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Rainbow Bright

14 Aug

During barley harvest this year we had a few rainstorms that shut us down for a time. My first reaction was always, “Grrrrr.” Then I’d see sights like this as I was driving home and remember that God never fails us. His promises for our life are bigger, better, infinitely more amazing than we can imagine.

Rainbow Bright

Praise God for days like this.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9

There’s a (Bible) App For That

2 Jan

Happy New Year! It’s 2015. In case you were under a rock or something and needed an update. I’m here to help.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I like the idea of starting a new year fresh, with plans to better ourselves or help others or tackle a new adventure. However, I usually jump into a resolution gung-ho, full-force, feet first, no holds barred…you get the idea…and then I burn out and give up about Feb. 1.

So, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions anymore. Instead, I work hard throughout the year on my evolving goals. I’ve got a lot of them. I’ve got health goals, faith goals, marriage goals, relationship goals, work goals. You name it. I’ve even got goals regarding my hobbies! I’m a perfectionist and overachiever, so I always see room for improvement. Maybe I should resolve to relax a little.

One goal I have this year is to read the Bible all the way through. I’m embarrassed to admit I never have!

I’ve got a great devotional app on my iPad and iPhone called Our Daily Bread.

There's a (Bible) App For That | The Farm Paparazzi

When I found this app, I was so excited, because all the way through my childhood there was a paperback Our Daily Bread devotional on my grandma’s kitchen table and one on my mom and dad’s kitchen table. ODB’s app is connected to Bible Gateway (I also have that app!) with a link directly to the scripture reading. You can even set which Bible translation you prefer. Then at the bottom of each day’s devotional, there is a link to Old and New Testament scripture readings to get you through the Bible in a year. It also has comment (public) and note (private) features. Totally wicked awesome! Can I get an Amen?

There's a (Bible) App For That | The Farm Paparazzi

What resolutions, goals and milestones are you working toward in 2015? Here’s hoping you have much success!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8

Christmas Greetings

22 Dec

Christmas Greetings | The Farm Paparazzi

Christmas Greetings | The Farm Paparazzi

Thanksgiving

26 Nov

Thanksgiving | The Farm PaparazziWhenever I reflect on all there is to be thankful for, I become overwhelmed by the goodness of God. Knowing Jesus as my Savior is above all, the most tremendous thing to be thankful for.

I’m reading a great book right now, Overwhelmed: Winning the War Against Worry by Perry Noble. I love his examples of showing us how truly AWEsome our God is. Noble writes, “He is not threatened by our circumstances or situation – He is a grave-robbing, water-walking, miracle-working, death defying God, and He’s able to pull you through anything you have to face in this life.” Wow! That’s a God who deserves all our thanks and praise.

Last year I wrote a post about all the things I was thankful for. That list is still accurate and continues to grow. God provided me with a man who breaks his back and sacrifices every day to raise food for a growing global population and to provide for us. He gave me the most amazing families; one I was born into and continues to bless me daily and another I married into and continues to welcome me with open arms. He provided a community with wonderful friends and a fabulous Church family. God keeps long-time friends in my life who encourage and bless me. He gives me comfort, enough to eat, a strong body and a capable mind with which to serve him, and placed me in the best country on earth. In America we have abundance of food, freedom to worship and share ideas, courageous individuals to serve in our military, hard-working people to teach, protect, serve and provide us with affordable food, fuel and electricity. I could literally go on and on.

Great image by HoneybearLane (http://www.honeybearlane.com/2011/10/giving-thanks-thanksgiving-printables.html). Thanks to EG at Beef & Sweet Tea for drawing my attention to this!

Great image by HoneybearLane (http://www.honeybearlane.com/2011/10/giving-thanks-thanksgiving-printables.html). Thanks to EG at Beef & Sweet Tea for drawing my attention to this!

I pray your Thanksgiving is filled with safe travels, good food, loving people and a time to reflect on all the good God provides. Even in out toughest circumstances, God is working.

Back to the book I’m reading, Noble writes, “Every time I’ve walked through the fire, He has allowed me to do so in order for me to see Him more clearly and follow Him more closely. How would we know He’s a healer if we didn’t experience times when we need to be healed? How would we know He’s a Savior if we didn’t experience things we needed to be saved from? How would we know He’s a provider if we didn’t experience times when we thought we weren’t going to make it?…He is holy and He is good, He promised to always be with us, and He is in complete control. All we need to do is open our eyes.”

God Bless You and American Agriculture on this Thanksgiving,

Liz

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.
I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
    You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
    you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

Daniel 2:20-23 (NIV)

Proverbs 31

9 Sep

A Wife of Noble CharacterSmall

Click on image to enlarge

Sharing is Caring

28 Aug

When I look around my yard and garden at my house, I’ve noticed a trend. Most of what I have planted was given to me.

Here’s the iris my mom gave me about four or five years ago.

Sharing is Caring | The Farm PaparazziThe tulip and daffodil bulbs given as a shower gift by my Aunt Patty.

Sharing is Caring | The Farm Paparazzi

Sharing is Caring | The Farm PaparazziThere’s the strawberries and raspberries kindly shared by a church friend this spring.

Sharing is Caring | The Farm Paparazzi

Sharing is Caring | The Farm PaparazziRight next to it, my friend, Bonnie, gave me some rhubarb to transplant earlier this year.

Sharing is Caring | The Farm PaparazziShe also gave me the seeds that grew into these beautiful hollyhocks in the back yard.

Sharing is Caring | The Farm PaparazziWhat an example all these women have set; to give generously from what God has provided. I pray all these beautiful plants will serve as a reminder to share with others in return.

Sharing is Caring | The Farm PaparazziGod Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. – 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Taking Childhood for Granted

16 Jun

I hope all you dads out there had a great Father’s Day! I certainly have one of the best.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziI’m one of those incredibly blessed people who didn’t realize how incredibly blessed she was growing up. I definitely took my childhood for granted.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziI took for granted that I had a loving mom and dad (who just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this year!).

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziI took for granted that my parents were able to work together at home and were always around.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziI took for granted that there were horses everywhere and I could ride anytime I wanted. Every little girls dream, right?

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziI took this view for granted. Chugwater is a lot of things, but ugly is not one of them.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziI took for granted that my grandma lived right down the driveway and that I was able to spend every summer with my grandpa.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm Paparazzi

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziI took for granted that my parents are the best kind of people. They loved and cared for my brothers and I.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziThey didn’t push us to be someone we’re not, but expected us to be the best people God called us to be. They taught us about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They modeled faith, strength, kindness, dedication, independence, hard work, humility, selflessness, honesty and integrity.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziI could ramble on and on about my parents. About the giving, compassionate, strong woman my mother is.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziAbout the humble, courageous, smart and funny man my dad is.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziBut, I think the best testament to their character is that they raised kids who were ABLE to take our childhood for granted.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziInstead of worrying, we were dreaming. Instead of crying, we were laughing. Instead of feeling lost, we were covered in warm embraces. My heart overflows with gratitude.

Taking Childhood for Granted | The Farm PaparazziGod Bless You and American Agriculture,

Liz

If you just read this post and thought, “that’s not even close to my experience growing up,” please don’t feel downhearted. Even if you had bad examples in your parents on earth, there is a Heavenly Father who is more than enough. He can fill your every need and you can lean on Him to be everything your human parents couldn’t be. To learn more, please visit http://www.sbc.net/knowjesus/theplan.asp, http://www.klove.com/ministry/why-jesus.aspx, http://rickwarren.org/know-god or read the Bible for free at http://www.biblegateway.com/.

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. – Galatians 4:4-7 (NLT)

Goodbye…For Now: The Promise of Knowing Jesus

30 May

I stared at the computer screen in disbelief. I must not understand. There has to be a mistake. She just e-mailed me a few days ago. A life so vibrant, vivacious and so admired couldn’t be suddenly gone.

But she was gone and whatever I’d gotten online to do, suddenly didn’t matter.

Goodbye...For Now | The Farm Paparazzi

Tracy Alger

It’s strange to think that I received all the news of my friend Tracy‘s death on Facebook. In our social-media-infused lives her “wall” became a tribute to the amazing daughter, sister, friend, wife and mother she was. Friends and family shared stories, photos, memories and grief together. Funeral arrangements were announced, a memorial fund for her children was set up, a photo-book was created and everyone came together to reflect on this life that brought so much joy and did so much good.

Tracy loved being a mom. Send donations to the Tracy Alger Memorial Fund for Children's Future: Harness Funeral Home, 351 N. Adams, Buffalo, WY 82834.

Tracy loved being a mom. Send donations to the Tracy Alger Memorial Fund for Children’s Future: Harness Funeral Home, 351 N. Adams, Buffalo, WY 82834.

Although Tracy and I were just friendly acquaintances, I truly admired her and always looked forward to seeing her. We worked together one summer on the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and we were involved together in Wyoming CattleWomen. She was the person who always got things done. She was no nonsense when it was go time, and she was full of sharp wit and a big smile when it was time to play. We were pretty close in age (she was only 35) and had a lot of the same interests and a similar perspective on life. I had a lot of respect for her and thought we’d have fun getting to know each other better in years to come. Now we won’t have those opportunities.

The week after her death and before her funeral, I scrolled through Tracy’s wall daily. Reading the thoughts her loved ones posted helped console me. But as I read through all the lovely memories and comments, one question was left unanswered, “Is she a Christian?”

It was one of my first thoughts when I learned about her death and I’ve given it a lot of thought over the past two weeks. Was she saved? Will I get to see her again in heaven? I shed a lot of tears over the loss of such a wonderful woman and I shed a lot of those tears because I didn’t know if she knew Christ.

As I sat in that funeral surrounded by a lot of other young people who knew and loved Tracy, I felt such a heaviness in my heart. The heaviness of not knowing. The burden of wondering if God placed me in her life to share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ and wondering if I ignored the opportunity.

Then the pastor’s words rang out. Tracy believed Jesus was her Lord and Savior. As the preacher explained the truth that Tracy knew, the tears flowed harder, but this time they were a mix of sadness and joy. Sadness at her loss. Joy for her new life in heaven.

Goodbye...For Now | The Farm PaparazziFriends, here’s the thing. I don’t ever want to wonder again. I don’t want to read an obituary of a loved one and ask myself if they were saved. I don’t want to miss out on telling you the wonderful truth about Jesus.

So, I’d like to ask you; Do you know Jesus? Do you know what He did for you and what He offers you now? If you do, I praise God for that! If you don’t, will you please listen while I tell you?

It doesn’t take much for us to realize how broken the world is. Just turn on the news and you’ll hear heartbreak after devastating heartbreak. That’s because we live in a fallen world full of sin.

romans_6_23Heaven, on the other hand, is a completely perfect place. There is no sin, sickness, sorrow, hurt or turmoil. It is filled with joy, hope, peace and love. God couldn’t let sinful people (and I’m not judging; we are all sinful people) into this perfect, spotless place. But, God loves you and me so much and he wants us so badly to live in eternal glory with him.

Goodbye...For Now | The Farm PaparazziSo, he paid the ultimate price and sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ, to take on our sin. Jesus became flesh, lived a perfect life and taught us the right way to live. Even though he was guiltless, He willingly died for you and for me.

Then Jesus, being the Son of God, did the impossible. He conquered death. He rose again and ascended into heaven. God lives!

Romans-10-9-web-nltHe paid this terrible price for us and He offers us forgiveness for our sins. We can’t earn forgiveness through good works, it’s a free gift only He can give. And He gives us this awesome gift if we believe in Him and ask for His grace and forgiveness. If we have faith that Jesus is the one, true, son of God, then we are assured salvation. We have the hope of eternity in heaven. We have power over death.

tumblr_mmnbe46lP11r1ibwko1_1280If you want to accept Jesus as your Savior, if you want to follow Him and have hope for tomorrow, you can simply ask Him for it. There aren’t any right or wrong words, but you can say something like this:

Goodbye...For Now | The Farm PaparazziWhether you say a prayer of salvation right now, or not, you can learn more about God’s awesome gifts and promises here:

Or I’d be happy to talk to you about my personal journey with Jesus as my savior and pray with you about your decision. I’m not a theologian or a Biblical scholar. I’m not here to judge or condemn. I’m just a believer who messes up a lot. But, I believe and I have the blessed assurance that, through Jesus, I’ll make it home to heaven when my time comes.

Goodbye...For Now | The Farm PaparazziTracy left a big hole when she left because she lived a great life, but for me, she also left behind a lot of hope. She believed and now she is experiencing an indescribable, wondrous, amazing life in heaven.

Goodbye, for now, Tracy.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

Spring Has Sprung

17 Apr

Spring has sprung, the grass is ris’, I wonder where the flowers is?

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziI can still see my Grandpa Jim dancing and wagging his fingers as he recited his ditty each spring. Spring definitely has sprung. You might think it still feels like winter. There WAS snow on the ground just two days ago. But, I’ve got news, folks. That IS spring in Wyoming.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

March 1, 2014. No, seriously.

It’s hard to complain too much. All this snow and rain is quenching our parched land and helping our snow pack (from which we get our irrigation water). We farmers are looking forward to plentiful water this year.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

The Laramie River was a little low last summer.

Even though I’m definitely enjoying the warmer weather, I can’t believe it’s April 17 already. I’ve been a bad blogger and have much to update on. Here’s the rundown:

In January, our nephew Hunter was born. He’s awesome.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziTwo days before that, my wonderful friend’s twins were born. They were a spectacular surprise.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziIn February, Tyler and I took a trip to Arizona. We visited family and friends and took a tour some farm country.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

Safford, Ariz. That’s alfalfa. In February.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

Tyler with my cousins, Paxton & Vance.

 

Grandpa George & Me

Grandpa George & Me

My in-laws and I also threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law Sunni and baby Hunter. Kristny and Mama Kim came up with this adorable Noah’s ark theme.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

Noah’s Ark Diaper Cake

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

“The Lion & The Lamb” Cupcakes

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

Mama Kim, Sunni, Hunter, Skye, Kristny & Liz

In March, Tyler turned 30 and we celebrated with a house full. I was so busy hostessing that I didn’t get any good pictures. But, it was a blessed time filled with great friends and loving family.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm Paparazzi

Yes, I made Tyler blow out 30 candles.

I also did some quilting this winter/spring. After three years, the wedding quilt/farmer’s wife quilt is DONE! I’ll definitely tell you more about that soon.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziAnd, we got a dog. His name is Clay. We call him Red. It was either take him off Dad’s hands or he’d be dead. I like him. He’s warming up to the idea of me.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziOh yeah. And we’ve also been fitting in some farming.

Spring Has Sprung | The Farm PaparazziWhew! It’s been an awesome few months! Spring has definitely sprung, and the most exciting and important thing about it is celebrating our Risen Savior.

Jesus came to Earth as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. I love this Casting Crowns song, which tells the story of Jesus and his amazing sacrifice. To learn more about developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, visit http://rickwarren.org/know-god.

Have a wonderful Easter focusing on what Jesus did for you and me!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:40-43

My Cup Runneth Over

27 Nov

I want to express how blessed and thankful I am as we move into this day of thanksgiving tomorrow.

Happy ThanksgivingMy husband offered me a good lesson the other day. We’d had a wonderful sermon that Sunday about how to actively give thanks (speak up, make the most of it and pass it on). I tease my husband about having A.D.D. and not being able to listen through the whole sermon. Turns out, even though I listened, I didn’t really absorb it. But, he did.

It was my turn to cook food for our church’s free high school lunch program. I was in the midst of fretting about having enough. Complaining about chopping and peeling vegetables. Wondering why I volunteer to help with things that stress me out. As I complained, he offered suggestions, encouraging words and reassurance. Then he gave me the best advice of all. He reminded me that we’d just listened to a sermon on thankfulness. So I needed to look at this project with gratitude.

He told me to be grateful we had the money to buy groceries to donate toward the project. To marvel at the ability to run to the store at any time for any ingredient. To rejoice at the fact that I’m able to stay home on the farm, which also gives me time during our slow season to volunteer. To thank God for the ministry our church provides these students and for using me in it.

Talk about bringing a sermon full circle and refocusing my attitude!

Busyness VII | The Farm PaparazziA lot of my Facebook friends have been posting something they’re grateful for each day of November. I didn’t jump on that bandwagon, but would like to offer my own list.

This year, and every year, I’m thankful for the following:

Thankful for Christ’s example, teaching and sacrifice. Thankful for God’s grace, mercy and love. Without knowing Jesus, I would have no hope.

Laramie Peak SunsetThankful for family. The one that raised me and the one that welcomed me when I married Tyler.

LeSatz Family

Lauck FamilyThankful for my husband. He is hard-working, patient, loving and fun. He starts my car while I’m getting ready so it can warm up. He makes me laugh and helps me not take myself so seriously. He gives the best hugs.

Barley PlantingThankful for my friends. Longtime friends and new friends. I’m surrounded by amazing, kind, Godly people.

Old Friends

New Friends

Work friendsThankful for my occupation(s). Working with my husband is awesome. Working the land and growing food to feed the world is gratifying. My “other” occupation keeps me connected to ranching and Wyoming. It keeps my creative juices flowing.

Busyness III | The Farm Paparazzi

Busyness V | The Farm PaparazziThankful for my church congregation. The folks who run and attend Memorial Baptist Church are truly the salt of the earth.

Church

Thankful for the service organizations to which I belong and members who work beside me.

Laramie Peak CattleWomenThankful for creative outlets. I’ve found joy and solace in music throughout my life. And quilting is reminding me what beauty lies ahead when we overcome obstacles.

Quilting Retreat 2011 E

Stars of Tomorrow 05Thankful for health. It’s something I take for granted everyday. There are so many things that can go “wrong” with our bodies. Let me remember to cherish every healthy day I have.

LizLauckEntry1Thankful for Wyoming. This state and its people are independent and strong, but won’t hesitate to help and share in times of need. We follow the Bible and the Code of the West.

WyomingThankful for our energy workers. Thank you to the coal miners, oil and gas drillers and all the support workers that keep our lights on and our gas tanks full.

CoalThankful for America and those who keep her free. With all her faults, this country is still the best in the world and I’m proud to be an American. Thank you to our military servicemen and their families. Without these amazing people, and God’s grace, we would have nothing that matters on this earth.

AmericaThankful for my fellow farmers and ranchers. They endure, they achieve, they innovate, they fight. And then they get back up and do it again the next day.

CattleThankful for abundance. I’ve never suffered from lack of food, warmth, shelter or love. My cup runneth over. Every. Single. Day.

IMG_8819

Thankful for the promise of tomorrow. There are so many things I’m leaving off this list. There are countless every day blessings like running water, a reliable car to drive, civil service workers and the friendly neighborhood store owner.

I humbly thank God for the undeserved life he’s given me. I praise Him for allowing me a life to live in comfort and peace. I ask every day that He use me to do his will and his work. I ask for each tomorrow to be a day to right wrongs, shine His love and thank Him for all he does and provides.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. – Psalm 23:5 (KJV)

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