Friday, August 16, 2019

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: The 5th of 2019 Chick Hatchings

The Lord graciously granted another set of chicks to be hatched out this 2019 -- number 5 for the year!

This mama was hatched out herself late last year as part of a surprise set of chicks, and so was sitting what seems to be pretty early for her, but we'll take it! :D

She hatched out 10, and all 10 are still doing well today!

Here they are not long after entering the world:

5th Round of 2019 Chicks

More of 5th Round of 2019 Chicks


And here's their video:




We are always thankful to God for granting these provisions! It is our prayer that He guide us in the use of them, and in all things spiritual and temporal, for His glory and the benefit of others!

-- David

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Hugelkultur Garden Beds - Update I

One thing we have had to learn here is no matter how much we plan, things do not happen in the way or time frame we think they might. Other priorities, resources, etc. are factors that play into this, and so, we have had to learn to be patient, and to keep working toward the things we are trying to do here, as God would allow, and pray that He leads in them all (ie. that we don't try to go down paths He doesn't have for us). We pray for His leading in all areas of our lives, and for the patience to wait on Him, trusting in His love, goodness and wisdom, even if things never end up like we had originally hoped for or planned.

Back in 2013, we did a blog post about starting hugelkultur garden beds, where we explained that generally, this involves burying (below and/or above ground) tree materials, like stumps, trunks or even branches, under your garden soil, and apparently, as the tree material rots, it also becomes very absorbent, and is supposed to help with holding moisture in the garden bed. Back then, we only did one that was in a dug-out bed, but my plan always was to put another one next to it.

Well, back in January of 2018, we started revamping the original hugelkultur bed by adding more branches, and then started on the new one, which was planned to be above ground. My understanding has become that the buried ones are not as good because the water collects in the dug-out bed, and then just gets absorbed into the soil. But, we have it and so re-filled it with branches, and started the new bed with old logs and branches above ground, and Lord willing we'll eventually see how each fares.

Here is the work from last year. After placing all the old wood, I was able to add on top a load of mulch from the local landfill, where they have a huge, huge pile of it that we can go get pretty inexpensively:

New Wood in Hugelkultur Bed

New Hugelkultur Bed

Wood in Hugelkultur Beds

Covering Hugelkultur Bed in Mulch

Hugelkultur Beds Partially Covered in Mulch


Well, fast forward to this year somewhat recently. I have finally made the time and been able to take the time to start making landfill trips more consistently, and covering the hugelkultur beds was first on the list. I think it took nearly two loads in the back of the truck, where I have a 4-foot high, OSB-walled mulch carrier, to cover it all.

This is how it looked before starting to cover this time:

Ready to Continue Covering Hugelkultur Beds in Mulch


And then after one load, I believe:

More Mulch on Hugelkultur Beds


And then covered in total:

Hugelkultur Beds Covered in Mulch


And now, we hope to be able to try them out next year, as God wills!

We thank the Lord for the resources to build these hugelkultur beds, the safety in all of the trips, and the physical strength to do all of the mulch unloading and spreading; and we pray He applies it to the ground so as to allow the growth of food at some point, if He might, again, in accordance with His will!

-- David

Thursday, July 25, 2019

David's Digest: Satan's Devices & Biblical Remedies: God is Full of Mercy, Part 3

This is the final part continuing from part 1 and part 2 from Puritan Thomas Brooks' book "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices", where the devil entices people to sin and remedies to fight off that attack approach.

The entire book is scanned in here: https://archive.org/stream/completeworksoft01broo/completeworksoft01broo_djvu.txt.

From Thomas Brooks:

The fifth device that Satan hath to draw the soul to sin is,

Device (5). To present God to the soul as one made up all of mercy.

Oh! saith Satan, you need not make such a matter of sin, you need not be so fearful of sin, not so unwilling to sin; for God is a God of mercy, a God full of mercy, a God that delights in mercy, a God that is ready to shew mercy, a God that is never weary of shewing mercy, a God more prone to pardon his people than to punish his people; and therefore he will not take advantage against the soul; and why then, saith Satan, should you make such a matter of sin?


Now the remedies against this device of Satan are these:

Remedy (1). The first remedy is, seriously to consider, That it is the sorest judgment in the world to be left to sin upon any pretence whatsoever.

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, That God is as just as he is merciful.

Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That sins against mercy will bring the greatest and sorest judgments upon men's heads and hearts.

Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan, is seriously to consider, That though God's general mercy be over all his works, yet his special mercy is confined to those that are divinely qualified.

So in Exodus xxxiv. 6, 7, 'And the Lord passed by before me, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.' Exodus xx. 6, 'And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.' Ps. xxv. 10, 'All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto such as keep his covenant, and his testimonies.' Ps. xxxii. 10, 'Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.' Ps. xxxiii. 18, 'Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.' Ps. ciii. 11, 'For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.' Ver. 17, 'But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him.'

When Satan attempts to draw thee to sin by presenting God as a God all made up of mercy, oh then reply, that though God's general mercy extend to all the works of his hand, yet his special mercy is confined to them that are divinely qualified, to them that love him and keep his commandments, to them that trust in him, that by hope hang upon him, and that fear him; and that thou must be such a one here, or else thou canst never be happy hereafter; thou must partake of his special mercy, or else eternally perish in everlasting misery, notwithstanding God's general mercy.


Remedy (5). The fifth remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, That those that were once glorious on earth, and are now triumphing in heaven, did look upon the mercy of God as the most powerful argument to preserve them from sin, and to fence their souls against sin, and not as an encouragement to sin.

Ps. xxvi. 3-6, 'For thy loving-kindness is before mine eyes, and I have walked in thy truth; I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil-doers, and will not sit with the wicked.' So Joseph strengthens himself against sin from the remembrance of mercy: 'How then can I,' saith he, 'do this great wickedness, and sin against God?' Gen. xxxix. 9. He had fixed his eye upon mercy, and therefore sin could not enter, though the irons entered into his soul; his soul being taken with mercy, was not moved with his mistress's impudence.

Satan knocked oft at the door, but the sight of mercy would not suffer him to answer or open. Joseph, like a pearl in a puddle, keeps his virtue still. So Paul, 'Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?' Rom. vi. 1,2. There is nothing in the world that renders a man more unlike to a saint, and more like to Satan, than to argue from mercy to sinful liberty; from divine goodness to licentiousness. This is the devil's logic, and in whomsoever you find it, you may write, 'This soul is lost.'

A man may as truly say, the sea burns, or fire cools, as that free grace and mercy should make a soul truly gracious to do wickedly. So the same apostle, 'I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service,' Rom. xii. 1. So John, 'These things I write unto you, that ye sin not,' 1 John ii. 1, 2. What was it that he wrote? He wrote, 'That we might have fellowship with the Father and his Son; and that the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin, and that if we confess our sin, he is just and faithful to forgive us our sins; and that if we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.' These choice favours and mercies the apostle holds forth as the choicest means to preserve the soul from sin, and to keep at the greatest distance from sin; and if this won't do it, you may write the man void of Christ and grace, and undone for ever.


May we pray to the Lord for help against Satan's wiles, may He grant us strength and direction to resist, and we thank Him for His promises and remedies against this foe of God and our souls!

-- David

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

David's Digest: Satan's Devices & Biblical Remedies: God is Full of Mercy, Part 2

This is continuing from part 1 from Puritan Thomas Brooks' book "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices", where the devil entices people to sin and remedies to fight off that attack approach.

The entire book is scanned in here: https://archive.org/stream/completeworksoft01broo/completeworksoft01broo_djvu.txt.

From Thomas Brooks:

The fifth device that Satan hath to draw the soul to sin is,

Device (5). To present God to the soul as one made up all of mercy.

Oh! saith Satan, you need not make such a matter of sin, you need not be so fearful of sin, not so unwilling to sin; for God is a God of mercy, a God full of mercy, a God that delights in mercy, a God that is ready to shew mercy, a God that is never weary of shewing mercy, a God more prone to pardon his people than to punish his people; and therefore he will not take advantage against the soul; and why then, saith Satan, should you make such a matter of sin?


Now the remedies against this device of Satan are these:

Remedy (1). The first remedy is, seriously to consider, That it is the sorest judgment in the world to be left to sin upon any pretence whatsoever.

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, That God is as just as he is merciful.

Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That sins against mercy will bring the greatest and sorest judgments upon men's heads and hearts.

Mercy is Alpha, Justice is Omega. David, speaking of these attributes, placeth mercy in the foreward, and justice in the rearward, saying, 'My song shall be of mercy and judgment', Ps. ci. 1. When mercy is despised, then justice takes the throne. God is like a prince, that sends not his army against rebels before he hath sent his pardon, and proclaimed it by a herald of arms: he first hangs out the white flag of mercy; if this wins men in, they are happy for ever; but if they stand out, then God will put forth his red flag of justice and judgment; if the one is despised, the other shall be felt with a witness.

See this in the Israelites. He loved them and chose them when they were in their blood, and most unlovely. He multiplied them, not by means, but by miracle; from seventy souls they grew in few years to six hundred thousand; the more they were oppressed, the more they prospered. Like camomile, the more you tread it, the more you spread it; or to a palm-tree, the more it is pressed, the further it spreadeth; or to fire, the more it is raked, the more it burneth. Their mercies came in upon them like Job's messengers, one upon the neck of the other: He put off their sackcloth, and girded them with gladness, and 'compassed them about with songs of deliverance;' he 'carried them on the wings of eagles;' he kept them 'as the apple of his eye,' etc.

But they, abusing his mercy, became the greatest objects of his wrath. As I know not the man that can reckon up their mercies, so I know not the man that can sum up the miseries that are come upon them for their sins. For as our Saviour prophesied concerning Jerusalem, 'that a stone should not be left upon a stone,' so it was fulfilled forty years after his ascension, by Vespasian the emperor and his son Titus, who, having besieged Jerusalem, the Jews were oppressed with a grievous famine, in which their food was old shoes, old leather, old hay, and the dung of beasts. There died, partly of the sword and partly of the famine, eleven hundred thousand of the poorer sort; two thousand in one night were embowelled; six thousand were burned in a porch of the temple; the whole city was sacked and burned, and laid level to the ground; and ninety-seven thousand taken captives, and applied to base and miserable service, as Eusebius and Josephus saith. And to this day, in all parts of the world, are they not the off-scouring of the world? None less beloved, and none more abhorred, than they.

And so Capernaum, that was lifted up to heaven, was threatened to be thrown down to hell. No souls fall so low into hell, if they fall, as those souls that by a hand of mercy are lifted up nearest to heaven. You slight souls that are so apt to abuse mercy, consider this, that in the gospel days, the plagues that God inflicts upon the despisers and abusers of mercy are usually spiritual plagues; as blindness of mind, hardness of heart, benumbedness of conscience, which are ten thousand times worse than the worst of outward plagues that can befall you. And therefore, though you may escape temporal judgments, yet you shall not escape spiritual judgments: 'How shall we escape, if neglect so great salvation?' Heb. ii. 3, saith the apostle. Oh! therefore, whenever Satan shall present God to the soul as one made up all of mercy, that he may draw thee to do wickedly, say unto him, that sins against mercy will bring upon the soul the greatest misery; and therefore whatever becomes of thee, thou wilt not sin against mercy, etc.


Go on to Remedies 4 and 5!

-- David

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

David's Digest: Satan's Devices & Biblical Remedies: God is Full of Mercy, Part 1

Satan is a cunning foe, and sadly quite good at what he does. And he is the enemy of Christ, and thus God's people, ready to do what he can to destroy the souls of men.
1 Peter 5:8 - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

Thankfully though, God is greater:
1 John 4:4 - "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."

However, we also have duties to perform in this arena...
James 4:7 - "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Ephesians 6:11 - "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

...but only with God's help:
Psalm 28:7 - "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him."

Psalm 144:1 - "Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:"

Puritan Thomas Brooks wrote an excellent book called "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices", where he identifies the various ways Satan goes about his work, and offers remedies to help against those devices. With this we can know our enemy better, and pray and work to resist him and sin, which hopefully we want to do because we hate sin as it is an act of rebellion and an offense to the One we love:
2 Corinthians 2:11 - "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."

The following is one of those devices, where the devil entices people to sin and remedies to fight off that attack approach.

The entire book is scanned in here: https://archive.org/stream/completeworksoft01broo/completeworksoft01broo_djvu.txt.

From Thomas Brooks:

The fifth device that Satan hath to draw the soul to sin is,

Device (5). To present God to the soul as one made up all of mercy.

Oh! saith Satan, you need not make such a matter of sin, you need not be so fearful of sin, not so unwilling to sin; for God is a God of mercy, a God full of mercy, a God that delights in mercy, a God that is ready to shew mercy, a God that is never weary of shewing mercy, a God more prone to pardon his people than to punish his people; and therefore he will not take advantage against the soul; and why then, saith Satan, should you make such a matter of sin?


Now the remedies against this device of Satan are these:

Remedy (1). The first remedy is, seriously to consider, That it is the sorest judgment in the world to be left to sin upon any pretence whatsoever.

O unhappy man! when God leaveth thee to thyself, and doth not resist thee in thy sins. Woe, woe to him at whose sins God doth wink. When God lets the way to hell be a smooth and pleasant way, that is hell on this side of hell, and a dreadful sign of God's indignation against a man; a token of his rejection, and that God doth not intend good unto him. That is a sad word, 'Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone,' Hosea iv. 17; he will be uncounsellable and incorrigible; he hath made a match with mischief, he shall have his bellyful of it; he falls with open eyes, let him fall at his own peril.

And that is a terrible saying. 'So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lusts, and they walked in their own counsels,' Ps. lxxxi. 12. A soul given up to sin, is a soul ripe for hell, a soul posting to destruction. Ah Lord! this mercy I humbly beg, that whatever thou givest me up to, thou wilt not give me up to the ways of my own heart; if thou wilt give me up to be afflicted, or tempted, or reproached, etc., I will patiently sit down, and say, It is the Lord; let him do with me what seems good in his own eyes. Do anything with me, lay what burden thou wilt upon me, so thou dost not give me up to the ways of my own heart.


Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, That God is as just as he is merciful.

As the Scriptures speak him out to be a very merciful God, so they speak him out to be a very just God. Witness his casting the angels out of heaven, 2 Peter ii. 4-6, and his binding them in chains of darkness till the judgment of the great day; and witness his turning Adam out of paradise, his drowning of the old world, and his raining hell out of heaven upon Sodom; and witness all the crosses, losses, sicknesses, and diseases, that be in the world; and witness Tophet, that was prepared of old; witness his 'treasuring up of wrath against the day of wrath, unto the revelation of the just judgments of God; but above all, witness the pouring forth of all his wrath upon his bosom Son, when he did bear the sins of his people, and cried out, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' Mat. xxvii. 46.


Go on to Remedy 3!

-- David

Monday, July 8, 2019

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: Goat Kids of 2019

After putting our does with our bucks for 2018 goat breeding time, the Lord graciously granted 2019's kid crop!

It was a bit of a rough year this time. Lucy delivered very premature kids that didn't make it, and then Marie's triplets got stuck, and by the time we got her to the vet and the vet pulled out the dead kids, they had already filled her with bacteria, and she died later that night. Marie was our last full Nubian female. We are grateful to God for the time He granted Marie to be with us, and for the many kids He granted from her:

Marie 2018


But, again God was gracious in granting kids from the rest of the group, and all of them were healthy and made it to new-owner day.

Here are the daddies -- Shakespeare first, and then Elvis. After the difficulties with Elvis from breeding time and him using his horns as a weapon, we have since had them removed, which appears to have helped his aggressiveness:

Shakespeare

Elvis


And here are some sights of the kids:

2019 Goat Kids

2019 Goat Kids

2019 Goat Kids

2019 Goat Kids

2019 Goat Kids

2019 Goat Kids

2019 Goat Kids


Interestingly, Lucy here who lost her kids ended up being something of an aunt to some of the kids, with them often following her around as they browsed the field:

2019 Goat Kids


This is new home day!

2019 Goat Kids

2019 Goat Kids


And this is the kids video, including bottle feeding one kid who had trouble getting on her mother's teat, and sending them on to their new owner:




However, there was one little exception to all the above: Hannah didn't get pregnant for several months into breeding season, and so she just recently gave birth to this little buckling. He has probably the sweetest disposition of any goat we've had, and will follow us around like a little puppy-dog. Anyway, we have to wait a bit now before he can go to his next home:

2019 Goat Kids

2019 Goat Kids


And so, we are always thankful to the Lord for His provisions, and we pray the kids bless someone, and we thank God for bringing the buyer, and the health and safety He granted for the ones to which He decided to give life!

-- David

Monday, June 17, 2019

Garden - Winter 2018 & Spring 2019

Just a little catch-up on garden events...

Winter 2018

Late last year near the end of December, with the milder weather up to that point, we had an extra squash plant just start to grow from seed planted in the Spring, and after keeping it covered with blankets when necessary, the Lord graciously granted a few squashes, and we thank Him:

Winter 2018 Squash Plant

Winter 2018 Squash Plant


And He granted a turnip to grow too, for which we are thankful as well! Some time ago I just threw down a bunch of turnip seed, and every once in a while a turnip just shows up! :)

Winter 2018 Turnip Plant

Winter 2018 Turnip


Spring 2019

We planted garlic at the end of last year, and recently it was time to go get them!

Here is how the area looked in March...lots of weeds, but garlic growing too:

2019 Garlic Garden

2019 Garlic Plant


We pulled one up back then, but there was no bulb on it, so we realized we were still too early. I did put that one garlic back hoping it would continue...


The prickly lettuce that just grows natively here really took over our gardens this year, I believe especially because of the many rains God has graciously granted, so I went into the garlic area and cut everything down that wasn't garlic, to try to give it all some sun:

Weeding the Garlic Garden


But then about a week and 1/2 later, the garlic plants started looking like they were maybe dying, and we had more rain coming, and I was worried they would start rotting, so I decided to start digging them up...

2019 Garlic Area


This is a planted garlic:

Garlic Plant


I cleared the mulch around it:

Garlic Plant with Mulch Cleared


Dug down the full hand-shovel length at 4-5 points around it, several inches away from the plant, and lifted slightly each time:

Digging Out Garlic Plant

More Digging Out Garlic Plant


And then when the ground around the plant was loose enough, I gently pulled out the bulb:

Dug Out Garlic Plant


Interestingly, some of the garlic plants started to bolt what looked like a new bulb! I wonder if over time that would have planted itself...

Bolting Garlic Plant


I don't know, but here are some of the harvest results! Not that every plant that sprung up made it up to this point, but after pulling up that one early with nothing on it, and with what I thought was going to potentially be a problem with any garlic bulbs already starting to rot in the ground, the Lord graciously ended up granting that every single plant have at least some bulb on it, including that one I replanted!

Harvested Garlic

More Harvested Garlic

Harvested Garlic in a Bucket


I made a meat dryer some time ago, which is perfect for hanging garlic to dry and cure. Here is after the first part of the garlic was gathered:

Harvested Garlic Hangling in Meat Dryer


And then the rest of it:

More Harvested Garlic Hangling in Meat Dryer


And finally with the meat dryer's screen panel in place:

Harvested Garlic Hangling in Closed Meat Dryer


We are always very thankful to God for His gracious provisions, and the miracle of taking a seed, which appears dead, and burying it, and then life coming from it, and growing and multiplying itself and being fruitful according to the Lord's providence alone (ie. I can't make a garlic bulb just appear), like His word planted in the hearts of men and His Spirit bringing forth new life as He wills, and like His Son, the Lord Christ, dead and buried, but miraculously raised out of the ground again to life! We are eternally grateful to God for the salvific life He brings through Jesus Christ!

-- David