This blog exists for God’s glorification so that He would increase and I would decrease. My title Farming Christianity comes from two english words one with 7 letters and the other with 12 letters “Farming” “Christianity.” (Its a joke, your suppose to laugh) I have entitled this blog accordingly as a way to encourage by the power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to strengthen the Church through whatever means God wills in my writing. I am proud to be a slave to Christ who loves to write about what God is teaching me and doing through my life. The title comes from my farming background. I was raised on a huge farm that has grown significantly since the past three years. Farming Christianity is a play on words meaning to cultivate healthy Christians who are reading their Bibles and praying on their knees. I hope this page will motivate you to seek the only treasure worth dying for our everlasting LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.
First, my name is Josiah Peter Durfee. I wish my first name was Peter, but I was stuck with Josiah. Even though I have grown to love it I still prefer Peter. I was raised on a farm and have a really big family, and I love to read, and write.
I was born the youngest in a family of six, and it is, and continues to be a blessing to me. Christmas and birthday parties were the best. I also live on a dairy farm which made event’s and adventures all the more exciting. My parents attended Church regularly, and naturally as a youngster I never wanted to go. As the youngest, I got to see the lives of my older brothers and sisters’s change from worldly-centered to Christ centered. It was beautiful. However, that was not going to save me.
I do not ever remember a time in my life when I did not know Christ. My father really set the example of reading his Bible each night and spending a couple of minutes every morning praying. He still does this by the way! I could not see myself doing anything other then that. The ground was certainly fertile, but there is a serious danger of growing up in a family like this. As a child I believed I was always saved, but I did not know from what.
These were the early seeds of pride.
I lived my life into my middle school years like everyone else, but I thought I was unique in that no one else had this relationship I had with Christ. I treasured it highly, and wore it like a banner on my chest. Sadly, I was living my life like the world. I was a 21 first century Pharisee, and a snob with only a superficial understanding of God.
When I entered High School my selfish character was intensely magnified. I cannot interpret a mind that I no longer have, but I can see times and moments in my life when pride manifested its ugly face more then any other. One of those times my friends and I started a Bible study. I look back at who I was in the room, and I can only see the darkest pits of my heart. I would sit down and devour people for lunch. No one was good enough for Christ and only I could have him. Everyone was a target. I remember a friend of mine that I would personally tare to pieces, and I don’t think he even knew it. I would just barely encourage his thoughts to keep him alive long enough so I could use his own words as a whip to torture him more. I looked strait into his eyes with one goal to take the ground from under him. I thought I saw through him, taking apart every syllable he said, I was really only destroying myself. I scrutinized every sentence, and if he made one mistake I would blow it up. I was like Gollum from the Lord of the Rings, and Jesus for me was only a ring I was obsessed with.
I did not know who Christ was at all, and my life was caving in on me from all the angles.
There were a lot of people involved, but there was one in particular. How was God going to save a sick monster like myself? How do you save someone from this beast? I continued in my selfishness, continually looking for the applause from the world. I was intertwined with a close friend who bore a significant amount of my anger. I was really blind to this, and I never thought that the problem could actually be me. I was angry at the world, and more importantly at God.
I was a self-proclaimed hypocritical Christian who hated God. That was my heart. I was so puffed up that I thought I was the only serious Christian in the world. I wanted to consume more and know more because this was the only way I could get ahead.
I use to write emails almost daily to one friend of mine. I do not know why or how it started but I can only imagine I wanted to sound intellectual, and above this person. The poison ran deep in my veins and I put them into words to make myself feel better. I crushed people with burdens so great not even ten men could handle. My friends began to look like my enemies and when I thought I was building up the Kingdom of God I was impeding it.
Eventually the time came when I deleted the emails because I could not bear its message either. One friend told me that the emails implied that I was telling her she was going to hell. I died a thousand times that day. A dam broke open in my eyes and the tears would not stop drowning me. I tried desperately to forget who I was in those emails. I tied hopelessly to move pass this. I stop talking for a couple of months, and my brother said that he had remembered the first day I said 13 words to him. As a result you forget how to speak to people and to this day it is hard to talk to people and look them in the eyes. Before all this my brother asked me one question during this time. We were running at Green Lakes, and I got angry with him for the dumbest reason about college decisions, I said some nasty things, which he then said, “Who are you?” I said nothing, and ran off, but those words penetrated me deeply. “Who was I?” I asked. Of all the people in the world my brother should know who I am.
The cold welcome of loneliness shook my hand and made it’s dwelling for sometime. I believed that God’s Word would give me comfort. I vigorously began to read my Bible. I had all the desire to be free from this burden of sin. I worked hard in those months perhaps harder then anyone I know to find Christ. I knew I needed Him, I knew I wanted Him, I knew I wanted to have an intimate relationship with Him yet God could not fill me with His love because there was no place in myself for God. “What must I do to be saved?” I wanted him so badly! After every shower I remember feeling filthy. Not physically, but spiritually so it might as well have been both.
I had to come to the cross of Jesus Christ.
At the cross is where I had to empty myself. At the cross I learned it was not a matter of what I could do, but what Christ has already done. My desire for God was not going to save me. Only God could do that. After a late night of reading I remember crying out to God to save me!
I fell on my knees one night and began searching relentlessly in the Bible what to do. I begged God to show me who I was? God I plead with you show me who I am what can I do? I was humiliated because I could not find the answer, but immediately everything was clear. I saw how displeasing I was before my holy God, and my heart melted like a marshmallow. The steal beam of pride shattered like brittle, I was blind, but now I could see the cross clearly. The rod was not spared, I counted the cost and I said yes! It didn’t matter I would go regardless. There was serious heart surgery going on. I can say as Paul said, I am the least worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. I was no longer an independent operator of self, but a child fully dependent on Christ. I needed to be brought low to be lifted up. I am the least worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. I own nothing that does not belong to Christ, my life and my stuff. My hand is to the plow and my eyes set on eternity. Although my perfection will not come until Christ does I still struggle with my flesh. And even though I have never struggled with addictions, gluttony, or pornography (which I am so blessed and thank God for!!) I was dealing with my own mount everest named prideful.
Putting to death my flesh has become a full-time job. Now I am willing to pick up the cross beam, and carry it every day to the mount of Golgotha, and lay my life out as a living sacrifice to God and others.
I have left my offering before the alter. I have sought out reconciliation from those I hurt and offered up my gift and sacrificed my heart for Him who died for me. I have lost a lot of good friends and I am fighting for the unity that Christ demands from us. It is difficult, but it is infinitely sufficient to say that Jesus didn’t deserve the death that he died for me. I certainly can overcome my fleshly desires to avoid everything I know is right to do and continue to live like the world but I’m a child of God.
Today, I am finally doing what God called me to do when I was 10 years old. After years of running away from Him I cannot cease to proclaim His Word with humility because his strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor.12: 9). Let us have an appetite for the pure milk of God’s Word like children, and be wise to give an answer for the hope that is in us.
As the song say: “When You lead me to the valley of vision I can see You in the heights. And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision It’s here Your glory shines so bright. So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown. To be low is to be high That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ”
I am the least worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven.