Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What I have died to

Earlier this month I was sitting in church, listening to the scriptures that were being read.  As I sat there listening to the readings, and then the gospel, one line in particular stood out to me.  "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot," Ecclasiastes 3: 1,2.  As these words came to me I began to give my own meaning to them.  I thought about how we all are born at the beginning of life and eventually, it is our time.  Then, my pastor began to give his sermon and totally changed my thought process.  He refered to these words in a different way.  One in that there are several times in life where a person has to die in some things in order to be born again.  How we will not progress and continue to grow if we do not allow certain experiences, positions and relationships to die.  This made me look back and think about all the things I have let die, ad those that are still to come.

While thinking about what I have died to, I had to rewind back in my life to when I was 12 years old.  At this time, I had been competing in ranch rodeos for about a year or two and had been sharing a horse with my sister or mom the entire time.  I then got the amazing opportunity to have a horse of my own.  One that only I would be riding.  I ended getting a HUGE sorrel gelding that was named G Man.  I instantly fell in love with my new horse, and  Every moment I could I would spend with my horse, whether it was riding, feeding or anything else.  I ended up getting to spend only a summer with G.  When my mom told me we had someone who wanted to buy him, I was devistated.  How could someone else want to buy MY horse.  My mom sat me down and talked through why this was happening.  Looking back, the conversation I had with my mom was not all that different from the sermon I heard a couple weeks ago.  She told me that if I wanted to continue to become a better rider, I would have to let G go.  In reality, she was telling me that I would have to let my relationship and riding of G Man die in order to continue to grow.

I thought long about that time in my life and how what my mom said had come true.  It made me think about what I am going to die to coming up in my life.  Instantly, I thought about my life serving the Minnesota FFA Association.  I got very sad because I know I have had some amazing experiences a
s a state officer.  I have gotten to be impacted by members at state conferences, interact with industry partners and discuss where we are headed as an organizatoin and industry with other passionate agriculturalists.  Looking back, I would not trade the experiences I have had for anything, however, I know that I will have to let my position as State FFA Sentinel die.  I will have to allow this point in my life to end in order to progress.  In order to progress into society so that I will be able to make a difference in agriculture and in others lives in a different capacity.  

Throughout our lives we will have to die to certain experiences and relationships if we want to progress.  If we want to push forward and continue to reach farther than we have before.  I know how much it hurts, but I also know that if we allow ourselves to move on from certain experiences, the outcome will be great.  Undoubtedly there will be changes in our lives, but resulting from those changes, there will be amazing experiences waiting for us.  Good Luck and Happy Trails.

Stationed by the door,

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Letter to You

Dear FFA Friend,

Wow! Where has time gone? Now I’m starting to sound more like my parents but with all seriousness, wow! I wanted to take the time in this letter to thank you. For the bonds we have formed within the stiches of the blue jacket are something I value. Although there isn’t a way to wrap all our memories in this letter, I am going to try even with a Frozen touch to it!
One of my favorite songs in that movie is, “Love Is An Open Door”…you know the duet of Anna and Hans before we knew he was evil… Anyway I think of this, “All my life has been a series of doors in my face, and then suddenly I bump into you” is similar to the FFA experience. FFA has brought countless opportunities through these open doors in our faces! “…and suddenly I bump into you..” trust me friend, I did not plan to meet you. It was definitely sudden-ly.

“But with you, I found my place” Just like I have found my joy and love in the FFA, it is because of the friendships you have shared with me that my experience have grown from ordinary to extraordinary. “…and it’s nothing like I’ve even known before…” You are ONE of a KIND, my friend, and I am thankful for that.

I mean it’s crazy…” [what]  We finish each other’s…” [sandwiches] “That’s what I was gonna say!” – 
(Definitely my favorite part of the duet) “I never met someone who thinks so much like me!” Through the support and encouragement you have provided me, you have inspired me. The compassion you show others has become influential as well as the large heart you have is genuine. Thank you for making me, as well as other members, feel included.

Thank you for being my friend, mentor, advisor, teacher, or family member. You have impacted my life and the way I am able to serve others. Through your service, I have been motivated to do more and be more. Regardless of the amount of time we have left in the blue jacket or even if we wore the jacket at all, we are servant leaders.We are called to serve. 

Love is truly an open door. Life can be so much more with YOU!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A New Chapter

Have you noticed? The National FFA Organization has a new emblem! In the recent months FFA has updated their emblem to adapt to the ever changing technology and promotion buzz. For some they can’t even tell the difference until the old and the new are shown side by side. This emblem revamp relates well to my life and many other FFA members and non-members alike. With chapter banquets, Minnesota State FFA Convention, and graduation fast approaching change is on the horizon.

The changes in the emblem are subtle but yet make a difference. The emblem has not been redesigned from scratch, just like us starting a new chapter in our lives we are not starting over. We like to think chapter because it relates to a book, we are turning a page in our life to a blank piece of paper but yet we are not starting over. We have pages and pages of our life that we can look back on and that has provided us with great knowledge, skills, and connections. Our previous pages and
chapters help guide us through our uncharted future. For me after this year’s state convention I will be laying down my FFA jacket and starting a new chapter in my life but I will always have the things I learned from FFA to guide me. For members, maybe it’s starting a new year in school, getting a job, starting your FFA experience, or laying your own FFA jacket down like me. For parents and supporters, your child could be heading off for college, you maybe are taking on a different career, your family is expanding, or you’re nearing college graduation and preparing to face the real world. For many of us we are flipping the page to a new chapter, make the best out of it, build strong character and capitalize on your strengths.

The new FFA emblem embraces the new standards set by graphics and high-definition. The National FFA Organization realized the bar had been raised and they met that challenge. The bar or standards is being continuously raised in our lives and professions. Agriculture is a great example, the population never stops growing and as agriculturists we are always pushed to meet a higher
standard for food safety, wholesomeness, and much more. How are the standards being raised in your life? In mine it has been college; expectations academically are exponentially higher than before. With hard work and dedication, like the agriculture industry shows, we can meet the higher standards set for us like the FFA did.

Although the emblem has changed the meaning remains the same. My dad always says “There are two things in life that will happen for sure, change and death.” We can’t stop change in the world and in our own life, it is inevitable. The thing we can control is how we react to that change. When our life changes, either for the better or worse we always need to remember to stick to our roots, our values and morals. The FFA emblem is a prime example of that, over the years the colors and fonts changed and the words changed from Vocational Agriculture to Agricultural Education but the meaning is still the same. The eagle remains perched on top with the freshly plowed field and the owl in front of the sun rise, and the ear of corn all the way around. FFA is still an American agriculture student led organization. How will you adapt to the changing of chapters but stay true to your roots and character?

For the last time…

Stationed by the Emblem of Washington

Brady Wulf