Monday, June 30, 2008

Don't Be a Chicken

Praise the Lord for the picture He gave us this morning on our front steps. Some of the hens got out of the Hen Pen on Thursday. We thought they were all back in, but this morning we found carnage:


The hen would not have been killed and devoured if she would have stayed or came back into the pen, within the protection of the fence. She was not prepared for the unseen that lay in wait.

Did you know that you are being sought to be devoured?

1 Peter 5:8-9 (NKJV)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Evil is here, seeking to devour you. So how do we resist him, how do we keep steadfast in the faith?

Ephesians 6:10-17 (KJV)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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.
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. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The sword is His Word, the Bible, scripture. What size is your sword? Do you have a pen-knife, paper-plate hat, grocery-bag breastplate, dental-floss belt, cardboard shield, and flip-flops? The battle is real and followers of Christ who are ready to stand need the whole armour of God.

Be prepared. Get into and study God's Word. Pray.

Don't be a chicken.

Friday, June 27, 2008

God Hears and Answers

It was after midnight when he woke up. "I don't feel right. Something is wrong." It hurt to even talk. She sat up as he turned on the light. "I can't catch my breath. It feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest." She looked at him and he was sweating. She felt his skin and it was cold and clammy. "Let me call 911," she said. He replied, "Not yet." She followed him into the living room where he tried to get comfortable. "I can't breathe, my chest is so tight, it feels like an elephant is on it." She felt his pulse and it was weak. "I can call an ambulance or drive you to the hospital." He looked over at his child who had fallen asleep on the oversized chair earlier in the evening. "Don't worry about the children, I can wake them up and put them in the van, it's not a big deal," she tried to console him as he had repeatedly looked at the sleeping child with concern. He thought to himself, "I know my wife will be ok, but I'm sad for my children." He thought he was going to die. After a few minutes, he asked which hospital. The man who never wanted to go to a hospital himself was now ready. She called a friend to ask as they were new to the area had no medical insurance. After a few minutes on the phone, she hung up, knowing that their friend would be praying. The Lord spoke to her. "Pray for him." "Lord, I have been praying for him." "Pray out loud, and touch him." She walked over and put her hand on her precious husband. "Lord, heal him. You know what is wrong. Heal him." Almost immediately he started to breathe easier. Within 30 minutes he was feeling better than he had in a while. God was their medical insurance. God is the Mighty Healer. The Creator of the Universe heard that small voice in the midst of the darkness, and answered that prayer. To God be the glory, forever and ever. Praise the Lord!

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

He will answer you too. Trust Him.

Free Pizza for Homeschoolers

We did this back in Texas and are looking forward to it again here in Missouri. They will send you coupons for individual pan pizzas for you to reward your children with when they meet the reading goals you have set for them.

http://www.bookitprogram.com/enrollment/individual_hs.asp

Who is eligible for the BOOK IT! Program for homeschools?
Any student in grades K-6 (5 years old by September of current school year) that is homeschooled and does not attend any other educational facility.

What are the program dates for 2008-09?October 1, 2008 through March 31, 2009.

When will the 2008-09 materials be shipped to enrolled homeschools?Materials will arrive by early to mid-September.

I believe the deadline for signing-up is June 30. Happy pizza eating!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Betrothal

James McDonald on Betrothal:

I see betrothal as a covenant promise between a man and a woman to marry. It is a covenant commitment that should not be broken, except in the case of death or sexual unfaithfulness. To those with a secular postmodern mind, the concept of betrothal may seem foreign, archaic, and constricting. In a culture where marriage is redefined to include perverted homosexual unions, and couples divorce because they “fell out of love,” how in the world can the postmodern mind grasp the beauty and purity of faithfulness before marriage?

Against the postmodern mind stands the authoritative Word of God. As a Christian family, we strive to make sure that the way we live and think is directed by the Words of Scripture. Of course, we often fall woefully short, but God is gracious to help us learn from the mistakes and sins of the past - to live more faithfully today. And, Lord willing, our children will learn to live even closer to the mark than we have. Most of us did not understand courtship and betrothal when we were young. Perhaps, like me, you had never even heard of it. We grew up in the world. And in the world, after a period of dating, sometimes dating more than one person at a time, you may have become “engaged.” Now, from the world’s perspective, engagement and betrothal are interchangeable. Both may be viewed as a semi-commitment where an announcement is made of an intended wedding and “save the date” cards are sent. But it is not binding - there is no real commitment. It can be broken at any time by either party for any reason. Just as you can break a dinner engagement, you can break a marriage engagement. In fact, if the engagement is broken, most people breathe a heavy sigh of relief. The idea is that it is better to break things off before marriage, so you can save the lawyer’s fees in a future divorce.

Courtship and betrothal stand against this. In our home, courtship is a structured period where a young man and young woman learn about one another, within the natural setting of family and fellowship—in the midst of children, normal laughter, conversation, and even conflict (and how it’s resolved). One-on-one relationships are notorious for the “rose colored glasses” syndrome. A family offers background, conversation—and protection.

The young man must decide if he in fact can love this woman as Christ loves the church. Can his heart safely trust her? Is she indeed a virtuous woman whose worth is far above rubies? Will she make a good helper to him and a good mother to his children?

And the young lady must decide if she in fact can respect and submit to this man as unto the Lord. Will he be a faithful provider, protector, lover, and father to her children? Is he a wise or foolish man? What of his character? Are they theologically aligned? Are they likeminded in areas of importance? Are they in agreement on major life issues?

Courtship is not a time of fluttery romance and unrestrained emotion. That time will come soon enough. We encourage each party to remember that the other may in fact be someone else’s (future) husband or wife. Part of learning to love the other is to spur one another on to good works and self-control – faithfulness to the Lord. During this time, the couple prays for the Lord’s will and the emotions are held in reserve as much as possible.

And, should the young man decide that she is “the one” God has for him; he approaches the young lady’s father, asking for her hand in marriage. If Dad feels the match is a good one, he gives his permission to the young man to “win her heart,” the young man is then free to propose to the young lady. If the young lady has also come to believe that she can love and honor the young man as the church should Christ, she gives the young man her heart. And thus the betrothal begins—a time when they learn to love one another. They grow together emotionally and hearts are bound together. A commitment is made that is not to be broken. Yet still, it’s a time of physical restraint as they look ahead to that coming day of matrimony. That first touch of affection—that powerful moment is saved for the glorious day God has ordained for them—the day they begin their life together as husband and wife.

Again – this is the McDonald version of betrothal. It is our attempt to apply the precepts of the Word and be faithful to our calling as a Christian family. We willingly offer our understanding of Scripture and share our lives with you as a testimony of God’s grace in our lives, not as a “rule” or “burden” for you to follow.

Monday, June 23, 2008

In the Garden




We were out in the garden for a little while this afternoon. We were planning on just picking green beans and peas (they tend to get eaten quickly). However, we found some squash, zucchini, radishes and cucumbers that were ready, as well as a tomato that was not ready.

Matthew 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Frugal

Tuesday we butchered 15 chickens, yum! For my non-biology major friends, the trachea (windpipe) looks like a opaque tube, with ridges all along the length it's pretty tough. Imagine the vaccum hoses at a car wash if they were almost clear. At the evicerating table, a couple of lambs and I were identifying the inards of the chickens as they were removed. (Remember, we school year-round :) Coming from a family of frugal hicks, a quite honest request was made. "Can we save the trachea and use it for a Barbie vaccum cleaner?" Uh, no honey.

Sermons Online

No, not the ram's, he won't record his, yet! But at Sermon Audio you can listen to thousands of sermons online or download them for later. Yes, another odd "hobby" of mine: listening to sermons. Especially contemporaries such as Kevin Swanson, Joseph Morecraft, Ken Ham, and many of the puritans, Pink, Spurgeon, the list goes on! Maybe it's a good thing that we only have dial-up! And, no, this is not a paid endorsement, just sharing another gem!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chapel Library

I know, I am a little strange. Some of my favorite reading material, besides the Bible, comes from authors already passed from this life. Jeff Pollard at Mount Zion has a great gem in the Chapel Library where you can read thousands of pieces of theological writings from the past. If you are like me, and like to actually have paper in hand while reading, they will send you them free, or you can make a donation if you like. Check it out! I feel like a child in a candy store when I visit!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Grandma and Grandpa Visit

We had a wonderful visit with Grandma and Grandpa for Father's Day weekend. Although it was way too short, we had fun playing games and catching up. They are the first to come visit us from Texas, and we are patiently waiting for more visitors, hint, hint! The youngest is very sad in the picture as she wanted Grandma and Grandpa to stay and live with us and realized they were just about to leave.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bull Riding and Such


It's good to be a boy!

Come on out to Sonshine Acres! You can try your hand at rodeo, petting arena, milking stable, pick your own fresh veggies, and we offer lots of southern hospitality! As an added bonus, if you are here at just the right time, you may get to see The Milkmaid chasing Belle down the road. She really likes The Neighbor's handsome bull and today someone left the gate unchained. Yes, it was probably quite hilarious looking at it from the outside. From an insider's view, a large hoofed animal running over your sandaled toes is not hilarious.



collecting mulberries

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pride

When I saw my pride it made me literally ill, praise God! If only all my sin would make me so ill as to want to run screaming away from it and to the Light of the World. Sunday evening my darling (and daring) Ram pointed out a point of pride in my life. Suddenly, I could not breathe. The lack of oxygen caused a tingling sensation across my entire skull. It was a physical response that try as I might, I could not contain or control. The Father had to heal me. I want to have the attitude of Charles Spurgeon. Listen to these words from his autobiography:

While I was on the lower ground, riding in a hansom cab, I saw a light before me, and when I came near the hill, I marked that light gradually go up the hill, leaving a train of stars behind it. This line of new-born stars remained in the form of one lamp, and then another, and another. It reached from the foot of the hill to its summit. I did not see the lamplighter. I do not know his name, nor his age, nor his residence; but I saw the lights which he had kindled, and these remained when he himself had gone his way. As I rode along, I thought to myself, ‘How earnestly do I wish that my life may be spent in lighting one soul after another with the sacred flame of eternal life! I would myself be as much as possible unseen while at my work, and would vanish into eternal brilliance above when my work is done’

O let that be my attitude! May I seek to serve God without any thought of self. That I might set people aflame with love for God without ever being seen myself. That the glory of God would be my one, consuming obsession. I’m not there yet, but I want to be. Lord humble me! You must increase, I must decrease.