Foundations for Farming Course at the 2018 Lamplighter Guild!

I am excited to announce that I will be teaching a Foundations for Farming Agriculture Course at the 2018 Lamplighter Guild in Mount Morris, New York, July 8-13!

The goal of the Lamplighter Guild is to kindle a renaissance of creative excellence that inspires one to know God intimately, proclaim Him passionately, and enjoy Him infinitely. It is an inspirational experience where faith meets purpose and where purpose ignites passion.

This past week I spoke with Mark Hamby, founder of Lamplighter, on his podcast, Fastened Like Nails. You can find the link to the podcast below:

Fastened Like Nails Podcast

You can find out more about the course I am offering, the Guild, or registration at https://www.lamplighterguild.com/horticulture

Lamplighter is offering an early-bird discount through January 31st, so if you are interested go ahead and pray about registering soon.

I hope to see you there!

Course Description:

Stewarding the land was one of the first tasks God gave to man. It is one of the most basic and essential expressions of the job we have been given of ruling the earth. But few people in the church today have anything to do with agriculture. And sadly Christians often have a reputation of being destroyers of the land. There are many serious challenges facing agriculture around the world. The world is looking for answers about how we are going to feed people in the years to come. The heart of this class is to equip Christians to be leaders in agriculture by basing their gardens and farms in the foundation of Jesus’ humility, unselfishness, and faithfulness. Then they can model the excellence that comes from respecting the design of God in Creation and share the heart of Jesus that is behind it. Agriculture done with this perspective can be a powerful tool for making disciples in communities.

The methods taught in this class are based in simple, yet powerful principles revealed by God in the story of Foundations for Farming, an agricultural discipleship ministry based in Zimbabwe, Africa. God used a bankrupt white commercial farmer named Brian Oldreive to discover God’s simple ways of growing plants and he ended up being one of the most successful farmers in all of Africa. But God then called him to share what he had learned with the poor, and the result has made an incredible impact all over Africa and the world.

This class will cover three levels of Agriculture:

  1. Backyard Food Production: How to successfully grow some of your own food.
    1. Soil management
    2. Garden layout
    3. Compost
    4. Vegetable production
    5. Using your Garden to share the Gospel
  2. Homesteading: How to grow a lot of what you eat.
    1. The homesteading lifestyle
    2. Field crops
    3. Chickens
    4. Milk cows
    5. Homestead design
    6. Infrastructure
    7. Ministry of Hospitality
  3. Market Farming: How to grow food for other people and get paid for it.
    1. Management difference for commercial production
    2. Developing a business plan
    3. Marketing
    4. Commercial production techniques
    5. Ministry opportunities

Announcing My Upcoming Book, Born Again Dirt

Do you desire to glorify God through the way you farm? Are you tired of reading books on farming that deny God as Creator? Have you ever wondered what agriculture would look like if it was based on the Bible, instead of evolution, Mother Nature, or the latest and greatest manipulative science?
Born Again Dirt is a book written for Christian farmers (or Christians that grow anything) and seeks to give them a Biblical vision for agriculture. This book contends that the way we farm is not unrelated to our relationship with God. Rather, it should be a reflection of it!  As the title of the book communicates, if you are a born again farmer, your dirt needs to be born again as well.
The primary goal of Born Again Dirt is not to convince Christians to adopt a particular farming method. Instead, the intent is to encourage them to begin a journey of seeking to glorify the Lord through applying the principles of Scripture to every aspect of their farms. This book seeks to do that by taking a helpful, though not exhaustive, look at various Biblical principles and considering examples of practical application. Topics covered include:
-Developing a Biblical, agricultural worldview.
-Designing farms as beautiful, fruitful homes.
-Managing your farm as a steward
-Honoring God’s design in farm production
-Growing crops that honor the Lord
-Marketing as ministry
-The idolatry of modern agriculture
-Farming for the lifestyle
-Starting a born again farm
-Making a living farming
Without claiming to know all the answers, Born Again Dirt seeks to encourage you in your pursuit of God-glorifying agriculture . This book is a must read for any Christian who is a full time farmer, backyard gardener, or for anyone who desires a more Biblical view of agriculture.
Lord willing, Born Again Dirt will be released sometime next month. It will be available on my upcoming website, www.bornagaindirt.com. I really am looking forward to seeing how the Lord uses this book for the encouragement of the growing number of Christian farmers.
Currently I am working on editing, and would appreciate your prayers. I only have a short time to work on it before growing season hits. Over the next few weeks I will try to give you updates and more info as I make progress. To God be the Glory.
“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” Ecclesiastes 12:12

Sustainably Fruitful


How does God want us to care for his creation? How does he want us to tend our farms or gardens?

Well, if we look at Genesis, when God first gave the assignment of caring for his creation to man, and placed him in the garden, the instructions he gave him were to care for and work it. Another way to look at it is that his management was to be both sustainable and fruitful.

Sustainable refers to man’s job to protect, maintain, tend, and help supply the needs of the resources he is caring for. He is not supposed to use up or destroy the resources of creation to his own benefit. Instead, he realizes that creation doesn’t belong to him, that he is caring for it out of love for God and service to others, so he seeks to maintain and preserve creation for the benefit of those who come after.

Fruitful refers to the man’s job to fully utilize creation for increased productivity. Just as in the parable of the talents, man is not to simply preserve the ‘talents’ of creation, but he is to put them to work to produce fruit. It is part of our job to work with our hands, so that we can have to share with those in need.

In agriculture it is easiest to be either just ‘sustainable’, or just ‘fruitful’. Many times it is easier to primarily seek to preserve our resources and produce only what it takes to live. However, that is selfish because it is wasting, for the sake of our laziness, the potential fruitfulness of the land that could be used to serve other. And most of the time it is easier to seek to produce all that we can at the expense of the resources of creation. However, this is selfish because it is robbing future generations of what they need to be fruitful.

In the past, we can see that many farming methods tended to stray from Biblical, sustainable fruitfullness. In America, for instance, many of the early ‘Indians’ were very sustainable, but were not very fruitful. They just existed from one generation to the next, rarely leaving anything more to the next than they had received. And the European settlers, although Christians, tended to be very fruitful, but not very sustainable. They established a pattern of using up the land and moving west, ruining the inheritance of their descendents.

If we want to redeem our dirt, then we need to seek to farm in a way that is sustainability fruitful. Both caring for and working creation. It’s a lot easier to be either sustainable or fruitful. But, because it’s not about us, we need to purpose to be both. Sustainably fruitful is the harder path, but anything less is bad stewardship.