Monday, August 30, 2010

Going to a funeral today

8/30/10 Monday
Today I go to a funeral. My grand uncle, my grandmother’s brother, has died. I don’t expect to be welcomed at the funeral as this side of my family has not exactly been friendly. It will be uncomfortable for sure. “So why am I going?” you might ask. I’m going because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t run from what is uncomfortable and I don’t simply do what I “feel good about”, as some live their life. To let your feelings control your actions is a dangerous way to live and will lead to much error. Troy died and today is his funeral so I will go and pay my respects. I knew him, but not well, however I knew him and can’t say much bad about him. We all have our faults and I'm sure he had some but generally was a good man as far as I know. Even if he wasn’t I’d still pay my respects. Unfortunately I suspect that my mere presence at the funeral will cause a stir. We will see. I’m not going to cause trouble. If I don’t go it will give them something to gossip about and when I do go it will do the same.

First thing this morning I will take Linda and pay to have her truck legally registered so she will be able to drive around without fear of a ticket. She can’t afford gas to go many places and we can’t afford to do much, but an oil check came so we will spend it where the need is greatest. That need is someone else so we will do without to help her. This is the way it’s supposed to be in real Christianity. It’s frustrating to watch so many with so much be so greedy about so little, when there is so much need.

It will be a busy morning for sure. There’s a chance of rain tomorrow and the day after so I will plant in hope and faith that we will get some of it. Actually I had a feeling yesterday, as I worked, that there was going to be rain. But I don’t live by my feelings, rather choose to have faith in God regarding such matters. Too much to do to write. It’s going to be suit and tie for the funeral so am debating putting that on when I take Linda to get her truck registered. Nah, my trucks dirty and I may have to work on hers so will wear regular work clothes.

Worked hard preparing garden beds yesterday and the dog gone dogs just had to go and dig it up to lay down in the midst of the freshly turned earth. In the process they put a hole in the drip tape so I had to use my last repair piece to fix that. Used up a dozen or so of the repair thingy’s. Real frustrating. The dogs have also dug up some of the okra that is doing good in order to lay down. It’s so hard to work on this farm when I don’t have fences finished or other parts of the infrastructure done. As a result so much other work gets destroyed or set back.

The funeral went fine. Pulling up I could see where the family was gathered across the street but decided to just go inside the church and avoid any potential problems. Inside I sat next to the county attorney and judge. They both know me but we didn’t talk much. As far as funerals go it was good, there was a lot of great things said about Troy and it made me wish I’d known him more but this distance fueled by gossip has prevented any contact with any family members. There was lots of talk about Troy’s faith and integrity, which I’m sure is true, but it’s a shame to not see that “Love of Christ” they talked about exhibited towards us. As we filed past the open casket I shook hands with pastor Dave and simply said “How are you doing”, resisting the temptation to say something smart regarding his “Shaking the dust off his feet” antic when I’d gone to him in an effort to resolve things. It’s a funeral so not the right place. God will have to deal with it I guess.

Met Linda before the funeral and gave her cash to cover getting her truck registered. It needs to get inspected next but her drivers side door won’t open so that probably needs to be fixed. Cherie had a bag of blackeyed peas, tomatoes, and peppers for me to take to her but naturally I forgot.

The air cooler was spitting water in the house this morning so I’ll need to see what’s going in there. Then it’s back to work getting seeds planted in the hope of rain.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blessed with a piano, blessed to be alive

8/27/10 Friday
Had one of those bad brain damage headaches. Woke up at two this morning with it and had a hard time getting back to sleep. Been taking advantage of the cooler weather and working hard. My muscles are all pretty sore but I think that’s good personally. Will get out and work despite the headache because it needs to be done. We never got the rain so I’m debating planting seeds with the salty well water for moisture. The blackeyed peas came up ok with it so it’s evident that some plants aren’t as affected by the well water as others. Can’t wait till too late for some of these seeds for the season is getting shorter with every day. Have lots of tomatoes and peppers so if any of y’all want some tomatoes, bright red jalapeƱo’s (Guess they turn red if you don’t pick them early), or different colored bell peppers let me know.

We got the piano moved into the house. There were five guys to help load it on the truck at the church but no one to help unload it at home. Somehow Cherie and I got it done and only damaged one little knob on it. It was quite a feat to do. I tried all kinds of things and put up ramps to roll it from the back of her pickup directly through the front door. Some of the wood cracked under the weight of the piano, a little unnerving to say the least. The church, where Cherie works, has four piano’s they’d like to find a home for so if any of you would like a piano email me at The best part of this piano is the smile it put on Cherie's face and the dance in her step. She's had a few rough days dealing with depression and worry about our finances so this really helped. She grew up with a piano and would love to get back to playing it. It needs tuning so I'll go online and see if it's possible for me to tune it myself or if we have to pay someone to do it.

That’s it. Can’t believe it’s already 10:00 and I’m not out working. At least the headache is manageable now. I’m going to Midland today to attend the fellowship lunch at the HeBrew coffee house. Haven’t made it there in a while despite wanting too. Plus I must poop scoop and buy parts needed to finish repairing the irrigation stuff that gophers chewed up. We just had another power outage, seems that they are a daily occurrence now. This happened at exactly ten so I wonder if it’s a switching station problem. It’s cost us several of the internet routers and I worry about potential damage to the computers. Other than that I must reset all the electronic clocks on everything, the alarm clocks, the microwave clock, the coffee pot clock, and anything else that has a built in timer on it.

No sense in going out to work as I’ll get all hot and sweaty and need to leave in forty minutes to make the 11:00 fellowship luncheon. I think I’ll start pulling tile off the wall in the bathroom to prepare to put the new sink we bought a month ago in.

I pulled up to the house and he came out to see who it was. Looking right at me he quickly ducked back in the house, I mean real quick. Fine, it didn’t surprise me. I went to the back to poop scoop and wondered if he would come out and talk or not. He didn’t. I could see into the house from the back door as I headed out the gate and he was standing there to the side of the front door so that he couldn’t be seen through the glass. I saw him lean forward quickly, just poking his head out to look out the glass and quickly pulling back to continue hiding. Sad, real sad. I understand he wants to avoid seeing me due to the problems I’ve called him on but running and hiding is a poor indicator of personal character. I don’t suppose I should expect others to face their problems head on like I tend to but I do. To me it’s a sense of honor and integrity that requires me to own up to my mistakes and confront them openly and honestly. To run and hide usually makes things worse. I’ve seen this behavior in my brother and the church people we had a problem with and it just makes me want to march right up to them and demand they talk. I tried that with my brother and he literally ran away, moving from group of people to group as I approached, fleeing each one as I came near. It was almost funny but is too sad to laugh about. He got real sensitive when I said something about being a Man. “Don’t you dare question my manhood” he wrote as he continued to avoid even sending emails to work things out. To me a man stands up for himself, a man doesn’t run and hide, a man admits his mistakes and owns up to it. When they don’t they become a little less of a man in my book.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rain bypassed us.

8/25/10 Wednesday
We didn’t get any rain. It just passed over us and drenched everything sixty miles south. Oh well, such is life and the weather in West Texas. But at least the temperatures are cooler. Anything under 90 degrees is a blessing. Unfortunately this lack of rain means my fall crops are delayed. I can’t start the seeds with well water because of the high levels of salt and chlorides so was counting on some rain to get them going. Most of the rain water I captured off the roof in various drums is gone now. What’s left has gotten pretty green with algae or whatever grows in it.

It will be a busy day, as the days always seem to be. Got the letter written and sent out but the response just glossed over things. That’s in God’s hands now. I will watch and pray. I need to run to Linda’s and check on her car. Left the battery charger on it and didn’t get there yesterday as planned so it may still be charging. Not good. Here’s where forgetting to do things can be a problem. I can remember conversations days later but in the immediate day to day stuff things get lost.

May need to run to Midland regarding the widow’s car. It’s at the Nissan dealer’s now and they have a big line of cars to work on so hope it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. She really needs her car so perhaps my showing up will move it up in importance. Who knows.

I need to contact the newspaper and television stations regarding Kairos Prison Ministry today also. Best do it this morning or I’ll get going and forget. Tonight I give my testimony to the youth group at church.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tale of the revolving $100

This morning's sunrise. Dawn of a beautiful new day.

8/24/10 Tuesday
Yesterday I told about the hundred dollar bill we were gifted with, and expressed our faith and trust that God will take care of our needs. Not our wants but our needs. I feel it’s important to make that distinction for there are some who are “believing God” for a Cadillac or other luxury items. That’s not the promise of God in the bible, He said He would supply our needs and also said that we should learn to be content if we had food, clothing, and shelter. We are not just content but grateful for what we have.

I’m anxious to tell you about how great God is and how true He is to His promises. Understand that all of His promises come with conditions, He won’t reward sin nor a stubborn prideful heart. It’s when you humble yourself and submit to the Lord God Almighty that He is able to do these things.

So here’s the tale of the revolving hundred dollar bill. First it is slipped quietly into my hand by a loving man of God in Sunday school. Now we are down to the wire with a week to go before Cherie’s next check with only about $60 in the bank, bills due, and low on food. But Linda, our former biker friend, has greater needs. Her car broke down, probably needs a new $300 fuel pump (I’ll go out there again today and verify that it’s broke, if I can figure out how) and the tire on her truck blew. Literally just burst into pieces as the truck sat parked. It was a blessing she wasn’t driving it when it blew out. Linda has been fighting to get unemployment for five months from a company that dishonestly fired her and is denying her claim, so has had no income. She spends her time as a volunteer at Teen Challenge, writing grants and working with the girls who come there with so many problems, and does this for no pay.

So we went to get the tire off her truck and to look at her car. I gave her the 100 dollar bill and Linda was ecstatically grateful. This was all still on Sunday. Monday Linda’s friend took the rim into Stanton to see about getting a tire. The tires he knows cost over two hundred dollars so he planned on putting it on his account and waiting till Linda had the funds to pay for it. When he explained the situation at the tire place the guy mounted a new tire on the rim and said “That will be a hundred dollars”. Now he didn’t know about our gift to Linda, he just happened to only charge that much for a two hundred plus dollar tire. Why? I wasn’t there but am pretty sure it’s because he’s a man with a good heart and desired to help someone in distress. The Lord will bless him for it.

But wait!!! There’s more!!! Yesterday morning I checked my email and there was one from someone I didn’t know. A company wants to pay us a hundred dollars to put a one sentence link in my blog for their Medical billing education course. There is a specific post they want to do this in. Is this all just coincidence? I don’t think so. It all just lines up too neatly to have happened by accident. We meet someone with a need, someone hands us money, it just happens to cover the exact discounted amount to meet the need, and then someone out there in the ethereal world of the internet just happens to choose my blog to place an add for the exact amount. I would love to be able to follow the blessings that expand from this to all the others involved because I know the person who handed us the bill will be blessed and I know the tire guy will be blessed, and we are blessed just to be able to help someone in need.

There’s rain coming and I’ve got lots of work to do. Both to prepare for the rain and also I need to run to town and buy dog food and paper for our printer. Plus I need to follow up on the widows car and make sure she isn’t taken advantage of. So no time to write but had to take this moment to tell of God and show He is a living God who actually does things. Too cool.

3:30 – Went to a surprise meeting for Kairos Prison Ministry. Dave called this morning as I was out rushing to get things done in preparation for the rain. So I dropped it all, changed shirts, and went. Dave and I were the only ones who made it, probably due to the suddenness of the announcement. We discussed things we need to do and I made several suggestions. The suggestions mostly involve me getting off my butt and making calls to the paper and local TV stations. I came home and went right to work on the farm and checking my email see that Dave set up an interview with channel 9. Glad to see that. I have managed to start a blog for Kairos called Kairos Ft Stockton. There’s nothing on it yet but it at least exists now.

There’s an aspect to this change in weather coming that I’ve forgotten about. That is the pain that comes with the changes in barometric pressures when a cold front blows in. Sure do feel it now, deep in the old broken bones of my back and neck, over and above the regular daily pain. Oh well, it is what it is and this is the price I pay for poor decisions made long ago.

I need to run back to Midland and buy dog food as well as paper for our printer. Plus I’ll poop scoop and drop of the can opener we bought for the widow to replace the other one she had that broke. I brought it home to try and fix it but only broke it further. She’ll be blessed to get the new one. They are not as cheap as I thought but we don’t worry about that here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weeds in their midst

11:30 – Got two rows of weeds hoed in between where the blackeyed peas are planted. It took two hours to do two rows so at that rate it will take me four hours to finish this job and there’s a lot more to do than this. I’m focusing my energies where we have, and plan to have, plants growing. With God’s grace we will get rain when the front moves through Wednesday. If I can find the time I will plant seeds in hope and faith that we will get rain. Hope and faith, two essential ingredients of farming, along with hard work and a lot of sweat.

As I worked my thoughts again turned to the letter I’ve been writing for weeks now. I need to finish it so will despite everything that needs doing. In my thoughts the words of Jesus came to me, hard words to obey when it applies to personal matters in our life. He said that if someone slaps you on one cheek turn so he can hit you on the other, and if he takes your coat give him your shirt as well. The root of the concept here is to trust in God to take care of the situation and to show the Love of Jesus to your fellow man/woman. “Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord, I will repay”. OK, sounds great but…
I welded up the hoe again. It kept cracking along the old welds so I ran a series of beads down to strengthen it. Also ran another bead along the edge to create a harder steel area that will stay sharp longer and hold up to the abuse.

So we will wrestle with that. Yesterday I ran out and pulled weeds in the morning before we went to church. Pulling the weeds brought to mind many of the parables Jesus told involving weeds. In one a man planted his grain and someone sneaked in and planted weeds. When asked about pulling the weeds up the owner said “No” citing that doing so would pull up good plants along with the bad so let them grow till harvest time when you could clearly see the difference. So in the church there are “Weeds” mixed in with the rest of us. They cause all kinds of problems but right now can’t be easily told from the good. It’s when they bear “Fruit” that you can tell them apart. God will be cleaning house soon. I think that even the weeds don’t know they are going to be thrown in the fire and burned. Some do for sure but some have been deceived into believing they are doing just fine.

Live for the future

8/23/10 Monday
It was a busy weekend and promises to be a busy week. Things went well at the Midland church as we let them know we were moving to the church in Stanton. We bought a card and Cherie wrote up a nice letter that was read to the class. Some had already heard we were moving in that direction and had wondered if we were just going to disappear without saying goodbye so expressed their appreciation that we didn’t. We try to do everything right, knowing the delicacy of some and the way the devil takes advantage of everything to cause discord.

The Sunday school lesson was on 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 and focused on giving. Sacrificial giving was a part of that and a statement was made that God didn’t want us to give in ways that cause personal distress. I’m not sure I totally agree with that. Now in the context given about greedy preachers pushing and manipulating people to give more than they can afford that’s true and there have been many foolish enough to buy into that to their detriment. But there’s more to it than that. It’s not what you give but why that is ultimately important. For those who were fed the “prosperity” gospel where preachers tell them to give in order to get it’s no different than feeding your money into a slot machine. If the motive is to hit the jackpot you just negated the power of your gift and robbed yourself of all spiritual value associated with it. I know people who run around “Sowing” their money like seeds with the idea they will gain a financial return and benefit from it. I’m sure they will argue with me and can throw up scriptures to support their actions but they have it all turned around and have been deceived so badly.

Again, it’s not what you do but why that is important to God. God judges your heart, not your actions, and the heart is a deceitful thing. Jeremiah 17.9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings." There are many who try to impress God and all those who know them with their giving. But such show is nothing new. Jesus had much to say about those who do things to be seen by others. Mark 21.38 "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, 39 and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, 40 who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers ; these will receive greater condemnation." The “devour widows houses” is a reference to how those with money and means often take advantage of those without and thus take from the ones who have less and are needy to further enrich themselves. Nothing new, still goes on today. Just look at the “Payday loan” industry.

After Jesus spoke those words comes this. Mark 12:41 And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury ; and many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43 Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury ; 44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on."

Now we have true sacrificial giving. I suspect the widow gave out of a sincere heart and a true love of those in need for whom the collection was for. Because she was poor she had a first hand insight and understanding of the hardships faced. When I was wandering homeless in the St Louis ghetto it was those around, those who lived in that crime ridden and dangerous area, who helped me the most. Now don’t get me wrong, the people of means at the church I began attending, who gave me their leftover clothes and other things, helped me greatly. But it was the poor who’s gifts had the greatest impact, practical things like a bag of groceries left mysteriously at the door to be found when I woke up, just when I needed food to eat. The reality is that those who have often want more and are less willing to let go of anything they value. Now this is a blanket statement and please don’t take it personally. There are many marvelous exceptions to this, wonderful people who do wonderful things so understand this is just a general observance of the condition of mankind.

In Acts chapter 2 you find a description of the early church Acts 2:44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common ; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart WOW!!! Now I know this whole thought is disturbing to many, and I understand that. But I again turn to the words of Jesus, where I find the most truth and inspiration.

Mark 10:17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life ?" 18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good ? No one is good except God alone. 19 "You know the commandments, 'DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.' " 20 And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack : go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven ; and come, follow Me." 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. 23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God !" 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God ! 25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

We’ve all heard the “Eye of a needle” thing many times and it’s a scripture that many a pastor has wrestled with as he tries to reconcile it with those in his congregation who have much. All of this is disturbing for many, and the reason it’s disturbing is because they have much and desire to hang on to it. No one wants to impoverish themselves and thus their families. My question, a question I ask many times is “Do you really believe?” I mean Really, Really, Believe, that God is and that your future is an eternal one? The people of the first church described in Acts did and knowing that the only thing that matters on this earth is what you do for heaven. Jesus told the rich man to “Give to the poor, AND YOU WILL HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN”. That’s not sowing so you can get something back here on earth, that is Loving those around you in a real way, not just with “I love you” words that end up being empty.

Someone in the Sunday school class slipped me a hundred dollar bill as we were saying our goodbyes. I told him we had just met a lady who was in dire straits and in great need so would pass his gift on to her. Right now we don’t have a hundred dollars in the bank and could use it, but we have food and shelter so are content. We gave the money to the lady after church when we went there so I could work on her car. We aren’t worried, God will supply our needs as He always has. I mention this not to draw attention to it but to show we practice what we preach and so that you can watch as God takes care of us. This way God gets recognized and gets the glory. It’s not giving so we can get, it’s giving because we care and see needs we can meet.

In looking up scriptures as I wrote my thoughts I ran across this in Jeremiah. It spoke to me and I suspect it will speak to some of you. There’s lots to do and I’ve spent over an hour writing so it’s time to go. Remember, Love Life and live a life you can love.

Jeremiah 17.5 Thus says the Lord: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. 7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. 9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. 11 "As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, So is he who gets riches, but not by right; It will leave him in the midst of his days, And at his end he will be a fool." 12 A glorious high throne from the beginning Is the place of our sanctuary. 13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. "Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the Lord, The fountain of living waters." 14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise. 15 Indeed they say to me, "Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now!" 16 As for me, I have not hurried away from being a shepherd who follows You, Nor have I desired the woeful day; You know what came out of my lips; It was right there before You.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Anyone wanna help move a piano?

8/21/10 Saturday
11:35 – It’s hot already. Been out working since 7:30 or so and am beat. Shoveled four of the big wheelbarrow’s worth of compost and spread it on the last beds I’ve been preparing. Pain level is up there pretty high. No big deal, I’m as used to it as one can get. Took my second pain pill for the day and after sitting in front of the fan to cool off and dry the sweat I’ll lay down till the pain reduces. Both Rascal and Trixie are up here in bed with me as usual. I gave them both tick baths this morning. That takes an hour to do and I spend a lot of time bending over them to find and pick off ticks. That contributes more to the pain I think than shoveling dirt. The ticks sure are bad this year.

Cherie is in Midland taking care of stuff. The church she works at is getting rid of several pianos so we are able to get one. She picked a smaller upright. They have a total of four they want to disappear. Anyone out there need a piano? No promises but drop me a comment or email at bobcarver2@yahoo and I’ll see what I can do. Also if anyone would like to help me load and move the small one we’re getting I sure could use the help. I’ll build a ramp so that we can wheel it out of her pickup straight into the house so that will be the easiest part. That’s how we got the big bookcase the widow gave us into the house. Actually I didn’t need a ramp for it, just backed her truck up to the door which is close to the same height as the pickup bed.

Time for tall glass of tea and water number two. I’ll probably drink at least four while I’m resting. Just laid a towel over my pillow in order to lay down without getting it soaking wet. Sitting up on this bed with the laptop in my lap hurts too much so I must lay down.

There, that’s much better. Now I have to get Rascal to quit panting his hot breath in my face. Everyone’s hot, even the dogs. One of these days we’ll get a refrigerated air conditioner that we can put in the window. Till then it’s fans and the evaporative unit. That works great when there is no humidity, you know the normal West Texas desert dry days, but there has been an unusual amount of humidity all this year that it’s been tough. This is harder on Cherie than it is on me, perhaps because she works in an air conditioned environment and I’m out in the heat all the time. Boy, I just dozed off and filled the screen with mmmm’s cause my finger was resting on that key. I’ll rest for maybe an hour and head back outside. There’s always so much to do. I so look forward to the business growing to the point I can afford to pay for help. That will make a dramatic difference in what can be accomplished versus it being a one man show.

Tomorrow we will go to the Midland Baptist church and say goodbye to all of our friends there. It’s hard to do, we feel like we are abandoning our friends by changing churches and hope they don’t feel we are rejecting them in any way. We’re not, and plan to keep in touch and maintain these relationships. This was the first place we were accepted and felt welcomed and fed. But we also feel that God has a plan for us and that it involves this other church we have been visiting though I am sure that the friendships we’ve cultivated at First Baptist of Midland will play important roles in our future as well.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Last nights sunset

8/20/10 Friday
Made it to the VA. I was a little late as I got some farm work in before I left. Have to take advantage of the cool of the morning. The blood pressure nurse said I was fine so unless the doctor had something to say I could go. Sitting in the lobby, as I waited to see the nurse, I watched CNN doing a story of Islamaphobia in the U.S.. What a crock of crap that was, what a white wash of the truth. The cleverness of the lies and distortion of the truth are worthy of the great cons of the world and remind me of the movie “The Sting”. It shows again the power of the media to tell Americans how we are supposed to think, and the power along with the influence of Islamic money along with the blind “Why can’t we all just get along” tittering’s of the liberals.

Statements were made by those interviewed such as “If people would only study Islam instead of believing what they hear they would discover just how peaceful of a religion it is”. I’ve studied Islam and continue to do so and I’ve heard first hand accounts of life in Islamic countries. It’s nasty, ugly, violent, degrading, bigoted, and in a word, “EVIL”. Serious folks, don’t be blinded by those whom telling lies to further their religion is a central part of their belief and clearly stated numerous times in the Koran.
This is a load of crap. Only, unlike the stuff fed to us by mainline media this crap is useful and has many good uses.

Sure there are some “moderate” Muslims who enjoy the pleasures of civilization but when it comes down to it they all consider the Koran their holy book and guide and see Mohamed as their prophet and example. So while they may compromise on what’s taught in the Koran it’s still there and says what it says. Thus at any point the potential is there for them to be “moved” to a deeper walk in their faith and thus move into the radical aspects of the religion. This is what’s happening around the world. It’s a “Revival” so to speak, a familiar thing in the Christian world where the followers of Christ are inspired to return to the original ways and their faith is “revived”.
Here are the refrigerators I use to raise worms in. They will get healthy amounts of the horse manure to feed on and convert into worm castings.

Meantime we are being fed the company line by the media. We are being told to bury our heads in the sand and pretend it’s just not possible that a religion could do such awful things. Oh, Really!!! Have you read history? This is nothing new, Islam once almost conquered the world and destroyed much of civilization, and did so following the principles of the Koran.

The CNN story had the audacity to present that 9/11 was not the work of Islam and kept making fun of those who “Paint all Muslims with the same Islamiphobic brush”. And did so while painting all who dared to question this religion and it’s true teachings with the “Islamaphobia” brush.

Worm castings, another kind of useful crap. In fact it's powerful stuff for your gardening.

So what they want is for us all to just bend over and take it… They want us to rest blindly in our comfort and believe that everything is going to be OK. I’ve got news, I read the Koran and read the bible. The bible tells me what is going to happen and it’s going to happen soon. It tells me the names of the countries involved and all kinds of details of what’s to come. This, coupled with seeing it all come about just as it said, causes me to believe in God.

The widow called and has car problems so I will head up there to help her. Time to go.
It turned out to be a fusible link on the widow’s car that was the problem. She had gone through two batteries and still had a problem. I looked and couldn’t figure it out so went online to study on it. The boy who is staying with the widow has a friend who knows about cars and brought him over. He figured it out real fast. Works for me. I went over to fix it but someone else did and that’s fine because now she has a car that works. She has invited Cherie and I over for dinner tonight so we look forward to that. I can’t believe it’s already almost 5:00. Haven’t gotten much done around the farm at all. Just got home from the widows after spending most of the day there after seeing the doctor this morning. Have a sore throat that showed up this afternoon. No idea what’s causing that. I’ll clean up and get ready to go to the widow’s for dinner.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's all I can take, (2 hrs working in the heat)

8/19/10 Thursday
Got out to work as soon as Cherie left for work, or close to it after I downloaded the pictures in the camera. Came in at 10:30 to take a break and found that there had been a power outage. The clocks needed to be reset and the Stelera internet router has once again died. So I must go to town and get another one. This makes four or five of these units I’ve had to replace. They charged our account for it the last time and that took over a month of phone calls to fix. Now I wonder if they will charge us for this one. Hope not.

Luke 12:19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' 20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself ?' 21 "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Got the new router and it’s up and running. Read someone’s post on facebook and again had that strong sense of urgency I’ve had before so posted the Luke 12 verse. Meantime it’s back to work time.

2:22 – About two hours is all I can take working out in this heat. Thus I’m back inside, in front of the fan, and drinking a tall glass of tea mixed with water. I mix it with water in order to make the tea last and because water is basically what I need. The T-shirt I wear wrapped around my head is soaked through so that sweat runs into my eyes. I’ll grab a dry one. Keep four or five around for that, hanging the wet ones to dry so they may be available tomorrow. Not happy when sweat gets on my glasses cause it dries and leaves a salt residue that’s hard to clean off.

Pain level is up there and checking my list I see it’s been four hours since I took the last pill so it’s ok to take another one. Just took my blood pressure for the doctors. I go to the VA tomorrow and check in with them regarding blood pressure. They gave me a blood pressure machine and wanted me to take my pressure every day and record it. If I managed to remember and take it every other day I’m doing good. Got news for them if they want to feed me blood pressure medicine, I’m not going to take it. There are natural ways of reducing blood pressure and they are much healthier for you.
This is our new bookcase. The widow is clearing out lots of stuff and this was one item she wanted to get rid up. Looks like it was made just for the spot in our hallway and we had already talked about needing a better way of storing books. Especially after Rascal peed on them where they sat in a bookcase in the living room. We are so blessed by others leftovers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We had a light rain last night.

This morning's sunrise. I missed the best part of it as I was busy waking up (Drinking coffee)

8/18/10 Wednesday
We had a light rain last night. That means I’m on the tractor this morning and will sow seeds. Don’t have lots of time to write so will let the pictures tell the story.

I went to the widow’s yesterday to do yard work for her. It hit 102 degrees so after working on the farm and then at the widows till nearly 6:00 I was drained. But still had stuff to do at home when I got there. This picture shows some of the areas I worked to clear of the weeds that had taken over long ago because no one was tending her yard.

The next picture shows how many weeds I pulled up, along with Bermuda grass that has encroached on areas it wasn’t supposed to be. Ms G told me “I don’t know what I’d do without you to help”. My reply was that she would pray and God would send another person to help because He wouldn’t abandon her.

These are the squash bugs that wreak such havoc in my garden. They attack anything that vines it seems. After destroying my squash they moved onto the watermelon vine. I'm just going to have to tear it all out and till it under after burning the vines. Never saw a watermelon turn yellow before. Wonder if they somehow cross pollinated with squash or pumpkin? Who knows, could be because the vines are dying and all the leaves on them have turned yellow.

Here's a picture of the lost watermelon that showed up where the Blackeyed peas are planted. The squash bugs haven't discovered it yet but probably will after I take out their current main meal, my other watermelon vines.

The blackeyed peas with drip irrigation tape installed.

Just a nice picture taken yesterday evening as the sun was going down

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gotta pick the meat off the bones

Last nights sunset

8/17/10 Tuesday
11:35 – It was time to come in. I managed to finish laying out the drip irrigation to the blackeyed peas. Started on it yesterday but began pulling up weeds so that was it. One little distraction and I’m off in a new direction. This morning I managed to stay focused till I got done. It’s running now and when the dirt softens up I will be able to put the wire holders into the ground that will keep the drip tape from blowing away. The ground is so hard that I can’t even drive the wires in. They just bend. Fortunately this is one of the rare days when the wind is not blowing at least twenty miles an hour.

I laid a towel down on the bed, as I do every day in order to not soak the bed with my sweat. It’s time to take a pain pill. The problem is that I can’t remember if I took one two minutes ago or not. There is enough drunk out of the glass of tea I poured to indicate I could of. Didn’t mark it down so I don’t know. That’s the problem with short term memory, or in this case what they call immediate memory loss. If I’m not careful I could take a half dozen pills and not know it. I’ll wait an hour and see if I still hurt, that would perhaps indicate I didn’t, though I hurt no matter what, just less with the pills.

It feels good to sit in front of the fan and enjoy the cool of the sweat evaporating out of this T-shirt. Today I may go to Midland and do yard work for the widow. Will poop scoop for some friends just because. What else? I need to by a rear seal for the pickup’s transmission but should put it up on jack stands and make sure that’s what it needs first. Always so much to do. We went to get some horse manure from people we met at the new church but couldn’t find it so ended up coming home. They called later in response to the note I left on their door so perhaps we can try again today. I must wait for Cherie to get off work cause we have to use her truck. It’s a shame someone soured our relationship with the old man, where I used to get lots of manure. That still bothers me, still hurts.

I’ll fix a sandwich in a bit, after I lay down for a while and let the pain pill take effect. Went ahead and took one because I’m pretty sure I didn’t take one earlier. There’s lots of work to do so I know I’ll need it.

Still working on the letter to some people we know. It’s a hard letter to write. I’ve got most of it done but, because it’s an uncomfortable situation I’ve been putting it off. I may or may not talk about it later. That depends on how it’s received I guess. There are other letters to other people I wanted to write and avoided for the same reason. But to let things lie means they sometimes fester into nasty feelings and thoughts so it’s better I think to get it out in the open and dealt with. I just haven’t done that because…I wonder if that will make it worse. I’ve learned that people don’t like honesty. They like their pretend sugar coated false reality to not be disturbed. I wrestle with this desire to help people see themselves, to point out the hypocrisy that just grates on me, this desire to help others be better people and improve their lives. Is this one of the results of the brain injury? It could well be as there are plenty of documented cases of the drastic personality changes that come with TBI that involve radical behavioral anomalies. I don’t know. Don’t quite understand a lot of things about me.

I know all the prophets in the bible went through hell because they pointed out others wayward actions. Many were killed, tortured, or thrown into dungeons or even a cistern in the case of Jeremiah if I remember right. Am I saying I’m a prophet? NO!!! I don’t hear the voice of God, no wonderful clear visions or pictures in my head and no voices telling me what will happen in the future. But I have had premonitions that turned out to be correct. I told Cherie once that there was going to be an earthquake in Ohio, where earthquakes aren’t heard of and a week or so later there was one. There was a moment I had a sudden sense of urgency about someone we know and I emailed or put on their facebook (Can’t remember which) a scripture about eating, drinking, and making big plans for the future but, the scripture said, such plans were foolish because tomorrow the Lord might take you. A week later the friend had a ruptured appendix and almost died. There have been a few other things but the problem with all this is I just don’t “Know” if it was just my imagination or coincidence or what. That’s the problem I’ve seen with so many others, that they imagine themselves to have such gifts and go off on a tangent, running around and saying “THUS SAYETH THE LORD” when all that comes out of their mouth is their own thoughts and self serving crap. I have no desire to be ranked among them. I just pray a lot and see things in life that are sad and should change.
This is where the corn will be planted. Gotta clean out the weeds and put in drip irrigation

Enough of that. I need to eat. Just dozed off as I wrote the above paragraph so perhaps the four hours I spent outside are catching up with me. Already drank two big cups of tea and water so will drink a couple more before I’m done. It’s already in the nineties and will hit a hundred before the day is done. I’m anxious to get back out to work as I want to get fall crops planted, with the hope of finally producing some sellable produce. Found another wild watermelon vine that sprung up from some old seed from last years melons. It has one watermelon on it that’s about the size of a large softball. This is the kind of surprise I like and it’s where I just ran the drip irrigation so will now get water. Not the most convenient place for it but I’ll take what I get.

That’s it for now. I need to pick the meat off of the chicken bones for the soup I am making. It’s been in the fridge and thus out of sight so forgotten. Cherie put it on my list so I would remember to take care of it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Those who live to die

Last nights sunset

8/16/10 Monday
Time is marching so fast these days. It always seems that way to me since I woke from the coma. Hard to believe it’s been nine years. So many of my old friends are dead and so is the old life I had. The new church we are attending is a blessing to us. We are meeting people who are spiritually significant. This isn’t to demean our other friends we have made in West Texas, it’s just a timing thing. Things are moving forward and augmenting that are the people we have met at the new church. Some already knew who we are because they have been following the blog. I still remember the look of amazement on the horse ladies face when I handed her one of the business cards Cherie had made for Westbrook Farms that has our blog address on it. I call her the horse lady because she raises and trains horses. She has been reading the blog for a couple or three years and was thrilled to meet us. There are others there who I suspect will be playing a role in our future.
The blackeyed peas are doing well. I still need to run irrigation to them. Something else that I haven't gotten to for several weeks now.

Linda, the former Outlaw biker lady, brought some pictures in of her former associates to see if it helped be remember any of them. None of the faces looked familiar but that doesn’t mean I never met them. Facial recognition is a big factor with Traumatic Brain Injuries and certainly one I have. What looking at the pictures did do was remind me of much of my old life. These were the kinds of people I was comfortable with, where I felt at home. Many of the pictures were from funerals and Linda told me that most of her old biker friends were dead, as many of my old friends are as well. For her it was a reminder of the grace of God, how she was not just “Saved” from the Christian sense but was literally saved from a lifestyle that certainly led to death. In this we both relate.

IN talking with Cherie about the pictures, Cherie was astounded by all the pictures of guys in caskets, with their outlaw leathers on and all the patches displayed. “I can’t believe there are so many pictures of dead people” she said, wondering why anyone would focus on that. I explained that these are people who live to die. In fact death is a central part of their thought processes. It’s like the bible says, “Eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12.19) but for us we always added “For tomorrow we die” though that’s not exactly how the original scripture put it. But that’s how we thought, and for the most part they still do. It was live life to the fullest extent possible, enjoy every lecherous pleasure available with no holds barred. The only morality was the biker’s code, the sense of honor that stems from the fact that many of them are war veterans. That level of closeness and camaraderie that comes when your life is on the line and the guy next to you not only is in the same boat but is depending on you just as much as you are depending on him. I’ve been shot at and stabbed and there have been times in a bar where it was just me and a couple of others against a whole crowd. Kill or be killed is quite a place to be, with a flow of adrenaline and emotion unmatched by anything else in the world. With that comes a trust and closeness that is also unmatchable. In war you have brothers in arms and on the streets, with biker gangs, gang bangers, prisons, and many other criminal enterprises you have that as well.
Here's a sinkhole that resulted as the ground caved way under my foot as I walked over it. The old cesspool my grandfather built 40 years ago is deteriorating. Eventually that will be another issue that we must deal with.

Jesus said, in John 15. 12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” It is so strange to find such parallels in such opposable lifestyles. A closeness in evil and a closeness in good. The lifestyle of excess brings death, pain, and misery in so many ways that it’s the focus of countless books. Living as a real Christian can also bring death as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands who are killed every year for their faith, but instead of misery it brings joy and life, true fellowship and trust. Trust is a fleeting thing in the criminal world with most criminal convictions the result of someone telling on their “brother in crime”. What’s sad is that in the Christian community you find the same kind of faithlessness. Gossip and backbiting are prevalent, and we have certainly been a victim of that. At church we were talking about the many who say they will not go to church because of the hypocrites they know of. How the guy praying for you in church is in the bar picking up women and whoring around on his wife the next day. So much damage is done by these who do not practice what they preach.

For me it is a constant struggle to live what I choose to believe. Just driving down the highway is an exercise in restraint as I must resist the urges I have to be dominant, to not allow someone to cut me off. That’s where the old life still has it’s mark on me, the old way of thinking about not letting anyone disrespect me or take advantage of me. It’s hard to change that in the instant of time it comes up. This is where Jesus’ command “Love thy neighbor as yourself” becomes a contest of will against emotion. So I try and I fail, but I keep trying.

There is always lots to do. Enough talking, it’s going to be hot so I want to do the outside physical work first before it gets up there. The problem has been that once I get out there working I do so until I’m worn out and drained from the heat. Because of that so many other things don’t get done. It’s this way every day and on top of that are the headaches and seizures. But I keep pushing on.

Rats have once again moved into the garage. Here is where they chewed on my not cheap 100 foot extension cord.

These weeds I'll get with the tractor but the tall ones in the back must be done by hand as there is drip irrigation installed there.

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's good when things go bad

8/13/10 Friday
Nuts. (Yeah, I know that’s strong language but trust me, I’ve said worse) I went out to the truck, intent to make it to the prayer and share luncheon meeting at the Hebrew, something I’ve missed doing a lot lately. Unfortunately the truck won’t go. Seems that the seal I blew in the transmission is doing more than just leaking. Pulling the dipstick I find absolutely no tranny fluid in it despite putting a quart in at Stanton. I poured the second quart I bought in and it still shows no fluid. So I’m without transportation, for the moment. I was just talking with George about getting a ride with him to Fort Stockton for the Kairos prison ministry but it looks like that won’t happen either because I would need to drive to Odessa and meet him.

There are some I know who would gloat at this, see it as a sign that God is not with me or just take pleasure at any misfortune we have. How do I know this? Because I’ve been told about it. But watch, this is a good thing. “Why is it a good thing?” you might ask. Because it’s an opportunity to show how good God is and a moment that will help me become stronger in my faith. James 1.2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

I know there are a lot of people watching us. That’s good but can be uncomfortable. It’s good because it helps me act right, knowing someone is watching is a great incentive to not do what you’re ashamed of. Oh, I still screw up but it’s not making mistakes that matter, for we all do that, it’s what you do after that marks what kind of person you are. Whatever you do, in word or deed, do all for the glory of God. So ultimately people will see God in all this.

I’m slowing down as I write this. Don’t get as many of these petite seizures as I used to but they still happen. It’s becoming a chore to gather my thoughts and put them down here and even typing is becoming difficult. Hope it doesn’t last long.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I choose to have a good day

8/12/10 Thursday
It’s going to be a good morning, and for that matter a good day. Why? Because I choose for it to be good and because we have a big God who loves and cares for us. I choose to trust in that, a conscious decision on my part despite everything going on around. The bible says in Proverbs 3.5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes ; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.

I suppose that will be the scripture for the day. This laptop is fighting me, getting all tied up and it keeps changing the time on me to Pacific time. Frustrating. I’ll run the spyware program.

This morning I must mix a batch of bug poison, as much as I hate to do it I have to. The squash bugs are nasty and there are caterpillars destroying the sunflowers. By the way, we have a wheelbarrow full of spaghetti squash that needs to find homes. If any one out there wants some drop me an email. If your in Big Spring, Midland, or someplace close I’ll bring it to you or you can come out to the farm and get all you want. The price? Free but we’ll accept donations.

Man, is it hot out there. It’s noon now and I’ve been out spraying the sunflowers along with the squash, melons, and everything else. There are thousands of squash bugs out there. They have killed all the spaghetti squash vines and were working on the watermelons. I stay busy, working out there all day long, taking breaks only when I must, but while I work on one thing something else gets neglected. It’s frustrating to say the least but I keep at it. As I work I think of the uncaring words of someone, who said I need to get a real job, words spoken from their position of how much better they are than I. The fact that I would have a hard time getting a “real” job probably escapes them but beyond that it’s the implied judgment that my dream of building a working farm has no real value that bites at me. I was called a “small minded man” by another person a year or so ago. I refuse to let others opinions relegate me to whatever status their small minds place me in. I will overcome and when things come together it will vindicate me.

The sprayer decided to stop working. It worked fine till I went to clean it with soap and water. That’s when it decided to no longer pump up the pressure. I’ll have to take it apart sometime, just don’t know when I’ll find the time. As I walked with the sprayer on my back I saw so many things that need to be done. The hard part is deciding what to tackle first. Right now I’m greatly enjoying sitting in front of the fan and the coolness created as the sweat evaporates out of my T-shirt. It’s lunch time so I should fix something to eat. I prayed and fasted for almost a week as I struggled with what to write to the people we know. I’m done with that now. Even the time I’ll spend writing I feel is time robbed from doing other things that need to get done. I am so tired of petty people, all wrapped up in themselves. I must resist saying what I want and strive to not be what I dislike in others.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In the shadow of God

As I worked in the heat with my hoe, chopping weeds, I prayed. Rascal, such a faithful and loyal dog, hearing my voice came out to be near me. Everywhere I turned he would position himself in my shadow to avoid the heat of the sun. It came to me that this is my desire with the Lord, to remain in His shadow and thus be under His protection. Rascal remains at my side even now as I type this, laying next to me on the bed. There is a comfort there for him despite the times I must discipline him for doing what he knows better to do. After I command him to “GO TO YOUR ROOM” and he does, with his tail down knowing he’s in trouble, there is always that period, a short time latter, where I call him back. Rascal looks for this moment anxiously, peering around the side of the doorway with that expressive face showing his anxiety. “Rascal, Come” is greeted with a visible joy as he bounds back to me, jumping up for pets. So it is with our God. When we go into sin, in our selfish surrender to our desires and personal wants, we leave the presence of the Lord. The danger is that often we choose to do so and choose to ignore what we know is the right way and in the process harden our hearts and blind ourselves to ourselves. This blindness increases with time and soon, what we know to be wrong becomes ok. So God, in His love, will correct us. When nothing works and everything falls to pieces it could be designed to get our attention and lead us back to Him, to residing in the shadow of God.

When all is said and done...

8/11/10 Wednesday
Time to get out and beat the heat. We’re looking at triple digit temperatures coupled with humidity for the next few days. There is no rain forecast either. I will continue focusing on getting fall crops planted, which will include the 546 peat pot seed starters. Chopping weeds will continue. My left hand is getting pretty stiff and painful in all the joints. Nothing new there, just becomes more noticeable when I work hard with it.

Cherie is getting ready for work so I need to take a break from this and find a scripture for a morning devotional. She had a rough day yesterday and that reminded me that her strength is my responsibility, that I need to be the spiritual leader and help hold her up.

I remind myself, and Cherie, of those we know of around the world who suffer greatly for the cause of Christ, when ever things seem tough around here. It helps to put things in that perspective. The friend we met at church moved into a house with no water, no electricity, and the windows boarded shut. Reminded us of when we moved in here at the farm but we had electricity. We are blessed greatly. Oh we don’t have the money and things others do but we know that money and things only feed selfish desires. In the end they all vanish, you can’t take it with you and we will stand before God naked and then give an account of what we did with what we had. Jesus said that the poor, downtrodden, and neglected will be the first in heaven, and those who sacrificed the most get the highest seats of honor. When all is said and done it’s what God thinks that is important.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We got rain

When the rain came and the wind blew out of the north it was the perfect time to burn the big pile of brush left from the firewood I cut up.

8/10/10 Tuesday
We got rain yesterday. Wasn’t much and it came down gently so it was an answer to prayer and we are grateful. I’ll pray for some more despite the forecast of clear skies and hundred degree heat.

Woke up at 5:00 this morning with one of the splitting headaches I often must endure. It’s a rough way to start the day. Kind of like a hangover in that my eyes are extremely sensitive to light and sounds just spear through my head like an ice pick. I’m squinting at this laptop’s screen because it’s bright and have the sound on the TV turned down to just where I can hear it. Even the cat’s meows are loud. I am so grateful I no longer drink as this is a reminder of just a part of the consequences of alcohol. It is sad to hear other’s declarations of “I need a drink” as a response to some problem that came up. That used to be my approach to life and problems, just party till it went away, pretend things were fine and put a big fake smile on my face, laugh and joke and be happy for a moment. But I always had to go home, or go somewhere, and wake up the next day to face reality. Now I have Jesus, faith in God and I deal with the realities of life as they happen.

I worked till ten last night preparing over five hundred peat pots that I plan on planting with seeds today. We’ve learned that with this bad well water we must start many types of seeds ahead of time this way. I dug up composted manure, worm castings, and some other soil to make the potting soil. It’s a shame I missed out on buying peat moss from the Walmart’s and other places that sell it for they always put it on sale and dump their inventory after spring planting season is over.

All week I’ll be pressing to get seeds in the ground. It’s fall planting time so I need to move. There’s more drip irrigation to install and always weeds to hoe down. How I look forward to the time we can afford to have a permanent employee. That will greatly increase my ability to produce profitable crops and is basic business. As long as I am a one man show I’m seriously constrained and can’t keep up. Headaches and seizures don’t help. This headache is getting worse now. Aspirin and the pain pill haven’t phased it. I’m typing much of this with my eyes closed or one eye open. Hope it clears up cause there is so much to do.
The baby swallows are now all living under the veranda so that makes six birds. They're cute and eat lots of bugs and mosquitoes but they all poop a lot. Oh well, the good and the bad of it all.

Cherie has left for work and the headache is gone. Without a wind blowing it should be safe to fire up the other pile of brush that’s on the other side of the house. Just need to be careful for sure. I need to get on the tractor and disc things up before the sun evaporates the little bit of rain we got. By discing it under we will save some of the moisture. Then it’s time to sow about two acres with the corn poppy seeds Tana gave us. Must hurry and do this while there’s still moisture so the seeds have a chance to germinate. Tomorrow will be too late. So no more time to write, am under the gun time wise.

Tired already. I probably won't do the fire cause the wind is blowing to the north again and that would send sparks to the grassland. Discovered that the "Oil" that was under the truck and causing smoke is transmission fluid. That's good news, providing it's leaking from the rear seal like I think, because that seal is easiest to get too. Odds are it's that seal because I've needed to replace the universal joints twice, requiring me to remove the axle from the transmission housing. Normally you're supposed to replace the seal when you do that but I was too cheap and in a hurry so didn't. Almost didn't make it back from buying diesel fuel because the tranny ran so low on fluid it didn't want to go into gear.
Some of the dirt I mixed in the cement mixer to be placed in the peat pots, some of which you can see there.

Been out on the tractor discing up where we will plant the corn poppies. The ground is already dry so didn't get out there quick enough. I'll spend time with the hoe cleaning areas already prepared for fall planting. Plus need to run more irrigation hose. There's tons of work to do. It's always frustrating to be a one man show for a job that requires at least two. We're just on the edge of success, with thousands of dollars to be made sitting there just out of reach no matter how hard I strain to get there. But we will get there, one step at a time or much quicker if some help arrives. Help we pray for. We have had needs graciously met but here's a thought. What's better, to give someone who's hungry a fish, or to give them a fishing pole and teach them how to use it? The fish takes care of one immediate need but soon they will be hungry again. The fishing pole helps them provide for themselves so they will never be hungry again, at least not as long as the fish are biting.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Storm clouds are gathering

8/9/10 Monday
There are storm clouds gathering. They gather throughout the world and also around us. These clouds are the signs of impending doom and victories over them. They are the signs of the times, the revealing of things to come. Just as in politics, when elections are coming up, activity increases with plots and schemes being hatched to tear down opponents and get opposing viewpoints accepted, so it is in the spiritual realm. Angels and demons fighting for the souls of mankind. Demons working to disrupt and cause discord wherever they can, tweaking on the faults we all have as a part of our human nature. Pride is the central one, the root of all sin. Spiritual pride is a particularly odious one to the Lord, the sitting back in confidence that you’ve got all the answers and an inside track. Jesus spent a lot of His time on earth fighting this very thing, pointing out the fallacies of the Pharisees and pissing them off so much they plotted to kill him. Imagine that, leaders of religion who are so blinded by their pride and ambition that they completely justify in their mind killing in the name of God. There is a blindness that comes with pride, a sense of “I’m right” that is so strong it overpowers what you know in your heart is the truth. With it comes a refusal to acknowledge any error, a refusal to believe you are wrong. There is no “I’m sorry” possible here for that would admit error. Being proud means never having to say your sorry.
These clouds passed right over the house, twisting like crazy. They turned into a tornado that touched down five miles away

Cherie and I are watching as God brings things together, as people of different interests and skills from varying parts of the country show up at the little church in Stanton. Linda gave me permission to write about her, she’s one of those wonders. I have only a vague idea of what God has in mind but mostly I see things happening. What I know is that whatever it is it will be something that no person will be able to say “Look what I did”, that it will be something that in the end will be obvious that it was a sovereign act of the Lord of all. Will our farm and the vision we have be a part of it? We sure hope for that but ultimately we are here to submit to God, for without submission He is unable to use us or at least we will be less usable. God can use those who hate and reject Him for His purpose but I prefer to be a willing instrument of His plans.

I won’t write of Linda at the moment. Feel a check in my spirit on that but suspect you will hear her amazing story later. Among other things, she is also a traumatic brain injury survivor who as I was had been declared dead and was in a coma. That our lives touched the same people is amazing in itself. There was another person we met, who when I gave her our Westbrook Farms business card exclaimed “I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!” Seems that she has been following our blog for almost two years so is familiar with us and the struggles we overcome.
You can see the sand storm coming low on the horizon. A not uncommon thing around here

We anxiously wait to see what’s coming, as we have since the day God restored our marriage after a 20 year separation. There are some who are unable to see a big picture, focusing on minors, but I don’t think God thinks small so it’s exciting to be here in the midst of things. I just see things coming together and the enemy working to tear them apart. Just like in a war, when the scouts see lots of activity on the other side, all of this tells us something is brewing. I think the little town of Stanton is going to see a spiritual renewal. Actually I know it will and have been praying for it. The spirit of the Pharisees has been implanted and well established for a while, building walls of pride so that those who need life, and Christ who gives it, haven’t been reached out to. My prayer is for God to tear down these walls, to break the cold hearts of stone and turn them to flesh again. Do you really believe? You who say you’re a Christian, do you really believe that the person next to you, who knows not Christ, is thus destined to go to hell and not live eternally in heaven. Do you really believe that you hold the key to life for them, that in your hands is the only life preserver that can save them? Do you really believe that you will stand before God and have to answer for every word you said and be judged? Or have you swallowed the easy “God in a box” answer that says it doesn’t matter what you do, the “Don’t worry, be happy” religion that will deceive many and was foretold about two thousand years ago.

Mathew 7.13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
15 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'LORD, LORD,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me on that day, 'LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'
23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

A note I wanted to make and forgot. Yesterday, as we were returning from taking the widow to see a movie (Toy Story 3) I noticed that my truck was smoking pretty bad so called Cherie, who was driving ahead. She let me catch up and followed to see where the smoke was coming from. It’s blue burning oil smoke and seemed to come from the middle of the truck. When we got home I looked underneath and see that oil is sprayed all over the place. Not good. The truck has over two hundred thousand miles and has been running on two gears (first and third) for a year now so I suppose this was inevitable. No problem, God will supply as He always does. Meantime I must worry about it catching on fire from oil getting on the hot exhaust. It only has minimum liability insurance so that’s not good, but simply the way it is. At some point I will crawl under it to see if it’s a seal I can reach but odds are it’s a main seal and that will require removing the transmission. Removing the transmission was going to happen sometime anyway whenever we had the funds to get a good used transmission from up north.