Tuesday, September 15, 2020

David's Digest: Be Watchful of Wrath

James 1:20 - "For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

In every interaction with our fellow man, especially about religious subjects or God's word, there is the matter of the discussion (ie. the topic), and there is the manner of how it is brought forth. The manner is just as important as the matter, because if the manner is improper, the matter, and thus the purpose of the discussion, is lost, and even Christ's character of humility, that we are to emulate (Matt 11:29), is marred.

Puritan Thomas Manton in his most excellent work "A Practical Commentary, or an Exposition with Notes, on the Epistle of James" cautions us to be careful how we bring forth truths, where an improper manner defeats the purpose, and causes more conflict.

You can listen to all of verse 20 here:

or download it:

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 20. - For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Here he renders a reason of the last clause [vs. 19: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:], why they should take heed of this indignation and rising of their hearts against the word, because the wrath of man would hinder them from attaining that righteousness, and accomplishing that duty, which God requireth in his word.


Obs 1. From the context, the worst thing that we can bring to a religious controversy is anger. The context speaks of anger occasioned by differences about the word. Usually no affections are so outrageous as those which are engaged in the quarrel of religion; for then that which should bridle the passion is made the fuel of it, and that which should restrain undue heats and excesses engages them. However, this should not be.

Christianity, of all religions, is the meekest and most humble. It is founded upon the blood of Christ, who is a lamb slain. It is consigned and sealed by the Spirit of Christ, who descended like a dove. Both are emblems of a meek and modest humility; and should a meek religion be defended by our violences, and the God of peace served with wrathful affections, and the madness of an evil nature bewray itself in the best cause? Christ's warfare needs not such carnal weapons; as Achish said, "Have I need of madmen" (1 Sam. xxi. 15), so hath Jesus Christ need of our passions and furies? Does the God of heaven need a "tongue set on fire of hell?" (James iii. 6.) Michael the archangel was engaged in the best cause against the worst adversary, with Satan about the body of Moses; and yet the purity of his nature would not permit him to profane his engagement with any excess and indecency of passion: "He durst not bring against him a railing accusation" (Jude 9).

And as the wrath of man is unsuitable to the matters of God, so it is also prejudicial. When tongue is sharpened against tongue, and pen against pen, what follows? Nothing but mutual animosities and hatreds, whereby, if we gain aught [anything] of truth, we lose much of love and goodness. Satan would fain [be glad to] be even with God. The devil's kingdom is mostly ruined by the rage of his own instruments, and you cannot gratify Satan more than when you wrong the truth by an unseemly defence of it; for then he [Satan] seems to be quits [even] with Christ, overturning his [Christ's] kingdom by those which are engaged in the defence of it.

Briefly then, if you would do good, use a fit means. The barking dog loses the prey: violence and furious prosecution seldom gain. Those engage most successfully that use the hardest arguments and the softest words; whereas railings and reviling, as they are without love, so they are without profit. Be watchful: our religious affections may often overset us.

May God grant we be meek and lowly, as Christ tells us to learn from Him, even in our approaches with others when we have the truth on our side, and may He grant we always represent Him well wherever we are or with whomever we are engaged in interactions.

-- David

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 2020's 4th & 5th Chick Hatchings

The Lord has graciously granted our 4th and 5th chick hatchings of 2020! Both have some interesting stories...

This first mommy I believe was hatched last year, and when older last year was attacked by a hawk! I was able to get out there quickly to scare it off, but she was lying on the ground looking dead. When I picked her up, I realized she wasn't, and took her into our brooder barn to a place of hopeful recovery. Well, she recovered from the initial shock, but couldn't walk very well. But over the next few days, God granted she continue to recover, and by His graces she did fully! From all this, I called her "Hawk Girl". :)

And so, when she got broody this year, I thought it'd be great if after all that, she hatched out some chicks, and again by God's graces she did! She hatched out 6 initially, but one didn't make it past a couple of days, but the other 5 are still going strong today! I call her "Hawk Mommy" now. :)

And here she is with her chicks:

4th 2020 Chick Hatchlings
More 4th 2020 Chick Hatchlings

Now, one day, Sue walked into our camper and down the stairs under the desk, there was a mama chicken and 2 chicks! What? And then we found the nest -- up the stairs of the 5th wheel, into the bedroom, in a nook next to the bed. We think she got spooked by a cat, and that's why she was down stairs. I still want to know how she and 2 little tiny chicks made it down the stairs! :)

Anyway, there were quite a few eggs left, and one was starting to hatch, so we gathered her up and the eggs and put them all in the brooder barn to see if she needed to finish. In monitoring the chick process, the one wasn't continuing to hatch, and another was also hatching but didn't seem to be making progress, so I decided to go ahead and help, even though apparently it's supposed to weaken the chicks we've heard, but also, if you don't get them out of the shell, they won't make it. I got them mostly hatched, and put them back in the nest, and we waited to see what happened.

Well, those 2 ended up making it ok, and another hatched after! And so, she ended up with 5 as well! What a nice special gift from God!

And here they are:

5th 2020 Chick Hatchlings
More 5th 2020 Chick Hatchlings

And this is a video of each group, including when we found camper mommy initially, and a catchup addendum to them all as of today:

We are very grateful to the Lord for granting these chicks, for sparing Hawk Mommy last year, and to bring her this year to perpetuating the flock, for the special camper chicks gift, and for their continued health and safety!

-- David

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Psalm Singing - August 2020

In the past, we have recorded Psalms from the psalter we use so we would have something to hopefully help us learn them better, and maybe help others learn the Psalms as well. Wanting to continue doing that, for the same reasons, but with things a little different here now, I decided to indeed continue but with Sue and I making the recordings.

And so, just recently we finished recording the next set of Psalms, 79A-84B, where we both sang them through on the melody the first time, and then sang them through again starting on the melody, but broke off into the harmony parts on the middle verse or half way through, as usual.

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 79A-84B

We pray the praises of the blessed Lord God of all the universe is ever in our hearts and in our mouths!

-- 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

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

David's Digest: Be Watchful of Pleasures

James 1:14 - "but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.

All three of our spiritual enemies -- our own sin/carnal man, Satan, and the world -- work together to hurt and destroy our souls. Now, Satan and the world cannot make us sin -- that's our own, but they do certainly entice, and then as the verse says, we are dragged away by our own evil desires. I believe this dragging away can also include how much the things of the world distract us from the things of God; and put in favor of God, even in our hearts and minds, they can become idols in our lives.

Puritan Thomas Manton in his most excellent work "A Practical Commentary, or an Exposition with Notes, on the Epistle of James" cautions us to be careful of things that please the senses, as they can play a part in bringing us to sin.

You can listen to all of verse 14 here:

or download it:

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:

Secondly, observe, the next way of lust [generally, any corrupt desire of the heart, not just sexual] is by flattery, being "enticed"; it comes lapped up in the bait of pleasure, and that mightily prevails with men: "Serving divers lusts and pleasures" (Titus iii. 3). That is one of the impediments of conversion; lust promises delight and pleasure. So "Wickedness is sweet in his mouth, and he hideth it under his tongue" (Job XX. 12). It is an allusion to children, that hide a sweet morsel under their tongues, lest they should let it go too soon.

Neither is this only meant of sensual [things pleasing the senses, not just sexual] wickedness, such as is conversant about meats, drinks, and carnal comforts; but spiritual, as envy, malice, griping plots to undo and oppress others. "They rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked" (Prov. ii. 14). Revenge is sweet, oppression is sweet, to a carnal heart: so "It is a sport to a fool to do mischief" (Prov. x. 23): they are enticed with a kind of pleasure of that which is mischievous to another. Well then,

1. Learn to suspect things that are too delightful: carnal objects tickle much, and beget an evil delight, and so fasten upon the soul. It is time to "put a knife to the throat," when you begin to be tickled with the sweets of the world. Your foot is in the snare, when the world cometh in upon you with too much delight.

That which you should look after in the creatures, is their usefulness, not their pleasantness: that is the bait of lust [any corrupt desire]. The philosopher could say, that natural desires are properly "to what is necessary." Solomon said, "Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, when it moveth itself right" (Prov. xxiii. 31).

You need not create allurements to your fancy, and by the eye invite the taste. There are stories of heathens, that would not look upon excellent beauties, lest they should be ensnared. Pleasures are but enticements, baits that have hooks under them. The harlot's lips drop honey in the greeting, and wormwood in the parting (Prov. vii.); like John's book, honey in the mouth and wormwood in the bowels. God has made man of such a nature, that all carnal delights leave impressions of sorrow at their departure.

2. Learn what need there is of great care: pleasure is one of the baits of lust [corrupt desire]. The truth is, all sins are rooted in love of pleasure; therefore be watchful: noon-day evils are most dangerous, and such things do us most mischief as betray us with smiles and kisses.

Heathens were out that advised to pleasures, that by experience we might be weaned from them; as Tully said of youth, by use of pleasures let us learn to disdain them, as the desires are deadened and flattened to an accustomed object. But alas, this is the bait of lust, rather than the cure. Poor souls, they did not know a more excellent way! It is true, some curiosity is satisfied by experience; but, however, the spirit grows more sottish and sensual [run by pleasing the senses].

Wicked men, when once they are taken in that snare, are in a most sad condition, and think that they can never have enough of sensual pleasures [those aimed at the senses], all delight seems to them too short; as one wished for a crane's neck, that he might have the longer relish of meats and drinks; and Tacitus spoke of another glutton, that though he could satisfiy his stomach, yet not his fancy or lust; his womb was sooner filled than his eye.

May God grant us the desire and the help to be very careful about the things of this world that please the senses, including how much affection we have for and time we spend with them, and may He grant our hearts and minds be focused more and more each day on the Lord Christ Jesus and on the things above!

-- David

Monday, August 3, 2020

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 2020's Goat Kids

Back in November of last year, it came time for our annual goat breeding season -- when we put the females with their respective males -- in hopes the Lord grants goat kids in the Spring!

Well, indeed God graciously did, and here's a little update...

First, over the Winter we lost one of our favorite does, Hannah. She succumbed to something pretty quickly over a day and a half or so. She was one of a kind -- sometimes we called her Houdini, because she would be hooked up to the fence line or in a shed, and Sue would turn around to do something, and then Hannah would walk up behind her. And so, Sue would hook her up again, and turn around, and not long after, again, Hannah would walk up! :) She was also our most LaMancha breed of the females we had, and I had wanted to keep one of her female offspring, but the Lord in His perfect wisdom and goodness had other plans. But, we are thankful for the time He granted her to be with us, and the offspring and milk from her over the years. We miss her! This is she with her kid from last year. Bye Hannah-bo-banna...

Hannah from 2019

But, continuing on, we try to time it in November so the kids are born when it's past the cold, but we had later cold this year, so it was goat coat time! :D

Here are two of the bucklings in a barn stall with their mommy Nellie:

Nellie and Her Two Kids in the Barn

And Annie with her triplets, two bucklings and a doeling. With this one, the first kid started trying to come out back (not back end, but back) first! So, Midwife Sue got in there, spun the kid around to get hooves heading out, and then Annie was able to deliver that kid, and then kids two and three came out shortly after (we show just after kid three was born in the video below). Wow! Thanks to the Lord for helping Sue and for granting the safe deliveries!

Annie and Her Three Kids

And Adeline with her two bucklings:

Adeline and Her Two Kids

Finally, Lucy brought up the rear this year, although sadly she gave birth to two underdeveloped, stillborn kids (last year, she aborted all her kids prematurely). And the little doeling that was born was pretty feeble, so Sue syringe-fed her mama's colostrum for a couple of days. But the Lord saw fit to keep the little one going and get stronger, and she ended up doing just fine, thanks to God!

Lucy's Kid

Here are a few more pics:

Goat Kids in Coats in a Shed

Goat Kids on Hay Bale

Goat Kids with Mamma

To start to replenish the herd, we decided to keep the two doelings, so they are officially part off the group now, Hassie and Lilly (you can see more of them in the video below)!

Lastly, here's the video of them all for this year (BTW, in the video, one of the females we're keeping isn't "Haddie", it's "Hassie" :) ) :

We are very grateful to God for these continued provisions; the milk He grants from them (which is why we raise goats); again, the safe deliveries for the moms and youngin's, and His guidance for Sue as "midwife"; and for granting continued perpetuation of the herd!

-- David

Monday, July 20, 2020

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: Tasha's Quint-essential 2020 Turkey Chicks

Well, it was that time of year again, where our heritage turkey hens get broody. Tasha, our star mommy, got broody in a little nook in a pile of "stuff" in our barn. So, I decided to move her and the eggs into our brooder barn (formerly the summer kitchen), with a nice nest, and private, but after a couple of days, she wouldn't sit on them. So, back went the eggs into the nook nest, and her free, and lo and behold, she started sitting on them again. Then, the strategy became, let her hatch them out, and hopefully we can gather her and the chicks and put them in the brooder barn.

Well, 28 days or so later, sure enough, little turkey chicks (I call them "turklets", like "chicklets" ;) ) started showing. We wanted to let her finish hatching, but didn't want to wait long because of our cats potentially getting them. But then, we came home one day, and things were in some chaos, so something had happened, and so we tried to round up the chicks and her, and get them in the brooder barn. It went ok, although I believe we lost one in the process. Still, she had been sitting on quite a few eggs, and we were able to get her and five live turklets inside.

These chicks have always seemed fragile over the years, and so we had no idea what to expect. In fact, another turkey hen or ours, Olivia, recently started sitting, and they started to hatch out, all three or four were basically out of the shell, but dead when I found them. Always so sad. But, by God's graces, Tasha's grew, and continued to.

Here they are fairly young, maybe a couple of weeks after hatching:

New 2020 Turkey Chicks

More New 2020 Turkey Chicks

And then perched with mommy for the night. She's very protective, so any resupplying of water and food had to be done at night, or she might go crazy and try to fly out the window, which she has done :) :

Turkey Chicks Perched for the Night on Fencing

More Turkey Chicks Perched for the Night on Fencing

Last year, after shortly letting out Tasha and her two turkets, something happened one night in the barn, and then next morning, one had disappeared, and the other was terminally injured, so we lost both of them. They weren't tiny when we let them out, but I wondered if perhaps that was part of the cause of their loss. And so, this year, I wanted to keep them in the brooder barn longer.

And here is their video, from when they were younger, to the perch night, to freedom day, and a little beyond! (I do mention these are the only ones she hatched out, but that wasn't correct, as noted above.)

And finally here they are recently hanging out up in the tree:

Turkey Chicks Perched for the Tree

We are grateful to the Lord for these new provisions, and we pray they continue in health, in accordance with His perfectly wise and good will!

-- David

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Song - The Armor of God

After putting together a little song to help remember the names of God, called Jehovah is His Name!, I had wanted to do something with the armor of God, which over the last few years has become more of a focus in Sue and my spiritual walks.

Here is the Scripture text I used:

Ephesians 6:10-18:
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

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

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

I had a tune I had already written called "I Hate Cockleburs", in honor of the time spent pulling them out by hand in our 11-acre north field, and since, continuing to sweep that field, clearing them twice yearly before they seed out. The "lyrics" went like this:
I hate cockleburs, yes I do
I hate cockleburs, how 'bout you?
I hate cockleburs, I hate cockleburs,
I hate cockleburs, yes I do!

(On a doctrinal aside, I don't "hate" them as I hope I hate sin. And actually, I recognize weeds and the like as a reminder of God's hatred of sin when He cursed the ground [see Gen 3:17-19] and His perfect wisdom and goodness in bringing them forth. And so, I use the word "hate" as something of typical usage, and because it fit with the tune's meter. :) But, to return...)

The cockleburs were indeed a pain. But, the effort in pulling them paid off, and there are very few now every year. And each time I try to remember to ask God to weed the gardens of our hearts, so there will be good soil, and no thorns or weeds. See Matt 13:1-23

Also, the tune is in a minor key, and I thought that would work well with a song about armor and battles.

And so, over a fairly long period of time, the Lord did grant I finally finish working out the lyrics with the cocklebur melody, and adding the harmony parts. With this one, as with when I did Moses' Song of the Sea from Exodus 15, I attempted to stay as close to the actual Scripture verses themselves as possible, trying to use only minimal artistic license to make it all work out. :)

This is the sheet music:

The Armor of God

And a PDF:
The Armor of God (PDF)

And an instrumental audio version:

The Armor of God - Instrumental (MP3)

Here, Sue and I sing it with the accompaniment:

The Armor of God - Vocal (MP3)

May God grant us His armor daily so we might resist the devil, and his and the world's distractions and temptations, and we thank the Lord for His armor and His blessed word, the Bible!

-- David

Saturday, June 27, 2020

New Pig Pen Fencing - Update I

One thing out here is things seem to go much more slowly than anticipated. :) God's providence as first cause -- His bringing about all things according to His will and plans -- but, by means of other priorities becoming more important, other things to fix, etc.

Well, back in 2016, I started replacing our old pig fencing in the main pig pen with new cinder block/cattle panel fence sections I started making as part of an extension to the original pig pen back in 2014.

Last year, I started getting back to working on this main pig fence area, and recently finally finished all the panel sections and got them in place! Yea! :D

In the 2016 blog post above, I show in the video the first few sections being done. And here is a picture from 2017 of the whole one side being done:

New Pig Pen Siding, Side 1 Complete

And here are some more ready to haul over using our goat shack caddy:

2 New Pig Pen Cinder Block Cattle Panel Sections Ready for Hauling

Once there, I opened the previous fence line:

Opened Pig Pen Side

And started dragging them in, sliding one end at a time back and forth:

Sliding Section

More Sliding Section

And stood and scooted them into place:

Siding Section in Place

It's like a parade! ;)

Sliding More Sections

And here's that whole back side done:

Pig Pen Side Two Done

Pig Pen Side Two Done, Other Direction

Then, it was off to the short sides. After cleaning out the previous fencing and t-posts, I slid the panels in place, and here's the first short side done. What's nice about these cinder block cattle panel sections is you can curve them around, which helps when trying to join with another fence line where there is no corner post:

Pig Pen Short Side Done

Pig Pen Short Side Done, Other Direction

This is the last side before cleaning out the previous fencing...lots of previous hacking at it to try to keep it acting as a fence: :)

Old Dilapidated Fencing

More Old Dilapidated Fencing

And here's that last side, finally done!

Final Pig Pen Siding Done

More Final Pig Pen Siding Done

I just have to wire them all together now, and then Lord willing we'll perhaps test it all out with a new piggy or two! :D

Always we are thankful to the Lord for His provisions, and safety in working with these things -- even though one person can move them, they're still pretty heavy, and I have strained my back before, but God mercifully granted that I not this time, and I am thankful!

-- David

Monday, June 15, 2020

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: 2nd & 3rd 2020 Chick Hatchings

The Lord graciously granted our next two chick hatchings of 2020, the 2nd and 3rd so far!

This mommy was in the barn loft, and so we grabbed her and her eggs and put her in the brooder barn (formerly known as the summer kitchen), and she hatched out a bunch of them! I think only a few eggs didn't hatch, and all her hatchlings are still there, except for one...

At night, I put lanterns with the hens and chicks to give them at least a better shot at defending against small intruders, like snakes, which we've had a lot of problems with, in that, they get in there and eat or try to eat the chicks. Well, one night as I went in there to set them up for the night, one of the chicks already had a small snake attached to its head, and that snake had basically just suffocated it because I don't believe it could have swallowed the chick. So, sadly, that's the one chick we lost of the bunch, and there's one less snake now too :) , but we are thankful for the ones God has granted to continue:

2nd New 2020 Chicks

More 2nd New 2020 Chicks

And here's group 3 I believe. Sadly here too, the day after I took these pictures and video below, one of the chicks was very sick, and died just a few hours later. And, there's one chick that seems to have neurological or vision problems, but is able to maintain itself, so we'll see how that little one fares in the end, and we pray the Lord might help it, and help it to be a productive member of the flock, if He might grant:

3rd New 2020 Chicks

More 3rd New 2020 Chicks

Finally, here's the video of the two groups:

As always, we are very thankful to the Lord for these provisions, the eggs He grants from them, and the meat as well!

-- David

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Garden - Spring 2020

After taking a land sabbath last year, and doing lots of land prep, it was time to get back to planting and by God's graces growing a garden!

And here is where things are as of a few days ago. When I'm watering each plant, I think how each one is a little miracle from God! A little seed, in the ground, a little tender bud, the plant growing, and then being fruitful if God wills.

Can I make these plants grow and make a bean? No. It's God that gives the increase.

And it's the same spiritually:
1 Cor 3:6-7 - "6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."

Both in the garden, and in the garden of our hearts, truly miracles of grace from the Lord!

But now, back to the garden on our homestead...

Here it is overall:

Garden Spring 2020

And sweet potato plants:

Sweet Potato Plants

Green bean plants:

Green Bean Plants

Zucchini plants and zucchini:

Zucchini Plants


More Zucchini

The first haul!

Still More Zucchini

And okra plants:

Okra Plants

And a few years ago, we were given a Goji berry plant, and it has hung in there:

Goji Berry Plant

With some berries!

Goji Berries

One of the valves on our cistern spigot drips slightly, and all Winter we had it dripping on this Goji plant. We heard they send off root shoots, and boy, did it shoot them off! The main plant is on the left, and all the rest of the offshoots. It's starting to spread out nicely!

Goji Berry Plant Spreading Root Shoots

Here is a volunteer sweet potato plant from, I assume, plantings of a couple of years ago!

Volunteer Sweet Potato Plant

And here is one of two black berry plants that were given to us I believe the same time the Goji was. One hasn't come back, but this one has "died" back a few times, but is still going:

Black Berry Plant

Finally, this is our compost pile. That square is probably a couple of feet longer than the length of a shovel:

Compost Pile

After "processing" our over-aggressive roosters here, we put the remains in the compost pile, but something has discovered that free lunch and digs them out, and you can see left-overs strewn about:

Compost Pile Chicken Parts

We are very thankful to the Lord for granting us the opportunity and provisions to plant a garden this year! And we pray for and are grateful to Him for any increase He might grant, in our garden, in our hearts, and in the hearts of our families, friends, those we know, and even those we don't. We pray the Lord grant a great increase in His kingdom, and may He guide and use us in what small ways He might in the planting and watering of people's hearts to that end!

-- David