Friday, December 30, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 6 - Denying Lawful Pleasures

This is the planned final part of this series of blog posts, and here are the previous parts:

Part 1 - Cooling Zeal
Part 2 - Truth in Trials
Part 3 - The Evil of Worldliness
Part 4 - Heaven My Way
Part 5 - Worldliness in Much


This is another little related excerpt I found from Thomas Manton in his sermon 6 on Genesis 24:63, of which the entire sermon you can read here:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:26.6?rgn=div2;view=fulltext
Others for want of considering the end of their lives, are so far from living as Christians, that they scarce live as men, but either as beasts, or as devils. Delight in the pleasures of the world transformeth a man into a beast, it is their happiness to enjoy pleasures without remorse, and to gratify the body; and delight in sin transformeth a man into a devil. Worldly pleasures are not bread, and sinful pleasures are poison: You that are allured by the pleasures of the world, which are lawful in themselves, you lay out your money for that which is not bread; and you to whom it is meat to do evil, you feed upon that which is rank poison; the world cannot satisfy, and sin will surely destroy.
How much of our time is spent in the things of the world, even those that might be lawful? I believe this is an important question to continue to ask ourselves.


Finally, let's look at the example of Christ, again from Thomas Manton in a sermon on Philippians 2:7, which in its entirety you can read here:
https://sites.google.com/a/oldpaths.org.uk/oldpaths/m/manton/mantonvol18/m000000012/page124sermonuponphilippiansii7philii7butmadehimselfofnoreputation:

[5.] The last lesson is contempt of the world and all the glory thereof. Christ teacheth us this lesson by making himself of no reputation in two ways—

(1.) The example of his own choice. The Lord of heaven and earth despised and neglected the glory and riches of this world. He passed through the world to sanctify it as a place of service; but chose not pomp of living, nor the happiness of it, lest we should choose it as our rest and portion: 'They are not of the world, as I am not of the world,' John xvii. 16. Those that are dearest unto God must look by crosses and trials to be fitted for another world. If a man say never so much for contempt of the world, yet live in the love of it, his saying is nothing. But Christ would be a pattern of his own doctrine. Contempt of the world is a lesson of great consequence; salvation lieth upon it: 1 John ii. 15-17, 'Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world: if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him; for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world; and the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.' Whether we are high or low, full or kept bare, it concerneth us all to learn it. Though we flow in wealth, we should be as having nothing, and sit loose from the creature. If we are poor, we must count grace a preferment: James i. 9, 10, 'Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted; but the rich, in that he is made low, because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.' There is required of all an hearty preparation for, when they are not called to a patient enduring of, afflictions for Christ's name: Phil. iv. 12, 'I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.' This is of a hard digestion to a natural man. Now Christ's example is a great help to us to check our worldly desires; let us not affect greater eminency in the world than Christ had; and to check the vanity of fulness, or our carnal complacency, that it may not be a snare to us: 1 Tim. v. 6, 'The woman that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.' Christ was a man of sorrows; do you profess Christ, and yet are you addicted to vain pleasures, and not able to deny them?

(2.) As it is an argument to confirm us in the certainty of the happiness of the world to come. It were best to choose the easiest life here if we did not believe eternity, to live a life of pomp and ease. The troubles and miseries of the godly have been counted a sure argument to confirm it: 1 Cor. xv. 19, 'If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.' God would not make us miserable by our duty. And 2 Thes i. 5, 'It is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God.' If the consideration of godly men's sufferings in this world be of moment to such an inference, much more the sufferings of Christ, who was not only a man good and innocent beyond example, instructing the souls, curing the bodies of so many men, but also the Son of God. His exaltation is a pledge of our happiness, and his humiliation an argument he is gone there as our forerunner.


The kingdom of the world, ruled by Satan, is the enemy of all people -- its ends, like Satan's, are to destroy souls. The carnal man, which is enmity against God (Rom 8:7), is like a cancer to the soul (Paul calls it "the body of this death" in Rom 7:24; see what Puritan commentator Dr. John Gill says about this verse), and these worldly distractions and pleasures are like sugar to that cancer, which feed it and help it grow. Why wouldn't we choose to deny ourselves these things?

The carnal man is with us until we die, Satan is on the constant prowl, and the world is continuously pulling us toward it. After going through the previous 5 parts (and hopefully the whole sermon here), and this part, I believe that surely this is something for which we should always be on careful watch, for the rest of our lives, if we have concern for our eternal welfare.

May the Lord God almighty help us to mortify the flesh, and by His infinite graces and mercies, may the things of earth during our time here ever continue to fade...
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.


Psalm 73:25-26 - "25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."

-- David

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A House - Update XLVII - Kitchen Pot Hooks, Utensil Drawer, More Pantry Shelves & Indoor Elevated Water Tank

With some of the kitchen accoutrements being added, the Lord has graciously granted we continue to add some more things in getting it more functional...


Sue liked a utensil drawer and pot hooks idea, so we bought a set of drawers that fit under the counter, and I added some hooks:

Kitchen Pot Hooks & Utensil Drawer


And here are some more pantry shelves added, on the opposite side of the others this time, and with the potential for more levels:

New Kitchen Pantry Shelves


Lastly, all along the plan for the area on the north wall between the counter and the stove was to install an indoor elevated tank for water flow into the kitchen sink. After some research, I settled on a 6 gallon one with a 3/4 inch outlet, that also happens to have a self-venting cap (which I didn't realize until we got it -- bonus!).

And so, I put up a platform, put the tank on it, and ran the tubing and garden hose. On the end at first, I put a hand-squeeze garden sprayer, partially because you could set it to flow automatically, but the outlet was too small, and the flow was minimal. I then replaced that with a valve that is the diameter of the hose, and now it flows nicely, even spraying across the sink when the valve is about 3/4 open.

Here are a couple of pictures:

Indoor Elevated Water Tank

Indoor Elevated Water Tank Hose Valve


And here is a video of it in action:




We are always grateful to God for granting continued progress on the house, and for the ideas He gives us. We always pray this house will be a place of worship to Him!

-- David

Sunday, December 18, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 5 - Worldliness in Much

1 John 2:15 - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

This regards sermon 9 on love of the world from a set of sermons on Mark 10:17-27 from Puritan Thomas Manton, where the rich young ruler asks Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life. I found it very interesting, beneficial and challenging.

Here is a link to the entire set of sermons on the topic:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

And here is a link to this individual sermon 9 on love of the world:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17.9?rgn=div2;view=fulltext

And here are the previous parts from our blog:
Part 1 - Cooling Zeal
Part 2 - Truth in Trials
Part 3 - The Evil of Worldliness
Part 4 - Heaven My Way


The below is part 5 of just some of the main snippets from the sermon. I hope you will take the time to go through the entire thing as it has many more rich explanations and many scriptural proofs.


From Thomas Manton:

Mark 10:22 - "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions."

The last point is taken from the reason of his heavy and sorrowful departure, 'For he had great possessions'. He had them, is that a fault? Here is no note of crime put upon him, as to his getting of them: he is not taxed with an insatiable desire of riches, nor with unconscionable means to get them; only it is said, that he was marvelously rich, and had great possessions, and therefore he went away sorrowful; so that the point will be this,

Doctrine 5: That the disease of worldliness is very incident to great persons, and men of quality.

If we have not a mortified heart, the very having an estate may prove a snare to us. I observe this, because many please themselves in this, that they have not got what they have by extortion, or cousinage [relational favoritism?], or by any fraudulent or unlawful means, that their heritage comes to them lawfully, in the fair way of providence; but if they have it, and they look not to their hearts, it will enchant them. It is not the means of gathering wealth, but the deceitfulness of it however gathered that chokes the Word. The very possession and presence, though it be not greedily sought for, nor unlawfully purchased, may enchant our minds, and render us unapt to obey Christ's commandments. Take three propositions.

(1.) Proposition: That it is possible, yea very likely that our hearts may be inordinately set upon wealth lawfully gotten;

The mind may be enchanted with a secret delight and desire to retain and increase riches, lawfully gotten. A man may be a slave to his wealth, and loathe to part with it upon religious reasons: it is very likely it will be so when men have any thing in the world.

I do not know how it comes to pass, but so it is, there is more danger in possessing wealth than in getting it; this young man went away sad, for he had great riches: and it is one thing (saith he) to refuse that we have not, another thing to part with what we have;

Covetousness is not to be determined by a greedy thirst only, but also by complacency, delight, and acquiescence of soul in worldly enjoyments. Though we would not desire more, yet if our hearts be glued to that we have already, we are unapt for the kingdom of God,

In short, it is the corruption of our nature, that we are very prone to affect worldly goods too much, and so much the more by how much the more plenty and abundance of them is enjoyed.

They that have much flax and gunpowder in their houses, had need be careful to keep fire from it; so a Christian that enjoys a great store of wealth, had need look to his heart, that corruption do not meet with it; that aversion from God, and conversion to the creature is so natural to us, that when we have great store of the world's goods, we are ready to set our hearts too much on them.

(2.) Proposition: That the gathering of a spiritual disease is very secret and insensible. Bad humours breed in the body, and are not discovered till a strain; much more distempers breed in the soul ere we are aware, and therefore the more caution is necessary:

Man is afraid of want [lack] and poverty, but who is afraid of riches?

Our greatest learning is to learn how to abound. The worldly-minded judge riches and abundance a happy condition, O blessed is the man, they will say, that is in such a case! It is the sum of every man's wish; but to be shy of the world, to suspect danger in plenty, it can never enter into their hearts: but alas! as a rank soil is apt to breed weeds, so many snares are incident to this condition, and this sort of life. Alas, they that have great and plentiful estates, how apt are they to pamper the flesh, to grow forgetful of God, slight in holy things, to be wedded to worldly greatness!

As soon as men have any thing in the world, their heads are lifted up above their brethren, and they grow proud, scornful of God's Word, slighting of holy things, and we are wholly enchanted with pleasures of such an estate, but consider not the snares that secretly are laid for their souls.

(3.) Proposition: There is no means to prevent the danger, but by the continual exercise of good works, and a prudent carefulness to improve our substance for God's glory, and helpfulness to others...your business should be how you should honour God,

A man's care should be for contracting and cutting short his desires, and how to make use of it in order to eternal life. Unless there be this constant solicitude upon the heart, it is impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.


Stay tuned for part 6, if the Lord wills!

May God grant we have a desire and ability to always be on the watch for the snares of the world, especially if we abound!

-- David

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hymn - Almighty Father of All Things That Be

Over the months, I put together another melody that I kind of liked and was able to remember. This one I would sing to Albus, the white musical rooster that used to crow the beginning of Beethoven's fifth symphony, when he would come up to me at night and want me to pick him up and set him in my lap before putting him up for the night. The lyrics were simple: "Albus, and Albus."

When that stopped, we had a hen that would stay with the goats at night, and I would carry her in from the goat field to the chicken tractor to put her up. This poor little hen's eye had turned into a grey, round orb, and I'm pretty sure she couldn't see out of it, or see well, and I believe would cause her panic. But because of that, I called her "Globey," and her lryics were "Globey, and Globey." As I would walk with her singing the song, when I would get to the held note at the end of the third stanza, I would put my mouth above her head and do a '70s stereo effect, moving my mouth left right left for each beat of the measure. :)

Here is a picture of her and her eye:

Globey's Eye


And here is a picture of Sue after Globey "let go" all over her after catching her. :D One of the fun-factors of farm life!

Globey Poo


Recently, she stopped hiding in the goat sheds at night, and started hiding in grasses in the goat fields, and we were unable to find her at night. Sadly, it appears the dogs got to her one morning, or found what was left of her. She'll be a fond memory though because of carrying her in at night, and her relation to this tune.


And so, with this one being a tune long enough to have an actual verse and chorus, and again wanting to do something spiritual with it, I set out to try and find hymn lyrics that would fit the meter of the song. Usually, you start with lyrics and write the song to it, so trying to fit lyrics to this tune in particular actually proved to be quite difficult, as the meter was not very standard (10.10.10.10.10.8.10.8), which limited it to only a few I could find, and since I wanted the words to be doctrinally correct, and the author not tied to improper doctrine.

Eventually though, I found one I could go with: Almighty Father of All Things That Be, by Ernest Edward Dugmore. With some tweaking of the original lyrics, and turning the tune's chorus meter to 10.9 instead of 10.8, I was able to acceptably fit the lyrics to the tune.

And here it is:

Almighty Father of All Things That Be

Here's a PDF:
Almighty Father of All Things That Be PDF

And this is a musical audio of the arrangement:
Almighty Father of All Things That Be MP3


It was pleasing in the end to take the "Albus/Globey" tune and have it seem to work out fairly nicely, at least to me. :)

I am thankful to the Lord to have been able to take this little song and actually find some lyrics to fit it, and I pray perhaps it might be something that brings glory to Him!

-- David

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 4 - Heaven My Way

1 John 2:15 - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

This regards sermon 9 on love of the world from a set of sermons on Mark 10:17-27 from Puritan Thomas Manton, where the rich young ruler asks Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life. I found it very interesting, beneficial and challenging.

Here is a link to the entire set of sermons on the topic:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

And here is a link to this individual sermon 9 on love of the world:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17.9?rgn=div2;view=fulltext

And here are the previous parts from our blog:
Part 1 - Cooling Zeal
Part 2 - Truth in Trials
Part 3 - The Evil of Worldliness


The below is part 4 of just some of the main snippets from the sermon. I hope you will take the time to go through the entire thing as it has many more rich explanations and many scriptural proofs.


From Thomas Manton:

Mark 10:22 - "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions."

Doctrine 4: A carnal worldly man may be sorrowful, when he cannot win heaven in his own way.

When he cannot get heaven, and his own will in the world also, as this young man was, when he could not be a Christian at a cheaper rate: he departed from Christ sad, as loathe to miss this felicity, and yet loathe to pay so dear for it. There is a sorrow that worketh repentance to salvation never to be repented of, 2 Cor. 7:10, but this is of another nature, it makes a wound in the conscience, and doth no more.

And this is just the disposition of a man that hath a sense of eternity, and yet is wedded to his lusts [desires of the flesh, senses, world, not necessarily sexual in nature]: fain he would be happy hereafter, but will not leave his lusts now; so they are troubled they cannot have Christ and the world too, Christ for their consciences, and the world for their affections: they love this world, and yet would fain be saved in the world to come, and therefore are grieved when they cannot have both. On the one side they are troubled, with a sense of religion, and on the other side with a fear of losing their worldly interests:

Thus shall we be affected, till we seek God with our whole hearts.

This sorrow of the young man will give us some light as to the difference between those conflicts that are in a gracious and renewed man, and those conflicts that are in the unregenerate. There are conflicts in both, yet they differ much: in the unregenerate, graceless soul, the conflict is between conviction and corruption, conscience wrestles with their lusts, and lusts wrestle with conscience, and so men are sorrowful upon carnal, not godly reasons; whereas the conflict in the regenerate is in the same faculties, carnal reason against spiritual reason, and carnal will against spiritual will, carnal affections against spiritual affections; the battle is fought in every faculty. In the conflict betwixt the flesh and Spirit in the regenerate, the spiritual part prevails.

And here the young man yielded, and went away sorrowful: this conflict and sorrow may have a wound in the conscience, but it doth not prevail to cause them to look after heaven on Christ's own terms.


Stay tuned for part 5, if the Lord wills!

May we see the evil of the world, renounce it wholly and fully, in favor of cleaving to Christ and His commands!

-- David

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Community Singing - November 2016

God graciously allowed us to meet a couple of Lord's Days ago to record the next set of Psalms from the psalter we use! We are always thankful to Him for His word and this means of grace to be able to learn it in song!

(If you would like to save any of the files locally to your computer, you can right click on Download and click Save As in the popup menu.)

Psalms 50A-53



Previous Psalms singings:

Psalms 1A-12B (minus 4B)

Psalms 4B & 13-18L

Psalms 19A-22E

Psalms 22F-24C

Psalms 25A-27F

Psalms 28A-31G

Psalms 32A-34D

Psalms 35A-37F

Psalms 38B-40F

Psalms 41A-44F

Psalms 45A-49C


We always pray He grant these to be true prayers and praises from our hearts, out of love for Him, with an eye to His glory!

-- David

Thursday, November 24, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 3 - The Evil of Worldliness

1 John 2:15 - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

This regards sermon 9 on love of the world from a set of sermons on Mark 10:17-27 from Puritan Thomas Manton, where the rich young ruler asks Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life. I found it very interesting, beneficial and challenging.

Here is a link to the entire set of sermons on the topic:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

And here is a link to this individual sermon 9 on love of the world:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17.9?rgn=div2;view=fulltext

And here are the previous parts from our blog:
Part 1 - Cooling Zeal
Part 2 - Truth in Trials


The below is part 3 of just some of the main snippets from the sermon. I hope you will take the time to go through the entire thing as it has many more rich explanations and many scriptural proofs.


From Thomas Manton:

Mark 10:22 - "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions."

Doctrine 3: That a man wedded to the world, will renounce Christ and his commands rather than the world, when it comes to a proof.

When two persons walk together, you cannot tell to whom the servant that follows them belongs, but when they part company then it is seen: so when Christ and the world part, then the servant of the world, and the servant of Christ is seen: for he that is addicted to the world will break all the commands of Christ for the world's sake. It must needs be so, for the world diverts the heart from Christ, and sets the heart against Christ.

(1.) The love of the world diverts the heart from Christ, that there is no room for holy things.

Just so our souls hang like a pair of balances between God and the world; what you give to the world you take from God, and what you give to heavenly things you take from the world, Col. 3:2, 'Set your affections on things above, not on things of the world'. Our desires cannot be carried out after heavenly things with any intention, unless they be remitted [set aside] to the world.

(2.) The love of the world sets the heart against Christ, and carries it to contrary things:

1. It disposeth and enclineth the soul to all evil. It makes a man break every command of the law of God: the love of money is the root of all evil, 1 Tim. 6.10. Let it once reign in the heart, and then a man sticks at no sin, and he becomes a ready prey for Satan; when his heart is intoxicated with the love of present things.

So that there is no sin so foul, but the love of the world will make it plausible, and reconcile it to the thoughts of men.

2. It incapacitateth us, and makes us uncapable of doing service to God in our general and particular calling.

(1.) In our general calling,

1. It destroys the principle of obedience, which is the love of God: 1 John 2.15, 'If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him'. The great principle which sways and inclines the heart to do the will of God, is love; now the love of the world, and the love of God are contrary, and inconsistent: love any thing besides Christ, and you will soon love it above Christ: Why? Because the love of God is a stranger and foreigner, the love of the world is a native [to the internal carnal man].

2. It is contrary to the matter of our obedience. The commands of God, and the commands of mammon are contrary,

Though his tongue dare not say earth is better than heaven, and that the things of this life are better than everlasting blessedness, and therefore they shall have more of his heart and care, yet his life says it,

In short, it unfits us not only for one duty, but for all duties required of us. God's laws are for respects to God, neighbour and self: this inordinate love of the world denies what is due to God, what is necessary for our neighbour, and what is comfortable for ourselves. A man that loves the world, is unthankful to God, unmerciful to his neighbour, and cruel to himself.

3. It slights the encouragements of obedience, which are the rewards of God: as it weakeneth all our future hopes, and depresseth our heart from looking after spiritual and heavenly things.

(2.) He that loves the world, will break with God in the duties of his particular calling for the world's sake

In example, for a minister, if his heart be set upon that, it makes him sordid, low-spirited, flattering and daubing to curry favour with men, more intent upon his gain and profit, than the saving of souls.

So if a man be a master of a family, Prov. 15:27, 'He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house': what a burden and trouble will he be to his servants, and all about him!

In short, it's love of the world that makes one an oppressing landlord, another a false tradesman, and an ill neighbour, that makes him study iniquity of traffick [trade, commerce].

3. It hinders the receiving of good, and those means of reformation that should make us better. A man that is under the power of worldly lusts [desires], is prejudiced against whatever shall be spoken for God, and for the concernments of another world:

If the word stir us a little, and men begin to have some anxious thoughts about eternal life, these thorns, which are the cares of this world, will choke the good seed, and stifle our convictions, so as they come to nothing;

If a man begins to do some outward thing, it will make us soon weary of religion, and attendance on holy duties, as if all time laid out upon God were lost; and they cry out, 'When will the Sabbath be over, that we may set forth wheat', Amos 8:5.

It interlines our prayers, and holy services with worldly projects and thoughts: nay it turns religion into a trade and market: men live by it, it makes religion to serve their worldly ends, they make a market of their devotion

USE. To inform us of the evil of worldliness.

If our children are loose, and drunkards, and riotous, we are offended, but if we see them worldly, we are not troubled. O it is a foul sin, but the men of the world will not believe it; surely we have too mild thoughts of it, and therefore we do not watch and strive against the love of the world:

Sins that are more gross and sensual [of the senses] are easier discovered, and such a sinner is sooner reclaimed, but this is a secret sin that turns away the heart from God: and to make you more careful to avoid it, in scripture a covetous man is called an idolater, Eph. 5:3, and covetousness is called idolatry, Col. 3:5, and is that a small crime? What, to set up another God? Who are you that dare to harbour such an evil in your bosoms, and make no great matter of it? Will you dethrone that God which made you, and set up the world in his stead? It is called adultery, James 4:4. It is a breach of your conjugal vow. You did promise in your baptism to renounce the world, and give up yourselves unto Christ's service, and will you cherish such whorish and disloyal affections as will carry you to the creature instead of God? O we cannot think bad enough of such a sin.


Stay tuned for part 4, if the Lord wills!

May we see the evil of the world, renounce it wholly and fully, in favor of cleaving to Christ and His commands!

-- David

Friday, November 18, 2016

New Pig Pen Fencing & Pig Update

When I originally built our pig pen, I thought to bury the bottom of the net-wire fencing several inches to try to help with the pigs digging themselves out of the pen, but what I didn't realize at the time was that metal wire eventually rusts and breaks apart when buried. :) And so, after probably 8 years or so, and lots of pig digging and cinder blocks around the pen trying to put patchwork on the problem, it was time to put in some new fencing:



With the success of the cinder block, cattle panel fencing sections I put together for the pig expansion area, I thought the same thing might work for the pen area, although instead of half the cattle panel in height, I'd use the full height.

You can see more detail of how I put them together in that blog post, but here is one of the new, full-height sections:



And ready for delivery to the pig pen:



And here they are in place, replacing that area shown in the first picture above:



And after putting a third section in place, I thought I'd show a little video of it all, and since we haven't done a pig update in some time, I thought we'd include an update on our two pigs Ardy and Penelope!




We are grateful to God for granting the idea and resources of the fencing, we pray they work well :) , and we are thankful for the continued health, safety of and provision for our piggies!

-- David

Monday, November 14, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 2 - Truth in Trials

1 John 2:15 - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

This regards sermon 9 on love of the world from a set of sermons on Mark 10:17-27 from Puritan Thomas Manton, where the rich young ruler asks Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life. I found it very interesting, beneficial and challenging.

Here is a link to the entire set of sermons on the topic:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

And here is a link to this individual sermon 9 on love of the world:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17.9?rgn=div2;view=fulltext

And here are the previous parts from our blog:
Part 1 - Cooling Zeal


The below is part 2 of just some of the main snippets from the sermon. I hope you will take the time to go through the entire thing as it has many more rich explanations and many scriptural proofs.

One note: The word "sensuality" has come to pertain to sexuality, but I believe most often with the Puritans it basically means "operating by the senses" (vs. spiritually).


From Thomas Manton:

Mark 10:22 - "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions."

Doctrine 2: That trials bring men forth to the light, and make them manifest what they are.

Here upon the trial the young man is discovered. Who would but have thought this young man good till now? But when he heard Christ's terms, he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved.

They are offended, when it toucheth upon a bosom sin, pride, sensuality, or covetousness, or unlawful pleasure, they are tried by it.

Again, trial is either for the discovery of grace or corruption, to discover the corruption of their hearts, or the weakness of their graces:

REASONS:

1. It is for good, that men should be discovered; the graces of his people to their comfort, and their weakness that it may be repaired;

It is a great part of God's providence to uncase hypocrites. It is for the Church's good, lest men get a name to do religion a mischief:

2. It is for the glory of God, that men may appear what they are, and for the reclaiming of offenders. Many were likely to have grace, if they were discovered to themselves, and knew they had no grace.

USE. Well then, expect trials, and see to it, how you behave yourselves under them.

1. Expect trials.

Whosoever buildeth a confidence for heaven, must look to have his building tried: count it not strange, we are loth to forecast, and to think of trials. We take a carnal pillow, and lie down upon it, and count it strange when it comes.

2. Be careful how you acquit your selves in trials. When the hour of temptation is come upon the earth, then we should be cautious: Whatever a man doth, he will [if cautious] behave himself well when he is upon his trial.


Stay tuned for part 3, if the Lord wills!

May God show us who we are truly, in our hearts; may we pray for His graces in our lack; and we pray by His mercies He grow us in His graces!

-- David

Thursday, November 10, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 1 - Cooling Zeal

1 John 2:15 - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

If you have been following along our blog, I have been reading through quite a few, and sometimes commenting on, the writings of Puritan Thomas Manton, and fairly recently, I went through a sermon that I thought had some very interesting, beneficial and challenging remarks about what it means to love the world. This is sermon 9 of a set of sermons on Mark 10:17-27, where the rich young ruler asks Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life.

Here is a link to the entire set of sermons on the topic:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

And here is a link to this individual sermon 9 on love of the world:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17.9?rgn=div2;view=fulltext


The below is part 1 of just some of the main snippets from the sermon. I hope you will take the time to go through the entire thing as it has many more rich explanations and many scriptural proofs.

One note: The word "lust" has come to pertain mostly to impure sexual desire, but most often with the Puritans it basically means "desire" or "improper desire," and so it helps me to just substitute those for "lust" when I'm reading.


From Thomas Manton:

Mark 10:22 - "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions."

We have hitherto seen the young man at his best: now we shall find him discovered and laid open in his own colours. It was well that he came to Christ with such reverence and seriousness about such a weighty question, as, What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? It was well if he could say truly, All these have I kept from my youth: but now here is the event and issue of this interlocutory discourse between him and Christ, when Christ bid him sell all, and take up his cross, and follow him; then he went away sad, etc.

Here observe,

1. How he was affected with Christ's advice, he was sad at the saying, and went away grieved.
2. The reason of his sorrow, or why he was thus affected, for he had great possessions.

And observe, that the bare having is rendered as the reason, he had great possessions, and therefore he went away sad: it is hard to have them without lustful affections to them.


Doctrine 1: That a man may go far, and be zealous and forward at first, and yet cool and fall away at last.

Witness this young man, who comes to Christ to learn of him the way of life, and that in such an humble and reverent manner, and makes profession that he had kept the commandments from his youth; and yet when Christ tells him what he must do more, he was troubled, and falls off.

Reasons of this are,

(1.) They take up religion upon foreign and extrinsic reasons, and when those reasons fail, their religion saileth also: as puppets moved by the wires to which they are fastened; so they are moved by credit and esteem, and countenance in the world: they court religion while it hath a portion for them.

Therefore the difference between false and sincere professors is not altogether taken from their zeal and outward diligence; they may be exceeding zealous and forward upon the impulsion of false principles, who have a base heart lurking under it; because the motions of lusts disguised with religion are rapid and earnest, and by-ends have a powerful influence. Though lust be served, yet because it is in the way of religion, men's affections are much aloft, and they may seem to have great fits and zealous pangs in the service of God, and yet all this comes to nothing.

(2.) Because they many times rest in externals without internal grace. This young man for outward conformity went very far: there is nothing for external duties that a child of God doth, but a hypocrite may do also; he may pray, preach, confer, hear the word, though not in a holy and gracious manner.

(3.) Because that internal affection which they seem to have to the ways of God, is not rooted and fixed, only a slight tincture, that may easily be worn off;

(4.) Their corrupt lusts were only restrained, not mollified and weakened, and so it is but like a sore that is skinned over, and festers inwardly, and will at length break out again.

Many an unsound professor seems to cast the world, and their old fashions behind their back, yet their hearts are not wholly weaned from them, nor are they wholly cast out; some prevalent lust remains that will make them turn back to their old vomit again:

USE. It doth press unto two things; to search for a sound work, and to watch against declinings.

(1.) To search for a true sound work.

Whilst any one sin remains unbroken, all that we do in conformity to God will be lost:

And what is prized besides Christ, will be soon prized above Christ; therefore unless the sweetness of his grace makes all the baits of the flesh unsavoury to us, we cannot be sound.

(2.) To watch against declinings; for we lose ground every day, as a thing running down the hill falls lower and lower, if we do not keep up a constant relish and savour of good things. When you lose your first love, you will leave your first works


Stay tuned for part 2, if the Lord wills!

May God grant us His graces and true zeal, full of His graces, in the heart, for Him!

-- David

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Barn - Update VII - The Loft - Update V

After getting most of the barn loft platform done, and in preparation for hopefully adding another barn stall before winter, we really needed to get some steps in place, as going up an extension ladder was just not going to work, with trying to haul up tubs and boxes.

And so, here's a quick look at the process:

After using a stair stringer calculator and figuring out the rise and run, I drew the steps to cut using a framing square (you use the outside edge to mark the rise/run cut) and then cut them out:

Barn Loft Stairs Stringers


I decided to go with juxtaposed 2x6 and 2x4 boards for steps instead of 2x10...not sure if it saved money in the end, but I thought it might:

Barn Loft Stairs Step Boards


I had to torque over the one stringer to straighten it, so I hung the bucket of screws on a pipe wrench:

Torquing Steps Stringer with Pipe Wrench


And here are the stringers in place, tied to cross pieces and resting on the loft beam and tied to the floor joists structure:

Barn Loft Stairs Stringer in Place


And then the steps done:

Barn Loft Stairs Steps in Place


I found it to be a little soft-feeling when walking up and down, so I added a vertical 2x6 brace down the center of the steps, which made it feel more sturdy. I had to remove the middle cross brace:

Barn Loft Stairs Steps Center Bracing

Top Part of Barn Loft Stairs Steps Center Bracing


And finally the last couple of ply wood pieces, save the last corner:

Barn Loft Plywood Flooring to Stairs

More Barn Loft Plywood Flooring


Yea! It's nice to have it to this point, as it has been over 3 1/2 years since we posted the first blog post on the loft. It's nice to be able to have it functional! :)


We are always thankful to the Lord for granting provision and progress on the homestead!

-- David

Friday, October 28, 2016

Lullaby - Hey You Sleepy Head

I have a musical background and will sometimes set out to write a song, like with Moses' Song, or sometimes I just come up with little tunes, usually as I'm putting away animals at night or walking the dogs or what have you.

Recently after having a few of them, and since they were ones that I had continued to be able to remember them over time, I thought I might try to put some words to them, or find words for them.

This first one in this blog post is one I came up with for William our cat. At one point I dubbed him "The Williminator," said with emphasis on the last "tor" -- I imagine a cartoon superhero announcer saying "It's the Willimina-tor!" :) I called him that because he liked to Williminate mice, and he would often Williminate out his backend what were to us quite noxious fumes, and you would never know when one was coming! :)

At any rate, I recorded it one time just so I would have it stored somewhere. I'm sort of only including this because of the very end -- see if you can hear it. Please excuse the singing :) :

Williaminator

Could you hear it? When I did that recording, William was there, and that was he at the very end of it, unsolicited. I don't know if that meant he approved or what, but it was kind of neat he exclaimed right after I had sung his theme song.


And so, with wanting to do something more permanent with it, and with it to us sounding like a lullaby, I added a few lyrics to it along that vein, wanting to have it spiritually based, and this is how it ended up:

Hey You Sleep Head (Basic)

Here's a PDF:
Lullaby - Hey You Sleepy Head (Basic) PDF

And this is a musical audio of the arrangement:
Lullaby - Hey You Sleepy Head (Basic) MP3


I also did a little bit more of a fancy version:

Hey You Sleep Head (Fancy)

And its a PDF:
Lullaby - Hey You Sleepy Head (Fancy) PDF

And its musical audio:
Lullaby - Hey You Sleepy Head (Fancy) MP3


It's a simple little thing, but I'm glad I could take William's theme song and do a little something with it. :)

I am thankful to the Lord for Him granting I learn music, to my parents for making that happen, for the opportunity to participate in music in this way, for the gift of little William and his inspiration, and for the gift of this little lullaby.

-- David

Friday, October 21, 2016

A House - Update XLVI - Kitchen, Great Room, Bathroom, Front Closet Cabinets & Fixtures, and Porch Swing

Just a little update on some continued progress on getting the house more livable...


Great Room/Kitchen

Here's a towel rack underneath the kitchen sink:

Kitchen Towel Rack


And a paper towel holder I found laying around here:

Kitchen Paper Towel Holder


These are the cabinets we decided to go with for flatware and cookware. We wanted something enclosed to help keep dust off of it all. We hope to add one or two more:

Kitchen Cabinets


And then something similar for the great room as a utility cabinet. We hope to add one or two more here as well:

Great Room Utility Cabinet


Bathroom

We moved into the bathroom some of the things we've had sitting around just waiting for this time. The sink cabinet we bought at a yard sale, and the water from the red water container that has a spigot just goes into a bucket, much like the kitchen sink:

Bathroom Cabinets & Sink


And a towel rack here too:

Bathroom Towel Rack


Front Closet

This is the front closet between the great room and library, and now we can hang our longer, cold-weather clothing here:

Front Closet Clothes Hanging Rod


Porch Swing

As I mentioned in our blog post on our wood burning cook stove, Sue and my parents have been very supportive of us in living out here, and one set of parents bought us the very nice porch swing! It has gone from being in the barn for years, to being in the bathroom in the house, and with starting to try to get the bathroom in order, rather than just move it to under the house in pieces, I thought I should just put it together. Sadly, I'm not sure why I didn't just put it together sooner. I still can't believe the mice didn't destroy the cushions and pillows while in the barn.

But, here it is in process of being built, with the frame done. It's very well made and solid:

Porch Swing Frame


And then complete!

Porch Swing Complete


And the test run in our work grubbies! :) It's a very nice porch swing, and thank you to the parents again for getting this for us!

David & Susan on Porch Swing


This was a walking stick that decided to hang out with us. Maybe it was waiting for a ride! :)

Walking Stick on Porch Swing


Once again, we are thankful to the Lord for providing these resources, and thanks again to those who are helping make all this possible!

-- David

Friday, October 14, 2016

Garden - Fall 2016

It's been some time since our last garden update, and so we thought we'd post an update on some of the results...


Last Year's Butternut Squash

First, earlier in the year, Sue decided to process our butternut squash from last year that had been stored in the root cellar up until that point.

Here is a basket of it:

Basket of Butternut Squash


She then peeled it:

Peeling Butternut Squash


And cleaned out the innards:

Cleaned Out Butternut Squash


And sliced them up, and then pressure canned them. Nice! Thanks to the Lord for them, and being able to store them all that time in the root cellar to be able to be processed later:

Sliced Up Butternut Squash


Winter Peas & Beets

We did get to enjoy quite a few peas we mentioned in the last blog post, and a few beets, in salads and the like. Given the fact we had laid down a new, thick mulch layer before planting these, we are thankful to God for what we received!

Here are some of the peas:

Peas

Peas



Fall Garden

Catching up to now, we planted okra during the summer, given how prolific they are and needing warmer soil. I used older seeds, and with the new mulch layer and harder soil underneath, continued to have trouble getting things going.

However, we bought some new seeds, and those worked better, although we got a late start because that was our third iteration of seed planting:

Okra Plants


Here's our best one:

Large Okra Plant


And an okra! Right now with as few as we have, we're just eating them in salads as we receive them:

Okra


We had something in our garden slicing off smaller okra plants across the stem, but I took one of the cutoff branches and thought I'd try planting it in the soil, and it's actually still making it, with a little okra on it too!

Planted Okra Branch


This plant in front of this picture grew in a place where I didn't specifically plant something. I'm assuming it's an okra too, but it is a surprise plant!

Surprise Plant


And this is a little okra still struggling away. I continue to water it; I don't want to give up on it as for me there is always hope.

This little plant reminds me of me, and my struggle for spiritual growth and where I see great lack. I pray and hope the Lord continues to water me that I may one day produce the fruit of His graces, and that He doesn't give up on me either:

Tiny, Struggling Okra Plant


Also in garden 1 here, there are a couple of volunteer plants that just sprung up by themselves from seeds of seasons past.

The front one is all one big tomato plant, and the back a zucchini I believe, although we have just not had zucchini or squash work in this garden area. I'm not sure why: the plants grow big and green, but just no fruit. Maybe because it's in the shade? Maybe because there is an odorous wild brush that grows behind it hiding the zucchini flower odors from pollinating insects? I'm just not sure, although there is a little one that has been growing on it, but just isn't healthy:

Volunteer Tomato Plant & Zucchini


And here are some tomatoes!

Tomatoes


Lastly, here is the only cabbage that has made it since it was planted in the winter, and it's starting to re-grow:


Cabbage


Over in garden 2, as mentioned in the last garden blog post, I scattered turnip seeds there, and here are the results so far! These have grown with zero work or effort on our part, and thanks to the Lord we have greens for our salads from these as well:

Turnip Plants


And some turnips!

Turnip


As always, we consider all of these things gifts from God, and we try to always be thankful, as we believe these are all granted by Him by His graces and mercies alone. Indeed we thank Him!

-- David