farming (5)

Shepherd Grateful Life


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As we head into Thanksgiving, how do we give thanks to our good Shepherd? As we continue to interiorize Psalm 23, we can be grateful that our Good Shepherd is personal and provides all we need and want. "The Lord is MY Shepherd, I shall not WANT..." As Pastor Mike shared, we make Psalm 23 to be IN us so He can provide daily the joy, comfort, and peace He provides as our Shepherd. We fear no evil because His rod and staff comfort us: picture that GM truck (Goodness and Mercy) protecting us when we walk through that valley of darkness. As Louie Giglio reminds us, He prepares a table for us IN the presence of our enemies. As Mike shared about his morning prayer time when his own thoughts were leading him to a dark place, he turned to Psalm 23 and God stopped at: He makes me lie down... Keller tells us sheep don't lie down until 4 conditions are met: no fear, no friction with others, no parasites, no anxiety about food. Just as that crying baby needs a mom to comfort her before she can rest, we need the Shepherd to help us lie down: the problems (or diaper rash!) may still be there, but as a Mom is greater than a baby's cries so the Shepherd is greater than our struggles.

The Shepherd guides us and when our thoughts are not good, we pray for Him to give us HIS thoughts. He restores our souls and leads us to the still waters and lets us know when we're drinking from the wrong places that don't satisfy our thirst. He provides just enough 'green pastures' every day and as Ray VanderLaan reminds us: don't let tomorrow's worries rob us of today's green pastures.
As you interiorize this Psalm, let each phrase saturate with meaning that you may know God and especially this week: GIVE THANKS for all His good gifts: He is our Shepherd who provides all we need, restores us, guides us, and makes us lie down: thank you, Lord!


“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” – Ps 23: 1-3.


Ray VanderLaan brings a great understanding of this. It’s natural for us to imagine the “green pastures” as “belly-deep alfalfa” because we’ve grown up in an American farm country where the pastures are lush. This skews our understanding, however. In Judea, “green pastures” are little sprigs of green sprouting from under rocks. There is just enough for today – and that’s OK because our shepherd is trustworthy.

Clouds rolling in off the Mediterranean Sea will drop rain on the “high country” in Judea. As the watershed collects and merges hundreds of streams into a single channel, it rushes down deep ravines into the desert en route to the dead sea hundreds of feet below. A person (or sheep) could be lazily drinking water from a small pool in just such a ravine and be blasted by a 20’ wall of water, even though the sky is blue and the birds are singing.
When we “thirst” in life, (when we have a need and seek fulfillment) we often look for the closest, easiest waterhole. We have no way of knowing that it’s raining in the mountains. Nor do we know for sure that the water is clean. Simply put, before you drink, look to your Shepherd – He can see what you can’t; He knows what you don’t, or look to Him for help when you’re about to drink what you know you shouldn’t. His desire is for your wellness, He will lead you to water that is “good for you” and “in a safe place”. Ask, “Is this good for me? Is it safe?”
RESTORES MY SOUL: The green pastures and good, safe water has had its good effect.

“Restores” in the scripture can refer to “a straying sheep brought back” (Isaiah 49:5, Psalm 60:1). This is what a good shepherd does (read and remember His steady love – Ps. 103:8-13).
This phrase also means, “brings me to repentance”. Not only does He bring me back physically, He turns my desires around. I was desiring the wrong way and He turned my desires back to Him and what He gives – light & life. What good are green pastures, still waters, and a dark soul?

The Shepherd is a guide. The sheep do not need to know where the green pastures or still waters are, all they need to know is where the shepherd is.

The Shepherd does not only comfort and restore, He guides the sheep into what is right. God’s guidance of us has (of course) a moral aspect. As we hear His voice, and obey His commands, He will lead us on the right path. There are many paths through life, fraught with danger, but in His goodness, He will guide us even when the way seems dark and foreboding…

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Farm & Homestead Click Start

Advice for a beginner homesteader

Get chickens first, eggs & meat , easy, fairly inexpensive , then go for pigs ......

Pigs are good for the soul, you will get to love and hate them, they are pretty smart, I started a fb page recently, your welcome to follow us , start your own page and document the adventure , good memories will follow 


I will post a view play lists that I have created over time , they may be of value to you, listen to them while your driving and doing chores , get a head set if you do not have one and a robust data plan, lots of good podcasts out there as well

Farm Finance

Meadow Life

Homestead PLans

The Ross Ranch


I would follow Joel Salatin

Lots of other lists, create lists as you specialize

Bio Security




Fields to Forks

Food Creations

Seed Saving


Ranch Cooking


Have some Fungi Fun


Besure and follow Doug & Stacy



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Another Seasons Promise

I was reading a story  in the Ontario Farmer this evening about Keith Roulson and his career and life events. I came across this part that spoke about the farm crisis in 1980 with the high interest rates and the impact that had on so many farmers and how they lost their farms because of this.  Interest rates peaked at 23% and it was crippling , it was a painful, too painful at times.  This kinda hit home as I was one of those farm kids that was effected by this. I don't know the full effect it actually had on my mental being, since I am reminded about it, I plan to reflect on this and let it touch me once again and grow and deal with any ill effects it had. In the mean time, I'm going to find out some more about this play and seek  some peace in my heart regarding that time of my life and my parents life and my siblings lives. As the paper said, peole cae to watch the play as " they needed to unload this" .

Some other words of wisdom gleaned from the article.

Keith learned that people were more likely to support something that was community owned than an enterprise owned by n individual. He raised money for a new paper by selling shares to community members, many of his sales where considered simple donations for their community than an investment. 

He understood what was good about rural life and he did what he could to protect it. 

He was driven to maintain small papers and a rural voice in the face of a hostile world. ( remind me of the small Amish newsletter my dad subscribes to ) 

After 50 years he has stepped away from managing the magazine "The Rural Voice"  , thinking I should check that one out, I do not currently get it. 

City life did not appal to him, he missed being surrounded by nature. 

A strong interest in farming and admiration for what farmers do.

The Field Behind The Plow

Stan Rogers – Field Behind The Plow Lyrics

Watch the field behind the plow turn to straight, dark rows
Feel the trickle in your clothes, blow the dust cake from your nose
Hear the tractor's steady roar, Oh you can't stop now
There's a quarter section more or less to go

And it figures that the rain keeps it's own sweet time
You can watch it come for miles, but you guess you've got a while
So ease the throttle out a hair, every rod's a gain
And there's victory in every quarter mile

Poor old Kuzyk down the road
The heartache, hail and hoppers brought him down
He gave it up and went to town

And Emmett Pierce the other day
Took a heart attack and died at forty two
You could see it coming on 'cause he worked as hard as you

In an hour, maybe more, you'll be wet clear through
The air is cooler now, pull you hat brim further down
And watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Put another season's promise in the ground

And if the harvest's any good
The money just might cover all the loans
You've mortgaged all you own

Buy the kids a winter coat
Take the wife back east for Christmas if you can
All summer she hangs on when you're so tied to the land

For the good times come and go, but at least there's rain
So this won't be barren ground when September rolls around
So watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Put another season's promise in the ground

Watch the field behind the plow turn to straight dark rows
Put another season's promise in the ground


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