Can We Change the World?  

Across the United States there are countless dairy women and men working hard to care for cows so they can produce high quality milk each and everyday.  It has been an honor to get to know more of them throughout my life and especially in sharing parts of their stories via my Facebook page earlier this year during the month of June.  At this time in my life I know the dairy business as a privilege.  It is a privilege to care for the beautiful creatures, and it is a privilege to care for the land.  The land and animals are not ours, we are merely stewards of them.  It is important that we seek to improve the care of both.  Thankfully there are countless men and women doing just that.  But I also realize that there’s so much more that all of us can do no matter our vocation.  This might be shocking but did you know that most cattle in the U.S. have cleaner water than 748 million people around the world do?  To do our best, to change the world for the better is something that leaders have been inspiring for centuries.  I believe we as people no matter our industry are trying to do better.  I know that we want help our fellow man.  In agriculture I believe we are trying to transparently produce food but further than that we need systems to transport that food where it is most needed.  More than that we need people with the desire to help and to serve with no agenda.  There’s a book, ImpactWe Can Change the World, I read this year and am reviewing regularly, it is by Kirk Gilchrist.  This is the description: 

Can we change the world? Can an individual actually have a part in shaping their environment? What about the United States of America? Did God raise up this nation to effect the world? And if so, why? Impact: We Can Change the World, helps us to understand how easy these questions can be answered it illuminates the realities that we as the church world and as a nation were created for exactly this purpose — to change the world. 
This booklet both challenges and inspires as it presents the jewels that make up the crown of sacrificial giving. Giving is not only our privilege, but we are created to function best as a giving people. We are called to change the world. And we can do it! Explore the how’s, and whys and dos that transform us into the most powerful servants on the face of the earth.

Why am I reviewing this regularly??  Because God has used it to changed my life.  It has helped me to understand that we were all created by a creator to keep creating for Him.  We are designed to give.  As Ana, I am called to change the world in the way that I can.  You too are called to change the world!!  We don’t know how to do that on our own, we need guidance, to keep growing and learning.  What we can know and trust today is that God can see what we cannot and so we must follow Him to get a realistic view of how we can impact and change the world around us.  One of my favorite books says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  How can a person who is separated from his or her creator function well?  How can a branch perform if it is cut off???  For example, when a cow has a calf we have to feed it colostrum ASAP.  The calf must have the colostrum!!!  WHY??  It’s immunity, life and future depend upon it.  In the same manner our lives depend on if we are fed spiritually from our life source.  One of the details farmers know about feeding colostrum is that it needs to be done ASAP for immunity so that nothing else tries to take its place, such as bacteria.  What if we as people had the same posture in feeding ourselves from our life source?  Could it be that you are like me and you’ve been missing the ‘colostrum’ a.k.a. words of life, and are deformed inside because other ‘bacteria’ a.k.a. negative messages about your worth and your value, or your past have taken its place?  You see when a calf gets the colostrum nothing can take its place and its immune system is strengthened, but if the calf doesn’t—bacteria come in and can cause damage for months or even years to the calf’s life.  Those bacteria rob the calf all that it can be.  You were created to do something extraordinary!  There’s a plan for you, to change the world in only the way you can!  Remember, consistency is KEY!!  A calf cannot miss it’s colostrum or meals and we can’t either!!  We don’t need to give the ‘bacteria’ a.k.a. negative messages about our worth, our value or our purpose, a chance to get in to our lives and rob us of all that we can be.  I hope that this inspires you to seek life giving words each and everyday, first!   

So can we change the world?  YES!!!  We have to stay connected to a life giving source, for me there’s only one source, God’s word—the Bible.  Whatever it is that you do, you can change the world!!  You were born to be a powerful person who brings something special to all that you put your hands and mind to do.

See what this message from God in Impact:We Can Change the World can do for you, order yours here today.  The world needs you.  

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Running to the King of Kings

The old saying ‘you can run, but you can’t hide’ was meant to scare however I would like to use it in a different context.  There are times when I have expanded my horizons in life, but it I compressed my time with God.  Not to say that all who expand their horizons spend less time with God, but for me that became the reality.  I put Him on the back burner where He certainly doesn’t belong.  At certain points I chose to run away from what He was placing in front of me.  Nonetheless, when God has a plan and a mission for life, it will come about.  We can run or deny it, and we can even get ourselves into a massive amount of distractions which is what I am good at.  That won’t change the overall plans He has for each one of us.  Truthfully there are times when I have felt very discontented with life, unsure of what my purpose is or what I am supposed to achieve.  But honestly, I have had so much to be thankful for because God has provided for me over and over again.  My discontented feelings come from the fact that I ignore His guidance in my life.  I have struggled with wanting to be my own god.  It is easy as we are born very self-centered beings.  We don’t naturally have the tendency to listen and obey, those are learned skills.  In my struggles with God’s will over my own, I have found assurance that God still wants me and His plan still reigns in my life.  When I listen to His voice, spend time in prayer, and realize that He is in control that feeling of discontentment leaves me.  I have also found great comfort in the books of the Bible, King David for example.  He was a mere shepherd boy to start out, but God gave him many victories in his life.  David grew in to a man and king that was said to be after God’s own heart.  (I Samuel 13:14 “the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people”)  David was a great king, but he stumbled too and decidedly went against the will of God at times in his life. Read here in 2 Samuel 11,

 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.

10 David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?”

11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents,[a] and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”

12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth[b]? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”

22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”

25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.

Though David knew his actions didn’t please God, he was self-centered seeking only to make himself happy and thus tried to cover up his mistakes.  David was a man of God, but he was human just like you and me and we all make mistakes.  The point is no matter what we do, Jesus Christ is interceding on our behalf and loves us so much.  He desires to give us a peace and a contentment like no other, but we have to listen to Him.  If you do not follow God, how can He lead you?  It is tempting to try life on our own, to think that we can do things our own way.  We can try, but it will not lead to peace.  God wants us to come to Him with our needs and desires and wait on Him for His call.  Life is filled with choices and it is silly how often we forget the importance of God’s love and guidance in our lives.  The most important choice that only you can make, is to follow Jesus Christ and allow His love to fill and guide your life.  No matter what you did in the past or what you are doing today, you can pray and ask for His forgiveness, love and protection.  When you feel like running, run to the King of Kings.  He has a plan each and every person He created, including you!  God bless you.

How to be the Best Valentine

As Valentine’s Day approaches we hear more and more about LOVE!  According to dictionary.com, love is a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.   People spend tons of money to be the best valentine in order to show their love.  This romantic holiday is very special for many, filled with flowers, chocolates, cards, stuffed animals and let’s not forget your lover!  There are so many ways you can show love to your special someone and others.  I think the dictionary has a super definition of what love is and that Valentine’s Day is a blast!  So here is an added bonus, how to be the best valentine for life!! 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, the New International Version (NIV).

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

You can give all the stuffed animals and chocolates in the world hoping that you will be the best Valentine ever, in reality it’s what you do to demonstrate love day-in-and-day-out that will matter.  No matter who you spend your Valentine’s Day with, there is a God who loves you just for you.  The video by Brandon Heath puts these words in a song.  Enjoy!

Chasing a Thanksgiving Life

Life is too short for an ungrateful heart.  As the years go by, though I am considered young I realize more and more just how much I have to be thankful for.  I realize the privileges I have had, though I didn’t always see them that way.  I realize how much I cherish my childhood, my husband, my family, my friends including animal friends!!  It brings tears to my eyes when I think about how much love others have shown me throughout my life, though it may have taken me days, months or years to realize.  We have no choice but to take life as it comes and do our best, keeping an open heart and mind.  Letting go of the way things were and embracing the way they are while enjoying all the stages in between.  Some days it seems a difficult task and others it is easy.  I pray that you, your family and your friends will enjoy one another to the fullest this holiday season.  Let people know how much they have meant to you and mean to you now.  Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog this Thanksgiving Day, God Bless you and yours.  Here’s to chasing a thankful life.  Don’t forget to thank a farmer if you ate a tasty meal today, or are about to!!

Let Them Know, Before You Have to Let Them Go.

Three simple words, I love you.  For some, they roll of the tongue easily and for others not so easily.  This can be for a variety of reasons.  In each of our lives, from the time we are born until we reach adulthood and far beyond; how often we hear those words is very important.  More importantly, when you have the opportunity to let someone know how you feel about them—-take it.  Yesterday in my dairy farming neighborhood of South Dakota, a neighbor passed away from an accident.  None of us know when our time is up, so we never know when the last time we can tell someone we love them.  Let those special to you know you love them, before you have to let them go.  

Chase Your Dreams and You’ll Find Your Path

This week is a time of change!  The only thing in life that is certain is change.  Everyday we all make hundreds of choices and our choices determine our path here on earth.  Home working on the dairy this week, I’m also spending time with my love, my closest friends and family, and getting ready for another adventure in California.  My time there last summer impacted me greatly and I look forward to spending more time there!  I will be working primarily with Dr. Daniela Demetrio DVM, the embryologist for Maddox Dairy and RuAnn Dairy.  I am certain that I’ll be blogging more about it in the coming weeks.  

It was not a hard choice to head back to California but no one can know exactly when cupid will hit you with one of those dangerous arrows.  A very inspiring individual walked in to my life over a year ago; I met him while I was working on my family’s dairy last August.  Up until a little over two months ago, I saw him here and there and always wanted to get to know him better.  Well it just so happened that he was coming to the SD State Fair this fall where I just happened to be working, and ever since my life hasn’t quite been the same.  I still love my God, love dairy, love my family, love life and have so many dreams and goals that I am chasing.  Romantic love isn’t something that I ever tried to have any crazy expectations for.  It isn’t something one can “plan” for.  As a typical girl I dreamed about falling for someone but I didn’t know it could happen so fast or that it would happen right now!  The greatest part about having a special person in my life is that I know he’s my best friend.  ”A friend is a hand that is always holding yours, no matter how close or far apart you may be. A friend is someone who is always there and will always, always care. A friend is a feeling of forever in the heart.”  Though I am headed to an exciting adventure I am feeling bittersweet about not being near my sweetheart.  It’s hard to part ways but I know that this is how it has to be for a little while.  A true friend wants what is best for you, and wants you to be happy, for you to chase your dreams.  That’s when you know without a doubt that someone loves you.  A friendship that turns into love is the best, I am so grateful for who God has placed in my life and in my heart.  God will always be my first love, but I am so thankful for how this man compels my strengths, challenges me to be greater, but does not doubt my determination or courage to do it, he believes in me and treats me like the woman that God made me to be.  

“The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.” —John Sculley.  In my life, I want to be the best me I can and look ahead for what I can do for others!  “The significance of a man is not what he attains but rather in what he longs to attain.” —Kahlil Gibran.  As I continue in this adventure, I am excited to keep raising my sights on what God lays before me and pray that as I make choices they will positively impact others around me!