Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Christmas Song

The Light of Christmas
Words M. St. Germain and traditional Music M. St. Germain December 2007 to 12 - 26 - 09

From the Eastern Mountains. Pressing on they come.
Wise men in their wisdom. To His humble home.
Stirred by deep devotion. Hastening from afar.
Ever journeying onward. Guided by a star!
Where would we be? Without that wondrous light?
When you came to us? That first Christmas night?
What more could you do? To show us all the way?
All the world will see. Your wondrous light someday!

There our Lord and Savior. Meek and lowly lay.
Wondrous light that led them. Onward on their way.
Forever to enlighten. Nations from afar.
As they journey homeward. Guided by that star!
Gather in the outcasts. All who've gone astray.
Throw your radiance o'er them. Guide them on their way.
Those who never knew you. Those who've wandered far.
Guide them by the brightness. Of that guiding star!
Until every nation. Whether bond or free.
'Neath your starlit banner. Jesus follow thee.
O'er the distant mountains. To that heavenly home.
Where no sin nor sorrow. Ever more shall come!

"Sometimes it's a noble thing to fight evil, but this is not our mission, our task is to bring more light."
I started on this two years ago at Christmas time.
Now it's early for next year !!!

The Bridegroom Cometh

The Princes Bride
Words M. St. Germain Music Traditional Spring of 2009

Time for Me to see the world. Time for Me to leave this place.
I'm in love with a golden girl. Who longs to see My face.
She's been true to Me. In a foreign land so brave. Now the time has come. She won't have long to wait. She won't have long to wait.

I'm gonna take her home with Me. To the place where she belongs.
Gonna take her to the place. Where time goes on and on.

Yes, she's been true to Me. In a foreign land so brave. Now the time has come. She won't have long to wait. She won't have long to wait.

Even though she's suffered wrongs. Not knowing all it means.
Even though it's been so long. She'll know that it's Me.

And, she's been true to me. In a foreign land so brave. Now the time has come. She won't have long to wait. She won't have long to wait.

A beautiful melody and a beautiful love song. Beautiful metaphor.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Gift of Faith

The Real Gift of Christmas
"Every Englishman will do his Duty"

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch that beareth not fruit He taketh away, every branch that beareth fruit He prunes. Now you are purified through the Word. I am the vine and you are the branches. He that knows Me brings forth much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing. If you don't know Me you are cast into the fire and burned like dead dry prunings. John 15 : 1 - 6.

Naturally when I think of Christmas I think of the cross. This was the real gift of Christmas. What does that really mean for us though. We will spend eternity learning its significance. What more could God have done? Without the cross, or more specifically, without Christ on the cross, Christmas would be meaningless and futile. Along that same line, the first coming would be meaningless and futile without the second, which consummates our relationship, with the resurrection and eternal life. Seeing Him face to face!
I'm sure you've heard, each of us have a cross to bear. The important thing is to know that this is a wonderful gift. Jesus came in the middle of all the muck and mire of this earth to show us our duty. Yes this is the gift he gave. Without it we just wallow in one mess after another wondering why we have to. He is the vine, we are the branches. The pruning might seem painful, especially if we have the wrong perspective, but it is so vital.
In the tree business we have thousands of customers that pay good money to keep their trees neat and clean and strong. At the same time there always seems to be a majority that are neglected. Then Mother Nature comes along and makes up the difference. These are our customers too. It's always interesting to see different peoples response to the storm damage. The problem is, without the periodic pruning, they risk losing the whole tree or a major limb. Proper tree care and maintenance is what we call stewardship.
We are surrounded by storms and disaster and evil. It is the knowledge of God's Word the preserves us and protects us. We might still get swept away with the storm, but we are still prepared. No matter what happens we know where we are going and what road we are on. If we don't practice good stewardship we don't know Him. If we neglect the pruning in our lives we face the eternal fire ( God is the eternal fire.) and eternal DEATH.
I've said before, "True success is exactly proportionate to how well we know Him." How do we know that we know Him? It's as simple as 1 2 3. I John 2 : 3 "Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments."
What would you think if I said, "True success is exactly proportionate to how well we keep ourselves from idols as stated in I John 5 : 21." Isn't this our duty? This is talking about the first four Commandments. Idolatry is so much more dangerous today. Now we have all these fantastic images that we can't live without. They talk to us, sing to us, dance for us, and they carry us around so much better than a horse or our own two feet, ( so we think ). It's amazing to me, NO ONE even thinks of it as a violation of the second commandment, not to make anything in the likeness of anything God has made. Why do people think that all of their redundant bottled and canned noise and filth is so much better than the bird's singing, or a real person playing and singing, or the babbling brook, or the wind in the trees, or the feel of a horse under you?

What would you think if I said, "True success is exactly proportionate to how well you honor your parents?" If they are true to their calling for better or worse for richer or poorer, isn't it your duty to follow and support them? If the mother and the children depend and rely on the father shouldn't he direct in their lives, and in family government?
Of course this brings us to the 7th Commandment. This is where true success is usually lost before it is found. If the husband and wife are not on the same page, "minding the same thing, walking by the same rule." Philippians 3 : 16, submitting to the higher power, and living by faith, what a disaster.
This is just common sense. Why do you think the British were so successful? Everyone did their part. A chain isn't any stronger than the weakest link. Anything else is foolishness. "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. Don't you see? This is the same as saying there is no law or no authority. That sounds to me like the world today.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Righteousness by Faith

"A Wise Man Provides an Inheritance for his Children"

Obviously I'm trying to be provocative. If you have read much of my blog you know that I am a little hard core about addictions. Crackhead has come to be a general term for anyone addicted to anything, often as a joke. Believe me, I have been called a crackhead because I can't remember anything. No brains no service so they say.
To me, this is the Bible definition of an addict, a crackhead if you will.
Philippians 3 : 18 & 19. "....enemies of the Cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, Whose GOD is their Belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."
Now, from the same source, a description of discipleship.
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore as many as would be perfect, be thus minded, and if any in anything be otherwise minded God will reveal this unto you. Nevertheless, let us walk by the same rule, let us all mind the same thing." Verses 14 to 16.
I Corinthians 9 : 24 - 27. "...they which run in a race all run, but one receives the prize. So run that you may obtain. ...every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. So I run and I fight, not as one that beateth the air, but I keep my body under subjection so that when I preach I myself will not be rejected."

This is a pretty good picture of Righteousness by Faith. Many would interpret it as righteousness by works. What's the difference? The opposite of Righteousness by faith is; unrighteousness excused by grace, which is really self-righteousness. God covers our unrighteousness, but He doesn't excuse it or condone it.
We are judged by our works, but we are saved by grace. He has us covered. The best definition is; we are saved by a relationship, by knowing Him. The way to know Him is to follow Him. This is called discipleship. Pressing toward the mark, winning the race.
Righteousness by faith is a process. It doesn't matter where we've been or even where we are. It's where we are going from this moment on. People have always been easily confused about faith and works. It's so simple though. "No one will be saved by their works, but no one will be saved without them."
"Most of our sin is laziness, the rest of it is ignorance, and it's all selfishness." You can't just sit on the couch be justified. You have to get up and get to work and to school. Keep trying, don't give up and don't look back.
What does this have to do with providing an inheritance? It's all about family. Not just your own family, but the whole family of mankind. The older I get the more I think about what kind of an inheritance have I provided for my family. The older I get the more I realize it's not about money or things. You know the old saying, "The best things in life are not things." Probably the first thing I've tried to bequeath to my children and anyone else I've tried to help to grow up is to control their appetite. People don't realize how critical this is. Addicts are made not born. If children haven't learned good habits of eating and drinking at home, they're not going to learn them at school or work. Naturally the best way is to be an example and to be there.
I would never abandon my dog let alone my family for: one beer ( even if it was free ), or one cigarette, or one tattoo ( I've never seen a tattoo that looked good, that didn't look dirty.) or one mutilated body part with hardware ( talk about rude and irreverent ), or one horse ride when my kids are left behind, or any selfish wasteful vacation when so many of the family of man are starving, or one football game, or one idolatrous ( bottled ) song to listen to while my children are ignored, or even an hour work out when there's real work to be done.
I am amazed how many so called Christian people in this country can justify any and all of these things because they can afford it. It's all right if you have the time and the money to provide that kind of an inheritance. "Prosperity is the most dangerous thing to spirituality." Also, "Prosperity produces a mass of professors." Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it to. Waste as much money as possible and profess to be somebody or something at the same time.
Now we have produced a generation of people who are "...lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God", "who don't know clean from unclean...holy from unholy", "who's god is their belly", and like the people of Nineveh, "...don't know their left hand from their right." Of all the things you can imagine, they call it Jesus.
The time is come for history to repeat itself. It's time to take our medicine. Time to be really poor. The last great " time of trouble", that will produce a remnant. "How fortunate to be poor" Luke 6 : 20.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Living by Faith

Are You a Welfare Case?
Freedom or Slavery

I've always said, "The definition of a welfare case is; someone who won't work unless they're paid."
I know what you're thinking, "I go to work everyday, I'm not a welfare case." Are you sure?
The Hebrews had been in Egypt for 400 years, they went to work everyday, and they were on guaranteed social security. All they had to do was show up to work and all their basic necessities were provided, and they had the protection of Pharaohs army. 40 years in the wilderness was not enough for most of them to learn to live by faith.
Without the wilderness experience very few would have been able to handle freedom. Along with freedom comes uncertainty, insecurity, doubts, and fears. It's much easier to be a slave.
A welfare case has no work ethic. It's no matter that they go to work everyday or how much they make. If they're not getting paid they're not going to get too excited. Even if they make the big bucks they still have no work ethic. They can just hire servants to do all their menial tasks. Their welfare is at the expense of cheap ( slave ) labor. If they don't make the big bucks they can't pick up their messes or paint their house or clean it, etc. No one's going to pay them to do it.
If they can't get their wife or mother or kids to do it, the garbage would just pile up.
The funny thing is, if people have no faith, it's all about money. They would rather work for minimum wage than be free and independent. So, it's not really about money, it's about security.
"If making money is your first priority, you have your head on backward and you will end up with nothing but eternal death." Life is too short to spend being a slave. Rich or poor you should be true to your calling.
Jesus quoted the Old Testament and the New Testament writers said the same thing. "The just shall live by faith."
Most people live by fear.
Who are the just? Those that are justified. In other words, "The forgiven shall live by faith." How are we justified? It's in the first commandment. "I am the Lord your God that brought you out of the house of bondage, thou shall have no other gods before me." No one escaped Egypt without the blood sprinkled on the door post. It had nothing to do with how rich they were, or how hard they worked, or how perfect they were, or how well they kept the commandments, or how good looking they were, or who they were related to. "There's no other name given under heaven wherein we are saved." Under the Old Covenant it was the blood of animals, under the new it's the Lamb of God. It's really one and the same. The blood of animals pointed forward to the Messiah, now we look back at that completed work.
The sad fact of the matter is; without faith you cannot handle freedom. If I turn my dog loose, being in town here, he just runs off looking for females to love and males to fight. He has to be in bondage. Unless we go into the wilderness, then he can run free. He doesn't have any morals. He's just a dog. How many people are in prison because they have no self-control? How many need that slave job to force them out the door on time every morning?
So many times I've hired people and treated them like they were free, and expected them to be self-motivated, and self-disciplined, and to give an honest report. Most could not handle it. It was only a matter of time before they accumulated enough rope to hang themselves. What do you know, they wind up back at MacDonald's or WalMart, working for peanuts.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lessons From Natural Horsmanship

Through the Eyes of a Child
Children Need Training, Not Discipline

There's no such thing as a bad horse. There's no such thing as bad kid. There's no such thing as a bad person! If a horse kicks, is he bad? Is it just a bad habit? Is it just what horses do? If he is allowed to kick it's not that he is bad. It's just his natural inclination. The result of a lack of training. Anything short of this is Nazism. There are people who sort through horses like tomatoes and can the bad ones. Hopefully no one does this now with people the way Hitler did.

Children might need discipline all right, but only because they missed out on their training somewhere. You can imagine, discipline can really get out of hand with a lack of training. Even to the point of abuse. This happens with horses all too often. There's a lot of people that are just animal lovers and have no business owning a horse. There experience with horses is usually short lived. The same can be said of many parents now. They mistake love for permissiveness. they think they just need to love them to death. If you do this with a horse he's liable to kick your head off someday. At least he is going to throw you off and leave you in the ditch. What good is love if you haven't done the work?

My Dad was a World Champion Cowboy. He wasn't that great of a horseman but he really worked at it. He used to say, "I better get out there and work with that colt or he'll grow up to be an idiot." I remember someone complaining to him about the problems they were having with a horse. He said, "Just get on that horse everyday and ride all the way to the end of the road and back." About 10 miles I think it was. There's always all kinds of details and imperfections, forget all of that and just put in the time.

If you let your kids run with the herd instead of with you. What do you think will happen. There's no substitute for being there. The only thing worse than leaving them for someone else to tend is leaving them unattended. "The only thing worse than doing nothing, is watching television. At least if you are doing nothing you might be thinking."

If - YOU - are going to raise your children, remember they are generally going to emulate you. If you want your children to behave properly. You have to behave properly. If you have your head stuck in the television and so do they. Forget it! What a disaster. How can you compete with what they are seeing there? The best television programs are not going to raise your children. Most if not all of the best programs would be better if you just read the book. If the child isn't mature enough to appreciate the book, he surely shouldn't be watching it.

One time we were at Jack in the Box for dinner. ( veggie burgers ). This mother came in with her 6 kids. Ages of about 1 to 10. She must have been 30 or so. They were all so quiet, and they flocked right around her like little chicks. No one even noticed there were 6. I actually counted. I couldn't believe it. She only had to whisper. Reminds me of the old saying. "Words that soak in are whispered not yelled." Also, "You can tell a good trainer by their voice." "Silence is Golden", this should be the atmosphere in the home. How can little ones learn their manners if there is chaos; idolatrous ( canned ) sounds and images every where. Then we wonder why they have attention deficit disorders.

Everyone should study Pat Parelli's book "Natural Horsemanship". He talks about the three big lies of NORMAL horsemanship. One, "You pull to stop", two, "You kick to go", three "You just jump on and go". He didn't include yelling because it's implied. Obviously you don't yell at horses. You want to keep in mind the ideal. Good horsemanship is like good stewardship. It has to be built on a relationship. What does a ship have to do with it? Smooth sailing requires smooth communicating. Ultimately your horse knows what you want from the slightest touch without a word. He slows down when you relax a little, he turns with the slightest pressure from the single line against his neck, he stops when you completely relax, he starts to go with the slightest squeeze of your legs. You are careful how you introduce new things to him. Once a horse learns the right way he never forgets. If he has a bad experience he doesn't forget that either. They are never just ready to go if it is something they haven't encountered. It's easy to break a child's spirit by giving them an assignment they are not ready for, and then demanding they do it.

Parelli talks about the different levels of horsemanship. From the beginner to unimaginable levels of skill. He gets horses to do any kind of maneuver completely naked. Running, jumping, spinning, etc. No lines, no saddle, no bits, no spurs, nothing. Then he gets them to do things from 50 ft. away. It's all about building on that relationship between a human and a horse.

So many times I've seen parents who were going to make sure their kids were under control, only to have it backfire. "Control freaks ultimately loose control." They try to force them into a mold and make them conform. All of sudden they are in shock when their children develop a mind of their own and go their own way. Whether it's at age 13 or 18. There is a saying, "The definition of a great man is, one who keeps the hearts of his children." By the same token, I've seen people with dogs or horses that were confined, isolated, and restricted to the point they were completely uncontrollable. The resultant problem is, they can't handle freedom. They've never been free. When I get a dog or a horse like that, I start to give them freedom whenever and wherever I can. The best way to accomplish that is to have good dogs and horses there that follow your commands. "Parenting is not about hanging on, it's about letting go." From the earliest age you begin to let them make their own decisions and learn from their own mistakes.

Another reason things backfire is because we try to play God. Instead of learning from Nature, we rely on our own great inventions, we think we are so smart. Definitely smarter than our kids, right? "God made man upright, but he has sought out many inventions." Even the old timers had trouble here. Children were barely tolerated.

If you want to have a relationship with a child they have to have fun doing things with you. No matter if it's work or play. Initially you will encounter resistance. Once they get going though, they want more. If you work with your horse everyday pulling logs or whatever, pretty soon they are not happy unless they get out and get their quota.

Here is a quote from Pat Parelli to end with. "You never work with your horse, only play, you work with yourself."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Particular or Peculiar

"What most people do when they have half a mind to."

"...if you obey my voice and keep My covenant, then you will be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people." Exodus 19:05. Just one example from the Old Testament.

" are a holy nation, a peculiar people, you should show the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 1 Peter 02:09. One example of a resounding paraphrase from the Old Testament here in the new.

Who were these Hebrews? The word Hebrew means "stranger", or more precisely, "from the other side", or "not from around here." In other words, "not from this planet!"

Do you think this was just for Old Testament people?

In the New Testament we find the word "Church". Which means, "Called out." Sounds like an echo from Revelation. "Come out of her My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins."

The question is. What makes God's people so peculiar? Why should we be different? How should we be different? Who are we?

You might be surprised to learn, it's work ethic. That's right, true work ethic is what makes the difference. I need to explain of course because most people have no idea what I'm talking about.

This is because "The natural ( normal ) man receives not the things of God, they are foolishness to him, because they are spiritually discerned." I Corinthians 2:14.

What is true work ethic? Being a slave to no man and making a slave of no man. This brings to mind first and foremost the Amish, whom I have always said are a great witness in the earth. True work ethic is being a farmer, nurturing the land and the animals, and teaching your children to enjoy a good honest days work, irrespective of the pay.

I deliberately skipped over the first and most obvious reason God's people are so peculiar, mentioned here in the first quote. The Covenant, the Law, the Ten Commandments, the statutes, THE AGREEMENT. The principles God delivered through Moses to be a perpetual standard throughout all generations.

What is the opposite of God's Law (work ethic)? Lying, cheating, stealing. It's all laziness. The Commandments are about working 7 days a week. It's a 365 day a year commitment to God and family and the entire family of mankind.

Please don't get confused here. Every false religion is based on the idea that we can save ourselves by our own efforts. We are judged by our work, but we are saved by grace through faith. No one is saved by their good works because we have all fallen short. At the same time, no one is saved without them. We all have to work. There's no free ride. Without the principle of the grace of God there is a myriad of works oriented religion.

This is all just plain common sense religion. Without faith the only solution is to eat less, work harder, and cheat more. In other words, survival of the fittest.

Here is the conclusion then. "God is Love." His Law is a simple definition of what love is. True Love amounts to a lot of hard work. People mistake Love for permissiveness. If you loved me you would give me what I want when I want it. No one gets a free ticket to ride in this world. The ticket to heaven though is free. He makes up the difference, otherwise no one would qualify. At the same time work ethic is everything. Whether it's mental, physical, or spiritual.

"Behold I come quickly and my reward is with Me to give every man according to his work..." Revelation 22:12

John's vision of the judgment. "...I saw the small and great stand before God, and the books were opened, and ( they ) were judged according to their works." Revelation 20:12.

Now you know what's wrong with the world. People don't know what Love is. It's so easy to say "I Love you." This is why Jesus had to say, "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another." Even though He gave us His Law in the beginning, He was the first to really practice it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Are You Listening?

I Can't Help You !

True success is exactly proportionate to how much you love the Truth.
True success is exactly proportionate to how well you know Him.
True success can only be estimated in the light of eternity.

I want you to understand how completely, totally, absolutely, God is in control, of everything. I know that is hard for most to believe, so I am going to try to explain it so you can understand.

You've heard the old worn out line. "If God exists, how can He allow so many terrible things to happen?" Why all the suffering?

I think of all the people I've tried to help over the years. Most of them desperate and destitute and unable to find a job anywhere else. Almost without exception they succumbed to their own devices. There was really nothing I could do for them other than provide a momentary solution to their problem. While they were busy chasing the money they missed the boat. "People ruin their lives with their own foolishness, (Lawlessness), then they are angry at God." Proverbs 19:03. "What ever you do in life, it can't be about money." "If making money is your first priority you have your head on backwards and you will end up with nothing." "Fear God and keep His Commandments." Ecclesiastes. This is mans first duty.

The question is; Is God in control of your life or are you? Just because God lets us self destruct does not mean He is not in control. He controls what He wants. Everything else is our own devising and we reap the results. However, when we put Him first, He makes up the difference, now and in the future. It might not seem like it, but He knows what is best for us. We have to trust Him. "The just shall live by faith."

The fact is God is waiting to bless people, but too often we don't know who He is. In fact, when He comes back what does He say to most people? "Depart from Me, I never knew you, ye who practice Lawlessness."

The problem is we are so SADD. We have Severe Attention Deficit Disorder. God has given us His Word, the perfect solution. We are the ones that can't pay attention. We have to have it our way. We have to be our own God. Without God's Word there is only my opinion verses your opinion. This of course results in endless chaos and controversy.

So, if you think I can solve your problems, fix your finances, cure your addictions, heal your body, mend your soul, you're looking the wrong way. The only thing I can do for you is to try to get you to pay attention to God's directions. Once you start to understand His Law you will start to understand Him. Then there is no end to what He can do for you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tree ditty

Trees are Wonderful Things
Words and Music - M. St. Germain - 1990
Trees are wonderful things.
They keep things bright and green.
They protect us from the weather and all.
Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall.
Some folks say, who needs trees.
Who has time to rake those leaves.
Cut the care and fertilizer.
Cut the tree and get an air-conditioner.

Hey, trees are wonderful things.
They make the air pure and clean.
They insure a home for every creature.
And that includes you, you can be sure.
Some think they can live apart from Nature.
And don't give a hoot about the other Creatures.
Spoil the land for money and ease.
Oh well, some day we'll have plastic trees!

Trees are wonderful things.
They could supply all of our needs.
Trees are the answer to the problems we face.
Gas and oil have a dangerous fate.
Every road with noise and pollution.
Should be lined with trees. The best solution.
Care for your forests and care for your trees.
They're not anyone's to do as they please.

Hey, trees are wonderful things.
Think about the life they bring.
'Cause when the land dries up and blows away.
You know it will be too late to say.
Trees are wonderful things.

Trees are the Solution

Trees are What's Important !
Everything depends on good Silviculture

I know I sound like a broken record sometimes. I've always said everyone's favorite thing is, building soil, whether they realize it or not. Everyone likes to eat and be healthy, right. Well I just changed my mind. Obviously good farming is important, but we won't do anything without trees. What I'm saying is, everything actually depends on good forestry. Without trees all you will have is sand. You can't grow anything in sand. Which came first, the soil or the trees? Trees create and protect soil. The whole planet and everything in it is irreducibly complex. Nothing survived millions of years without trees or soil or eyes for that matter.
In recent years there has been this campaign to tear out the dams. Mainly to save the salmon. Who's going to pay for it and all the restoration I would like to know. The dams aren't the problem. It's what we are sending down the river. The chemicals and the pollution and the sediment. What's wrong with doing quality logging and farming? Is that too radical?
Many scientists now are saying that the biggest most important thing we could do to reduce carbon emissions is to farm organically without artificial fertilizer. Is that too radical?
I've been involved in doing quality logging with horses for over 25 years. You have to get out of your car and walk through the woods to tell we've been there. I'm not aware of any kind of true natural selective logging being done anywhere around here. Maybe in a few private woodlots around the country. 99% aren't foresters at all. They're just equipment operators and mechanics. It's against their religion to do anything manually. When you can see what they've done from 5 or 10 miles away it should tell you something. If you are going to do real quality restoration forestry and leave a diverse forest behind, the horse is the best tool. This would create jobs for more people and less for machines. Too bad it's just too radical. We'll just spend a few billion and dismantle the dams and replace them with big freeways. At least it wouldn't be considered too radical. Think of the short term millionaires it would create. Of course they would all be good environmentalists.
Speaking of environmentalists. What have they done? Do you see them out there showing us good stewardship practices? "Environmentalism without faith is phony." They don't believe in any kind of Biblical stewardship. Horses aren't supposed to work, neither are people! We are just another animal. It's okay though to play god. We can create robots or chemicals to do our work for us. The industrialists are raping the hell out of northern Idaho. The only thing environmentalists have done is put small quality operators like myself out of business. They carry on one campaign after another to save the fish, save the birds, save the wolves, etc. WHAT ABOUT THE TREES !!! We aren't going to have anything without trees.
Most of our farmland is totally dependent on chemicals and nitrogen. Without them nothing will grow. The only thing that will grow is trees.
Every unproductive piece of ground, every place that's too wet, every roadside, every creek bank, should be growing a wide variety of trees. One of the reasons they aren't is because some evolutionist wants only native plants that were there before. The desert has to stay a desert, nonsense. We need more trees. Some of these intellectuals are the same ones who had the bright idea to bring Spotted Knappweed over here from Australia to control erosion!
I've always said, artificial fertilizer is the single worst invention that has happened. For years now, most people would say that it is the greatest thing that ever happened. This is how we are able to feed the world, hooey. This is how we are destroying the world. They are using NPK worldwide. Everyone is adopting our great American farming practices. How wonderful. No one has to be a small farmer.
This is by far the largest producer of carbon emissions. Plowing and NPK. Nothing else comes close. I still say the problem with the world is, no one wants to be a poor subsistence farmer and no one wants anyone else to be a poor subsistence farmer.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sola Scriptura

C.O.E.X.I.S.T ?
There's only one true religion.

All religions fall into three main groups. Monotheism, polytheism, and atheism. Monotheism includes the Biblical perspective of the triune God, the three in one, the three are one. It also includes the Biblical view of the Creator God. Polytheism includes the eastern mystic religions with their innumerable gods and there ancestor worship. Also variations of heathen and pagan. This even includes some groups who claim to be Christian. If you can imagine that. Then of course Atheism includes, communism, humanism, and essentially agnosticism.

Now let's get a little more specific. What are the seven primary religions of the world?
One - Atheism.
Two - Eastern Mystic.
Three - Judaism. - Originally the true religion.
Four - Islamic.
Five - Catholic. - Originally the true church.
Six - Apostate Protestant. - Originally a true movement.
Seven - True Protestant. - Sola Scriptura.

Religion defined is simply what we believe and practice. You've heard people say, "I'm not religious." The fact is, everyone belongs to one or more of these groups. Yes, atheism is a religion, and they are getting organized!

The question is: "Why can't we all just co-exist?"

Every war, and conflict, and controversy has been, directly or indirectly, the product of false religion. You would have to be totally ignorant of history or some kind of a fool to think that we will ever peacefully co-exist.
Let me put it this way. Anything short of true religion is to some degree terrorism.
How can you co-exist with terrorists who learned it from their religion, their traditions, and their parents and grandparents all while continuing to teach their children terror?

Remember, the worst terrorists are always on a mission for God!

There's only one way. It's called the cross. God sent his Son to show us the way. He did everything right, and many mighty works of righteousness. That didn't matter. The religious leaders would never acknowledge that He was right or that they were wrong about anything. This has been going on since Cain and Able. Cain killed his brother because God had no respect for his man made religion. He made a great sacrifice, but it was without blood. "Work without faith is vanity."

By the way. Do you know where you find the blood in the Ten Commandments? The very first. "I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." No one escaped without the blood sprinkled on the door post. It was nothing to do with how perfect they were. It was an act of obedience and faith that saved them and made them free. "Every false religion is based on works. The idea that you can be good enough." There are only two kinds of people. The righteous and the wicked. What's the difference? We are all sinners and desperately wicked. The righteous acknowledge God's sovereignty and authority in His Law. Psalms and Proverbs. However the Law doesn't save us, only the blood.

I know what you are thinking. "I'm glad I'm not one of those Muslim terrorists." You might be surprised. Let's go through this again.

Atheist. Survival of the fittest. No morals, only human ethics. A terrorist religion.

Eastern Mystics. Hindus and Buddists are killing Christians by the thousands right now. Just like they were in the time of the Boxer Rebellion. This is doing them a favor. They will come back in another life. Terrorist religion.

Judaism. Not really a terrorist religion originally. God is the only judge and executioner. In times past God's people executed His judgments. Obviously, when they go on the offensive without a directive from God they are terrorists.

Islamic. You be the judge.

Catholic. Originally a true witness to the Cross of Christ. Now, if you are not baptized in the Catholic church you are going to burn in hell forever. This is why all good heretics were burned at the stake. Their invention of the most destructive doctrine of eternal torment has produced more infidels than any other. Terrorist religion.

Apostate Protestant. Most of these are just daughters of the Catholic Church (Revelation). Some of them really heap on the hellfire and brimstone. If you're not baptized into their club, you will suffer the last plagues and then burn in hell forever. This is all just confused misinterpretations of Scripture. The Bible says the righteous will endure the everlasting fire (God is). The wicked will be as ashes under our feet. God destroys the wicked ultimately. He is not a terrorist though.

Why all these religions with all their adherents? Most of them were started or distorted by someone. It's always been easier for people to believe in a man. If we would just read the Bible for ourselves we would all pretty much be on the same page. Anyone with a 5th grade education can read Genesis and the Ten Commandments. Why do we need a "Doctor of Divinity to tell us why it aint so? If you get off track with the basics there you will wander. This is why there are over 1200 Christian denominations. Everything, especially our interpretation of the Bible has to be built on the Rock of Ages. Jesus was and is the embodiment of that Law. He gave us the Ten Commandments and had them placed in the Ark between the Cherubim. The holiest place in the Holy of Hollies. In the heavenly sanctuary, His dwelling place is between the Cherubim(Psalms). The Law of God represents Him and His character. When He comes back He says to most people, "I never knew you, depart from Me, ye that practice Lawlessness."
There's only one true religion, "Sola Scriptura", anything else is man made religion. There's only one Book that claims God (the creator) as it's author.
Now you know what's wrong with the world, and the solution. " You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." "Sanctify them by Thy Truth, Thy Word is Truth."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Voluntary Simplicity

Do You Need to be Poor?
"Godliness with contentment is great gain."

I was just reading about George Washington. George means "earth worker," something like geography or geologist. After 6 years of distinguished military service, he went back to farming for 16 years. When the war broke out in 1775 - well, you know the story. He was the principal player in "turning the world upside down" at that time. After the war he wanted to go back to his farm. Instead, he was the only President who was unanimously elected by the electoral college. The same thing happened 4 years later. He received 100% of the electoral votes for a second term. The whole world was watching to see if he would give up his position of power. After the war, King George III, wondered what Washington would do next. When he heard rumors that he would return to farming. He commented, "If he does he'll be the greatest man on earth." Washington refused to run for a third term and went back to his farm.

Some time ago I read "The Short History of Mexico," which recorded one bloody regime after another. Always someone starting another revolution to save the people from the aristocracy. Then when things got tough the new general or monarch would plunder the treasury and split.
In Washington's farewell address in 1796 he advised Americans not to get involved in the bloody endless wars of Europe. Washington and the "Founding Fathers" created, in a miraculous way, the "Greatest nation the world has ever known, whose Constitution is the brightest star that's ever shown." Jimmy Driftwood, Songs of the Civil War.

Earlier I mentioned the song, "Turned the world upside down." A song they played at that time. How is it that our little 13 colonies of New England, defeated the greatest power on earth?
I could go on about many great people in the past who were poor. Small and insignificant, but they had principle. They had talent. They were strong, and their poverty prepared them for the time when they would establish the course of history. Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Martin Luther, Frances Drake, John Paul Jones, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Einstein, the World War 2 boys who grew up in the "Great Depression", etc. The question is, "Do you need to be poor?" Abraham Lincoln said, "I'm not so concerned with your failure, as I am with how content you are with it."

I think all of the great people in history experienced serious setbacks and failures. Washington actually lost many more battles than he won. The important thing was, he persevered, he didn't give up. That reminds me of the lines from the Revolutionary War song "Soldier's Joy." "Here comes General Washington, He's got his horse and his sweeping run. The barefooted boys are begging to fight. And we're gonna cross the Delaware River tonight." Sometimes I think about my own history. I've been so frustrated. All of my vigilance and extra work produced nothing but starvation. All of my grand ideas and ideals have eluded me. Some people, everything they touch turns to gold. Reminds me of that Merle Haggard song. "In the good old days when times were bad. No amount of money could buy from me, the memories that I have of them. No amount of money could pay me to go back and live through it again."

Why must we learn the hard way? I've told my kids, "The worst thing that could happen would be for you to find a permanent, full time, guaranteed, stuck in a rut job! Where you have total security and faith is not required." Of course, then they all go off to college to do just that. The truth is I have never discouraged them from going to school, and it doesn't really matter as long as they remember that Dad is always right!

The fact is, God is just waiting to bless people. He has "... a thousand ways of providing for us of which we know nothing." E.G.W. So, back to the question. Why do we need to be poor? Why can't we all be rich? Why is there suffering and starvation? The answer lies in this not so old saying, "True success is exactly proportionate to how much we love the truth." The truth is; what most people would spend their money on if they had it, is vanity. Endless things to buy, with no concern for the unfortunate. Who ever attains the most idols wins? Newer houses, cars, trucks, and toys. More vacations, savings, and fancy food. The fact is, wherever the truth flourishes the poor are taken care of. This is God's character, the second tablet of His Law.

The reason most people need to be poor is that they have no self control. The reason they have no self control is that they only think of themselves. The more people have, the less likely they are to even talk to you, if you are poor. The truth is, we think we are pursing our great standard of living, but the Natives, the aboriginal people had a higher standard of living than we will ever know. We have mistaken laziness and luxury and comfort for a true lifestyle and an honest days work.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Smoking Policy

Are You Going Up in Smoke?
There's no good reason to keep smoking

I want to tell you a story, one like everyone has heard. My Uncle Jim, who was 3 years younger than my mother, died from lung cancer at the ripe old age of 57. He started smoking and drinking when he was 12 or 13. When he was young it didn't matter. He was extremely good looking and full of it. He was so addicted by the time he was 50 that he could not stand to come to my house or go anywhere he couldn't smoke. Dr. Ham operated on his lung near the end. He said it was the most delicate thing he had ever done, trying to sew the remaining tissue back together. Uncle had to quite smoking for a couple of months. Then the Knot Head started again.

150 years ago Ellen White had visions from God about the evils of tobacco. For more than 100 years after that people thought Adventists were some strange cult because we believed in Biblical temperance and other intolerable beliefs straight from the Book. (Some still do!) Drinking and smoking and other wicked vices were overcome through the power of conversion and a new heart. Or maybe just a wilderness experience. There are many stories of people all over the world that won the victory through faith and perseverance. Many quit cold turkey, laying in bed with cold sweats, tremors, and delirium. Willing to die rather than disobey God, in a time where doctors prescribed smoking for emphysema!

Now, society has become almost totally inhospitable to smokers. It's not cool anymore, it's not tolerated, and in a lot of places it's illegal. What happened? Medical science is beginning to catch up with the prophet. Not only has smoking been proven to be suicidal, it's been proven to be deadly to everyone around it. If you really study it out, you'll find that it breaks every one of God's commandments.

Besides this there are other implications. A no smoking policy helps to elude a host of other problems; health problems, drinking problems, financial problems, performance problems, attendance problems, learning problems, safety problems, etc. These are all essentially a result of a lack of self control. Which is how it all started in the first place.

We have to be careful though. How would God like us to treat poor slaves to tobacco? If we are not careful we end up breaking what He calls the second greatest commandment. That is the second tablet, the last six commandments. "Love your neighbor as yourself." The fact is we are all poor sinners in a hopeless situation. It's easier to sit here on my high horse and criticize than to help someone. Some things you have to draw the line though. How do you prevent people from smoking themselves to death? Everyone knows you can't help anyone who won't help themselves. What can we do? My motto is "There's always a way." Naturally there's a simple solution. It's called money!

Many companies now offer various different incentive plans for employees to quit. It makes sense and saves everyone's time and health and money and makes for cheaper insurance. What would you think if I said I was going to cut your pay to save your life? Not a bad deal, huh? What if I said, "When your ready to start living, I'll start paying you more money." That's an unbelievable deal, isn't it? In reality I'm paying you to quit, smoking that is. Actually I'm not going to cut your pay, I'm going to freeze it. No advances, no bonuses. If you continue to smoke on the job, then I'm going to cut you down. Not a pretty picture if you are afraid you can't quit.

This may sound hard core. However, if people are so much in love with their addiction that it means more to them than work, or life, or family, or friends - they are a liability waiting to happen. They can find some other company that likes to invest in foolishness (Lawlessness).I have to repeat myself. "This is not a suicide assistance facility!"

A few more quotes, "God accepts us as we are, but it's not acceptable to stay as we are." “When you quit learning, you quit living." And, "The greatest deception of the human mind is. I'm good, I'm fine, I belong to the right club, I have need of nothing." E.G. White (paraphrased). In other words they see no need to go through the wilderness. The reality is, that's where they are and that's where they stay.

I actually like people that smoke. They're good down to earth people for the most part. I like the common people. Of course I've always been "Criminally affectionate!" The last thing I want is to become any kind of a snob. (I think they will be the first into hell! No matter what they profess.) At the same time I see so many people, as the Bible says, "dying for lack of knowledge."

Don't give up! "I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health." 3 John 2.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Beast of Revelation

Do You Worship a Beast?
The Mark of the Beast vs. The Seal of God

Does anyone understand Revelation? It is reportedly the "revelation from God to Jesus Christ to show His servants the things that must come to pass." Revelation 1:1

There is a lot in the book of Revelation. Most of it corresponds with Daniel in the Old Testament, that was written 500 years earlier. Let me tell you what I think is the most profound prophecy in the Bible. Daniel 12 : 4, "Shut up the book until the time of the end: many shall run too and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

Daniel and Revelation are the key to understanding the prophecies concerning the last days of this earth's history. "He who hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches" is the recurring chapter ending. Knowledge has increased exponentially since the beginning of the industrial age, in the 1830's. With the advent of the train there was no turning back. This reminds me of the quote, "Man has lost the ability to foresee and forestall, he will end by destroying the earth." Albert Schweitzer. In Revelation God says He will come and destroy them that destroy the earth.

To begin to understand Revelation we need to begin to understand who or what is the beast. There are a multitude of interpretations surrounding the last book of the Bible. For example, Rev. 18 talks about the warning for God's people to come out of Babylon. Most scholars interpret the word Babylon to mean confusion. How many are confused today about the simplest plainest truth's of the Word of God. Why are there over 1200 Christian denominations?

Let's try to get the basics nailed down first. All through the Bible the big issue has always been idolatry, and it makes it clear that the majority in the last days will be the most idolatrous people that ever lived. In other words, irreverent and disrespectful of God and His creation. So, just what exactly is idolatry?
It's real simple. It's man in place of God. It's man's worship of himself. It's anything we put before Him.

There are many beasts in Revelation that represent various man made powers both now and in history. The beast we are studying, is described well in the last verse of Chapter 13. "Here is wisdom, the number of the beast is the number of a man, 666." Six is man's number. God's number is 7. Man was created on the 6th day. Man falls short of perfection. Three is also God's number. 666 is man in place of God. The beast is man made religion with all of its false science and doctrine. Yes, this includes all of our Frankenstein science, tampering with nature, artificial fertilizer, and so on. These are violations of the 2nd Commandment, not to make anything in the likeness of anything God has made. This, of course, includes the number one idol in the world, the automobile.

When fuel prices escalated last year, it was reported that 1000 more vehicles were hitting the road every day! That's 365,000 a year! A lot of this is because everyone in every poor country wants to be like the Americans with a machine to do everything while they sit and get rich and fat! All we have to do is figure out something else to burn in them and then everyone in the world will be spared the misery of manual labor.

Now don't misunderstand me. I drive a car and do what I have to do to survive. The difference is, I wish I could walk or ride my horse. I don't worship man or the junk he has made. Not his junk science or his junk religion. Revelation 14: 9-10 says, " If any man worships the beast and receives his mark in his forehead or his hand, he will drink of the wine of the wrath of God." You've heard of the Mark of the Beast, most likely. What is it? The forehead and the hand means believing in that man made system and practicing it. You receive the Mark of the Beast when you reject God's sovereignty and authority and worship man (the creation) rather than the Creator and His Law.

What will be the outcome? The plagues of Revelation are God's judgments on the gods of this world. Just like the plagues that affected Egypt at the time of the Exodus of God's people from that heathen land. Just like Pharaoh, no matter what happens, most will "not repent" Rev.16:11.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grandmother's House

Sister Dawn, Mark, Aunt Lena, 50 yrs. ago.

The Good Old Days
Old Fashioned Efficiency

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the time I lived with my Grandparents. Almost 4o years ago in Weiser, Idaho. I spent a lot of time with them growing up. My dear Mother, bless her heart, would leave me with them when she was busy dealing with her own problems. From my earliest memory it seemed to me they were always so happy to have me. I always thought I had the greatest Grandparents in the world. No one else had Grandparents like mine. I didn't really know that we were just poor, hard working people. The most exciting thing in my life was when they would show up. When I was with them I felt like I was rich. Maybe the fact that I was the oldest of all the grandkids on both sides of the family had some significant meaning. My mother was the first born in her family and so was my father, and so were their fathers. Biblically speaking then, I should have had a great inheritance.

One of the things that made it so special was the fact that they produced my Aunt Marlena, in 1956 - the year after I was born. It was and is the most wonderful thing that happened. Grandpa was 52. My little sister was born a year later in 1957. We all kind of grew up together.
My grandmother's maiden name was Trent. She was the next to the youngest of 11 children. The Trent's were good looking English and Scotsmen. She was often compared to Ginger Rogers. I remember, it was when they lived in Anderson CA. I was only 7 or 8. She would have me operate on the corns on her feet. I was always very articulate with my hands and I still have good close up vision. Grandma would say, " Look at the way he handles that razor blade. He's gonna be a surgeon when he grows up!" Then she would grab and hug me and try to kiss me, I would always squirm and resist. She would say, " Oh you Marco Polo, Gramma loves you." No one would have guessed that someday I would become a Tree Surgeon.

Probably the best experience in my young life growing up, was going with my Sister and my Aunt and Gramma and Grandpa, picking with the Mexicans. Grandpa had a heart attack and some other disabilities, but he just couldn't sit still. He essentially wore himself out working. Grandma always said no one ever worked as hard as he did. They had a 1964 Ford pickup with a camper. We would camp near the job by the Willamette River. The mainstay was pole beans. Three cents a pound. They said it had been three cents forever. If I worked long and hard and steady I could make $10.00 a day. That's 333 pounds of hand picked beans. Marlena would always pick the most, but the little Mexican kids would out pick any of us. An interesting note here. This was right at the time when they were starting to develop the machine to pick the bush beans. A few times we had to pick those because the machines went back to the drawing board. That was not as bad as picking strawberries though. Even us young kids would feel like our backs were broken at the end of the day.

Then there were all the camp chores when we got back. The camper was a kitchen during the day for cooking and canning. Gramma was a wonderful cook. She took the green beans we picked and new potatoes and made the best dish. It was so good. We never got tired of it. Then the camper converted to a bedroom at night. The table made into a bed for the old folks and Marlena and my sister slept in the little bed over the cab. I slept in the cab of the truck.

Later we came to Southern Idaho. It seemed like paradise. We picked cherries in the spring. I would always work the tallest ladder and get all the high cherries. If it rained, the cherries would split. Then everyone was sad, the farmer and the pickers. We thinned apples. I think that is done chemically now. In the fall when it started to frost we picked apples. You would have to wait in the morning until it warmed up enough. You could hear them snap, crackle, pop. We all fell in love with Idaho. Our family all lived in California. My mother was born in Kansas in 1934. She contracted dust pneumonia as an infant. Grandma and Grandpa packed her up and came to California in 1935, in the middle of the Great Depression. Idaho was a great discovery for all the family. The ones that didn't move here loved to come and visit. It was so wonderful. Everything was cheaper and better. We could glean for free all the potatoes, onions, apples, and produce we could can or chuck in the cellar.

Real estate was at an all time low. They started off buying one little house to fix up and sell, and then another. Two or three thousand dollars at first. Then four or five thousand. We cleaned them up and fixed them up. Gramma loved to paint. We re-roofed and remodeled. Then about 1970 they bought the grand old house in Weiser for an astounding $15,000. It would become the real foundation for them and all their kids and grand kids. The meeting place for the whole family. Two stories with a big cellar, a big front porch and a back porch where you went into the basement. There was a separate garage that became the work shop, as well as a nice big yard. We had chickens in a portable pen we moved around on the lawn. This big old house became our base of operations. When we weren't fixing houses we were demolishing and salvaging them. I was very proficient at tearing things down and tearing them apart. With a claw hammer in each hand I could drive the claws of one in between the wood with the other and pull the nails out. We didn't throw anything away. If we couldn't use it I cut it up on the old table saw and we burned it in the cook stove in the kitchen. About 1971 the Dutch Elm Disease hit Weiser. Every Elm tree in town died that summer it seems. We filled the cellar with Elm wood. Cut and chopped ready for the wood cook stove. I remember we would cook the potato peels on the wood stove so the chickens would eat them. I can still see Grandma hanging clothes on the line, so beautiful, and hear hear yodeling, Eddy Arnold's Cattle Call.

One of my favorite things was to go to the dump with Grandpa. We would get rid of what we couldn't use, but we always hauled back more. To this day I am a scavenger and a pack rat. I can't stand to throw anything away. Grandpa loved to go to the auctions. He would always buy the pile of stuff no one else wanted. I can still hear the auctioneer, "Sold! Two bits, to the man with the cigar!" This is how I aquired my first set of quality Buckingham climbing spurs with long tree gaffs. 25 cents. I used them for 25 years. To me it was so fun to go through all this great stuff. Sort out the best goodies. Then of course we would put together a yard sale.
We had a television there in Weiser in the big house. The only thing I remember watching though, was Hee Haw and Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights. You might say it was a kind of rare treat once a week.
I would get up at 4:00 AM and go change sprinkler pipes for the farmers. It was always wet and sometimes frozen. Me and some other high school boys. We would watch the sun come up, laying those pipes straight. Then get ready and get to school. I only ate two meals a day. It was an old family tradition. It was too much work back on the farm to feed everyone three times a day. After school Grandma always had the best home cooked real food you could imagine. Then I would go back to the fields and work and watch the sun go down. Then on Sunday we did extra things on the farm, like bucking hay. I also had my own truck and did yard work and pruning and snow shoveling.
I haven't been able to get any high school kids to work for years. They all think it's something to be avoided. I still believe work ethic is everything. Doesn't matter if it's mental, physical, or spiritual. It's really sad. People need to develop their physical constitution when they're young. They say that on average you've reached your maximum potential by age 21. Then, that is the equipment you have for life.

Grandpa died in 1975. He was 70. Before that he told Grandma that I would take care of her. I had just come to Northern Idaho, Lapwai to be exact, in 1974. They had just bought this big old house in Craigmont ID. for $5,000.00. Grandma always had the Gypsy fever. Really they were following us kids and grandkids. After the funeral, everyone helped move truckloads and truckloads of stuff all the way to Craigmont. Then I hitchhiked back down to drive up another rig. With Grandpa gone she was not going to stay put very long. She sold the place and moved to Post Falls ID. to be near Marlena and her husband. We did the same thing all over again. I hitched hiked back again. Then she move back to Weiser and then to Payette ID. Each time she had a little less stuff.
I would have done anything she asked, and she would do the same for me. She would still try to give big hugs and kisses and say she loved me and I would still act like a little boy who couldn't stand it.
We went to see her in the nursing home in Payette. She aquired Alzheimers so fast it was unreal. It was almost like going to a funeral. She didn't know who we were until I brought out my guitar and sang some songs. Then we got her on the piano. She could still play.
After she died several years later. I had a dream. There she was. It was so real. I've had vivid dreams about all the one's that have died that were close to me. She wanted to give me big hugs and kisses. I grabbed her and squeezed and kissed her on the fore head and said, " I LOVE YOU GRAMMA."
It was so real. I sat right up in bed. My eyes were totally flooded with tears.
Sometimes I wonder why it takes 5o years to learn something. Some never do.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Financial Policy

50\ 50 is Fair
Money management and profit sharing plan.

I'm always telling everyone, " No matter what you do, the company eats up 50%. When I was young I never would have believed it. I had to run my own business. I wanted 100%. Now I am amazed at how much I am still learning about what it takes to build a real viable business.

In 1977 when I decided I was going to do this. Anyone could start anything anyway they wanted. Nowadays, ( Is that a word?) people are more informed and knowledgeable. More and more customers want an established reputable company. Especially in the high risk tree business. To make a long story short. I can train young people and get them started so much better, easier, quicker and safer, than what I went through.

Actually the standard has always been 1\3. Ideally you spend only 1\3 on labor. This leaves enough for building the business, acquiring equipment, and a margin of profit.

Now, let me explain then, how this works at 50%. This business is all about trees, but more than that it's all about wood. Sure trees provide shade and aesthetics, but while they are doing all of this, they are producing wood. This was the concept I had at the beginning, this is why I started the tree business over 30 yrs. ago. The real value is in the wood, and ultimately this would help pay for their care and eventual removal. Now I'm saying you're not really providing a tree service if you don't have a sawmill. Our goal is to have branch locations and these (little big) mills within a 300 mile radius of Deary. Also if we produce good arborists through our apprenticeship program we can establish them anywhere with a franchise and an advantage over the local competition.

What does this have to do with the 50 per cent? More than trees and more than wood, it's about people. Let me tell you the reasons I believe we can operate at 50%. I read the biography of Les Schwab. In fact, I strongly recommend everyone read it. When he started in 1952, the tire shops were owned by the big corporations that owned the rubber companies. The service was poor and the prices were high. There were times when he really stuck his neck out to develop his independent business. He did it with people. He designed and developed systems that allowed good wages which retained good people which in turn provided good service. The secret? Everything went into the business and it's people. No corporate conglomerate executives or stockholders pockets to line. The employees were the stockholders.

Now in this part of the country we really don't have to worry about huge tree service conglomerates other than the power line trimmers which we don't worry about any way. Here and in most areas of the US that aren't over populated the problem is the opposite. That is the small independents with one or two boom trucks and a chipper. It's all about them and their equipment. They hire seasonal grunts when they need them. They don't pay any wages or benefits. They make sure they don't learn any more than they already know so they never have to worry about paying them anymore. They would never pay $20.00 an hour for a climber. That's too slow any way. They're not too worried about the few jobs they might loose because they can't climb a tree.

You know the old saying, "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." Finally, people here are starting to discover that we provide better service. Better quality, better performance, more options, and we do it all with a rope. How wonderfully simple.
Having said all of that, I want to lay out the vision I've had for handling the finances and providing incentives for workers through profit sharing.

50% goes into an account for all labor costs except for secretarial and administrative positions. Ultimately this will include all payroll taxes and expenses, sick leave, vacation pay, medical, retirement plans, and bonuses. This might sound like a lot, or it might not sound like enough. When you look at the expenses for the business, (the other 50%), it might seem the same, one way or the other. Don't become confused this way. There's only 100%. There's never going to be any more. Everything depends on efficiency and production. The 50% will always be proportionate to performance. In other words if efficiency and production are up, everyone is doing alright.

Also, in this trade, it is the best advantage for the trainees and the managers to own and be responsible for their personal equipment. This helps them to insure their own responsibility, and especially their own safety. Climbing gear, ropes, hand saws, power saws, personal protective gear, etc. This is also another reason we can pay 50% for labor costs. The company is not providing the personal equipment. This also, gives the workers a sense of pride in their equipment and they keep track of it, and they draw a better rate because they have it.

At 50%, there should accumulate a good surplus. Initially this will be applied to developing the benefits we mention earlier. Beyond that, we hope to be able to do profit sharing, especially with the managers, because they have so much to deal with and they have to know everything!
The one big problem I see with this is that it can be like working on a percentage, which has obvious drawbacks. Namely quality and safety. The quality and safety record of this company for 30 plus years is phenomenal and incomparable. In the past I always rejected the idea of working on percentages. In other words I took all the responsibility and personally made sure details were tended to. Everyone strictly worked by the hour. This is where the managers really have to manage. The managers will hopefully do what I did. They say the secret to success is, "To hire people like yourself." In the "Les Schwab" system, the ultimate goal was to work your way up, learn all the ropes, and become manager, while the manager you replaced started a new store.

Another reason we can pay out 50% for labor is that we have minimal equipment. In fact this is one of our primary safety rules. " Minimize equipment, most accidents are equipment related." As you can see we are paying more for people and less for equipment. This is backwards from the traditional American Way - more equipment and less labor. I would rather invest in people. I believe in people and people make the difference. Training the next generation. This is What Sustainable Is.

Now, for a few ideas about the other 50%. I know the list of company expenses is horrendous, but I believe it can work. As you can imagine it requires running a tight ship. The first and biggest expense is administration. Secretarial and accounting. Then you have equipment and fuel. Next, advertising, yellow pages, uniforms, signs, etc. Then, licenses and insurance. Then, of course, profit. Now you can see why you normally need two thirds to do all this. If managers or apprentices use there own heavy equipment(anything bigger than a powersaw) and fuel, they will be reimbursed from the company account. I'm thinking 50% of standard rental rate plus fuel. I think equipment rental companies have to charge double to cover all of their overhead, as well as the time the equipment is sitting. Obviously, if the company has to pay the outlandish rental rates, it would be better for the company to own everything.

Before I quit. There needs to be a third account for quarterly payments to make sure those funds are there when they need to be paid, which at this stage is quarterly. This includes payroll taxes, which come out of the labor account. Workman's comp insurance which is another labor cost. WA state B & O tax which is a business expense that goes directly into this account and is unrelated to either labor or business.

Just a word about cell phones and I'll get out of here. We encourage everyone to have a company phone. This way, not only is the phone cheaper on the group plan. There's no charge to call between all of us. However, to be fair to those who have their own. Employees are charged a minimal fee ( $25.00 \ mo.) for the company phone. Of course they have the use of it 24\7, so I presume this is logical and fair. One problem we have discovered is that all the phones share a pool of minutes, and if we use up the pool, which we normally do not, all the phones start racking up time. This can double the bill real fast. Therefore we do advise everyone to be conservative.

Before I go. Let me put it another way to help clarify. Example; If a manager and an apprentice do a job for $1000.00. They get 50%. That's $500.00. Let's say it took them 10 man hours. This is what we hope for our bottom price. If the apprentice is getting $10.00 an hour. The payroll cost for that is about $15.00. That comes to $150.00. The manager is at say $20.00 an hour. Payroll expense is about $30.00. That comes to $300.00. Now you are at $450.00. If the apprentice is making $15.00, there goes your $500.00. You can see why it is a well known fact. $50.00 per man hour is the minimum wage for legitimate contracting. You all know that we often make twice that, and this is where we make up for lost time, slack time, winter time, etc.
You can see though, there's not a whole lot of room for any mis-management. You can also see why most shops, and electricians, and plumbers charge $75.00 an hour.
On the up side. There is a lot of efficiency that happens with a bigger team. Shared rides, shared equipment, company backing for more equipment and human resources. Someone is always closer to a job when it needs to be done. Etc. Co-operation and teamwork is of inestimable value.
Keep up the good work. Godspeed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunlight - part one.

Here Comes the Sun
Surviving Summer

Have you noticed how people feel better and look better in the spring, as soon as they get some sun? Have you also noticed how many people are hiding from the sun and look pale and sick? Like walking corpses? Some are out in the sun and their nose and face and ears and arms are fried. Others like to get a tan by getting maximum exposure every day with the least amount of covering (in spite of what you might have been told these are not the ones getting skin cancer.) Is there any kind of common sense solution for dealing with the sun? People are dying like flies from all kinds of cancer, especially skin cancer.
Sunlight is the second law of health, after fresh air. There are seven laws of health. All accomplished optimally by what is sometimes called the eighth. That is attitude. These are real scientific facts of Nature. Given by God. The God of Creation is the God of all true science. So, is sunlight good for you or not? All life on this planet comes from the sun. There are exactly 100 rays of light. 100 elements in sunlight. Do you think this was an accident? The proportionate amount of all the elements are in sunlight. Yes, there is gold in the sun.
Here, I want to set forth my hypothesis. "If fresh air and sunlight are the first laws of health, then most diseases are the result of a lack of fresh air and sunlight." Remember though, you have to connect all the laws of health to maximize the best way to get fresh air and sunlight. I told this to a farmer friend of mine. He said, "Tell that to my nose." His nose, of course (like a lot of people who wear duckbill baseball caps), is falling off. Ears too, you can imagine. I said, "That's right, lack of sunlight. You're only getting sun on your nose and ears, no wonder they're fried." Those hats protect your eyes but your nose and ears are toast. The worst thing is, you don't get a tan on your forehead. The only thing that will protect you from the sun is a natural tan, natural exposure. That's right, either take all your clothes off, or stay out of the sun!
Seriously, we need to pay attention here. Cancer is near epidemic. In 1900 cancer rates had escalated to one in one hundred. This was very alarming. Now it's 1 in 3 approaching 1 in 2! Let's try to think this thing through. What has happened in the last 150 yrs. or so, with the beginning of the industrial age? What has grown and increased with all our so called progress? For one, fewer people get out in the sun everyday. More and more people living and working in a cave, or in an automobile behind glass and steel. Did you know glass, being harder than steel, blocks out some 30% of the sun's rays? Cancer is like a mushroom. It likes a dark steady atmosphere, sealed up with the heater or the air-conditioner, and the windows shut. I like to get out every day working and sweating and drinking water. No matter if it's cold or hot out. It's so important to stress and purge all your systems. Still, it can be deceiving because some people, no matter what they do, won't get cancer. Their genetics might have left them with other faults.
Along with this, as we all know, there is a continual build up of chemicals and pollutants. Just another reason we need fresh air and sunlight. The best thing for everyone, especially kids, is to be out in the sun and the good clean dirt. With no clothes! Instead, kids wear their baggy T shirts and sunscreen (5 ingredients in sunscreen have been found to cause cancer).
They don't tan and their faces start turning red at 13. They will spend the rest of their lives getting sunburned. They say the average American now spends more than 90% of their time inside! Then the experts tell us the sun is killing us. Most people are brainwashed to think the sun is changing and becoming more toxic. Hey, there are still plants and animals and people everywhere that are out in the sun everyday, all day, NAKED!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oxygen Level

The First Law of Health

Do you know the seven laws of health, usually called the eight laws of health? They are physical laws. Facts of life, you might say. Yes, scientific facts, as a matter of fact. Everyone lives and dies according to their obedience to these laws. Of course you have to factor in your inherent genetic qualities, or lack of them. According to the Bible we are designed to live to 120 on a flesh diet. In spite of our degeneracy most people would still live to their 90's if they followed these rules their whole life.

The common sense objective is to remain relatively functional until you're 90 or so, and then keel over without too much trouble. It is a most wonderful thing to achieve old age, be an example of health and fitness and enjoy the dignity of years.

Right now I want to talk about the first law of health.Fresh Air.” I went to the doctor (Total Health Clinic) the other day. Something they seem to want you to do every once or twice in a while after you're 50. The first thing they had me do was put my finger in this harmless little device that reads your oxygen level, right through your fingernail! Mine was 99%. Not bad for an old wreck. A high oxygen level is important for so many things, especially for helping your resistance to disease. This was after they weighed me in at 150 lbs. I've weighed the same for almost 40 yrs. This is a really good indicator. Men when they mature and start to age, usually put on more weight in their chest and their head and nose and ears enlarge. My pulse was 60 and my blood pressure was 111 over 75. This is healthy like a teenager. Problem is, Rheumatoid Arthritis has been attacking me for 30 yrs. or more. They say there's no cure. It's an auto-immune disease, which basically means your body is attacking itself.

A doctor told me about 10 yrs ago that I needed to see the Rheumatologist, and gave me a prescription for some immune suppressant that's been banned since then. I've never taken anything, not even an aspirin or a vitamin. It's a real struggle for me to survive. Instead, I keep studying and learning and trying to practice the laws of health. I can still do most of the things I did 30 yrs. ago, but not for as long or as hard. I find I have to keep working it out. I feel it getting into my knees and ankles, and elbows, and I just keep working, hiking, playing tennis, etc. My shoulders are the worst. They've been trashed for 30 yrs.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about how to keep your oxygen level up. Fresh air is so vital, but how do you get it? There's a lot more to it than just having fresh air to breathe. [The best air is under the trees and by the water.] It really has to do with all the laws of health. Kind of like the moral law. They are all God's laws. "If you break one you break them all." James 2:10. Also, it's like the moral law in the sense that you'll never be done learning it. "Sanctification is the work of a lifetime."

Now, let's look at the laws of health from the perspective of, “How to get oxygen.”

First: Fresh Air. The single most important thing you can do for your health, especially if you live and work inside is: Sleep outside! Bedrooms should be aired at night and warmed during the day to keep away the mold. Then, of course you want to get out and expand your lungs everyday.

Second: Sunlight.

to be continued...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Arboritecture Defined

Woodland Stewardship Institute
The art & science of trimming for safety, structure & design.

The primary goal of proper trimming is not to prevent breakage, but to try to avoid major failures. In other words trees trimmed and maintained properly and periodically, should be self pruning without major breakage or uproot. The obvious solution to the tree butchers, especially in the not so distant past, was to just cut everything. If the tree was falling apart, just cut all the limbs off, or cut the tree down. Believe it or not we still have essentially the same problem. In most communities now they have tree programs that prohibit butchering. However, hazard trees are even more of a problem because trees trimmed improperly are often more dangerous than if they were left alone. Inevitably, mature trees reach the stage where they start to break down. It's only natural. Consequently, most are terminated simply because of the absence of any evidence of the true science of arboriculture and\or anyone capable or knowledgeable enough to perform the right kind of maintenance. Any one can cut a tree down. The only requirement is a stump. How many things get broken or people killed in the process, is just an after thought.
So, we want to look at the very basic principles of tree safety, structure and design.
First, it has to be Natural. Nature is the best teacher. "Never does Nature say one thing and wisdom another."
Second, we need to understand all the dynamics of wind and snow and ice.
Third, we need to understand all the various aspects of the structural integrity of the tree. The type of wood, limb formation, defects, etc.
Fourth, we need to know how everything around and within the tree affects the way it grows and responds. Every cut you make has a short and a long term affect. No matter if it's in the tree or near the tree.
Then you need to be aware of anchorage. How well is the tree anchored now and later.
Now, let's look at this a little closer.
What is Natural? Obviously, there are many grand specimens that have never been trimmed. Except by Mother Nature! What are the key factors?
Number one. Preserve and promote the lower limbs. The most common assault on trees these days is ravaging the bottoms of the trees. It's only human to cut the lower limbs. Not only is this unnatural, it creates serious issues. The lower limbs stabilize the tree and deflect the wind over the top. If a tree looks top heavy, "it is!" If a tree can retain it's canopy right down to the ground and dominate it's space, it will be tremendously stronger, healthier, safer, live longer, and be more productive. The lower limbs shade the root zone, and eliminate the competition. Trees are the answer, not shrubs, and turf, and yard ornaments, etc. So many times I've seen trees neglected. [A lot of times just because people didn't know there was any such thing a proper care and maintenance.] Only to be cut down and replaced with shrubs and turf and decorations and more air conditioning. All high maintenance. We need to keep the lower branches where we can. This will do more than anything to keep our arboriculture standard high.
Number two. Is the tree shaped for wind and lightning resistance? As we just stated. The lower limbs deflect the wind. As you will see. All these things are interrelated. However, now we want to look at how to train the top of the tree. Is it natural to top trees? As we just said, "Cutting the bottom limbs is unnatural." The worst thing that is happening. Mother Nature will often top trees. This is natural. Anything that grows straight up is vulnerable to wind and lightning. The best strongest specimens that survive, spread out with a low profile.
Number three. Identify and adjust structural defects and malformations. If trees are trained from the beginning with a natural strong design in mind, you would never need anything more than a hand saw. Some of the best survivors have never been trimmed. The large majority though need help. Most tree failures are predictable. Often times serious defects are neglected beyond the point of saving the tree.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Quiet Company

Woodland Stewardship Institute
~Premier Safety Bulletin~

Not Quiet Safe Yet ?

This is an all important safety principle. It's a fact that most just don't quiet understand.

What is the first safety rule? I have often thought it was attitude. Attitude is everything right? Well quiet is an attitude. An attitude of reverence. Reverence is the product of respect. Respect for Nature. Respect for each other. Respect for everything God has made.
Then I have thought many times that, knowing how to think, is the first and most important rule. Thomas Edison said, "The most important task of civilization is not more inventions or technology. It is to teach people to think." [somewhat paraphrased]. This goes right back to that old saying, "There's no such thing as teaching, only learning." What good is it to teach all the safety business if your students haven't really learned the real principles behind it?
Another term you might use is legalism. Legalistic people are everywhere, believe me. The perfect example of this was Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith show. He was a coward, a bumbling fool. He tried to make up for it by following the letter of the law. He couldn't think for himself. He had no common sense. He could not understand the true intent of the law. The reason for it all? He didn't know true Love. He was self centered.
Let me explain it another way. "Work without faith is vanity." Have you ever been on a job with someone who worked twice as hard as everyone, trying to make up for their constant errors. Have you heard the old saying, "Work smart not hard."? The Law is just a list of work to be done. Faith is the spiritual wisdom that is behind it. Knowing the Law can actually be dangerous if you don't know the Law Giver. The second half of the Law which is just as important as the first, is to love others, but even helping the poor is all vanity, without faith. It's just something to make you feel good, unless you are really concerned and always "THINKING" about how you can lift them up to your level, or more.
So, quiet is about taking the time to think. Taking the time to listen to your conscience. Most accidents are the result of some stupid mistake. Caught off guard. Not paying attention to what matters. Thinking you know everything you need to know. Being so overconfident you don't have to think about what you are doing.
You have to constantly make an effort to think. You have to constantly invent the safest way to perform, every moment. If your mind is full of garbage from spending all your free time listening or watching some idiot box, your just coasting along. Reminds me of the old saying, "Only dead fish roll with the flow." and the opposite of that, "Satan yields to uphill traffic."
Remember God knows everything. As soon as you think you know something. You become your own god. You can't save yourself. Just following all the rules is no guarantee.
Fortunate is the man who is not distracted with the idols of this world, who is not impressed with the world and it's ways. "But his delight is in the Law of the Lord and in His Law doth he meditate day and night." Psalm 1.