Friday, February 26, 2010

Only a Farm Kid

A Montana rancher got in his pickup and drove to a neighboring ranch and knocked at the door. A young boy, about nine, opened the door.

"Is your Dad home?" the rancher asked. "No sir, he isn't," the boy replied. "He went into town."

"Well," said the rancher, "Is your Mother here?" "No sir, she's not here either. She went into town with Dad."

"How about your brother, Howard, Is he here?" "No sir, He went with Mom and Dad." The rancher stood there for a few minutes, shifting from one foot to the other and mumbling to himself.

"Is there anything I can do for you?" the boy asked politely. "I know where all the tools are, if you want to borrow one. Or maybe I could take a message for Dad."

"Well," said the rancher uncomfortably, "I really wanted to talk to your Dad. It's about your brother Howard getting my daughter, Suzie, pregnant."' The boy considered for a moment. "You would have to talk to Pa about that," he finally conceded. "If it helps you any, I know that Pa charges $500 for the bull and $50 for the hog, but I really don't know how much he gets for Howard."

I thought all you "aggies" would enjoy this! Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Cowboy Boots

A little humor for your Friday...

Did you hear about the Texas teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots? He asked for help and she could see why...even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn't want to go on. By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost cried when the little boy said, 'Teacher, they're on the wrong feet.' She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet. He then announced, 'These aren't my boots.' She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, 'Why didn't you say so?' like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, 'They're my brother's boots. My mom made me wear 'em.' Now she didn't know if she should laugh or cry. But, she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again. Helping him into his coat, she asked, 'Now, where are your mittens?' He said, 'I stuffed 'em in the toes of my boots.

She will be eligible for parole in three years.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beef Giveaway

Check out my sister's blog "Life be Delicious" for her first giveaway! She's giving a whopping $25 gift certificate away to purchase beef! You can't beat that! Stop by and say hello to her!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lone Survivor

The older I've become, the more I enjoy reading military and warfare stories. Hence, my recent enjoyment of Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10. The story was written by Marcus Luttrell, an actual SEAL, and Patrick Robinson, author of best selling US Navy based novels. Below is a brief description of the book -

On a clear night in late June 2005, four US Navy Seals left their base in northern Afghanistan for the mountainous Pakistani border. Their mission: to capture or kill a notorious al Qaeda leader. Less than twenty-four hours later, only one of the Navy SEALs remained alive.

This is the story of fire time leader Marcus Luttrell and the desperate battle in the mountains that led, ultimately, to the largest loss of life in Navy SEAL history. But it is also, more than anything, the story of the men who fought ferociously beside him until he was the last one left. Luttrell recalls their valiant efforts in one of the most powerful narratives ever written about modern warfare--a stirring tribute to his teammates, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

This book held me captive for four days as I hurried to read what happened next. The end is bittersweet, but well worth the read. I've always respected and admired our country's service men and women, but even more so after reading this book. What struck me most, was the precarious balance US special forces must deal with as they enter the most dangerous locations worldwide. The US government makes a major investment in special forces - training them to withstand the worst conditions, sharpening them physically and mentally and then arming them to the teeth so they can succeed in any circumstance. However, the US government then (almost) limits these forces with rules of engagement. Before I move forward with this, let me preface that I am not well versed in the rules of engagement (ROE) that govern modern warfare. I will say though that Luttrell's account struck a chord in my heart and I feel his viewpoint. I want to share one excerpt from chapter one that describes this:

"It's been an insiduous progression, the criticisms of the U.S. Armed Forces from politicians and from the liberal media, which knows nothing of combat, nothing of our training, and nothing of the mortal dangers we face out there on the front line. Each of the six of us in that aircraft en route to Afghanistan had constantly in the back of our minds the ever-intrusive rules of engagement. These are drawn up for us to follow by some politician sitting in a distant room in Washington D.C. And that's a very long way from the battlefield where some sniper's bullet can blast your head, where the slightest mistake can cost our life, where you need to kill your enemy before he kills you."

Our Special Forces must carefully balance their adherance to ROE while still managing to stay alive in situations that 99.9% of Americans would never willingly volunteer to enter into. I applaud the men and women who serve our country. They've sacrificed many things so they can serve, but most importantly they willingly put their lives on the line to protect our country and the freedoms of others around the globe.

This book is a short read, a quick read, and a worthwhile read. It will open your eyes to how well trained our Special Forces are, and will instill a new sense of pride in the patriotism of US military personnel.

Thanks for sharing your story Marcus, I appreciate the sacrifice you made with your teammates in those Afghanistan mountains.

Friday, February 12, 2010


One of my favorite stories in all the bible is found in Genesis 22 – God tells Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham starts preparing immediately and departs early the next morning with Isaac, two of his servant and wood for the burnt offering in tow. Three days into the journey they arrive. Abraham commands his servants to stay put and then loads Isaac up with the firewood (he is carrying the wood that he is sent to be the burnt offering over). As they begin walking, Isaac asks Abraham where the lamb is for the burnt offering. With nary a bit of doubt, Abraham replies that the Lord will provide Himself with a lamb (God foreshadowed his own provision of Jesus). Once they arrive at the place God has told him, Abraham binds Isaac and lays him on the altar. Abraham’s hand is outstretched with a knife when an angel interrupts him telling him not to lay a hand on Isaac. As Abraham turns he notices a ram caught in the thicket nearby.

Despite my love for this story, I haven’t had a very deep understanding of it until recently. Let’s rewind and review a bit of what I know about Abe. Abraham and his wife Sarah waited 25 years for Isaac to be born after God originally promised them. When Isaac was finally born, Abraham was 100 years old (Genesis 21:1-12). During that 25 year period, Abraham did not have a bible available to him; he simply had to wait for God to reveal himself; and reveal himself He did. Over those 25 years God promised Abraham that He would bless Abraham and his descendants through a son from his own loins. Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the dust in all the earth. (Genesis 12:1-3, 13:14-16, 15:1-8, 17:15-21)

Now I don’t know about you but I have the bible right in front of me, in fact I read it almost every day, yet my faith is not near what Abraham’s was. I’m not sure what my reaction would have been if God appeared and told me to sacrifice the son I waited 25 years for. In discussing this story last night with my Hebrews study group, it really hit home though when we started discussing Isaac. Isaac was not a small boy when God commanded Abraham to do this. Isaac was 40 – a grown man. A grown man that was probably much stronger at this point than his father who was now 140 years old. The bible doesn’t say, but I don’t think Abraham told Isaac at first where they were going. I am assuming though that Abraham finally told Isaac that he was the burnt offering. Isaac had to have willingly submitted to his father, allowing his arms and legs to be bound, and then maybe even hobbling over to the altar to be sacrificed. Isaac could have easily gotten away with his advantage in age and strength, but he didn’t. Why?

Throughout Genesis, Abraham is a wonderful picture of faithfulness toward God. God revealed Himself and Abraham believed. It is obvious by this story that Abraham instilled this same faith and obedience to the Lord in his own son who willingly allowed himself to be led to the altar. Isn’t that crazy? While I am not a parent, God willing I will be someday. And if I am entrusted with children, I pray that I too may instill faith, reverence and obedience in my children, so much so that if asked they would submit as Isaac did.

Now let’s talk a little more about Abraham. Abraham was confident that God was faithful and powerful enough to fulfill his promise of abundant descendants – God specifically told him that it was through Isaac that all his descendants would inherit God’s promise of blessing (Genesis 17:19). Abraham’s faith in God allowed him (somehow) to believe in some type of resurrection for Isaac if he carried through with the sacrifice. Romans 4:17-21 tells us that Abraham was fully assured that what God had promised, He was fully able to perform. Hebrews 11:17-19 tells us that Abraham knew God could raise Isaac back from the dead if necessary.

After studying Abraham’s story in light of what the New Testament says, I have come to love this story even more. It is my ravenous desire that my faith might grow solidly under God’s teaching. I have God’s word before me at my whim, yet I don’t access it with the reverence and obedience that Abraham did when God revealed Himself. I pray that Abraham’s story would serve as motivation and encouragement for you – what’s holding you back from believing God’s promise of faithfulness and blessing?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Doggie Graduation x2

Yep, you guessed it. Johnnie Reb graduated from her Intermediate Obedience class at PetSmart last night! She can officially sit and lay for 30 seconds...and with distractions!! She can bow, with some encouragement though. She knows to get "on her bed" although she only obeys this command occasionally. She can sit, stay and then come when I'm not in view (i.e. hiding in another row at PetSmart or in another room at home). She can also wait when told to wait at the door until permission is given to come. So smart, I know! I may be biased, but I also think she's the cutest one in the picture!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Milk vs. Steak

This post is not about the superiority of beef over all dairy products. Nor is it about milk or beef production. It’s about the call Christians have to pursue maturity over infancy in their walk with Jesus Christ.

This January marked the start of part two of the Hebrews bible study I joined last September; I was home sick yesterday with strep throat so I had plenty of time to review the teachings of the past couple of weeks and refine my thoughts in regard to this subject. I also thought it was somewhat timely to discuss the needs of infants since more than five friends have had babies this past year!!

In Hebrews 5:13-14 the author says, “For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”

I have read this passage many times before but it took on new meaning yesterday. I have been a Christian for close to 15 years and I like to think of myself as a mature Christian but it hit me yesterday that I often act like a newborn in my faith. How do I know this to be true? Actions define my stage of maturity just like they defined the spiritual maturity of the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3:1-9. Paul said he had to speak to them as if they were people of the world or spiritual babes; if I were there that same warning would have applied to me too because of my sinful, infant-like behavior. All too often I am jealous. I covet. I squabble with my sister or my mom and then justify it because I was tired in the moment. I am bitter…often…towards the work ethics of those I work closely with. And to top it all off, I am prideful. Quietly prideful, because I wouldn’t want anyone to accuse me of being so.

These sinful tendencies of mine clearly classify me as a part of those believers who are infants and adolescents. Now, listen to what Peter says in 1 Peter 2:1-3, “So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for the nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.”

Picture a hungry baby – yelling, squirming, angry that it even has to cry for its food. The whole of that infants’ being cries out for sustenance with focus and determination. The baby is immediately satisfied as soon as it starts nursing, but does so with just as much intense focus as before. Peter is urging us to crave the basic teaching of God with the same intense focus and driven nature as an actual babe. He wants us to know that our basic existence depends on this very thing; we will not grow if we do not seek this sustenance. But just as an infant grows and his palate matures and begins to desire real food, so must our sustenance in the Lord change. We must first seek the basic teachings of Christ so that we may mature to more complex and meaningful teachings. We aren’t instantly meat eaters, we must build up our strength with milk first.

Do not be discouraged if your actions, like mine, are those of an adolescent. I’m not condoning your sinful nature; I’m trying to encourage you. After strongly chastising his Hebrew audience about their lack of spiritual growth, the author goes on in 6:9 and says with confidence, “But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.” I am convinced of better things concerning you too – I pray you are convicted. I pray you fiercely and passionately desire sustenance in Christ, regardless if that sustenance is currently spiritual milk or spiritual steak.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tomato Peach BBQ Sauce

While in San Antonio last week, I stopped by the "Go Texan" booth and grabbed this yummy recipe! (Side note - I was at the National Cattlemen's winter meeting.) The recipe card had an awesome picture of brisket covered in this savory barbecue sauce. Enjoy!

1/2 cup bacon, chopped
1 medium sized onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 T worcestershire sauce
1/2 T whole black peppercorns
2 peaches, halved, pitted and diced
1 cup red wine
2 oranges, juice and zest
1 cup ketchup
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 t tabasco pepper sauce
1 T chili powder

Cook bacon in saucepan until brown. Add onions and garlic and cook until caramelized. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until reduced by 1/3. Puree in blender until smooth. Baste brisket (or other meat) with BBQ sauce. Wrap in foil and cook until fork tender.

Tabasco Pepper on FoodistaTabasco Pepper