Hugh’s News & Views (Advice . . .)


As we begin another year of life perhaps we can find some wisdom and encouragement for the New Year in the following “Advice From An Old Farmer.” I do not know its author, but he sounds like a man of vast experience and great wisdom. A friend posted it a few weeks ago on his Facebook page. Continue reading

#farming, #hughfulford, #wisdom


(#77) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:4-Clean Trough, No Food!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 14:4: “Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes by the strength of an ox.”

Oxen represent the best farming beast before mechanization, for they were strong, dependable, ate less than a horse but gave fertilizing manure, and were even useful for food (try eating a tractor!). Oxen are a great investment in many societies today. The strength of every society is its farmers and farmland. God-given wisdom helped Solomon to say: “Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field” (Ecclesiastes 5:9). It used to be said that “an army moves on its stomach,” but all empires and countries do, also! Agriculture should be foremost in consideration in any economy. City-folk may ridicule country bumpkins, but country people will survive economic down-turns much better! All the “giant” grocery stores have nothing if it doesn’t come from the ground! Pre-cooked everything is nothing without farming! While greedy politicians are taxing businesses into the ground, workers of the ground feed the factory workers and supply the stores! Whatever must be done to depend upon local farming and eliminate imports, should be done!

“Where no oxen are, the trough is clean” shows a logical conclusion. Without oxen, there is no hay to feed them, without hay, there is no manure with which to fertilize, hence without oxen there is no food produced! Oxen have always been efficient farm equipment. To show them from where their blessings had come, and their need to repent, God cursed the northern kingdom of Israel with “’cleanness of teeth in all your cities. And lack of bread in all your places; Yet you have not returned to Me,’ Says the LORD” (Amos 4:6). You don’t have to brush your teeth if there are no food particles on them! Without a family, a man can’t complain about supporting them! Without children, a woman can’t complain about cooking their meals and cleaning their clothes! The cleanest houses are without family life in them! “The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:8-9). But even in the Garden of Eden where God had provided everything “good” (Genesis 1:31), “the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). God-given agriculture is the “oldest profession” on Earth, not sin-driven prostitution, as the ungodly so frequently repeat!

Since God made the land, the seeds, and the farmers, let us thank God for providing natural food that keeps us alive!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#agriculture, #bible-study, #cleanness-of-teeth, #farmers, #farming, #food, #god, #oxen, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom

The Fourth and farming

Richard H. will appreciate this, and the rest of us should, even if we must consider Franklin’s words a bit of hyperbole.

Ben Franklin said “There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors. This is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.” Franklin’s message communicates both the magnificence and sovereignty of God and the inherent virtue of agriculture.  Both those shining lights, I fear, have faded in contemporary eyes.

This from Ray Bowman’s blog. There’s more to read about the Fourth.

#farming, #fourth-of-july, #independence-day

Have I Got A Deal For You!

I’ve been out for a while. Though I’ve tried to read most of the posts, I ran short of time to write anything. Today I was rained out. I’m done running errands, so I’m relaxing now.

The good part? There are times, though not as many as some might think, when the farm has few demands. During those times I’m free to do any number of things. I particularly enjoy taking time to study and consider Scripture. I’ve also had opportunity to go on, even lead campaigns. Ron, Stephen, and I work with Exhibit Evangelism at the IL State Fair in August. Farming usually allows me to be there a number of the 12 working days. Many other jobs would not.

The bad aspects of my job. There are times work takes all my time. As Randal indicated, my job, grain farming, is not a 9 to 5. The most pressing time is fall. Still, most years, despite the push to get it done, it’s very satisfying work for any number of reasons.

Tasks are often repetitive, yet there’s always “the light at the end of the tunnel,” knowing you will soon finish with this job and move on to another. Hands on, working completely through from start to finish is quite gratifying–at least most years.

Clean up at the end of the season is not fun. The worst job is cleaning out the bottom of the legs. Grain legs are tall metal tubes housing cups on a belt that elevate the grain vertically. The grain in the bottom swells and rots with each rain until, well, it’s just hard to describe. Maybe each of you could take a turn visiting me after harvest and I could give you first hand experience in the clean up. Of course, this would take a number of years to work each of you through the process. Although teaching someone new each year has it’s difficulties, I’m a patience teacher. Only one stipulation–those who have already taken their turn can’t talk to the ones who haven’t yet. Whadda ya say? Deal?

#farming, #work

Heart of Illinois Update

It’s been an interesting week here. We decided what we had done to complete the tillage we were unable to do last fall was insufficient. We went over it again with a different tool. It looks better now.

A lot of farmers had the same idea. As we were doing this the wind picked up (25 to 30 steady, gusts to 45 mph). Now corn shucks that we loosed by the tillage fill our ditches and farmsteads.

Before I could finish Thursday afternoon I was called to our preacher’s home. He had been suddenly hit by disorientation, trembling, and waves of nausea. We called the rescue squad. After taking his vitals they felt it was not a heart attack or stroke. Took him to the hospital. Got an I.V. in him. Determined he was severely dehydrated. A couple of bags of fluid and he’s upright again. We got him and his wife home a little after midnight the same night.

He does have something of an excuse. His doctor had placed him on a diuretic pill. That plus consuming only diuretic drinks, the caffeinated drinks of coffee and diet Coke put him over the edge.

This is the second time in a couple of years, someone close to me has been seriously affected by dehydration, primarily by drinking only diuretic drinks.

If this describes you, you must realize no amount of diuretic drinks can keep you hydrated. You lose those too fast. You must drink water! End of sermon.

My wife, Sharon, spoke at a ladies event at the Lakeside church of Christ, in Springfield, IL, last evening. It was well received. I hope she takes more opportunities to speak. She is very capable in that area.

We had the same storms last evening Ron had spoken of, but they had lost most of their punch by the time they got to us. We were glad to get a little rain. The rains have been well timed this spring.

We thank God for the opportunity and ability to work, for taking care of our friends in need, for talents and
talents shared and for providing sunshine and rain. I wish you all a blessed weekend!

#dehydration, #farming

Farmers are thanking God for the blessin…

Farmers are thanking God for the blessings of working the land, abundant crops and the fact that most harvests have been far drier than this one. The unusually difficult situations give us a much greater appreciation for the usual and the normal.

Many folks consider farmers little more than rednecks with tractors. Perhaps the thought has a grain of truth to it. Farming naturally has earthy qualities that rub off on it’s participants. Farming is challenging, dirty, unpredictable, physical, mental, bloody, and stinky. . .and I like it. Tilling, planting, and harvesting, watching the sun and moon come up and go down, seeing all the stars from the tractor seat as you slowly bounce across a field, watching the weather systems move through, knowing it’s going to rain by the way it feels or even by the way it smells, digging up seeds to see how they’re germinating, scouring the fields to see if we can “row” the first plants coming through. . .all these things and so many more connect farmers to the earth and it’s Creator like no other occupation. To even call it an occupation seems so secular. It is a way of life.

May this holiday season find you overflowing with gratitude to our great God and all that He has done for us!

#farming, #thanksgiving