we talked. As the conversation continued, I made my way to my favorite chair where I like to sit and just enjoy watching my chickens meander around the chicken yard. Somehow, I find this relaxing and enjoyable.

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Hope In The Midst Of Hopelessness

            Can you ever remember a time in your life when you found yourself in a situation where you felt completely helpless and hopeless? Most of us can easily remember times when we felt helpless. Perhaps it was during a drought and we just could not get the much needed rain to grow our grass or water our cattle and there was nothing we could do about it. Perhaps it was during a flood when everything we had would soon be underwater and there was nothing we could do to prevent or stop the water from flowing. It may have been when we or a loved one faced an illness or injury that was either debilitating or terminal. For others it may have been when we lost a job, found ourselves in overwhelming debt, went through a painful divorce, or any other event or situation that got to the point where we no longer had any control or power to change the situation.

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I Don't Know You!

            “Hey Daddy. It’s me. It’s Gregory your son. How you doing Daddy?” With a very confused but firm look and with a very weak but serious voice, the 94 year old gentlemen lying in his nursing home bed, drew his head back, looked up and said: “I don’t know you.

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Like A Straddled Squirrel

There is just something unique about the movements of a panicked squirrel and the look on its face just as you watch it disappear under your front bumper.It comes running out onto the highway like a streak of lightening and just as it gets about half way across your lane it just freezes, turns toward your truck, and with a look of complete terror and confusion it begins to dart to the left and then to the right, back and forth, back and forth, but never seems able to make a decision to go one way or the other until it is too late.

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Sounding the Alarm: This Is Not a Test!

I remember the symbol, the distinctive tone and the message of the Emergency Broadcasting System that would break in on the programming on our black and white television set: "This is a test. This station is conducting a test of the Emergency Broadcasting System. This is only a test." (The unmistakable alarm signal would sound for20-25 seconds followed by:) "This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. The broadcasters of your area in voluntary cooperation with the FCC and other Federal, State and local authorities, have developed this system to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency, the Attention Signal you just heard would have been followed by official information, news or instructions. This concludes the test of the Emergency Broadcast System."

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Don’t Let The Urgent Keep You From The Most Important

Anyone that has ever worked on a farm knows that a farmer’s work is never done. No matter how many hours you labor, how well you plan, how large or how small your operation, there is always something urgent that still needs to be done.

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We Never Know Who We Have In The Basket

If you missed the previous article entitled "A Chicken's Right to Choose" in the October issue, you may want to read it before you read further. If you cannot find that issue, you can go to www.cattleforchrist.com and click on the Monthly Devotional tab and read it there.

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Uh Oh--Jesus' Got Toothpaste On His Head!

 

It was about 6:30 a.m. when my grandsons Bryant (age 6) and Bradyn (age 4) were brushing their teeth before leaving for kindergarten and pre-school. My wife Lisa and daughter Ashley were watching and helping them to make sure that they did a good job instead of just putting a little toothpaste on their tongues just in case someone wanted to check them by smelling their breath. (Somehow little boys figure this little game out without any coaching!)

            Unbeknown to the boys Mom, they had run out of their bubblegum flavored children's toothpaste the day before. Too late to do anything else, Grandmamma and Ashley explained to them that since they were such 'big boys' now, it would be okay for them to use grown up toothpaste until they could get more of their own.

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A Moment of Silence is like Preg Checking a Bull

 

             It was probably mid morning before we got everything set up, got the calves sorted off and started pregnancy checking the cows. My grandson Bryant who was 5 years old at the time, watched us as we palpated the first few cows and he listened more closely than I thought as we talked about whether or not they were bred. Well, before long, the pen where we were turning the cows into was too crowed for him to be safe, so I sent him home. Later that day, Bryant returned just as we were palpating the last cows. He then watched as we ran a new herd bull into the chute to palpate and semen check him before turning him in with the cows to finish the breeding season. Just as the Vet got about elbow deep into his work, Bryant quickly and eagerly asked: "Is he bred?"

            My response was: "No son. Bulls don't have babies." "Then why are you checking him?" he asked. From his perspective, I suppose that was a very good question! The process looked the same as what we did to the cows, but what we were hoping to find was much different. (If you do not know what is involved in palpating cows for pregnancy or bulls for breeding soundness, you can do a quick internet search or call me and I will explain the process to you--then you will understand his question and where I am going with the rest of this story.)

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A Chicken's Right to Choose

 

I noticed that something did not look right but I was not expecting to see what I did. The hen had been sitting on sixteen eggs for several days, but I was not sure when the chicks were due to hatch.

            As I fed the other chickens, I passed by the nest hidden under some vines way out in the pine thicket. All the hens have a brownish/orange hackle (feathers around her head and neck), but what caught my eye was not only the discoloration of this hen's hackle but also that she was continuously shaking her head in a very unusual way. As I slowly walked closer to her, I noticed that both eyes were closed and the reason she was discolored was because her entire head and neck were completely covered with ants. The ants were all over her, but her head and neck were completely covered. She must have been being eaten alive for some time because every time she would shake her head, she would slowly lower it until her beak almost touched the ground. It appeared that she had taken about all the stings her body could withstand.

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Got to Leave Right Now! What Do I Take With Me?

 

Most of us have faced this dilemma at one time or another in our lives. A loved one has been seriously injured, become critically ill or even died and we have to get home now. Perhaps a fire, hurricane, tornado, flood waters or another natural disaster is bearing down on us and we have to act quickly to get ourselves and our families to safety. The possibilities are limitless I suppose, but at some point we will all face this situation where we have to drop whatever else we were doing, leaving everything else behind except what is absolutely necessary for our journey and survival.

            I live in the Gulf Coast region of the United States where hurricane season usually starts this time of year and runs for several months. We learn to watch every tropical depression that approaches the Gulf of Mexico to see if it will develop into a tropical storm. If it does, we really pay close attention and track it to see where it is headed and to see if it is strengthening to potentially reach hurricane force.   As soon as it becomes a full fledged hurricane, we start making emergency preparations to either wait out the storm and see if we survive or to evacuate to avoid the destructive force winds, flood waters and tornados that usually come with it.

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Devotions by Year

  • Even Bulls Can Learn To Get Along
  • Changed Minds
  • Today is the Day
  • Sometimes We See What's Not There
  • Why Do You Farm?
  • Misplaced Aggression
  • Feasting On Filler
  • 'Get Some Rest': Not As Easy As It Sounds
  • Lessons From Freddy
  • Just Tired and Reflecting
  • Safe Pasture
  • Sin: Just Like Fall Army Worms
  • Blood Cleanses
  • Just Cute Little Harmless Pups
  • Life: A Series of Pipping
  • Just Because He Loves Us!
  • No Excuses!
  • Oh! Now You Tell Me!
  • Live Like You Were Dying
  • But You Didn't Tell Me!
  • Time to Choose
  • A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything and Realizes That He Really Has Nothing
  • Celebrate the Harvest
  • Falling Stars
  • Easier To Lead Than To Drive
  • Weeds, Weeds, Weeds!
  • Grace Is Like Grits
  • We Can’t Do It ‘Ourselves’!
  • I Wouldn’t Make a Good Cowboy
  • What Are We Thinking?
  • Your Walk Talks
  • Activity is No Substitute for Reproduction
  • Who Would Have Ever Thought It?
  • Thankful for Boundaries
  • Cover It Up Or Fix The Problem?
  • What Will Your Legacy Be?
  • I Wish I Had Been There! I Wish I Had Not Forgotten!
  • If God Can Use a Dove....?
  • Hope In The Midst Of Hopelessness
  • I Don't Know You!
  • Like A Straddled Squirrel
  • Sounding the Alarm: This Is Not a Test!
  • Don’t Let The Urgent Keep You From The Most Important
  • We Never Know Who We Have In The Basket
  • Uh Oh--Jesus' Got Toothpaste On His Head!
  • A Moment of Silence is like Preg Checking a Bull
  • A Chicken's Right to Choose
  • Got to Leave Right Now! What Do I Take With Me?
  • He is Able—But if He Does Not!
  • Declarations of Independence: Properity or Destruction?
  • Blackie: One In A Hundred-In More Ways Than One
  • Who Is Holding On The Tightest?
  • That Must Have Been 20 Years Ago!
  • It's Almost Time
  • Keeping Me Awake At Night
  • Better Be Dressed
  • CHRISTMAS My Favorite Time of the Year
  • A Nation Without God is a Nation Without Hope
  • Bush Hogging During a Severe Drought?
  • When the Heart Dies—the Whole Body Dies With It
  • Depopulate and Eradicate (or) Expiate and Propitiate
  • If I Could Only Say One Thing and Had One Last Chance to Say It
  • Go Ahead and Jump Son—Daddy Will Catch You
  • The Final Dispersal
  • Chicken Piping—He Sees Them All
  • “Takes the Teeth Out”
  • Making It Harder Than It Is
  • HOPE IN THE PIT
  • Why Was He Born?
  • What to do when you don’t know what to do
  • A Dry And Thirsty Land Where No Water Is
  • If Only These People Will Change
  • Go Fishing—You Never Know What You Might Catch
  • Some Droughts are Preventable
  • Celebrating ‘True Freedom’
  • Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Victory Through Surrender
  • Responding Like a Sick Calf?
  • Our Life’s Investment: A Time for Reflection
  • Preg Checking: Open! Bred! I Ain’t Sure!!
  • Confidence To Face The New Year
  • Two Virgins and a Baby—The Irony and the Gift of Christmas
  • Precious Moments in the Calving Pasture
  • Working On a Building
  • What is the Foundation of Your Faith?
  • To Walk on Water—You Have to Step Out of the Boat
  • Only One Life to Live
  • The Uniqueness of a Mother’s Love
  • A Prayer That God Will Always Answer
  • Lessons from a Boar
  • When You Have Done All You Can Do to Stand: Stand Firm
  • Lowing in the Distance
  • Not My Dirty Feet!
  • THE RICH FAMILY IN CHURCH
  • Where did it go CFCI devotional
  • The Day ‘Tater’ Died
  • Life’s Lessons from the Chicken Yard
  • RESOLUTION OR SOLUTION?
  • Christmas Choices
  • BROKEN CISTERNS
  • Experiencing God in the Calving Pasture
  • FAMILY: On and Off the Farm
  • Unity is More Than Important—It is Absolutely Essential
  • God, I’m not ______________. I AM!
  • The Rod and the Staff
  • The Good Shepherd Leads the Way
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Blessed to be a Blessing
  • Mama Should Have Named Me Martha
  • FENCES: On the Farm & In Our Lives
  • The Harvest Depends on the Heart
  • The Gospel & Our Response to God's Grace
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