Thursday, March 14, 2019

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 2019's First Chicks

We recently had one of our young hens from last year go broody early this year. Usually if they go broody late in the year or during winter, we just pull the eggs so we don't have to deal with trying to keep a place warm for new chicks during very cold weather.

But I decided to let her go this year, and she hatched out 7 new chicks! And they are all still alive today and doing well, thanks to the Lord!

We did run the heater in the summer kitchen a couple of nights where they were when it got down to 20 degrees F outside, and it all worked out just fine.

On an aside, this mama had a pal hen that was part of the clutch she came from, and these two hung around together. Her friend was white colored, and I called her Nilli (for Vanilla). And so with this one being grey, and them being friends, I call her Granoli (for grey-Nilli :D ). Sadly though, Nilli was killed by a predator late last year, but God is granting her friend make up for her loss with the new chicks. :)

And here they are:

New Chicks of 2019

More of New Chicks of 2019

Still More of New Chicks of 2019

And here's their video:

We are very grateful to God for His graciousness in granting these new chicks! We pray they, and our entire homestead and community, are used by Him for His glory and the benefit of others!

-- David

Monday, March 4, 2019

Pathways of Protection (aka To Catch a Chicken Thief)

Over the last couple of years, we've really had a problem losing chickens to what I believe is a fox. We put all of our smaller animals away at night in enclosures (coups, the barn, etc.) to help against night critters, but this one has been difficult, because it comes during the day in stealth. And so, we had often found a feather pile, and then a missing chicken at night.

Well, one day, after losing one, I was able to discover a feather trail, which led me to an area where the little thief was taking them to eat. And then, I was able to discover from where it was taking them now -- a large area of shrub brush to the west of our house, very thick for a human, but nice cover for something trying to be sneaky.

One day, the resident rooster that goes out that direction with some hens alerted, as he had often in the past, and so I went running out there with the shotgun, following the feather path out to the chicken graveyard. I didn't find the bad guy, but I did notice a hen walking back from that direction along a fence line. So it appeared I had been able to get out there quickly enough for the fox or whatever to drop her and run off. Wow, nice! And how merciful of God to allow that!

The little hen struggled for a week and a half or so, with me having to feed her, but she's been back with the flock now for some time, although she's still not quite right, and I've had to separate her because I think roosters servicing her were getting to be too much for her legs, and she was starting to struggle to walk or even remain upright.

But, by God's graces, she escaped the Jaws Of Death, and so I call her JODY. :)

For some time I had wanted to carve my way in the shrubbery from where these chickens have been taken, to be able to get in there and perhaps track down the chicken stealer; and now with these consistent attacks, I decided I needed to do it right away.

Here is a video about the whole adventure regarding cutting these shrub-caves with the loppers, about Jody, about my little work-mate Tuscan hanging out with me, and then I take you along for a walk-through of the whole system. Since the Jody attack, and since these have been in place, the Lord has graciously granted no more losses. Whether these throughways have helped or not, I don't know, but we thank Him for His mercies with the chickens, and for the idea and even physical strength to make the pathways!

Again, we are grateful to God for His mercies, in the chickens, in all our lives temporily, and in His infinite spiritual mercies; we pray for protection from all our enemies, especially our spiritual ones; and may He teach us His way, and lead us in His plain path, of truth, holiness and righteousness!

Psalm 27:11 - "Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies."

-- David

Friday, February 22, 2019

February 2019 Community Work Day: Just a Pit-tance

Every month we have community work day on first Wednesday of the month, and this past first Wednesday, we did part day at our place to dig out a fire pit. I thought we might leisurely dig and at least get started on it, but the "crew" busted through it, and we did the whole thing!

But not without the trial often faced when digging holes in the ground in rolling hill country...

It wasn't too far down, and we hit that rock that's under this area where we put the house. Not bedrock, or flat rock, or what have you...I'm talking Flintstone-quarry boulders. :D

Hmm, how to best go about it:

Digging Fire Pit

This one, once uncovered enough, we realized was HUGE. We were able to dig around the edges, and then it was time to bring in Big Red:

Tractor to Pull Out Big Rock

The first pull got the rock to stand up:

Big Rock Stood Up in Fire Pit

And then we had to wrap the chain enough to get it out of the pit:

Wrapping Chain Under Rock

Pulling Big Rock Out of Fire Pit

Big Rock Pulled Out of Fire Pit

Then we were able to cross-wrap the chain under it more, which allowed the rock to be dragged away. This is probably the biggest rock we personally have pulled out of the ground here:

Cross-Wrapping Chain Around Big Rock

Pulling Big Rock Away

Big Rock Pulled Away

And here we are trying to recover the chain. Fun fun! :)

Lifting Big Rock to Recover Drag Chain

Then it was on to the others. Thankfully, this rock was the biggest, and so, we were able to continue digging around the rocks and use a breaker bar to lift and loosen them, and then roll them out of the pit. This one I was able to get by myself, but with others I definitely needed help:

Rolling Rock Out of Fire Pit

In the end, we finished the whole thing!

And here are "Williams the Conquerors" claiming victory! :D Thanks to the gents for all the help!

Williams the Conquerors

And the final fire-pit product:

Completed Fire Pit

We thank the Lord for granting safety during this time, and we are grateful to Him for granting us this time of fellowship and serving each other, and may He grow us in service to Him and others, as the great Servant showed us when He was here!

Finally, the rocks remind me of something important, from Matthew 23:
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

And then Ez 36:22-32:
22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

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.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.

31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.

32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.

May God grant us a living and not dead, stony heart, cause us to walk in His statutes, and may He make the ground of our hearts rock-free as part of Him helping us persevere under trials and afflictions and bring forth spiritual fruit from us, all so as to sanctify His great name!

-- David

Friday, February 8, 2019

David's Digest: 10 Years of the Broken Idol

I would like to share something personal yet glorious to God. These are what I've come to believe about certain things; and I thought I would share them, to indeed give God the glory; to magnify His infinite graces, mercies, faithfulness, goodness, forbearance, and other attributes; and perhaps in the possibility they might help someone else.

Ten years ago today, the Lord granted I stop excessive alcohol drinking....again.

The first was in 1999, where God turned me from living a heathen life to stopping the partying and living for Him, attending church and really seeking Him.

Now, I'll assume we can all agree that alcohol abuse is a sin:
1 Cor 6:9-10 - "9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19-23 - "19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

I also personally believe that alcohol in and of itself is lawful in the Bible. I don't want to get into that here, but I do believe it is when done properly.

A little more than 5 1/2 years later, I thought that, since what I thought were the reasons I was drinking before were not a part of my life anymore, it seemed reasonable that I could participate in something biblicly lawful in a lawful way.

Sadly, that ended up not being the case, and eventually after about 4 years, I was participating in it quite unlawfully, to a very bad degree again.

However, once again, the Lord in His infinite mercies, saw fit to help me stop again, and grant repentance (Acts 11:18; 2 Tim 2:5), as it appears.

My sin is ever before me though, especially with the aggravation of living hypocritically (20 years ago I wasn't trying to live a Christian life while I was drinking, but this time I was), and that at the time I was an elder in this community (which I am not now); and I sadly believe my sin affected not only Sue, but the group in spiritual and temporal ways, even in ways only God knows about. I will forever grieve for all of this. I pray those affected will forgive me, and thanks to those who bore with me, especially Sue, a truly godly woman and wife.

So then I wondered, what happened? How did it get so bad again given the original motivation didn't seem to be there anymore?

And then I read a book that talked about idols of the heart, and when I got to the one about comfort, I knew that was it. I worshipped comfort -- physical, emotional, whatever comfort -- and alcohol helped provide that.

Here is one of the Webster's 1828 definitions of idolatry:
Excessive attachment or veneration for any thing, or that which borders on adoration.

And one for idol:
Any thing on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment. An idol is any thing which usurps the place of God in the hearts of his rational creatures.

God is our comfort...
1 Cor 1:3-4 - "3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

...and my desire for comfort was excessive and was put in the place of God. That is plain idolatry. In fact, all sin has idolatry in it, where God says do or do not do this, and we say we know better than God, thus declaring ourselves to be god. It even was the promise for the sin in the garden, to be as God.

God says not to drink alcohol unlawfully, but I said, my desire is to my own comfort, regardless of what you say, God.

How heinous. But sin is heinous, because it's against a perfectly holy, loving, and good God. And doubly so when we do it even though we say we love God.

And so, my prayer has been that God would remove the idols of my heart, especially because He is the searcher of the heart, and only He knows it perfectly:
Jer 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."

1 Chron 28:9 - "And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever."

Psa 44:21 - "Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart."

Psa 139:23 - "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:"

Here is what God says about idols of the heart in Ezekiel 14, and what He will do to those who maintain them:
2 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?

4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself:

8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;

11 That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord God.

God is God, regardless. However, if He will be our God, then He alone must be God. Nothing else can be looked upon for our trust, or comfort, or safety, or anything. God is the placeholder for all of these things, and if we do not behave toward Him in that way, we are idolaters.

And so, the first time I stopped drinking, all I did was tear off the tops of the weeds, when in reality, the roots were still my heart.

I know that I can never drink again casually, because for me, it will slowly be building up that idol again, stone by stone. There might not be much to see at first, but eventually, before I'd know it, it would be standing tall once again with me bowing to it. God forbid!

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.

It is only by God's graces do we do anything truly spiritual, in matter and in manner. Without Him, we only have our carnal man, and that does no good, nor seeks for God. And so, we need to seek from Him the breaking down of the idols of the heart, for repentance, and for love to Him above all other loves.

While dealing with the struggle against seeking comfort from creation is not a constant with me at this time, I believe that God helps me every single day with this. And while I know I can never drink casually again, that doesn't mean without His help each moment I would make it, and I fully believe left to myself, I will not. And again, while the struggle is not much on my mind now, I still at times ask Him for help to not drink this day, or thank Him for helping me not drink this day, to be grateful to Him, and to make sure I remember that I am powerless without Him.

Ps 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.

May God grant us that to be true.

I am eternally grateful to the Lord for granting what appears to be repentance, the sight of my heart idols, and what I pray is a true hatred of them and all sin, not because of the consequences, but out of love for Him and the offensiveness they are to the One I love. And I thank Him for the great atoning work of Christ Jesus, forgiveness and cleansing from sin by His precious blood!

Although I certainly do not want to diminish the difficulty of all this -- nay, impossibility without God -- and your personal struggles with it, and the emotional, psychological and physiological aspects of alcohol dependency, I pray if you're struggling with these types of things that maybe you'll consider some of the above.

And most of all, do not ever leave the foot of Christ, in beseeching Him for mercy, help and His graces to live idol-free, especially from the secret ones of your heart.

And He is faithful. In the heart-idol verses from Ezekiel above, He says He afflicts the people so they will be His people and He will be their God. How gloriously gracious and merciful indeed!

Deut 7:9 - "Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;"

1 John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Thank the Lord, and may God's graces and mercies be with you.

-- David

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January 2019 Community Work Day: Fence Fixing, Milo Gathering & Chimney Sweeping

This past community work day, we did half-day at our place, and the folks here graciously helped us accomplish a few projects...

First, over the years, in trying to get to the "grass that's surely greener on the other side" of the fencing, the goats have put a pretty good leaning-angle in the fencing when their heads are through and they are pushing to get just that perfect morsel that's as far away as their little necks can reach. ;) Anyway, we had to straighten up the fencing on two sides by unclipping the fencing, pulling the t-post, re-pounding in the t-post, and then re-clipping the fencing. Here are the gents helping me with that:

Straitening Goat Fencing

And here, the Stonger boys are helping gather milo seeds from the field:

Gathering Milo

Then, it was time to try our first chimney sweeping. We used an adjustable ladder, uneven on one side, and Mr. Stronger held it in place on the roof while I worked the stove pipe.

After years, I believe the creosote "glued" on the cap, so I had to pound it off:

Removing Stove Pipe Cap

And then it was time to use the sweeper. For our metal chimney pipe, you're supposed to use a poly brush so it doesn't scrape up the metal.

I will conquer you o creosote, my foe! ;)

Ready with the Chimney Sweeper

And here's the sweeping. One thing I forgot about was that near the bottom of the pipe there is a damper, so when I hit the stopping point, I kind of tried to push through it, and ended up bending the damper turner...oops. :) :

Sweeping the Chimney

And then, putting the cap back on:

Putting Back On the Chimney Cap

Finally, here are some other sights from work day....

I'm not going to ask about this one... :D I'm with Joshua....must...get...away...quickly... ;)

Community Work Day Folks

Don't wear out the youngin's, Mr. Peck! ;)

Community Work Day Folks

A quarter for your thoughts...(inflation, you know) ;)

Community Work Day Folks

Tree climbing, supervised of course:

Community Work Day Folks

Community Work Day Folks

Community Work Day Folks

We all here are grateful to the Lord for Him granting us this opportunity to be here and live together and focus more of our lives on Him, and showing we love Him by loving and serving each other. We thank Him for the safety He granted, and Sue and I thank everyone for the help!

-- David

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Pile o' Milo

In the attempt to become as sustaining as possible, we have grown some crops in fields throughout our time here. Some have been for us to eat, but also for chicken feed.

One we haven't tried but apparently works well around here is milo, and so last year I thought I would try that.

I planted in May I believe, and because of the drought and longer, hot summer, the milo was stunted, and took 4-5 months to really start to seed out. Here is what it looked like 1/3 of the way through November:

2018 Milo Field

2018 Milo Head

At that point, it was just a matter of if the seeds could mature before the freezes hit. Well, that sadly didn't really happen.

However, I've gone ahead and begun to harvest what's there, in the hopes that the chickens might eat it anyway. With the seeds being as immature as they are, I don't think that even a combine would do anything, so we're doing it by hand. At least it's not 11 acres of pulling weeds, like our cocklebur fight with the upper field! :D

Here are some buckets of collected milo heads:

Buckets of Milo Heads

And me scraping. I found a serrated knife worked best:

Scraping Milo Heads

And here is a bucket full of the scraped seeds. We have about 3 so far as of now:

Bucket of Scraped Milo Seeds

We are thankful to the Lord for these provisions and what He granted, as He is in no way obliged to grant us anything. :) And we pray for continued help in learning how to live in direct dependence on Him, both temporily and spiritually.

-- David

Thursday, January 17, 2019

David's Digest: Pride Slaying, Part 3

1 Peter 5:5 - "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."

Pride is evil, and is it any wonder God resists the proud?

This is part three of Thomas Manton on the slaying of pride, from Sermon 11 in Sermons from Psalm 131, which you can read in full here.

Previous parts:
Part 1
Part 2

Here is a quick review of the first five points:

To persuade us to purge out this leaven of pride, the means are these:

First, Frequent examination of ourselves; for self-acquaintance breedeth humility. No man extolleth himself but he that knoweth not himself. Therefore the best way to take down pride is to consider often what we have been, what we are, and what we deserve.
  1. What we have been. Let us often consider the horrible filthiness of our corrupt nature, stinking worse than any carcass before God.
  2. After grace received, mixed principles, and therefore mixed operations, flesh and spirit, law and gospel, Gal. v. 17. If we consider in what state our soul is, what our actions are, how polluted with a tang of the flesh, how little comfortable sense of the love of God, we should soon see that we still carry about with us the cause of a deep humiliation in our bosoms.
  3. Consider what we have deserved. The eternal wrath of God, due to us for sin. It is a wonder that he doth not turn us into hell every moment, and that fire doth not come forth from his jealousy to consume us, who are ever and anon tripping in his service.
Secondly, Frequent communion with God in prayers and praises; for so we more and more come into the knowledge of God, and a sight and sense of his majesty and glory; and a serious sight of God will humble us.

Thirdly, Constant watchfulness, especially when we are most in danger of this sin; then we should keep a double watch.

Fourthly, Use those things with fear which may feed your pride, and so avoid all occasions of being lifted up.

Fifthly, The example of Christ. There was not a more excellent person, nor more worthy, in all the world.

From Thomas Manton:

Sixthly, Thoughts of death, and the great change that we must once undergo, should still keep us humble. This flesh, which thou deckest with so much art and ornament, must shortly become a dead carcass, removed out of sight, that it may not become offensive to those that most love and prize thee, and rot in the grave, and become food for worms. Dust we were in our composition, and dust we must be in our dissolution, Gen. iii. 19. What is viler than dust? Eccles. xii. 7, 'Our dust shall return to the earth as it was.'

We do but for a while act a part upon the stage of the world, and then we must be unclothed; as he that acteth the king in the comedy, and then goeth off and is a poltroon, as before ; he vaunteth on the stage for a while, then ad staiuram suam redit — Seneca. Though his excellency mounteth unto the heavens, yet within a while he perisheth, as his own dung, Job xx. 5-8. Our ornaments must be left behind us.

Seventhly, A gift sanctified [used for holiness], though never so mean [low], is more than the greatest gifts that puff us up. It holdeth good in all things. In estate, the truest contentment is to be kept humble in the enjoyment of it, James i. 10. The rich, in that he be made low. So for honour; it is not the outward splendour which is our happiness, but the humble mind. To be minimus in summo, least at the highest, like a spire or pyramid, is an argument of a great spirit.

So for parts, the humble Christian is the better qualified, 1 Cor. viii. 1. Knowledge puffeth up, charity edifieth. So grace; the less conceited, the more grace. Pride starveth every grace, but humility feedeth it. It is the humble soul which hath the solid comforts, and hath made most progress in religion.

Eighthly, Consider the evils of pride, both as to sin and punishment.

1. As to sin. It puts us upon other sins, murmuring against God, contempt of others: Prov. xxi, 24, 'Haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth with proud wrath.' Contention with them: 'He that is proud in heart stirreth up strife,' Prov. xxviii. 25. Envy; Saul eyed David ever afterward, 1 Sam. xviii. 9. An evil eye : Mat. xx. 24, 'When the disciples heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.' Censuring: James iii. 1, 'Be not many masters.'

2. Evils of punishment. Others [evils, bad outcomes] cannot be expected, since the proud are so odious to God: Prov. xvi. 5, 'Whosoever is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.'

[1.] The judgments of God against the proud are sure: Prov. xxix. 23, 'A man's pride will surely bring him low.' So Prov. xvi. 5, 'Though hand join in hand.' All the world shall not keep him, as that doth not keep down his own spirit. God will cross him in his person or posterity: Prov. xv. 25, 'The house of the proud shall be destroyed.'

[2.] It is swift. Judgment cometh upon other sins with a slow pace, but always treadeth on the heels of pride, in that instant wherein they exalt themselves. Nebuchadnezzar, when his heart was lifted up and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from the kingdom, Dan. V. 20. The angels fell in that instant. Herod adored as a god, and immediately eaten up of worms. Acts xii. We lose our children, estate, parts, by some sudden stroke of providence, when we grow proud of them.

[3.] It is shameful; that God may pour the more contempt on them: Prov. xi. 2, 'When pride cometh, then cometh shame.' Not only ruin, but shame; Herod punished by lice, Pharaoh by gnats and flies, Miriam by leprosy; Goliath falleth by a stone out of a shepherd's sling.

[4.] It is impartial. Not only upon Pharaoh, Herod, Haman, but his own people. Uzziah, 2 Chron. xxv. 26, 27, died without being lamented [Amaziah in those verses, or Uzziah in 2 Chron. xxvi. 21, 22]. Hezekiah: 2 Chron. xxxii. 25, 'His heart was lifted up, therefore there was wrath upon him.'

May God grant we remember just how low we as man are and the fragility of the flesh, that we be full of His graces, and that we remember just how evil pride is and the punishments that often ensue from it.

May the Lord grant us repentance and the true humility of life that only comes from Him, and may we seek Him to those ends.

-- David