Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Providence's Prerogatives: Tasha's Two 2019 Turkey Chicks & Tragedy

Those who follow our blog might notice the difference in the title. Usually for these types of blog posts about God providing perpetuation provisions, we include that exactly in the title. However, this situation sadly ended up a little different than normal...

Tasha, one of the offspring from the heritage breed Black Turkey that showed up on our homestead one day, and the Tom we got as her mate, got broody, sitting outside somewhere, and I was thankfully able to grab her and the eggs and get her into what has become our brooder building (formerly known as our summer kitchen...it's just worked out that way :) ).

And in due time, she hatched out 4 turkey chicks! (I call them "turklets", like "chicklets" ;) )

But, through experience, we have come to understand that these turklets are quite fragile, or they get eaten by a snake (I've done some filling of the wall gaps in the brooder building to try to help with that, and we put a lantern in there at night so the mommy can see and perhaps fight off the snake), and for any of them to make it seems something extraordinary. 2 indeed did die, but 2 continued to make it.

Here's one early on. You can see how tiny they are:

2019 Tiny Heritage Breed Turkey Chick


And then both a little older with their mommy:

2019 Young Heritage Breed Turkey Chicks


When they got to be about the size we usually let them out, it was time to do so. And we did, and they began their adventure in God's creation, where they should be. And at night, we'd make sure they were in the barn for hopeful safety.

But that has sadly not always turned out to be the case (see the loss of Gigi our goose). A few days later, I went into the barn in the morning to let all the animals out, and I discovered one of the turklets was on the ground with its little head weaving back and forth across its back, which is a sign of something severely wrong; and the other turklet was nowhere to be found. I rushed the injured one into the brooder building, and tried to care for it as best I could, but indeed whatever happened to it was serious, and it died I believe by the next day. And we never found the body of the other turklet, although there was the smell of death near the front walk-in door (that's real life on a farm), but after searching extensively, still never found anything.

We still don't know what happened. But it was a shock, and very sad.

But here is the important point:

The God of all creation owns it all as such, and it is His for Him to disperse and dispense with as He wills. I would encouurage you to read all of Job 1, which some would say is the first book of the Bible actually written. Satan asks God's permission to tempt Job (notice even the devil must take leave of God before acting), the Lord grants it with limitations, and almost everything Job had was taken from him -- his animals, servants, and even his children. Not quite like losing a couple of turkey chicks, but with those much greater losses, what was Job's response:
Job 1:20-22 - "20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,

21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
"

And there you go. He was sad, but submitted to God's sovereign providences willingly, not murmuring, and even worshipping the Lord in it.

May this be our response to the hand of God in like situations. And may we recognize His mercies in these things too -- He could have taken the whole flock but didn't. And may the Lord grant us a true faith to trust Him in His perfect, wise, good, loving, and sovereign will under all circumstances.


And even though the little turklets aren't with us anymore, I still wanted to share the 2 little gifts God granted for a while, which, since He is all wise and good, we pray He has graciously granted some good to our souls through the losses of them.


It's always amazing to me how a little creature can be stuffed into that little egg-chamber (if you've ever seen them in there, they're very scrunched up) and make it's way out. And then to watch them grow...all these miracles of Providence along the way.

But without anything further, here they are on the day we let them out of the brooder building for the first time:

2019 Young Heritage Breed Turkeys

More 2019 Young Heritage Breed Turkey

Still More 2019 Young Heritage Breed Turkey


And then here's their video:




Again, we thank the Lord for His many gifts, and thank Him for His graces and mercies in all things, especially to those He grants for our spiritual benefit, most of all the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit, the greatest gifts ever!

-- David

Monday, September 9, 2019

A House - Update LII - Bathroom Cabinets & Library Bookshelves

It's been over a year since our last house update, so I thought we'd catch up everyone as to the latest progress...

We took a little break from doing anything on the house, but earlier in the year added some cabinets to our bathroom area. Sue felt best to have something enclosed as things get dusty around here so quickly, being on a farm:

Bathroom Cabinets


And then recently we finally got the library going as I've kind of always wanted. Mostly it was just getting the bookshelves into place, and then we could move the books from the other pre-made shelves into them, and then clear out all kinds of stuff from tubs we brought when we moved here almost 14 years ago!

We had to move out the current portable bookshelves. Here is where they were:

Previous Shelves Wall


And then it was on to making the new permanent shelves. I kind of got the idea from a bookshelf in a thrift store I saw once.

Here's the base being built:

Bookshelf Base


Then the shelves half done:

Bookshelf Half Done


Foreman William making sure they're going to be comfortable enough as cat cubbies! ;)

William in the Bookshelf


And here are the bookshelves done height-wise with the sides attached:

Bookshelf with Sides Done


I did have to use a ratchet strap to pull things straight a bit:

Straitening Bookshelves with Ratchet Strap


Since the ends attached from the outside, I added extra braces under each shelf end:

Bookshelf End Braces


And here are the shelves completed:

Completed Bookshelves


And attached to the floor:

Bookshelves Attached to Floor


And the wall on top:

Bookshelves Attached to Floor


And then it was time to start loading!

Books in Bookshelves


And then on to the other wall:

Library Bookshelves on 2nd Wall


With the two bookshelves in place, here is what the library looked like before starting:

Library Storage


And then, needless to say, we have finally purged a lot of things we believe we would no longer use...

Library Cleaned Up

More Library Cleaned Up

Still More Library Cleaned Up


...or stored them in the area above the bathroom/pantry/closet walls, which was part of the purpose of that whole platform:

Upper Storage


As always, we are thankful to the Lord for granting the resources to do these things, and to the folks who have made all of this possible!

May this house be a house of worship to and learning about God at all times!

-- David

Friday, August 23, 2019

Marriage Marker - Our Sweet Sixteenth Wedding Anniversary

Today, Dave and I celebrate our sweet sixteenth wedding anniversary! (WOO-HOO!!) (Well, Dave says we have to wait until 1:30 p.m. Central Time before it's official.....lol)

We are so very thankful to the Lord for granting us the time together that He has, and we always pray He glorify Himself in our marriage, and that He might draw others to Christ through us!

David & Susan Wedding Couple


To give a little background, Dave and I met at the church we both attended. We got "thrown" onto the same church softball team at the last minute. My name had somehow been placed on two rosters, and, little did we know it, our whole future was straddling between two pieces of paper. Our friend, Dorothy, was the one who made the decision to put me on the team Dave was on, so she holds the title of being our match maker :) I had played bobby sox softball in 6th grade but not much since then, so I was pretty rusty and insecure about it. At the first practice, Dave and I ended up being each other's warm up catch partner. I will never forget how kind and patient he was with me. I was throwing the ball all over the place, and he was just steady and respectful and rolled with it. Over the course of the summer, we became friends, and then started dating, and got married almost exactly two years after our first date:

David & Susan Engagement Day


That summer as we slowly became friends, we made discovery after discovery of how like-minded we were, how our upbringings were extremely similar, how we went to the same church at different times growing up, how both of our families were very musical, and our shared love for, of all things, barbershop music. We had both sung in barbershop groups in our youth:

Susan's Barbershop Groups

David's Barbershop Group


And we had a roving barbershop quartet sing before and after our wedding ceremony :)

Barbershop Group 'Q; at Wedding


The list goes on and on and on.....

Backing up a bit, I remember that summer on my 38th birthday, my family took me out for a wonderful birthday brunch, and one of my gifts was a gorgeous frog prince statue to remind me that my Prince Charming was out there, I just hadn't met him yet. I was kind of discouraged, and this was a very thoughtful gift that reminded me "he" was out there! That very afternoon, I got a voicemail from Dave, my new friend on the softball team, asking if I wanted to go to the batting cages with him and his buddy. That was the start of a beeeeeeeeutiful friendship.....

On a side note, I recently found one of my journals that spanned that period of time. I had made the decision a few months beforehand to stop dating and looking for the right guy and focus on my Christian walk and on Christ. I believe God was drawing me to Himself and honored those months of diligently seeking Him and focusing on Him alone. In that journal, I had written down all of the qualities I was looking for in a Godly husband, and when I was reading it the other day, I realized that Dave met every single quality, and I had to laugh and thank God that He did such a better job at finding a husband for me than I could have.

Over the course of those two years of dating, the Lord brought us through some heavy-duty theological issues, and any one of them probably would have been a deal breaker for our relationship, but the Lord seemed to bring us both along and establish a strong, like-minded, Christ-centered bond. It was something I had not experienced in a relationship before, and we both recognized the precious, life-long value of it.

We look back and are astonished that God preserved both of us through a lot of self-inflicted detours and curve balls in each of our lives before bringing us together.

Our worldview had started to change over the course of our dating years, and we knew after we got married, all bets were off and we were probably on our way into uncharted territory. On our wedding day, we had the theme to the Indiana Jones movie play as our recessional, and after our fathers had pronounced us husband and wife (both of our fathers officiated the ceremony), they said in unison "Let the adventure begin!" Don't believe me? Here is that wedding video clip!




And we have NOT been disappointed!

About two years later and after much prayer and consideration, we left our corporate jobs in Silicon Valley and moved to Texas to start our own homestead and live near like-minded Christian families. Our first two years together in California were like introducing our two rabbits, Buttercup and Derbie, and watching them get used to living together and bonding and having a ton of fun together. Yes, it really was a life of bunnies and lollipops. Well, bunnies and Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, to be exact :)

Buttercup & Derby


After moving to Texas it was like throwing Buttercup and Derbie into the path of a predator and watching them cling together for dear life. LOL! I say that partly joking. But the next fourteen years have proven to be the hardest, yet most precious and spiritually rewarding years yet. And I am in awe as I have watched my husband cling to Christ in times of heartache, difficulty, trial and testing. You talk about throwing monkey wrenches into newly married life. We went from a life of ease and uber-convenience to:

  • Living off grid (we lived for 10 years in our 5th wheel trailer before moving into our house, and its amenities actually did help us transition)
  • No piped-in running water
  • No grid electricity, only solar
  • No air conditioning (well, just a smidge the first 1 or 2 summers :) )
  • Learning to live and get along in a close-knit Church community with many different personalities
  • Texas weather!

And we have cultivated trying to find God's working hand of providence, and maybe some humor (Dave makes me laugh all...the...time), in just about anything to keep things in perspective.

In the years we have lived an off-grid homesteading life, Dave has amazed me by rolling up his tech-geek sleeves and truly building a homestead from scratch. And I mean scratch. He is one of the most hard working people I have ever met. He has built a wonderful home for us (with God-sent assistance thoughout), including all kinds of clever inventions to handle all of our quirky farm needs. He never, ever ceases to amaze me. There is never a Honey-do list because as soon as I mention something, he's on it! My mother and father-in-law did a wonderful job of bringing up both of their sons as kind, responsible, resourceful gentlemen. I love my in-laws dearly, as well.

Most importantly, God ordained for me a husband who would lovingly and patiently be my catch partner in life. A man to speak to my struggles and weaknesses and help me in them, to encourage me and walk alongside me into the unknowns of life. Don't get me wrong, this lifestyle can definitely bring out the worst in us, but, I have seen the Holy Spirit slowly and consistently, with all grace, mercy and love, sand away those raw edges in Dave, increasingly manifested by:

  • Consistently modeling Christ to me, loving me as Christ loves the Church
  • Leading me in family worship every evening
  • Choosing charity (love) every day
  • Choosing forgiveness and praying for God not to hold an offense to someone's account (that is a hard prayer)
  • Trusting more and more in God's sovereignty
  • Helping me set boundaries to keep my carnal man in check

Dave makes it easy to submit, as I am called to do as his wife. He helps me want to be a better help meet to Him, and we help each other put on the full armor of God each day.

Dave has been and continues to be the biggest gift in my life, after Christ. I am eternally grateful for the one whom my soul loveth in this life. This sixteenth anniversary is so very sweet, indeed!

All thanks, praise and glory to God!

Susan

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