Knee high by the Fourth of July has been the goal for corn growth for many years. New hybrids have improved growth and also allow earlier planting dates. Most of the corn on our farm this year is head high or taller. Almost dreams come true for an old farmer. Soybeans are looking great and our wheat is a nice yellow, soon to turn a rich golden color in preparation for harvest. It really feels good to be a farmer when growing crops look so spectacular. We pray for good weather conditions for the rest of the summer and the fall.
Paul tells us in Timothy 2:1-4
I urge you, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all Godliness and Holyness, this is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to please our God and Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
As we join our fellow Americans this Independence Day, how should we celebrate, in a Christian way?
Paul shows us the way as he encourages us to pray for those in authority. Pray for our President, political leaders, judges, and law enforcement officials. Ask God to impress upon them their sacred responsibility and to give them wisdom and understanding, conviction and courage.
Ask God to help our servicemen and women to do their duty with honor and dignity, compassion and courage and to keep them safe from all danger. Ask Him to comfort their loved ones. Thank God for the blessings He has showered on our land.
Our nation needs our prayers like never before, not only for the war overseas, but for the moral war here at home. Pray for an end to our recession and the folks who through no fault of their own are finding themselves jobless and homeless or facing that possibility.
Paul tells us to pray for those in authority so that we may have peaceful lives. This pleases God, who wants all to be saved. If we do not know the peace of forgiveness in Jesus and His cross, if we do not have the hope of eternal life in His name, we are not free.
His cross was our personal Independence day. His death liberates us from our sins and our death. That is our real freedom. It did not come without a price. Jesus paid it!
God has given it to us so that we can tell the world of an eternal freedom- one that Jesus earned for us. Let us never miss an opportunity to share the Good News with anyone we meet.
Yours in Christ, Don Cooper
A Beautiful Summer Day
What a gorgeous day; sitting on the deck this morning having breakfast. The birds are singing in chorus, answering one another and flying back-and-forth between the trees in the woods and the trees in the back yard and their feeder. How could we ask for a more delightful day? The trees, the grass and everything growing are taking on their own lovely individual colors. You can watch the corn grow; listen, and hear it as well. Soon the soybeans will race with the corn, seeing which will grow the fastest. The sunflowers I planted alongside of the driveway are growing by leaps and bounds and all of the trees and shrubs that we planted in the last year are doing well. The wheat is just starting to turn colors; soon it will become a beautiful shade of gold. It won’t be long until the harvest, and we will reap the first of our rewards for 2009. What a wonderful time to be a farmer, witnessing God’s presence where ever I look
We must pause and count our blessings; after all the years of financial struggles, wondering if it would ever be possible to get out of debt. We have to thank God that we were able to sell enough land to pay off our mortgages and finally begin to live in relative peace and comfort without the stress and concern of being able to make all our payments.
*****Dairy farming was a rewarding career in many ways. Our progress as cattle breeders was a real source of pride. Buyers at our herd dispersal demonstrated confidence in the reputation we had developed. The financial pressure caused by roller coaster milk prices however, made us wonder many times if we had made the right decision when we decided to give up testing milk to become farmers. We had become accustomed to earning enough money to do all the things that were necessary for us to live in comfort. Our milk checks over the years did not assure us of the lifestyle we had been accustomed to, and ultimately led to the decision to sell our herd. The fact that Ruth and I both developed milkmaid knees was another important part of that decision.*****
I was sent to Hospice to visit a new resident who I was told was
in need of help get her settled into her new home.
When I arrived two of her daughters were trying to console a
distraught mother, she was very unhappy in her strange
surroundings. I asked if she would like to hear a little scripture
and some old familiar songs. One of her daughters had left
and the other said she thought that was just what her mom
needed. I sang Psalm 23, Jesus Loves Me, In The Garden and
Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven and read a few related Scripture
verses. She couldn’t remember who I was, and although the songs
and reading were helpful for her daughter, Mother could not be
consoled. Her daughter thanked me and apologized for her mother’s
lack of interest. We prayed The Lord’s Prayer and I tried to comfort
her daughter, telling her that perhaps mom received more
comfort than it seemed.
AS I left the room a gal whose Mom was on her death bed in
the next room said she heard me singing and asked if I would
mind helping her family sing In The Garden, their mom’s very
favorite song. Mom appeared comatose, but as we started
singing she turned and looked at us and her lips moved as she
seemed to try to join us for a few short moments and laid
back in her former position. The family asked me to continue
singing and reading. When I was ready to leave one of her daughters
asked if I could sing another of their favorites, “On Eagle’s Wings”.
I told her I’d be happy to, but I may not remember all the words.
She handed me a sheet with the words and I sang it.
I’m certain that Mom’s death was very near. We prayed together
And I left a very appreciative family.
The next week I was asked to visit an old retired pastor at the
Hospice. I read Psalml 23 and sang it along with others. He was very
hard pressed to communicate, but as I sang he sat back, eyes closed
with a big smile on his face. After prayer he spoke clearly and said
“I want you to know that you made my day”. What a privilege it is
To share the last part of another person’s life. Praise The Lord!
THE MEANING OF LIFE
What is the meaning of this life that we live
and try to comprehend?
To understand what we need to give
before this journey’s end.
My old friend lay dying on his bed.
Is there any comfort to give?
As my songs and verses fill his head
does he think of the new life he will live?
As I witness him take his very last breath
I wonder about my own.
I hope that someone will share my death,
And bid me ado, as I head home
What a privilege it is to share God’s Word
With folks near the end of their life.
To share with them what I’ve read and heard;
And ease their discomfort and strife.
In memory of Bill Grainger
Remember your creator In the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come…..
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”-before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain:
when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop, and the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the window grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades;
when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint;
when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along
and desire is no longer stirred.
Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
Remember him-before the silver chord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken;
Before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well,
…And the dust returns to the ground it came from,
And the spirit returns to the God who gave it.
Let us remember to honor all those who serve or have served
to insure our freedom
Hebrews 12:2&3 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (NIV)
Each blow He received was what we deserve;
each insult, each curse, each abuse.
The horrible things He endured strike a nerve.
All of that torture He didn’t refuse.
He paid with His life for all of our sin;
He willingly bore awful pain.
All He asks in return is our love for Him.
Repentance for sin, Heav’n is our gain.
From the cross to Heaven our council to be;
Presenting our case before God.
All of our sins erased on that tree;
By the shedding of His precious blood.
D. F. Cooper
I was preparing for my January Praise and Worship service at the Fond du Lac Lutheran Home. Most of the folks were already lined up in their wheel chairs waiting to participate in songs, scripture and prayer. I heard an old familiar voice coming from the hallway leading to the sunroom where we meet each month. I hope this guy is the Don Cooper I know” a faint voice exclaimed. She was wheeled into the room by the nurse’s aid, and placed in the front row right in front of my table where I was preparing to start our service. “It is you” Lucy exclaimed when she saw who I was. “If I could get out of this wheel chair, I would give you a great big hug!
“You don’t have to get up Lucy” I said as I walked over to her wheelchair and bent over to give her the hug she wanted to give me. “You don’t know how happy I am to see you” she said. “I’m sorry that I can’t walk and talk like I could before I had this darned stroke, but I can’t wait until we can start singing together as we once did.” Lucy and I had met back in the 1980s, when we were members of the Fond du Lac Community Theater and participated in many musical performances, and sang and danced and even had a glass of beer together after the many rehearsals and performances we attended.
“Jesus Loves Me”, “In the Garden”, “Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven” and many other old favorites about Jesus and Heaven, and many familiar scripture verses later, after enjoying her smiling face during the whole service, it was time to say goodbye. I always finish my service with a prayer, a benediction and a verse of “May The Good Lord bless and Keep You” and after telling them that I hope to see them again next month, but in case I don’t see them here again on earth, I look forward to meeting them in Heaven. If you get there before me, watch for me. If I get there first I will watch for you and we’ll be singing together at Jesus’ feet with all our loved ones who are waiting for us there.
Lucy died Feb 7, 2010. At her wake I discovered that the nurse’s aid who brought her to the service was Lucy’s own grand daughter. Lucy had been a resident of the home for several months but didn’t know about my vesper type services until that day when she was asked if she wanted to sing with Don Cooper today. She was anxious to know if I was someone from her past. I wish that I would have known that she was at the home so I could have at least visited with her before that day, but I really was looking forward to seeing her at the February service. I didn’t know that my parting words would be so prophetic.
I am thankful that we had that last meeting together and that it was such a joy for both of us. This was another of the precious days which the Lord has granted me, to be with the friends He has given me the privilege of sharing our faith together. It is a humbling experience.
Lucy LeMieux will be missed by her relatives and the many friends she volunteered with while working with most of the Fond du Lac area service organizations.
Bound For Heaven
We live in the land of the dying; bound for the land of the living.
Dying can cause much sighing; in Heaven is eternal thanksgiving.
On earth we strive to do our best, to live, to love and leave our mark;
We work and play to pass the test in daylight hours and when it’s dark.
Our future is in Heaven above, that beautiful place beyond compare.
Angels, disciples, folks we’ve loved, prophets and teachers are living there
The streets are paved with purest gold, the entrance graced with pearly gates
We only know what the Bible told; we trust what it tells us about our fate.
There’s no need to ponder the things that will be.
God knows; that’s all that matters; for you and for me!
Nov 1 2009
Excerpts from Revelation:
REV 4:1 KJV I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven:
12:10 KJV And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; KJV
(The Bible shows God’s pathway He’ll lead us to our home
Jesus tells us plainly that He’s the only way
He wants to be our council our mentor our Savior and our guide)