Thursday, September 9, 2010


This past weekend we attended an “organic church conference” in LeRoy, MN. I’m not even sure where to begin in describing the experience. There were only a few of us in attendance, but the presence of Jesus was very strong!

The couple who hosted the “conference” are two of the most hospitable people I think I’ve ever met. They obviously had little to share financially. However, not wanting those attending the conference to incur the added expense of hotel rooms, meals, etc., this couple hosted all of us in their home! When the wife wasn’t preparing meals for us she’d say, “There’s food in the freezer and pantry. Help yourself to whatever is here!”

These “goat farmers” welcomed us to their humble abode with open arms, having deep appreciation for what the Lord has provided them. They shared that when they told their new neighbors which house they live in, their neighbors’ response was, “Oh! We didn’t think anyone even lived there!” With barrels, palettes, machinery and appliances scattered all about their yard, there was barely room to walk. However, between and around each “treasure” burdock grew profusely! If you know anything about burdock, you know that their pretty flowers turn to burrs which stick to everything that touches them! Regardless, goats love burdock and many of them were freely roaming the yard eating these tasty “wild flowers”!

Between conference sessions, some of us helped feed and milk goats while others prepared meals. Because I’ve had a desire to obtain a milking goat it was interesting to learn about their milking system and exciting to milk a goat for the first time! One “city slicker” attendee wasn’t nearly so fascinated. Unaccustomed to farm life, he was utterly disgusted with the number of flies! I teased him about how nice it would be when both hands are busy to have horse skin to shake the flies away!

Gary & I had parked our motor home in the driveway of this farm. Throughout the night the little goats were curiously clunking around underneath and inviting themselves to climb up and down the steps to our front door! The roosters worked in unison and were like a non-electric alarm clock, snooze option included! Before dawn was even thinking about cracking, one rooster would sound his alarm….and about ten minutes later another would sound his reminding prompt. They took turns until we finally gave in and got out of bed!

Each morning and night, once the work was done, we all sat around the kitchen table eating, sharing, laughing, crying, and exhorting one another! There have been few instances when I have experienced the presence of Jesus so strongly amongst a group of His people. Yes, we all brought our part; however, the more I got to know this precious couple the more I recognized the love of Jesus flowing from every pore in their bodies! Consequently, I found myself not wanting to leave their presence!

Have you ever noticed that
those who experienced the presence of Christ, followed Him everywhere?
They didn’t care if they ate!
They didn’t care if they had to walk many miles.
They didn’t care what they had to leave behind.
They just longed to be in His presence!

Before the weekend was over, I think everyone there was more than willing to forego rest and wade through the burdock and goat manure (maybe “city slicker” was even willing to be eaten-up by the flies), in order to be in the precious presence of one another. Why? Because it is the place where Jesus dwells!


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