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

Thursday, January 10, 2019

David's Digest: Pride Slaying, Part 2

James 4:6 - "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

Pride is a devilish thing, and it behooves us to be on guard against it.

This is part two 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

Here is a quick review of the first two 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.


Continuing, from Thomas Manton:

Thirdly, Constant watchfulness, especially when we are most in danger of this sin; then we should keep a double watch. Pride is incident to all, but especially to those who are ennobled with any excellency of birth, honour, or estate, or parts, or office. Few are able to master their comforts; they are too strong wine for weak heads. To learn to abound is the harder lesson, Phil iv. 12. When God lifteth them up, they lift up themselves; the wind of strong applause soon oversets a little vessel. Even gracious persons may be tainted. Pride once crept into heaven, and then into paradise; and it is hardly kept out of the best heart.

Christians are not so much in danger of sensual [of the senses] lusts [desires] as of this sin; it groweth upon us many times by the decrease of other sins; as mortified, so proud [ie. we end up proud of our non-pride and/or spiritualness]: are ministers by their office: 1 Tim. iii. 6, 'Not a novice, lest, lifted up by pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil.' But withal, those are most prone that rise out of the dunghill and from a low estate to great wealth and honour; partly because they are not able to digest such a sudden and unusual happiness; partly because they look less to God, and more to their own prudence and industry: Hab. i. 16, 'Sacrifice to their own net.'

Now all these should watch: Deut. viii. 14, 'Take heed lest thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God;' 1 Tim. vi. 17, 'Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches.' The honourable should watch, the minister watch, the gifted watch, but especially those whom God hath more than ordinarily blessed with worldly increase, Ps. cxix. 70,71.

Fourthly, Use those things with fear which may feed your pride, and so avoid all occasions of being lifted up. As, for instance, do not look upon your graces and privileges without looking upon your infirmities, which may be a counterbalance to you: Mark ix. 24, 'Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.' There is much corruption still remaineth in us, and often gets the advantage of us in thought, word, and deed. Never reflect upon your praises, but remember your imperfections, which the world seeth not, the many sins which you are conscious unto, and how much more you deserve reproofs than praises;

And if you will thoroughly slight the honour and vainglory of the world, never count yourselves humble, till you are more willing to be admonished than praised, reproved than flattered. It is the proud man that despiseth reproof, but the humble prizeth it. Instances of the one: Amaziah to the prophet: 2 Chron. xxv. 16, 'Art thou made of the king's counsel? forbear; why shouldst thou be smitten?' The false prophet Zedekiah to Micaiah: 2 Chron. xviii. 23, 'Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to thee?' The pharisees to Christ: 'Are we blind also?' John ix. 39, 40.

Holy and humble men are of another temper. Job did not despise the cause of his servants when they contended with him. Job xxx. 13, 14; David: Ps. cxli. 5, 'Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness.' This is a notable remedy against pride, to bear a faithful reproof, and take it in better part than praises and acclamations.

Again, when you reflect upon your enjoyments, consider your account, Luke xii. 48. What will ye do when ye shall appear before the tribunal to answer for all this honour and estate? Surely such a day and such a reckoning should damp men, and quench all self-exalting thoughts.

Never look upon your afflictions, but consider the mercies yet continued, notwithstanding your ill-deservings, Ezra iii. 19, that we may not murmur, which is an effect of pride, but submit to God's chastisements; that is the way to increase humility; for afflictions are humbling occasions, and so must be improved.

Fifthly, The example of Christ. There was not a more excellent person, nor more worthy, in all the world. Now what was his life but a lecture of humility? Mat. xi. 29, 'Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart;' 'He sought not his own glory, but the glory of him that sent him,' John v. 41. That is our business as well as Christ's; not to seek ourselves, but to please God and glorify God.

He chose a mean life, withdrew himself when they would make him a king, John vi. 15; came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, Mat. xx. 28. Vain men would be admired of all, are desirous of worldly power and glory; but this is contrary to the Spirit of Christ. Surely we should dress ourselves by this glass. The meek, humble, lowly mind is an express resemblance of Christ, as pride is of the devil.

When Christ came to save us, he would not choose a life of pomp, but poverty. He submitted to be conceived in the womb of a maiden, took the form of a servant, was laid in a manger, sacrificed two pigeons. He lived in the world as a man of sorrows, born of mean parents, working at their trade. Justin Martyr saith he made ploughs or yokes: 'Is not this the carpenter?' Mark vi. After he entered into the ministry, he was scorned, opposed by men, preached out of a ship to people on the shore. Finally, he humbled himself to the death, the death of the cross.

Now the same mind should be in you that was in Jesus, Phil. ii. 5. Unless you think it a disgrace to imitate him, either you must be humble, or seek another lord and master.


May God grant we be on watch against our pride, the humility to take reproof, and a desire to be like the Lord Christ, and may we pray to those ends.

-- David

Go on Part 3.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

David's Digest: Pride Slaying, Part 1

By nature, man is proud. We all have pride in our hearts to some degree. We can ask ourselves, are we as humble as Christ, infinite God who took a human nature only to be spit upon and crucified? If not, then we indeed have some pride there. :)

In fact, a proud person -- not just the pride itself -- is an abomination to the Lord:
Prov 16:5 - "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished."

It seems to me we should ponder that seriously.

Pride is also a shame:
Prov 11:2 - "When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom."

And we should hate that pride in ourselves:
Prov 8:13 - "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."

Further, here's a warning:
Prov 29:23 - "A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."

And finally, what traits does Christ say we should learn from Him?
Matt 11:29 - "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

Well then, what can be done?


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

This is part one of several parts.


From Thomas Manton:

Use. To persuade us to purge out this leaven of pride. It cannot he purged out at once, but it must be mortified and subdued more and more. Daily labour and diligence is necessary for this end.

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. Take the softest notion of original sin, we wanted a righteousness to place before God: Ps. li. 5, 'I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.'

We wanted [lacked] strength to serve him: Rom. viii. 7, 'The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.' We had nothing to incline us to God or commend us to him. Yea, not only an impotency, but an averseness. Partly out of carnal liberty: Rom. viii. 7, 'Because the carnal mind is enmity to God.' Partly through sensuality [of the senses], or addictedness to present things grateful to the flesh: John iii. 6, 'That which is born of the flesh is flesh.' Partly through legal bondage: Gen. iii. 7, 'The eyes of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked;' ver. 10, 'I heard thy voice in the garden, and I hid myself, because I was naked.' Through carnal liberty our hearts were averse from him as a lawgiver; through bondage, as a judge: Col. i. 21, 'You that were sometimes alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked works.'

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, and to cry out with the publican, Luke xviii. 13, 'Lord, be merciful,' &c.; or with Paul, Rom. vii. 24, 'wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?'

Besides your wants and defects, consider the loathsome corruption of your souls, which follow you wherever you go. The sins of our best duties are enough to humble us, to have such low conceptions of God, such heartless prayers, &c.

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.

You will say, Blessed be God, we are escaped by Christ; we are passed from death to life.

Ans. I do not tell you what God will do, but what you have deserved; and this not to weaken your confidence, but to humble your hearts.

Now it is enough for that, that you had once the sentence passed upon you, and have had the rope, as it were, about your necks; that you have been at the gates of hell, and might have entered in, but for the grace of your Redeemer. Besides, you deserve it still; your daily sins and best actions deserve the wrath of God.

And such a sense of it is still necessary as quickens to thankfulness, and prays for pardon, and promoteth to humility; and you turn grace into wantonness, and abuse it, if it lessen any of these acts.

Well, then, though God forgive us, we must not forget we were once as bad as the worst, and children of wrath, even as others, Eph. ii. 3. We must still condemn ourselves when God justifieth us, and set our sins ever before us though God do cast them behind his back. Now shall such creatures as we be proud, so sinful, so liable to the curse, whose righteousnesses are as filthy rags ? Isa. Ixiv. 6.

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: Isa. vi. 5, 'I am unclean, for I have seen the Lord of hosts;' Gen. xviii. 27, 'I am but dust and ashes;' Job xlii. 5, 6, 'I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.'

Can they be proud that have so often to do with an holy and glorious God? Surely one glimpse of his majesty will take down thy self-exalting thoughts. The stars differ from one another in brightness and glory, but when the sun appeareth they are all obscured, and those differences unobserved.

So when we compare ourselves with men, we seem great, wise, powerful; but God, rightly apprehended, lesseneth us in our opinion, estimation, and affection. He is all, we are nothing but what he maketh us to be. All the creatures to him are nothing, less than nothing, Isa. xl. 17; nothing in opposition to him; nothing in comparison of him; nothing in exclusion of him.

Now the mind should be often seasoned with these thoughts, as surely they will where men have much to do with God, and are often with him, if they be serious in their addresses to him.

May God grant us a sight of our loathsome selves and His eternal majesty and glory. May He grant us repentance, may His Spirit continuously mortify the pride in each of us, and may we pray and work to those ends.

-- David

Go on Part 2.

Monday, December 24, 2018

New Upper Field Fence

We have about 11 acres on a field north of our goat pens. When we arrived here in Texas, most of that field was in Johnson grass, a grass that grows well here, especially in heat and drought. In fact, a former neighbor baled it one of our first years.

Since that time though, we plowed it and tried to grow oats, which didn't work out too well. And then, instead of crops, I wanted to return to grass in hopes of becoming more sustaining for our cows or goats, and I tried planting B-dahl grass, which didn't work at all.

And then, rather than fight it, I ironically went back and planted sorghum almum, which is a close cousin of Johnson grass, and so we have come full circle, basically back to Johnson grass. :)

God has also granted some other kind of thin, but lush grass to grow, and we are thankful.

This last time of plowing and sowing though, it also planted the cockleburs that were in the field, and so we pulled the whole 11 acres by hand several years ago. Each year I have to walk the field, but for all intents and purposes, it's basically cocklebur free! Yippee! (You'll understand my excitement if you read that blog post and think about pulling 11 acres of weeds by hand, even though it was only 1 kind of weed :) )

With the field having some time to get established with the grasses, I wanted to be able to run the goats up there, which should basically end any need to buy hay for them. However, I needed to put up a north-south fence line, which is somewhere between 900 and 1000 feet.

This fence line was originally planned to be partially done by one of the folks who used to live here, but he never got around to it, although he graciously put in an entrance way for us at the county road because he would have been cutting off our main way of driving off the land.

Here is how I did each corner system. I concreted in 2 x 5 1/2 inch treated posts, about 46 inches a part, and then a half post about 78 inches from the 2nd post to function as a dead man. And then I cut out notches in the posts using a reciprocating saw where 4 inch cross posts would go, chiseled them out, and then installed the posts, drilling a 3/8 hold for a 1/2 inch by 8 inch long lag screw, and used a 1 1/2 inch paddle bit to counter sink the bolt:

Fence Post System Cross Piece Hole

Fence Post System Cross Piece Bolt

Fence Post System Cross Piece Notches

Fence Post System Cross Piece Notches Chiseled

Fence Post System Diagonal Cross Piece

Fence Post System Diagonal Cross Piece Bolt


This is where I started, putting in the corner braces:

North Field North Fence Corner


I stretched the diagonal fence lines, using a come-along and fence stretcher, with 6 barbed wire strands, at 4-4-4-4-5-5 from bottom to top on the nubs on the t-posts:

Using Come-Along to Stretch Barbed Wire Fence

Barbed Wire Fence Stretch Holder

North Field Gateway Diagonal Fence 1

North Field Gateway Diagonal Fence 2


And welded on some gate holders and added the gates:

North Field Gateway Gates


This is where I cut the road's fence where the gates are, pulled out those cedar posts, and then re-stretched and tied off each side of the fencing along the road:

North Field Gateway Fence Entrance


Every 90 feet I concreted in a landscape timber, to try to help give the fence more stability, and then pounded in t-posts every 10 feet in between.

And then pulled the wires from bottom to top. For each wire after the first, I would roll out the next one, hang it on the previous wire, pull it tight with the come-along, and then go down the line a section at a time pulling the hung wire off the wire it was sitting on. Then, I tied off the pulled end, released the come-along, went to the middle of the stretched wire, tied it to the 2 middle t-posts, went half way in between each of those, did the same, and repeated with each half until all the t-posts were connected. I figured this would help keep even tension all along the wire.

And I added the middle gate.


Sadly though, I ran into some real trouble with a set of end posts once the wire was pulled, especially because on several of the wood posts I ran into rock while digging out the holes. The whole structure started leaning badly:

North Field Leaning Fence Post System


Eventually, the back post's concrete broke, it started to torque, and the cross piece started sticking out:

Fence Post Broken Concrete

Fence Post Broken Cross Piece


Arg. I thought I might have to re-do that whole post system and re-pull each wire from scratch, but with the help of the tractor pulling the fence straight...

Tractor Pulling the Fence Straight


...I was able to dig out the end post, using what concrete was left in the hole as a positioner...

Dug Out Fence Post Hole


...re-concrete it in...

Fence Post Re-Concreted


...tamp the dirt in front of the posts...

Tamping Dirt in Front of Concreted Fence Post


...add diagonal bracing wire to help keep it from leaning (which I should have done in the first place; I really thought the dead man post and diagonal kicker post would hold enough, but I guess not)...

Fence Post Diagonal Wire Bracing


...and then re-tie off the end. I also went back, undid all of the t-post clips on the t-posts that were leaning, straightened the t-posts, and then re-attached.

Yeah, that was fun. It seems to be doing better, although not perfect, in that, the back post started leaning in some perpendicularly, so I re-tied off again the ends but more in the middle of the post, and added a t-post brace to help keep it more upright:

T-post Brace Against Fence Post


But finally, here is the fence line:

North Field Top Half of Fence Line


With weather interruptions and these issues, it has taken at least a couple of months to get that part done. But I thank the Lord things weren't worse, and for the provisions and health and strength to even work on this fence.

On to the 2nd half!

-- David

Monday, December 10, 2018

Goat Breeding Time 2018!

With November upon us, it was time to put our billy goats with their respective nannies for goat breeding time 2018!

With the loss of our buck Rocky earlier this year, Elvis joined the herd, and was ready to go to work! Our plan is to use him for our younger does:

Our Buck Elvis


And then put Shakespeare with the older ones:

Our Buck Shakespeare


This year we moved them a little earlier than normal in the month, basically because Marie, one of our does, went into heat, and Elvis was jumping fences to get to her. In fact, he got out at one point and we believe mated with Nellie, another one of our does. So, we decided to just do the move the first week of November.

However, when we put Elvis with his "ladies", he not only tried mating with Marie but also started being highly over-aggressive with her, lifting her with his horns, and the like. We had never seen this before with one of our bucks, although he had acted this way with Shakespeare (hurt his leg somewhat badly), and eventually we had to tie him up to keep him from chasing her around.

And at this point, we didn't know what to do with him. Was this going to happen with all of the females when they went into heat? He wouldn't be of much use then.

Well, we moved Marie over to be with Shakespeare, and there was no problem there. And when we let Elvis off his lead, he stopped being aggressive with the other females. Also, since then, we very thankfully haven't seen that over-aggression with the others.

In trying to figure out what happened, we were thinking, since Marie had gone over to Shakespeare when we let the females out to graze, and he and she were rubbing on each other through the fence, that perhaps she ended up smelling like Shakespeare, and Elvis was getting his signals crossed with her, smelling her being in heat and Shakespeare at the same time.

And so, it looks like he's going to continue to work out ok, although we are planning on having his horns removed like we did with Shakespeare, as he uses them all too well as a weapon.

But, without further ado, here is the video of when we put them together this 2018!




We pray the Lord might grant the offspring in Spring, in accordance with His will; we thank Him that Elvis calmed down and will appear to be useful still; we pray for milk later on next year; we pray for continued health and safety for the herd; and we thank Him for the safety and health He has granted them all of these years!

-- David

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Garden - Fall 2018

Since our last garden update, we thought we'd show how the garden has progressed through a difficult drought. With lots of heat and little rain in the Summer, the plants struggled, but coming into Fall, the Lord graciously granted some good rains, to Whom we are thankful.

Here's a recap of the garden goings-on...

Okra

Okra always does very well:

Okra


But even this year, they struggled, and dropped their leaves early, which is quite unusual. Normally, they stop producing when the freezes come, but it was different this year:

Dried Up Okra Plants


But we are thankful to God for what He granted! And here are some of them preserved in apple cider vinegar:

Okra Preserved in Apple Cider Vinegar


Sweet Potatoes

This year, I planted them in our original garden area. Between the rains, and with hard freezes coming, it was time to get them out of the ground. Here are the main plants the day of:

Sweet Potato Plants


And some volunteer ones from last year:

Volunteer Sweet Potato Plant

Another Volunteer Sweet Potato Plant


Here's Sue helping dig them out:

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes


The uncollected harvest:

Harvested Sweet Potatoes


And then what the Lord graciously granted! It seems less than last year and they are quite a bit smaller, but I put them in a garden that has had only one mulch layer put down, and we went through one of our worst heat spells and droughts this year, so besides the fact that God doesn't have to grant anything if He doesn't want to, we are thankful for what He did, with food coming directly from Him!

Bucket of Sweet Potatoes


Now it's 3 weeks of hardening out in the open, and then 6 weeks into the root cellar, each individually wrapped in newspaper for sweetening! Yum!


Garlic

Since we had a garlic harvest last season, we saved some for planting this year, and completed that process recently too. I believe this is our first time of replanting our own!

Here is the beautiful soil the Lord composted over the last year, into which we planted the garlic cloves:

Compost Pile

Composted Soil


And a newer pile we had started:

Newer Compost Pile


And here are the garlic plants starting to sprout up!

Garlic Plants


We pray for God's provisions from these next year, as He wills.


Around the Garden

Here are some other things currently growing in the garden...

The Goji berry plant:

Gogi Berry Plant


The blackberries, which died back, but started growing from the roots again:

Blackberry Plant

Another Blackberry Plant


Our little volunteer squash plant. I cover it with double blankets most nights :) :

Volunteer Squash Plant


A volunteer tomato plant. It had little flowers on it, but sadly,even covered with blankets, didn't make it because of the cold:

Volunteer Tomato Plant


Free prickly lettuce:

Volunteer Prickly Lettuce


And a volunteer turnip:

Volunteer Turnip Plant


And finally, I thought I would include here the last from the orchard, this year's pecans. Once again, I think the drought really made things struggle:

Pecans


But, as always, we are very thankful to the Lord for granting all these provisions! May we be humbled He even considers giving these things at all, and may we be satisfied with, and thankful for, what He does. And may He grant us to be fruitful followers of Him as well!

-- David

Monday, November 12, 2018

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 5th & Surprise 6th Round of 2018 Chicks

The Lord graciously granted another hen get broody this 2018, and she hatched out our 5th set of the year! She hatched out 4 with 1 sadly not making it more than a day, but the other 3 are still doing well as of today!

5th Set of 2018 Chicks


And then one day, Sue was taking the dogs up to their goat field for their evening running around, and lo and behold, there was a hen walking around with 5 chicks following her! Wow! We eventually tracked down that she had been sitting in a pecan tree fenced-in area. Thanks to God for allowing her to sit out there for at least 3 weeks without being eaten herself!

We gathered them up and got them into the summer kitchen brooder building, and here they are. She had 5 with her, and they also are still all going as of today!

6th Set of 2018 Chicks


And here is the video for both groups:




As always, we are grateful to the Lord for granting these provisions, and His extra graciousness in preserving the mama and eggs outdoors for all that time!

-- David