2009.01.18 Granola, Intro to Sacraments

Regular Meeting. Project: Home made Granola. Paula will facilitate the project. Everyone will get to take home some yummy and nutritious home made granola.

Kent will provide an introduction to the sacraments of Christianity; what they are and why they are. We’ll come back to this topic periodically in the future.


We enjoyed lunch together, made granola, and had an introductory discussion about sacraments.

I’m including here the notes on Sacraments, and the recipe for granola.


A good general definition is that a sacrament is “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace” (from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer).

What are the sacraments?
Most Protestants recognize two sacraments: Baptism and Communion, or the Lord’s Supper.

My definition: something that was prophesied or foreshadowed, that Christ commanded or ordained by Word or by His actions, that has both an action to be taken and a promise or stated spiritual result.

Sacraments should be done as exactly as possible according to the plan laid out by Christ and the apostles and made clear in the Old Testament foreshadowing, just as the Tabernacle had to be completed to exact specifications and the worship in the Temple had to follow exact specifications. If you don’t follow the plan, the message and significance can be lost or diluted.

The following are the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church: (We discussed some things about Roman Catholicism in relation to this list)
• Baptism (Christening)
• Confirmation (Chrismation)
• Holy Eucharist (or Holy Communion)
• Penance (Confession)
• Anointing of the Sick
• Holy Orders
• Matrimony

What I believe are the sacraments instituted by Christ: (based on my definition of sacrament above)
• Salvation
• Water Baptism
• Holy Spirit Baptism
• Communion
• Matrimony

Your homework: Search the scriptures and see if you agree or disagree with my definition and my list of sacraments. Don’t use Wikipedia or other such sources, use the scripture and PRAYER and let God give you wisdom in this area. We’ll be discussing this later, so if you make notes make sure to bring them with you each week in case the topic comes up. In future meetings I hope to discuss the sacraments individually and why I believe each of the things I mentioned qualifies.

GRANOLA RECIPE: Homemade Granola

10 cups of Old Fashioned Oatmeal
2 cups of wheat germ
2 cups of brown sugar
2 cups powdered milk
3/4 cup of oleo
1 cup of honey
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon

Mix together first four dry ingredients. Set aside. Melt oleo-add honey, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Spread on lightly greased cookie sheets and roast for 30 minutes at 275 degrees. Stir half way through roasting.

You may add coconut, raisins, nuts, dried fruit etc. after roasting. Roast an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.

2009.01.11 Seed Saving, Garden Planning

Preparing the garden: seeds and seed saving. Randy will lead discussion.

This information will be valuable to anyone who is interested in starting or continuing to garden using open pollinated seeds – a method that allows you to collect and store your own seeds from year to year instead of purchasing seed every year.

During this meeting we will be deciding what we are planting this year at Big Oak Ridge, what seeds we are buying etc. We can also help anyone else who is going to be making similar decisions. By the end of this meeting anyone who is doing the garden thing this year should have all the information they need to purchase their seeds.

Recommended resource: “Saving Seeds” by Marc Rogers (readily available through bookstores or online, about $10.00)

Saving Seeds

Meeting Topics

I’m going to start a list here of topics we’re likely to be discussing/exploring at our meetings. They are NOT presented here in any particular order, and we’ll be adding to this as time goes on.

2008.12.10: I’m going to start trying to organize some of these topics in preparation for getting them on the calendar. Feel free to offer any feedback that seems appropriate.

2008.12.25 NOTE: Ryan has added a Google Calendar link, and the Google calendar shows our events, as well as the schedule for “life on the farm”, in calendar layout if that would help you.

2009.12.03 NOTE: Well, we’ve been at this a year now. Some of the topics below could stand to be reviewed, some new ones added, and some on here we haven’t covered yet. We’ll be working on this list in the near future.

December 2008:
The Bethlehem Star (video) with discussion time? UPDATE: This is happening at the Oil City Branch

01.04: Open House. Ryan’s Birthday. First meeting of the New Year.
01.11: Seed buying/saving (Randy) – also discuss co-op possibilities
01.18: Regular Meeting. Project: Home made granola. – further discuss co-op options
01.25: Nutrition 101 Part 1(Paula) – menu prep, grocery shopping, easy basic meals, basic nutrition, cooking ahead, stretching what you have

02.01: Relationship between body/soul/spirit (Randy)
02.08: How to hear from God (Kent/Randy)
02.15: The case for Intelligent Design: Animals that defy evolution (video/discussion) – creation history and science
02.22: Discussion of prophecy in the body of Christ; Review of words from God regarding preparation etc. (Randy/Kent)

03.01: Vermiculture with Nancy Mansfield
03.08: Subject to be Announced (Randy)
03.15: Starting seedlings (Kent/Paula) Hopefully this will include a demonstration…
03.22: Communion (Kent)


04.18-19: (Tentative) Field trip to Growing Power, Milwaukee, WI. There will be no meeting this weekend.
04.26: Building garden beds, planning the garden, etc. (Kent/Paula/Randy)

Unsorted topics:
Chain saw maintenance (Randy)
Raising kids for God (Paula)

Raising chickens (Kent/Paula)
Butchering chickens (Kent/Paula)
Raising Goats (Kent/Paula)
Butchering goats (Kent/Paula)

Tools: use and care (Randy)
Organic pest control (Paula)
Canning/Freezing/Drying/Dehydrating foods (Paula)
Fruits: Strawberries, bush berries, grapes (??)

Personal testimonies (as the Holy Spirit leads)
Sewing basics – choosing a pattern, reading a pattern, picking fabric, using machines (Paula)
Gun use and care
The power of words, Blessings and cursings (may be two teachings or one, or part one and part two, not sure)
Water baptism
Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Daily spiritual exercises – what works, what doesn’t

I seem to frequently fail in my attempts to have regular, daily, “God time”. I pray frequently (and fervently) through the day, but on days when I don’t have deliberate, “set aside” time to focus on God I really miss it.

Lately I’ve been trying to get up earlier in the morning to do this. I’ve been using my chronological Bible, Oswald Chambers (“My utmost for His Highest”), and the newsletters we receive from David Wilkerson to get a little focus and perspective.

I’d like to hear how others handle their daily devotional time.

2009.01.04 First meeting of the New Year, Ryan’s Birthday

First meeting of the new year, and first meeting with the “new format”. The “meeting” will actually be Ryan’s birthday party. Lunch at 1:00PM, and the party will run from 1pm to 4pm. Gifts are not required, but we’d like to have a “head count” so we know how many people we’ll be feeding.

January 6th is the Fast of Tevet, commemorating the beginning of the Siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which resulted in the destruction of the Temple of Solomon 30 months later, and the subsequent 70 year exile of the Jews. This is also a day set aside by Jews to remember the Holocaust. Reminder: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Plans for community meetings

Now that winter is coming we’re planning on getting the “home group” back up and running in some form.

My plan right now is to gather some interesting videos that we could use as points of discussion, etc. We may not use that every week, but if I can get some good ones (not boring) we could at least use that occasionally. I want to make sure we’re really accomplishing something spiritual if we do this; fellowship is great, and it’s important, but we need to make sure we’re getting fed spiritually, too – especially in light of the times we are living in.

Weight control

Several of our members are involved in Weight Watchers, and that seems to be producing results.

Bed and Breakfast?

One of the things I have considered as a possible financial resource, and also as a way of promoting the goals of Big Oak Ridge, is to open a Bed and Breakfast. We can discuss this idea here and consider what that might entail.

Should we consider forming a non-profit corporation?

A non-profit corporation could have a number of advantages. It could serve as the land trust organization, holding the property of Big Oak Ridge for future generations etc. It could also provide a support organization for some of the purposes of Big Oak Ridge (education, etc.) This would take some research to weigh the pros and cons but it is something we may need to consider.

Costs, Fees, and Money Making Opportunities

I have had several thoughts about how to handle the financial aspects of Big Oak Ridge. One question we will have to answer is whether or not we will use membership dues or fees as part of our financial process. Thoughts anyone?

Another question is how to “charge” for things like produce, etc. As we develop the co-op side of Big Oak Ridge, we will need to come up with a reliable way to set costs for items sold, both for members and, potentially, for non-members.