A Benediction

Jacob Blessing Joseph’s Children Shoshanna Brombacher 2008

Hebrews chapter 11 is sometimes referred to, throughout much of Christendom, as the “hall of faith.” The author of Hebrews is celebrating those who have, in faith, gone before us and who serve as a blessing to those who are still living out their faith in word and deed.

Jacob is mentioned, among others, for a seemingly non-productive act. The writer of Hebrews is recounting Genesis 48 where Jacob offers a benediction upon his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh. At the protest of Joseph, their father, Jacob begins his providential proclamation; an act of great faith. Faith, to a secular world, will seem non-productive but its foundation lies in the letting go of production while trusting in the faithfulness of God and not ourselves. Where we honor accomplishment and achievement, God honors trust and faith in the One who achieved what we never could. The Gospel is the good news of what Christ has done and not what we can or even could do. What seems foreign to man is right to God and what is right to God seems foreign to man. Don’t expect the gospel to make sense as we are chained down by worldly thoughts, structures, economies and beliefs. Continue reading

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A Land to Till

Seven years prior was my first year.  Three feet of snow on the ground and a December wind owned the landscape on all 3000 acres.  It was estimated that the pheasant population in South Dakota was around 12,000,000 birds that year…a healthy harvest was inevitable.  At three birds a day each, we found our limit easily, despite an unfriendly terrain and unwelcome weather.  And as the sun set on the first day I grasped at time trying to soak in the seemingly endless horizon, the smell of agriculture, the piles of corn, the thousand cattle on a thousand hills, the brotherhood and the beauty of creation.  A creation like I’ve never experienced before.

Now in November, our pursuits find warmer temperatures and friendlier skies.

His name is Oakley Edie. Continue reading