Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Seeking to Simplify

First a quick report on my simplifying goals...
In the last 4 weeks since I last reported I have..

  •  Gotten rid of 99 items - just one item shy of the set goal of 25 per week. 
  • Gone through 18 spaces (2 shy o my goal)
  • Not done a very good job of keeping my in-box completely cleaned out but it is better than it used to be. I want to get back on track on this.
  • Not sold anything but we are planning a garage sale this week so I hope to change that trend soon.
  • I went through a measly five photo folders. That is way short of my goal. But that is life.
Over all we are still making progress. If this is something you are working on too - how are you doing? Has a busy summer slowed you down or have you had more time to work on it?

   Something that I have been thinking on as I seek to live more simply is the importance of fixing/mending things.  I don't know about you but oftentimes in my life when things get broken/torn etc. I tend to look at it and realize I can totally fix that but then I set it aside, possibly on my desk or on a shelf and there it sits for a month, a year whatever. Sometimes it gets to the point of somebody growing out of it before it actually gets mended. It also truly clutters up my house in the meantime. Having broken things around is not nice clutter. It is ugly and messy.

   I have really been working on doing some catch up on mending. And truly, I love doing it. It is very rewarding to have something that has cluttered up my desk for the past month become something that I love to use once again. Mending things can make things simpler because we no longer have to make do without it. Also it can save us a bunch of money because we aren't having to replace it.

  Here are some posts that I have written in the past on how to mend various items:

Do you like to mend? Is there anything in particular that you enjoy fixing up? Do you mend anything unusual? I would love to hear your stories!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit

I am going to continue to share some verses about the Holy Spirit. Those tonight will be particularly about the Holy Spirit and Jesus.

Through the Holy Spirit the prophets of the Old Testament foretold the coming of Jesus and many other things as well....
"Se we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 2 Peter 1:19-21

"As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow." 1 Peter 1:10-11

Jesus birth came about through an act of the Holy Spirit.
"The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

The Holy Spirit was present at Jesus' Baptism....
"After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:16 & 17

It is neat to read about the Holy Spirits work in Jesus earthly life but what is really cool is that the Holy Spirit is also at work in our life too.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Making Cheese With a New Thermometer

 This is milk season around here. We are so super blessed to be able to get an abundance of goats' milk from my parents. Lately we have been getting more than we manage to drink. When that happens I generally start making cheese. I do also like to make pudding (and then pudding pops!), yogurt and last year I learned how to can milk. I also like to use milk in my cooking and baking.

 For my cheese making I was quite excited lately to receive a new thermometer from Cave Tools for the purpose of reviewing. What is really neat is not only can I use this thermometer for my cheese making but I would also work for jabbing in meat, for making candy or for taking the temperature of any other sort of food/liquid. It is neat because you can look at the temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. It also can hold a reading with just a little press of a button even after it has been removed from a hot item. It also keeps track of other data. It is pretty high tech. But it is also simple to use. I really like it.
I tried a new recipe for cheese using my new thermometer this week. It isn't that much different from what I normally do but the result was different. It turned out nicely creamy and quite yummy. Here is the link to the recipe that I used.

I rolled it in herbs. We then ate it spread on sourdough bread or on my sourdough crackers. I really loved it on the crackers.

  I am pretty excited to have a good working thermometer for cooking. If you would like one you can find it on Amazon or at Cave Tools. At Amazon you can get 15% off by using this coupon code: LH58KB66 .

Do you have a kitchen thermometer? What do use it for? If you make cheese I would love to hear about recipes that you like!

Disclaimer: I did receive this thermometer for purposes of reviewing but all opinions written are my own.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Learning about the Holy Spirit

I have been thinking a lot about the Holy Spirit these last few months. I am not quite sure what got me started on it but as I read through the Bible recently those that are about the Holy Spirit have really jumped out at me. Also while at my sisters a while back she had a little book called "Practicing His Presence" that I was able to read partly through and it also spoke of that subject. Then today while visiting a church in Woodbury, MN the sermon was on the Holy Spirit. Then I came home and was wanting to write this post and the booklet that I have been going through this year and sharing parts from "52 Simple Stimulating Studies" - today's lesson was on the Holy Spirit. And then the fiction book that I started reading during our trip this weekend spoke a lot about the work of the Holy Spirit. I think it is fun. It is definitely prompting me to study and better understand the Holy Spirit and His work.

 I understand that we do have unknowns about the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives. That is true. But the Bible does also share quite a lot of information. I think it would do well for most of us to understand it better and be more aware of the Spirit working in our lives. We need to constantly working to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh.

This is looking to be a several part lesson on the Holy Spirit but let's go ahead and get started with some verses....

The Holy Spirit is a personality....
"And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." Romans 8:27

"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." Romans 4:1

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you are sealed for the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:29

  That is just a few verse for tonight but I hope it might prompt you to get started thinking on the  subject. Meanwhile we have had a busy weekend and I am ready for bed!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Animals on Our Homestead

 Our little homestead has really been growing as far as animals are concerned so I thought I should do a post on that today. :-)

The animal that gets the most attention around here (though he would say it still isn't enough and he would like all the attention that we give to the others too) is our dog Kitchi. He is a golden retriever that will turn 2 in September. He has brought a lot of laughter and fun to our family and a little frustration too (when he decides to dig in flower beds). He loves to tease (Steal a glove or a shoe and play chase with you as you try to get it back) and hates to be left behind. He is in 4-H dog training which we hope will be helpful. :-) He actually is pretty good in many ways but more training will not hurt at all. His job around the homestead is to keep bear away from the bees, predators away from the other animals and deer away from my flower beds and fruit trees (the main garden is fenced). Also to provide us with entertainment.

At the same time we got Kitchi we also got Esther - a rabbit of uncertain breed. We do hope to breed her in an attempt to provide meat and fur/leather for our family. A friend is going to give us a couple of male rabbits soon. So far she has just been a pet and provide a little bit of manure for homesteading purposes.

Last month we added Ruth and Naomi to our homestead. I thought I had a better picture but I couldn't find one. They are cute bunnies that are a mix of Mini Rex and Silver Fox. We got them to use for breeding to produce meat and fur. They are also pretty cute. The kids have enjoyed holding them and playing with them.

This is the cage that the boys (mostly Jonathan) made for the rabbits. We will need to make another for the additional rabbits we hope to get soon. It goes over top of the chicken run. The Chickens make use of all the feed that gets spilled.

 Our Broiler chicks arrived last week. We got 35 this year. This is the first year to have the full production at our place. My dad has done most of the broiler raising in the past. Jonathan made this chick pen. It works great for now but Aaron and I need to get busy and make a bigger pen for them to live in soon!
 We have 5 older and 18 newer (2 month old and not laying yet) layers. The older 5 may get butchered this fall but they are laying nicely now.
 They have a nice coop and run (built mostly by Jonathan) next to the garden. I love being able to throw weeds over the fence to them when I am working in the garden.

 Besides the broiler chicks the newest addition to our place is Mr. Sippi our cute little kitten. We got him from a friend last week. He has become my gardening buddy and Megan loves taking him around all over. He has a nice little home (he is a total outside cat because of allergies and just not caring for pets in the house) in the garden shed. His job is to catch mice so they don't eat animal feed or come in our house etc. He also is in charge of keeping little animals out of my garden. I have explained his duties to him and we hope that he listened. :-)

We can't forget the bees. I picked up 2 new nucs early last month. They are doing well and multiplying like crazy. They are packing in the honey as well. Mom and Dad came over this week and helped me to finally put up a fence to protect them from bears and skunks and such. I am very thankful! Neighbors have reported bear issues/sightings so we did need to get something done.

 I am thankful that God gave us animals. And I am thankful that he provided them for food: "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." Genesis 9:3  I don't truly enjoy butchering time but I would rather eat meat from animals that were raised in a good way and fed well and had an enjoyable life. We are able to do things that way that God designed them to be done and I am grateful for that.

Do you raise animals? What do you have at your place?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Our Life in Pictures

It has been a while since I have done a picture post (or much of any posts) so this one is pictures from more than just the last week but rather the last little while...

 Aaron and Kitchi who has learned how to get up on the boulders that we have in our front yard.
 The pretty Clemantis that Mara gave me for Mother's Day. The next morning Kitchi had dug it up as he wanted to chew on the little trellis. I replanted it but wasn't sure if it would make it. It did! It is greening up again. Praise God!
 Whales from my Sunday School class. I love this craft. The kids enjoyed it too.
 Asparagus that we foraged from an abandoned plot.
 Regal Mara looking (unsuccessfully) for more asparagus.
 Megan when she and I spent a morning together North East of here while the boys went to a Hunter's Safety Field day.
 Above and below are pictures of the kids with some good friends who recently moved away.
 We miss them but are delighted that Ken's parents bought their house and moved here from way out West. So nice to have another set of Grandparents in town.
 Jonathan at work.
 Megan playing the "harp" at a store in town.
 Ladyslippers blooming in our woods.
 A picnic fixed by my younger two this week while their older siblings worked.

 Iris blooming in the new flower bed that I am working on in our front yard.
 My sister and nephew and their new little kitten. Stay tuned for a bit post of animal updates from our little homestead!
 Flowers for a wedding today.
A snapping turtle that was trying to lay eggs in our yard. I don't know if she got the job done before I hurried her back to the river before she and Kitchi got in a fight.

What is going on at your place?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hell is Real

 Hell isn't a very fun topic is it? But it isn't one to be ignored either. I want to share some bits from God's word on this but first I thought I would share an excerpt from a book that I have been reading just lately - "And The Angels Were Silent" by Max Lucado......

"We don't like to talk about hell, do we? In intellectual circles the topic of hell is regarded as primitive and foolish. It's not logical. "A loving God wouldn't send people to hell." So we dismiss it.

But to dismiss it is to dismiss a core teaching of Jesus. The doctrine of hell is not one developed by Paul, Peter or John. It is taught be Jesus himself.

And to dismiss it is to dismiss much more. It is to dismiss the presence of a loving God and the privilege of a free choice. Let me explain.

  We are free either to love God or not. He invites us to love him. He urges us to love him. He came that we might love him. But, in the end, the choice is yours and mine. To take that choice from each of us, for him to force us to love him, would be less than love.

  God explains the benefits, outlines the promises, and articulates very clearly the consequences. And then, in the end, he leaves the choice to us.

  Hell was not prepared for people. Hell "was prepared for the devil and his angels." FOr a person to go to hell, then, is far a person to go against God's intended destiny. "God has not destined us to the terrors of judgement, but to the full attainment of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Hell is man's choice, not God's choice." 

So let's look at some verses....

Sinners will be punished in hell.

"As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:11 & 12

"... When the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" 2 Thess. 1:7-9

"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Matthew 7:19

"So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire, on that palace there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:49 & 50

"Then He will also say to those on His left, "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me. Then they themselves also will answer, "Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of you? Then He will answer them, "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me." These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." Matthew 25:41-46

What is Hell like? 

"Where the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:48

"And if anyone's name was not found, written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:15

And noticing from the verses above.... It is eternal, it is away from the presence of God, it is full of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Hell is going to be a terrible place and I don't think any of us desire to go there. So let's seek our dear Lord and Savior who is the only one that can save us from that place. Let us also warn others and encourage them to follow Jesus.


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