Monday, November 28, 2005

The Christian Agrarian Plan to Conquer the World

There are many myths floating around out there on what we who advocate Christian Agrarianism think and believe. Some are honest misunderstandings, others are straw man type arguments. One myth is that we propose a retreatist agenda. Some think that we plan to drop out of society and live an isolated existence. While we do want to leave the current wicked system and, to some extent build our "own little world", we have great plans for that "little world" growing and replacing the old. Make no mistake, we believe that the whole world should be in subjection to Christ! Biblical Agrarianism is the only alternative we have. How has the Church fared in the industrial system? The worldly political, economic and social system we find ourselves the sorry heirs to, will see God's judgment. A system that is built on wickedness will not endure. What will replace the it? Will God's faithful remnant be willing to try and build a biblical system or simply resurrect the old. Can a handful of Christian Agrarians change the world, you ask. History has shown that the dedicated and faithful minority can do huge things.

Jon put it well when he was explaining why he and his family are moving in a more "agrarian direction".

Another reason has to do with St. Paul's admonition: Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to work with your own hands, to not be dependent on outsiders. It's not to say that much of the work I do is sinful, but when you examine the structures that undergird my work, they definitely are. Whether the socialistic government (I work for a company that derives the majority of its work from socialized government spending), or the unjust weights and measures of a fiat money system, most of my work (and most of everyone else's, too) would not exist. Some of this work might exist had we taken a Biblically permissible path -- but most of it, in its present state, is the result of breaking God's law at a number of steps along the way. So, I want for my sons to be able to work quietly, providing for their families, without depending on a system that is -- at many points -- in rebellion against God. All this to say, I want to give my sons a foundation in this.

So, to all that think we are a bunch of backward hicks that are "heading for the hills", nothing could be farther from the truth. It might take generations to accomplish, but we plan on changing the world. Put down that Wallstreet Journal, pick up a Bible and a pitchfork, and join us in our epic undertaking.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. For farmers, like myself, it still holds much its original spirit and intent. With the coming of fall we head into winter. The harvest done and our projects complete, we now reflect on another year of working God's land for His glory. We look back now with time to reflect, for the we are often (shamefully) to busy at the moment to notice God's provision in our daily struggle to subdue the earth and replenish it.

This time of year I always enjoy getting down my copy of the book by Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation. In many ways we who are advocating Christian Agrarianism are much like Bradfords people. We are trying to build a distinctively Christian culture while fleeing tyranny and wickedness. Consider this quote by Bradford....

"Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise."

We can only pray that our offspring will carry on our dream and not toss it to the ash heap of history like the offspring of these first builders of American Christian Culture did. Lets learn from their mistakes.

What am I thankful for?

I'm thankful for beef in the freezer and mason jars full of my garden harvest. For being able to scratch out a living on this little hill farm and not have to go "off to work" everyday. I'm thankful for a wonderful godly wife and two fine boys. I'm thankful that I can raise my boys here on the farm and watch them grow into men. I'm thankful for wood heat and cold beer. I give thanks for the many likeminded folks I've "met" here on the web. I'm thankful that the Christian Agrarian blogs are doing more than encouraging each other, they are bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many visitors who have have never heard it. I also thank the Lord that he uses our primitive, unpolished writing to strengthen his people. I received an email one day from a brother who had fallen away from the Lord. He told me that my writings and the other Christian Agrarian bloggers had helped bring him back to Lord. He was so joyful and upbeat, so excited about what God was doing in his family. I cried tears of joy that day. It is so humbling to think God would use our writings to help bring a lost sheep back into his pasture. Lets praise God for all his provisions!

Praying that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Release The Hounds!

I just got a Nite Lite catolog in the mail yesterday. Flipping through it reminded me of all the fun I had as a younster raising and hunting with..... Coon Hounds. I got to thinking, it just wouldn't be right to raise my boys without coon dogs. There is just something about runnin' throught the woods chasin' after hounds. I have it in my head that we will be saving a little money as we can, to get the boys(and their dad) a hound. If you want to learn about Coon Hounds check out this site They even have a spot to click that lets you listen to hounds treeing a coon! You can also learn all about Coon Dog breeds HERE. You might also like to check out The Christian Houndsman. When I was growing up we hunted in "Night Hunt" competitions and we had a local "coon hound club" that we belonged to. I can remember siting around listening to old men in overalls spin tales about their hounds. We would spend the whole night out hunting and come home just in time to start the morning milking! Great memories! I've got to go..........I just found 25 cents to put in the "dog jar".

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Checkin' In

Howdy all. Thought I'd check in and let everyone know I'm still alive and kickin'. I have not been on the computer much this week. I've been real busy justt trying to survive lately, not much time for commentary. With the feed shortage, we had to start grazing the 50 acres on the other side of the hill. Spent all morning yesterday in the cold rain stringing wire up. Now after milking the herd travels up the hill and across a road to eat. Its a long haul! We sold a few cows last week and I was busy getting ready for the guy to come and look at them. The wood pile is getting bigger. I have about 1/3 of what I'll need done. This last week I cut and split some red oak, white oak, maple, paper birch, and hickory. Just about every kind of hardwood we have in these parts. I have the new wood stove in the house. Still working on getting it hooked up to the chiminy. As you might guess, it turned out to be more of a challange than I had suspected. I have not had a chance to get any more traps out, not sure when I'll get time to. Last night I met with some neighbors that are putting together an Anti-FTAA speaking event in Binghamton on the 22nd. We had one last year and had about 90 people show up. Leah got the soap labeled and she has taken some to craft show thingy. The cash flow has not been doing much flowing the last month or so and I'm praying we sell some. Got some fresh beef in the freezer now. One of the bright spots about being poor but having land and critters is the meals never suffer. Last week I ate porter house, sirloin, and t-bone steaks for lunch ever day!

Friday, November 04, 2005

John's First Coon

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John and Noah, with some help from dad, set a couple coon sets the other day. This morning when John and I went down to check them, we had a pleasant surprise. Johnny trapped his first coon, and he was a big old boy. It was caught in a little cubby set they built out of shale. They dug out a spot on the bank and made three "walls" and I put a big slab of shale on the top for a roof. We baited with fish and guarded the entry with a 1 3/4 coil spring.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Teaching Children our Way of Life

One of the best things about farming is being able to work with your children. On the farm, we start 'em young, learning to work along side there parents. I am blessed to be able to teach my vocation to my boys at a very young age. Little John was riding the tractor with me when he was a few months old. I'd wrap him up in a sling, and we would head up the hill to spread manure. The noise of the deisel would lul him to sleep on the way home sometimes. Both boys have the chance to feed hay to the cows when they are in the barn. I few weeks ago John and Noah spent a couple of hours one morning feeding a cow baleage. One little arm full at a time, back and forth, up and down the manger they hauled hay until the job was done. They were proud of job they did. This is so important to little ones. I always try to find real jobs they can do. I very seldom make up "a job" for them. They can smell a fake job a mile away. They want to be like Dad. Yesterday John helped in the barn after breakfast. I found a fork with a broken handle for him to use, just the right size. He worked very hard and deliberately, cleaning the turds off the cow beds. Did a better job than some hiogh school kids I've hired! The most important thing to me was that he stuck out the job until it was finished. The day before I had to work on one of the tractors. A simple job that required nothing more than some wrench turning. Johnny did most of the job himself. I'll never forget the little guy standing there with his 1/4 inch ratchet, "Dad, thanks for sayin' I could help you. I can fix tractors now! I wanna tell Momma that I learned how fix tractors today." This from a 3 year old. Can you see why I don't mind working for peanuts? When I cut fire wood I always make sure to cut the skinny tops up. The boys always remind me to make sure I cut up "Johnny and Noah size peices". Then, when Mom and Dad are stacking wood, the boys can stack as well. It means so much to little ones to feel like they can do something of value. In many ways farming is as much "a way of life" as it is a business. When you grow up doing this kind of stuff, you don't really see at as "a job". What I mean is, I'd live like this no matter what. If I couldn't make a living with the farm, I'd still have cows and chickens. I'd still live like a backwoodsman. So, in alot of ways its like not having a job at all! I get to do what I love, and get "paid/?" for it as well. This is probably why so many farmers keep at it when the money is always short. Sure, the Multi-nationals take full advantage of this and pay us peanuts and keep us poor. You know what......I still come out the winner. I'm doing what I love, what I've always done. What my father and his father and his father before him have done. I don't understand the 9-5ers, and they don't understand me. I don't know if they will ever get it, some will and some won't. I don't wish them ill will. If it really makes them happy, let them have it. I've found that this kind of life is full and rich.