Monday, April 30, 2012

dumbest smart person

4/30/12 Monday So much to do, so much to write about, but so little time. We spent 4 days at the Lynaugh prison Kairos event and it was both wonderful and troubling. I must think carefully regarding what I write about. I decided to not return to work in Odessa, and choose instead to work on the farm that has languished while I helped someone else make a lot of money. It will be hard work as the tiller no longer works well so I must do by hand what was once done with machine. As I write I am contemplating discing up the areas that are overrun with weeds, using my tractor. If I do this I destroy all the drip irrigation tape that was so carefully laid in the ground before. It may actually be easier and quicker to do this and reinstall new drip tape. I have a new roll of tape purchased last year, but we are out of the fittings to put them together and have tight funds so buying new fittings is a challenge. How frustrating this is, to be unable to grasp what we need to succeed, to have it just out of arms reach. During the Kairos event there were unfortunate times where my memory loss problems were openly displayed. I try to hide these events of memory loss but also let others know it exists with the hope of understanding. Understanding seems to not be easily grasped by some. Here on the farm I was elated to find garlic springing up in January but then forgot it existed and never watered it. Happened to remember this while at Kairos so went out to look this morning. It is all dead and gone now. It is frustrating to be highly intelligent yet unable to remember and follow through on so many things. I am the smartest dumb person or dumbest smart person you will ever meet. God has made me where I need others to help, but everyone is busy. It will be hot and humid, humid being a rare thing here, so I want to work outside before it gets too nasty. There is plenty to do inside as we had three dogs locked in for four days while we were at the Kairos event, so I will do that later when it gets hot. .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Disheartened by being so far behind

4/25/12 Wednesday 12:16 – Just came in from working on the drip irrigation. It is disheartening to see how far behind I am. With that are many conflicting thoughts. I am behind because I chose to help a friend, when he asked. Helping him also allowed me to earn money needed to pay bills so with the sacrifice there came a benefit. But the cost in regards to getting this farm going are high. The predicted high is 102 degrees and it seems that we are already approaching that temperature now. The sticker grass is in full swing and is already making lots of those thorny stickers we despise so much. Another thing I haven’t been able to keep up with. There is a motorized sprayer I bought two or three years ago, that has never been taken out of the box, that I remembered existed so unpacked it this morning. I bought some stuff that will specifically kill sticker grass a few years back that I hope to use with the sprayer to kill as much of this sticker grass as I can. Tomorrow I head out for the Lynaugh prison, where we will conduct another 4 day Kairos event. When we get back Jim expects me to come back to work for him. I am wondering if that would be wise now. Do I continue to sacrifice our dream for a future to help someone put money in his pocket, who really doesn’t need it, and has exhibited a definite lack of holding much esteem for who I am. I was able to visit with the guys at the jail yesterday. Had debated whether or not to go but while praying about it sensed it was important so dropped by when I picked up the mail. One of the guys is heading back to prison and another is getting out. A third had been going through all kinds of internal struggles regarding his faith in God and the situations he is dealing with. I taught about the last days, that I believe are upon us, and about the reality we will all stand before God as our judge, and answer for what we have and have not done. This is a reality that so many who wear that “I’m a Christian” badge seem to be blithely blind about. Part of that stems from this concept that all our sins are forgotten about so they feel that there will be no accountability required for what they have done. This is one of the many false doctrines that has permeated much of the Christian world and has been eagerly accepted by those who want an easy faith with little responsibility and no sacrifice. I rely on the words of Jesus, who is God and will be the judge. He said “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Can it be any clearer? Just a few sentences later Jesus said “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” What is the will of our Father? To love Him with all your heart, strength, and soul, and to love your neighbor like yourself. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you have it made, instead examine yourself carefully and closely. Even Paul, who wrote so much of our new testament, didn’t take his salvation for granted. He said “Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. 25 All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:24) There are so many I fear for, so many who seem blind to the road they are on, and blind to their hypocrisy. I am not the judge but I am the servant of God and desire to help all rise up to a higher standard. This is part of why God put me here on earth, why He raised me from the dead, to proclaim the truth where I can, to bring life out of death. Time to get back to work in the heat

Monday, April 23, 2012

To bring life out of death

4/23/12 Monday I don’t have much time to write but must. Kairos was, as always, a wonder. How torn I am by my desire to help others change their lives, to bring life where there is death, versus the need to work and pay bills. Many of the guys at the prison kept asking when I would come back to the class I had been helping teach on Mondays, and many others expressed how they had been helped by my few words and how they missed me coming to the prison. Each one of them brought more pain and anguish to my heart as a feeling of responsibility and guilt for not meeting that responsibility rose up inside. The same holds true at the small little jail Stanton has, where I was able to visit with the guys last week. What I understand, what I know clearly in my heart, is that how much money I make isn’t important to God at all. What is important to God is the people of the world, whom He loved so much He sent His son to die for, so that they can have eternal life. When I stand before God, and before Jesus, who will be our judge, I will be called into account for how I treated those whom He loves so dearly. Did I judge them? Did I shun away from those I wasn’t comfortable with? Did I let others continue in a path that will bring destruction without at least trying to warn them? Or did I reach out, give of what I had, whether money or time, and show them the Love of God! It’s pretty clear to me, and has been since I woke from that coma. That is part of what it says on that plaque I carved while recovering. “Money and things can vanish in a flash. What has lasting value is the lives we touch”. If I could I would give my life for others, but I find myself constrained to doing other things in order to pay bills and provide for my wife. I have a home that needs much work. The cesspool my grandfather built 50 years ago is falling apart, with the railroad ties he used to make the walls rotting away and the steel roof panels to cover the top rusting into pieces. Soon we won’t be able to flush the toilet and already we see evidence of the drains not working well. The farm lies unworked and unplanted as I work for another man to help him make money. We have great dreams and a vision for this farm, that are seemingly unattainable, at least with the resources we have. My vision entails a place that employs others, who are disadvantaged, and provides food and shelter for those in need. It is to create a haven should the world fall apart, a place that is self-sufficient, but even if hard times do not come a business enterprise that is profitable and beneficial to all around.
Regardless, I am unable to accomplish this or much else by myself. God, in His wisdom, has made me dependent on others to function. How frustrating this is. I hold in my hands the key to eternal life, as every Christian does, and so want to spend my days sharing that. But meantime there are responsibilities to meet and work to do. So I must get going this morning. I need to buy a half inch drill bit to fix our brush hog mower that goes behind the tractor. While in town I will fill the four empty five gallon water bottles so we have clean water to drink and cook with at home. I hope to also buy some valves so I can continue installing the drip irrigation we hope to use to grow watermelons. On Thursday I leave for another Kairos event, this time in Fort Stockton. That will keep us busy till Sunday again. After that I must return to the job in Odessa. So I have three days to work on the farm. It’s not enough but I’ll do the best I can. I got the brush hog working and it held up to mowing a good part of the weeds we have. Took almost an hour to get the rusty nut off the bolt that holds the rear wheel on the mower. Had to take it off so I could adjust the height up higher. Finally got to giving the dogs a tick bath. Ticks are bad this year for sure. Perhaps I will be able to bug bomb the front part of the house tomorrow. I am tired and pretty sore tonight. Tomorrow will be the last day I have before it’s time to head out for the Kairos at a prison in Fort Stockton. There is so much to do that I doubt I will get to it all. I hope to visit the guys in the Stanton jail and to finish mowing weeds at Mary’s house. Then there is drip irrigation to work on and a house in Big Spring we need to secure for the job we have for banks and realtors. Nodding off to sleep as I write so probably should get some shut eye.

Blinded by fun

4/20/12 Friday It’s the first full day of another Kairos. Yesterday we had a busy morning getting an oil pipeline marked and then meeting with Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services about a business plan. Then it was a rush to get to Lamesa for the initial kick off of the Kairos event. There are so many lives we see, that have been terribly disrupted by drugs, abuse, and a wide range of circumstances. One of the reasons I participate is I had taken so many wrong turns with my life that I can certainly relate with many of these men. The possibility that through my words or influence lives can be pointed in a direction that will permanently change them for a greater good. The reality is that I cannot change a life by myself but the simple act of pointing them to God opens the door for God to work miracles. There was no internet access at the house I stayed at for this Kairos. The owner of the house goes by the name "stretch", if I remember that right. He had a couch for me to sleep on but I was longer than the couch and it was too soft and cushy so I opted to sleep on the floor. He had a nice thick carpet so it wasn't bad. When he expressed concern for my comfort I explained that I had spent years sleeping on prison beds of many kinds and had wandered homeless with only a blanket to protect me on whatever stretch of ground I found to sleep on so the floor was great. Plus having broken my back and neck so many times a hard firm surface is much less painful than his soft couch would have been. We didn't get many chances to talk but when we did it was good conversation for sure. This is a man who has been very much involved in things of God, perhaps even a pastor but I am not sure. Every chance I get I talk to others about the days to come, about how things in this world seem to be so rapidly changing and heading for an ultimate and scary series of events. Many of those I talk with see the signs of the times, though to varying degrees. Few of them are informed or aware of what our government, and our president, has been doing. Most walk in the darkness provided, distracted by all the nonsense our media and world feeds us, with little thought given to the future in store. So many are occupied with making their money, with building their little kingdoms, and with filling their days with mindless entertainment that when those hard times come they will be totally surprised.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Time is burning

This area should be full of tomato and pepper plants, but lays unready to even plant

4/18/12 Wednesday
This is going to be a busy day for sure. Tomorrow I head to Lamesa for 4 days of prison ministry and there is much that needs to be taken care of before I go. So much has been neglected because I have been busy working for a friend. He came to me in February and said “I need some help” so I dropped everything to do so. I didn’t exactly drop everything but it sure slowed things down. I asked for Friday’s off and that gave me three days a week to attend to farm, home, and ministry to others. Ministry to others takes a higher priority in my mind that taking care of my own stuff so much has suffered because of that.

Under this is drip irrigation going to waste as I do not have what it takes to clear it by hand.

These pictures will show so much that hasn’t been done. Many areas of the farm should have already been cleared and planted but sit with weeds growing. The fact that our tiller seems to have burned a valve and will no longer work puts a big damper on things. Clearing and tilling by hand is hard and slow work that brings with it extremely high pain levels.

I managed to get corn planted in this area though it's hard to see. Trying to use the old cultivator I got from one of the widows we help turned into a disaster. I have spent much time over the last 2 years installing underground drip irrigation tape and since that time the wind has blown away much of the soil so I ended up cutting and pulling up much of the tape. I repaired what I could but ran out of repair parts and we don’t have the funds to get more right now.

A high priority for me is to get the cantaloupe and watermelons planted, as we hope to finally make a profit on something we grow. So I spent hours and hours building these mounds to plant on. They had been built last year but the wind has blown away all that I did. In fact many of the water lines I had buried underground now lay stretched out above the ground. It takes me ten to fifteen minutes to make each one of these mounds so that works out to four of five an hour. I have hundreds to make.

The drip irrigation I hoped to have finished and planted for the watermelons remains unfinished. What a disappointment it is for me to see this stuff laying there undone. It is frustrating but a sacrifice I chose to make for one of my brothers in Christ. I will get it done, eventually. Part of my frustration is I am helping this brother to put about six figures of income in his pocket and he’s too cheap to buy work gloves for me to use. It has cost me several pairs of jeans and T-shirts that have had holes burned into them from welding and grinding on his project, and we can’t really afford to buy new clothes. But that’s ok, I remind myself that whatever I do I do for the Lord and when I get to heaven I will have my reward. When I get done with the two weeks of prison ministry and go back to work for him I will take a $6.00 pack of new gloves I bought for use on my farm and give them to him.

We are unsure of what will happen with the RV park. In a conversation with the brother, who said he would help back the project, he said “I’m one hundred percent invested in my other projects” indicating he had no funds to spare. I must email him and get a clarification on that for we have worked hard towards that dream and it would not be good to have the water well drilled only to find we can’t pay the guy.
Here you can see tubing that was once underground now exposed by the wind. There are also the vestiges of what once were nice tall mounds we planted with cantaloup. You can also see the white from salt deposits left by the well water.

Just got off the phone with the company that has a pipeline running across our land. Come to find out this pipeline has been in place for 35 years. It’s a crude oil line and he informed me that we can’t build anything within 20 feet of either side of it. He will come out tomorrow and mark the line clearly as well as help me understand the rules and laws concerning this stuff.

So as I write time is burning. There is so much I want to say but each minute on this computer is another minute I am not working on the farm. I hope to be able to mow a widows property today but we will see. I was able to go visit the Stanton jail yesterday and spend some time with the prisoners there. For that I am grateful. Ministering to those guys is another thing I sacrificed to help the friend and that bothers me.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The struggle continues

4/11/12 Wednesday – 4/16/12 Monday
So much on my mind these days, as I watch the world fall apart and the fast progression of insidious schemes designed to overthrow. Meantime I watch the church continue to blind it’s eyes and not speak up as people focus on their personal kingdoms and wealth. This morning’s scripture reading included a statement Jesus made in John 13. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another

It is this most basic, most central theme of the Christian faith, that is the most lacking in the church. Oh, they will say “We love!” but the reality of their actions reveal the truth. They love when it is convenient, when others are watching, and for a display, but when it comes to making any kind of real sacrifice, when it costs them something, that all seems to disappear. It’s easy to love the lovable but Jesus asks we love those who are not so easy to love. And real love, the kind that chooses for the highest good of the other person over what is good for you, means you give something up. The church that kicked us out talks about love and will tell you to your face that they show love, but not one of them sat down and talked with us. Now the pastor hides her face whenever she sees one of us. Cherie has seen her several times at the post office and she will study carefully the mail she has, keeping her eyes down, or start up and drive quickly away. This hypocrisy breaks our heart for we know the world sees and despises Christianity because of it. Plus we know that we (including me) will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and have to answer for what we do and don’t do.

We are surrounded by people of means, who are very comfortable and have plenty. Yet we struggle to survive in the midst of this wealth. Meantime I continue to sacrifice to help others, giving of my time while my farm lies unplanted, but choosing to do what I know is best for others. I cut a tree off of a widow’s house yesterday and when she asked what I wanted her to pay I told her “you can pay me what you want. If money is short don’t pay me anything. I am happy and grateful that I was able to help you. That is my reward”. While cutting the tree two young men came by and asked what that job was worth, for they had been asked to cut a tree of the same size down by a neighbor. I let them know what a professional would charge and then told them about the love God has for them and of how God had raised me from the dead. That was worth more than a thousand trees.

I went to Kairos prison ministry training Saturday and one of the men there told me he saw “great sadness” in my eyes. He was perceptive for sure. There is a great sadness in my eyes as they see so much that others seem blind to. There is a new song I heard on the Christian radio that talks of how many in church are busy pointing their fingers and judging others, more worried about looking for faults in others than about those around who have needs, whether spiritual or material. It is the same kind of self-righteous religiosity that motivated the Pharisees and religious leaders to kill Jesus. In fact most of the prophets of old were killed or persecuted, and the same still goes on today. A true prophet presents the standards of God, and in that the sin and error of those around are exposed. With that comes jealousy, envy, and anger. If someone, who claims to be a prophet, (there are a growing number of them these days as it is a popular part of some segments of Christianity) always says what is pleasing to your ear, beware! That is a sure sign of a false prophet. A root of all this is pride and the desire to have others look up and admire you.

I wrote another email to the pastor that kicked me out, always reaching out with the hope that she will repent and thus escape the judgment of God, but I fear she chooses to not recognize or acknowledge any fault in her. Here is a story about a little church I am familiar with. The pastor came to one of its wealthier members and cried “we don’t have enough funds to help those in need, because people aren’t tithing like they should”. It was evident that she was appealing to this man for more money and presenting the “need” to help and minister to others in need. Soon after that we saw this church asphalting their parking lot, a not too cheap project. How clearly this illustrates the error in mind that exists in so many churches. I know of a pastor who told me that if the church parking lot was full of Cadillac’s more people would come. The same mentality exists when you think that a paved parking lot will attract people to church.

Jesus was clear about how to grow a church, reach out to the lost, not the rich per se. Have a true compassion for those in need. To truly love your neighbor as yourself means to look at them and understand that without a saving faith in God they are doomed, and do not have eternal life in heaven to look forward to. And then to act based on that, to reach out to them, make a personal sacrifice of your time and effort, to care enough to do something.

“Do you really believe?” is a question I want to ask so many who wear that Christian label proudly on their chest. “Really?” because I can’t see it in your actions. Read what the early church was like right after Jesus died on the cross. This is found in Acts chapter 4:32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul ; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales 35 and lay them at the apostles' feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.

You see, when you really believe, and understand that this time on earth is like a job application for eternity in heaven, when you really believe that you WILL stand before the judgment seat and give account for what you did, THEN others needs are more important than your own, THEN doing what is pleasing to God is more important than just taking care of yourself, THEN you understand who you are and learn to be a servant, to humble yourself and work to build up others. Until that happens in your heart all your religion is empty and worthless.

This is a warning to take heed of. Jesus will be the judge on that day. Why? Because He lived here on earth in a human body, because He endured all the temptations we all have, and because He died so that we can have life. Listen carefully to what Jesus, who will be your judge, says. First in Mathew 7:13 - "Enter through the narrow gate ; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

It’s not easy folks, the easy way is the wrong path. Be careful for there are many who go to church but will not be found acceptable. Just a few paragraphs down Jesus said “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles ?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

Did you catch that? These are people doing things in the name of Jesus, they are “Good Christians”, at least in their own minds, but are not. Sure they are doing things, good Christian things, but their hearts are poisoned. So many do things to be seen by others, to impress those around with how holy they are, but not because of real compassion and love. It is not what you do that is important, but why you do it.

I will leave you with the words Jesus spoke in Mathew chapter 25 and hope that you will understand and take to heart what He said. "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats ; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat ; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink ; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink ? 38 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' 41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels ; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat ; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink ; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' 44 "Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' 45 "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

We will all be judged on how we treat those around us. These are the words of Jesus, the son of God, before whom we will all stand and answer. Remember, Jesus said, “To the extent that you did, or did not, do it to one of the LEAST of mine, you did it to me”. In Jesus’s eye, how we treat others is how we treat Him.

I have taken 2 weeks off of work so I can attend two Kairos events in two different prisons. This will cause great hardship financially but working for my friend, who came and said “I need help” has put me almost three months behind on my farm. Weeds are growing wild, drip irrigation is not installed, and crops have not been planted, so I have made a great sacrifice to help a friend and dearly hope to catch up on those three days a week I have available to work on the farm. But I will still spend time to help the widows we have been honored to serve, for this is pleasing to God. Remember me in your prayers as I strive to accomplish so much.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Too dark to see

4/4/12 Wednesday
As I opened this journal, the last words I wrote stuck out to me “Till it gets too dark to see”. My thoughts are heavy this morning as I watch the gathering gloom in the world around us, and even here locally with many we meet. On the news there is little news, but a presentation of ideas and views that are diametrically opposed to all that we hold dear as servants of God. As the views are espoused there comes with them the concept that if you don’t agree or accept the worlds view, there is something wrong with you. There is the Miss Universe pageant entry who was born a male but had a sex change operation so, after some publicity, the pageant has changed their rules, to “Keep up with modern thinking”.

There is so much I see, for I see with eyes that are different now. When I woke from that coma the whole world was new, as if I was a baby just born into the world. In the eleven years since I woke up much has returned regarding my memory but that fresh outlook still remains. I watch people who have money cling to what they have, guarding it carefully so no one else can get it. Their money has become their God, the idol they worship, but they are blind to that in themselves. There is a self-deception that is common in this, as they surround themselves with others who also diligently guard their riches and each pats the other on the back as they complement themselves for all the great charitable work they do. I have watched as those who have money develop the fear or attitude that everyone who is not as well off as they are after their money. This is often true but not always, but it sets up a defensiveness and distrust in their minds.

Today was a high pain day. Worked for Jim at his milling machine and that is like washing dishes for me. There was little heavy lifting but standing there and having to stoop slightly to observe my work is what hurts the most. Yesterday was similar so by the time I get home I am shuffling along carefully.

Went out to find the string attachment for our weed wacker and couldn’t. Nuts, I know it is somewhere but don’t have a clue where. Of course I can’t remember what I did with it so searched high and low in the garage. No luck but it sure brought out some frustration. My garage is like a picture of my life, full of unfinished projects and things I had planned on doing. Searching through the garage was a reminder of the shortcomings this brain injury has caused.

As I looked I saw this black plastic box and wondered “What is that?”. So I dug it out from under the pile of stuff on top and opened it. “Wow!” I exclaimed as I saw it was a brand new never used electric impact wrench. Here’s the deal, I don’t remember ever buying it, don’t have a clue when I could have, and despite seeing it still can’t remember. It could have been sitting there three or four years. I found a box of tools that was new to me but at least I think I know where it came from, the old red diesel service truck I had. It is a little depressing to be faced with these reminders that I still have the results of that brain injury to overcome.

I’m tired tonight. Usually I get out and work on the farm when I come home from working for Jim but not this time. The pain pills only dampen the pain and being reminded of my disability sure curbed my enthusiasm. So I decided to just crawl in the bed and write this. Having a hard time staying awake so I’ll probably sleep good tonight. That little rant about the darkness I wrote this morning shortly after waking up. Part of that is the fact that I am getting so tired of the hypocrisy I see everywhere. Hope I don’t offend any of you. All I desire is for those who believe in God to get real about it, and understand that we all will answer to God. Nuff said. Good night folks.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

What does it cost you?

4/3/12 Tuesday
It’s been a busy month and now we are already into April. I’ve been working for Jim in Odessa for going on 7 weeks now. He came to me and said “I need some help making this truck”. We needed to earn some money and I am always eager to help a brother out so agreed to work for him. “How much do you want me to pay you?” Jim asked. I told him he could pay me whatever he felt was right. I did remind him that it was a 90 mile round trip to his shop and with my diesel truck only getting 14 miles to the gallon it cost me $25 each day I came to work. So I’ve been a welder, machinist, and painter for Jim, enduring great pain but not saying a word about it, other than requesting a lunch break so I can take my pain medication and get a half hour of rest.

Meantime I am way behind on so many other things. I requested Friday’s off so I can keep helping the widows we serve and take care of things on the farm. It turns out that I have not been able to keep up on those things so helping a brother has come with great sacrifice that wasn’t foreseen. As of this moment I have yet to get a single thing planted, with the exception of the strawberry plants we ordered. The nice tiller someone blessed us with is down. I think it burned a valve or something. Not surprising considering how much work it has done since we got it, I think three years ago.

I get out with the sun every morning to work on the farm. Lately my focus has been on getting the drip irrigation installed where we hope to plant melons. I used the old cultivator we picked up from Mary on the area I hope to have corn planted. It was the first time I had ever used one and in the process destroyed some of the drip irrigation lines that were buried there. I need to buy some new blades for it so will pray we find funds to do that. I had wanted the corn to be planted by now. With the tiller out of commission getting areas ready to plant will be harder. We should have tomatoes and peppers in by now but the funds for that haven’t appeared yet. All the money I make working for Jim go to pay bills and necessary items and there is none left over. There are some medical and dental needs we are asking God to help us cover as well.

The RV park project isn’t moving along very well. Part of the problem is my inability to remember and follow through on things. This frustrates me to no end. I suspect that many people think I am lazy or don’t care because I don’t get things done, choosing to not understand the struggles I have with this brain injury. The concept that I must be reminded of things like a little child is hard for many to grasp when they can see that I am fairly intelligent. I did finally get prices on septic systems and what it will take to get electricity run to the area. Finding a good source for Caliche hasn’t been done. My plan is to rent a back hoe to dig the septic system and a trencher for plumbing and underground electricity. I really don’t know if there are any backhoes available for rent.

We spent a great part of the weekend mowing lawns and weeds for the two sweet little old ladies we help, with Cherie visiting with them while I worked. I think the visiting is more appreciated than the work for in this day and age people seem to have little time to spend with others on a personal level. There are some who would suggest I should spend less time helping others out when my farm is being neglected. They don’t understand the priorities I maintain. I serve God by helping others. Jesus said we are to “Love our neighbor as we love ourselves” and true love is the one that comes with some sacrifice. The parable He told of the rich religious leader giving a chunk of money with lots of pomp and public display, versus the widow who only gave pennies, illustrates this well. He didn’t suffer at all from what he gave, didn’t cost him much for it was excess for him, but she gave all she had and it could well have cost her a meal or two. God looks at the degree of sacrifice involved with what we do. We know some who are happy to give their leftovers, what they were going to throw away anyway, and that is not wrong at all. But what does it cost you? There is the truth of the matter.

I have to leave for work soon. When I get home from working for Jim I generally sit down till the pain subsides, eat the dinner my lovely wife prepares, and then go work on the farm till it gets too dark to see.