Thursday, August 31, 2017

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: Tasha's Turkey Chick of 2017

One thing we've discovered with our turkey hens is that they like to make nests out in the woods, and so when one doesn't come back at night, we go looking for it where we have seen them about during the day, or try to find them the next day, and thanks to the Lord we have often been able to find them, usually with broken eggs around them, as the critters get to them if they're left, most likely over night.

Well, our brown hen, Haddie, from last year's hatching from Trina disappeared. We could not find her, and she didn't show up at all again around the homestead, as they often do at least in the morning before going back to sit.

One day when going back into the woods to cut fire wood, I saw a bunch of what appeared to be turkey feathers, and tracked them along a path. Sadly, it appeared she was taken out by some critter, although she moved quite a bit before the feather trail stopped, so she gave it a go. And so, we lost Haddie, and we miss her.

However, we were able to find our other new hen from last year, Tasha, with maybe 8-10 eggs under her, so we grabbed her and them and put them in the summer kitchen.

And by God's graciousness, she hatched out three new little live turklets! (That's what I call them, like I might call a chicken chick a chicklet :) ). Sadly here though, two of them died when fairly young, but we do have the one left, who at the time of this writing is about 2/3 the size of her mommy now! We believe she is a hen as well, she looks a lot like Tasha, and we've decided to call her Halia, in honor of Haddie -- the "Ha" from the start of her name, and that "Halia" apparently means "Remembrance of a loved one" in Hawaiian.

Here the pair are back in June:

New 2017 Turkey Chick


And here is a video of them in the summer kitchen, and then when we released them to be free:




Finally, turkeys do silly things, and here's a video example, with Lil Hank from last year's hatching tapping on the screen and saying hello through the house window...while perched on a sawhorse!




As always, we are very thankful to the Lord for granting these provisions, and the health and safety He did grant to any of them! It's only of His will, graces and mercies we are supplied with anything, where we deserve nothing, and even to have them taken away for sin. And so, we are very grateful!

-- David

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 2017 Goat Kids

The results of breeding time 2016 are in and gone now, and so we thought we'd introduce you to 2017's goat kids!

First, this is our buck Rocky. Even with a leg injury, he's still able to get the job done!

Our Buck Rocky


And our new buck Shakespeare...first round with our does for him. He's shown dragging a stick so he doesn't jump the fences. Also, we had him dehorned because they appeared to be growing over themselves and causing him grief, although the dehorning operation was quite some experience, where after numbing the area, the vet used a cord saw to saw through, Shakespeare screaming the whole time...arg...and just wow. Because the sinus cavity extents into the horn, he then sutchered head skin over one hole, but didn't have much for the other one; and so, we've been keeping it wrapped or covered with antiseptic and triple antibiotic gel when necessary. Thankfully, it's slowly healing:

Our Buck Shakespeare


Here are some pictures from some of them earlier in the year:

Lucy & New Kids

More Lucy & New Kids

Winnie & New Kids

Winnie's New Kids

Closeup of Winnie's Kid

Goat Kids Sleeping Together

Brand New Hannah Goat Kid

Closeup of Brand New Hannah Goat Kid


And then let's go around the horn, introducing each doe & her kids...

This is Pammy, with her kids Toro and Pablo. We thought Toro looked like a tiny Longhorn bull, and then kept the Spanish naming idea for his brother:

Pammy & New Kids Toro & Pablo


And here is Adeline, with her kids Leah, because she looks like her mommy, and we took the "L" from her name; and Arielle, because her coloring was black/grey/black and reminded me of an Oreo cookie, and so we used the "A" from her mom's name as well:

Adeline & New Kids Leah & Arielle


And then this is Annie with her kids Paula and Linus. Paula, because she looks like Pablo, and Linus because he looks like Adeline and we just used the "L" from her name:

Annie & New Kids Paula & Linus


This is Gracie with her doeling Dottie, because she has a dot on her nose. Gracie had a buckling too, but he sadly died in less than a day. Gracie started having rumen problems at the time she gave birth, so Sue faithfully bottle-fed Dottie in a partial manner to help supplement:

Gracie & New Kid Dottie


This is Hannah with her kids Cicely and Bison. Where the black comes from, we have no idea, since Shakespeare was the daddy. The buckling looked like a Bison to us, so we started there, and then went with Cicely to kind of match. Bison was interestingly born three hours after Cicely, and Hannah ended up basically rejecting him, not letting him suckle, so Sue picked up this job too:

Hannah & New Kids Cicely & Bison


Next is Lucy with DeForest, William and Leonard. Lucy was first to go this year:

Lucy & New Kids DeForest, William & Leonard


And this is Nellie with her kids Ricky and Nelson. We started with Nelson because he looked like his mama, and then added the Ricky. Sadly, Nellie had a still-born, but these two were just fine:

Nellie & New Kids Ricky & Nelson


Here is Marie with her kids Maxine, Laverne and Patty. Little Laverne next to her was quite spunky. Sue started to supplement bottle-feed her too the last few weeks, just because she was so small. If you look, where did Patty, the white one in front, come from since Marie's mate each year is Rocky? We weren't sure Rocky was getting the job done, so for a very short period of time, we put Shakespeare in with her. Well, it appears both bucks got to her! :) :

Marie & New Kids Maxine, Laverne & Patty


And finally, her highness Winnie with her kids Shelly, Shelton, and Della. The two "Sh" names because they look like Shakespeare, and Della for the "D" in Adeline, whom she looks like:

Winnie & New Kids Shelly, Shelton & Della


And here is their video for the year, including the goodbye as they went to their new owner, and a few snippets after that -- look for Annie at the end showing off fine goat behavior!




We are always very thankful to the Lord for granting these provisions of the goat kids, and our buyer friend to come get them each year. And we are thankful for the milk from them, which we are able now to use, along with eggs, exclusively to feed our pig. And thanks to Sue for your faithful milk collecting!

-- David

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