Archive | praise RSS feed for this section


28 Jul

July 28, 2013

Whoever let it get to be July 28 is very irresponsible. This is no way to manage a summer. I demand a recount!

So, over a month ago I started a post about my one-and-only, very favorite, Best in the West Father. And then life happened and blogging dropped to about 32nd on my priority list. So, without further adieu, let me gush a little about the man to whom I owe my life and so much more.

June is a special month in celebrating my dad, Steve. With Father’s Day, my birthday and my dad’s birthday, it’s a month-long reminder of the incredible guy God chose to be my father.

Me & Dad

I love my dad. He is my friend, my adviser, my support and my hero. He picked me up and dusted me off when I was hurt. He set me straight when I was wrong. He cheered me on when I was working toward my goals. He offered deserved reprimand and much-needed hugs. He set the example for the husband and father I looked for in my own husband.

Mom & Dad

My dad is smart, strong, humble, capable and a servant of God. He taught me how to treat others, how to bring glory to God in my daily life and how to be a proud and productive American. He is extremely hard-working, self sufficient, patriotic and faithful.

Dad teaching a Bridle-Bit client (

I respect my dad and work hard to be like him. He sacrifices for his family and the only thing he asks for in return is the occasional quiet day to eat steak and carrot cake and visit with his loved ones or watch a John Wayne movie.

Ben, Dad and Liz

Dad instilled in me a love for corny jokes, conservative politics, animals and the land. I will never be able to repay him for the amazing father he is to me.

I love you, Dad.


Read my dad, Steve LeSatz’s own blog at

Quiet Time

9 Jun

June 9, 2013

I missed our weekly bible study this week due to a bad head cold. Our little bible study is so wonderful! Our mentor, Bonnie, was the instigator of the weekly gathering and we’re so grateful for her wisdom and leadership. There are five of us faithfuls and we welcome other young women and mothers to join us every Friday. It’s a time of encouragement, fellowship, examination and growing closer in our relationship with our savior, Jesus Christ. I invite you to be my guest and join us. E-mail me at if you’re interested.

The last time I attended, I picked up a little “leaflet” out of a stack of materials Bonnie and our hostess, Jenna, set out to lend. The little booklet called “Quiet Time” jumped out and said, Pick me! Pick me! So, I took it home and there it sat on my desk. I would look at it with guilt and think, “I should really look through that.” But, then I’d get distracted and scurry to the next project.

Well, today I’m staying home sick from church so I thought, since I normally spend this hour worshiping God and learning his word, I should take the opportunity to read through it. Reading through the first few pages I was thinking, “This is great stuff! Just what I needed! I should take some notes…

Martin Luther’s Quiet Time by Walter Trobisch (1974) examines a letter Luther wrote to his barber in 1535. The barber had asked Luther how he prayed and Luther responded with a 40-page letter! Now that’s a man after my own heart; give ’em the details – ALL the details. Martin Luther set a wonderful example of compassion and counseling when he took the time to share how he seeks God’s guidance through prayer. Here are my thoughts as I read through the text.

Martin Luther recited, “He who thinks of many things thinks of nothing and accomplishes no good.” This really hit home for me. I even had this very conversation with Tyler last night. We talked about how scattered our thoughts can get between the news of current and political events, social media, community happenings, work, chores, family and friends, etc. It’s all so distracting and I yearn for simplicity and focus. Luther wrote that prayer must possess the heart exclusively and completely if it is to be a good prayer.

Martin Luther urges for prayer to be the “first business in the morning and the last in the evening.” Don’t let the devil convince us to wait or distract us with tasks. Pretty soon our day will be gone and prayer will be forgotten. He warns that we mustn’t get lazy and weary about prayer, because “the devil is neither sluggish nor lazy around us.” The author writes that prayer can become an empty duty and boredom is the deadly enemy of the Holy Spirit.

To guard us from turning prayer into just another menial task, Luther encourages us to “warm up” our hearts in preparation for Bible Study. If we warm up our hearts, we can use our Bible readings to kindle a fire in our hearts.

Luther warns us to not take on too much in prayer. “A good prayer need not be long or drawn out, but rather it should be frequent and ardent.” This is an important message for me. I’m the researcher, the list maker. I often won’t start a task until I have all my tasks organized and prioritized. I struggle to begin until I’ve gathered all the pertinent information. Therefore, this advice to let my prayer be frequent and ardent helps give me “permission” to go ahead and pray even if I don’t have my whole prayer list in front of me.

When praying, Martin Luther would go through the 10 Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed. Not as empty recitations. He uses them as an outline for examination of God’s teaching, reflection of how we can and should apply the teaching, an opportunity to praise and thank God, a confession of how we have faltered in sin, and a prayer petition. We must really examine each line, each word. For example, as I read the Commandment I should ask myself; What do I learn by this commandment? What does it offer for which I am thankful? How have I failed to follow the teaching and for what should I ask forgiveness? For what should I pray related to the commandment?

I also love this message about not only speaking, but listening in prayer. “When such rich good thoughts come, one should let the other prayers go and give room to these thoughts, listen to them in silence and by no means suppress them. For here the Holy Spirit Himself is preaching and one word of His sermon is better than thousands of our own prayers. Therefore I have often learned more in one prayer than I could have obtained from such reading and thinking.” The author says we should expect God to talk to us in prayer. What an awesome promise! This should help remove the boredom from prayer. If I think about prayer as an opportunity to not only talk to my Heavenly Father, but also for him to directly counsel me, how could I ever want to skip a “session”?! We are amazingly blessed as Christians to know we have a Living God who is there to listen and to guide us in every single moment!

The author applies Martin Luther’s advice for prayer to our Bible Study as well. He urges Christians to enrich our quiet time by asking ourselves through each verse; 1) What am I grateful for (Thanksgiving), 2) What do I regret (Confession), 3) What should I ask for (Petition), and 4) What shall I do (Action). And he reminds us to heed Luther’s warning about taking too much on ourselves. Luther said it is “sufficient to grasp one part of a Bible verse or even half a part from which you can strike a spark in your heart.” We may be able to glean more out of one verse a day than reading 10 chapters a day if we approach prayer and Bible Study in this way. And the booklet claims this will make studying more like an adventure than a boring duty.

The author teaches us to apply the questions to the text first. What is in this text which makes me thankful? Corrects me? Challenges me to change and leads me to repentance? Which prayer concerns does the text – not my own wishes – offer me? What is in this text which causes me to take action? The author says the answers are often interlocked. What we repent may also be our main prayer for the day. What we are thankful for or regretful of may be what calls us to action.

After we apply the questions to the text, we should also apply the questions to our daily life. For example, today I am thankful for the people in my life – my husband, my family, my friends. I confess that I often think of myself before others and I ask forgiveness from God for my selfishness. I pray for these people and their specific concerns and pray that I may be made aware of how I can bring blessings into their lives for the Glory of God. This causes me to take action by reaching out to those I love in words and deeds.

By going through these steps in our prayers and studies, we receive concrete direction and guidance from God. The booklet says Martin Luther believed God would speak to him through his thoughts when the heart is warmed up and has come to itself in the atmosphere of God’s Word. “The Spirit will and must grant this and will go on teaching in your heart if it is conformed to God’s Word and freed from foreign concerns and thoughts.”

And Luther urges us to write down what we hear the Holy Spirit say to us. In prayer and study when thoughts come to our mind and preach to our heart, Luther says “then give Him the honor, let your preconceived ideas go, be quiet and listen to Him who can talk better than you; and note what He proclaims and write it down, so you will experience miracles…”

What an amazing, incredible outlook! The author says our daily devotionals become monotonous because we get in the routine of praying the “same kind of general, vague pious thoughts”. He says “our thoughts remain distant and abstract and do not come to grips with our concrete daily life.” By following Luther’s guidance and by writing them down, our prayers become “tangible, visible and concrete. It forces us to be precise, definite and particular. Monotony is replaced by variety and surprise.”

By taking notes, we can be more accountable to ourselves, too. We can look back and see if we accomplished what we set out to do that day. We can also share with others what God has said to us.

In closing, the author reminds us that it takes training and practice to discern our own ideas from God’s thoughts. But the more we do it, the better we’ll become and the greater blessings we’ll receive from our prayers and bible studies.

This reading is a big blessing for me. It is a great road map for better focus in my quiet time with God and I’m excited to start applying it to my daily routine. I hope it encourages you as well!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – Romans 12:12 (NIV)


21 May
Tornado that hit the outskirts of Wheatland in June 2012. Although it caused damage and home loss to many, we were all grateful for no loss of human life.
My heart and prayers go out to all those affected by the terrible destruction in Oklahoma. I don’t pretend to have answers for the “why?” questions when natural or man-made disasters hit. I can’t explain away tornadoes, bombings, earthquakes, mass shootings, tsunamis and terrorist attacks.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
What I do have, is a hope and promise of better things to come through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I made life’s most important decision to accept Jesus as my savior and to follow him. I am undeserving of his love and forgiveness, but he gives it to me anyway. And I believe that no matter what happens here on earth, his plans for me are good and he has a perfect place waiting for me when he calls me home. A place with no pain, no suffering and no hatred.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 
Flooding on a field in May 2009
Watching the terrible destruction, aching for the loss of life, praying for strength and comfort for those affected –  it’s a somber reminder that this is not our home. Everything fades except the promises, love and hope we have in Jesus Christ.
Do not store up for your yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also – Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)
May we all draw nearer to God as we face life’s hardships.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. – James 4:8-10 (NIV)
God Bless You & Oklahoma,


20 May

May 19, 2013

Tonight I had a good conversation with Haley, who is taking over my position as Communication & Publication Director of the Wyoming Stock Growers. Tomorrow is her first day and she is nervous and excited about starting her career. 

In Evanston for the 2010 AgriFuture conference. (L-R: Me, Kosha & Jim)

It made me think back to when I started with WSGA. That time was filled with the promise of new adventures, learning and challenges. I loved it! And looking back over the four years of working for WSGA, I would never trade that time.

Senator Barrasso and I at a WSGA convention
The 2012 Environmental Stewardship Tour
Speaking at a WSGA Convention

The one thing I will never miss about my job,  however, is the commute – a two-hour round trip between Wheatland and Cheyenne. 


When I saw Laramie Peak on my commute it meant I was almost home.

I used to have a love/hate relationship with Sundays. I loved them because it was a time of fellowship and growing in my understanding of God’s word and plan for my life. I hated them because I stressed about plans for the coming week and didn’t want to get up Monday morning to drive to Cheyenne.

But, as it’s been for the past two weeks, tomorrow I’ll wake up and stay in Wheatland. Haley will take on the role of promoting WSGA and advocating for Wyoming’s livestock producers. And I’ll be the new me. The farm wife. 

I’m blessed.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. – Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

%d bloggers like this: