Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beautiful Rain

"Rain, rain go away, come again some other day..." is just not a nursery rhyme that has been repeated in this home for quite a few years.  The last 2 summers we had drought, and each year as we watched the green grass turned to brown, we would cry out to God for rain and attempt to keep our faith that He would either send rain, or make some other way for us to survive.  For you see, on our 56 acre dairy farm, we rely very heavily on putting our cows out on grass as early in the Spring as possible and as late into the Fall as possible.  Ours would be considered a "grazing" farm.  Well, when there is no rain, there is no grass, of course, and we have to purchase feed that we weren't expecting to.  Maybe sometime I will share the economics of farming and this would make more sense to you on why this matters to us. 

Anyway, this year the drought started in Spring already and some of the fresh grass that we planted was at a  point of becoming brown.  If the water would insist on staying in the sky, it would become a bleak picture for us.  Prayers for rain have been whispered and said aloud daily by us and our faithful friends who are aware of our situation.  The weather forecast for this weekend and several days into the next week was/is rain.  So the waiting started and for umpteen times a day the weather forecast was brought up on the computer screen.  Will it?  Will it really rain?  This evening the black clouds started to gather, a rumble vibrated across the sky and God's flash camera started making streaks across His creation......

The farmer men erect a rain gauge and decide to sit and wait in faith..........

Here it comes..........

Thank you, Lord Jesus..........

Beautiful sound and smell of the blessings of raindrops falling from Heaven to water the thirsty earth!  Nothing like it!  

Until next time............                                                                

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Public Auction

fowty-now-♫fowtyfibe-now♫-fibe-wiyagimme-♪fowtyfibe-now-fifty♪ - Sold! for $50.00 to #174!  Ahh, the fun, confusing auctioneer chant!   Each auctioneer has their own way of "chanting" - some are fast, some more slow, some with funny filler words, some just simple words - some confusing, some clear.  No matter the chant, though, you never want to scratch your head, wave, point at anything or faster than you know it, you've bought something you really didn't want.  It does not matter if it is raining, snowing, hot & humid, bidders will always show up.  Some get to the auction alittle early so they can browse around, looking for things they can use and maybe, just maybe, they will be the highest bidder.  Some will show up an hour before the auction is over and still ask for a number.  Some will bring lawn chairs, blankets and a thermos with hot coffee if it is chilly weather, sunglasses and cool drinks if it is hot- some will come ill prepared thinking they won't stay very long.  It always makes for an interesting crowd!
The bottom line of an auction, though, is this.....the auctioneer is there is sell someone's stuff and the bidders are there to buy it.  And usually it is taking place because that someone has either passed away or has to move and downsize.  I have found myself in front of the auction block and sometimes behind the auction block helping to clerk for my cousin, who is the best auctioneer around.  I love being in both of those positions, and know it would be easy for me to become an "auction addict".  Over time, though, the whole scenerio has got my mind to churning with thoughts and questions (I know, why does that happen?  A fun thing turns to a deeper issue).  I started looking at the items in a different light.  The items being sold tell alot about what kind of lifestyle the owner lived.  Everything that is sold was owned by that somebody and that item could have been that somebody's treasured item. Or the items being sold could've been a collection that took place over this person's lifetime, consuming much wasted time and energy.  Maybe the item was that owners father's or grandfather's and had deep meaning to him.  Maybe his sweetheart gave it to him while they were dating.  Maybe her grandchildren made it for her.  Maybe it was a reminder of trials that were overcome by hard work.  Maybe that worn apron was her favorite and that broken hammer was one he used to build his little boys go-cart with.  However, when it is held up for the bidders to view, we see it in a totally different light!  It holds no nostalgia to us.  To me, it is sad thinking that the items with wonderful stories behind them, come to the block and hardly sell for a dollar.  Maybe they will even go to the NO SALE pile.  The items that meant so much to their owners now are meaningless, because they are gone and could not take them along.   It is a reminder to me, too, that when it is our time to go, we also will take nothing.  Nothing material anyway.  My dad always said, "the only thing I can take to Heaven is my children".  So, now the questions......what am I putting value on?  What are my "treasures" and should they be my "treasures".  Does what I have make any difference to anyone else or make anyone else's life better?  Or is it "stuff" robbing me of my valuable time and energy that could be spent doing things for my family, friends & neighbors.  What will people think of my "stuff" when my cupboards, drawers, closets, attic, and basement are emptied and held up at the auction block?  Will they see a life lived for Christ or a life seeking after material things?  The scripture says, "Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal.  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where niether moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  So, where is my heart?  Where is yours?  "Lord, open our eyes to see clearly where our treasures are and give us strength to make the needed changes that when we leave this earth, the auction block will speak of a life well lived for You."

Until next time.................

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Change In the Making?

For a few years now, we have been examining the direction we are going with the farm. We have considered getting a raw milk license so we can "legally" sell raw milk.  Or we could sell cow shares where the customer would actually own the cow and they would just pay us for taking care of her, milking her and making them butter, cheese, etc..  It would be a totally legal thing to do in PA.  Or should we just sell the cows and concentrate on raising meat, as in beef, chicken and pigs.  Or, we could try to find a niche market.  Well, yesterday we were contacted about purchasing 10.......want to guess what?........it would certainly fit our niche market idea........water buffalo!  Let me tell you about water buffalo.  First, this is what they look like:

Following is some information that we come across in doing some research:

"Water buffalo produce far fewer pounds of milk per lactation (3,300 pounds), but their milk has 10 percent fat and 5 percent protein component levels. They also exhibit more longevity, living to be 18 to 25 years old and having between 10 to 15 lactations. (A water buffalo gestation period is 10.5 months.)  One of the benefits of water buffalo is feed efficiency.

Buffalo milk is a totally natural product that can be consumed like any other milk. Time after time participants in tasting trials pick out buffalo milk in preference to cows, goats and artificially manufactured milks. They just love the taste.

Buffalo milk is very white and beautifully smooth. It is significantly lower in cholesterol and higher in calcium than cows, sheeps or goats milks. And unlike the array of industrially produced soya and other cereal milks it is totally free of additives and chemical formulations.
Unlike the modern dairy cow the buffalo can thrive without the need to use high levels of concentrated feed. Grass, clover and straw make up the bulk of a buffaloes diet. No bone meals, fish meals or genetically modified feeds are ever fed to our buffalo.

Dairies love to work with Buffalo Milk, which we all know makes the best mozzarella."

So, after reading about the benefits of the milk and realizing that they would do well on our hills, we may seriously consider the offer.  Who ever thought we would milk water buffalo? 



¡¡sןooɟ ןıɹdɐ  ¡ɐɥɔʇoƃ

Until next time.........