Friday, January 12, 2018

Song - Jehovah is His Name!

Some years ago, I thought I should learn the names of God -- what He calls Himself in His word -- so that I could acknowledge Him as He has declared Himself to be acknowledged. I believe in the regulative principle of worship, in that, the Bible, and thus God Himself, declares how He will be worshiped, and that is to be our sole guide. Since He has given Himself many names, a few of them I knew already, like Jehovah-Jirah (our provider -- I even wrote a blog post on that one), and Jehovah-Rapha (our healer), but I wanted to be able to know more of them so I could call Him those in my prayers.

Well, I did a search, and I'm not sure if this is the exact page I found that first time, and I don't think it is, but it does have the names I learned way back then: Redemptive Names of God and What They Mean, and here is another site that has a similar listing: Names of God (I am not vouching for the rest of the content on these sites):

Jehovah-Jirehthe LORD our provider (Genesis 22:14)
Jehovah-Raphathe LORD our healer (Exodus 15:26)
Jehovah-Nissithe LORD our banner (Exodus 17:15)
Jehovah-Shalomthe LORD our peace (Judges 6:24)
Jehovah-Sabaoththe LORD of hosts (Psalm 46:7)
Jehovah-Raahthe LORD our shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
Jehovah-Tsid-Kenuthe LORD our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6)
Jehovah-Shammahthe LORD is there (omnipresent) (Ezekiel 48:35)

While these have manifestations in the temporal world, they really are more about the spiritual relationship of God toward His people.


Also often used in the Bible:
Yahweh (Jehovah, the LORD capitalized in many Bibles)God is eternal, unchangeable, in covenant relationship
ElohimGod, strong/mighty one
Adonaithe Lord, master

Fast forward until late last year. If you've been following our blog, you'll have seen I've written some hymns or lullabies that were based on little tunes I came up with about our animals, which you can read about here under our blog's music label.

One I've had for a while is for our dogs Brodey and Nessa, and the words went like this:

Brodey so-squody, he is not a grody toady

and

Nessa bo-bessa, walla walla professah Nessa

(I often call Brodey "Brodey so-squodey" and Nessa "Nessa bo-bessa" :) )

Those covered the first two measures, but with some tweaks to the 2-measure melody, I eventually filled out the whole tune into a song. I "sang" it for Sue and she thought it would make a good song in the round. Hmmm.....

I struggled to come up with lyrics. But one day, I was thinking about the names of God I had learned, and since there were eight of them, which goes into music evenly, I wondered if I might make that fit into the song -- the Jehovah names of God and their meanings, and with that, it would be easier for others to learn them. It might just work...

And so, I started trying to work it out, and God granted I was able to indeed work the lyrics into the tune with some tweaking of the music -- Jehovah is His Name! And it worked nicely in the round too!

Here is the sheet music:

Jehovah is His Name


And a PDF:
Jehovah is His Name (PDF)

And an instrumental audio version:
Jehovah is His Name (MP3)

Here, Sue and I sing it with the accompaniment:
Jehovah is His Name - Vocal (MP3)

And here we are acapella, in a four-part round starting every two measures:
Jehovah is His Name - 4 Part Round (MP3)


I think it worked out fairly nicely, and thanks to the Lord for granting this to be able to learn His names and acknowledge His greatness, mightiness, love and care!

In trying to find the original website that had the eight names I learned, I have since discovered there are many other names of God in the Bible (again, I cannot vouch for the site's content), but it was nice to be able to take these I had learned and put them into something perhaps usable for God to glorify Himself maybe in some way. :)

May His name be praised forever; blessed be the name of the LORD!

-- David

Friday, January 5, 2018

Garden - Fall & Winter 2017-2018

We thought we would catch you up on how the garden ended up in Fall of last year, including our foray into the adventure of sweet potato growing, and where we are today!

Here are the final days of the 2017 garden before the freezes started to hit...

This is the one plant, a broccoli, that grew from the first Spring planting. I have picked off a few broccoli heads and have eaten them as I've walked by :) :

Broccoli Plant


Here is our gogi berry plant:

Gogi Berry


And these are our blackberry plants:

Blackberry Plants


Here are the okra plants third week in October:

Okra


But then the freeze was coming, and so we covered them. They looked a little creepy like this actually... :)

Okra Covered with Blankets


And sadly, they still didn't fare well, and so that was about the end of them for the year:

Okra After Freeze


But before that, we thought we would try to save some okra seeds this year to plant next year as part of our continued effort to get sustaining here. We pray God might grant this to work!

Saving Okra Seeds


Sweet Potatoes

I mentioned in our last real garden update that we planted sweet potato slips this year. This is our second attempt, with the first one in our raised beds only yielding a few small ones.

Sweet Potatoes Plants

Again of Sweet Potatoes Plants


This year however, and I think it has a lot to do with that we're using the forest bed mulching technique we've discussed before, God graciously granted some quite nice ones!

We harvested the beginning of October. The first one I pulled out was half rotted, very mushy, and I was worried they all would be like that, but most were thankfully just fine! You're supposed to be very careful pulling them out so as to not damage the tender skin, which hardens later.

Harvesting a Sweet Potato


Here's a stack of them:

Stack of Sweet Potatoes


And Sue with an American football-sized one:

More of Sweet Potatoes


And this is just to give a size perspective:

Sizing Sweet Potatoes


Here they are in the wheelbarrow being taken to the house for curing. Using the information from a website about curing sweet potatoes, we let them open-air cure just on the ground in a couple places in the house for probably about three weeks:

Sweet Potatoes in Wheel Barrow


And then wrapped them up individually in newspaper to go into the root cellar for another six weeks. Apparently the longer you can wait to harvest, even just after the first light frost, and giving them that long to cure allows the sugars to form in them, which gives them a good taste, and without which they apparently taste very bland:

Wrapped Sweet Potatoes


And finally, last week, we started pulling them out of the root cellar, and they appear to be still ok....yea, and thank the Lord!

Here, Sue is putting them into a meal:

Cutting Sweet Potatoes


And into the pan (although there is one store-bought mixed in). But, they do indeed taste great, and again we are very thankful to God for these provisions off of the land!

Cut Sweet Potatoes


Garlic

Since we have larger garden areas with which to be able to plant both for Winter and Spring, we are attempting garlic again this year, planting cloves the Stongers graciously gave us. This is just this week after the big freeze we went through here:

Garlic


And the wild lettuce, which I believe is the prickly lettuce I mentioned before, is coming back too!

Prickly Lettuce


As always and again, we are very thankful to the Lord for His providence in granting sustenance from the gardens! We pray He might continue to, as He will, and that He guide us into more and better ways to live off of the land in direct dependence on Him!

-- David

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: Trina's 2017 Turkey Chicks

Trying to learn from my mistake of how we handled turkey moms wanting to sit out in the woods by just trying to put them in the barn at night but them going right back to their nests the next day, and us loosing one of our sitting hen turkeys earlier in the year because of that, this time when Trina our original turkey started sitting, we grabbed her and put her and her eggs in the summer kitchen.

Well, thanks to the Lord, that worked out much better! With those eggs and some new ones she laid, and hoping at least some of the eggs were fertilized, she indeed hatched out two new chicks!

Here are a couple of pictures of the turklets a couple of weeks old:

New Turkey Chicks 2017

Again, New Turkey Chicks 2017


They don't always get very far, not even to two weeks sometimes, as we've had them die young in the past, but I also think some of that was due to me getting too close to the mama and causing her to panic and them maybe getting stepped on. And so, I tried not to do that as much, or much more slowly, and by God's graces, the chicks are still going! Here they are just the other day:

New Turkey Chicks Getting Older

Again, New Turkey Chicks Getting Older


And here is the video of their life adventure so far. The introduction of them to the flock didn't go so well, and Trina was picked on a lot, but eventually she apparently got tired of it and went on the offensive, and that helped back off everyone:




Also, the young turkey in the last turkey chick blog post mentioned above, which we called Halia, ended up being a tom. Ha! And so, we're going to call him Halio now. :) It seemed to really take him a long time before showing male characteristics -- only recently have we discovered this.

He is on the left in this picture:

Tom Turkeys December 2017


And here is one of all of the flock minus Trina and her little ones:

Turkey Flock December 2017


Once again, we are very grateful to the Lord for these provisions, and the continued health and safety! We pray they go to uses that glorifies Him and benefits His Church!

-- David

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Orchard - 2017 - Pears & Pecans

The Lord has graciously allowed our orchard to continue on, and we are very thankful!

The year started with my pruning the fruit trees. This year we had foreman Mimi supervising! :)

2017 Fruit Tree Pruning

More 2017 Fruit Tree Pruning


And here is the orchard mid June:

2017 Orchard in June


I think the mild winter last year affected our peaches and nectarines, as we didn't really get any of those. And not many plums either. But God granted we had one pear tree do very well. Quite a few fell off in a storm we had, and we collected them but they never ripened. And apparently, pears don't ripen on the tree, and you have to pull them at just the right time, when they easily twist off the tree, and then they ripen as they sit, but can only sit for so long before they over ripen.

However, we were able to enjoy quite a few of them from the ones still on the tree which did ripen fairly well! Here are the last several:

2017 Pears


And this year was our most productive pecan harvest! We had basically three trees produce this year, up from one last year.

2017 Pecans

More 2017 Pecans


Here is the first round from the two newly-producing trees. This sheller apparently works extremely well:

2017 Gathered Pecans


And then our big producer yielded a two-gallon bucket worth!

More 2017 Gathered Pecans


We are very grateful to the Lord for granting these provisions of food off of the land, directly from His hand. And we thank Him for the increase in pears and pecans He graciously granted!

-- David

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Goat Breeding Time 2017!

With Autumn upon us, it was that time of year once again to put our boy goats and girl goats together for goat breeding time 2017!

This is why we have goats, so they, Lord willing, will kid in the Spring time so we can eventually have milk. God has been gracious this year again as He has kept us in milk since we sold our 2016 kids earlier in the year.

As with last year, our buck Rocky still has that knot on the side of his back leg, which we have found out is an actual injury.

Our Buck Rocky


And wouldn't you know, about a month before we're supposed to put the bucks with the does, Shakespeare, our other buck, as the intensity of his rutting seemed to increase over early Fall time, ended up hurting Rocky more to where one morning Rocky couldn't get up. We got him out of there and put him with the females, and graciously the Lord granted that within a few days he was at least able to get up by himself. He can still get around, although we're just not sure he's going to be able to get the job done with his set of females, so we're monitoring, and if he doesn't seem interested in one of his that's in heat, we're hauling her over to Shakespeare.

Our Buck Rocky


But, without further ado, here's is the video of this year's meet and greet! :)




We are grateful again to the Lord for this opportunity to breed the goats He has graciously granted us, and we pray He might grant kids and milk next year!

-- David

Monday, November 27, 2017

David's Digest: Complete Christian Comfort

It seems to me that Christians find most if not all of their Christian comfort from the fact that the Lord Jesus has forgiven them their sins. But complete comfort comes from not only being justified before God, free from the guilt and pollution of our sin by Christ, but also comes from obedience to the commands of God, in Christian graces existing in our hearts and acted out, and mortification of the carnal man, in a sanctified life.

Christ bought sanctification through His atonement, and thus, it is required for the full effect of Christ's work for us in our Christian lives.

We can draw comfort from the propitiation for our sin, and it seems to me many do, but complete comfort must also include a sanctified, holy life.

I would suggest that, a person who believes they are Christian but does not have the desire for, nor the evidence of, the sanctification process in their life, does not have grounds for Christian comfort.

The following is from Puritan Thomas Manton regarding this topic, in volume 18 of his works, in a sermon on Acts 10:34-35:

[1.] How much they are mistaken who think sanctification hath no influence upon our comfort and peace. Some good people are overtender in this point; they pretend they would fetch all their comfort immediately [directly] from Christ. And is Christ the less author of it because sanctification is the matter of it? As if sanctification were not from Christ as well as justification. He is both to us: 1 Cor. i. 30, 'He is made unto us of God wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.' But they think this is to fetch comfort from something more in ourselves than justification is; for the one is an adherent privilege, as the other an internal qualification.

True; but though it be in us, it is not of us. It floweth from the same grace of God, and the same power and merit of the Lord
Jesus
. And something there must be in us, or how shall we make out our title and claim, or know that the grace of God belongeth to us? If we look only to justification, and suspect all comfort that is elsewhere derived, we are in danger of falling into the gross part of the error of Poquinus and Quintinus, who in Calvin's time asserted it to be the only mortification to extinguish the sense of sin in the heart. But this is not to mortify sin, but to mortify repentance and holiness, to crucify the new man rather than the old, not to quiet conscience, but outface it. Surely where there is sin there will be trouble. Sanctification is one means of applying the grace of God, as well as justification; and we must look to both benefits, and the mutual respect they have to one another.

But because this prejudice is drunk in by many not ill-meaning people, let us a little dispossess them of this vain conceit.

(1.) As to Christ. It is certain that a sinner can have no hope of acceptance with God but by Christ : 1 Tim. i. 15, 'Christ came to save sinners;' and Mat. i. 21, 'He shall save his people from their sins.'

(2.) It is as true that 'whosoever is in Christ, he is a new creature', 2 Cor. v.. 17. So that the dispute will lie here; to clear up our interest in Christ, whether we are new creatures; for till that be determined, we can have no solid peace and comfort within ourselves,

(3.) None is a new creature but he who feareth God and worketh righteousness; for that is the description of a new creature, that all old things are passed away, and all things are become new; a new heart, a new mind, and a new conversation [behavior]; for a new heart is only sensibly discovered by newness of life, Rom. vi. 4. Well, then, our proposition is fully reconcilable with the grace of Jesus Christ.

[3.] With respect to the Spirit, who is our sanctifier and comforter. First a sanctifier, and then a comforter, and therefore a comforter because a sanctifier. Otherwise the Spirit would cause us to rejoice we know not why, and the comforts of a christian would be fantastical and groundless; at best we should rejoice in a mere possible salvation. But holiness is God's seal and impress upon us: Eph. i. 13, 'In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.'

When his sanctifying work is interrupted, so is his comforting work disturbed also, Eph. iv. 31. David's bones were broken, and he lost his joy, when he fell into great sins, Ps. li., and Ps. xxxii. And it is true in others, who, when they have been lifted up to heaven in comfort, have fallen almost as low as hell in sorrow, trouble, and perplexity of spirit, when they grew remiss, negligent, and disobedient to the motions of the Holy Ghost. If we intermit a course of holiness, the frowns of God will soon turn our day into night; and the poor forsaken soul, that was feasted with the love of God, knows not whence to fetch the least support. Such is the fruit of our careless and loose walking.

May God sanctify us by His Spirit because of Christ; may He grant us a desire to be obedient and live holy lives, including obedience to His commands in living out the graces of His Spirit and mortification of the carnal man and a putting away of things in this world that feed it; and may we diligently ask Him for these things to be put in our hearts.

You can read excellent writings about sanctification and mortification in Mount Zion's "Free Grace Broadcaster" publications on sanctification and mortification.

-- David

Friday, November 17, 2017

Introducing Tuscan

We recently had another little stray show up around here...just started hanging out like he always belonged. :)

He showed himself to be a very friendly one, and was almost certainly a domestic for someone at some point.

We decided to take him in and call him Tuscan, because of his yellow coloring:

Our New Cat Tuscan


True cat form:

Tuscan Sprawled Out Sleeping


He's all boy-cat, follows me around a lot, and pretty much runs the outside. :) He and William don't quite get along yet, and Mimi is still afraid of him, and he chases her, but they all do appear to be getting a little used to each other. We put him in the barn at night, and he actually doesn't seem to mind, and I really think he's helping keep down the mice population in there, earning his keep! :)


He sometimes likes to join Sue in the goat field while she is milking...we think he might have ulterior motives... :)

Tuscan Drinking Fresh Goat Milk


And here he is camped out on the cistern roof!

Tuscan Laying on Cistern Roof


And here is a quick video of him, including a few moments of he and William around each other:




We're thankful for the little addition to the homestead, and for the help in mice catching the Lord has granted us through him!

-- David