Anecdotal Observations From Caucus Night

Attended my first political caucus Monday night.

I asked the lady behind us how the turnout compared to previous years.

“The biggest turnout I can remember, she said, …was two hundred people .”

( We found out later in the evening, there were close to three hundred that night.)

Three weeks ago, I went to hear a presidential candidate.  Same thing. This was a first time for me.  Went as much for the experience, as to hear them talk.  Had to go through two layers of security, then get  reprimanded by secret service afterwards for having my left hand in my pocket.  Came home with one of those political signs you can put in your yard.

I’ve always had mixed feelings when it comes to politics.

I definitely have my personal opinions (on some of the issues, and some of the candidates), but unless I’m asked directly by someone who genuinely wants to know my thoughts, I keep them to myself.

I have good friends, (and close family) on the opposite sides of many of the pressing issues of the day.

In our marriage, when we have a conflict over a hot button topic, it has taken years to learn how to work through certain issues,  and I’ll be darned if I will get sucked into a no win conflict with someone on the opposite side of something who may or may not abide by the rules of civil discourse.

Not going to happen.

Back to the political sign.

One of my neighbors spotted the sign this week.  Right away she started saying things that were not kind, nor accurate.  Wife (who has more patience in these things than I) began asking her a few general questions, to get her to be more specific.

Couldn’t do it.

She just knew so and so was bad, and her candidate was good.

I am not a political junkie.

I don’t listen to the talking heads on a regular basis.

I am a reader.

I love history.

We are on the fast track to repeat it on multiple fronts.

These are exciting time to be alive.

And Then They Were Gone…

Woke up this morning again thinking about something I saw when I was framing a garage on  the Johnny Jones farm.

Just to the east of the garage was a large pasture.  Probably 75 to 100 acres.  There was a small creek cutting diagonally through the pasture.  If you were a cow, that would have been paradise.  Steve Leytem (another farmer)  had a small herd of beef cattle grazing the field.  Once a day, Steve would stop by with a tractor and feed wagon, to supplement what they were getting off the field.  He had 4 or 5 long wooden bunks in the middle of the field, as soon as the cattle could hear the tractor coming down the road they would head to the feed bunks.

(Think Pavlov’s dog) 😉

One morning when we arrived at the job, I noticed several gates  set up close to the feed bunks…not all the way around mind  you just on 2 sides.

Cows are simple creatures, but they are not stupid. ….introduce something new in their environment, and they get nervous.

Steve dumped the feed into the bunks like normal, and within just a few minutes, the herd, overcame their fear of the gates,  crowded up to the feed bunks and that was that.

Two days later I noticed more gates had been set up..this time they were on 3 sides of the feed bunks…

Same  thing happened…when the cows heard the tractor coming down the road they got excited, ran over to the feed bunk area, but weren’t quite sure what to think of this new section of fence…eventually their desire for feed overcame their fear of the unknown and life was back to normal.

When we got to work two days later, there was an eerie silence in the field.

All of the cattle were gone.

They’d been loaded up.

I looked over @ the feed bunk area and it was completely surrounded by cattle fence…one last panel had swung open…to accommodate the cattle truck that had backed up to the enclosure.

The cows never saw it coming.

One minute they were free, the next, they were gone.

I’m tempted to tell you about the fences I see being set up right now in our country.

Not physical fences, mind you but just as real.

I can see them and  want to stay as far away from them as I possibly can.

Problem is, most of the herd doesn’t seem to care.

________________

I wrote this post November of 2012.  When I wrote it, while I could have listed specific fences  I chose not to.  It is three years later and I finally  get it.

After watching the Kitty Werthmann presentation and the way she described  the quiet, slow, intentional, methodical way Austria was taken over I now have a name for it.

Socialism.

When Socialism, (or any other freedom  sucking belief system comes to power, then look out.)

That cattle feed that magically gets delivered every morning by that nice farmer comes with a price.

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Just For The Heck Of It….

I’m going to give you a peek into my head tonight as I wind it down.

The song  Silent Running by Mike and the Mechanics is playing.

Actually, that song is the background music on a powerful 6 minute tribute to Anne Frank (Diary Of Anne Frank)

Mrs DM attended our local  high schools drama department’s performance of A Diary Of Anne Frank Friday night.

Saturday morning on my WordPress feed I read, then watched  Silent Running.

Then this afternoon Mrs DM  went to a short presentation by Kitty Werthmann an 89 year old woman who grew up in Austria and talked about her experience watching Hitler come to power in that country.  I had some errands to do so I didn’t go, but I did agree to watch the 50 minute DVD she brought home.

Wow.

Combine those two presentations and it puts several current events into  fresh historical perspective.

“When people fear the government, that is called tyranny, but when the government fears the people that is called liberty.”

Kitty  Werthmann

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(Normally I don’t have quite this much rolling around in my head as I hit the sack..wanted to share the joy.)  DM

Fear, Faith, Personal Responsibility, And How They Intersect In My Life

The area of the United States we live in is called “tornado alley.”  Homes in our area have basements.  When the weather man issues a “tornado warning” we head for the basement.  Now you don’t have to head to the basement if you don’t want to but if an F5 tornado happens to rip through your neighborhood, you’d better be ready to meet your maker 😉

Category F 5 tornado : 

      Incredible tornado (261 to 318 mph)  Incredible damage.  Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distance to disintegrate ; automobile sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 yards;  trees debarked; incredible phenomena will occur.

My point is – it is not a lack of faith to have a basement in our area.  It is common sense.

If you live in Northern Minnesota, you’d better be prepared to get snowed in and make do without electricity once in a while.  or be willing to suffer the consequences.

If you live in the coastal areas of Florida, while you may not have to contend with blizzards, you probably know how to prepare for a hurricane..right?  My point is there is no contradiction between preparing for storms and having faith.

With the current instability in the world today, it’s not surprising I’ve been wrestling with questions of faith, fear and personal responsibility.  This morning it hit me.  We as a family have spent the last 30 years learning how to walk by faith in such areas as:

Family planning

Finances (saving vs spending and giving)

Provision for the future (how much food to have in the cupboards)

Personal protection (whether or not to own a gun)

Work

Housing

Vehicles

So, for what it’s worth, here are some random thought on having faith and being prepared:

#1  If my personal security is in my money, my job, my brains, my gun, the people I know, even the country I live in..then I am just kidding myself.

#2  A wise man once said, “A wise man sees danger and makes provision, a foolish person walks naively into danger and wonders later what happened.”  Proverbs

#3  When I encounter an area of life that has got me distressed .  I will ask myself this question: ” If the worst case scenario did happen. would I be OK with that?  Is there anything I can do to make provision so that it wouldn’t happen?  ( I will then think through my options, my current situation and do what I can)

For example:  Let’s say I’m  wrestling whether or not to use birth control.  I pretend for a moment we won’t.  I’ll just “trust” God for his provision.  Am I willing to have 8 or 9 children (or more) and live with the consequences of that decision?  (foot note: please don’t make a negative comment here on large families or take us down the bunny trail of family planning…I will delete it.. I’m just using this an example)

Unless I have a very good paying job, practically speaking, I’m probably going to struggle financially….that’s just a fact if I chose to have a large family

#4  Read Matthew chapter  25:1-13 from the bible for some thoughts on personal provision and decide which group of 5 you would like to be associated with.

#5  Too many people today live their lives from week to week, check to check.  In most cases, that is not faith that is stupidity.  For years we as a family did just that.  until I was challenged with the goal of getting one month, then two months, then three months ahead with our budget.  I can’t tell you the difference that has made in the stress level of our home going into winter.  My income didn’t change, how we managed our money did.  If you want to know more,. drop me a note and I would be glad to talk with you about this one on one via e-mail.

#6  Even in the animal kingdom (ants, bees, squirrels, bears, mice) all make provisions for the lean months.  Me thinketh they are smarter than some humans. 🙂

#7  It is better to be prepared and not have to use it, than need it and not have it to use.  That has many applications.

#8  I believe we live in a broken world.  I’m an optimist with a good dose of reality.  Because we live in a fallen world, it is not a lack of faith to lock your doors at night.  Feel free to do otherwise 😉

#9  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Still makes sense to me.

#10  To use a word picture, I see the uncertainty in the world today like a major change in the weather pattern.  You personally may have never had to have to deal with an F5 tornado before now, but now you might.  Balls in your court.

Picture of a lion looking into the storm.

Final footnote – the analogy of preparing for a storm comes from my wife. 🙂