Monthly Devotions

Depopulate and Eradicate (or) Expiate and Propitiate

“Glenn, I got the pathology report back, and I’m afraid I don’t have any good news.” Well, as you can guess from this statement, the news from the Veterinarian from the State Diagnostic Laboratory wasn’t going to be what I wanted to hear.

            I have always been and am still a believer in utilizing the services of the State’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to investigate and identify the causes of deaths of my livestock. This practice not only helps me keep my herds and flocks disease free, but it also helps to protect my customers and the agricultural industry as a whole. If I lose an animal, it goes to the diagnostic lab. Sometimes, the news is not what I want to hear, but it is always better to know you have a problem so you can try to find a cure, than it is to ignore it or try to cover it up and have to suffer even greater consequences later on.

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If I Could Only Say One Thing and Had One Last Chance to Say It

I usually try to begin these devotional articles with a farm related story and then incorporate some spiritual truth into the story that may touch your life and show you the love that God has for you individually. This month however, I want to share with you what I would share if it were that last opportunity I would have to speak truth into your life.

            When my children were growing up, and many times since then, I have always tried to make sure the last two things I told them each time one of us was leaving the other or hanging up the phone were: “I love you” and “Walk with Jesus”.  I intentionally told them “I love You” because I wanted them—no matter what happened—to always remember that their daddy loved them unconditionally with all his heart.   I told them “Walk with Jesus” because I wanted them to know unquestionably that because of my love for them, the most important thing to me was that they individually experience and maintain an intimate, life changing, saving, personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ—who loved them first, who loves them most, who shared them with me, and who gave His life so that they could have abundant life both here and for all eternity. I wanted this truth to be forever branded on their hearts and minds so that when death in this life comes to each of us—and it will, we can face it knowing that one day, we will be united and will live together forever and forever with the Lord Jesus in a Heaven He has prepared for us and for all who put their faith and trust in Him for their salvation.

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Go Ahead and Jump Son—Daddy Will Catch You

How many of us remember the faces of our children when we stood with arms outstretched, perhaps under a high limb where they had climbed too far or maybe out from the side of a swimming pool, and we said these words: “Go ahead and jump son. Daddy will catch you.”? You may even remember your own thoughts, fear and reluctance when hearing these words from your parents.

Regardless of who it is telling us to trust them absolutely with our family, future, finances and especially with our life, it is difficult for us to put our faith in their ability or competence to deliver on their promise. When everything is at stake, we either have to be desperate, having no other choice, or we have to be willing to trust and believe that they will absolutely do what they say they will do.

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The Final Dispersal

Back in September of 2011, we had our Cattle for Christ International ‘Moving Em Out for Missions” Sale where we dispersed all of our ‘clean’ Registered Angus Cattle. We are currently attempting to rebuild our herd to include all breeds of purebred and commercial cattle and to run it like a commercial herd (with some exceptions). Though it was indeed a dispersal of an entire category of cattle, it was not a ‘final dispersal’ because we intend to rebuild our herd.

            I recently experienced a true Final Dispersal. This dispersal raised a lot of questions about life, the brevity of it, our life’s purposes in this world, and the futility or at least the temporariness of our worldly material possessions.

            My mother who is 83 years old has finally reached the age and the physical condition where it is no longer safe for her to live alone or take care of herself. The sitters can no longer meet all of her physical needs. Though this time will come for all of us unless we die before, it is just hard to believe that this time has come for ‘my’ Mama.

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Chicken Piping—He Sees Them All

It was eight o’clock at night. I had been watching and waiting for a long time with great expectation and a sense of awe of the entire process. It all started when I looked into the observation window and saw one of the eggs begin to move back and forth. What in the world? How was that egg moving like that? The incubator was sitting level, yet the egg moved. Soon another egg began to roll, almost as if it was turning itself over.

            As I continued to watch, I saw a little hole appear in one of the eggs and then another. Within minutes, those jagged holes became longer and longer. Soon I could hear little chirps coming from within the eggs. By this point, I had pulled up a stool not to miss a minute of this wonder. The process of the first chick took just a matter of an hour or so. As the baby chick continued to peck, push and struggle, it finally freed itself of its shell. Wet, weak and wobbly, like a newborn calf, it flipped, stumbled and fell around until it finally dried out and gained the strength to stand and walk around.

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“Takes the Teeth Out”

I have noticed that horse people have to pay a lot of attention to the teeth of their horses, and I know a good cow man will check the teeth of older cows when making culling decisions. Though I know this, have done it on occasions, and understand the reasons for doing so, I really never thought much about the consequences of missing teeth and the animal’s ability to bite, chew and consume its food.

            I recently experienced something that brought the phrase ‘takes the teeth out” to mind and gave me a new perspective and understanding of the meaning and significance of these words. Last week, due to the affects of long term Lyme’s disease and the antibiotics to treat it, I had to have every tooth in my head pulled. I am currently in the process of trying to heal and learn to wear dentures.

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Making It Harder Than It Is

Have you ever put off something that you knew you had to do, that you knew would make everything better once it was done, but you just didn’t want to go through what was required to get it done? How about with a relationship with someone you truly love? For some reason, intentional or not, knowingly or not, things are just not right and you miss the intimacy of the relationship, but are reluctant to try to make things right because you know deep in your heart you will have to humble yourself, will have to go back and rehash some old issues, and will eventually have to ask for forgiveness and be willing to forgive if the valued relationship is to be restored and able to grow? You really want things to be right, but you just dread the process because it is going to be personal, painful and require your undivided attention.

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HOPE IN THE PIT

Just yesterday, my ministry partner Jack McIntosh called to tell me that one of our new baby calves had fallen into a ditch and could not get out. Apparently, the root system of a very large tree that had fallen years ago, had finally rotted and the ground around it just gave way and made about a twelve foot deep pit—one that we had not seen until Jack saw the mama looking down into the pit calling out to her troubled and helpless baby.

The pit was more than just a hole in the ground, it was more like a hole ‘under’ the ground. Just driving by it in the truck, everything looked fine. But, when we looked closely, there was just a shell of dirt and grass which looked solid, but in reality was not thick enough to hold anything up. One step in the wrong spot and down you would go—just like the calf did.  

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Why Was He Born?

 

CattleforChrist Elijah 81398, was without question the very best bull of any breed that I have ever seen—and I have seen a lot of them around the country and around the world. This Angus bull had it all; pedigree, performance, confirmation, soundness, EPD package, carcass evaluations, temperament, fleshing ability, thickness, depth, and was as long as a freight train! His calves were better than any from our other sires (natural or artificially inseminated). Yep, he had it all, yet after just one calf crop, he got sick and died.

            Elijah was no ordinary bull, neither was His name, but that too had a purpose. He was owned by an unusual entity, in the cattle business anyway. All the proceeds he generated (and over $250,000.00 was on the table when he died), would all go to an unusual cause; not to pad someone’s pocket, but it would all be used to meet the spiritual and physical needs of men, women and children all around the world. Elijah literally and legally belonged to the Lord, all the income he generated would go to the Lord’s work, yet he lived just long enough to calve one small calf crop, then he died.

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What to do when you don’t know what to do

 

At some point in our lives, we will all face questions or challenges that are bigger than we are and that can leave us with a sense of hopelessness and/or lack of direction. It may be news of life threatening disease, the loss of a loved one, a change of careers, a hurtful relationship, or just a time where we have to be still and wait for the Lord to move or to give us direction—whatever the case, we are overwhelmed and do not know where to go or what to do.  

I think of a boat captain who has lost his ship in the storm and finds himself all alone in a dingy, out in the middle of the vast raging sea. For years he has navigated these waters and has faced and overcome many storms and challenges, but this time, the storm was so severe, so large and so overwhelming, he now faces what he has never faced before. His ship, his men, his ability to navigate, and all that is familiar to him is now gone. He used all his skills, experience and education and did all he knew to do. He fought the storm to the point of exhaustion, but despite his efforts the ship went down along with all that was in it. Now, without divine intervention and guidance, he will be overcome by the challenges, the fear and the uncertainty he now faces.

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A Dry And Thirsty Land Where No Water Is

 

My brother Glenn is the cattleman in our family. When I look at a cow or steer I see only various cuts of meat. He sees conformation, genetics, feed conversion, birth weights, reproductive capacity, herd health, and marketability. He also sees an opportunity to involve the cattle industry in spreading the love and good news of Jesus Christ to “the least of these” especially among the poor and unreached people around the world. At the time of writing this in August for publication in October, Glenn and a group of cowmen, missionaries and students from Berry College are in Peru teaching AI, ET and other technical practices to leaders of the Peruvian cattle industry, and doing children’s ministry and outreach all in the name of Jesus Christ. By the time you read this article the Cattle for Christ, “Moving ‘Em Out for Missions” dispersal sale will have taken place on September 5. On behalf of Glenn and Cattle for Christ International I want to thank every one of you who have shared in this ministry. I invite you to continue to be part of this ministry as they seek to rebuild their herd over the next few years. The ministry belongs to the Lord. The cows belong to the Lord. The money belongs to the Lord. The people belong to the Lord. The glory belongs to the Lord. It is a blessing to serve Him together by serving others in His name. The greatest blessing of all is to know Him and to live in Him and to have Him live in us as we follow Jesus Christ by faith.

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If Only These People Will Change

"If all the sleeping folks will wake up, and all the lukewarm folks will fire up, and all the disgruntled folks will sweeten up, and all the discouraged folks will cheer up, and all the depressed folks will look up, and all the estranged folks will make up, and all the gossiping folks will shut up, and all the dry bones will shake up, and all the true soldiers will stand up, and all the church members will pray up, and if the Savior of all will be lifted up . . . then we can have the greatest renewal this world has ever known." --Richard Cardinal Cushing (Eric S. Ritz, www.Sermons.com as cited in Weekend Encounter 8/20/09)
The small gate is the entrance to the narrow way, the way which leads to eternal life. That gate is our Lord Jesus Himself. In the words of the Savior: “… Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep… I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture… I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:7,9,11).

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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
  • Partner with Us

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