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Logo of 2019 Adventist Agricultural Association Conference: True Success

Devotional

Alan Seiler

Presenter

Alan Seiler

Operator of Better Together Farm.

Recorded

  • January 18, 2019
    6:30 AM
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The defaulter in heaven we just want to thank you for this opportunity that we get to gather here. And Lord I just pray that the words that I speak would bring grace to the hears and all only to the hearers Lord but to my own soul that needs it in her name we ask him in so I want to talk about what I call or have borrowed from another speaker but I will use it for my own purposes the rubber band approach and the idea is that in order for the rubber band to fly you've got to put pressure and strain on the bands to store up energy and then obviously you release it and the farther you pull back obviously not to the point of breaking. The farther of the rubber band or the more energy at least that the rubber band has to actually travel the distance and so I'm going to talk about 3 points where we're farming has either. Stretched me and how that's been a benefit or I've received the benefit of how it stretched others that makes sense so the 3 points are. It helps us ask better questions that's point number one point number 2 is it puts us in a better place to reach out to people struggling with the same problems. And point number 3 is it reveals to us our need of outside help OK So point number one. This is a point from our own farm. When we when we started well when I started getting interested in growing Well let's back up a few years there even on that my grandfather put in helped us put in our 1st garden it did it did well the 1st year but the next year we just didn't really know what we were doing. The next year. It didn't do so well because we didn't know what we're doing after that year it set idle for about 8 years as a weed patch the only utility that it had was it was a halfway point on a frisbee golf course that we had going around our property and you know you have to hit the fig tree in the garden and then and then from there you go and hit the other tree and and that's that's the utility that it had for us for about for about probably 8 years or so but after that point I start to get interesting that interested in it again but you see we never bought this land thinking that we were going to grow on it so it was about 2 acres of $6.00 to $12.00 inches of rocky top soil with bedrock underneath it was what we had to deal with and so over the next 8 years of actually growing there we meticulously. Took rock out of about a quarter acre of land that was interesting and then on top of that the soil was kind of out of whack to begin with and that was a trial and in itself and I can't say that we really ever got anything balance there per se. It was just a struggle kind of all the way through you know it's kind of depressing to degree to think back on that but one thing that it did help us with is it helped us ask the right questions OK And what I mean by that is the reality is that in farming you have to suffer to a degree in order to even know the right questions to ask. In knowing the right questions to ask is half the battle I mean usually here I mean I mean that's why you guys are here right that's why you're going to classes to hear from people that have gone through these problems because they have been knocked down so many times that they're able to share their experiences so that you know the hopefully the right questions to ask or what but regardless of whether you hear from someone else the reality is that you're going to have to be knocked down yourself to a certain extent inherently It's not an if it's a win and so you know embrace in that aspect of the journey and not looking at it as a drudgery but as an opportunity to be able to ask the right questions and this kind of move to my 2nd point it puts us in a better place to reach out to people struggling with the same problems now I'm going to I'm going to kind of come out this from from the receiving end of things my micro consulting that I work with is Widmore and he's not I don't know he's not here this morning but there's another guy by the name of Bill brush that is a water and soil consultant down in Modesto California that we've worked quite a bit with in and with more and I actually went to an intensive of his 2 years ago in St Louis he has people there's a room of about 80 to 90 consultants from around the globe every for from New Zealand to Germany to France to you know just all these different places and you know they're they're coming to listen to this guy because he's made a lot of mistakes you know I mean and he's and he says that he's like you know you know how I knew not to do this is like well I did it. And that's how it works it's interesting that we we spend so much time effort and money to go to hear people that have made mistakes. But the reality is that we know there's something about making mistakes that eliminates the broader Oh and someone and puts them in a position where we're willing to listen. And so I think that's probably one of the biggest things I know that. Immune mention this the other day as far as why are farmers so trusted I think it's because they've been knocked down so many times I mean literally there there's there's there's an experience there and I haven't gone through the whole experience but you know just listening to this guy Bill you know he's been in the industry for 5060 years he's made tons of mistakes and there's just a real ism about him a genuineness that you just don't get without having that experience and I really value that. It may feel most prized we're talking about soils here but we're talking about life OK this is what it's about and. I think that I think that moves to the to the 3rd point here OK and the 3rd point is it reveals to us our need of outside help and I think this is pivotal. Is that when when you're stretched when you're stretch like the rubber band it reveals things to you about yourself that otherwise in the absence of that wouldn't be revealed I have grown a lot and I have to honestly say that there's been some times on the farm where you sometimes doubt if you're a Christian. OK you go through things and it's like is my is my religious experience only as good as my best tomato crop. And if it's as good as my best tomato crop it's pretty bad at this point now we're learning but the reality is is that this last year we lost 80 percent of our production to blossom in Iraq because of some unforeseen. Well we're still working on that but I believe it's water quality issues and how that affects calcium uptake in any way to go off on that but you know it really makes you think sometimes it really makes you question your sincerity and your religious belief I think that's a good thing I think it's a good thing that we're put in positions where we honestly have to re-evaluate because the as one person says the UN of valuated life is not worth living and. That is. Yes it's it's really interesting how that works but not not just to the point where we have value A but that it shows us our need of outside help and namely in a religious experience that shows us our need of Christ in that something that I'm not saying that you can't learn this in other industries but farming really has brought this home to me in different ways because there's so much outside of your control there are so many variables at play and you see your need you see it every day you know sometimes you just don't feel like going out to your field because there's so many things going wrong well but why didn't she want to go out is because things are going wrong or is it because you don't want to face who you are as a person I think it's interesting and this is kind of my my closing thought here I find it interesting I just it just it just hit me a few months ago actually reading in the Book of Revelation Chapter 3 latter end of chapter 3 most of you know it's a crisis talking to the church of Laodicea And the thing that keeps Laodicea from being hot is not because they're not doing ministry and it's not because they're not doing certain things it's because they don't see the or need. If we if we want to get out of Laodicea we have to see our need but in order to see our need what is Christ say those I love I rebuke and chasten the aspect of the ability to to see our need requires rebuke. Sometimes from plants. And chastening which is not a pleasant experience but it's needful and I'm not I'm not sure where to go out because I know where it talks about by of me gold tried in the fire and why Raymond I step so that you might see the ideas that well the righteousness of Christ is the is the fire is the old tried and fire in the Raymond is his in the eyes that he gives to us. I find it interesting that even Christ to give us those rights isness he says gold but he doesn't just say gold he says gold tried in the fire it's required even for Christ was trial he didn't come to just come he came to suffer a man acquainted with grief and you know he he didn't need to do that but he did it to set an example for us of what we need and to to be able to look in to see our need but not just see our need but to actually go to the right source because many times people realize their need but they try to quiet it with things. And I have to be honest that I have done that I don't stand up here claiming that I know or have arrived I think it's interesting and I mention this last year and in the morning devotional talk there's a story about well this is not I don't even know if this is true but there was a movie that we watched about Martin Luther OK the great reformer and obviously he went through a lot of trials but in in the movie OK I'm trying to say this is what Martin Luther said but I found it interesting that he's talking with his superior whatever in the monastery and and the guy says I'm going to send you to Wittenberg to teach the Scriptures OK and he says Father I'm not worthy I can't teach the Scriptures I'm so broken I don't know what to do you know type of thing and he says Ah well we preach best what we need to learn most I need to learn this more than anyone and we need to look to that outside help that can only bring us the success if we try to look to things if it's empty have to find Christ and I want to finish with this poem by any Johnson Smith she was a poet at the turn of the century I believe. Orphaned at a very young age. Went through a lot of struggles in her life and I think because of those struggles it speaks volumes to the ability to write something like this but it goes like that this he give us more grace when the burdens grow greater he send us more strength when the labor increase to add affliction he added his mercies to multiplied trials has multiplied peace would we have exhausted our store of endurance when our strength has failed air the day is half done when we reach the end of our hoarded resources our fathers full giving is only begun. Fear not that I need. So exceed his provision or God ever yearns his resources to share lean hard on the arm everlasting of veiling the father both to the end I load will up bear His love has no limit his Grace has no measure his boundary sorry his power no boundary known to men for out of his infinite riches in Jesus he giveth and give it and give if it can. And that's all I have so let's close with the word of prayer Dear Father in heaven we've thank you for trials and what they show us about ourselves how they help us ask the right questions how they prepare us to minister to others who are struggling with the same experience. Lord May we never feel qualified in ourselves but feel qualified only in you may your grace be with us today may this conference not be an experience for only technical knowledge but for spiritual advancement may we see our need May we go to the right source in Christ Jesus may we buy gold tried in the fire from you white Raymond that we might see our true condition and we thank you that you love us enough to review can chasing us in your name we ask that this media was brought to you by audio force a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about you 1st if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W. Work.

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