2016 is on its way out

Thursday, December 29, 2016

This is the time of year when you reflect on the year that is closing, and imagine what a new year will bring.  You do this for  your farm business, as you do for your personal life.  For the farm, it has been a significant year, with slightly improved economic conditions from ’15.  We anticipate that ’17 will be similar, but many things that will come to impact our operation are just plainly ‘un-knowable’.  As dad always told us, we plan for an ‘average’ year, at least weather-wise.  You also have a contingency plan for either favorable or unfavorable conditions.  For a farmer, it still is a huge matter of trust.  James 5:7b (NIV) See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 

Brandon is in the shop today, making the Pete shine like new!

To polish up the aluminum and stainless steel takes a lot of elbow grease...

To polish up the aluminum and stainless steel takes a lot of elbow grease…

I think I’ll take the day and start putting away the Christmas decorations.  The outside ones came down yesterday morning, and I hope I can get the two trees down today… if not, I’ll continue tomorrow.  It’s kinda fun to put up the decorations, and kinda like work to put them away.

John and I went to Purdue last night to watch the Boilermakers win big over Iowa.  It was fun to be there in the crowd.  The place was alive with spirit!  Even though the students were not back on campus yet, Mackey was a sell-out, and the fans were high energy!  They have a new thing that they do during the starting lineup…called “Boiler Lights”.  The fans download an app, and then while the house lights are dimmed in Mackey, thousands of phone flashlights blink on and off to the music.  It’s a pretty impressive effect.   Just being in the crowd brings a little bit of sentimental feeling too, especially when we hear the 14,400+ singing “Hail, Purdue”.  Yeah, it is a sweet time.  Gets me every time.

The team played pretty well, and the win was decisive.  Spent a lot of time on our feet, cheering on the Boilermakers!  The 8:30 start time made for a late night getting back home!  (It’s 3 hours to Purdue from here).  Thank you, Troy Clawson and Monsanto, for providing our excellent seats!

There has been a lot said about how 2016 was a terrible year.  Some folks are down about the election results, and there have been many famous people to pass on this  year.  I think we need to think about that a little bit, and put some energy into considering how blessed we are, too.  There is an old song we used to sing at church called, “Count Your Blessings”.  I think we forget to do that sometimes…we focus on our disappointments or our hardships, and fail to see the good things in our lives.  1Thessalonians 5:16-18 encourages us to remember that we are not without hope.  Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  Yes, every person has something that brings concern or pain or sadness.  But we are not alone.  Remember Joshua 1:9b  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.   So, when you hear someone who seems to have been knocked down by the cares of this world, gently remind them that they do not have to face their trials all alone!

Let’s look forward to 2017 in confidence and trust.   Happy New Year, everyone!




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