Thursday, August 17, 2017

David's Digest: My Heart Is Good

"My heart is good!"

Have you said that, or heard that said? I believe we all think it to some degree, and certainly want to believe it.

But what does the Bible say?

Gen. 6:5 - "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

Gen. 8:21 - "And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done."

Jer. 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

Rom. 3:10-12 - "10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

Rom. 8:7 - "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

Mark 10:18 - "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."

Ezek. 36:26 - "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."


The heart of fallen man by nature is a heart of stone, a dead heart, a desperately wicked heart, is enmity against God, not subject or able to be subject to the law of God, with no desire to seek for God and no good in it. Only some One good can bring goodness to it, and that is the good God, removing the dead heart and giving a lively heart. It is His act of putting His goodness there.

And even if you are truly a Christian, you recognize and lament the evil that is still within you.


Prov. 20:9 - "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?"

From Puritan John Gill's commentary:

Who can say, I have made my heart clean
The heart of man is naturally unclean, the mind, conscience, understanding, will, and affections; there is no part clean, all are defiled with sin; and though there is such a thing as a pure or clean heart, yet not as made so by men; it is God that has made the heart, that can only make it clean, or create a clean heart in men; it is not to be done by themselves, or by anything that they can do; it is done only by the grace of God, and blood of Christ: God has promised to do it, and he does it; and to him, and to him only, is it to be ascribed;

I am pure from my sin?
the sin of nature or of action: such indeed who are washed from their sins in the blood of Christ; whose sins are all pardoned for his sake, and who are justified from all things by his righteousness; they are pure from sin, none is to be seen in them, or found upon them in a legal sense: they are all fair and comely, and without fault in the sight of God; their iniquities are caused to pass from them; and they are clothed with fine linen, clean and white, the righteousness of the saints: but then none are pure from indwelling sin, nor from the commission of sin; no man can say this, any more than the former; if he does, he is an ignorant man, and does not know the plague of his heart; and he is a vain pharisaical man; yea, a man that does not speak the truth, nor is the truth in him, (1 John 1:8)


And Prov. 28:26 - "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."

Dr. Gill again:

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool
Since the thoughts and imaginations of the thoughts of the heart are only evil, and that continually; they are vain and vague, sinful and corrupt; the affections are inordinate, the conscience defiled, the understanding darkened, and the will perverse; there is no good thing in it, nor any that comes out of it, but all the reverse; it is deceitful and desperately wicked: he must be a fool, and not know the plague of his heart, that trusts in it; and even for a good man to be self-confident, and trust to the sincerity of his heart, as Peter did, or to the good frame of the heart, as many do, is acting a foolish part; and especially such are fools as the Scribes and Pharisees, who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others, when a man's best righteousness is impure and imperfect, and cannot justify him in the sight of God; it is moreover a weak and foolish part in men to trust to the wisdom and counsel of their heart, to lean to their own understanding, even it, things natural and civil, and not to ask wisdom of God, or take the advice of men, and especially it, things religious and sacred; see (Proverbs 3:5 Proverbs 3:6)

but whoso walketh wisely
as he does who walks according to the rule of the divine word; who makes the testimonies of the Lord his counsellors; who consults with his sacred writings, and follows the directions of them; who walks as he has Christ for his pattern and example, and makes the Spirit of God his guide, and walks after him, and not after the flesh; who walks with wise men, and takes their advice in all matters of moment, not trusting to his own wisdom and knowledge; who walks as becomes the Gospel of Christ, and in all the ordinances of it; who walks inoffensively to all men, and so in wisdom towards them that are without, and in love to them who are within; who walks circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time

he shall be delivered
he shall be delivered from the snares of his own deceitful heart, which he will not trust; and from the temptations of Satan; and from all afflictions and troubles he meets with in the way; and from a final and total falling away; and from eternal death and destruction: "he shall be saved", as some versions render it, even with an everlasting salvation. The Targum is, "he shall be protected from evil."


Finally, here is a warning I believe we should consider from Puritan Thomas Manton from his 2nd sermon on Mark 3:5, which you can read in full here:

4. None are so confident of the goodness of their hearts, as those that have an hard heart: for the more any spiritual disease increaseth upon us, the less it is felt. There is hope whilst there is some complaining of sin, that there is some tenderness left.

The hardest heart must needs be the most confident, because they use no recollection and reflection upon themselves; Jer. 8:6, 'No man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done?' What am I, what have I done? Yea they slight their danger, take up every vain pretence and allegation to maintain their carnal peace and quiet: Deut. 29:19-20, 'And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of my heart, to add drunkenness to thirst. The Lord will yet spare him, &c.'

Broken-hearted christians are sensible of the holiness of God, and what an hard matter it is to hold communion with him, and observe their own weakness and unworthiness; and therefore they complain of the badness of their hearts, that there is no greater bent towards God, and are always suspicious of their spiritual condition.


May God grant us an understanding of our carnal hearts and His holiness, may we humbly recognize from Whom any goodness in our hearts we might have comes, and may we diligently seek it from Him!

-- David

Monday, August 7, 2017

Garden - Summer 2017

This is our first garden update for 2017, although we actually did plant a Spring garden...

In times past, I've tried to plant regardless of how well set up the environment was -- "Oh, it doesn't really matter how the soil is...just put the seed in the ground!" Well, as I've found out, and I'm sure anyone reading this who has successfully done gardening realizes, that doesn't work, and is of course not biblical (the soil must be good to bring forth fruit -- see (Matt 13:1-23).

Anyway, I thought this year, I'm going to dig out any of our clay soil and put in compost, and then plant...even though our seeds are really old. Well, as I found out once again, and those reading this who have done gardening know, old seeds don't work either.

Sigh.

Out of the maybe 150 or more (at a guess) seeds I planted, here is the one plant that grew, a broccoli I believe:

Spring 2017 Broccoli


I believe now! :) And we are thankful for this one plant. May God prepare the soil of our hearts by His Spirit and plant His gospel and law in it so it will bring forth much fruit, and we will be obedient to Him!


Following that, and waiting until the ground warmed up, the plan was to plant okra, which works well out here. I dug out holes, filled with compost as needed, and used seeds given to us by a gracious person...from this year! :)

Well, not that we're entitled to anything, or that God is under obligation to grow anything, or that these things happen without Him gifting them, in His graces, He has caused them to grow, and start to bring forth the edibles!

Spring 2017 Okra Plants

Spring 2017 Okra Fruit


Here's a hopeful okra. Beautiful, not only visually, but in the potential of fruit coming from it (like even the lowest of Christians, because they have the image of Christ stamped on them)...

Spring 2017 Okra Flower


Also, in our other garden area, Mr. Bunker graciously gave us some sweet potato cuttings. After, I put the root ends under the mulch against the ground and then covering them with the mulch that was there, I found I really needed to water them well, but once doing that, the vines really started to take off, and here is how they are now:

Spring 2017 Sweet Potato Vines


Finally, Mr. Stonger also graciously gave us a goji berry bush and a couple of blackberry cuttings, which have been doing well...

The goji berry bush put out quite a few berries earlier in the year, but once heat hit it, it lost a lot of its leaves, so I started watering it a lot, and it has come back nicely, thanks to God.

Spring 2017 Goji Berry Bush


There's even a berry there now, and some purple flowers growing:

Spring 2017 Goji Berry & Flowers


And here are the blackberry plants. I had to put them in tomato plant cones to give them some support. Also earlier in the year we got a couple of blackberries, which were yummy!

Spring 2017 Blackberry Plants


As always, we are very grateful to the Lord for His provisions, and the understanding about Him we can gain through being involved in His creation and studying His word!

-- David

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hogs, Hogs on the Range - Update III & Bye to Ardy

The Lord has graciously allowed us to continue putting up new pig fencing sections, around our pig pen area, and in extending the expansion area!

But first, after introducing Ardy to Penelope back in October 2016, it was time to move him along to the processor, as I figured if she hasn't become pregnant by now, she probably just isn't going to be.

And so, here's a final video of that day, including extreme close up! He was a big boy! :)




We thank the Lord for the provisions of Ardy!


Going back to the fencing...

In our last pig expansion area update, we had put in place cinder block and cattle panel fence sections, which have really worked out great. And then, in our last pig update, we had started on re-doing the fencing of the pig pen area.

Well, here is a video update of the pig pen area and a new extended area on the expansion. I also demo how it is to move around the fence sections with just one person:




Eventually, we need to enclose the entire pen area, and Lord willing, I'll be able to continue on that over time.

As always, we are grateful to God for continued ideas and improvements on the homestead, and the strength and resources to be able to further things!

-- David

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Orange Day 2017 - The 12th

As in years past, in honor of our Protestant heritage against the antichrist Roman Catholic Church, last evening we gathered to remember "The 12th," an Orange Day celebration commemorating William of Orange's stand against the Roman Catholics on July 12, 1690, where he defeated their forces at the Battle of the Boyne (see the "Antichrist" section on our "Soul Info" page regarding our belief that the Pope and Roman Catholic Church are the Antichrist and religious system of Antichrist).

This year, we did a reading on this, and recorded the video:




We believe the prophecies of Revelation in the Bible have been rolling out over the Church age since Christ left (this is called the Historicist method of eschatology). In the video, Mr. Stonger mentioned Robert Flemming's short book called "The Rise & Fall of the Papacy", which takes the reader through that unfolding of Revelation over the centuries. I would highly recommend it, and you can get a copy at Amazon.

As always, we thank the Lord for granting His word to be given in our language, the spread of that word, and all of the means of grace from Reformation and Puritan writers He has granted! May we use them diligently, and we pray He grants us His graces through them!

-- David

Thursday, July 6, 2017

David's Digest: Sin and The Christian

It seems to me often when people believe they are saved, even if they realize they are a sinner, they lose perspective of sin and their relation to it, almost that their sin in their life generally has mystically disappeared. In fact, we were told one time at a church I attended in the past to not look at ourselves as sinners saved by grace, as we now have a new identity and should look at ourselves that way.

While when someone is saved their sins are washed away from a penal perspective, and they are removed out from under the eternal wrath of God (ie. they are not held as guilty due eternal punishment), it's not actually like they never sinned, and it's not like they don't continue to sin throughout their lives. A saved person still carries with him the carnal man, the corrupt nature, and while they have a new nature as well, the sin nature continues, with its same traits and same evil efforts and desires, although dethroned as ruler, but at war now with the new man.

Rom 8:7 - "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

We continue to carry this carnal man with us during our time here in this life, and this is what Paul laments during his ministry:

Rom 7:24 - "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"

Here is what Puritan John Gill says from what Paul desired to be delivered:
from the load of sin, and burden of corruption, under which he groaned, and still bespeaks him a regenerate man; for not of outward calamities, but of indwelling sin is he all along speaking in the context: wherefore it is better by "this body of death" to understand what he in (Romans 6:6) calls "the body of sin"; that mass of corruption that lodged in him, which is called "a body", because of its fleshly carnal nature; because of its manner of operation, it exerts itself by the members of the body; and because it consists of various parts and members, as a body does; and "a body of death", because it makes men liable to death: it was that which the apostle says "slew" him, and which itself is to a regenerate man, as a dead carcass, stinking and loathsome; and is to him like that punishment Mezentius inflicted on criminals, by fastening a living body to a putrid carcass: and it is emphatically called the body of "this death", referring to the captivity of his mind, to the law of sin, which was as death unto him

While reading Puritan Thomas Manton, in his sermons on Genesis 24:63, in Sermon VII, he wrote something I thought most excellently laid out the perspective a Christian should continue to have for sin, and you can read the full sermon here:
4. None are exempted from bewailing the evil of sin. Though the children of God shall never feel it, nor have the dregs of God's displeasure wrung out to them for it, yet they must bewail the evil that there is in sin. The death and merit of Christ doth not change the nature of sin, nor put less evil into it, why should we look upon it with a different eye after conversion than we did before? Sin is still damning in its own merit and nature, and it is still the violation of an holy righteous law, and an affront to the holy God, and an inconvenience to the precious soul. Sin is the same as it was before, though the person be not the same. Nay, the children of God are not altogether exempted from the effects of sin neither, it is a disease, though not a death, and who would not groan under the heat of a burning fever, though he be assured of life?

God hath still a bridle upon you to keep the soul in awe. And though the godly can never lose their right in the covenant, that doth remain, yet they may lose the fruition of it, and this is enough to make a child of God mourn: Notwithstanding all the privileges of grace, you may be branded, though not executed; and though the Lord hath made them vessels of mercy, yet he doth not use and employ them as vessels of honour, but they are set aside as useless vessels.

Sin will still be inconvenient, it will bring disgrace to religion, and discomfort to your souls, and furnish the triumphs of hell, and make Satan rejoice, and eclipse the light of God's countenance; and who can brook the loss of God's favour, and of intimate communion with him without sadness, and bemoaning his case? I may ask you that question, Job xv. 11, 'Are the consolations of God small with thee?' Do you make so little reckoning of those rich comforts of the Holy Ghost?

Though you cannot be damned, for there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ, Rom. viii. 1., yet your pilgrimage may be made very uncomfortable; and he that prizeth communion with God, would not lose the comfort of it for the least moment.

Besides, if there were no inconvenience, yet love is motive enough to a gracious person? Where is your love? Christians! You sin against mercy, the warm beams of mercy should melt the heart, Ezek. xxxvi. 31, 'Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loath your selves in your own sight for your iniquities, and for all your abominations.' As long as there is love in the heart, you can never want [lack] an argument to represent the odiousness of sin. Put the matter in a temporal case; it would be ill reasoning for an heir to say, I know my father will not disinherit me, therefore I do not care how I offend him. Where is your love to God, if you do not hate sin? Psa. xcvii. 10, 'Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.'

Though your right in the covenant be safe, yet you should still have the evil of your own doings in remembrance.

May these things be on the forefront of our remembrance, may it keep us humble and in awe of divine grace and mercy, may it elevate the perfectly righteous Lord Jesus Christ, and may God grant us a hatred of sin because it's an affront to the One we love!

-- David

Monday, June 26, 2017

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 4th & 5th Chick Hatchings of 2017

The Lord recently graciously granted another two hatchings for 2017, the 4th and 5th!

This first group is a little interesting: there were a couple of mama hens sitting on eggs in the barn, and one day I walked in, and heard little chick sounds, and behind the dog kennel there were two chicks and the two mothers walking around. Oh boy...gotta round them up before William our cat sees them! So, I caught the two chicks and picked one of the moms and put them in the summer kitchen. And then if I remember correctly, I think something was wrong with that mom -- she was being hurtful or something to the chicks and so I went and got the other mom and swapped them out. And things worked better with her.

Then, the first mama went back to sitting on eggs and a couple of days later, there was a chick sound under her! But, I didn't want to set her aside with just one chick if possible, so I took this third one and put it with the first two, hoping the mama wouldn't reject it, and she didn't, and so here are the three she's been taking care of:

Fourth Chick Hatching of 2017


And then, I put the other mama and the rest of the eggs she was sitting on in the barn in the mini chicken tractor, and then she hatched out two more!

Fifth Chick Hatching of 2017


And here is a video of both groups:




As always, we are very thankful to God for providing these offspring and provisions!

-- David

Monday, June 5, 2017

A House - Update XLVIII - Kitchen/Great Room Cabinets, Kitchen Island Carts, Pantry Shelves & Cook Book Shelf

It's been some time since our last house update, but since then, the Lord has granted we be able to collect great room and kitchen storage items, to be able to continue to move in and function more completely in the house.

Here are a couple of great room cabinets:

Great Room Cabinets


And with a stow away catching a nap: :)

Mimi in Great Room Storage Cabinet


And the kitchen cabinets:

Kitchen Cabinets


And with Sue's grandmother's china, which is very special to her!

Grandmother's China Dishes in Kitchen Cabinet


These are a couple of kitchen island carts:

Kitchen Island Cart

Kitchen Island Cart


And then some more pantry shelves:

More Pantry Shelves


And finally, a little cook book shelf I put on top of the paper towel holder:

Cook Book Shelf


As always, we are very thankful to God to be able to continue on the house and for these provisions! We always pray this place will be a house of worship to Him, for the gathering of His people, and where He might glorify Himself!

-- David