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Category Archives: Faith

Zion Lutheran youth serve up the spice for Lenten service

March 1, 2023, the Zion Youth Group served a freewill donation enchilada meal to congregation members before the Zion Lutheran Church’s Wednesday night Lenten service. The Vassar church’s youth group has begun fundraising to attend the National Youth Convention, in New Orleans, in the summer of 2025. Youth group members serving are, from left, Chase Silver, Reed Silver, Kiefer Haney, Allie Reeser, and Dylan Haney. Not pictured were Caleb Anschutz, Jensen Sturdy, and Bella Reeser. Photo thanks to Lisa Reeser.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Old ways were best

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“We have to get another load of grain today.”

The statement is now heard at least once a week and will be made more often in the months ahead.

Actually, “grain” is a generic term, which in this case means “a ration of ground corn and milo with molasses.” There are different rations being fed now, with one having more added supplemental protein for replacement heifers and first-calf pairs.

Riding horses don’t need that extra protein, although they sometimes get special additives to enhance performance during show season.

Getting a load of grain has become a major ordeal. Half a century ago, every community had at least one grain elevator, and small towns often had several.

Now, there is only one elevator in the county that can grind and mix grain rations to specification for livestock.

Some operations have on-site elevators and can make feed rations by pushing buttons. Grain goes from the storage bin, into the grinder, with all supplements mixed in.

An auger often distributes the ration right into the livestock feeders and bunks. Or into a large bulk bin truck used to proportion feed around the ranch.

Six decades ago, milo was purchased by the pickup load at the nearby elevator and fed whole grain without grinding. Nutritionists claim livestock is unable to efficiently consume whole grains for maximum dietary value.

However, getting grain “rolled,” the same as grinding in certain older days’ elevators, always cost additional money. So, trying to be conservative, a small, handfed grain grinder was attached to the tractor power take-off. Supplements could be mixed in, although that was generally considered too costly.

A Cowboy’s Faith:Toast to coffee drinkers

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.

“How about having a cup of coffee?”

The comment is heard often every day around the world with high percentage of responses: “That sounds good.”

Coming from a long lineage of coffee drinkers, a cup of coffee has been personal enjoyment ever since very young. Easily and far surpassing a glass of water, tea, soda pop, lemonade, energy drinks, and certainly liquor, never appealing.

Seemingly odd to lifetime dedicated coffee drinkers, there are some who do not like coffee. They’ll even refuse a cup when offered, such a loss to those never wanting to waste a drop.

Blacker and stronger the better as personal preference. But, for some there must be sugar, milk or cream, and even other additives which cover the good coffee taste.

Many people insist coffee must be brewed in a pot, but instant coffee is just fine for others. No question, instant coffee is easier and doesn’t really cost much more.

There are many brands of coffee that each have their own following. But in reality, the beans all come from the same field, with slightly different processing and widely varied appealing packaging.

Coffee is not hazardous to personal health, according to personal doctor. When told about daily coffee consumption in preference over water, he said, “It’s the same thing.”

Of course, other physicians and certain people will argue with that, but the response was appreciated by this coffee drinker.

A Cowboy’s Faith:Ranching not always romantic

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“He had to pull it.”

The opened backdoor announcement has been repeated more than once in the past week. Most folks require a thorough deciphering to understand what the five-word comment means.

It’s already spring calving time for many cow-calf operators in the Flint Hills. Extra effort is required to make sure every cow, or first calf heifer in this situation, gives birth to a live calf.

Mother Nature works in her own often peculiar way regarding birthing of young whether human or animal. While giving birth is the God-planned continuation of generations, difficult issues frequently arise.

All cows can have problems calving whether baby is backwards, too big, or other issues, and sometimes require man’s assistance. After a female bovine has had a calf or two, she generally doesn’t have issues, although there are exceptions.

However, two-year-old heifers more often have difficult birthing situations that require help to assure a live baby.

Sometimes more of an issue with first-time mothers is that they don’t understand how to care for their newborns. The heifers are still immature themselves, becoming confused following birthing trauma and ignore their first calves.

Mature cows remain in native pastures year around and most of the time do fine with once-a-day inspection.

A Cowboy’s Faith:Don’t break the eggs

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Eggs are getting too high priced to eat.”

That’s been heard several times in recent weeks, but with farm groups threatening investigation there has been some price softening.

Not official, but seemingly most people like to eat eggs. That might be good because scientifically there apparently are many health benefits in eggs. They’re nutrient dense, low calories, high protein, ample vitamin D, help prevent strokes, and heart healthy, among other positives. It used to be said, “They’re affordable,” but that’s not been the latest opinion.

Growing up in a grocery store, eggs were purchased in 30-dozen egg cases from farmers. Dad candled the eggs for quality, weighed, packaged, applied government-grade seal, and sold to the public by the single dozen.

Regular price six decades ago was about 39 cents a dozen, more, less. Recently, some stores had eggs advertised for $7 a dozen.

Personally, eggs were never appetizing, regardless how prepared, even when forced to eat so could go fishing. However, there’ve been plenty of “egg” experiences.

Eggs were gathered out of Grandma’s chicken house hen nests. Cardboard egg cases were carried into the grocery store cooler.

Of course, Dad was assisted candling, packaging, price stamping, selling, and carrying packaged eggs in grocery sacks to customer cars. Even won five district poultry judging contests with egg candling-grading divisions.

Parishioners transform dance hall into soup luncheonette

St. Patrick’s of Scranton is hosting a soup luncheon Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, which is the day after its seventh annual public Daddy Daughter Dance.

For the daddy daughter dance, St Patrick’s volunteers transform the inside of the Carbondale ELM building, 228 Main St., Carbondale, into a beautiful atmosphere with themed decorations and special lighting. This year, the parish decided to share the special decorations by hosting a soup luncheon the following day in the same location. The party-themed community hall will have decorated dining tables, soft lighting, a photo booth, and many genres of music for dancing.

The soup luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Offered for lunch will be diners’ choice of chicken noodle, ham and beans, or vegetarian potato soup, along with cornbread, crackers, cookies, and a drink; all for a freewill donation to the St Patrick’s Scranton Building Fund.

For more information about the luncheon, call 785-640-7262.

A Cowboy’s Faith: ‘Cows Don’t Give Milk’

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Lifelong a slow learner, after three people, the last being Richard Strachan, sent the “Greatest Story Ever Told,” now sharing it.

A father used to say to his children when they were young: “When you all reach the age of 12, I will tell you the secret of life.”

One day when the oldest turned 12 years old, he anxiously asked his father what is the secret of life?

The father replied that he was going to tell him, but that he should not reveal it to his brothers.

The secret of life is this: “The cow does not give milk.”

“What are you saying?” asked the boy incredulously.

As you hear it, son: The cow does not give milk, you have to milk her. You have to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning, go to the field, drive the cow through the manure-filled corral. Tie the tail up, hobble her legs, sit on the stool, place the bucket under her, and do the work yourself.

That is the secret of life, the cow does not give milk. You milk her or you don’t get milk.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Replacing the feed truck

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Feeding cattle puts a lot of wear and tear on a truck.”

Pickups used to feed cattle a few square bales of hay every day have long gone to the wayside. Nowadays, powerful flatbed trucks with added equipment to haul and unroll big round hay bales are common on most ranches.

Of course, the trucks must be four-wheel-drive to get around in mud and snow with two bales loaded on. Stress is heavy on all parts of a truck from the engine to the framework, to the springs and axles when carrying tons of hay. Inclement weather conditions increase the rust, vibration, on every part of the mechanical devices.

Large heavy treaded rubber tires are required to handle the hay weight. Still, no matter how slow and careful the truck is driven on rock country roads, tires often go flat. It’s a major ordeal to change the tires, and sometimes more of an effort to get one fixed. Not many stockmen repair their own flat tires, although many have tried, and found it too much work.

As serious as having a flat tire is the high probability of ruining the tire when it runs out of air. Like everything, truck tire replacement is expensive.

Trucks are not the only implement used to feed hay to cattle, but seemingly more stockmen use them than tractors. Tractors are called into feeding duties when a truck won’t run or gets stuck and must be pulled out. Most tractors still don’t have an unrolling apparatus, so bales are dropped out in the field with considerable hay wasted when cattle eat.

Regardless of how well-built and the amount of attempted careful care given feed trucks, they wear out way too soon. No matter how many times a feed truck is repaired, there comes a point when it just can’t be fixed again.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Older just gets better

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Time flies whenever one is busy and having fun.”

It’s a familiar comment with truthfulness. Yet, even more strikingly in maturity is the question: “Where has all the time gone.”

With another candle on the cake, thoughts of days and now years gone by are revisited.

Years one to four are unmemorable other than photos, but times forward are joyfully reflected.

What’s so amazing is how incomprehensibly great the seven decades plus have been.

Earliest childhood fascinations without exception have come to reality and far beyond. Being a cowboy was always the most important objective.

Of course, cowboy has various meanings, and not “the best,” whatever that means, personal goal has been most satisfyingly met.

Wearing boots, jeans, hat, and riding a horse every day qualifies this definition of being a cowboy.

Along the way there’s been carrying groceries, education, friendships, career, ranching, writing stories, and most importantly family.

With maturity the one thing that stands out above anything else is how little can be completely understood.

When a teenager, everything was known about everything. Today nothing is really known about anything.

Help House kicks off annual Soup-a-Thon; Prom Shop scheduled for February

The competition will be fierce for Help House’s Soup-a-Thon ’23! Area churches and organizations are urged to begin collecting cans of soup and sleeves of crackers for Help House’s food pantry. The goal line will be reached on Feb. 15, 2023, by when competitors must deliver soup and crackers to Help House.

The church or organization that brings in the most cans of soup and sleeves of crackers will win the gold award. Silver and bronze winners will also be named.

Help House has also announced its upcoming Prom Shop, which will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday Feb. 18, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday Feb. 19, at 104 W. Santa Fe Ave., Burlingame. Many beautiful gowns have been donated and are available for any high school age girls living in Osage County, and all are free.

Help House offers a big thank you to Ted and Shirl Ammerman, of Royal Cleaners, Ottawa, who donated professional cleaning of all gowns.

For more information about either of these events, stop by Help House at 131 W. 15th St., Lyndon, Kan., see, call 785-828-4888, or email

A Cowboy’s Faith: Dispersing that unneeded ‘stuff’

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“A lot of stuff can pile up in more than seven decades.”

That’s true for many, probably most, yet others just “throw away” whatever they aren’t using regularly. They don’t have anything around that doesn’t have a present necessary use.

“If something hasn’t been used in the past five years, it’s not needed so just get rid of it.” Such philosophy is also common, yet definitely not always the case.

Financial records are important to keep for years as reference for management, taxation, assistance programs, and other purposes. Impossible to prove much of anything by word of mouth.

While there is generally no economic worth, photos and scrapbooks often have considerable sentimental value. It’s fun to remember and see how people and life change through time.

“I don’t want to throw anything away, because I might want it sometime.” Those most conservative who’ve never had much feel that way about certain possessions. A favorite worn out shirt, coat, boots, or hat might be kept for no reason except “I like them.”

Still there are hoarders who keep absolutely everything. Every building is overflowing with what is really “junk,” absolutely worthless to them or anybody else.

Still, what seems worthless to one can have certain value to somebody else. That might be as small as a pair of pliers to as major as an old car or tractor.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Real cowboys wear boots

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear.”

Merle Haggard sang it in his 1969 country music chart topper.

“Cowboy boots are still in style for cowboys to wear.”

Early day and present cowboy pictures verify that’s the way it is.

Styles have changed throughout the decades, with old-fashioned cowboy boots hard to find and cost a whole bunch. This is according to a lifetime wearer of cowboy boots for seven decades with only a few exceptions.

Fortunately, Mom insisted her son wear cowboy boots all the time, which he did without choice or rebuttal. Boots were readily purchasable at local stores with a new pair at least once a year. Regular polishing was required and one set of new heels, sometimes soles too, before boots were completely worn out.

There were square toes, pointed toes, round toes, steep heels, straight heels, stovepipe square tops, short round tops, and more. Black in color for ease of care, with brown or tan preferred, but unallowed by Mom.

Still, there was always one pair of Sunday School shoes for special occasions. Plus, tennis shoes for physical education and to play in sports, which was tried very few times.

During high school, cowboy boots seemed inappropriate for a teenager coming up in the world. Slip-on shoes were purchased and worn intermittently publicly hoping to “make an impression.” That didn’t work, so back to cowboy boots ever since, except when knee replacement swelling only permitted wearing shoes.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Anniversary party plans change

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Golden anniversary celebration of professional employment was scheduled for Dec. 26, 2022. Original plans have been changed, but it’s still a memorable day in personal history.

After graduating from college 50 years ago, job applications were sent several places. Reponses were received with school teaching offers and tentative work for a purebred beef organization. Application to a farm newspaper received a call from the owner requesting an interview.

It was a freezing December morning when the recent graduate with wife and baby remaining in the car was interviewed.

Naivety and low-level applicant knowledge were quite apparent with the newspaper owner-interviewer readily noticing the other family members shivering outside.

Somehow, someway, maybe feeling sorry for kids, the grocery carryout boy-wannabe cowboy was hired to be a professional newspaperman.

It was really a perfect job, meeting people, writing stories, while continuing to develop personal ranching and horse business. Although documented as the “first real job,” working had been just about all that was ever known.

Growing up with parents as grocery store operators, working in every phase of that business was expected and rewarded.

Yet, working for family didn’t seem like a “real job,” compared to employment for somebody else. Not a single regret for the hardworking upbringing with the fondest memories of those “good ole days.”

Newspaper job changed positively through decades as ranching expanded with growth in horse training, sales, and judging.

Then after 36 1/2 years, “You’re fired” came the very surprising announcement from youngblood management behind closed doors. Right or wrong, the truly dedicated farm newspaperman shook hands with terminator, went home, and rode a horse.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Horses promenade for Christmas

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There’s no parade quite like the Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade at Lawrence.”

Annually the first Saturday in December, the parade was started to highlight Lawrence’s historic Eldridge Hotel in 1993. It has grown to a nationally recognized all horsepower event kicking off the holiday season.

Managed by dedicated volunteers, the parade pays tribute to the contribution of horses in the nation’s transportation heritage. Only horse drawn vehicles and horseback riders can participate in the hour-long parade officially started by a five-airplane flyover.

Massachusetts Street is packed several layers deep with spectators of all ages clapping as the parade passes by. “Merry Christmas” greetings are smilingly, loudly expressed continuously throughout the route by both participants and those watching.

Nearly every size, shape, and color of equine were present with no shortage of mules and donkeys. Some of the most historic horse drawn carriages were intertwined with many quite uniquely designed horsepower vehicles.

Riding groups from a wide area were decked out in matching attire with plenty of red and green throughout the parade.

Anybody who ever believed there is just one Santa Claus was proven wrong. Uncertain the count, but dozens of Santa’s in every body shape attracted lots of applause for their “Ho Ho Hos.”

This was the fourth year of participation this time riding with the Kansas Horse Council, one of 55 parade entries. Sun was shining as temperatures just at or slightly above the freezing mark made for a brisk fast-paced ride.

Christmas is an important birthday party

Area churches host live nativities for Christmas, Jesus’ birthday party. Courtesy photo.

“Remember the reason for the season.” The comment has often been repeated, but in reality, who has given much thought to what it means?

Christmas is supposed to be a birthday party celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, savior of the human race. That is readily forgotten by way too many, and more concerning not even known by perhaps the majority.

Oh, there are plenty of parties this time of year for enjoyment, relaxation, often excess carousing. Gifts are given and received creating appreciation, twinkling eyes especially of the little ones and usually everyone attending.

Yet, at how many of those fun times is there ever consideration of why the family and friends are together. How many said a prayer before a meal, or during the affair? Were there any Christmas carols sang about reason for the season?

Of course, there’s discussions involving Santa Claus. They’re really unimportant, unless knowing about Saint Nicolas, who the fairytale character is fashioned after.

Decorations in the community and homes are bright giving all feeling of joy, but little about the real birthday party.

How many churches displayed public nativity scenes this year? Were there any nativities set up in homes beside Christmas trees and stockings hung on the chimney with care?

Not that long ago, manger scenes were common during the Christmas season. Today they have often become a political issue and target of attack against Christianity.

Court cases and laws demanding the elimination of nativity displays seem an attempt to remove Christ Himself. Still, they cannot erase impact of Jesus’ life.

Humble setting of the baby in a manger doesn’t adequately convey significance of the most important birth in human history.

Mary’s newborn was God, Creator, Pre-eminent One, Sustainer, and Firstborn from the dead through resurrection.

Christmas is not about presents, eating, or fun, but about the coming of the Savior. Without the baby in the manger, there would be no cross, no resurrection, and no hope for eternal life.

Even a small child can understand and respond in faith to Christ’s offer of the gift of eternal life. Yet it’s beyond comprehension.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Teeth essential for chewing

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The dentist is one person most people really don’t like to visit.”

Yet, everybody agrees if he prevents wearing false teeth, “the pain is worth the gain.”

No shortage of dental appointments throughout the lifetime, with first memories for examination of “black” teeth. Grade school pictures verify the teeth really were black. Must have been rotten baby teeth because the next year those teeth were gone.

Mom followed dentist recommendations requiring regular checkups always too often. Every time, a cavity needed filled, and remembering that jarring tooth grinder brings cringes six decades later.

Crooked yellow teeth embarrassed a teenager, so appointments were set up in a city miles away. Every month for a long time, Mom took her son to have his teeth straightened. Uncertain how much it all must have cost, but for sure a big bunch. Worse thing other than painful procedure was the teeth weren’t straight and were still yellow when finished.

Dentist visits were infrequent until that wild stallion went over backwards and the trainer had two front teeth knocked out. It was Sunday, but the hometown dentist came into his office and put in “temporary” teeth. Hard to believe these days, but the replacement work lasted 30 years until the city dentist insisted they must be replaced.

That was a major out-of-pocket bill fortunately reduced somewhat by workplace insurance coverage. At least the “bridge” teeth were straighter and whiter than the cowboy’s teeth had ever been.

Obviously proud of his work, that tooth doctor stipulated regular checkups and cleanings were essential going forward. Grudgingly, his recommendations were followed to a point.

Zion Lutheran youth serve up breakfast for weekly Advent meal

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, the youth at the Zion Lutheran Church serve the weekly Advent meal. The youth decided to switch the night up and serve breakfast for dinner. Youth group members are Calliope Monthey, Jensen Sturdy, Allie Reeser, Lyndall Whitten, Wyatt Whitten, and Kiefer Haney. Not pictured is Caleb Anschutz and Dylan Haney. Lisa Reeser photo.

A Cowboy’s Faith:Rerun that didn’t run

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“All decked out. Sure, look sharp.”

“Doing the farming today?”

“Going to work for the railroad, huh?”

“Oh, Howdy Doody. Haven’t seen him in a while.”

The lead comments for a column written exactly 12 years ago, but never submitted for publication.

Going through office stacks, typed paper came to the top and seemed to merit a rewrite. Longer than modern-day media have space, exceeding limitations for expressing the point.

Back then, still new at that job, walked into the boss’s office, scowl quickly spread across his face. “What’s that you’re wearing?”

Somewhat taken back, cowboy’s innocent response: “It’s supposed to be “Jeans Day.” Cowboys wear jeans every day, so decided to wear overalls today. Is there anything wrong with that?”

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