Friday, July 22, 2016

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 2016 Goat Kids

After putting our bucks with their designated lady goats last November, the Lord graciously granted a nice herd of goat kids this 2016! He granted that we lost no mothers and no kids this year too, and we are very thankful!

We'll take you around the horn here introducing them, and we do so again in the video below. See if you can guess from where we got some of the names... :)

Here is Nellie on the left with Eva and Zsa Zsa:

2016 Goat Kids

Behind the black goat on the right next to the camper wheel is Adeline and left to right her kids Arnelle, Adelle, and Alex:

More 2016 Goat Kids

On the right is Marie, and her kids left to right Maggie, Marianna, Adeline's Alex from the previous picture, and Marco:

Some More 2016 Goat Kids

Here is Pammy on the left, and her kid Peggy underneath the camper:

Still More 2016 Goat Kids

On the right here is Gracie. Next to her is Eddie, then Theodore, and in the back in the middle next to the barn is Wally:

Another Set of 2016 Goat Kids

Here is Wally again in the front, then on the left is Annie, with Frankie next to her and Annette to the right of him:

Again More 2016 Goat Kids

Behind Annie in the background is Hannah with her buck Haney:

Another Group of 2016 Goat Kids

On the left in front is Lucy, and behind her is Boris, and behind the camper steps is Natasha:

A Few More 2016 Goat Kids

And finally, here is Winnie, whom I call "your highness." Still the queen of the group if she wants to be, but getting older, and this year she didn't get pregnant, which we don't mind because we'd rather have her around than die in kid birth:

Out Nanny Goat Winnie

And here is their video:

As always, we are very grateful to God for the kid crops, and for this year's, and we are extra thankful for the health and safety of all of the mothers and kids!

-- David

Friday, July 15, 2016

David's Digest: Forgive Them

Several years ago, I was reading through Puritan commentator John Gill's commentary, going through the New Testament, and when I came to the last verse of this parable, something struck me:
Matt 18:23-35 - 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

And here is Dr. Gill's notes on verse 35:
So likewise shall my heavenly Father
This is the accommodation and application of the parable, and opens the design and intent of it; showing that God, who is Christ's Father, that is in heaven, will act in like manner towards all such persons, who are cruel and hard hearted to their brethren, and are of merciless and unforgiving spirits; for so it is said,

he will do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
The phrase, "their trespasses", is omitted by the Vulgate Latin, the Arabic, and the Ethiopic versions, but is in all the Greek copies; and designs not pecuniary debts, though these are to be forgiven, and not rigorously exacted in some cases, and circumstances; but all injuries by word or deed, all offences, though ever so justly taken, or unjustly given; these should be forgiven fully, freely, and from the heart, forgetting, as well as forgiving, not upbraiding with them, or with former offences, and aggravating them; and should also pray to God that he would forgive also. It is certainly the will of God, that we should forgive one another all trespasses and offences. The examples of God and Christ should lead and engage unto it; the pardon of sin received by ourselves from the hands of God strongly enforces it; the peace and comfort of communion in public ordinances require it; the reverse is contrary to the spirit and character of Christians, is very displeasing to our heavenly Father, greatly unlike to Christ, and grieving to the Spirit of God.

Wow. Forgiving, even if I could be just in taking offense; forgiving and forgetting (like we would want God to) and not reviling the person; God's forgiveness being withheld for my being unforgiving of others!

But here was the kicker for me: It's easy to say I forgive someone who has done me wrong. But the level of forgiveness I need to have for someone is to where I want God to forgive them -- for Him to forget their wrong against me, to where He never holds them accountable for it!

In honestly examining myself, that was much harder to do, as I think deep down I might desire what I may envision as "justice" on them by God.

But what if God gave me all the same kind of "justice" for my offenses that I deserve?

I have looked to God for help by praying to be able to actually and fully desire that God not hold to an offender's account wrongs against me, as I believe that is the degree of forgiveness we need to have, and what I believe true forgiveness includes.

And we have prime examples from the Bible, from Christ and from Stephen, unsolicited by the offender, even right when the wrong to them was being done -- the ultimate wrong someone can do to another -- kill them!
Luke 23:34 - "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."

Acts 7:59-60 - "59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."
May God grant us this Christ-like forgiveness.

-- David

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: Chicks the 4th & 5th of 2016

The Lord graciously granted again two more hatchings of chicks this 2016!

I believe this is #4:

2016 Chicks, Group #4

And then this would be #5:

2016 Chicks, Group #5

And here is both groups' video:

As always, we are very grateful to God for these provisions, and their continued health and safety!

-- David

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A House - Update XLIII - Bedroom, Library & Pantry Siding & Kitchen Screen Door

We are grateful to the Lord to be able to continue on the house!

After starting on the rest of the bedroom siding, we were able to finish the other cross wall on the east side:

Bedroom Internal Siding, East Wall

And then it was off to the library. This is the north wall:

Library Internal Siding, North Wall

And west wall:

Library Internal Siding, West Wall

And looking back toward the bedroom:

Library Internal Siding, Walkway

And with that, the visual internal siding is done! Yippee!!

I was able to continue down the middle section of the house, where the bathroom was from last time, and now this time adding the pantry siding:

Pantry Doorway

Pantry Siding

And finally, I was able to add our second screen door, this time on the kitchen door, now adding some more cross breeze!

Kitchen Screen Door from Outside

Kitchen Screen Door from Inside

Again, we thank God for allowing these provisions for the home, and again we pray it is a place where people meet for the glory of His name! Thanks again to those who are making the house building possible!

-- David

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Trina the Turkey Gets Her New Beau Hank

After Trina the Spanish black heritage turkey showed up at our homestead one day, we were hoping to obtain a mate for her, to perhaps breed, but so also she wasn't alone.

Well, it just so happened that Heritage Road Farm , which is fairly close in our region, breeds heritage turkeys! So, we contacted them, and they graciously met us in Brownwood with this tom turkey, which because Ankara is the capital of Turkey, we decided to call Hank!

Hank the Heritage Tom Turkey

And here is a video of the big meet between them!

After this, Hank spent at least a couple of weeks following her around flared up like that, but has settled in a little more now, but still follows her around. :)

We're thankful to be able to have Hank here for Trina, and we pray they are beneficial to the homestead and the community!

-- David

Monday, June 13, 2016

Susan's Musin's - The Price For Greener Grass

Part of my daily routine includes taking our two border collie dogs up to one of the empty goat fields and walking them. Sometimes I will leave them up there for extra run-around time while I attend to other chores. The border collie natural instinct is to "herd" or "corral" things, chickens included. Well trained shepherding dogs can probably behave beautifully around chickens but we never invested the consistent time to train them properly. We learned long ago that if they are left out with chickens, if a chicken starts to run, the dogs will automatically try to chase and "herd" it and if captured, they will then try to play with and bite it, and eventually the chicken will die from its injuries. Thankfully, for the most part, we've been able to successfully keep them apart.

Chicken behavior is interesting to watch, as well. They are, indeed, flock creatures and tend to free range in small groups. A rooster will generally take one or more hens "under his wing" and look out for them. He will alert his hens when he has found food and will deny himself to let them have it. He will also protect the hens from other roosters trying to invade his territory. So there is a covering of protection, of sorts, when the hen stays with her little flock while out in the world of free ranging.

Our chickens have many acres of fields and greens on which to free range on our homestead. Much of the time they like to go up into the goat fields and lay eggs in the sheds as well as rummage through the hay for tasty morsels. There is one chicken that, over the past several months, likes to leave her little flock and go up by herself into the goat field next to the one where we walk the dogs and hang out there. A couple of months ago, I saw that chicken all by herself eyeing the greener grass on the other side and hop through the fence into the dog field just as I was walking up. Well, unbeknownst to her, the dogs were watching and immediately pounced on her. I ran over and was able to get the dogs to let go and the chicken ran off leaving a pile of feathers on the ground (chickens will automatically release feathers to try to get away from a predator).

Well, very recently, I had left the dogs up in the field to do other chores. I usually scan the field to make sure there are no other animals, etc. in there before I leave them. I came back a time later and started walking around the perimeter of the field to give them a bit more exercise. Nessa ran ahead, very normal for her, but she came running back with something in her mouth. She seemed very proud of it and brought it right to me. It was almost unrecognizable. My heart sank. I knew what it was. It was that chicken, brutally handled and eventually killed by the dogs in her attempt to get away from them. I walked around the field and found the place of struggle with a big pile of feathers strewn all around.

Dead Chicken

You may think "what's the big deal?" It's just one of many chickens. Yes, that's true. But one of the invaluable reasons we have chosen to live out here is to be more in tune with God's spiritual lessons and types in our daily lives. I believe there are no coincidences with God. He has purpose in *everything*. We always ask Him to search our hearts and grant insight into these things. Well, I started praying for God to help me understand the spiritual side of this. With my own past experiences in mind, several things came to my mind: (these are my own personal observations)

  • God brings us under His "wing" and, in His plan, places us under godly authority on this earth (parents, pastors, elders, etc)to act as a covering of spiritual protection
  • When we get too confident in our own strength and wander away from our Protector and flock distracted by our own "greener grass", we are making ourselves vulnerable to the enemy, always watching and waiting for an opportunity to attack
  • There are many instances of this in the Bible. Here are just a few:
    • Numbers 20:12 - After all that had transpired with God's mighty deliverance of Israel from Pharaoh and Egypt, Moses and Aaron were kept from entering Canaan because of *one* particular sin when they took their eyes off of God and tried to do something in their own strength.
    • Joshua 7 - Joshua, after God granted a great victory at Jericho, relied on the false confidence and faulty wisdom of his spies in the consideration of Israel's next conquest. He did not seek God first and look to Him for counsel. And all of Israel paid a great price for it.
    • 2 Samuel 11 - David, in a slothful time when he was supposed to be out at battle diligently leading his armies and protecting Jerusalem, eyed greener grass when he saw Bathsheba. This one moment of "indiscretion" resulted in a lifetime of sorrow, war and turmoil in David's life and the lives of his family and subjects.

So the death of this chicken has been a HUGE spiritual lesson and is a great warning and reminder that I am always to be diligent in my Christian walk, not to wander off in my own strength and wisdom or take my eyes off of Christ and put them on "greener grass" thinking I know better than God as to what is best for my life.

1 Peter 5:8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Thankfully, our Lord Jesus Christ paid the price to cover the sins of our Old Testament Fathers and all of His children throughout time, however, the price we pay when we don't do things God's way can be so devastating and far reaching in this life, detracting from God's glory.

May each of us seek God and His word first and only, and lean not unto our own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.


Friday, June 3, 2016

A House - Update XLII - Kitchen Window Sills, Bathroom Siding & More Bedroom Siding

Just a quick update that the Lord has graciously granted we be able to continue some work on the house!

We added window sills for the kitchen:

Kitchen Window Sills

Kitchen Window Sill

And some siding for the bathroom, which is between the kitchen and bedroom. This is the nook side, facing west:

Bathroom Nook

And this is the main bathroom area:


And we have been able to add some more bedroom siding, here on the north wall:

Bedroom North Wall

As always, we are very grateful to God for granting the resources and physical strength to be able to continue on the house!

-- David