Monthly Devotions

What is the Foundation of Your Faith?

 

We hear so much today about ‘Liberals’, “Moderates” and “Radicals”. It seems that there is some line that has been drawn to distinguish between the groups, but the criteria used to constitute where the line is drawn is left up to the one making the distinction.

The term ‘Moderate’ seems to be the most desirable and politically correct title. If you think your position is the right one or if you want to try to convince others that you share their values, you consider yourself a moderate. Those with a broader, more tolerant view would necessarily have to be considered “Liberal”, while those with more narrow or exclusive beliefs would therefore have to be “Radical”.

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To Walk on Water—You Have to Step Out of the Boat

 

Back in the spring, my son Tyler took my two-year-old grandson Bryant on his first boat ride. He beamed with excitement as he climbed into the boat with his Uncle Tyler.

                As with any two-year-old, Bryant soon became restless. After several minutes of an unrelenting: “I want to get out,” Tyler jokingly said, “Okay, Bryant, get out;” not thinking Bryant would take him serious and just step out of the boat—but he did!

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Only One Life to Live

 

Preparing the ground and planting summer grazing, spraying pastures, vaccinating and worming calves for weaning, building catch pens, developing marketing plans for our cattle, soliciting Corporate Sponsors for our ministry farming needs, preaching, sharing the Gospel, coordinating mission work around the world, raising missions dollars, ministering to the needs of people locally, raising a family, and the list goes on and on! These are indeed busy times in our lives here at Cattle for Christ, and I am sure it is for you as well.

If we do not guard against it, we can easily get so busy or distracted by doing good things, that we allow our priorities to get out of order and neglect what is most important. We assume that we will always have tomorrow and that there will always be other opportunities. Whether it be getting our lives right with the Lord, studying His Word, healing broken relationships with others, showing love and affection to our families, encouraging or befriending others, dealing with our own sin, reaching the world with the Gospel and love of Christ, or whatever it may be that is undone, we take for granted that there will always be tomorrow to make things right.

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The Uniqueness of a Mother’s Love

 

A few weeks ago, a stray Rat Terrier showed up at our house having obviously been severely mistreated. None of us could touch her or even get near her. You could tell she was hungry and even wanted some affection, but was afraid to let us close enough to help her.

We started putting some food out for her and tried not to make any sudden or threatening gestures around her, hoping we could temporarily help her. Having just recently given away our previous dog to our son and daughter-in-law, I was really happy to be dog-free for the first time in over 30 years.

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A Prayer That God Will Always Answer

 

I was filling up hay wagons the other day when I finally reached a point physically, emotionally and spiritually where I just could not go any further. I was at the point of absolute exhaustion, helplessness, brokenness and hopelessness. If the Lord did not come through and restore my soul, renew His Spirit within me, and touch my body, I just absolutely could not make it another day. He had to give me hope to face the present and the future!

            For the last few months, I have written about spiritual warfare, about putting on the full armor of God and taking up the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. I write about these things because I deal with people here and around the world who are heavily engaged in the battle and are getting wounded, tired and discouraged, and I want to encourage them with God’s Word and His promises. I also write about these things because most people I see and talk to do not even realize that a there is a battle raging that has eternal significance—not to mention the fact that they are not prepared for or dressed for battle, making them sure prey of the enemy. I am sounding the alarm, calling all Christians, calling the Church to wake up, get dressed for battle and join the fight for the souls and welfare of men, women and children all around the world. I am also calling the lost to repentance and to faith in Christ Jesus who is our only hope for victory and for life!

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Lessons from a Boar

 

One of the finest embryo heifers you would ever want to see, with a great pedigree too. Just eight days old, running with her mama late one afternoon, kicking up her heels the way a vibrant, healthy young calf would do. What a beautiful sight! The next morning at daylight, everything had changed. This fine young heifer was now dead having been attacked and eaten by a pack of coyotes.

In the days that followed, Jack or I would often see one or more coyotes in the pasture hungry for the flesh of another helpless calf. So occasionally, we would carry guns in our trucks so that we would be ready when we saw them. Well, the days we saw the coyotes were the days we did not have our guns with us. We were not ready for battle every day.

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When You Have Done All You Can Do to Stand: Stand Firm

 

Droughts, floods, earthquakes, mudslides, hurricanes, wars, sicknesses, accidents, broken relationships, economic woes, poverty, crime, unemployment, fatigue, fear, doubt, troubled children, death of loved ones, facing death ourselves, moral degradation, sinfulness, addictions, or you name it; we all face situations on a daily basis that are bigger than we are and are often out of our control. The battles, the challenges and the enemy we face are too tough, too frequent and too intense to overcome in our own strength.

The good news is that God knows we cannot face the giants and battles of life alone and it was never His intent that we do so. There are numerous places in Scripture where this truth is laid out for us. He has instructed us how to face life’s issues and He has promised that if we put our lives in His hands, putting all of our faith in Him, He will give us the strength, courage, protection and perseverance we need to not only face our enemies, but to be victorious over them.

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Lowing in the Distance

 

I stepped outside early this morning to hear a mama cow lowing in the distance. Our Cattle for Christ herd has grown to 150 mama cows. We have mamas and babies scattered all around our place. To wake up to the lowing of a mama cow always signals trouble—her baby is either lost or dead. She is doing all she can, calling out and searching everywhere to find the calf that belongs to her, but is lost.

This episode reminds me of a series of three parables in Luke 15: The parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin, and the parable of the lost son. Each of these parables taught by Jesus, while different, have a common theme. The faithfulness of the owner to seek and find what belongs to them, but which is lost. (Please take the time to get your Bible and read Luke 15)

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Not My Dirty Feet!

 

Today has been a cold, wet, dreary day.   It started at daylight this morning when I went out in the rain and the 40 degree temperature to check the cows for calving. By the time I made my rounds I was cold, dirty and miserable. Twice more today, I got to repeat the episode. You guessed it; still raining and still cold.

                Tonight when I came in and took off all my wet and dirty clothes, I was home by myself so I drew a long hot bath. As I lay there soaking and reading my Bible, I ran across the passage in John 13 where Jesus was washing the feet of Peter and His other disciples.

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THE RICH FAMILY IN CHURCH

 

For some time the Lord has been leading me to the last book of the Old Testament—Malachi. The Jewish people were guilty of robbing God by giving to Him crippled and diseased animals instead of their best.  Because of that, they would face God’s judgment in their lives and in their land.  On Good Friday, I received this short email story written by Eddie Ogan, that illustrates the blessings of giving God our best.  I hope you enjoy it.
    
“I'll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12, and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money.

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Where did it go CFCI devotional

 

Where did it go……. the money, your retirement fund invested in the stock market, the equity in your home, the value of your business, the availability of credit and cash flow, your job, the generally prosperous economy and the economic optimism that accompanied it? We are not sure where it all went, or why, or if and when it will come back. We suspect that much of it was consumed by greed, graft and corruption. Some of it went to pay for foolish decisions of people who took unwise and unnecessary risks trying to get rich the quick and easy way, using credit to buy things they did not really need and could not afford. Some of it went sour because government thought it could continue to spend money it did not have and pile up larger and larger deficits and increase the national debt. And quite possibly God allowed this to happen – whether a self inflicted wound on our part or an act of loving correction and discipline on His part or both – to humble us, to get our attention, to remind us of our weakness and dependence on Him, to help us see once again that “man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” And if we continue to harden our hearts and stiffen our necks as a people, things will probably get worse before they get better. Whatever the reasons, it has gone and continues to take wings and fly away. But this has always been true. The Bible says, “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.”

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The Day ‘Tater’ Died

 

Just a few days ago I arrived home on a Monday afternoon after a long week on the road in Texas. I hadn’t been home ten minutes when the phone rang and a friend told me that he had seen my son Tyler’s dog (named Tater) lying on the side of the road bleeding. It appeared that Tater had either been shot or hit by a car.

I jumped back in my truck to check on Tater before Tyler drove by and saw him like this. Sure enough, Tater had been hit by a car and obviously had severe internal and external injuries that were beyond repair. Tater was still conscious. He recognized me and allowed me to pet him.

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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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