It was time for wheat harvest. The days were very hot. Dad and Uncle Finley kept a close watch on the fields so that the wheat could be harvested at just the right moment.
They also kept a close watch on the sky. A hard rain and/or high wind could ruin the crop. That is a fearful thing for a farmer.
I can still see Uncle Finley eating grains of wheat as he leaned back against a wall. He would take the wheat tops and rake the seeds out into his hand and eat them.
As a child I was curious. I remember asking Uncle Finley why he was eating the seeds. He told me that the seeds were wheat and placed some in my hand and told me to eat them.
I looked at him strangely. I thought, ‘I have never eaten these seeds. Will they hurt me?’
Uncle Finley started telling me that the seeds were what we used to make our bread. In order to convince me, he also told me of other foods we make with wheat.
Yes, I ate the seeds. They were hard, of course, yet they were tasty.
Winnowing by Machine
Usually a farmer in our community came with his combine. The combine would thresh the wheat, separating the seeds from the chaff and straw. Then another man riding on the combine would pull a lever and let the grains of wheat pour into sacks.
The sacks of wheat were tied with twine and stored in our granary. Some would be used for flour; but most for feeding our animals.
The straw (the stems of the wheat plants) would be left behind in the field. Later, we would bind the straw into bales and store in the barn for bedding.
Winnowing by Hand
I remember times when we had to separate the wheat from the chaff by hand. Those were back breaking days.
The wheat would be spread out on a large white sheet. Each of us would take a corner and lift the sheet. Then we would fling the wheat up into the air so that the wind would carry away the chaff leaving the heavier grains of seed to fall back into the sheet. This process is called winnowing.
It seemed we could never get the wheat clean enough. Yet, when Mom saw that the wheat was finally clean, we would gather up the corners of the sheet so that we wouldn’t lose any of the precious grains. Then we would pour the grain into clean sacks and store for later use.
Winnowing the World
Those harvesting days help me to understand Scriptures such as Matthew13:30 and Matthew 3:12.
“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:30
“Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:12
Jesus speaks of His children as being precious wheat. The floor is the world that He has created. The wind and other forces of nature are under His control.
Just as our family lifted the sheets and let the wind carry the chaff away, so will Jesus separate or winnow His precious seed from the chaff.
Jesus will gather his precious children into His garner which is heaven. And the chaff, those who rejected His love extended toward them, will be cast into an unquenchable fire.
Having harvested wheat, I understand just how precious each grain of wheat is. Plowing, disking, seeding, fertilizing, and harvesting is no easy task. It is very labor-intensive.
Neither has Jesus spared any expense, even giving His own life, so that at harvest time many souls will be ready for heaven.
I am glad that I am one of those that Jesus considers precious seed. I look forward to the day when He will garner me into heaven.
Are you one of those precious seeds? If not, you can be.
Let Jesus speak to your heart as you read these words from John 3:16-17; 36.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Believe on Jesus the Messiah. Give your heart to Him today, and He will prepare you for heaven.
Then when Jesus winnows the peoples of the earth, you will be part of those who will be gathered to live with Him in heaven.
We recently moved our keets to their new home (biddy cage).
The keets seem to enjoy the fresh air and the ability to see beyond their protected space.
(Keets are baby guineas in case you didn’t know.)
Keet Saved from Disaster
One of the keets is especially adventurous. In fact, before we expected to move the keets to a larger space, this keet ‘flew the coop.’ Thankfully, I heard her (or his) activity before she got entangled in anything harmful.
Now in the biddy cage, this keet has already decided to roost on a low branch placed strategically inside the cage. She (or possibly he) is obviously a leader.
Being a leader can have its advantages and its disadvantages.
Inside the safety of the storage container (see previous post), the keets were kept warm under the heat of a light bulb. They had plenty of fresh water and food given to them daily. The container was kept clean (keets are messy).
Yet, this keet decided to try its wings and fly over the top and onto the floor in one of our bedrooms. If I had not heard its wings fluttering against a vent, this bird may have died from lack of food and water.
Because of this keet’s activities, the keets were moved outdoors. Within the protection of the biddy cage, this keet is now free to try her wings and encourage others to do the same.
Although we have not seen any of the other keets resting on the branch, I am sure that encouragement from this keet will have them following suit shortly.
To follow the adventurous keet as it flew out of the protective storage container could have been disastrous for the other keets. However, within the protection of the biddy cage, it is advantageous for the keets to follow in resting on the roost.
Follow the Leader?
Just like the keets, children are young and inexperienced in the ways of the world. They do not understand that danger lurks outside the protective boundaries set by their parents and other caring adults.
Children repeat the words they hear, imitate the actions they see, and model their lives after those that are honored as leaders or heroes.
Children repeat the words they hear, imitate the actions they see, and model their lives after those that are honored as leaders or heroes. Sadly, many times children follow the unwise and corrupt. Habits are formed which lead to destruction.
Children will follow the leader. However, it is important that the leader be knowledgeable and upright and praiseworthy. What is cultivated in the child is what has been honored before their eyes.
An Example Worthy of Imitation
As we lead our children are we cultivating that which is praiseworthy? Are we cultivating what is honorable? Are we giving our children an example to imitate that follows truth and godliness?
Can we say as Paul did, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17)?
Children are great imitators. May they ‘mark’ those who walk wisely and follow their example.
Seeing new life around the farm is a blessing. Blossoming faces lift themselves toward life-sustaining sunshine. Butterflies flit once again. And the sounds of animal babies mooing or peeping or meowing let us know that life continues even after winter’s long and harsh visit.
Keets Are Here!
Keets have arrived. That’s baby guineas for newbies to farm life. They are a skittish bunch. I’m afraid we may have more males than we desire, but as long as they get along we will be okay.
Living quarters are a large plastic storage container with paper towels for flooring. We’ve discovered that keets like to scratch for their feed so the feeder has been removed. We also took out the shavings and replaced them with paper towels to accommodate their feeding habits.
The keets are a happy bunch. They huddle together, sing together, eat together, and sleep together in a corner of the bin. Life holds many exciting adventures for them. We pray that they will continue happily when we place them in a larger pen, and finally, to the yard.
New life is always welcome. It refreshes and cleanses away the dreary days of winter. The hope of new life gives us something to look forward to each day.
Anticipation is the promise of what can be if we will only look for it.
Anticipation of new life
Anticipation is the promise of what can be if we will only look for it. Sometimes it makes us impatient wondering where new life can be found.
But new life is not far from any of us. In fact, it’s closer than we may imagine.
“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:10
Gift of New Life
Every living creature needs water to survive. The keets must have fresh water each day and I must give it to them. They cannot give it to themselves.
Life is the same. We cannot give ourselves life. It must come from someone else. Our parents birthed us into this world. They gave us what we needed to survive.
New life is the same. We cannot give it to ourselves. It must come from someone else. That someone else is Jesus Christ. Only He has the power to give it to us.
New life is eternal. It is spiritual. It lasts beyond this world.
“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14
Jesus the Messiah offers the water of life to all who will come to Him. His gift of new life sustains through all eternity.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3