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!

Ella, Amish Quilter

Beautiful Dress and Bonnet

I was privileged to meet Ella yesterday on our drive west of Hazleton, Iowa.  We went in search of barns that needed their pictures taken.  The farmer/windmill man and I love old barns and windmills.  When our children were young they helped their dad work on windmills.  When we traveled we didn’t play the usual car games like I Spy or Alphabet sign games.  We played what kind of windmill was that?  Was that windmill a Dempster, Aeromotor, Monitor, or Fairbury or Woodmanse?  The children were experts at this game.  The windmill man and I still play this game as we travel and we reminisce of times when we had the four children along with us.  It’s a lot quieter in the car now.  It was our day off as retired folks only have a four day work week with this SOWER group.  

Round Brick Barn and Windmill on Amish Farm

As we traveled west of Hazleton, IA we discovered we were in an Amish neighborhood.  A community auction was just completed and horses and buggies were everywhere.  The farm homes were beautiful and huge!  The clothes on the lines were impressive.  Some of the clotheslines went to the top of the barns.  There were large barns and we even saw a round barn.  

Mowing Hay

We saw farmers mowing hay with horses and several others were cultivating the corn.   Children were working in the gardens and helping around the farmstead.  Of course an Amish bakery was discovered and rhubarb pie, cinnamon rolls, and jams and jellies were relished.  After enjoying some delicacies and getting filled with sugar we headed south.  

Friendly Folks

There is where we saw a sign for “Quilts, Crafts and More”.  The farmer was instructed by his bride quickly to turn in.  As we pulled into the drive a beautiful lady with gray hair was walking over from the nearby house.  Two dogs were in the lead though.  As Ella led me into her quilt sanctuary, my breath was taken away by her lovely quilts.  Gorgeous colors and perfect stitches.  Her machine was a trusty treadle machine.  No electricity here to take away the quiet, contemplative nature of the place.  Aprons, pot holders, painted saw blades, and other crafts were readily available.  Ella and her husband were unable to have children but they have lots of neices and nephews to spoil.  Her grandparents were from Yoder, KS.  She sends her quilts to Yoder for their big quilt auctions.  She would love to visit Yoder some day.  It would be a long trip to Kansas by horse and buggy.  

I remember my dad talking about the long trip from Quinter to WaKeeney with his grandpa.  The trip was made by wagon.  Oh the visits they had as they traveled that way.  No time for ipods, ipads, video games; only talk.  Grandpa’s had lots of stories to tell their grandsons.  And grandsons had time to listen.  

Big Barns needing their Picture Taken

My short visit with Ella, the quilter made me reflect on the noise of our society.  What if we sang our own praises to our God instead of turning on the radio? What if the TV was off and birds could be heard singing?  How about shutting off the news in this world gone wrong and enjoying peace? I feel the stress of this world lifting when I still my heart and listen to the still, small voice of my God. Not even the sound of an electric fan or motor but the birds and His creation. I wonder if Ella would let me stay?

Be still and know that I am God!

Psalms 46:10