Things are growing

Nothing much new but it’s been a while…the garden is in and growing…some stuff looks like it could use a bit of help so we will fertilize this week. Our soil tends to be low in phosphorus.
Chicks are moved to the big coop and we lost one in the transition but the others look much healthier and are growing nicely. Hens are still producing like crazy.

Last evening we picked our first few strawberries. We netted the blueberries and strawberries and put straw around them. The grapes are setting new leaves…we are thankful that the frost didn’t entirely kill them.

The steers have stayed in…we are thankful for that too. This weekend we will finish planting the garden and work on moving the herbs and flowers.

Chickens, Garden, flowers today

Today I’m cleaning the big chicken coop and moving the chicks from the garage to the coop. Also continuing work on the garden – hopefully we’ll plant it today.

A couple of Poppies bloomed and I think some of the Peonies will open today. I’ll post pics if able.

Last night’s Truth Project tour was “God and man”. Very interesting. I’m really enjoying the series. I wish now I’d taken the training when they offered it and got a copy of the DVD series for myself.

Cow got out – AGAIN

I called in “late” to work. I’ll go walk the fence, check the charger, and kill the cow if I can catch it.

LOTS of work this weekend …

Saturday we got more rows into the garden – moved 2 1/2 tons of dirt!

Sunday was church and home group, both of which were pretty good, and a 10 mile bike trip.

Today’s goal was to move the laying hens from the big coop to the little coop to make room for the meat chickens in the big coop.

In order for that to happen we had to put up about 300 feet of chicken fence, build a gate, nest boxes, roosts, etc.

We managed to get it all done just as it was getting dark.

The laying hens are now in their new “digs”. We’ll see how effective the new fence is tomorrow when we let them out.

Chicken coop ready for chickens

We couldn’t get the boards to finish it completely so using what we had I filled the rest with chicken wire. It will provide ventilation on these 90 degree days we have been having. The ground slopes so much I had to make a ramp up to the door. Turned out ok for a $100 chicken coop.

Brief Update

New chicken coop continues… new chickens arrive Thursday or Friday! We are just 6 1x8x8’s short to finish it. Waiting on Joe to make them.

Company coming Tuesday through Friday.

Transplanted seedlings yesterday; lost grape vines, some strawberries, and many flowers to hard frost last night. Bummer. We always seem to plant too early.

Homegroup “met” at the Chinese restaurant after church on Sunday, then ended up informally continuing at our house after all. The weekend was good.

Another Day on the Farm

It was another busy but productive day on the farm ….

We launched into the garden, and gramma gave lessons …

… then enlisted her willing helpers to get the seeds planted

The result was a beautiful raised bed plot which really didn’t seem to take nearly as much effort as I was afraid it would.

We also started some new grapes, transplanted over 80 strawberries, added two new blueberry bushes to the blueberry row …..

… cleaned the chicken coop, and still managed to squeeze in a “date” by zooming downtown for a couple hours to see May Mart, have lunch at the Frenchcreek Cafe, and visit with a few family members.

Busy but productive day at Big Oak Ridge!

Finished the new fence

After a couple of days with no internet service we’re finally back on line.

Monday we finished the new section of fence. Towards the end Ryan was afraid we were going to run out of wire and he started praying. The picture shows how much wire was left when we finished.

The cattle have found the side yard – where all the good grass is – and suddenly they’re not so interested in corn anymore.

Our planting rack seems to be working – we’re ready to transplant our seedlings into small cups.

God’s encouraging presence

Recently, within the span of a few days, I was faced with several stories in the news that really bothered me. They all just happened to revolve around the “homosexual agenda”, but that was only coincidental.

The first story involved Ted Haggard, former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, who left the ministry some time ago after it was revealed that he had engaged a male prostitute and purchased methamphetamine. He’s still in the news, and still making the speaking circuit.

The second story was about Rick Warren, the megachurch pastor who has become the current “media evangelical” of choice, and his statement during an interview that “the issue of homosexual marriage simply wasn’t important” to him. Many christians have “concerns” about some of the things Rick Warren has said and done recently, but he remains one of the biggest money makers in the religious business.

The third story, also old news, involved Ray Boltz, author of several moving Christian songs. Some time ago Ray left the Christian ministry, divorced his wife, announced he was gay, and joined the Metropolitan Community Church.

All of this is old news; for one reason or another each of these things crossed my path, though, within a short time span. I was surprised by my own reaction.

First, I felt sad. Homosexuality is not THE sin, nor is it the unpardonable sin. That’s not what got to me. What really got to me is that here are three men who had incredible platforms to reach the world and impact it, and what did they do with it? They chose political correctness and self indulgence over “fighting the good fight”.

Second, I felt betrayed. I felt like “my side” took another hit. Of course the media have had a field day with each of these events. Many confused people in the world (as evidenced by postings in the blogosphere) are being led to question their faith (again) in light of the fact that, to them, there does not appear to be any real power in the name of Jesus; He does not seem to “keep His own”, He seems powerless to stop the downward spiral of mankind, and even his most “notable” followers seem to fall more often than follow. I felt a little war weary.

Third, I felt angry. I thought of that scene in the movie “Independence Day” where the President finally understands the real goal of the aliens and he says “Nuke the b—-“. I felt tired of being merciful, tired of trying to get anyone to see the light. I just wanted to go home.

I was quickly reminded of how many times God has forgiven me. Over and over and over again.

I was reminded how many different ways God has provided for me, covered for me, got me out of impossible situations.

I was reminded that none of the things that are going on in the world are surprising to God. He’s still in control, He knows the end from the beginning, and He’s not losing the battle. The wheat and the tares grow up together, but they will be separated at the harvest.

As a friend of mine commented “We know that these things are going to happen (2 Thessalonians 2), but I did not realize how painful it would be to watch.” How true.

I am thankful for the mercies of God, and I am thankful that I know the end of the story. I started out discouraged, but ended up encouraged.

“Let not your hearts be troubled…”

Where God leads

We’re nearly through the sacraments at Home Group (we have matrimony left to cover) and we’re getting ready to enter into a series on spiritual warfare.

It seems fitting, then, that this week we’ll be discussing “How we deal with sin”. This is the one thing, I believe, that keeps most Christians from walking in authority and living in peace.

“For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. ” 1Thess. 1:5

This is where I believe the Holy Spirit wants to lead US – That our gospel would not be in word only.