There are two creeds that sum up my entire existence. The first explains my entire existence, and in my heart and mind, the second is simply an extension of the principles that are laid out in the first. I hope you enjoy reading both, and I hope you are encouraged and inspired as much as I am when you read them.
The first is The Apostles' Creed: (Source: www.afajournal.org). According to a recent article in the American Family Association Journal, it is "the oldest statement of faith outside the New Testament" and "in its earliest form, the creed dates back to about A.D. 125..." Today we recite what I would call an "updated" version of this in my church, which includes changes like "catholic" being replaced with "christian", and "quick" being replaced with "living". I understand the reasons for the changes, but personally I prefer the "old school" version I learned in my little country church as a child, because it is forever engrained in my memory as it is written below and my tongue still stumbles over the changes on occasion. When I recite it as follows, I can still feel my Grandparents standing next to me in their Sunday best, my hands resting on the wooden pew in front of me and the kind voice of Reverend Wilbur Taylor leading our congregation in it's recitation.
"I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried, The third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I beleve in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen."
The second is the FFA Creed (Source: www.ffa.org) According to the National FFA Organization (formerly known as the Future Farmers of America), which I joined in the 7th grade, "The FFA creed was written by E. M. Tiffany, and adopted at the 3rd National Convention of the FFA. It was revised at the 38th Convention and the 63rd Convention." I think it is as true today as it ever was.
"I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.
I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.
I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil.
I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so--for others as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me.
I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task."
It is my hope that as my children are growing and beginning to understand the importance of the written and spoken word and how words can reflect our faith and the values that are the foundation for our farm, that they too will hold these creeds in their hearts as well and recite them with conviction and dignity.
What words do YOU and your family live by?