Barn from the early 1900's Frosty Acres Farms

Adventures at Frosty Acres Cattle Farm

Frosty Acres Cattle Farm

In an effort to bring more peace to our lives, Michael and I have decided to take one day a week for pleasure.  We are going to visit the many beautiful places surrounding us and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.

Our first adventure took us to Frosty-Acres All Natural Gourmet, Grass Fed Beef in Adin, California.  Now, all of you vegetarians turn your heads as I tell you the reason for our visit.  We decided to purchase 1/4 of a cow!  Organic beef is now sitting in pretty packages in our home freezer and now we don’t have to go to the grocery store and take what is put on the shelves or pay extravagent prices for a small piece of meat.

The tricky part for me, is to understand that my beef actually comes from a cute little cow grazing out in the field.  But I thought it was important not only from the organic side, but to know the people that raised our beef!  I was delightfully surprised with the couple that met us as we pulled into the ranch.  Andy and Helen Albaugh have a small ranch (4,000 acres together with their family) and were excited to tell us all about their family and home and even gave us a tour of the original homestead, which was purchased by his parents back in 1937.

It was a glorious day and I had so much fun tromping around the ranch and touring the original barn built back in the 1800′s.  Andy shared wonderful stories of the way the barns were made back then, pointing out that there was no metal in the entire barn.  We viewed the stalls where the horses got to rest from their workday, along with the harnesses, still hanging alongside of the stall.  We walked to the center of the huge barn and saw how they drove the horses through with the hay and threw it up into the loft.  Brought back a lot of good memories of my youth and crawling around in the hayloft with my sisters.

And talk about research!  Andy was able to share with us the history of dairy cattle and why some people might even be allergic to today’s milk because of the gradual changes that have happened during breeding, trying to get higher production, which may have affected the milk!  Who knew?

When I was growing up I would hike up the hill to visit my dad with his “girls” he called them.  He had around a 100 head of milking cows, and he’d be down in the pit pushing the cows through and hooking them up to the milking equipment.  We’d shout down to him and wave and of course his happy smile to see us and wave back was always a wonderful reward.  Eventually he’d come up to check on the milk in the huge tank and dip out a pitcherful of milk to take down to mom.  The thick cream would rise to the top and she’d use that for deserts and cooking or for our cereal!  Growing up with milk around the table was a must and we happily drank glassfuls for each meal.

Not quite the same experience today.  I don’t even like the taste of milk and I’ve been told I’m allergic!  Now how could that be?  Seems it’s possible they have been changing the cows on me?!

The Albaugh’s have just recently in the last few years gotten back to the ranch with their family and are learning new ways to sell their product to the public.  Seems this is a pretty popular business right now, and they’re finding their niche but at times it’s difficult with all of the competition, especially if large corporations get in on the act.

All in all it was a glorious day of enjoying the sunshine, the company and the quiet of the beautiful outdoors.  Ranger, our golden retriever was allowed to ride along and I think he was pretty impressed with the “farm life”.   I hope you’ll visit their website and order your meat from them.  Check out the amazing facts of buying grass fed vs grain fed.  It even has Omega 3′s and less calories than grain fed.  Who knew?  If nothing else, take a day and go for a drive.  You won’t regret it!

Hope to see some of you tomorrow at Frank Consulting to pray for the marketplace!

 

Robbie

CreationLaura Sotka 2008

Nothing Can Thwart The Plans of God

Nothing Can Thwart The Plans of God

Do you really believe that?  I wonder if it means that His plan will happen whether you participate or not?  Or that if you stay on the path with Him, no matter what happens to you, God’s plan is going to happen?

Job 42:  I know that You can do all things.  No plan of Yours can be thwarted.

Job repents in dust and ashes, realizing that God has a plan that can’t be stopped and that he was challenging God’s plan.  He was arguing that God’s justice was not right.  That he condemned God to justify himself.

Actually, I imagine Job was so hapopy to have finally seen God and gotten a response.  Almost as if he were thinking there really is a God!  and He’s full of justice!  Now I can rest.

I think I know this place.  The place where I cried out to God over and over again, wondering if He was really there?  Asking Him to show me what good it did to allow such pain in my life.  If He’s there, show me what I was doing wrong?  Why are so many bad things happening?  I thought I was following You and my life was going to be better!

Our daughter Lexie, as many of you know, was born with a genetic disorder and had to have many surgeries.  During one particular stay in the hospital, many mistakes were made which caused her a great deal of pain and suffering.  We all know what happens when we see our little ones suffer, seems like we feel it 10 times!  We were so angry with the doctors and hospital and one day out of anger Mike said “I just want to drop a bomb on this place!”  Not a good thing to joke about during those days.  I was crying out to God “What possible good is all of this doing?  How could all this suffering do any good?  What are we doing wrong?”

God had put a good friend in my life and she began to comfort me by listening to me pour out my anger and frustration.  She listenend and listened until all the anger had seeped out and finally asked in this gentle voice.  “Do you think you could forgive those doctors?”

“No!”  I yelled, thinking she has no idea what I”ve just been through.  I drove to the hospital still thinking about all that had been said and began talking to God.  This just isn’t going to work, I can’t do this anymore.  I’m going to quit.  This God thing is just too hard.  But by the time I got to the hospital I knew what I had to do.  I forgave those doctors as I sat in the parking lot, every one of them, crying through each one. Then I asked God to give me compassion for them, because I didn’t have any.

Suddenly I was filled with a love for those doctors!  I went around to the trunk of my car and pulled out a stack of paperback new testaments and brought them with me into the hospital.  (Yes, I did.  I kept new testaments in my trunk in case I led someone to the Lord!  Those were my evangelist days…what happened to those!?)  During that month that we stayed at the hospital, I witnessed to, listened to and prayed for so many nurses and doctors.  Lexie’s room always had worship music playing and when people would come in they would say “Wow, it’s so peaceful in here!”  and I would smile and ask them how their day was going.  Even though it was hard to see my baby suffer, I knew that God had a purpose for our lives and we were fulfilling it right there in the hospital.

Nothing can thwart the plans of God.  I can participate if I want to, or I can stand back and watch him do it through someone else.  Some days I want to just crawl back into bed, but I know that if I go to His word and surround myself with good friends, life is the most exciting place I can be and the best adventure I could have ever asked for!

Join us today as we go on another exciting adventure and see what can happens when we pray for the marketplace in Redding…look out world, you’re next!

Noon, Frank Consulting.

Blessings!

 

Robbie

 

Mountaintop Hope

My Redeemer Lives!

I wanted to start this new year out with fasting, long hours in the word, amazing revelation and complete peace and joy at what is coming for this year.

Ok, so I at least read my bible this morning:)  And am making some lists:)

I decided to pick Job.  So many times when I get overwhelmed I go back to Job and read a while and then I don’t feel so bad.  This guy had everything happen to him that could happen.

He lost his kids, his belongings, his health, and then his wife couldn’t take it anymore and she told him to curse God and die.  Then he thought at least his friends were going to come through for him as they sat in the dust and fasted with him for 7 days.  That seemed like it was going to be a comfort until they opened their mouths and began to tell him how evil he must have been otherwise God wouldn’t be punishing him.

I guess they were scared that something so horrible like this could happen to someone so Godly.  He must have sinned somewhere.  Otherwise, they would have to accept the fact that it could happen to them too.

Job cries out to his friends to stop tormenting him with their words.  Then he lists all the things that he has lost and how God has come against him. A pretty dismal picture until suddenly he says:

I know that my redeemer lives, 
 and that in the end He will stand on the earth. 
And after my skin has been destroyed, 
 yet in my flesh I will see God; 
I myself will see him 
 with my own eyes—I, and not another. 
   How my heart yearns within me!

What a beautiful statement after listing all the things that have happened and how everyone has deserted him.  He truly knows in that moment that it’s God and him.  He’s got to believe what he knows or turn away.  He chooses God.

Have you come to that place yet?  Where there is no one to turn to except God?  The moment you have to make that choice.  God is real, there must be a plan here that I don’t understand, I’m going to praise Him…or turn away.

I suddenly realized that it was time to go for my walk.  I hurried and grabbed my iphone on the way out and thought about the song “My Redeemer Lives” .  I’m going to listen to that while I go for my walk.  Now where is that…I finally find it and wow!  It brought back so many memories of dancing in victory over all the trials we were going through years ago.  My Redeemer Lives, by Hillsong will get you out of your head and into your heart.  I hope you will join me in dancing over all the trials, hurts, pain, and suffering that you have experienced in this life and then dance because Jesus Lives!  He is alive.  Now I dare you to listen to the part where they sing about dancing on the mountaintop and then imagine you’re here with me, as I walk up the trail and get to the mountaintop and dance, singing with arms wide open and twirling in circles My Redeemer Lives!  Hope there are no hunters up here today:)

Come on, I dare you!  You’re gonna love it.  Those of you that used to listen to this song, go back to that feeling of being refreshed, and those of you that have never heard it, come on, give it a try.  You’re gonna love it!

I’m so excited to pray this Friday and proclaim His goodness and the healing that is coming in our family:

Mike, for total healing of his neuropathy (He’s had a fabulous week!)

Christian for his eyes being healed!

Dustin for his hearing to be healed!

Amber for her allergies to be healed!

For the Kingdom of God to be revealed in new ways ins the marketplace!

But most of all, to know, believe and live with the hope that our Redeemer Lives and that’s all that matters.

See you today at noon at Frank Consulting.

Robbie

P.S.  I won’t be here today because I’m in Palo Alto to help Amber and Eric pack because they are moving to Redding!  Mike will be there, so please come and join him.

"homeless - please help" sign

Feed My Sheep!

It was one of those crazy mornings.  You suddenly realized your wonderful morning plans are not going to happen because you forgot your son has to go to the orthodontist and you  have to drive!  Quick, run to the shower and at least wash your hair.  I’ll just throw on my sweat suit, and go for a walk while he’s there.  Oh no!  I can’t find the matching jacket.  Oh well, no one will see me, I’ll just drop Christian off at the door and off I’ll go.  Note to self:  When I think those thoughts make sure to change your clothes!  As I dropped Christian off at the orthodontist, I just don’t feel like walking.  What I feel like is a nice hot steaming cup of coffee.  Nearest place?  Lumberjack cafe.  Hmmm, not wanting to go in, but loving the thought of coffee, booth and bible to read,  won over.  I approach the hostess and tell her “I’m just going to have a cup of coffee, as I eye the booth lovingly.  She acts a little irritated and slaps my menu down up at the counter.  Wow, I guess they don’t like coffee drinkers in their booths, even though 2 of them were open and no line at the door.  Oh well, the waitress turns and greets me with “Do you already know what you want?”.

“Just coffee please” I now say sheepishly.  Again, that irritated look and I think what is the matter?  Do people never come in for just coffee?  So I offer “My son is over at the dentist, so I thought I’d just duck in here for a cup of coffee”.

“Oh, who’s his dentist?”  she responds.  Why in the world would she ask that, I thought?  Does she have a dentist here?  Do here kids have a dentist here?

“Dr. Schalo” I report, for some reason wanting her to be appeased.

“Oh, I don’t know him.  But there are probably a lot of dentists around here.”

I now get the feeling she doesn’t believe me.  Why would she think I would be lying to her?  Why do I feel the need to defend myself?  I quickly run to the bathroom, not having time to go all morning and when I looked in the mirror I froze.  Who is this crazed madwoman in the mirror.  Her jacket does not match her pants and her hair is still wet and I believe there’s a spot from the pancake batter from morning breakfast on her pants.  In shock I realize it’s me!  And I look like a homeless woman!  Oh my.  That’s what’s been going on.  I’m sure there have been many times homeless people have come in and stayed all day with a cup of coffee and taken up “valuable” seating.  I quickly paid my bill and exited the restaurant.  What had I just experienced?  I think I experienced what a homeless person feels when going into restaurants and places of business.  The rejection was frightening to me.

When I got in the car to pick up Christian I had a thought “What would happen if I lost everything today?  How would I survive?  Would I experience what happened today?”  In the distance I saw a homeless woman wandering the streets.  What had happened to get her to that place?

The radio was on as I drove to the dentist, and  I listened to a story on NPR of a man who decided to leave his family to go and find work.  He ended up in North Dakota living in a trailer so his family wouldn’t have to be uprooted from family and friends.  He didn’t know how long he would have to stay.  He just wanted to find work.

Tuesday night we attended a group that meets to pray about the marketplace.  When we got there we heard testimonies of people who had to some times live in their cars, because they had no money and no where to go.  They were so thankful for the help they received for food, a part time job, and occasional help from family.

As I told Mike my bizzarre tale of woe, he reported a story from the newspaper today regarding the housing market.  The backlog of foreclosed homes was now being processed and he believed there were going to be many people who would become homeless in the near future, all at once.

On Saturday Mike and I participated in the Holiday Feast at our church.  The request to us was to host a table (one each) and to bring the settings and tablecloth and a gift for 7 people at our table.  They fed over 1,o00 people I believe.  It was for families that were in hard times and not able to have a holiday meal.  The two jr. high girls that sat at my table raced each other to the table and began to grab all of the chocolates at my table and pile them up on their plates and ask “Can we have that ?  Can we have that?”  as I assured them they could.  I was a little shocked at first at their frenzy at first, but then realized that was their life.  Grab it all while you can.

Is your head spinning yet?  This all went through my head this morning.

Ok, so how does this all tie in to the marketplace you ask?  I began to ask God “What should I do?”  I can’t ignore all of these people that are so desperate, nor can I be responsible for them all.  What do you want Michael and I to do Lord?  What do you want to happen with the marketplace people. What responsibility do businesses have?  I wish God had told me, but right now it’s just a stirring.  I’ve been thinking a lot about how are we to be prepared for what is possibly coming.  So many people with needs.  Will we need to help set up a food bank?  Will we need to think strategically about a farm, raising crops and animals?  I even took it to the place of “We don’t want people to be dependent on us, so how could we set up something that gives people dignity as they come and get some of their basic needs met?”

So, there you have it.  What would you do?  What do you think is your responsibility?  What would a business do?  All I heard was “Feed my sheep.”

Thanks for letting me go on this journey with you.  I hope some of you will join us on Friday as we lift up our prayers to God and listen.  I know God has the answer.

Blessings!

 

Robbie

Image0039

So Thankful!

My dad used to say whatever doesn’t kill ya will make you stronger.  Well, I guess that’s another way of putting it, and so I guess I must be pretty strong!  I am thankful for all the amazing people God has put in my life and for the best possible upbringing a kid could have.  I’m putting a picture up today that would make my mother faint if she could see it.  But actually I think she’s up in heaven smiling down.  These were such fun days.  Our playground was a farm and make believe.  Every day we were outside or in the basement putting on plays or outside being indians, cowboys or just being wild and free.  I had no idea we didn’t have any money.  All I knew was that mom was in the kitchen makin good stuff to eat from the garden and dad was up with the cows and horses taking care of the farm.  At any moment I could hike up the hill (which was huge when I was 5) and now only a half a block as an adult.  I had no fear, and lived a life of freedom and safety.

My sisters and I were so close because we had no neighbors to play with and we had no idea what anyone else wore or drove.  We just thought our world was wonderful.  If we needed a little excitment and were driving mom crazy, she would suddenly find an assignement for us to pack a lunch “for dad” and one for ourselves and take a pilgrimage up the hill to find our dad.  At least a two hour adventure, as we’d get sidetracked by chickens, bugs, cows, calves, birds, you name it, we got distracted.   Finally, if it was milking time, we’d find dad down in the pit in the milking barn and he was always thrilled to see us.  His face would light up and he’d give us a giant wave and we’d shout greetings over the swishing and sloshing of the milking machines, surging the new milk into the giant metal tank in the next room.

Many days we’d follow him into the calf barn and hold the metal buckets full of milk for the calves.  Dad taught us how to put our hands in their mouths of those little calves to get them to begin sucking and then we’d slip the rubber nipple that stuck out of the bucket into their mouths and they’d suck away happily.  What an exciting life we led!

I guess I’m sad that the world I’ve grown into seems to think that this kind of life would now be considered poverty and we’d be looked on with pity for the way we lived.  But I have to tell you I look back at those years as precious freedom and life and am so grateful my parents gave away their lives so we could have ours.

Well, as all of you can imagine that were at the baptism at our house 2 weeks ago, it was the highlight of my year.  We are so thankful for God and the hope that He brings to our hearts.  When I remember Friday is our daughter Lexie’s birthday I can know that because of her life, we are where we are today.  14 years ago, she came into the world so broken but so loved.  I know this following verse well, and have lived it and carry it with me wherever I go, to remind me this is true.  Romans 5:3 we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint!  But when we get to tell someone about Jesus and how He saved us, and then get to baptize them, I know Lexie’s life here on earth mattered.  That she changed our lives forever.  I know mom and dad would be happy to know the gift they gave us as children, helped us to be strong and courageous.

So I end this note, just saying I’m so thankful for all I’ve had in my life.  My parents, my husband, my sisters, my children, and my extended family.  I’m thankful that God has made Himself known to me, and given me hope for my future.

As you all are probably not worried about, we won’t be at the office for prayer on Friday, but I’m hoping you’ll join us in being thankful for what we do have, and for the gift of life we now have.

 

Blessings,

Robbie

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Our bootcamp graduates rock! EDC features innovators in Redding

This article was originally published on Redding.com and Written By David Benda

Zack Perkins is a graduate of Mike Frank’s Entrepreneur Boot Camp in Redding.  Perkins, a former science teacher, has developed a smartphone application that can tell by a thump whether a watermelon is ready to eat.

Perkins, of Let There Be Light Innovations (www.ltbli.com), was one of several entrepreneurs pitching their companies to investors at the Shasta Builders Exchange on Wednesday.  The pitch room was part of the Economic Development Corporation of Shasta County’s “Game Changers: Developing Innovation Mindset in Shasta County.  “Roughly 100 businesses and community leaders packed the exchange to hear how innovation is key to growing the area’s economy.

Perkins has found a way to solve the age-old quandary of picking the perfect melon.  “How many people here have gotten a bad melon?” Perkins asked the room.  The melon meter app analyzes the hollowness of the fruit. The user places the phone on the melon, thumps it a few times and, voilà, the needle on the screen registers its ripeness.  The tool comes after two years of research monitoring the decay rate, or the time it takes for a sound to end, of the signal produced by thumping a melon, Perkins said.  “This thing is 100 percent accurate when done right,” Perkins’ business partner Michael Hickerson said during the demonstration.  The melon meter, which sells for $1.99 at the iTunes app store, only registers ripeness. It won’t tell the consumer how sweet the fruit is.  Perkins was asking for $50,000 to take his Redding-based firm to the next level.

Today, the company has six employees who work out of their homes.  “We are definitely pitching to create some more investment funds to take it further for the commercial version and stuff like that,” Perkins said.  Let There Be Light Innovations also markets a road conditions app, a marriage counseling app, and a strobe app that allows users to pulsate an LED light to the beat of their favorite tune.

Frank, who has served in executive positions for such companies as Mutual of Omaha, General Mills, Walt Disney Co. and IHOP, moved to Redding nearly two years ago from the Santa Barbara area.  The Franks discovered Redding because Mike’s wife, Robbie, wanted to attend Bethel Church’s School of Supernatural Ministry.  What Mike saw in the economy was discouraging, and he wondered what was happening.  So he started his boot camp to revive the north state’s economy by fostering the entrepreneurial spirit.

“Everywhere I looked I saw a lot of unemployment,” Frank told the audience during his lunch presentation Wednesday at the builders exchange. “What struck me was we need to encourage startups.”  Frank (mikefrankconsulting.com) held is first boot camp in April.

Five businesses, including Perkins’, were launched from that first class. He expects another 30 companies to attend his next boot camp at Simpson University in October. But startup companies need money.  So Frank announced Wednesday that he has launched an angel investment fund called Sons of Issachar, a biblical reference to “men who understood the times and they knew what to do,” he said.  To join the fund, members have to be accredited investors. The initial buy-in will probably be $15,000.  “As an investor you have to make one investment a year,” Frank said, adding that members can’t just come to the meetings and sit around.

Wednesday’s event also showcased 11 firms that are based in Shasta County and make products in Shasta County: VisionCare Devices Inc., Ted Pella Inc., Op-Test, Canteca Foods Inc., AB Medical Technologies Inc., Shasta Crystals, NComputing, Eko Research, Cool Dry, D&G Glass Blowing, and Vroom Mufflers.

Louis Stewart, deputy director for innovation and emerging technology at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development in Sacramento, helped emcee the event.

“Promoting innovation is a community building tool,” Stewart said.

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