Jan 042015


“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” Isaiah 6:8″How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!’” Romans 10:14-15  

In his awe inspiring description of when he saw God, Isaiah says he realized how sinful, filthy, unholy and frail he was in the presence of an almighty, perfect and holy God. In the account a seraphim touches Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal from the alter and says his iniquity is removed from him and his sins are forgiven. In the same way when we confess our sins to God and accept Christ He “touches us” with His blood which He shed on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin (Romans 6:23) then we are purified of our sins (Romans 10:9 and 1 John 1:9) so that we can come to the throne of grace with a bold confidence. (Hebrews 4:16)What wonderful news it is to come to a place of surrender to the Lord after confessing we are wrong and He is holy and righteous. This good news of salvation through Jesus is something those who have accepted Him must share with others! Just prior to His ascension back into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God the Father Jesus left instructed us to do this very thing. (Matthew 28:19-20)

The above quoted scripture in Romans 10 shows how necessary it is for us to be as Isaiah and say, “I am here Lord, send me to proclaim your good news”. Jesus told us how our own agendas must be set aside (Matthew 6:33) to do what He tells us to do.

“And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” Matthew 8:34-36

texas-rgbi2In view of this I will share a little of what I feel the Lord is leading me to do. If all goes as currently planned, this coming year will be much different for me and here around the farm than in years past. I feel like the Lord is leading me to go down to south Texas and attend a missionary language school to learn Spanish.

Due to the location of the school being only about 16 miles from the Mexico border, Spanish is the predominant language in the area. Lord willing I will be staying in the dorms with a student from the Spanish seminary also part of the campus. With these factors I will be almost totally immersed in the Spanish language. I have heard immersion is the best way to learn so we’ll see!

At this time I plan to leave mid January and return around mid December. The full array of produce will not be available on the farm as in years past this summer, but Lord willing we will have you-pick strawberries this spring!

rgbi-signI doubt there will be very many, if any, farm updates this coming year while I am away. However, if you would like to keep up with what is going on down in south Texas I plan to post periodic updates on a separate page on our mitchellfamilyfarm.us website. We have not designed the page yet, but Lord willing it will be up and going by the time I leave in January.

If you would like to ask me questions in regards to my plans please feel free to do so but I will not take further space here. For more information about the school you can visit their website at: www.riogrande.edu/en

Boredom is not a word to describe life on the farm any time of year! With a beautiful and overall mild beginning of the winter there has not been a lack of things to do. Our very late killing frost kept us busy harvesting outdoor crops until the end of October. Even without the hoop houses going there has seemed to be plenty of other projects popping up to fill the time.

End of season garden clean up is coming along well. All the trellises, fencing and posts are now taken down and stored for the winter. The only exception is that the 15 minute garden is taken down but not stored yet…I have to dig out another 15 minutes one day to get that job completed! It really has been a fun experiment this season which I would consider being a learning experience and success.

Tomato and pole bean vines along with the okra and pepper plants all still need to be cleaned up. Most of the irrigation drip tape is rolled up now with the exception of one small section remaining.

Our cover crop of oats grew beautifully until the early major drop in temperature (down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit!) during the November cold snap which killed most of them off. I had hoped to get a little more growth on them before they winter killed but thankfully they have created a pretty good cover over the soil. The wheat on the other hand has really slowed its growth but is a beautiful green brown tipped carpet! Lord willing the clover we planted at the same time as the wheat will take over next spring as the wheat dies back.

Many projects besides the garden have also been occupying my time. Once again the Lord has opened up the door for me to cut and sell firewood this winter. Due to the mild beginning of winter it has been beautiful cutting weather! When David and Jena got married (they are doing well!) Jena handed over the her natural horse hoof trimming clients to me so I have been trimming several horses in the area. Another project I’ve taken on part time is clearing timber from along a fence line for another gentleman so he can build a new fence. I probably will be working on that project until the time I leave.

Since I will be leaving soon there have been a lot of small and large clean up jobs I have been tackling and want to finish here on the farm prior to my departure in January. My desk, the mini mountain, has been leveled part way and rebuilt some again… Secretarial work is not my favorite thing to do. That’s ok though because the other part of the job (outside) compensates for it! My bedroom also has been a secondary storage area for garden supplies and seedling starting along with overflow storage from my desk… my goal is to have it all cleaned up so Mom can use it as a guest bedroom while I’m gone.

The south half of the brooder which has now become garden supply and equipment storage has been an ongoing on and off again project for a couple months now. You might be amazed how much stuff you can get in a little area when you give it a major PHD (piled higher and deeper). There are also a few minor structural repairs I’m working on as well.

wormsI hope to pull the top feeding area of the worm bins off soon where I have baited the earthworms to come up and eat so I can clean out all the worm castings in the bottom part and refill the bins with new material for them to sort through and munch on.

Like I said, never a lack of things to do around here so boredom shouldn’t be a problem. From time to time I stop and think how many ways the Lord has blessed me…with strength and health, to be able to stand up, walk, talk and work…so many blessings I take for granted far too often. He gives me breath and life for each new day and work to do for that day. All my needs are provided for by Him. God alone is worthy of all my praise.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;” Psalm 103::1-2

If I don’t write again before then may each of you and your families have a blessed Christmas and New Year!

Farmer Joshua

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