Sportin’ a ‘tude

“Don’t look now…your attitude is showing.”

Patsy Clairmont
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“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

Zig Ziglar

In John 6:11 it says, “Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.” Sometimes the smallest of words hold the key to so many truths. Jesus “gave thanks”. Jesus gave thanks and then a miracle happened with the loaves and fishes. He gave thanks and there was more than enough! Thanksgiving preceded the miracle. Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle. Gratitude creates abundance. Many times the biggest challenge in life is a lack of gratitude, a lack of thanksgiving.

One of the biggest challenges in this year 2020 has been a lack of thanksgiving. Many desire this year to be over, done! Let’s get Christmas over and move into 2021. At my age there is no desire to rush through these days, only to savor each one. But to also express gratitude and thanksgiving in the year 2020. That is too much! At least that’s the way my attitude was heading, until my generous, gracious, loving heavenly Father, showed me the difference thanksgiving can make. The beauty of it began to take my breath away as each day I began to record the things that made me grateful.

“There are still days I need a hand-up from another journeyer. And there are still days I want to hide, since every season of life brings its set of threats, yet because of God’s mercy and grace, I press on.”

Patsy Clairmont

Our gratitude glorifies God. We exalt not just the gifts, but we exalt the Giver. Gratitude opens our spiritual eyes. The more we thank God the more our eyes are opened to see His hand at work. This act of thankfulness keeps us awake to Him and His gifts. The Lord loves our thankfulness. He has given us so many wonderful gifts and provisions, can I not return thanks? An attitude of thanksgiving will change our lives. An attitude of thanksgiving will change our relationship with the Lord. An attitude of thanksgiving will change our world. Happy gratitude day this week. Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

“Is your problem really your problem, or is your ATTITUDE toward your problem the real problem?”

Joyce Meyer

Homestead Act 1862

Family Farm since 1898

The America to which these Swedish settlers came was a land that needed the hardy qualities they brought. It was not a land that was particularly softhearted towards newcomers, but everyone believed that each should have a fair chance regardless of his origin. The newcomers quickly learned their way about and soon felt at home. The Homestead Act of 1862 provided them, as well as many other pioneers, with an opportunity to acquire land and establish family farms. To the land-hungry immigrants, the tough prairie sod seemed a golden opportunity and they conquered it by hard work.

Harry S. Truman

The quote from President Truman is about Swedish settlers but the Jamison family had its roots in Scotland. My ancestors left their homes in Scotland and Ireland as a result of religious persecution. The land the farmer and I live on was homesteaded in 1898 by a young couple. Many of their relatives still live in this area. They filed the homestead claim certificate number 8599 on June 17, 1898. My great grandfather Samuel H. Jamison and his wife Mary Elizabeth (Molly) purchased the homestead from this couple just a short month after they filed. The date of purchase was July 21, 1898. Some of my family have lived on this property since that time. In 1998 it was recognized as a Centennial Farm.

Official Homestead Document and Seal

The Homestead Act of 1862 made 160 acres of public land available to every adult who chose to emigrate to the Plains territories and beyond. After payment of a ten dollar fee, the homesteader would get title to the land after he had “resided upon or cultivated the same for a term of five years.” One hundred and sixty million acres of government land or the public domain, typically called a homestead was given away free to 1.6 million homesteaders. The official document above was signed by President William McKinley.

In this land they had no lumber to build or to burn for their fires but they used buffalo and cow manure to burn for heat and for cooking. Many children spent their days gathering this fuel. They built their homes from sod. Sod houses were built by using a plow or other device to break up the land. You had to have sod that had the right kind of grass. The grass had to have roots that would hold the soil together. The buffalo grass still present on this prairie was found to work very well. The sod was cut into three foot lengths and were 12 inches wide and 4 inches thick. They were placed lengthwise, making a wall 2 feet thick. All the sod was laid with the grass side down.

“What a breed they were–those sod house settlers. Color, creed, possession did not matter. Everyone was poor, but non a pauper. Can it be they were richer for having little? Can it be they were wiser for knowing less?”

John G. Niehardt

Samuel and Molly came on the emigrant train west from Franklin County, Virginia. Molly’s parents had already made the trek, and the couple and their six children decided it was time to join them. Molly’s father Daniel filed on a timber claim in Gove County. When Samuel and Molly arrived they lived in a sod and frame house. It must have been a difficult time for them to adjust to the plains after living in the lovely wooded hills of Virginia.

The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.

Abraham Lincoln

Their hopes and dreams were high and their love for God and family carried them through many tragedies and difficulties. Here I am with the Farmer, 122 years later on the land they purchased. I am sitting under a tree my great grandmother Molly planted. Here on the same prairie, with the same dreams and hopes and love for God and my family. My desire for freedom from religious persecution is the same as Samuel and Molly’s.

Peace and Prayer in Troubled Times

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Not voting is not a protest, it is a surrender.

Keith Ellison

November 3, Election day has come and gone. We voted in record numbers. People waited in lines for hours to vote. They waited in all kinds of weather and in all kinds of neighborhoods all over our nation. This right to vote was paid for by a very high price. Many lives have been lost in previous wars to extend us this right to vote, and we did vote.

“Indeed you won the elections, but I won the count”

Anastasio Somoza Nicaraguan Dictator

Let me just encourage you in this moment to not give up. Stand firm in your faith! Stay on your knees and pray for America! The battle being waged right now, is fierce in the unseen realms and our breakthrough may be right around the corner. We cannot become discouraged and lose our hope. Decree that evil will be exposed and the truth and justice will prevail. Support our warrior Angels with your prayers.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14:27

Peace is the atmosphere of heaven. The reality of the peace in Jesus redefines what is around us. It becomes contagious and inspires hope. Don’t miss out on this incredible time to pray, speak life and decree into the future. Stay in peace and only operate from a platform of peace.

His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where He restores and revives my life.

Psalms 23:2 TPT

In my favorite story in the Bible, is in 2 Chronicles 20. The people were told to stand and see the Lord’s mighty victory. They were to send out a group of people to sing and praise the Lord for the splendor of His holiness. As they did this the Lord set ambushes in the enemy camp and great was the victory for Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah.

Sing songs of praise and keep fast to the hope set before us. God bless you as we traverse some interesting challenges. Our Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Oil and Ten Virgins

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The lamp burns bright when the wick and oil are clean.

Ovid

A properly trimmed wick should provide a full, rounded flame that provides the maximum amount of light with the minimum amount of smoke. A long flame often creates smoke, which pollutes the room, smudges the chimney and wastes fuel. The process can be tricky, time consuming, and frustrating and the flame should be checked as you work. When the wicks are trimmed appropriately they will draw up the oil from the reservoir better and the flame will be clean and bright.

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however took oil in jars along with their lamps.

Matthew 25:1-4

Verse 13 of this scripture in Matthew warns us to keep watch, because we do not know the day or the hour of the Bridegroom’s return. We do not know when will be the hour of Jesus’ second coming but we are told to keep watch. We have been given many signs to watch for. We have been told to be prepared. Our lamps must be trimmed so that they can conserve oil and we need to have extra oil always ready.

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Oil in the scriptures is frequently used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Oil was used as a means for health and comfort, to anoint – as a symbol of consecration, and as a token of honor. Oil was used in the lamp to be the fuel for the light. The wise virgins in the Matthew scripture could not share their oil with the five foolish virgins because no one can borrow light from another. We must have our own relationship with Jesus. We cannot borrow it from our parents or anyone else. Individually we must decide whether we believe in the Son of God or not. We must receive Him as our personal Savior. Then He is our Light also.

If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.

Mother Teresa

We must be ready and stay prepared. We need to keep full of the oil of the Holy Spirit. We need to keep our wicks trimmed to give out the best Light. To keep our wicks trimmed, we need to focus on the Word of God and not allow any pollutants to get in our oil. The “awe” of God produces the purest oil in our supply.

I would not give much for your religion unless it can be seen. Lamps do not talk, but they do shine.

Charles Spurgeon

Grace, the Overflowing Favor of God

Corn Stored in the Bins

Grace is the overflowing favor of God, and you can always count on it being available to draw upon as needed. 

Oswald Chambers

The Farmer has been driving a semi for some friends in fall harvest.  They are keeping him on the go with two combines picking corn and one truck driver to keep up.  He is hauling it to the local elevators and has been into four different locations with the corn loads.  Many times in these last few weeks of hauling he has been selected to unload his corn in the fastest line while others have had to wait longer in line.  This has been a concern for the Farmer as he does not desire the wrath of the other drivers and farmers.  He has even been moved ahead of his own crew in the line.  This has happened at all four locations.  

I keep telling him it is the mighty favor of God upon him.  We pray for him each day and speak a blessing over him and the trucks he will be driving.  God’s favor is for all that receive Him, but not all know they have it or how to take advantage of the favor God has gifted to them.

For you, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor, You will surround him as with a shield. 

Psalms 51:2

On one trip to town the other day with the loaded semi, the accelerator stuck and he had to use the brake only to slow it down and then shut off the engine.  When he got under the hood, he saw the spring for the accelerator was broken.  Just as he was attempting to connect it, a mechanic friend showed up and they got it repaired and he ordered the part they would need to get it fixed correctly.  Once again the favor of God. 

Baling

Humility is the gateway into the grace and the favor of God. 

Harold J. Warner

For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime.

Psalms 30:5

God’s favor is lasting. His favor is for a purpose. It is not for us to sit upon, but His favor is for us to do something with. We receive blessings so we can be a blessing. The Farmer is being a blessing to the friends that he is working with in bringing in the harvest. It is so important to bring in the crop before the winter comes. He is being a blessing to the young handicapped man who rides with him in the truck. God is greatly blessing us and we pray that we can bless His loved ones. That is everyone. No matter their political stance, no matter their post on social media, or their dislike of Him; God loves them all.

Planting a Crop of Fear or of Faith

Pumpkin Patches, Feed Bales, and Fall Harvest

Winter is coming! The pace on the farm front has picked up! Wheat must be drilled, corn picked, milo harvested, feed baled and cattle moved to home pastures. You feel it in the air. You see it in the eyes of the farmers. You smell it, with the dust of harvest and drilling. You hear it as the semi’s hurry by with their loads of grain. The temperatures are still in the nineties but the nights are cooling off. Oh how this grandma farmer loves the seasonal changes. Every new season holds such promises.

Our Cornfield Fence

Seeds must be planted if you desire a harvest. The seeds must be planted in another season. Some seeds are planted in Spring and some are planted in the Fall. There are different seeds for different harvests.

Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting golden delicious.

Bill Meyer

What a season this year of 2020 has been! No one saw this season coming. The seeds we planted in the previous seasons, arethe crop we are harvesting now. What seeds are being planted now? FEAR is false evidence appearing real. Fearful thoughts are seeds that enter our life through the gates of our senses. If you smell smoke, your first thought may involve fear. Fearful thoughts are seeds that produce fearful words, which produce fearful decisions, that form fearful habits, to produce a character of fear and now you find yourself in a destructive destination. Fear seeds have been planted in your heart garden.

Virginia Creeper Creeping onto a Bush

Fear is not okay! It will drag you down and destroy you. Just like the Virginia Creeper in the picture above is dragging down this bush. It is weighing it down and making the bush carry it also. Reject thoughts of doubt and fear. Instead let’s put our trust in God and move away from fear to faith. Not faith in ourselves and our accomplishments, but faith in God. We read in His word and we know in our lives that He is a trustworthy and faithful God. He will never leave us or forsake us. Plant seeds in your garden of His word, His truths. Faith in God is the only way to overcome fear. Let’s harvest a crop of faith. Plant faith seeds in your heart garden.

To plant seeds of faith you must receive Jesus as your personal Savior. You must confess your sins to Him and believe that He is the Son of God and that He came to die on the cross for your sins. It is that simple. Then whenever fear tries to plant seeds in your heart garden just quote Psalms 56:3. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

I grew up on a farm. We learned that there was a season to plant, a season to water, and season to harvest. The planting and watering could be laborious, but without those stages there would never be a harvest.

John Wooden
Water is Life

Happiness is the harvest of a quiet mind. Anchor your thoughts on peace, poise, security and divine guidance and your mind will be productive of happiness.

Joseph Murphy

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

The Colors of Fall

And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who passionately seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

Slip and Slide Farmer Style

Clouds over the Barn

“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants–from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.

Isaiah 59:21

Having grandchildren is the greatest treasure available to people our age. Oh how we cherish them and delight in their lives and spending time with them. A few years ago, I recalled all of the fun I had with my cousins at my granny and pap-paws ranch in Oklahoma. I thought it was a good idea to try to get all of the grandkids to come to our farm in the summer for a Cousin Camp. Since then I have wondered about my sanity a few times. It is so much fun and totally and completely exhausting for all of us but worth every minute planning, plotting and preparing.

Grandchildren at Castle Rock

We always love to go to Castle Rock and climb rocks and get dirty. We have all kinds of fun projects and some science experiments to do while everyone is here. We have age ranges from 19 to 4 so it is sometimes a stretch to find ideas that work for most. Our older grands are a huge help and encouragement to our younger grands.

Grandpa worked hard ahead of camp to make 13 frames from scrap lumber from our old barn and other pieces. These frames were then painted or decoupaged by the kids and a backing was placed in them with cork on top. This has made some really nice bulletin boards for them to put up in their rooms to put their special things on. One of these will be going to college with our oldest grandson. He painted it with purple for his college.

Making our own bulletin boards!
Driving Lawn Tractor and Pulling Wagon

We Tie dyed shirts and swam in the pool in our small community. We have a slip and slide that grandpa made from tarps and PVC pipe sprinkler overhead that is a lot of fun. Soap helps make it slick and inner tubes add even more fun.

Slip and Slide Farmer Style

No healthy food is allowed and sugar is good for all. This year four of our grands were not able to come due to exposure to covid. We missed them terribly but hope they are coming soon to see us. This year we were blessed with some help from our youngest son and our oldest son and his wife. They were such a help and had some great ideas to add to the festivities.

Making those Tie Dye Shirts.

Thank you grands for loving this time together and taking off of work and giving up other things to come and play with me and grandpa for a few days. Oh we love the memories!

July on the Prairie

Thankful for the sacrifices made for our freedoms.

The farmer put up a couple of flag holders so that we could fly our United States flags on the fourth of July and praise our God for the freedom we have in this country to pursue our relationship with our Lord. We thought of many who have given it all to allow us to keep these freedoms. My dad was in the Navy in WWII and many we know served in VietNam. The farmer served six years in the National Guard. Thank you to all of you veterans out there for keeping this country free.

Every day we grow more thankful to live on the wide open prairie far from the happenings in the world. We don’t watch the news and do not watch TV at all. It has been a tremendous blessing to be free of that. We love to read and pray and keep our ears to the news with a Christian radio service.

We know our world is in turmoil and we know much of our world is in great fear. Every day there are new concerns and much, much is unknown. Tomorrow is a different story from the day before. Everything is changed and we don’t know when or if we will ever be back to “normal”. One constant is that God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalms 90:2
The Heavens declaring the Glory of God.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

Psalms 19:1

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him.

Colossians 1:16
Gorgeous Sunset

With all that is happening in the world today the only place of safety and security is in His arms. Even here on the prairie the only place of refuge is in His loving arms. The only peace, the only calm, the only place to be free of fear is to put our trust in Him. Peter in Matthew 14:22-33 could walk on the water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. When he looked at the circumstances (the waves crashing around him) he sank down in the water and thought he would drown if Jesus didn’t reach out His hand and lift him up.

We too can drown in fear if we take our eyes off of Jesus and listen to the chaos around us. But for Jesus and his hand to rescue and save us, we may be overcome by fear in these days. Have you given your life to Jesus today? He is ready to give you the free gift of salvation. All you must do is ask him and believe. Here is a prayer you can use to ask him for his peace and faith instead of fear.

Lord, I believe you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for my sins and then He arose from the dead. I repent of all of my sins and ask you to forgive me. I believe that you have forgiven me and I invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me, Jesus.

Oh How He Loves You and Me!

Back on the Prairie

Danish Mill in Elkhorn, IA

It is difficult to leave a project and new friends and begin the journey home, but that is what the farmer and I did this week. We hooked onto the camper and stopped in Elkhorn, IA to check out this Danish Mill. It was fun to see and to visit the little gift shop here. Since the farmer was a windmill repair man for 25 years we love to see all kinds of windmills. There was also a fabric quilt shop nearby so I made a visit there while the farmer got a nap in the pickup. His nap was a little pricey.

Basket Wheel Windmill

Road construction was everywhere as it is summer. Our usual travel method is to take older two-lane highways and avoid interstates. We like to see the farms, barns, small towns and enjoy the slower pace. This made our day a little longer than we planned but were able to camp beside a beautiful lake in Nebraska.

One Night on the Lake
God’s Beautiful Creation

We made it home the next day. There was no dog to welcome us home as we had to put our precious basset hound to sleep in January due to old age. Our son and two grandsons had mowed for us once while we were gone but the farm yard surely needed our attention. There is no place like home.

There is no place like home.

L Frank Baum
Home by the Fourth of July

Home is the nicest word there is.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

As we reflect on our last month, we have been delighted to see our Lord’s protective hand on us in so many ways. A huge very muscular deer ran full speed across the road in front of us just two hours from home and we were protected. The farmer took quite a tumble and experienced no injury to his body. His dear cowboy hat got blown down the highway while he was attending to an issue with the camper and we got it back unharmed. We have been so blessed by the wonderful people we met, the work we were able to do, and the creation we have seen. But most of all by getting to know the Creator just a little bit closer.

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

Robert Frost

We came home exhausted with much to do here on the Little House on the Prairie. This little farm in the middle of a cornfield is home sweet home to us. Here we pick up the projects we left in May and prepare for some serious family time with our grandchildren and we count our blessings. We name them one by one. And we find peace and joy. We hear of the world in chaos and we pray daily for our world. In the midst of it all we find peace (indescribable peace) and joy.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8-10