Thursday, May 31, 2012

God set me down

5/30/12 Tuesday I think that the Lord has set me down. Last night my big toe started getting sore and it got steadily worse till this morning it felt like I had slammed it with a hammer. The gout is back. This means I can hardly walk so working on the farm is not an option despite the fact I had so much planned to do.

What this means is that I must stay in and work on so many other things that have been put off. There is the book I am writing, and the other books too. There are bible studies to finish and put on paper, there are letters to write to prisoners and others. And there is lots of research that needs to get done as well.

Part of me would rather be out in the 100 + degree heat working on the farm. I always would do that thinking “When I come in I will do the writing and stuff” but the reality is that I am always wiped and in pain by then so nothing gets done. Let me fill in a little about what has been happening out here on Westbrook Farms, and outlining areas.

I traveled a couple of hundred miles to mow two lawns for that job working with properties owned by banks. Tired of always having every job reduced in pay I finally called them and changed my official contracted area to just Martin County. That makes everything else classified as being out of my area and so eligible for a trip charge. Before that they wanted me to travel 90 miles to Odessa to mow one lawn and only pay $35.00 for the job. Unfortunately they are holding several hundred dollars in back pay in ransom. By contract they can refuse to pay for old jobs if I haven’t completed the new ones. It is old but I will maintain my integrity and personal honor and finish what I said I would do, despite them not keeping their word.

 All the time I have spent driving to and from these jobs is time that would be better spent working on the farm and our life. While driving home from mowing the lawn in Lamesa I called Cherie. She told me that there was a rattlesnake on the veranda. The dogs were barking like crazy at it and I was glad to hear that Rascal had enough sense to be afraid of it so stayed away. Duke did not display such sense so Cherie got all the dogs in the house, where they were safe. When I got home I quickly located the snake hiding behind the love seat we have outside. It wasn’t big, about 3 foot long and I suspect is the same snake we saw in the garage a few weeks back. Now, I like these snakes for they kill off the rats and mice, and I am not too keen on mice and rats. We have lots of them here and they chew up electrical cords along with doing all sorts of damage. The thought entered my mind to just leave the snake alone, but other factors prevailed. First was my wife’s peace of mind, and second is the safety of our dogs and us too.

 The snake was hard to get at, tucked away behind the love seat out of reach. I scooted the love seat forward enough to be able to reach back behind it and took a board to pin it down. Cherie was praying up a storm in her concern as I messed with this poisonous serpent but I wasn’t worried. I played with lots of snakes as a kid growing up in Texas so it wasn’t a big deal. Pinning its head down I reached down and grabbed it behind the head and picked the not so happy critter up. Oh, it was rattling up a storm for sure and I sure wish Cherie had the camera so we could have captured a picture of its wide open mouth and fangs. But this was unnerving for Cherie as it was so I didn’t want to impose. I had a big plastic tub with a tight fitting lid ready so carefully placed the snake in it and quickly put the lid on.

 Now I know that many here in West Texas say “The only good rattlesnake is a dead rattlesnake” but I don’t buy that. All snakes perform a valuable function keeping rodents down and the only time you have to worry about a rattler is when you mess with it. They are not anxious to bite anyone and would much rather run and hide. We have to be careful out here, always observant of our surroundings, because I have often almost stepped on a few rattlers. I like them because they tend to warn you they are around and rarely strike without such warning. Besides that, I know that a rattlesnake bite is seldom deadly and am also confident that my God will not let us be harmed. So I took this snake down the road to an area that is wild and few people ever go and turned it loose.

There is a lot of frustration here, with both me and Cherie, because we see so much potential for the future of this farm and have great hopes, but struggle just to pay bills. But the most frustrating part for me is to see so many lives that need to be touched by the love of God, so many people who need help in many ways, yet not have the means or time to lead them in a right direction. Visiting at the jail last week I had a man who, as tears streamed down his face, expressed his frustration at not being able to break free of the drugs and lifestyle that he knew was harming not only himself, but his family too.

 I deeply understand that other people are far more important than me becoming a successful farmer or businessman. It wouldn’t matter if I once again became worth over a million dollars. That really doesn’t mean a thing compared to being able to save just one life. I have been blessed with losing everything I had, from wealth, life, to my mind, and then had the privilege of wandering homeless carrying everything I owned in a plastic garbage bag. “Why would you say that is a blessing?” one of you readers might say. Because it helps me understand what is truly important, especially in the long run, knowing that we will all stand before God and have to answer for every word that comes out of our mouths.

 I firmly believe that there are no accidents in my life. Oh, I have had lots of accidents and wrecks, made more mistakes than I can count, and acted the fool so many times I can’t remember. But I am confident that all those bad things now allow me to relate to and help others heading down similar roads. It gives me an insight and wisdom that can be used to help others choose wisely. I see my past life as a form of training for the future God has in store for us, but that future seems so hard to grasp and see. Plus my number one responsibility is to care for my wife, to help provide for her security, and that job I am not doing well. Hence the frustrations.

 My bible reading lately has been in 1 and 2nd Samuel. As I read about how the nation of Israel decided they needed a king and the whole story of how Saul was picked to be king, I saw so many parallels to what we see in the church today. The contrast between King Saul and David, who would become king after Saul, is a striking illustration of the good and bad we all face in ourselves, and the pitfalls that can destroy our relationship with God, and others.

 So who was this Saul that God chose to be king of Israel? He was impressive to look at, a head taller than everyone but when the prophet Samuel told him that he was the hope of Israel Saul said “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?” Point is that Saul understood he was no one special at this time. We will see how that changes. Samuel then anoints Saul with oil and tells him that he would be king of Israel.

 A very important part of this story is what follows. This can be found in 1 Samuel chapter 10 starting at verse 5. Samuel told Saul that he would be filled with God’s holy spirit, would prophesy, and that he would be a changed man. In verse 9 it says “As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul's heart”. Understand that this is as close to the equivalent to being a born again spirit filled believer as can be in the old testament. Later, when Samuel called the whole nation together and started picking out tribes and clans by lots Saul, despite having been told he would be king and experiencing these spiritual events, was hiding in the baggage. He was afraid. But we will see that change and it won’t be for the better.

So to go over the points made, Saul was appointed king, God changed his heart so that he became “A different person”, and God’s spirit filled Saul so there was a definite relationship. We can see through the coming chapters that at this point in Saul’s life he heard from God clearly.

 What we will be learning next is that God has a set of standards that He holds us to, and that there is a point of no return. Only God is the judge of where and when that point is reached but His judgment is final. The bible says God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He does not change. However in these latter times many have put God into the box of their choosing, creating in their mind the kind of God they want. Often this God is one who is more tolerant of their sins and allows them to continue doing what they know is not pleasing to God with no repercussions. That is a dangerous line to walk.

 Saul, after being anointed as king went home and back to work in his families fields. One day he came home from working and found everyone crying because the Ammonites were attacking one of the Israelite cities. The bible states that the spirit of the Lord came on him mightily and Saul burned with anger. Then he sent word to the nation for all to come and go to war. So far so good. Saul went out and whipped the Ammonites good, proving he was a fit leader and king. With that Saul was reaffirmed as king and the whole nation celebrated for days.

 But it didn’t take long for things to start to go sour. Saul pulled together a bunch of troops and went to pick a fight with the Philistines, who had long ruled over the area. Now he was stirring up trouble against the big boys. He sent word throughout the land for everyone to come and fight. No one had a sword or spear except Saul and his son Jonathan because the Philistines had made sure there was no blacksmith in the land. Now we have thousands of well-armed and mad Philistines gathered with chariots and foot soldiers that were so numerous they weren’t counted.

The Israelites answered Saul’s call but soon started slipping away into hiding. There was a spirit of fear that surrounded the camp as even the soldiers with Saul trembled in sandals. Samuel, the prophet of God, the source of assurance for the nation that God was with them, was supposed to come in 7 days, but didn’t. With that even more people slipped away, running scared.

 What does Saul do? Instead of waiting patiently on Samuel, instead of doing what he was told, he took matters into his own hands. The sacrifices that were being saved for Samuel to offer to God were brought to Saul on his orders and he offered them up himself. As soon as he was done Samuel showed up. “What have you done?” Samuel asked. Saul had all the excuses and made sure to put a religious spin on it saying “I had not sought the Lords favor so felt compelled to do so”. Samuel told Saul "You acted foolishly, You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD's command."

What is interesting to me is that Samuel is clear that God has already picked out a replacement for Saul. However Saul will remain as king for a total of 42 years. Here we find another principle in the bible, that God has his own timetable and another one is also good to note. God told Saul that He had already picked out his replacement. It wasn’t long after that that God told Saul, through the prophet Samuel, that the kingdom would be torn from him. This is found in 1 Samuel 15:28 “Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors--to one better than you. 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind."

Here is an insight we need to pay attention to. In God’s mind, once a decision has been made it is viewed as fact despite the actual physical event not having occurred yet. Samuel said “Today” the kingdom was torn from him, and given to another, but this actually won’t happen till over 20 years later.

What I want to focus on in this scriptural lesson is what it was that caused Saul to fall. We have all seen great people of God fall into disgrace and some into grave sin. There is a common root all these falls have, and that root is pride. Pride is the root of all sin, starting with Lucifer, when he said “I can be like God”. Remember Saul’s start? How he said he was the least of the least? Remember how Saul hid in the baggage when Samuel was picking out the King? There is a danger when anyone is put on a pedestal. The churches of today do that with all their leaders, placing them in front and having so many depend on these leaders for so much. It is so very hard not to let this feed your ego, so very hard not to let it go to your head when all around you tell how great you are, what a fantastic sermon that was, and how you really helped them, and on and on for years.

 In chapter 15 of 1 Samuel we read of this final straw that placed Saul into disfavor with God. Samuel came with pretty clear and specific instructions. This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'

 I don’t have time to discuss why God would demand such a drastic action and understand how harsh it is but what Saul did was to compromise. When he attacked he spared the life of the king and then allowed his men to keep the best of the flocks and livestock. What stands out to me later is how religious sounding Saul is when Samuel confronts him. 1 Samuel 15:13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, "The LORD bless you! I have carried out the LORD's instructions."

 It is important to make note of the fact that just before this it was revealed that Saul had gone and set up a monument to himself after defeating the king in battle. Now we see the ego, the self-importance growing in Saul. And next we find how Saul justifies and makes excuses for doing what he knew was wrong.

 But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?" 15 Saul answered, "The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest."

 It doesn’t end there. Despite Samuel plainly pointing out that Saul had disobeyed God’s clear instruction Saul now begins to verbally dance, to try and talk his way out of trouble. I think we all have been guilty of that kind of dance before as we try to avoid an unpleasant truth regarding our actions. Read more of that conversation between Saul and Samuel.

Why did you not obey the LORD? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD?" 20 "But I did obey the LORD," Saul said. "I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal." 22 But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king."

 And here we find some truths that we should take to heart. Rebellion is as the sin of divination, or as some translations say “witchcraft” and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. I would say that the comparison of arrogance to idolatry is because when one is arrogant he, or she, basically think so much of themselves that their pride in who they are is almost like setting themselves up to be worshipped.

 I would like to point out also the blindness Saul has to his own actions, the self-deception he practices when he says “But I did obey the Lord”. Pride blinds and deceives us, causing our eyes to see a picture of our own making and a product of our imagination. How many times I have seen this and some are so infatuated with themselves that they are not willing or able to have any fault pointed out. If anyone dares to try and show them a fault it is perceived as a personal attack instead of a “you can do better” word of admonishment with the motive of raising them up.

One last point I see in this. In verse 24 of 1 Samuel 15 we read "Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned. I violated the LORD's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them". I have to wonder if Saul was really afraid of the people or perhaps just wanted to make them happy and give them what they wanted. Again this is a common issue in our modern world and unfortunately in the ministry too. So many preachers, desirous to be popular, or not wanting to lose members of their congregations, tell the people what they want to hear instead of telling the truth.  

 That is all I have time for now. There is lots to do on the farm and other places so I must go now. The gout has gotten better to the point I can put my foot in a boot and walk, though it is with pain. So I must go but would encourage you to read the rest of this story in 1 Samuel. In it you will see Saul maintaining his religious veneer as he becomes internally torn. He will say “The Lord bless you” one minute and the next kill the priests of God in a city. There are many spiritual parallels we can draw from this and apply to our lives here and now. I have seen religious people talk of the love of God and then tear down others, killing them with their words. Bye now.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5/27/12 Sunday It’s kind of a rough morning. The little sore spot I had in the back of my throat for a week has now spread and grown. Even drinking water is difficult. Worked real hard yesterday. First on the farm and then at one of the widows we care for homes. The rain we had a few days ago naturally caused the weeds and grass to grow. Many of the weeds were three foot tall so quite a challenge for my lawn mower. She wasn’t home so will be pleasantly surprised to find some of the jungle around the house is now cut down. Couldn’t do it all as I ran out of gas and my body ran out of ability as the pain level and paralysis both made themselves known. I left my hoe there so must go back and get it. When I came home I rested a bit and then went back to work on the farm. Did not get much done as I had one of those now rare slow downs. Cherie convinced me to come in and call it a day. This morning I don’t have much energy at all. It was a restless night for both Cherie and I so we did not get much sleep. I am gargling with hot salt water a lot now to fight this sore throat thing. Doesn’t seem to be making a big difference but will continue anyway.

Friday, May 25, 2012

5/25/12 Friday Cherie’s truck is breaking down again. 2 weeks ago the radiator blew and on the way to work she called because something is squealing. I suspect it may be a wheel bearing as it has been shaking lately. At first I figured that was because a wheel is out of balance or perhaps a shock absorber going bad. Now I am not so sure. Will have to run to her work with all my tools and see if I can figure it out. All of our vehicles have over 200,000 miles on them and are in bad shape. At least Cherie made it to her work safely. I had a good time at the local jail yesterday. Got to talk to the two trustees, whom I have developed a relationship with. Then was able to speak with two others back in the jail area and feel it was a significant meeting for one of them. He poured his heart out about his inability to get free from the drugs and lifestyle that goes with it, and about his concern for his family. He understands that he has a big influence on them and unfortunately that influence has not been for the good. He will be out of jail shortly so I offered to spend time teaching a bible study at his house when he is released. That idea was received positively but we will see what happens when he gets out. Meantime we struggle to make ends meet. The work on the farm goes slow as my physical ability has limits and the one hundred plus degree heat hasn’t made it any easier. There are lots of melon plants growing and some of the cantaloupe already has fruit on it. The corn is doing surprisingly well despite my not putting any fertilizer on it. This last rain gave it a big boost. So we have hope but it is all a long way down the road. The job securing homes and performing maintenance on them is not working out well. Their accounting department is tasked with looking for any reason not to pay or to pay less than normal and every invoice I send has been cut, sometimes dramatically. There are several lawn mowing jobs to do in connection with that but our mower seems to be wearing out. It is burning lots of oil suddenly, not a good sign. I have another mower but it does not have a grass catcher on it. The grass catcher is important as I use it to recover clippings that I use for compost, and now I use it to harvest the rye grain.
Here you can see me slowly pouring out the clippings from the grain in the wind. This allows the wind to blow the chaff and straw away and most of the seeds fall into the wheelbarrow. When I mow about half the seeds are knocked out of the heads and fall to the ground and the rest end up in the grass catcher. I will disc the land over and thus replant the grain for another crop, should we get rain. There is so much to do and so little of me to do it. Gotta go work on Cherie’s truck now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Paranoid? or understanding the signs of the times

5/22/12 Tuesday Been out working on the farm, continuing to bury the hundreds of yards of drip irrigation line by hand. Yesterday I planted most of the Israeli cantaloupe seeds that are left over from 2 years ago. Hope that at least one of them comes up and makes fruit so I can have seeds for next year. As I shovel dirt over the lines and carefully expose the drippers that are set every six feet or so I pray and think. Lots of thinking as I ponder the world situations, the unsettled times that seem to lay ahead for not only this country but the world as well. I tried to talk about that to one of my Kairos brothers and he literally put his hands over his ears and kept saying “I don’t want to hear you, I don’t want to hear you”. Come to find out his father had been very much taken by so many of the conspiracy theories of his day, things like the trilateral commission and Illuminati, so my words were equated with that kind of paranoid thinking. The reality is that there are many organized groups that have existed for centuries and some that are rather recent in their formation. All of them exist around various ideals and philosophies and most have a desire to make their particular train of thought dominant in the world. Some are religious, such as Christianity and Islam, and some are political, ranging from democracy to socialism, but all of them are convinced that their way of thinking is the right one. And in these groups one finds varying levels of commitment to an ideal, from those willing to die or kill for that ideal to those who sit around and just talk and try to impress others with their “intellectual” prowess. There are within these spheres of thought a variety of organized groups that have definite plans to overcome all the others with their particular ideal. I find it wise to know and understand these groups, to discern their activities and comprehend how they will affect my life and the world around me. It is not paranoid thinking to do this, it is opening my eyes and seeing what is happening. There is no question that a worldwide economic collapse is eminent and in fact the United States government is preparing for that event, though they are doing so rather quietly and trying to fly under the radar so to speak. I know of many others who are preparing for this time of turmoil as well. It is not an “if” regarding such an event, but “When”. Many of these groups I spoke of are also aware of this impending time of turmoil and some are in fact working to hasten it’s arrival, because they plan to use it as the time to force their way of thinking on the rest of the world. My personal ideal is that I believe in Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God, came to earth and died on purpose, so that all who believe would not perish but have eternal life. Unfortunately, throughout history, there have been many who used the Christian religion to conquer and gain power over others, and in their misguided zeal, killed those who refused to believe their way. They had, and have (for there are still many around who act this way) it all wrong. Jesus preached we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves, that we should be servants and submit to authority, and ultimately be willing to die for the other persons good. It is about peace, love, and looking out for our fellow humans. Plus there is the moral component. To not lie, steal, kill, or commit adultery, are just a few of the ten commandments. All of that requires self-discipline and personal sacrifice. Unfortunately some of the other groups out there are not so considerate of others and often are quite willing to kill and conquer in order to force their ideal on the rest of us. It is coming folks, and coming soon. I suspect we will see all hell break loose right around the November presidential election.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5/14/12 Monday 2:13 – It just started raining. I am thankful for the rain but it meant I had to quit planting the tomato plants we bought and come inside. There is so much to do and so little of me to do it. It is frustrating (there is that word again) to see how much hasn’t been done and then needs to be done. One of these days God will grant us the ability to have some help on this farm. Till then I will press forward the best I can. It was interesting to see the comment anonymous left on this blog yesterday. It is the same old stuff someone has been saying since we were removed from that little church in Stanton, therefore it is obvious this comes from someone related to that church. I wonder what I wrote yesterday that spurred them to once again leave a comment. Was it the “Do you really believe?” statement? They also commented “You say the end times are coming” as their opening statement. It is sad to watch how people dance around the truth they don’t like. 5/16/12 Wednesday Time flies when you work hard. I stay out on the farm till it gets too dark to see. Finally got the tomatoes and peppers planted. Today I am trying to plow. I think it is called “list” plowing but really don’t know. This is a time I wish I knew some farmers close by who could give me some basic pointers. I am struggling with these plow blades. Dirt builds up and stalls the tractor so I just brought it in and lowered the blades so there is more room between the blades and that horizontal boom that holds them. Is that right? Don’t have a clue. I also do not know what angle these blades should be at. Right now I have the point slightly lower than the rest but all I am doing is guessing at it. The boom is not level because those arms that come from the tractor to hold them are not level. There seems to be a way to screw them up and down but when I tried the threads seem frozen, probably rusted in place. It is my hope to plant blackeyed peas where I am plowing but I am not sure if that will happen. Still have lots of watermelon to plant and drip irrigation to install. The wheat I planted is ready to harvest. Naturally this reminds me of the words of Jesus when He said “The fields are golden and ready to harvest. Pray to the Lord that He provide workers” (Bob paraphrase) So I will be harvesting by hand because that’s the only option I have here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

5/8/12 Tuesday Praise the Lord, we got rain. It came late last night and looks to be maybe a half inch at a guess. Don’t know because the rain gauge we bought was plastic and didn’t last a month under this West Texas sun. It was enough to leave a small puddle at the end of the drive. I hope to get on the tractor today and take advantage of the ground being wet. Will disc up just about everything. Need to buy some more diesel for the tractor to do it. Fortunately Cherie gets paid today. I am not working for the friend in Odessa because this farm has been untouched at this most vital of times for farming, spring. It is a tough decision to make as we desperately need the money to pay bills but if I don’t plant there is no hope for a future harvest, so I will trust in God to help us. I have managed to get one of the hundred yard rows we installed drip irrigation in planted with watermelon seeds. That job we started the company for ended up burning most of our week up last week, with me running around trying to fix loose ends with the dim hope we would be paid for even a small portion of the jobs we did. What a disappointment that turned into. We invested a thousand dollars of money we didn’t have to spare along with hundreds of miles and weeks’ worth of hours for what looked like a great business opportunity we could grow a company with. My frustrations continue. I am frustrated with Christians who choose to look down on me, I am frustrated with being surrounded by opportunities I am unable to reach out and grab, I am frustrated by so many things as I watch the world falling headlong into destruction. And few seem to even be aware of how close the end of life as they know it is. America is fed a diet of empty entertainment that keeps them distracted from what is happening right in front of them. With that my sense of urgency to prepare, to build a farm that is self-sustaining and able to feed others, increases, along with the message God put in my heart for the churches and those who call themselves followers of Christ. John the Baptist was such a prophet, crying “Make straight the way of the Lord” and preaching a gospel of repentance. In no way to I compare myself to him, but the message is the same. Do you really believe in God??? REALLY??? Do you really believe that one day you will stand before God and will be judged??? So many have been told a fairy tale that there is no accountability, that if they “Got saved” then everything is fixed and they can do anything they want without fear. That is not what the bible says. That is the “tickle your ears” message that is popular, because it doesn’t challenge or threaten anyone’s faith. The cold hard fact is that we will be judged on what we do, or do not, do. You see what you really believe is proved by the life you lead. You can say what you want but what you do shows the truth of what you believe. I gotta go farm now. As I write the Spirit of God stirs in my heart. Remember folks, I was dead and now am alive. Literally dead, growing cold and on the way to the morgue. In Luke 16 Jesus told the story of a rich man and Lazarus, where he said “Even if someone rose from the dead they will not believe”. What I know for sure, from great personal experience, is that God is and God is a rewarder of those who do good. You may question that looking at our life and how rough it has been but my reward will come when I stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Bye now.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

5/6/12 Sunday I finally got to work a full day on the farm Friday. Hallelujah. Yesterday I went to the Smith prison unit for what we call an “Instructional” Kairos day. We traditionally hold these a week or so after a 4 day Kairos event and it is the start of preparing the guys for a life with Christ. We teach them to confide with each other, a hard thing for someone in prison to do, for trust is often seen as a weakness. Unlike some ministries, that come and then vanish away with no support for those whom they touched, we understand the importance of a long term relationship and work to maintain that. We realize that each life we touch now becomes a responsibility and that God will hold us accountable for that. The time at prison took much longer than I thought it would. Sure, I’ve been doing this for going on three years now but this is an example of the memory loss problems I have. I know I have done several of these instructional events but could not tell you much about it. I had planned on doing some work for that company we got caught up with, securing homes for financial institutions, but by the time I got out of the prison at 4:00 or so, I was worn out. Came home and pretty much wiped out. Today I hope to get some watermelon planted. Finally got 2 thirds of the drip irrigation in for it. Then I must finish out some work for that company we are stuck with and plan on running to Big Spring. There I will inspect a home for Chinese drywall and take pictures of the grass that isn’t there. I have to do this because they don’t trust me when I tell them that with no rain nothing has grown. It is going on 3 months we have worked for this company and we finally got paid $130 Friday. They have a whole department who’s duty apparently is to look for any excuse not to pay their vendors. I am tired of it but we would like to at least get our initial investment of over a thousand dollars back before we call it quits. That’s it. Will be another hot day so need to get to work before it hits close to a hundred degrees. Bye now.