Thursday, May 02, 2013


How do we decide what is most important in our lives?  What we will fight for?  What drives us?  About ten years ago I was sick of my marriage, sick of my job, sick of my church, sick of the life I was living.  What I learned was my soul was sick.  It wasn't the marriage, the job, the church.  It wasn't those things that made my life miserable.  It was the state of my soul.  I was so wrapped up in getting what I wanted, what I thought was best for me, I lost sight of what was most important.  In retrospect I wonder if I ever really understood or knew what should have been the most important thing. 
So what is the most important thing?  I don't have the total answer but I am beginning to see a small part of the answer.  For me the most important thing was when I accepted the fact that God wants me here in this community, in this church, married to my wife and managing this farm.  God had a purpose or reason for placing me here. 
  As I began to change my focus from myself to God my perspective on life began to change.  Deep down in my soul  I wanted what God wanted but I wasn't ready or willing to allow it to happen.  I still live in fear of the unknown but at least I understand that I am living that way.  I am starting to recognize a state of peace beneath the craziness.  Realizing the farm is temporal.  I wonder if we will survive financially.  Beneath this fear I feel peace.  I feel that if we don't survive God has a better plan.  Granted if the farm does fail I will probably experience severe depression.  
I realize that church life, my wife, children, farm life, all these things affect my view of life.  How I feel towards these people and life in general are affected by the way disagreements are handled.  Whether I feel heard or not.  Whether I feel loved or not.  Whether I feel cared for.  I understand this.  What I am suggesting is when I began to focus on Jesus I had a different perspective on the relationship.  The shocking thing is how slow the process is.  I am such a slow learner. 
When I was living with a sick soul my life was miserable.  After ten years of slow learning my life isn't miserable.  The interesting thing is the external things in my life have not changed.  My wife is the same, my children are the same, I attend the same church and manage the same farm.  The challenges in all these instances have changed and you would think I would be more miserable. 
What changed?  My focus changed and it was a conscience decision.  I had a sickness in my soul.  I asked Jesus to cleanse it...  This changed my life...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday Night Fun

Last night, while I was dozing peacefully on my couch, the phone blasted a shrill note in my ear.  "Glen, we have a problem.  We have cows in our front yard." said Marshall.  "Hmm, are you sure?" says I.  "Yes," says he "can you go to the barn and see where they came from and I will send head your way?"  "Sure"  I reply.  So off I go with children in tow.  I leap upon my trusty steed, four wheeler, and head for the barn.  I notice a gate open at the far end so I investigate.  The chain is hanging wearily around one of the spars with the bolt still through a link.  I spy the nut lying neatly on the concrete wall.  "Boys" I think to myself.  Upon further investigation the truth will come forth.  However, tampering with said bolt was heatedly denied.  So we assume some nosy cow spent an incredible amount of time turning the nut of the bolt with her tongue.  But the story has only begun.  As I rounded the barn I noticed a cow laying in a place that would be very uncomfortable, over the drop box.  The drop box is a box in which the manure falls before it floats through a pipe to the manure pit.  She wasn't exactly over it she was more in it.  Both rear legs were hanging uselessly down in the box.  After much thought and prodding she pulled one foot up onto the concrete.  We had the skid loader handy and gave her a boost for which she was quite thankful I am sure.  I am also sure she is fairly sore.  While we were helping the cow out of the box the other 90 cows in the group were sprinting gleefully around the farm.  Over hill over dale the cows hit the dusty trail or go swimming in the pit.  I know she did I saw here climb out.  Wimpy was her name.  When we finally got them in we noticed a dry cow in the another barn who wouldn't rise up and walk.  So, we brought the skid loader around, loaded her in the bucket and hauled her to the pre-fresh  barn so she would be more comfortable.  I was hoping getting her off of concrete and onto sawdust would work wonders in her morale and she would hope up and take a bow.  Unfortunately this didn't happen.  So we gave her a shot of banamine for swelling.  I was assuming she had injured herself.  Plus when she tried to get up she would only make it half way up.  It appeared that she had a back injury.  However my fading memory pulled some cow history out of the grey matter while milking this morning.  I remembered we had dried 375 off very early because she had quit milking.  I didn't think about it at the time because she didn't look sick or anything.  I assumed she was wanting a long vacation.  I am now thinking she has a deeper issue.  I think it is sin...   Or perhaps cancer...   Cancer would explain why she wouldn't get up.  The tumor is putting pressure on the nerves and she can't get up.  Poor cow...  Poor me...  Such is life on the funny farm...

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Soul Searching

I didn't pay attention to when I last posted something.  It is has been far to long.  Well for some of you maybe it hasn't been long enough.  I have been searching my soul lately.  I have found this tends to be a good practice if it is done honestly.  For those of you know what council meeting is I have come to the conclusion that searching ones soul should probably happen more than twice a year. 
What I have discovered is the depth of my searching is directly related to how stressful my life is.  Is this a true statement: The easier your life is the less you search your soul.  For me this is true.  I tend to go about my life, trying desperately to hold all the loose ends together.  Suddenly I find myself waking up  at two in the morning, when I am not milking, and lying in bed pondering life.  Asking myself questions.  At this point in the process these questions are not soul searching questions as much as they are how can I fix the problem myself questions.  This tends to go on for days, weeks, years....   Ok I think that is an exaggeration but definitely days.  Last fall I was really struggling financially, still am to be frank.  I spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out how I was going to pay the bills.  I am sure you want to know the answer to this question.  I would like to know it as well.  There was no way we could pay the bills.  So I began a dialogue with the bank.  In the middle of this whole process I became more and more confused, depressed, moody and unhappy.  What a miserable way to live.  One morning I read I Cor. 14;33.  The verse speaks about God being the author of peace not confusion.  The only way to describe the feeling that came over me is to suggest that it was like the sun coming up.  The dawn of a beautiful day.  A morning with grass dripping with dew and the first rays of the sun are fiery orange with pink, lavender, and red mixed in.   Isn't it an incredible blessing to know that God doesn't want us to live in confusion?  That he wants us to trust Him and allow him to work. To bad this isn't easy but if it was easy we wouldn't need Him. This, my friend, is how I search my soul.  How do you do it?

Saturday, August 04, 2012


It seems that my head is empty lately.  I have nothing to say...  Which for some of you is a great relief.  I am currently listening to a cassette tape.  Do any of you remember those days?  My wife just flipped it over for me.  (Tapes need to be turned over if you want to listen to the other side.)  This is an old King's Heralds tape.  Another Rainbow.  Love the songs on this album and I am hoping VOP can record a few more of them in the coming years. 
It is amazing how these tapes that I listened to when I was child bring back memories from my childhood.  I remember my Dad taking classes at EMU one fall/winter.  The class was once a week and for some reason my brother and I went with him.  I think we were along to help with the driving.  Well, Jon helped with the driving I went along for the ride.  I remember one time we were traveling up in the rain and listening to this tape.  Anyway, I won't bore you with all the details, well actually that is not true.  I have shared with you all that remember from that experience.  It was nothing earth shattering or life shaping or perhaps it was.
 I remember another instance when Dad and us boys went to Baltimore, MD and attended a King's Singers concert.  What a thrilling event this was.  We spent the night in a hotel, which was unheard of for us, and the next day we went shopping, music shopping.  I don't remember how many stores we went to but we were sheet music shopping.  I also remember on this trip I had my first ever experience with someone wanting money for food.  If I am not mistaken Daddy took him to a little shop and bought him a sandwich. 
I remember another time when Daddy was doing research at UVA and he needed to make copies and we stopped at this little store and got a bunch of change.  I was the copy man.  Big stuff indeed.  Funny, I didn't know I spent so much time with my Dad...
I must admit I think highly of my Dad and I am so thankful for the influence he has had in my life. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

What Was That

Why would a tractor belch black smoke and cut off?  Why would a tractor continue to smoke, white smoke, while sitting still and not running?  For no apparent reason.  No loud unusual noises.  No knocking.  No warning.  Was it trying to be lazy?  I wonder...
This happened to me today.  I grabbed my handy dandy cell phone that has service occasionally and put in a phone call to my trusty mechanic.  I asked him this, "What does it mean when a tractor belches black smoke and then shuts off?"  His response?  "Not sure"  Then my cell service dropped and I was left in the peaceful quietness of the day.  Wondering how long it would be until the tractor was engulfed in flames.  I wasn't too worried I couldn't see any flames but the continual smoking bothered me.  Perhaps it was a sudden addiction to something.  Tractors are strange things at times and have weird addictions, sudden addictions apparently.  My phone rings, vibrates actually, I answer and it is Sonny.  He wonders what is happening.  I inform him that the white smoke seems to be increasing but the flames have yet to be located.  Well, I was informed that he was racing back with water.  (I was almost a mile from the hard top road.)  Those of you know Sonny will understand what the word "race" means in this type of situation.  I am assuming here but I bet that his head wasn't far from smacking the roof of the pickup.  Rough fields and driveways don't make good race tracks. When he arrived at the scene the smoke was still rising from the air filter canister.  Without water I didn't want to remove the filters.  I was afraid I would be unable to because of the heat and what if my trying allowed oxygen to the smoldering filter?  I was afraid we would have a roaring inferno...  So, after pouring water on things we took the air filters off and one of them was over half burned.  I had used ether to start the tractor and some how the air filter must have ignited.  I have never had such an experience before and would rather not have another.  Another malfunction episode...

Thursday, July 05, 2012


Putting together a family vacation is always somewhat of a challenge.  There needs to be things for children of varying ages to do.  You don't want to do to much or parents and children will be stressed out.  Vacation turns into something that isn't vacation.  Somehow, I feel like we have hit the jackpot this year.  We are staying at a lovely cottage in Mt. Joy PA.  The Oasis Cottage.  It really has been an oasis.  Lovely rope swing on one side of the house and a sand box and play ground on the other.  The only draw back has been the distance to the attractions we have chosen to visit.  There was some grumbling about going to Roadside America.  They wanted to know what it was.  I didn't know how to explain it other than tell them they were going to love it.   When we walked through the door and they caught there first glimpse of the attractions they were thrilled.  Trains, cars, water, the list is endless.  The other thing they seemed to really enjoy was the interaction at Turkey Hill Experience.  Loads of interactive games, computer games.  The free sample of ice cream didn't hurt anything.  We are headed for Sight and Sound this afternoon for the Jonah production.  This should be a highlight as well.  I think we have had a grand week. No, parents and children were not perfect.  Unfortunately we took our home attitudes with us.  But all in all I hope your vacation will be as great as ours has been... 

Thursday, June 28, 2012


You know, I was going to write something but the writing wasn't going where I wanted it to go so I discarded it.  Perhaps later it will do what I wanted it to do.  But, back to nothing.  My mind is somewhat blank and I have work to do.  There is a vacuum pump problem at the barn that needs to be addressed.  I have hay to bale.  I have 5-6 acres of new ground to sow.  And, truth be told, you probably have something better to do then read this so.  Until next time...