Monday, March 30, 2015

The Good Of Our Neighbor


Another article for you.

Whether it's "green" environmentalist farmers, or conventional or "industrial" farmers, our farm has a unique relationship to them both. We can be friends and learn from each other -- here's why:

The Good Of Our Neighbor

Peter Bartlett February 7, 2015

If I were to tell you that Bartlett Farms is an organization dedicated to saving nature from destruction and pollution by man, what would you think? Would you associate us with some environmental organization with an agenda to confine people to “human settlements” and depopulate the planet?

Or what if If I told you that Bartlett Farms is all about pumping the most production out of every animal, plant and person on our farm. What would come to mind? Possibly some concentrated animal feeding operation using robots and computers to manipulate and automate everything.

Well, I’m glad to say we do not operate under either of those two skewed perspectives. Yes, that’s right. They are both skewed. Our philosophy is a Christian philosophy and encompasses the driving force behind each of those ideologies, yet is subject to a greater governing rule of thought which is the law of God.

No human being can derive a motivation to do anything apart from perverting something God has created and revealed in the world. This is because the creation itself is a revelation of God. It means there is always some common ground that we as Christians share with those of differing philosophic perspectives in our experience.

Our environmentalist friends corrupt the fact that God created man’s environment to be stewarded well by man, idolizing the world and denying the personal God who made it. They bow to a cosmic law that pervades nature, but fail to see the person Who is the source and personality of that law. Their desire is to worship a being, but the being who inhabits the world of their imagination is none other than their own person. They cannot bow to a personal God and law outside of themselves, because this would incur guilt for sin against Him, and this is something unregenerate man is too proud to admit.

Industrialists do a similar thing when they take the tools of efficiency and orchestrate them according to the mind and will of man as the center of the universe. Their desire is to impose their autonomy onto the world around them and do without God. It starts in the mind and works its way into the motivations and purposes of their business. What may begin as a creative innovation, is transferred to the belief in an altogether new reality. Once men believe they have initiated an altogether new reality and advanced society to a new level, there creeps in a denying of God’s creation order, and God’s judgement inevitably follows.

An example of this can be seen in the development of modern medicine. Once science claimed a treatment of disease based on a belief that man has comprehensive knowledge of his environment, universities set aside any reference to a divine first cause and their cures were developed and sold as true cures. These cures soon proved ineffective and newer more sophisticated remedies replace them, only to be replaced again and again.

Conformity to God’s standard of conduct is the only thing that can and will “work” for man in the world because he is created by God. Unbelievers unknowingly conform themselves to God’s law when they practice biblical stewardship, though it is only partially done and unwillingly. We may learn many things from them because of this, but we must always steer clear of the perversions that always accompany their teaching.

Bartlett Farms, as a God-fearing business, is working from a vantage point that realizes the needs of all men and the world at large. This is because we have been brought to submit to a divine law outside of man that ultimately provides what man and the world needs in Christ. The differing ideologies that our neighbors hold, although fundamentally opposed to our starting point, have some valid concerns that they bring to the table. We recognize and respect them as our neighbors and seek to bring their concerns into compliance with the pure standard which their ideologies have corrupted. Then we can work for the answer in terms of the one and only standard of God’s word in Scripture.


"The Defence of the Faith" by Cornelius Van Til
Chalcedon Apologetics Module, by Michael Butler, listen here

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Mom and a Business Lady

Good morning -

Just had to comment on how thankful I am for Mom's dedication to helping our family business.

Last week she tuned into the MoneyWise radio program and absorbed a fascinating interview with Anne, from Auntie Anne's Pretzels. Auntie Anne's is the world's largest soft pretzel franchise, with outlets in malls and major airports around the world. Anne is a strong Christian and started her company as a way to give to others. The company logo is a pretzel with a halo representing an angel.

Now just this morning I came across this book sitting in the milk room:

Mom bought herself Anne's story of growing Auntie Anne's. The book tells her story of growing the business from a stand at a local farmer's market, to a world company -- giving credit to God in it all. Besides this book, Mom also bought Dad Joel Salatin's new book, "Fields of Farmers" on managing internships and employees. Dad is already plowing through it and sharing insights with us (like how you don't want to be the first employer of a college graduate).

Mom proves herself over and over to be dedicated to the details, and is always watching out for us as we take risks -- pointing out things the rest of us couldn't see.

Now Mom and Dad are on their way to Grand Forks, delivering fresh milk to our growing customer base there. Dad drops Mom off for shopping, then goes over to the drop location to meet the customers.

You're a great example, Mom! We couldn't do it without you.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Doing some welding


The weather's been extremely nice and working outside is great! Last night David commented on how you go outside and breathe and the air is full and refreshing, rather than brisk and chilly on your lungs.

Today I helped David get started on welding a mount for his debris loader. It'll be a square tubing frame that swings around the side of his box truck to allow the truck box to be unloaded when the back is full.

 We needed to cut two angles to match the diagonal cross member to the main L shaped frame. To do it right, David and I spent some time using our Algebra to calculate the sin and cos of the triangle. I remembered most of it, but got stumped because the calculator would not allow an inverse function.

Dad solved the problem with me and we spent some time going through trigonometry tables proving the math behind the calculator.
Used the cutting torch and arc welder to cut and tack the first part of the frame together.



Saturday, March 07, 2015

Christian Thinking at 40,000 Feet

Good morning!

Midair on my flight to Denver last week, I was enjoying the view so much I pulled out my pen and wrote the first draft of this article. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Christian Thinking At 40,000 Feet

Peter Bartlett, February 26, 2015

For me, flying is not just another means of transportation to get me from point A to point B. Flying is richer than that. It is a personal experience of God’s wisdom and covenant faithfulness to His church. I'd like to explain three reasons for saying this:

  1. Flying demonstrates the recreativity of man made in God’s image.And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” (Genesis 1:26). A human being is really the closest representation of God Himself that exists in the created order. Embodied in man is the features of God and man’s actions glorify God because of their likeness to His on a creaturely level. Flying takes into account centuries of human thoughtfulness, scientific study, experiment and application, all which have been necessary building blocks in the course history to bring glory to God. When I sit in the seat of a plane, I sit atop a pinnacle of human inventiveness which mirrors God’s creativeness.

  1. Flying through space is the experience of God’s temporal substance. Acts 17:24 says, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth…” I believe in the biblical doctrine of creation. There was once nothing but God. Then God made all things material and spiritual by His word. By His word all things consist, both in the heavenly realm and earthly physical world (Col 1:16-17). All things emanate from the eternal Godhead and counsel of the Trinity. To fly, therefore, is traversing a region of space sustained by God. It is experiencing the substance of God’s revelation of Himself to man by His works. Men combine elements of the physical world to propel them through space, achieving their desired ends and ultimately carrying forward the predestined course of human history. So to fly, is to whiz around this terrestrial ball like a kid on a rollercoaster, taking in the scenery from a different angle.

  1. The predictability and challenges of flying are established by virtue of God’s covenant word to His church. Genesis 8:22 says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.” To encounter unchanging laws of science is to verify the words of God’s promise in Genesis 8. His word alone is the reason for consistency in nature. No external, co-eternal abstract laws exist to complement the being of God. He Himself, by His word manifested through the Spirit’s operation, ordains and personally upholds the foundations of flight and aviation for the sake of perfecting His church in time. God “hath put all things under [Christ’s] feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” (Eph 1:22). For me to fly, then, is to rest in the arms of my God who keeps me safe according to His promise, and I can trust He will see me to my destination if that is what is best for me.

The enjoying of God is found anywhere we as Christians submit our world and life view to God’s testimony in Scripture. When believing what it says by faith in the One who spoke it, we will enjoy meeting God in His works. Flying is just one of many ways that we can glorify and enjoy God -- there are so many more.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Spring Break from the Farm


Just returned home yesterday from an extended weekend off the farm. Thursday I took a flight to Atlanta to visit Jonathan and enjoy meeting new friends and explore that part of the country.

So many great experiences...

A few pictures:

 Exiting the plane from Minot in Denver on my way down.

Hiking Blood Mountain in northern GA. 

A big old pine near the top of the first rise. See the opposing hills in the background? Massive! 

Jonathan in one of the company pickups. I had a chance to meet his boss and coworkers at the office of Place Services Inc. on Friday.

Meanwhile the family kept track of the farm. The newest calf stayed in a stall in the house for convenient checking and feeding.

Went out to visit the Skelly's farm on Monday. Nice to see a more rural part of GA.

Had the pleasure of showing Rose how to behave for a rider. Went from flighty to relaxed after the lunging exercise (pictured).

Tire went flat near Macon, GA.

The Nees are a wonderful family from Jonathan's church. They invited us over for dinner and fellowship on Sunday. Thanks so much!

Evan is an inspiring guitarist. Had a great conversation about guitars and styles after fellowship dinner at Chalcedon. 

Fun bunch of people to visit with after the evening church service. (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Boles).

Jonathan shuttled me through Atlanta traffic to the airport Tuesday morning.

It's always great to spend quality time with Jonathan. He's my favorite older brother. Thanks to the family for taking my place for almost a week!

All for now,