Friday, May 25, 2018

Elvis' Venominally Fangtastic Fright!

Sadly, our buck Rocky now has a pretty bad injury on his leg, which has prevented him from performing his male-goat duties this last goat breeding round:

Our Buck Rocky


However, the group graciously allowed us to basically take over "ownership" of a buck graciously given to the group by some very nice friends of the group (all the bucks around here get used whenever needed). His name is Elvis, and he's Lamancha, which is where we've been wanting to go with our breeds, and here he is:

Our Buck Elvis


A few weeks ago, I was in the house, and I saw Sue running back with the dogs that she had just taken up to the fields to let go in a fenced area to run around for the evening. She looked like she was in a hurry, so I stepped outside to see if something was wrong.

There was......rattlesnake! It was in one of our pecan tree areas. She had already let the dogs off the leashes, and they were the ones that alerted her to it with them barking at it, but thanks to God she was able to get them leashed up again and her and them out of there.

So, I went up there with a shovel and the shot gun. The rattler was tucked in a tuft of weeds, but finally I could see it. In trying to save a shotgun shell, I lunged at it with the shovel in an attempt to maim it, but all I did was end up covering it with the shovel head. Nice. And so that was that...I aimed the shotgun, and sent him packing.

Here's brave Sue after carrying it back:

Sue Carrying the Rattlesnake


And its rattles:

Rattlesnake Rattle


Thanks to the Lord that all went well!


The next morning though, Sue had noticed Elvis was sitting in the goat shed opening, didn't get up when she came that direction, but didn't appear as if anything was wrong. It wasn't until that evening that she discovered him limping pretty badly.

And then we discovered the cause -- snake bite! The leg was swollen, you could see puncture marks, and some blood-stained fur around it. Oh no.

We wondered if it was the one we killed or another.

In researching snake bites, we read that if the goat doesn't die in a few hours, there's a good possibility it will live. Well, if he had been bit by the snake we killed, it was nearly 24 hours by then, so we were hoping and praying for the best.

Besides the external betadine, we gave him some activated charcoal in his feed, hoping that might help remove some of the toxins.

Over the first day or two, the swelling moved into his chest, and down his stomach, and on one of those days, he spent the day just sitting in the shed...we figured he just wasn't feeling very well. :)

In the following picture, you can see the bite on his swollen left leg after we had drenched it with betadine:

Our Goat Elvis with Snake Bit Leg


At this point, a couple of days into it, he had an appetite, which we figured was good.


Today, thanks to God's graces and mercies, Elvis is doing much better, and there's only a little swelling on the leg! And we haven't seen another rattlesnake since here.


Here's a video documenting a couple days into it, a few days after that, and then almost three weeks after that (the day of this blog post, about 25 days since the bite):




We are very grateful to the Lord for sparing Elvis, and for granting him the healing He did! We pray Elvis will continue to be of benefit to the community!

-- David

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A House - Update L - Lower Siding, Update I

In our last house update, we had started on the lower external siding. Well, God has graciously granted we be able to continue with the process, this time on the west side!

Here it is with the porch ledger board, drip edge, and half the tar paper up:

House West Side Lower Siding Ledger Board & Partial Tar Paper

Another of the House West Side Lower Siding Ledger Board & Partial Tar Paper


And then half the siding:

House West Side Lower Siding Half of the Siding Up


And then the siding complete!

House West Side Lower Siding Complete


We are very thankful to the Lord for granting the continued progress on the house! And thanks to those who continue to make it possible for us to do this in resources, and thanks to Sue for the help putting up the tar paper! :D

On to the south side!

-- David

Thursday, May 3, 2018

David's Digest: Seeing Your Loved One in Heaven

I have heard often how wonderful it will be to see our families and friends, or those loved ones we've lost, once again in heaven.

And while I believe we will see them, and that would surely be a wondrous occasion, especially after grieving the loss of them here, is that really what heaven is about? Are they on whom our eyes should mainly be focused when considering the joys of heaven?

Puritan Thomas Manton discusses the true joy and satisfaction of the saints in heaven -- seeing their loved One -- the Lord Christ Jesus -- instead of by faith alone, now by sight, forever, and being like Him!

From his sermons upon 1 John iii, sermon iii, which you can read here:
But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. - 1 John iii. 2

Thirdly, The third thing is satisfaction, not mentioned in the text, but implied and supplied from a parallel place; for we having the sight and presence of God, must needs be ravished with it: Ps. xvi. 11, 'In thy presence,' or face, 'is fulness of joy, and at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.' The fruition of God's immediate presence must needs exceed all the joy which the heart of man is capable of. If this breedeth not true contentment and felicity, what will?

So our admission into the everlasting estate is called 'an entering into the joy of our Lord,' Mat. xxv. 41. There must needs arise an incredible delectation from the vision of God, as also from our fruition of him, or being like unto him, and our possession of the whole estate of happiness thence resulting. Our great business will be to love what we see, and our great happiness to have what we love. This will be a full, perpetual, and never-failing delight to us. The vision hath an influence upon this joy. If the light of the sun be pleasant, how comfortable will it be to see the Sun of righteousness shining forth in all his glory?

Now, when the mind is a little raised in the thoughts of God, what a delightful thing is it! Ps. civ. 34, 'My meditation of him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord.' Yet how tasteless to our souls are thoughts of God now in comparison of what they will be then? There is something in us [now] which carrieth us off from God, which liketh not to retain God in our knowledge. Now, when our hearts are more suited and prepared for that sight, our thoughts must needs be glorious and ravishing.

Again, this likeness conduceth to this satisfaction. Take it for holiness, God himself is 'glorious in holiness,' Exod. xv. 11. Now to have the beauty of our God upon us is the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon us. When there was a debate in Ahasuerus's court, 'What should be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Esther vi. 8, it was resolved, 'Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head.' Or take it for glory and immortality: 1 Peter iv. 13, 'That when his glory shall be revealed, we may be glad with exceeding joy.'

This is the soul's rest in God, as satisfied with the full and perfect demonstration of his love; it is the best estate we can be in, for we are not capable of a better. It is the end [purpose] of our faith, and hope, and labours. Of our faith, 1 Peter i. 5 ; the end of our hope, Acts xxvi. 7. Now when a man hath obtained his end, then he is satisfied, as being in his perfect estate.

2. It is the utmost period of perfection men can be advanced unto, to enjoy God and be like him. Beyond God and above God nothing can be enjoyed ; with God nothing can make us miserable, and without God nothing can make us happy. If a man should enjoy all the world, there is something without [external to] him and above him that can make him miserable; if the world smileth and God frowneth, what will you do? Ps. xxxix. 11, 'When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity.' None can obstruct God's vengeance, or stop his wrath; as when the sun is gone, all the candles and torches in the world cannot make it day.

3. If a glimpse of God's love be so precious to the saints, what will the sight of his face be? Ps. iv. 6, 7, 'Who will show us any good ? Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance upon us: thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and wine increased.' If imperfect holiness be so precious, what will complete holiness be?

If you are currently grieving, I am truly sorry for your loss. But I do hope you'll consider the words above, in this concern with your walk with the Lord.

May Christ be our all now and forever, may our true joy in this life be in seeing Him as He is revealed in Scripture, His loveliness and beauty (in who He is and what He did), and may we desire to be like Him now and in eternity!

-- David

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Community Singing - April 2018

Two Lord's days ago, we were able to gather together to record our next set of Psalms so that we may learn God's word in this way, and that His praises might be in our hearts more and more! The psalter we use is from Crown & Covenant, and we're thankful to have these available.

And so, here are the latest:

(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 66A-68E


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

Psalms 50A-53

Psalms 54A-59B

Psalms 60A-65B



We pray God glorifies Himself through these things, that He edifies His Church through them, and that He writes His law on our hearts that we might not sin against Him!

-- David

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: First Chicks of 2018

We are very grateful to the Lord for Him granting our first set of chicks for 2018!

One chick didn't make it out of the shell completely, and it appeared one egg wasn't fertilized, but the mama hatched out the other 10, and all are still doing great, thanks to God!

Here they are:

Our First 2018 Chick Hatching


And here is their video:




We are always very thankful to Providence for granting these new chickens. We pray they are productive for His glory and the benefit of His Church!

-- David

Monday, April 2, 2018

Hymn - I Long for God, The Living God

With the addition of our cat Tuscan, and God granting little melodies for many of our other animals, He did so again for Tuscan, a little tune with the lyrics:

Tuscanosis, Tuscanosis, Tuscano-o-o-sis

(I had "Little Mimi" for Mimi's song, "Williaminator" for William's, and "Brodey-so-squodey" and "Nessa-bo-bessa" for their's, so I went with a little something different. :D )

And then once again, it was just a matter of trying to find some words. This one was a little difficult, because the meter for the melody is really 4-4-6, which looking around on the internet for hymns like that produced few results. And so, with there being many with 8-6 meter (common meter), I set out to find one that was 8-6 but sounded 4-4-6.

After a lot of searching and collecting four possibilities, I narrowed it down to the one I liked best, which was I Long for God, The Living God, by Thomas MacKellar, which I found here.

And with just a minor tweak of one line, and futzing with the melody a little to make it work better with how the words sounded, here are the results!

I Long for God, The Living God

Here's a PDF:
I Long for God, The Living God PDF

And this is an instrumental audio of the arrangement:
I Long for God, The Living God (instrumental) MP3

And a vocal one of just the melody with the music:
I Long for God, The Living God (vocal) MP3


These lyrics have a little more extra meaning to me, which is partially why I chose them...

To me, there is nothing more important in this life, and all eternity, than having God -- having the Lord Christ, having His Spirit indwelling in us, abiding in Him, having all our life and existence in Him.

But the difficulties of this life and the temptations of the devil, can spurn us to enter the slough of despond, where we might wish to have this life end and go to be with Christ now.
Ps 55:4-8 - "4 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. 5 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. 6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. 7 Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. 8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest."

Not only do I believe despondently desiring the end of this life is sin and self-seeking, for which I am responsible and must seek repentance, but we are called to be His servants here on this earth for as long as He sees fit, and we must strive to the end, with His help and by His graces.
Ps 55:22 - "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."

2 Cor 12:9 - "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

May we be found in obedience to Him and doing our duty toward Him all our days, for His glory, and we pray for His strength and faith to do so!
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."
-- David

Monday, March 12, 2018

March 2018 Community Work Day: Chicken Tractor Retrofit, Curtains & Pecan Shelling

Chicken Tractor Retrofit

Back in December, 2005, just a few months after we arrived here in Texas, we built a chicken tractor to house our chickens, the original process which you can see here.

Well, fast forward 12 1/2 years, and while it has served us well, it had also begun to fall apart, with uprights rotting, etc.

Given that this was the only real overnight housing for our main flock of chickens, I felt a retrofit really needed to be accomplished in one day. I figured there was no way I would be able to do that myself, and so I requested March 2018's community work day, and this past Wednesday, we men began the process with haste...

The plan was to pull it all apart, replicate the siding, the front frame, the lower section in the back, and the upper "penthouse" section, and then put the sections back in place, and then the siding pieces. This would allow for not having to re-design things, and allow for using the same roofing and chicken wire pieces without having to re-do those.

But first, we had to pull all of the staples to get the chicken wire pieces off. Everyone got to participate in that, and it actually took a little while:

Removing Chicken Wire from Chicken Tractor


Here, the roof, siding, and lower back section (which you can see on the ground upside down on the right) are removed, with the front frame and penthouse section still in place:

Chicken Tractor Roof, Siding, Back Section Removed


Here you can see the back section center right, upside down, and a youngin' sitting on the back door:

More Chicken Tractor Roof, Siding, Back Section Removed


Still working on the penthouse section:

Working to Remove Chicken Tractor Penthouse Section


Here on the left, you can see the penthouse section removed:

Chicken Tractor Penthouse Section Removed


And here, the new front framing and new uprights are in place:

New Chicken Tractor Front Frame & Uprights


And here's the new penthouse section, guarded well by a couple of smiling gents...would you trust these fellers? ;)

New Chicken Tractor Penthouse Section


Skipping forward a little, here we are with the back and penthouse sections in place, and the new siding installed:

New Chicken Tractor Back & Penthouse Sections & Siding Installed


And here's the front view:

Front View of Chicken Tractor Put Back Together


And from another angle. I was really hoping to get to this point so we would at least be able to box them in for the night, and thanks to the Lord and the guys, we were able to! But, we did pray the Lord would grant the chickens safety through the night, being they were a little more exposed with the chicken wire not put back:

Another View of Chicken Tractor Put Back Together


Here's looking in the back. I decided to use the same nest-box structure as it was still in fairly good shape:

Back View of Chicken Tractor Put Back Together & Nesting Boxes


And here's how we attached the roofing tin:

Inside View of Chicken Tractor Roofing Tin


And just a metal flashing piece to cover the roof apex:

Chicken Tractor Roof Apex Flashing Covering


Here's the smattering of the old pieces and new left-overs all over...quite the war zone! :)

Chicken Tractor Pieces & Leftovers


Well, the next day, after God did graciously grant the chickens' safety through the night, I went ahead and stapled on all of the chicken wire pieces, and they all fit very nicely! Good job to the chicken tractor retrofit crew! Now all we need is some paint:

Retrofit Chicken Tractor with Chicken Wire Stapled Back On


Hopefully a little more so now! :)

Happy Chickens


Curtains & Pecan Shelling

Over on the ladies side of things, they graciously helped Sue make some new curtains:

Shelled Pecans


And did some of the pecan shelling from the pecans the Lord granted us from our trees last year, which is something of a time-consuming process. The lady who did this got quite a bit of them done!

New Window Curtains


We are very thankful to God for His graces and mercies in allowing us to be a part of this fellowship. We thank Him for the people here, and we always pray we do these things in love and service for each other out of love and service to Him!

And thanks to the folks for all of the help! May God bless each of you and your households with an abundance of His graces, and temporal, spiritual and eternal blessings!

-- David