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.

BUT …
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.

Busy day at the Farm!

Up at 7:00 a.m. Got 3 loads of gravel to work on our garden paths. I love having a truck! Our little Dodge is a 3/4 ton truck, and in 3 loads we got 2 1/2 tons of gravel. Pretty good eye ballin’. All the little helpers from the old house showed up to assist with the path building (and they really help.) They also helped to clear debris from the flower beds.

At noon we went to “mom’s house” for a family get together for Easter. It was good to see all my siblings. We played a couple rounds of Apples to Apples and ate lots of food, including home made ginger cookies, mince meat pie and pumpkin pie.

By the time we got home Ryan and Shelli had a good start on a new chicken coop. This will be a smaller coop to house the meat chickens.


Paula and I got started on the new steps. We mixed up mortar and cemented the blocks in place that will make the faces of the new steps.

I helped Ryan with the new coop for a while longer; Paula gave Tristian a bath and put her to bed while Shelli went and cleaned the church.

Jon is here for Easter; we finally ate supper at 8:00 p.m. and now we’re settling in for the night. Whew!

Planting Season has Officially Begun

Remember the new plant starting stand I built a few months back? Well, it’s finally being put to use. We filled the three trays with dirt and planted some seeds tonight. In just a few weeks we’ll transplant our seedlings to paper cups and move them out to the greenhouse (which isn’t done yet.)

Step by Step …


We started to fix the steps that lead from the lower driveway up to the “big house”. I’m using bricks to build new faces on the steps, and rocks from the old barn foundation (and the woods) along the edges to keep the “theme” going. We’ll pour 4 inch thick concreted for each of the steps and hopefully that will last for a while.

I can’t complain really – the current steps have been there, I think for five years. Considering they were build out of old concrete slabs from an old sidewalk taken from another house, they’ve held up pretty well.

2009.05.10 Mother’s Day

Discussion on the sacramental aspects of the family unit.

Fish for Free days

Mark your calendars…this year the fish for free days are:
Saturday May 23rd (Memorial Day weekend) and Sunday June 7th (traditional birthday at the lake day).

Let’s all plan to drown some worms and eat yummy picnic food!!

Building a Garden

We spent Saturday morning with our friends Claude and Elizabeth building them a spanking new Lasagna Garden from scratch. It was so awesome. We loaned them the Lasagna Garden book and they actually read it. They came out to Big Oak Ridge and had breakfast with us, then we went out to look at our garden and explain it to them a little bit. I ran down to the sand and gravel before they arrived and got a load of topsoil. After breakfast and the garden tour we threw a load of chicken manure on the truck behind the topsoil and headed for Claude and Elizabeth’s.

When we got there we were blown away by their preparations. They already had the cardboard pretty much laid out for the base layer, and and they had peat, leaves, and shredded paper for additional layers.


We spread some peat, shoveled on some manure, added the paper and the topsoil. Their urban garden consists of two 22 foot rows with an 18 inch path in between. We covered the path with wood chips.