Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Sermon: Staying Silent in a Perilous Time

In light of some of the things going on around this country this week, I thought I'd share a good message by Carter Conlon. This week we saw one who was not afraid to speak the truth of God's Word, when push comes to shove, would I be as brave? Would you?

Jesus said a time is coming called The Great Tribulation. Do you think this is a time when all the earth is eager to hear God's truths? Would you 'Dare To Be A Daniel'...as the song says? How about a Jeremiah? People back then, and people now do not understand that speaking the truth is love!

I share this as food for thought. The time is coming when those who follow the god of this world will gnash their teeth when they hear God's Word in the same way they did at the stoning of Steven. Will you be able to say, as he did, "Lord, hold this not to their charge" as they were stoning him?

This is a posture check. What is your posture in the face of the things that are coming upon the earth? Are you seeking the One who gives grace or are you flip/flopping in the form of 'christianity' that the world follows?



So the pious will be tried
Here on earth,
That their faith be found
Pure, genuine, and purified,
But after this short time, 
They will rejoice forever
With unspeakable joy.

Ausbund, Song 124 Verse 8 
(Amish Hymn Book)
http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/poems.htm


Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Good Message for A Sunday - Loving The Truth/Zac Poonen


Zac Poonen has a message to share with us in this day. Be blessed as you listen. Remember we are to be doers of the Word...and not hearers only.




Saturday, December 14, 2013

I Do Believe Winter Has Arriv-ed!

Early one cold morning, in the beginning of the week, I was outside snapping photos ...icy and nippy!


This evening, while I was outside taking care of evening feeding, I snapped this photo of Snow White. She is the friendliest little girl! She was born here and is a sweetie! Gentle and docile. So unlike some of the other goats around here! Mary Kate is in the background...she's a good girl too.


I'm playing around with my photoshop program, still can't figure out why everything comes out so brown/orange. Have to ask our friend who is totally in-the-know about such things. When I find out, I'll post the updated non-orange photo of the girls. Still, she is sweetness, to me anyway!

It's freezing outside. Bundling up is a necessity now. Head to toe! Fingers freeze after fixing water dishes, toes freeze after trudging through snow. Carrying water back and forth, feed back and forth, hay back and forth! Brrrrrrr!

This is just the beginning -  the end of Autumn and the foretaste of Winter...to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the Heavens...and so it begins for another year's end!

Praise God for a warm house to walk into after being outside doing chores. Praise Him for a warm cup of tea and heat and provision. All from His hand. Blessings indeed! Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of Lights! Amen and Hallelujah!

What are you thankful for today at your Home-Sweet?


Friday, December 13, 2013

A God of Order and a Disciplined Life



Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

I've been thinking lately about order and discipline again.

If we serve a God of order, a God of discipline...and we are being transformed into His image, I think we should bear the fruit of order and discipline.

Does that look the same for everyone? I don't think so as we are all in different places. I do think if we have had success in an area and someone asks us for advice, we are allowed to help. Not to condemn, but to offer liberty, which after all is what the truth brings.

But, are we teachable? We must also be willing to be taught as well as teach others. With the new year approaching, I am doing another yearly overview. I do see some new things on the horizon for us here. Some things I need to get in line, things that I know will be challenging for me, but good for me. New things that will bring a blessing for my family, as well as others.

I am sincerely praying to have clarity in the new challenges I believe God is bringing into my life, and that I am up to the task. But He gives grace, abundant grace.

I'll be getting out my Goals Binder in the next few days and will pray over the things I'm thinking God is pointing at and seeing how He intends to lead me to deal with them. I'm also going to be setting some goals that I see needful to accomplish the plans He has for me and how I can be a blessing to my husband, my family and others in the body and the people He brings into my life.

How about you? Do you assess your past year and see where God is leading you to lay the plans for the next year before Him and ask Him to show you how He will direct order and discipline for your life?

Pray for strength for the challenge. He is willing and more than able to lead us and show us His will for us, if we are willing to take up our cross to glorify Him every day of our lives!

The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. Proverbs 13:4

More on my Goals Binder coming up. I just wanted to get this thought down while I had a few minutes! 

Prepare your heart before the Lord concerning your Home-Sweet and the life your living. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, do not lean on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will establish His will in your life. 

Help us, O Lord to obey Your Word and Trust You in every moment! Grant us not only the desire to live in Your order and discipline, but to allow Him to push us to what we would consider our limitations and beyond to fulfill His purposes in us for His Kingdom's Sake. Lord, also help us to see that we are part of a greater plan and that it's just not about us. In Jesus' Name...Amen



Monday, November 25, 2013

More Thoughts On Where This Is Going...LONG!!!






I was jotting down some random thoughts blasting through my head the other morning. They woke me up and I had to get up and write them down quickly...lest I lose them all. Can anyone relate? I tell you the truth, if I don't write down my thoughts as soon as possible...they're gone.

I've been reading a Reader's Digest Condensed Version of "Pioneer Women: Voices From The Kansas Frontier" by Joanna L. Stratton. It's been on my bookshelf for years, along with others I intend to read soon. Books I collected and placed on my shelf over the years because I like learning about the frontier days and the history they keep, and I thought I might write a story someday...maybe I still will, who knows?

There is yet another reason I like these books. The women's stories in them hold knowledge that has been forgotten or ignored or passed off by many as outdated, yet I believe we are seeing a revival these past few years among more and more women desiring to know the old ways of doing things. Not to mention the 'sense' that we should know these things, which I believe is God-given, Holy Spirit inspired. Although...we are more precious than the sparrows and God will take care of us through whatever comes.

I think about modern day people living that way too. So very many blogs with men and women sharing their wealth of knowledge with anyone who cares to read their latest post. Most enjoyable to me! It seems I cannot keep up with all there is to take in!

So, I am trying to compile thoughts about just what to share on here.Just where I want to go with this blog.

Jesus said things toward the end will become increasingly troublesome, violent and there will be an intense shaking of all that can be shaken. Is it wrong to have a plan to weather the coming storms?

I enjoy reading all the happy blog posts of people who do not seem concerned about any current events or things/signs on the earth. Things seem to go along as they always do for them. Happy Blog Land is nice, fun and definitely takes your mind from 'reality' for a while. Yet, the overshadowing reality is that things are going to get increasingly worse as time goes on. This is scriptural, but we are not without hope!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the world's only hope. He is the only way God has made to overcome this world and the issues that we face that are so compounded over time. Jesus said we would have tribulation in this world, but to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. There is much comfort in that! What a Savior! I thought I'd add that we should not, we must not, get so wrapped up in the times and preparing for the approaching hard times that we forget to shine Christ's light to this lost and dying world. This would be a very grave tragedy.

With that said, in light of the times we are in, and what I read, there really is a sort of preparation among many people in the (ahem) 'civilized' world.  This 'global' thing coming, has been predicted in God's Word  and it.is.not.good.  Why in America are we 'prepping'? Is it because we have lived soft lives up to this point? Maybe. I guess in other countries they already live a bit more hand to mouth. Will they be any more ready when the man of sin comes along? What will life for the world be like then? For the believer? We do have some glimpses in Scripture...the world will adore him and the believers will be completely shattered. That's what I read.

How long will we be able to live peaceably in this land of ours? We are supposed to be praying for our leaders that we may be able to live peaceably, loving the Lord. Times are changing. They are. I know it's a hard reality...but persecution is coming. I just wonder how long we have until that day comes when the American world as we know it, bows their knee to the man of sin. Major deception has been predicted by Christ, I pray that we may escape the things that are coming!

If we are still hanging on here, of course waiting for the Day of the Lord, when He will come for His own...that Wonderful Day...if we are still here (there will be those who are alive and remain until His coming...they will be taken up after the dead in Christ rise first...)...if we are still here, what must we know to maintain any kind of day to day living? It's hard to imagine, and hard to know what skills to learn so you have the survival know-how when you do NOT receive the 'mark' and cannot buy or sell. If maintaining a life is even possible. If we are not all hiding, or stuck in some kind of communal-type work house or camp community. Who knows? There are many, many speculations out there. And from what I read in history...many believers in the past lived lives fleeing, hiding and dying a martyrs death!

So, with all that said...and believe me, this is always swishing around my gray matter...to not be too self-reliant...because we must be Father, Son and Holy Spirit reliant...what good skills are important? What basic skills and tools do we as Papas and Mamas and keepers at home and husbands need to know to do what we have to do?

In reading this book, "Pioneer Women", I see that a lot of women did not really want to give up their nice homes for sites unseen to start all over again. But they followed their husbands anyway. Such were the times and I think there is much to be learned in that lesson right there. How many women would let their husbands decide such a major decision like that and simply follow along? These women were following their husbands into unknown land, knowing there would be much hard work to come. Most times it was much harder than they could imagine. Yet, from what I'm reading, they made the best of it, rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Yes, some did cry, some cried hard when they saw what they were up against. But they soon dried their tears and just did the next thing.

Sometimes along the way they had to give up sentimental items to lighten the wagon. Just left them along the trail. When they got to where they would settle, they were without a lot that they had thought important to bring along. But they did the best with what they had. They were creative and innovative. They soon caught their husband's vision and came alongside him as a helpmeet and supported him.

There were even times when just after starting out, a husband would die. I don't know how many widows gave up and went home, but the stories I'm reading, they stayed on and picked up where their husband's left off and ran successful farms.

My question is: Do we, as 'modern' women, have the capability of doing the same? Of not complaining in hardship? Of supporting our husband's vision and coming alongside him as a true helpmeet, trusting God to work out the details?

Could we run a farm? Could we run it successfully and knowingly AND benefit from the fruit of our labors? Could we run the family business if necessary? Do we have the necessary skills? Do we have the knowledge, the ingenuity, the enterprising minds? I think the Proverbs 31 woman could have.

Could we handle doing everything without electric? Could we keep order in a home with mud walls and dirt floors? Would we complain? Would we be able to be kind to strangers? As far as I can tell, a lot of this prepper mentality makes everyone suspect and instead of going the second mile and giving your cloak AND your tunic...shooting them comes first...then, if they live, ask questions. What's that about LOVE? What's that about LOVING YOUR ENEMIES? What would Jesus do? Just sayin'...

There are so many things to know, to learn, to force ourselves to do. Right now I am thinking, for instance...if something were to happen and my husband was not here to cut a chicken throat for food...could I do it? I have always relied on him for that awful task...but could I do it? What do I know about electric? Nothing. Plumbing? Nada. My water well? Nope. These are all things that I grew up and have lived thinking it's 'the man's job'. Not good if we had a problem. Of course there's always the thought that none of that would matter at that point.

This is just stuff I'm throwing out there...maybe no one else thinks about these things. I might be the only one that thinks this way. That's fine...but if not, I'll keep reading books and blogs and posting and sharing what I'm learning just in case I'm not the only one.

Any thoughts out there?

Father, In Jesus Name I come and ask that our hearts be not troubled, nor afraid. We put our hope and trust in you. Lead us in truth, help us to know what to do and how far to go in these times we live in. We know that we are born for such a time as this. Lord, I ask that whatever I share be a blessing and help my sisters draw nearer and nearer to You. You are our source of wisdom, and we have only to ask and you will give it liberally to us and without reproach. Thank you for being our strength and present help in time of need. Amen

Praise God as you seek Him for wisdom and skills you can use for His glory in your Home-Sweet as we see the time of His return coming nearer and nearer.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Little Advert...Classic American Made Excellent Clothespin Sale...

Thought I'd take a minute to let you all know that Mr. Herrick Kimball from The Deliberate Agrarian has placed for sale, on his website, his very own Classic American Clothespins.

If you, like me, consider yourself a 'laundry connoisseur' then you are always looking for 'THE' perfect clothespin. I do NOT like it when I am using a clothespin and it snaps in half sending the metal spring flying across my yard. Can you relate?

If so, just go to Mr. Kimball's site and order yourself a good set of clothespins, made by him, in New York, America!

Look at the amazing quality:


I think Mr. Kimball may be on to something! Great idea!

People...there are a limited number of packages available...he started with 225 and last I knew he was down to 60 because I JUST bought a set.

Enjoy!



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hello Dearests!

Here I am again in my little Living Room corner, come to share another day that the Lord has made.

I didn't get to do much on a new header. I woke up with my body not totally cooperating with me today. Let's just say, I did everything slower. I do believe it was God's wisdom to me that I start getting ready for Thanksgiving weeks ahead of time. I spent time cleaning and rearranging, preparing for a soapstone woodstove to take up lots of room in my Dining Room. Exciting in a sense because it's a step closer to me someday having a cookstove (which I would one day love to have!) and forcing me to get rid of more things that are just not essential to life as we know it now. Still so very far to go, just want to live the Kingdom now.

And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.  Luke 12:15

 

As I type this I think about the fun thoughtsI had earlier about fixing up my little corner to be my very own. I moved the sewing nook I set up in the dining room a while back and set it all up in a 'spare' room. We keep an extra bed in there along with my crafty/worky stuff, my machines and things I use to be creative with, and use to make clothing and such. Anyhow...I got this wonderful brainstorm about fixing up my corner here. I am going to attempt to be thrifty about it and not buy a thing for it. Let's see if it can be done. A thrifty challenge...to myself...to fix up a creative corner to enjoy while I am searching, learning and writing, crocheting, stitching and creatively knitting along with Lydia. We have our own ideas of knit-a-long...we are working together on a scarf for her. I knit and put it down, then she knits and puts it down...and so on. I'll send a photo tomorrow.

And for the rest of this post, I'll send a couple of photos I've taken around here so far this week.


I always liked the way the sun streamed through the golden leaves in the early morning. I like all the colors, it's just that these are holding on the longest here in my yard. So pretty...and the whole process of the earth following the cycle...the Lord's plan for this part of His earth to rest. 



 This is our portion of Dave's honey from this year, held back. Look at how dark it is! It tastes so sweet. It looks like buckwheat honey...but it's sweet! Yummy...and Dave is plum sold out!!!!  Lord willing, more hives next year...and I'm going to try to give him a hand. This honey is the bottom of the barrel, so to speak and so it's got more wax on top. No problem for us though! Tastes good in tea and baked goods. 





These two yummy-looking apple delights are the gluten-free girl's morning breakfast. I'll have to share how to do it...but it's so simple, maybe you can figure it out by looking at the photo! YUM!!! Buttery, cinnamon-y, apple-y, sugary deliciousness!

That is a very brief pictorial of a few fun things here in the last couple of days. I've been messing with my own camera, Lydia's is ever so much more expensive than mine...but I think mine takes nice pics...for a small one.

Help us Lord to keep everything in perspective. To seek You at every turn in our lives, through every season, whether it's growth or rest, help us to trust you. Thank you, Lord, for supplying everything we need. Thank you for teaching us to trust you in hard times and may we never forget you in easy ones. Thank you, Lord, for your keeping grace and for your abundant love, which keeps us and fills us with hope! In Jesus Christ Name, Amen

May the Father bless those in your Home-Sweet with eyes to see His good and perfect gifts that tell of His great, great love toward us who believe. Sing these simple words to Him with a thankful heart: "God, You're so good, God, You're so good, God You're so good, You're so good to me."




 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Few Changes...

Hello Dears!

Over the next few days, I plan to make some changes here, so if things look funny or different, it's not your computer, it's me changing things around a bit. I'm learning some codes and things and over time hope to improve the overall look of this blog.

In the meantime, here is a poem to ponder:


Be Strong

Be Strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift,
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift;
Shun not the struggle-face it; 'tis God's gift.

Be Strong!
Say not, "The days are evil, who's to blame?"
And fold the hands and acquiesce-oh shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravely in Christ's Name!

Be Strong!
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
Faint not-fight on! To-morrow comes the song!

Maltbie Davenport Babcock.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2

Oh Lord, strengthen us by Thy might. Let us not say 'we' did anything, but by the power of Thy Holy Spirit. Deliver us from evil, Oh Lord. Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, On Earth As It Is In Heaven. Help us to put on the armor Thou hast provided and when we are weak, help us to remember Thou art strong! Thy strength is made perfect in weakness. Make us vessels fit for Thy use! In Jesus Chris's Name, Amen.

Seek the Lord and see what great things He will do when you lay down your own life for His glory! 
















































































































Monday, November 4, 2013

Just a Whole Lotta Stuff!!! Mind Dump.....




Lately, in between daily everything, I've been cramming my head full of information. Thyroid info, Real Food Summit, Biz starting webinar and e-classes, Lupus study, Gluten-free eating/dining/cooking/living, green cleaning, superfoods, real foods, homesteading, dehydrating, holistic medicine, sewing, crocheting,...OH MY!!! Not to mention Pinterest...Dearest...that could so easily turn into a time snatcher for me...so many things to pin...so little time...and just when I vow to log off...something else catches my eye! Dangerous stuff that Pinterest!!!

Back to my studies...there is so much that can be learned in our information driven world! How to keep up with it all...that is the question on my mind today.



It was nice to take a break and go outside and do some goat pen cleaning and raking and mulching on my garlic. Physical work definitely has good mental benefits. The fresh air and sunshine help a body too!



Changing our diets to gluten-free has been wonderful! After struggling with candida for over a year, (and anyone who has had it knows what I mean when I say...struggle), gluten-free is really no big deal AND you can eat some things you couldn't when you were killing systemic sugar overload. But, growing up constantly taking antibiotics, what else could the outcome be? We had our share of earaches, sore throats and such...and most times...Doc Murray would pull that loooooooooong needle out of his bag at his visit to our home and fill our back ends with penicillin. When I was young and then into my teens, I lived on antibiotics because I always suffered with strep throat and tonsillitis. No fun!



Anyhow...Praise the Lord, that is history. They wanted to take out my tonsils, I wouldn't let them, I suffered, they prescribed and I lived. After many years it all caught up with me and I had to take care of it. With food...or the lack thereof. I very rarely get sore throats now, and never do I get tonsillitis or strep. And I still have my tonsils...thank you very much!!

I've also been studying holistic medicine and am quite interested in it. I am in the process of working on a 'natural medicine first aid kit' and will keep you posted. God has provided herbs and foods for us that heal, if we know what to eat when, our bodies can do what God intended them to do. As I study God's creation, I see the balance of how it all connects and points back to His wondrous, unfathomable mind and His love for those of us that breathe His breath. He is amazing and I cannot wait to see what else He has in store for those whom He loves.



He has made some powerful food in it's most basic state that is so good for us and nourishing for our system, it just astounds me. 'Superfood' is what it is called. (Those of you who already know this, bear with me please. LOL) One day soon, I will share a bit more about what I'm learning. The Father thought of everything...everything...of course!

With this fibromyalgia/hypothyroidism I am working things out naturally. I guess I'm stubborn...but I refuse to take synthroid. Thank God, I have options. Some are not so fortunate. Do I have pain and lots of symptoms? Yes, every single day. I have been taking Thyroid Health from Dr. Christopher, and my exhaustion level has subsided a bit. So, I am studying the link between fibro/thyroid health...and that whole system and what happens when it's compromised. Lots to learn...and I am my own guinea pig!!! Again I say, food is medicine-good food...which is not what they sell in the middle aisles of the store, for the most part.




Green cleaning interests me because I'd like to get rid of the chemicals that could very well be contributing to my poor (but improving, Lord willing) health. White vinegar, peroxide, salt, baking soda, borax and lemons all make good cleaners and laundry stain removers. Having fun with that. But...you know me and laundry...I like doing laundry! From sorting to loading to hanging it on the line...to once in a while ironing. Especially ironing! Favorite...I kid you not! I find it totally relaxing and love the smell of starch and the results!




Still dehydrating hot peppers...this is not a new thing for me, but I have been wanting to do a post on it, maybe soon. The history of it, benefits, storage, how-to...stuff like that...again...drying foods is something I am a total advocate of. It just makes a bunch of sense for a homesteader and 'off-gridder'. And there are a few dehydrating style options. Good stuff!

Well, at any rate...I've been busy the last while and it doesn't look like it's going to end any time soon. Still, I am enjoying myself and at some point hope to post some of my findings and lessons learned.

What extracurricular things are you studying to help those you love and your Home-Sweet? God has blessed us, truly He has. What will we do with all that blessing?



Thank you Father for Your wonderful might, so big it can create the universe and so small it can only be seen through special equipment. No accident, no chance...ON PURPOSE!! Yet, You hold it all together...for You are the One who measures the universe in a span! Wow...And that is where you hold us...in Your hand. All of it is just so awesome, it makes my heart sing! Praise the Lord!




Sunday, November 3, 2013

What Else Are We Here For?

Is it our best life now...as some would have us believe? 


 I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
John 9:4

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
 Mark 16:15-18

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Garlic is IN!!!

It's been a busy week here. I've been attempting to get some indoor things settled before the cold weather sets in. And there are so many things to get done outdoors...I could spend entire days out there, I think. One thing I appreciate about the 'blog world' is that it seems to keep us all accountable...in a way. At least aware of all the things there are to do to prepare for winter. It seems never ending and by the time winter's cold sets in, you really need the break.

The other day we were 'fixing' up a fence for Miracle to come back home. She loves to ram fence, and we do not have good 'goat' fence...so we had to reinforce it. Lydia and I. She never used a circular saw before, so I let her. I thought we did alright. Of course, Mr. says it looks like the Clampetts from The Beverly Hillbillies live here! But hey...we're talking about goats!!! Big goats...ramming goats! And it works!








Finally, after preparing the patch a while back...Lydia and I got the garlic planted! We set 145 bulbs...with room for a bit more. It started to drizzle. The template sure made things faster and the dibble and we got a method down and it just moved along. I did till it all up again, by hand...or should I say by foot...or both?  I used the garden fork to turn the patch over again. It was quite the workout! Invigorating to say the least. Of course I feel it now...but it was worth it. I was driving Lydia crazy with my straight row obsessions...but she handled it great, after she calmed down! LOL She's a bit more freestyle than I am. I need straight rows...I just do. We had to do a row patch over because the template moved crooked and I told her it would plague my long winter's nap knowing those garlic bulbs would shoot out of the ground willy nilly. SO...she let me fix it while she went ahead and kept planting. Good girl!!!




You can see from all the weeds growth that I let most of my garden 'rest' this year. It managed to grow some tall weeds. It couldn't be helped, Dave's Mom was with us again recuperating from a hospital stay. She's more important and God always provides!

We are having Thanksgiving dinner here again this year. It always turns into a crowd, even if some just come for dessert. This year it will be different though. Our entire dinner will be gluten-free. We are excited because for some reason, even though cooking GF takes a bit longer, we really enjoy it. So, we're working out the menu. Most of the meal will be cooked that day. Not much can be prepared ahead, as far as I know, maybe the cold stuff.

Speaking of GF...can I just say that Bob's Red Mill Brownie mix is YUMMY!!! I have seen recipes for home made brownies the last couple of days that we can try soon. As I said, this GF way of eating is fun. Lydia and I work in the kitchen together much more than ever and we enjoy ourselves. She enjoys it...which makes me happy, I like help in the kitchen and we get to spend time together.

On top of having the meal, I will be going through the house with a major cleaning spree. That's just what I do whenever I am having guests. With my strange limitations, and never knowing when that dratted fibromyalgia will start flaring, I started tearing things apart already. I can hear Flylady warnings whenever I think about tearing too much out!

Still, I have plans for winter too. That basement that has always been out of sight, out of mind...well, my aim and my great hope is to finally tackle it this winter. The wood stove is going and it is toasty warm down there. I have so many things to sell on Etsy...craft type things to get rid of. I'm sure some other artist can use them. If I do anything extra, I sew. Yet, I have plans to make a sign here or there. I'd like to make one that says, "Maranatha" and some other scriptures...or one word phrases that stimulate thought toward God and the heart posture. I'd also like to get some of my photos in order and use that Cricut my Mom gave me.

I wanted to mention, Quinn over at Reformation Acres has a giveaway for a wonderful product. It is from a family business called The Haven Enterprises. They work with wood and their hands to bring God's Word to life in your home. I, like Quinn, place God's Word around my home to have family and guests ALWAYS be mindful of the Lord, no matter where they are inside. Soon, I will be adding signs outside too. I want to be working on that this winter for spring. The Haven Enterprises makes trivets and cutting boards, all the way up to beautiful door post scripture, and I imagine something home-sweet for just about anywhere in your home as they do take custom orders. Simply the way God arranged it to be for a family...with Papa at home...if possible. The best way! What a blessing!

This is something I've been really considering a lot lately. What can I do here at home to bring Dave home or at least make it so he can be home more? I think plenty! With being more frugal in many places, to asking God to bless the work of my hands or to use my brain and this blog to not only help other women at this stage of life, seeking the Lord and seeking the Old Paths and learning all that that entails. I am right now taking a course on how to do just that. How to make it so my blog can not only be an outlet for me to share, but also something to bless others and make a difference.

I'll keep you posted on how it all works out! It's almost a 12 week course and I will be learning many ways to use my blog to bless and help others and get 'out there'...if that is the Lord's will. I have lots of ideas...LOTS!!! So...hopefully I will be able to learn a lot and pass it on  to others.

What are your chores to prepare for winter? Do you have winter plans?

May God bless you as you plan to settle in for winter in your Home-Sweet. I pray He blesses the work of your hands and grants you lots of strength to get done all you need to do. All for His glory! Amen




Saturday, October 26, 2013

Passing Days...Routine...and All That Good Stuff!


I've been thinking about the routines of my life lately. To many, my life would be absolutely boring. But to me, I find that the regular pattern of the day is a comfort.

First off, quiet time with the Lord and jotting down chores and things on my to-do list. I made my own list in a print shop and it's quite handy for me.

Afterwards, I enjoy the rhythm of the way I let my birds out in the morning: first set of ducks, big chickens, walk around to little chickens - let them out, go to Mama and Papa Ducks and 8 babies and let them out...saying 'Hello' to the goats along the way...over to the pigs for feeding...working on fattening them up! Then inside for a bit of warm coffee.



(I just noticed how dirty these girls let their faces get! They simply adore rooting around! And if I throw them weeds...well, it's Hog Heaven!!)

After my wakeup coffee, it's back outside to do the goats' feed and hay and check bunnies and make sure everyone's water and hay and food is fresh. Maybe rake up goat area or chicken area...and back inside. As the days get shorter, the timing changes...but the routine is so predictable...and I like it that way!

I am trying to find the time to do some things extra inside the house. I'm not milking anyone right now, so you'd think I'd have more time to accomplish something. Au contraire!!! How  in the world did I get so much done when my children were little...and 4 of them no less? They're all grown now, with Baby Lydia just turning 19 years old on the 17th...the baby!!!...and I haven't a nicker of time anyhow...all day long! Why? Maybe because I'm older and slower?? Still, no interruptions...well, that's not necessarily true all the time. Yet, with the new year coming and the past year's assessments...I am going to reassess my time management. I cannot get that all figured out.

Alas...there are some things around here that must be done in a timely fashion, or I'm out of time for the year!

So, right now...it is garlic planting time. Can you guess what this is?


Or how about the same thing this way...


Well, this may give it away...


The book explains how to go from planting garlic to making garlic powder. We followed Mr. Kimball's method last year and got good results. This template Dave made for us should speed up the planting guide process...I just don't want to have to fuss with a tape measure. So, Dave made me this template according to Mr. Kimball's specs. He also gave me a bonus that I did not ask for...a planting dibble which will save time measuring out the correct planting depth for each clove. Hurray! So, the plan is to plant Monday. Seems that will be the next best day. Mr Kimball's site is called The Deliberate Agrarian and you can find it here.

Today was nice, but too windy for garlic planting and we also had plans to work in the small chicken coop and make our littles happy. Happy chickens...happy eggs...it's all good (and yummy)!



We had our first frost last night. Sad to see things wilty. Almost time for the earth to rest...according to God's routine plan set in motion in the beginning. The sun, moon, stars...planting times, plucking up times...according to Solomon in Ecclesiastes. So...I plucked up my wilted pepper plants. Lots of hot peppers to dehydrate. Not sure what I'll do with them after that, but I know the guys like them on everything. I had good results with my peppers this year. I'd like to get them in earlier next year. They did good though with all the rabbit manure and goat manure I put in the holes. My raised beds have beautiful soil in them. They loved it!

I couldn't resist taking a photo or two last evening when the sun was floating down toward the hill for the night. The sunbeams on the geraniums I potted quickly this year looked so pretty...and I am a geranium fan to say the least! 

I'll share:


I cannot help myself...a few more red geranium photos...




Truly one of my favorite flowers. I am not quite sure why...they just are!

Well, gonna go get some shut-eye...it's been a long day working outside. 

Hope to blog the garlic planting with my new template and dibble! I'll be sure to snap pics...put them up soon!

God bless you as you imitate Him and glorify Him with your Home-Sweet routines!







Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Honey!


Bees 'bearding' in early Spring 2013

This past few weeks Dave has been bringing the honey supers into the house to store until he extracted the honey. He worked on making another extractor and I must say this one worked much better than the last one he made. It was faster and held more frames. Good for him!

He managed to extract all the frames over the weekend and spent the last couple of days bottling it up. His bees worked hard this season and for losing 7 out of 10 hives over the winter and having to build back up to 10 good hives, they did well. They managed to give us 20 gallons of honey this year! Not bad for 10 hives, some just starting out.

I am amazed at how much time and effort goes into beekeeping. Dave puts a lot of care into his bees. Over the coming year he hopes to be able to afford some more equipment that will make extracting more efficient time wise. Maybe even start a few more hives.

Speaking of efficiency and good time management (ahem)... I spent the last 3 days trying ever so hard to come up with home made labels for the honey jars. Thank God for Lydia...she has much knowledge on how to use these computer programs. I can do a lot, but she just blips through things, even if she's never used the program before. Ahhh...the young mind!

I was not having much success with the Avery brand labels we purchased to make the labels. I even telephoned them, which did not help at all. *sigh*...  So, I searched on Google and found a tutorial on how to make labels on Microsoft Office Word and lo and behold between Lydia and I, we came up with a label.

Although...I could not import them into the Avery template. Frustration!!! So, I printed out 8 labels on regular paper, cut them out and glued them on the Avery label page with a glue stick. I then put the labels in the printer and copied the page I made onto the other labels. What a fiasco! But it worked!

I think next year we'll have them made at a printer...or I'll just practice all year and be ready next fall! I bet my sister Angie would be good at it!! How 'bout it Angie???

More pictures tomorrow!

Do you know about bees? The most amazing thing of all to me is God's handiwork in the bee. From egg to Queen to workers and drones, the hive and making honey...the whole creation and work of a hive...screams of God's Creation. This was no accident! God alone gets the glory for the bee and her hive! Amazing!

God bless your Home-Sweet with hands and minds that are blessed with the necessary skills needed for the task at hand!

Miss D...if you read this...we miss you and love you and are praying for you. Please call us!



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Little Bit About What God Has Done and Is Doing In Our Lives...

I've been thinking about what I mentioned Saturday about how our understanding of God's Word has changed over the past six years. How we came to walk a deeper walk with him. It all began with some heart wrenching family issues. Not our immediate family, but some loved ones. As the pain unfolded...and intensified, other scriptural issues became important, very important. What do we actually believe? Are we in agreement with those around us? Are our leaders leading us on the Narrow Way? What are we following? Where are we going? We just came to the point where we had to decide if Jesus really meant every word He said. Did He? Did we believe He did? We said we believed it, but were we living as though we did?

As we began to read the Bible in light of this sad, horrible situation around us and the supposed Scriptural response of those leading us, we began to ask questions...some things began to materialize that we had overlooked or had misread or had not been taught properly or at all. Then, as we read and prayed and prayed and read, and talked and talked about these things...we studied and prayed some more...we realized we were very, very wrong! Just reading Matthew 5, 6 and 7, or what is also called 'The Sermon on the Mount' opened our eyes to some serious error we had believed/been ignorant of.

I cannot touch on them all in one post. I'll weave them here and there throughout future posts as topic and time allow. I will say this...I have personally (and ashamedly) gone from being a worldly, women's liberated, right-wing, modern churched, politically minded, warmongering, domineering over my husband, immodest woman in many ways...clothing, high heeled, hair and makeup...to a new understanding of God's Kingdom rule for His daughters.

God's Kingdom rule for His daughters is modesty...in every way...gentleness, quietness...a hidden woman, created to be helpmeet to her husband, head covered/veiled (whether she has a husband or not), meek, God glorifying keeper at home (if possible). A heart attitude change coming forth in distinctive Christianity...distinctive because living in God's Kingdom now should be distinctive. As an older woman, it is important that I am an example of what a righteous Sister/Daughter/Mother/Wife is...of course I'm still growing, but I try to seek God's Word always when instructing a younger sister in the Lord.

In essence, we have seen our error and upon seeking the Lord, the early Church/early Anabaptist/Kingdom teachings are the closest (that we can see) to the way Jesus left His body to function here on earth until His return.

So in simple terms, we have adopted what some would consider a 'plain' lifestyle or fellowship in the 'plain circles'. Kingdom living, if anyone wanted to label it. We are just trying to live out what we understand the Word of God to say. Not applying culture or man's interpretation to it...just taking the Word at face value asking the Father to send the Holy Spirit to show us the way. All of it. And it has led us to wonderful life changes in practically every way. Not that they're all easy...but Jesus never said it would be easy. It was actually very hard to admit that we'd been wrong and to have God turn our entire world upside down. So many changes have taken place in our lives...too many to tell in one post!

I will share more in the future. We actually do not have much like-minded fellowship in our area, we do not live where converted Amish or Mennonites are, nor are there any truly Kingdom minded believers, as far as we know. If, perchance anyone in our area reads this and is of like-minded heart, we would be happy to meet to fellowship together.

Still, we do try to get away and go to some home-church meetings in Lancaster County whenever possible. What a dear, dear group of Brothers and Sisters we have met from all over the globe! A true blessing to see the Kingdom of God lived out in reality!

More to come on these and other thoughts! What is the big deal and what does the application of Kingdom Living look like? Is there anyone else online living this way? Side links to other plain, Kingdom Living blogs to come.

May God bless you and yours as you seek to glorify Him in Spirit and in Truth. May His Word of Truth lead and guide your path as a lamp and a light. Amen







Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday: Bland With A Little Sunshine Here and There!

 

 In Such an Hour 

                       Sometimes, when everything goes
                                 wrong:
                       When days are short, and nights are long;
                       When wash-day brings so dull a sky
                       That not a single thing will dry.
                       And when the kitchen chimney smokes,
                       And when there's naught so "queer" as
                                 folks!
 
                       When friends deplore my faded youth,
                       And when the baby cuts a tooth.
                       While John, the baby last but one,
                       Clings round my skirts till day is done;
                       When fat, good-tempered Jane is glum,
                       And butcher's man forgets to come.
 
 
                       Sometimes, I say, on days like these,
                       I get a sudden gleam of bliss.
                       "Not on some sunny day of ease,
                       He'll come . . but on a day like this!"
                       And, in the twinkling of an eye,
                       These tiresome things will all go by!

                       And, 'tis a curious thing, but Jane
                       Is sure, just then, to smile again;
                       Or, out the truant sun will peep,
                       And both the babies fall asleep.
                       The fire burns up with roar sublime,
                       And butcher's man is just in time.
                       And oh! My feeble faith grows strong
                       Sometimes, when everything goes wrong!




In no way do I want to blather on about my boring day and try to make you think it was in any way exciting. There was not much unusual about my day today. The animals did everything they do every day...the house needed picking up from the weekend. It was rainy and blah with tornado watch reports from the laptop until I could tell nothing was going to happen weatherwise. Praise the Lord! Who would ever have thought of tornadoes in New York? Times they are a'changin'!!! (See Matthew 24-watch and pray!)

We did have high wind, and pouring rain...but by eventide the sky was pink and blue and the gray storm clouds had passed on.


The highlight of the day was an attempt at gluten free cream of potato soup and gluten free biscuits. I say 'attempt' because it was actually an experimental meal...so far I have had gluten free success, but today I say...'not so much'! Nay...the results were anything but palatable. Back to the drawing board!

The girls and I had lots of fun at attempting gluten free biscuits...a recipe searched for and found on the internet...they looked good there, but somehow the end result here...well, it did not look like the picture on the web page. I thought maybe somehow if I slathered them with butter after they came out of the oven it would help the poor whitish pucks but nay, the butter immediately absorbed into the very dry orbs and did not even give the appearance of being buttered. Like water on a spot in Death Valley! No trace of any buttery goodness! Nothing! Dry as the bones in the valley spoken about in Ezekiel! Dry!!

The creamy potato soup was also very bland. We had bacon bits we made from our oversalted bacon from last year's pig slaughter (an experiment we'll not allow to happen this year!), dried onions (which really came out of the cupboard as an afterthought, I should have fried fresh onions in butter before the roux was made), cheese topping, lots of salt and pepper...and although everyone else thought it was alright...it just did not come out the way I had hoped. The soup sort of matched the day...bland day, bland soup.



Still, nothing could take away from the laughter, the conversation, the joy of being creative together in the kitchen. What is it about cooking together that makes it so enjoyable? My Nettie was here, Dena and Lydia were helping too and we just had such a time making those awful biscuits and laughing about the outcome! It was honestly a ray of sunshine on an otherwise rainy, drizzly day. The smiles and the conversation, the cooperation, the blessing of being together, doing what women do, kitchen fellowship. It just made my heart happy - all of our hearts happy.




We continued to laugh over the meal as we ate it. And Dave is such a good sport, he says he'll eat anything...he wanted to make sure I gave him some in his lunch tomorrow. What a good guy! What a trooper! He must have been really hungry is all I can say!

As far as my Home-Sweet Handiwork button up top goes, I am looking forward to putting some things up I'm working on. Hopefully tomorrow. I am working on miniature pumpkins, the white kind, I like them and each year find some to display. I love the pale, milky white skin and also the milky orange ones. Those make good pies! I thought it would be fun to crochet some and then maybe I'll give sewing a few a whirl with some retro fabric I have around. Then there's this new Cricut my Mom gave me when I was in Illinois a couple of weeks ago. It's brand new and never been used! Can't wait to try it out!



So, as a little diary/dietary post, today wasn't so bad. Very routine, but a day the Lord has made nonetheless...and I wanted to get on here and remember it for the smiles in the kitchen we had, to look back and remember a sunny spot on a rainy day.

How was the day in your Home-Sweet? I hope you found laughter amidst the hum-drum, smiles in the routine and joy in the everyday-ness of your day. Most of all I pray you found your Savior overseeing it all and His nearness and blessing throughout all your times-which the Word tells us...are in His hands! Praise Him!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday - Lord's Day Thoughts

We heard a message this morning on Family Devotions/Family Worship and how important they are. Father leading out supported and aided my Mom and the children seeing their unity and receiving a blessing from all of it. The whole family growing in the Lord together.

I read this week about a woman who got rid of her TV several years ago. We do not have cable or satellite. I once heard a brother preach a message on TV and why he does not have one and just made a statement that said, "I will not entertain myself with the world." That said it all for me.

Whose world is it? Jesus said Satan is the god of this world. The world is under his sway. He is a liar and the father of it.

We are called to be separate. Separated from the system, the influence, the teachings, the lies, the darkness, the hatred, anger, antichrist behavior, from the music, the entertainment, the mindset, the gnosis...SEPARATE!!!!

Just for the sake of being separate? No, without being separated UNTO CHRIST there is no real eternal aim. God has set the standards for His Kingdom...and one of them is to be separate. To be 'in' the world but not 'of' it. We, as God's people, living His Kingdom rules, are to have nothing to do with the evil deeds of darkness.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

So, I warn you, if you have not already figured it out, to take part in TV Land...any of it...is to be taught the standards of this world, it's ways and systems. And there will be no end to the base education it will feed you or your children or grandchildren. It will continue to get worse and worse. Soon all of mankind will once again do 'what is right in their own eyes'...and TV will feed right into that mentality and encourage it.

I didn't want to do an exhaustive post on TV today, I wanted to share two videos that I thought were good on the Father's role as a Watchman for his family. It is by Bro. Denny Kenaston and they totally hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned. So, without further ado...here they are!

The Father is a Watchman 
Pt. 1



The Father is a Watchman 
Pt. 2


These should at least stir some thoughts and conversation. 

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  James 4:4 

How can we argue against the Word of God?

 



Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thoughts and Ramblings On Where To Go From Here...

 Because
by Fay Inchfawn

PSALM CXVI.)


    Because He heard my voice, and answered me,
    Because He listened, ah, so patiently,
    In those dark days, when sorrowful, alone,
    I knelt with tears, and prayed Him for a stone;
    Because He said me "Nay," and then in- stead,
    Oh, wonderful sweet truth! He gave me bread,
    Set my heart singing all in sweet accord;
    Because of this, I love -- I love the Lord!





I've been thoughtful lately about how to continue my little slice of Blogland. Thoughts about how to make my blog more useful to others, what topics to discuss and what direction to take. I know I'd like to be more diligent in blogging, that will take some doing, some planning and attention. So many things tend to take my time around here, away from other things I intend to do and the day slips by. I'd like to share more recipes and handiwork. I'd like to share books I'm reading and books I've read. Teachings I've heard and lessons I've learned. Sites to visit where one can grow in grace and truth. These are some of my desires and some of the things I've been considering for this Home-Sweet place.

There are some topics I've not discussed fully due to worry about how some would take it, how they would perceive my motives. I've been very careful about that. My personal things. Careful and at the same time prayerful lately about how to share some of the things we've come to know as truth, scriptural things, not bizarre things, but nonetheless, not 'popular, modern day Christianity' things. Early church things, book of Acts things, Biblical things. Things the way Jesus said them, things the way He laid them down at The Sermon on the Mount. Things He showed us in His Word, examples He set and meant for us to follow. Hard sayings and tears and suffering and sorrow...yet in it all beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Those kinds of things. Beloved life teachings and the working out of them that produce good fruit, as they should. The struggles of fleshing it all out in this life and in this wicked world where we are to remain unspotted.

So many things have happened to us since my post about my first trip to Lancaster, our search for truth in Christ and where it has led us today.  The beautiful, wonderful people of God, citizens of His Kingdom in Christ, brothers and sisters in the Lord that we've had the privilege to meet and grow to kinship and brother and sisterhood and love and communion in Christ. The areas He's changed in our lives, the things He's added and the things He's taken away.  Hardships and sorrows mixed with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

How have we handled certain things? How have the people we know and love handled what God has wrought in our lives? This many years later, what have we learned? Where is God taking us? Are we fully obeying Him?

So many questions roam through the hallways of my mind, of our minds. Yet one thing we know for certain: we would never go back to the way we were, ever. There is no way we could, in the light of what we know now about God and His Word and His Son, Jesus Christ and His Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness and the Wicked One...and the whole world under his sway and where it's all going. There is just no way we could ever go back. No way. We have decided to follow Jesus...though none go with us, still we will follow. Though none go with me...still I will follow. I say all this with trembling because as I type, I know so many who I thought would make it, and yet have gone down a forsaking path...God have mercy and draw them back to Yourself...please!!!

I suppose I could start with 'What Happened Next...' and go from there. Maybe I will. Whatever I do here, I pray it will always be to further the Kingdom of God and to glorify His Name.

A lot has changed for us over the years. Many do not understand what we've done, how we've changed and instead of asking, they avoid us and have gone away and left a void. Still God has mercifully filled that void with sweet fellowship with like-minded believers from all over the world who we share convictions with and consider our brethren.

Well, with all that said, I think I'll start at the beginning and go from there and keep this blog going as long as the Lord allows. I'll continue to share my happenings and ramblings and doings and goings-on. Everything I do is linked to, nay controlled by my convictions in Christ. We'll see how it all works out here on the blog.

I just thought I'd post an update on my thoughts of late...where I'd like to take this blog. Perhaps nothing will change and I'll keep sharing in the same manner as I've done in the past, yet there are things I'd like to speak about that I shied away from and I think it might be time to be more open about my life, our life now that what God has done has lasted all these years and is not showing any signs of stopping, only growing and becoming more and more tangible and fulfilling and heart stirring. Until we're with Him in glory! Onward Christian Soldiers...

Praise Him for direction and confidence in Christ and His love and blessings on us and our Home-Sweet...and yours as well! Count all your many blessings...see what God has done in your life and be thankful to Him and bless His name, for the Lord is good. Always and in every way for His Glory! Amen.