Tornado Outbreak

Posted by Missouri Rev on Mar 18th, 2006

Perhaps like yours, our weather this past winter has been very interesting, to say the least. It all started last Thanksgiving with a small tornado that came past us about 5 miles to the west after doing some damage in a nearby town. The alert tone went off on our NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association) weather radio — a real good idea for anybody living in the tornado belt — indicating a tornado warning, take cover. In as much as I am not a fan of our behemoth central government I have to admit that this particular agency has done some good, as many lives have been spared through their advanced storm warning system.

The radio alert reported a tornado (a funnel cloud on the ground) west of us possibly heading our direction. We immediately went for the basement where I soon brought up Doppler radar on my computer, which showed a small storm cell some miles to the west of us. This peaked my curiosity and being an avid weather buff I took a quick look outdoors and discovered clear, starry skies above us with a slight breeze, but to the northwest, as the radar indicated, was a furious little ball of clouds and lightning zooming along to the Northeast. My daughter and I went outside to watch this amazing action. This was after dark on a late November evening, yet it was 70 degrees and beautifully humid, something more akin to April and May when the tornado season is normally active. What a show to behold! With the lightning flashing frequently you could see the tornado moving right along, yet way above and around this small storm you could see the stars. Thank the Lord there were no injuries and relatively minor damage.

From that time until last Sunday we have had a quiet, warm winter with a few short cold snaps and little snow. Until last Sunday I say, as Missouri’s worst tornado outbreak in recorded history unleashed upon us and it was awesome.

Who said, “Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession.” O my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind! As the fire burns the woods, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire, so pursue them with Your tempest, and frighten them with Your storm. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O Lord. Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth. Psalm 83:12-18

It will be several months before a tally is made of all the tornados, which will likely be in the dozens. There were six deaths statewide and extensive damage, though not anything like the Tri-state tornado of March 18, 1925, which ripped through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana killing 695 people. An F5 tornado (the worst it can get), it tracked continuously on the ground for 219 miles and 3.5 hours averaging from ¾ to 3 miles wide, obliterating four communities and destroying over 15,000 homes in the process. Sunday’s outbreak was quite mild in comparison; none of the tornadoes appear to have been bigger than a F2, with the longest one tracking continuously on the ground for only about 19 miles. Yesterday, while traveling over into Carroll County to check out an Amish lumber mill, I saw extensive debris in many of the surrounding fields along the way – huge sheets of twisted sheet metal and pieces of lumber. (I’ll be reporting on this visit with the Amish later as I had a very interesting time with them and am scheduled to spend some more time with them in the next few weeks learning the ins and outs of “sawyering” Amish style.)

Sunday morning during the first storm wave (of three) we suffered here in Rayville a major hailstorm with golf ball size and larger stones. We were truly spared compared to many areas throughout the state that suffered extensive damage from baseball size and larger hail. I became a minor casualty when I went outside at the beginning of it to cover the only car we had that was dent free. We covered it with a tarp, blankets, and thick rugs to no avail. In the process a large hailstone zinged in and smacked an exposed wrist (I was well covered with a heavy coat and hat) causing it to immediately bruise and bleed, and this only 30 minutes before we were to start worship services. All things considered, we had much to pray and thank the Lord for.

Since the National Weather Service (NWS) had predicted the threat of tornadoes for most of the day, we spent the afternoon with some members of the church while two more waves of tornadic activity came through. Our antique church basement is a virtual “Fort Knox” with its many thick walls of concrete and, thus, makes a great place to retreat when the weather yogurt is about to hit the fan. We are blessed that one of the members of our church is an advanced HAM radio operator and seasoned storm spotter, which really is a plus here in Missouri. When the NWS announced during the second wave that we had a possible tornado coming our way I went outside with him to spot and report it, if possible, something I recommend doing very carefully and during the daylight . . . Doppler radar within the confines of a basement is the best place at night, in my opinion. Even during the day many tornados cannot be easily seen, especially if wrapped in rain or just starting where there is not a lot of debris or rain within it to make it manifest. Though a tornado did not appear, thank God, we did witness a huge, low hanging wall cloud that was rotating to beat the band as it boiled and roared directly over us. It was breathtaking! A short time later it spawned off a tornado in a county just northeast of us. We were spared again. Thank you Lord!

Now that we have finished winter with the largest spring type tornado outbreak in its history, we are entering spring with what will likely be the largest snowstorm of the season, which is predicted for this Sunday through Tuesday. Ah yes, the futility of men to try to predict the weather according their suppression of the truth (Rom. 1:18-21) that it is the Lord that directs the weather to His glory that His righteousness be revealed to the nations. Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed (Isa. 56:1). After all I have seen this winter, I wonder what’s in store for New Orleans after they dedicated the latest Marti Gra to God, that He would bless it!

What are We Biblical Agrarians to Do?

Posted by Missouri Rev on Mar 4th, 2006

I would like to point you to an article, Cornucopia Institute Opposes Virginia Poultry Proposal —Legislation Could Ban Small Scale/Humane Production, cited by the Reformed Farmer in his most recent blog posting. This article deals with a piece of legislation in Virginia – HR 982 – that could ban any and all outdoor (read non-confinement) chicken farming (even by families for family use) under the guise of the current bird flu scare. HR 982 is no idle threat, by any means, as this type of legislation will be making its way across the nation, thanks to the full backing of the confinement poultry industry, one of the many tentacles of corporate agribusiness. It is yet another effort by the corporate state, in exalting itself as god over mankind, to “save us from ourselves,” that is, to have the dominion as the head over mankind and the earth for the supposed “good of all.” Don’t think for a minute that should this legislation pass that it would remain largely unenforceable. Federal funds are already being sought to empower enforcement at the local level to shut down these “potentially dangerous” poultry operations. This type of legislative salvation has happened many times before in our nation.

First you start by generating real fear through the national and local media until the public gets riled enough to demand “legislative” action, like we have witnessed with the war on terrorism and the subsequent reams of legislation passed and implemented which call for a greatly expanded central government – working, of course, in league with certain appointed corporations and various NGOs (non government organizations) – who, together, step in to save us . . . of course at an astronomical cost and greater governmental control of our lives. Once the legislation has been passed on poultry production and the accompanying enforcement regulations written, all that is needed to gain compliance are a few ruthless, well publicized raids, arrests, and convictions coupled with the implementation of a lucrative informant system and the vast majority of “non-regulated” chicken farming will cease out of fear and real financial ruin.

I can see the billboards now. “Stop the spread of disease and protect your family and neighbors from harm. Dial 1-800-CHICKEN if you know of any unauthorized poultry farms or flocks. All calls are strictly confidential and substantial rewards are given.” History has shown, as was the recent case with the former Soviet Union, that when the public gets word that they can receive easy money from the public largess by simply informing on their neighbor, especially in strict confidentiality, they will do it with gusto. I can also hear the “educated” informant’s rationale for doing such duty, “What’s the big deal anyway, are not the readily available, low-priced chickens and eggs produced by the modern farmers of today, especially under the “careful watch” of the USDA, far safer than the birds and eggs raised by unregulated farmers and families? Do not the federal and corporate authorities in power know what’s best for us since they have done so much expensive research?” You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice (Exo. 23:2).

Just remember that our federal central government inextricably intertwined with all state governments, through its powerful alliance with the Federal Reserve and other strategic corporations, has an endless supply of funds (created through uncontrolled borrowing) at its disposal to empower all corporate takeovers as are deemed necessary to maintain its very real dominion. If you do not believe this is so, just talk to the tens of thousands of families driven off their small family farms in the last 50 years by the “progressive polices” of Uncle Sam and one of his many corporate mistresses, the agribusiness industry. The behemoth global corporations Monsanto and ConAgra, to name a few, are great examples of this cooperative takeover by the corporate state. One corporation backing HR 982 is Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., a powerful growers’ and processor’s “association,” (read corporation) which heavily promotes the huge confinement operations that supply nearly all of the chickens and eggs Americans consume today.

Here is a quote from the article by Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst for The Cornucopia Institute, “Nothing would make the huge poultry confinement operators happier than to squelch an increasingly popular competitor that consumers are flocking to . . . Consumers have discovered that the purveyors of organic and direct-market eggs and poultry raised in healthy, outdoor conditions offer a superior-tasting product, and that scares the huge confinement operations.”

Bottom-line: “independent farmers,” who produce a far superior product using a means which does not require them to worship at the altar of mammon by going into perpetual debt through consuming a fortune of expensive agribusiness products and methodologies, are a very real threat to those who do, who have “paid their dues” by yoking to the corporate state. The very real public threat is not the bird flu, should God send it, but the incorporated love of money and power – a real cause for such judgment — that debt–based economic systems operate by in gaining and maintaining control of land and the commerce it produces via the corporation, the artificial child of fallen man.

As man is to God a servant expressly created to take dominion of the earth through obedience to God’s Law in and for His glory (Gen. 1:26-28), so fallen man, in suppressing this truth while mimicking the Lord in exalting himself as god (Rom. 1:18-23), has created the corporation – an artificial person – to be his servant in taking dominion of his fellow man and the earth for himself. Read very carefully the legal definition of the corporation given below. It reveals the heart of fallen man to suppress the truth of God’s calling upon him as His servant and God’s right to determine his future (succession) on earth. The corporation is a mechanism of subversion – a legal end around the sovereignty of God – by which man determines for himself, apart from any liability for personal sin, what his future will be and by what means of succession. Fallen man, in “legally” circumventing the direct accountability he has to his Creator and Sovereign Lord to submit to His government and commandments, has birthed through “special denomination” his own artificial child, the corporation, to employ as his agent, directly answerable to him alone, in insuring that he remains the heir of the earth and its nations.

CORPORATION. An artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state or nation, composed, in some rare instances, of a single person and his successors, being the incumbents of a particular office, but ordinarily consisting of an association of numerous individuals, who subsist as a body politic under a special denomination, which is regarded in law as having a personality and existence distinct from that of its several members, and which is, by the same authority, vested with the capacity of continuous succession, irrespective of changes in its membership, either in perpetuity or for a limited term of years, and of acting as a unit or single individual in matters relating to the common purpose of the association, within the scope of the powers and authorities conferred upon such bodies by law. (Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition -West Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minn., 1968, p. 409)

Just as important, however, the corporation has become a very effectual tool in blocking lawful interposition by biblical authorities (family, church, and civil) in intervening against the actions of those who seek to control their lives, liberty, and property for their own ends. They accomplish this solely by greatly empowering their corporate children by means of debt-based, usurious, fiat currency economics — the mother’s milk that grows the healthy bones and muscled sinews that comprise dominating pagan cultures.

Though it may be some time before a total takeover is accomplished, I believe it will happen to poultry farming as it has with nearly every other aspect of our economy and culture. What are we biblical agrarians to do? As I have said before, it is not enough to just buy land and start small family farms and businesses, important as this is. Who will interpose on our behalf when the corporate state comes to take dominion of our land and business through the long arm of legislation and economic reappraisal? We have gone long enough in generational pietist retreatism; the results have been absolutely disastrous.

The current agrarian movement among the Lord’s elect will die in its infancy if they do not see and act upon the fact that it entails the total, simultaneous reformation — spiritual, political, economic, educational, agricultural, etc. — of themselves (first and foremost) and the culture that surrounds them. More so, this type of biblical reformation begins with cultural secession, a term that makes most believers squirm in their shoes, since most “secessions” in human history have been bloody reactions to men and not the proactive actions of believers in separating from the unbeliever — wherein they have been unequally yoked — to turn back to their Lord in covenantal faithfulness (Neh 9:32 – 10:29). Now, before I give the express commandment under the New Covenant for cultural secession, as given by the apostle Paul, let me first give the definition for secession so you can see the clear connection between it and the commandment given by Paul.

Secession, n. [L. seccesio. See Secede.] 1. The act of withdrawing, particularly from fellowship and communion. (The American Dictionary Of The English Language, Noah Webster, 1828)

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:14-18).

This process of biblical secession (separation) is not a form of reactive retreatism achieved through pietistic legalism, as is so common among so many Christian’s today, but proactive dominion achieved through faithful covenant-keeping where the ongoing growth of the new culture displaces the wicked culture surrounding it. The only way this can be achieved, as incredibly daunting as it truly is, is for it to start locally where God’s people living in close proximity covenant with one another to seek first — in their lives, marriages, churches, and communities — the Kingdom and crown rights of the Lord Jesus Christ and that according to His righteous standards as laid out in both testaments of the Scriptures. This is no easy task, as it absolutely requires the taking up of the cross of Christ by every participant in humbling themselves before the Lord in true repentance and reformation. The days of autonomous Christianity in America are coming to end, as evidenced by the righteous judgments of God in putting His people under an ever growing central government until they repent. The days of faithful covenant keeping, Lord willing, are beginning. Even so, come Lord Jesus and have thy way with your flock. — The Missouri Rev

Flower O’ The Heather

Posted by Missouri Rev on Mar 2nd, 2006

Though meteorologists in our neck of the woods consider March 1st the beginning of spring, the real proof came yesterday when I drove past a local slue. There on various logs were dozens of painted turtles sunbathing in the beautiful 75 degree weather. Frog orchestras are soon in coming . . . can’t wait.

I have been enjoying a great though mostly unknown historical novel, Flower O’ The Heather – A Story of the Killing Times, written in 1922 by Robert William MacKenna. It’s the story of the conversion of a young man to the Covenanter’s faith through the trials he endured during the savage persecution of the Covenanters around 1685. Having joined the King’s army (English) after being expelled from college, Walter de Brydde soon deserts it because he cannot stomach the various crimes he is required to participate in to punish those who will not take the “test oath.” Without food or a place to lay his head, he is rescued by an old Presbyterian pastor who, having refused to take the oath, was forced into the Highland moorland to live quite primitively so that he could continue to lead worship on the Lord’s Day during open air meetings in the fields called Conventicles. Eventually they are surrounded by soldiers and the faithful pastor gives his life for him, so that he escapes. Through many more severe trials and wonderful blessings he comes into full faith as one who suffers for Christ and for his fellow Covenanters. The names and historical events woven into the story are historically accurate. The author, in giving it such a robust Scottish flavor, uses the heavy Scottish brogue in many places, which is sometimes hard to follow. Here are a few bonnie quotes that I thought you lassies ane laddies woohhd anjoh.

During the night the Reverend Alexander Main would often play haunting Scottish tunes on his flute. One night there was noticeable silence for which young Brydden inquired of the pastor, “Well,” he said. “it is Saturday, and ye’ll no’ hear me playing the nicht. On such a nicht one is too near the threshold of the Sabbath day lichtly to engage in sic worldly amusement. However, if ye’ll come around to my side of the loch about the usual time, we’ll take a bite o’ supper together—after that ye’d better leave me to my meditations in view of the Lord’s Day, for I am preaching the morn.” “In which church, may I ask?” I said, forgetting for a moment where I was. “In the kirk of the moorland,” he answered, “which has no roof but God’s Heaven, and no altar but the loving hearts of men and women!”

The glorious death of Rev. Main: “I heard the jangle of bridle chains, and the creak of stirrup leathers: I could hear the heavy breathing of the horses—they were closing in upon me from every side. One minute more and I should be discovered, and then, death! And I, because I had learned to love, had grown afraid to die. Suddenly, clear and shrill, the sound of a flute came from the far side of the loch. What madness was this? Did not the old man know that the troopers were upon us? In the very teeth of danger he was calmly playing a tune that I had heard more than once in the moonlit hours of the night. O fool! What frenzy had seized him? . . . And then the truth flashed upon me. It was not madness: it was sacrifice! He had seen my danger, and to save me, with no thought of self, he had done this thing. . . . Would he take the oath? I knew that to him allegiance to his God was more precious than fealty to an earthly king. I could see the whole scene: he, calm, in the circle of his accusers, with the firing party charging their weapons. I could hear the bullying voice of the commander trying to break his spirit, and then I knew—for I had seen it—that he would be given five minutes to make his peace with God. Little need for that! . . . The crash of muskets tore the silence and I knew that Alexander Main, hillman, and Saint, had won his crown of glory at the last.

Young Brydden, upon waking from a coma after several days, the result of fall that broke his leg while fleeing his pursuers, discovers the care that was given him by the mother and daughter of a humble covenanting family, the Patersons. “Can ye feed yersel’, or maun I feed ye like a bairn [child] ?” She gave me a horn spoon, and with a shaky hand I fed myself. She sat watching me, but did not speak again till I had finished my meal. “That’s better,” she said. “You’ll soon be yersel’ again. It’s the prood woman I am. I never yet knew a man sae ill as you ha’e been pu’ through. Man, but for the grace o’ God and our Mary [the lady’s daughter that discovered him injured and risked her neck to rescue him], the craws on the moor ha’e picked yer banes white long ere noo.”

Mrs. Patterson discusses the finer points of milking the coo. I listened eagerly. She [Mary] was singing a love song! The old woman heard her too, for she said: Dae ye ken ocht aboot kye?” I hastened to tell her that I knew nothing. “Weel,” she said, “It’s a queer thing, but ye can aye get mair milk frae a coo if ye sing at the milkin’. If ye sing a nice bricht tune you’ll get twa or three mair gills than if ye dinna sing ava. Noo, that’s Meg she’s milkin’, and Meg has got near as muckle sense as a human being. On Sabbath, ye ken, it would be a terrible sin to sing a sang to the coo when ye’re milkin her, so I’ve got to fa’ back on the psalms. But ye’ve got to be carefu’. For instance, if ye sang the ‘Auld Hundred’ to Meg, ye wadna’ get near sae muckle [so much] milk, because it’s solemn-like, than wad if ye sang her a psalm that runs to tune o’ ‘French’. Forby, I aince had a servant-lass that sang a paraphrase when she was milkin’ Meg, and the puir cratur’ was that upset that shw was milked dry before the luggy was a quarter filled, and when I went masel’ [myself] to strip her, she put her fit in the pail—a thing I’ve never kent her dae afore or since.”

Mrs. Patterson explains herself when she chases the chickens away while referring to them as covenanters. “Shoo! Ye wee Covenanters!” she cried. I laughed, as I said, “Why do you call them Covenanters?” “Weel,” she replied, “I often think that chickens and the hill-men ha’e muckle in common. Ye see maist Covenanters tak’ life awfu’ seriously. They ha’e few pleasures frae the minute they come into the world. A kitten will lie in the sun playin’ wi’ a bit o’ oo’, and a wee bit puppy will chase its tail for half an hour on end; but wha ever saw a chicken playin’? They denna ken the way. It’s scrape, scrape, pick, pick, frae the day they crack the shell till the day their necks are wrung. And your Covenanters are muckle the same.”

I ope’ ye foond these quotes anjoybl’. — The Missouri Rev.