Monday, January 11, 2021

Icy What You Did There (New Year's Eve Snow Storm)

One thing you can count on about Texas weather is that you can't count on it. So, when they predicted ice and snow for New Year's Eve into New Year's Day, we had no idea what to expect. But it came through and we thought we'd share a few pics from it! We're thankful for the moisture from the storm and for God's mercy in the weather.


New Year's Eve day started out rainy and turned to icy rain and then it turned to snow:
Ice Storm Ice on Trees

By the next morning several inches had fallen. Our cows had tried to take shelter under our porch roof in the middle of the night so Dave had to get up a few times to shoo them out. Most people wake up groggy on New Year's Day for "different" reasons; ours was "cow shooing" in the night haha:
House & Snow

Our firewood pile got completely covered with snow. Thankfully, we had staged a lot of firewood under the porch roof before the storm so we had nice dry wood to keep the stove going. Dave builds a mean fire and the house was nice and warm, thank the Lord:
Firewood & Snow

This is one of our garden areas:
Garden & Snow

The cows didn't seem to mind the snow much after it had stopped falling and enjoyed their New Year's Day breakfast "alfresco":
Cows at the Hay Bale in the Snow

Our local hay man was so kind and thoughtful to contact us and ask if we wanted him to deliver any hay before the storm. It would be difficult to deliver afterwards due to mud, etc. So he dropped off a few bales and Dave put out a couple for the cows before the storm arrived:
Hay Bales & Snow

The weight of the ice and snow on tree branches wreaked a lot of havoc all over the region. The power in our local town went out for many hours due to fallen branches, etc. And Dave has been busy cutting up more firewood from the fallen branches all over our land. We're very thankful no person or animal was injured by any fallen branches:
Broken Tree Branches After Ice & Snow Storm

Here's a token goat picture for any goat lovers. We brought all the goats in the barn to keep them warm and dry. Elvis is sporting his black and dark blue checkered ensemble:
Goats in the Barn During Snow Storm

On New Year's Day our neighbors snuck over and were building a snowman behind our house but I happened to look out the window and we came out and caught them. I think it's the equivelant of getting your house "TP'd" haha. With an excellent suggestion from one of the children, we decided to call the snowman "Bill":
Neighbor Children Building a Snowman

Here are the usual suspects (all very special and precious to us) and Bill!
Neighbor Children & Their Snowman

Then yesterday we had another snow storm come through which dropped even more snow than this one. I'd better go look to make sure there are no new snowmen behind our house. :))

Sue

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

David's Digest: Of Sin's Filthiness & Abundant Wickedness

James 1:21 - "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Whether we like it or not, or believe it or not, our hearts are full of uncleanness and wickedness:
Jer 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

This is a result of the fall, and the continued sin in man through all generations. It is as odious as odious can be to a perfectly holy and righteous God. But we don't want to believe it, really, about ourselves; yet, the Bible says it's there.

Puritan Thomas Manton in his most excellent work "A Practical Commentary, or an Exposition with Notes, on the Epistle of James" paints a picture of sin's filthiness and depth of wickedness.

You can listen to all of verse 21 here:


or download it:
Download


The entire book is scanned in here: https://archive.org/stream/apracticalcomme01mantgoog/apracticalcomme01mantgoog_djvu.txt...

...or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Manton - James Commentary


From Thomas Manton:

Verse 21. - Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.


Obs 5. From that word filthiness. Sin is filthiness. It sullies the glory and beauty of the soul, defaces the image of God. This expression is often used, "Filthiness of flesh and spirit" (2 Cor. vii. 1), where not only gross wickedness, such as proceeds from fleshly and brutish lusts, is called filthiness, but such as is more spiritual, unbelief, heresy, or misbelief, etc., nay, original corruption is called so, "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" (Job xiv. 4.) "How can man be clean?" (Job xv. 14.)

Nay, things glorious in the eyes of men: duties they are called dung, because of the iniquity that is found in them: "I will spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts" (Mai. ii. 3).

So it was in God's eyes. The Spirit of God everywhere uses comparisons taken from things that are most odious, that our hearts may be wrought into the greatest detestation of sin. Certainly they are much mistaken that think sin an ornament, when the Spirit of God calls it dung and excrement. But more especially I find three sins called filthiness in Scripture:

(1.) Covetousness, because it debases the spirit of man, and makes him stoop to such indecencies as are beneath humanity; so it is said, "filthy lucre" (1 Pet. V. 2).

(2.) Lust, which in Scripture dialect is called filthiness, or the sin of uncleanness (1 Thess. iv. 7), because it makes a man to subject or submit his desires to the beasts' happiness, which is sensual pleasures.

(3.) In this place [here in James; see the verses leading into vs 21: vs 19-20] anger and malice are called filthiness. We please ourselves in it, but it is but filthiness. It is brutish to yield to our rage and the turbulent agitation of our spirits, and not to be able to withstand a provocation. It is worse than poison in toads or asps, or what may be conceived to be most filthy in the creatures. Poison in them does hurt others, it cannot hurt themselves: anger may not hurt others, it cannot choose but hurt us.

[The Solution:] Well then, all that hath been said is an engagement to us to resist sin, to detest it as a defilement. It will darken the glory of our natures. There are some spots that are not as "the spots of God's children" (Deut. xxxii. 5). Oh! let us get rid of these "filthy garments", (Zech. iii. 4, 5), and desire change of raiment, the righteousness of Christ. Ay, but there are some lesser sins that are spots too: "The garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 23); unseemly words are called "filthiness" (Ephes. v. 4), and duties "dung".


Obs 6. From that superfluity of wickedness. That there is abundance of wickedness to be purged out of the heart of man. Such a fulness as runs over, a deluge of sin; "All the imaginations of the heart are evil, only evil, and that continually" (Gen. vi. 5). It runs out into every thought, into every desire, into every purpose. As there is saltness in every drop of the sea, and bitterness in every branch of wormwood; so sin in every thing that is framed within the soul. Whatever an unclean person touched, though it were holy flesh, it was unclean: so all our actions are poisoned with it.

We read of the "overspreading of abominations" (Dan. ix. 27); and David said, "They are all become vile, and gone out of the way" (Psa. xiv.); all, and all over.

In the understanding there are filthy thoughts and purposes, there sin begins; fish stink first at the head.

In the will filthy motions; the affections mingle with filthy objects.

The memory, that should be like the ark, the chest of the law, retains, like the grate of a sink, nothing but mud and filthiness.

The conscience is defiled and stained with the impurities of our lives.

The members [of our physical body] are but instruments of filthiness. A rolling eye provokes a wanton fancy, and stirs up unclean glances, "Having eyes full of adultery" (2 Pet. ii. 14): in the original, "full of the adulteress".

The tongue bewrays the rottenness of the heart in filthy speaking.

[The Solution:] Oh! what cause have we to bless God that there is "a fountain opened for uncleanness"! (Zech. xiii. 1.) Certainly conversion is not an easy work, there is such a mass of corruption to be laid aside.


May we see the filthiness and pervasive wickedness in our sin, even the smaller ones. May God grant us His Son's perfect righteousness, and cleansing from the blood of Christ. May He grant us a hatred of sin as it is an offense to a perfect and holy God, and a desire for holiness and purity in living. And may He grant that we do these out of love for Him!

-- David

Friday, December 18, 2020

Movin' The Hay Roll Old-School

Our tractor and truck recently both wouldn't start, the tractor with a hay spike for moving hay rolls, and the truck as a backup using a chain to drag them out. And our cows were an hungering, so with some help from the neighbor boys, we did it old-school -- rolling it out by hand!

And we take you along for the ride in this video:



We thank the Lord for able bodies to even do this and help from friends, and we thank Him for all His provisions, both temporal and spiritual!

-- David

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 2020 8th Chick Hatching

We are very thankful to the Lord for granting our 8th chick hatching of 2020!

We found this mommy in the barn on a bunch of eggs, and moved her into the brooder barn, and by God's granting she did her job, and hatched out quite a few! I'm not sure exactly how many there are, although we did lose one a couple of days after it was hatched, but the rest are still going strong!
8th 2020 Chick Hatching
More of 8th 2020 Chick Hatching

And here's their video. Watching the new life here reminds me of this verse:
John 11:25 - "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"

Once again, we thank God for His provisions of these new chicks, and we pray they're used for His glory and the benefit of others!

-- David

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Psalm Singing - December 2020

Sue & I just finished recording the next set of Psalms, 85A-89H, from the psalter we use, as always so we would have something to hopefully help us learn them better, and maybe help others learn the Psalms as well.

And here they are:



(If the above player doesn't work, or if you would like to save any of the files locally to your computer, you can click the Download link below, or right click it and click Save As in the popup menu.)

Psalms 85A-89H


Ps 150:6 - "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord."

-- David


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

Psalms 66A-68E

Psalms 69A-71D

Psalms 72A-76B

Psalms 77A-78H

Psalms 79A-84B

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Goat Breeding Time 2020!

It was that time of year again, to put our male goats and females together for mating season. We wait until now to try to get any offspring being born in April, when most of the cold weather is typically over.

This year, we had kept two of our female goat kids in order to increase the herd, but didn't want to breed them this year as we feel they are just a little too small still.

And so, we moved them to their own field, and put the billies and nannies together, and here's the video of all that fun and frolicking adventure!



We thank the Lord for His continued provisions, and pray He might grant the offspring next year, according to His will!

-- David

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Garden - Spring, Summer & Fall 2020

Just catching up on the garden this 2020, after our Spring-time update. The Lord has been very, very gracious in what He has granted this year...

The zucchinis were coming in fast and furious, and we needed a way to preserve them, so we decided to lacto-ferment as much as we could. That meant lots of shredding, so to help Sue out so she didn't have to hand-grate everything, we got this nifty contraption that worked just great!
Handcrank Vegetable Shredder

And here are some results!
Grating Zucchini
Stored Grated Zucchini
More Zucchini
Still More Zucchini

We had some help from the neighbor children too!
Neighbor Children Helping Grate Zucchini

And Sue made some yummies from it all too!

Zucchini muffins:
Zucchini Bread Cupcakes

Breaded zucchini:
Breaded Zucchini

Zucchini cake:
Zucchini Cake

Here's some okra. We did get a few beans, but those just didn't work out:
Okra & Green Beans

For the okra, we're storing them in cheap apple cider vinegar. This works great, even over a long period of time. Before we eat them, Sue soaks them in a bowl of water to remove some of the tartness, and that works well too.
Preserved Okra

Here was the garden back in early August:
Garden August 2020

And then October before our first potential freezes. We tried to get the zucchinis and okra through (a little spooky on the okra :) ):
Garden October 2020
Zucchini Plants Covered for Freeze
Okra Plants Covered for Freeze

And here are the Goji berry plants, with a bunch of berries!
Goji Berry Plants October 2020

And this is the garden after the freeze. After we took off the blankets, we ended up getting hit with a freeze on a night that it wasn't supposed to. It did hurt the zucchinis:
Garden After Freeze
More Garden After Freeze

But, with a freeze, it was time to go get any sweet potatoes out of the ground God might have granted, and here they are, including supervisor William making sure everything is copacetic!
Harvesting Sweet Potatoes
More Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

And the final haul inside for curing, and then eventually wrapping in newspaper for long-term storage:
Curing Sweet Potatoes

Finally, this is the garden as of today. Not much left:
Garden November 2020

But, some of the zucchini plants actually started to recover from the freeze, grow new leaves, and one put out it looks like one more zucchini for the road!
Last Zucchini Growing

As I said, the Lord was very gracious this year. Here are the final jars of preserved zucchini and okra. The jar on the left is the top-numbered pint jar, the counting of quart jars in the middle picked up after that number, and then the jar on the right is our final-count okra jar:
Final Preserved Zucchini & Okra Jars

We are humblingly thankful to God for His most gracious provisions. It's such a blessing to see Him work His direct providence in the garden, watching Him apply the water and nutrients to plants to produce fruit. We pray He do the same in our hearts, producing the fruit of the Spirit, for His glory and maybe the benefit of others!

-- David