A New Appreciation for Farmers in the Midwest


Hauling soybean and corn two days per week has given me a wiser appreciation for farmers here in the Midwest. The hours are long and unpredictable, since the weather largely determines when you can harvest. And even if you are blessed to avoid pestilence, and receive plenty of rain and sunshine at the appropriate times, you still depend upon the fluctuating and unpredictable commodities market that determines the price per bushel. True, farmers are backed by the government just in case they lose their shirt. But, insurance safety-net is not a replacement for the satisfaction of working hard and earning an honest living; most men enjoy the fruit of their labor, not the welfare of the state.

On a deeper level, I am amazed at the amount of food that comes from the earth. About 8 acres can yield a semi load like this – about 57 thousand pounds of corn!


The Psalmist David said,

“You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it” (psalm 65:9). 

But David could only say this because God once said,

“Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their see, each according to its kind, on the earth. And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” – Genesis 1:11-12. 

It takes a lot of blind faith to believe that the earth just happens to sprout a food supply that sustains both man and beast. It is more reasonable to believe that behind all this food source is a loving God who is not only good but does good so that we may enjoy and give thanks for his abundant provisions.

Our hearts should praise and pray that the Lord would continue to sustain our lives. David prayed like this – may this be our prayer today:

“May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace; may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing; may there be no cry of distress in our streets! Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!” – Psalm 144:12-15. 


I must be getting old. I’ve turned into a bird-watcher.


Spread some grape jelly on an orange and what do you get? A Baltimore Oriole. I look forward to this time of the year when you can lure these beautiful creatures to your back yard in Northern Illinois for about a month until the mulberry trees bloom, then they disappear for another year.

There was a time that I wouldn’t give a hoot about birds:) – I must be getting old. As years go by what should happen is perspective – it should widen with more and more appreciation for what is lovely:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” – Philippians 4:8.

Our Lord wants our hearts stirred to worship him through whatever there is that stirs affections and perspective of the grandeur of the world we live in. It can be anything that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of boasting about. Our world is filling up with the exact opposite of what is lovely and pure. So it is incumbent upon the believer in Christ to stay focused on anything that incites wonder, so that you can say more and more as the years go by,

God must be a beautiful God to make such a lovely bird.”


O How I Love Frost!


O How I love frost, let me count the ways:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . . a time to die . . . a time to pluck up what is planted . . . a time to kill . . . a time to break down . . . a time to laugh . . . a time to dance . . . a time to lose . . . a time to cast away . . . a time to tear . . . He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecc. 3:1-11).

When frost comes, my wife cries but I rejoice. Frost is proof that God wants all gardeners to take a break. It’s proof that he really does love the non-gardener, too. Frost is God’s way of saying, “Man shall not live by gardening alone, but by watching College Football, The World Series, and eating venison.”

Enjoy God’s gifts to you this weekend, but enjoy him above his gifts – worship Him who made all things, including frost, for his own glory and our delight (especially mine).

I hate to see you go – but go you must or you will die.


It’s almost that time of the year that the hummingbirds will be gone. Even now the migration is well into its flight south. I hate to see them go, but if they don’t, they will die. God created the moon and the sun with their respective roles so that their would be seasons upon the earth (Gen. 1:14). These seasons are meant to evoke worship of him who said, “Let us make man in our image.” We were made to worship the triune God who has made hummingbirds and their migration to survive.



If God the Son sustains the world by his power (Hebrews 1:1-3), and not a bird falls to the ground apart from the will of God the Father (Matthew 10:29-30), and our comfort and encouragement comes from God the Holy Spirit who descended from the Father and lit upon the Son like a dove (Luke 3:22; John 14:16), then not only trust God to take care and bring back our fast-flying-friends in the spring, but also trust God to take care of you as he moves things around for his own glory and your ultimate delight.


Farewell and Godspeed. Lord willing, I’ll see you again!