Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Operation and Care of Farm Machinery

An art journey ~

Here is one of my painting processes
this week In The Studio
I'm honored to host the "Sneak Peak" this week!
I encourage you to visit the blogs of the other
creative inspirational artists and writers at the bottom of this post.
sneak peek

Listening to my mp3 player,
I hear this line:
"Turn this broken earth to holy ground".
I grab my pencil and the nearest paper
and jot down
"Luke 8. Parable of the Soils. 100 fold harvest."

And then I jot down a prayer
that spills from my heart:

A few years ago,
Beth Moore taught at a simulcast about this very parable.
It has stayed with me.
I've written about it.
Spoken about it.
And now created art.
But this piece grew in a way so directed by
the Spirit.

I found a book at a flea market 7-10 days ago
--a Bible story book copyright 1878--
in German.
My Grandpa Tommy was a German living in Russia
and immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island in 1908
when he was a baby.
My husband's grandfather John was German also.
I can't read German, but I deciphered this title was from Luke 8:4-15.
The Parable of the Soils.
This book below belonged to my husband's grandfather: John Wahl.

So, I am scanning this old farm machinery manual
that has incredible diagrams
and printing them for this piece.
I start reading the titles of the sections:

Each section starts with an intro and I am reading them.
And it is like Jesus is telling me this parable
himself right here in this old
John Deere farm machinery manual.
Don't ever tell me that
God doesn't speak to my heart
through something other than the Bible.
Yes, I've read the parable of the soils in my Bible.
I've studied it.  I've written about it.
But this little farm machinery manual
was full of truth!

Just read Luke 8:4-15.
{I put it on the piece, but go get your own Bible and read it.}
In the Parable, there is a sower, the seed, and the soil.
The Sower is God, the seed is the word of God, the soil is the heart of man.

So, I'm reading:
"Part One:  Preparation of the Seed Bed
{I'm thinking: the Soil, the heart of man, my heart}
The plow.
{I'm thinking:  An instrument used by the farmer/sower}
The plow is the most important implement used in seed bed prepartion.
Its purpose is to pulverize or break up the soil
admitting air and light--two essentials to normal plant growth.
The plow covers surface trash or manure, mixing it with the soil to decay (die) and furnish plant food."

Ok, so are you with me?
The plow pulverizes or breaks up the soil.
I relate.  In the past my heart was broken up, pulverized by the Sower,
who let in air and Light, essential for my growth,
covered up the surface trash/manure, {the crap of my old sin and surface fakeness}
mixed it up in the soil {my heart} to die {dead sin, dead fakeness, dead lies}.
To be the food for the growth in my heart.

Remember, I'm reading a farm machinery manual from, oh, I don't know, 1950?
And this is the message I'm getting.
Jesus is so good isn't He?
So good at speaking my language if I will listen.
So smart to teach us in stories.

Reading on in the manual . . .
"Part 2: Planting
If planted accurately . . . maximum yields will result,
provided, of course, that other conditions and practices are correct."

"Part 3:  Cultivating.
The destruction of weeds is the primary purpose of cultivation.
Weeds are truly theives . . . they steal profits . . ."

Weeds are truly theives.
In John 10, Jesus said the theif comes to steal, kill, and destroy,
but I have come that they might have life
and have it more
Weeds equals theif.
Weeds steal our abundant life, steal the intended abundant harvest.

And then we come to
"Part 4:  Harvesting"
I almost laughed out loud when I read the first line
because so many of you in my family and community know the
obvious truth of this statement:
"Harvest season is the busiest time of the year on every farm."
Whether it is the "harvest" of cows calving in the spring,
or the harvest of hay being put up in the summer,
harvest of grain, harvest of the garden.
Busy, indeed it is.
And if it's not busy?? 
Well, on a ranch or farm,
not busy harvest means not happy ranchers.

But seriously, read Luke 8:4-15.
The 100 fold harvest only comes with the right conditions.
The abundant fruitful life only comes
when The Sower is allowed to
do the hard work in our heart of
preparing the ideal seed bed
putting the plow to our hearts,
turning the trash into nourishment,
cultivating the weeds out that choke out the growth,
planting the word in the rich, prepared soil
of a good, noble heart,
that's been thawed from winter's freeze,
broken through the surface, through the shallowness of heart,
into the depths of the truest self,
softening the soil,
preparing it for the Seed
of the Word.
Which only then can it take root, grow, mature, and bear fruit
in our lives.
Not easy.
But the harvest is good.

As I made this piece of art.
And as Jesus spoke His parable through the farm machinery manual,
my thoughts turned to the good men in my life
that have been or are ranchers and farmers
{and I know, that ranchers are ranchers and farmers are farmers,
but most ranchers have to do some farming,
and many farmers do some ranching}.
But, anyway, these are some of them men I'm thinking of:
my husband Jim, my dad Phil, my brother Reed,
my Grandpa Tommy,
my brother and father-in-law, Les & Jim,
Jim's grandpa's Les and John,
my uncles
Roger, Willie, Marvin, Hofer, Odde,
some of my cousins,
those friends in our church and community
that I won't list because surely I'll leave somebody off.

And in my mind's eye,
I see Jesus talking to them
not wearing a robe,
but Wrangler's and a faded, grease-stained, western shirt,
smelling like the sweetness of fresh cut hay,
mingled with gasoline, dirt, sweat and grease
talking about haying equipment
breaking soil, seeds, cutting,

He wouldn't talk to them
in the thees and thous of King James language,
or with airs of arrogance, or with fancy speech.
He would talk to them in the language of
of cattlemen and farmers . . .
showing Himself and His kingdom,
with stories about everyday working life.


So much goes through my mind and heart
as I create a piece of art.
Some more than others.
This was one full of God speaking to my heart.
Putting a message into it.
He is the one who sits in the seat of the machinery . . .

Along with the piece above, these below are a tribute
to my home

and family and heritage

and a prayer for those hard working hands

that have meant so much in my life.

I'm thrilled to be taking my work to my favorite gallery in the Black Hills of South Dakota:

Showing Art & Photography at Jon Crane Gallery

256 Main Street, Hill City, South Dakota

Sunday, July 31, 2011, 2:00-5:00 p.m.

Art, photos, and text, copyright 2011.  Jodene (Jodi) Shaw.


  1. AMAZING my sweet friend. Your heart and your art speak to me. Thank you for sharing YOU always.

  2. This is just honey to my heart. Such a fun way to create, so full of depth and color. (visually and spiritually)And you get to show your work too!! Added blessings.

  3. This is absolutely beautiful - in word, in heart, in meaning...I know it will speak to so many...and the meadowlark singing its prairie song...I have missed that song, living here in always inspire me, Jodi.

    So excited for your upcoming show!

  4. Wow, that is truly amazing...and so beautifully said. Your art is so full of the life of the Spirit, speaking to the depths of my soul. Thank you for the creativity and obedience to His leading in your gifts! May He make you truly fruitful!

  5. lovely post... there is so much wisdom in the days of old and simple things.. xo hugs

  6. My husband actually has a few old, old tractors and implements, but they are RED instead of green. :) I love what you pulled out of reading that and your artwork is stunning! Thank you for a truly inspirational post!!!

  7. wow! The words. The images. The colors. And most of all God's supernatural linking His freeing message all together so powerfully... It's breathtaking. Thank you for sharing not only your art but also your meditations as you labored over your art today.

  8. Jodene, that was just beautiful! I loved hearing how God was speaking to you through the book on farming, all through your work. I love that parable and how He inspired your art.

    Have fun at the gallery showing!

  9. Really love your collages and how closely they reflect your life. Thanks for hosting this week...I'm a bit late from traveling this week but glad to be able to link up my post for my current album, Week in the Life. Fondly, Roberta

  10. Jodi, I am so in awe of the work God brings through you. Each and every detail is DRIPPING with the heart that is done in your heart before you bring it to the page. BRAVO for sharing it with us. xoRobin

  11. Jodi, I was too late this week to join "In the Studio" myself, but I'm so glad that I stopped by to take a look! I especially love the "Establish the Work of his Hands" piece--what a beautiful visual prayer (for your husband?). Photographing your work with the rural background adds such a nice touch too!



Welcome ~ share your beautiful thoughts.