Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Bedroom

Sunday, 25 April 2010

  • The Bedroom

    A few weeks ago, I had addressed the topic of spring cleaning and how we can relate each room of our physical homes to the spiritual rooms of our hearts ("spiritual lessons from sp" in the tags).  We live in a 2 story and when we started the cleaning, we started upstairs with the bedrooms.  Our 3 oldest boys share the biggest bedroom and they each have their own little area in it for their personal belongings.  I don't know how other boys are with keeping their rooms tidy and clean, but our boys bedroom was a real mess!  On our cleaning day, they got to work cleaning up their "spots", washing the walls and mopping the floor, including under their beds (our house is mostly hardwood).   When it was all finished, it looked great, they loved it, and they determined to keep it that way.  They certainly are old enough for that task and I told them that if I had to clean it again, I would charge a fee for maid service.  Hee Hee!  So far they are doing well and I am afraid that my chances of getting rich being a maid are pretty slim.  Now don't misunderstand me, tidiness and organization is something that I have to constantly work at myself, also.  I am not someone who obsesses over a clean house, for if I did I would not get anything else done.  I once read a cute quote that I can relate to....."keeping a clean house while raising children is like shoveling a sidewalk before it is done snowing".  So, if you want to stop in to see me, you may stop in anytime.  If you want to come see the house, you will have to make an appointment.
    Next, I tackled our bedroom, Dave's and mine.  And no, it wasn't as bad as the boys, but the walls needed to be wiped down and curtains washed.  Our bedroom is small with only walking space around the bed, but I don't mind that - less space to clean!   When I think of the purpose of our room, I think of rest and intimacy.  The scriptures tell us that the "sleep of a laboring man is sweet" and it is.  God created us to work and experience life for approximately 16 hours each day and then our bodies need to rest and sleep.  When that time arrives, the bed looks quite welcome, doesn't it?  In the morning, we wake up feeling refreshed (usually) and we are ready to face another day.  That is physical rest.   I know that many people have their quiet time with the Lord elsewhere in their homes, but our room is the best place for me.  The 2 most important relationships that we have (if we are married),  are the relationships with the Lord and our spouse, in that order.  If you are not married, I guess it would be the Lord and then your parents or mentor.  Our earthly relationships are so effected by our relationship with our Heavenly Father that it is very important that we make it a priority.  This is an area in my life that needs more attention.  I tell myself that I WILL take the time in the morning to pray and ask for God's guidance and wisdom for the day.  I will do good for a few days and then something will happen to that schedule and off goes the day and away goes my devotions.  I used to feel so condemned about this, until I realized that God knows my heart, He knows my intentions and I am serving Him by serving my family and meeting their needs.  I have learned to pray while doing dishes, laundry, or taking a walk.  I love to find songs that are prayers (there are many) and verses that encourage me, or challenge me, and tape them by the sink.  In saying all that, I have found that it is in those quiet times spent in my bedroom that are the most meaningful and bring a peace and rest to my sometimes overloaded mind and body.  God provides rest for hearts, we just need to seek Him and ask Him for it.
    Intimacy.......now don't run away!  This is not a shameful or sinful subject.  Definitions - "the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar." "Sexual intercourse".   We develop an intimate relationship with the Lord by spending time with Him, becoming familiar with His Word, asking for His presence in our lives and being obedient to His callings.  Marital intimacy is not only sexual, it is also emotional, but I want to just address the sexual part.  Sexual relationships are only to take place in a marriage commitment.  If you are not married, ask God for the strength to keep yourself sexually pure until you do marry that special someone.  Everywhere we look today, our eyes can take in images (whether a live person or pictures) that make our mind reel with impure thoughts whether we are married or not.  The temptations are there and we have to make a choice to act on them or give it to the Lord immediately.  He will provide strength for us to remain pure in our actions and thoughts.   If you are married, sexual intimacy is such a beautiful part of that union and such an important part that if there are problems in this area, more than likely it will cause problems in other areas of your relationship.  For a man, this area is priority!  You can read all kinds of material on the differences between the male and female, but I am not going to get into that now.  Sexual intimacy is not a bad word.  We should not be ashamed or feel quilty about our desires if they are within the context of God's requirements.   Take the time sometime and read the Song of Solomon in the scriptures to see what God really thinks of sexual intimacy.   In  sexual intimacy with your spouse, there is also no room for pornography.  This is wickedness and will eventually poison your relationship together.  I am not a counselor, but just a regular married woman who learned alot in the past and will continue to learn.    If this subject is very sensitive to you, I beg you to seek help and support, so that there is no dread or fear, but joy and delight.  Seek for open communication with your spouse, to please one another, and make it a priority in your marriage.  That is how God meant it to be.  If you have fallen to sexual impurity in the past, all is not lost.  Find the story in the Bible about the woman caught in adultry (John 8) and learn how God forgave her.  He then told her to sin no more.  Our God is able to erase all our past sins and make us clean, so that we are able to start fresh in our relationships.  May He work in each of our lives to bring us to His will for our intimate relationships.
    Our bedroom is finished now.  Next time we will address the sewing room.
    Until next time.............  

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Civic Notes - Feb. 19, 2010

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

  • Civics' Class Notes from Feb. 19, 2010

    February 19th Class Notes
    This class Dave had to work, so I taught the Civics’ class. We talked about the role of the state and watched one of the "Truth Project" tours. Can a state ever be guilty of stealing? The law of the state cannot be regarded as absolute – we must constantly re-evaluate it to the eternal truth and change it if it does not measure up to the higher ethical standard. The state cannot usurp the authority over the other social spheres, which are family, church, labor, God and man – in terms of their own specific purposes. We came to the obvious conclusion that the state IS overstepping their authority today! We had some good discussion. If you ever have a chance to go through "The Truth Project", please do. It is excellent!
    March 5th class notes
    Dave is really busy with masonry jobs, which leaves me the full time Civics’ teacher for the rest of the year. This class we focused on The Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. I must admit, I am learning right along with the students, for when I was in school I really didn’t care about this stuff. Now, I wish I’d paid more attention. This is important and interesting information!
    We reviewed notes from all our classes, went over some of the inventions and discoveries from the founding of this nation to the present day. I asked the questions, "Why are our lives different than the majority of the people over the earth? Why don’t we go hungry?" The answer is primarily because of 2 documents and both of these documents are rooted in God’s law. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
    We discussed why the Declaration was written. To declare our independence from England.
    Then we went to the Constitution. One of the students, Aaron, gave a very good report on this document.
    Our gov’t has 3 branches, a balance of powers, and it was formed by the founding fathers.
    Legislative Branch
    • Congress – made up of 2 bodies or groups
    • House of Representatives,
    • Senate
    Executive Branch
    • President
    Judicial Branch
    • judges
    • court system
    The founding fathers based our government this way, because of scripture.
    -The Lord is our
    • King (executive branch)
    • Judge (judicial branch)
    • Law giver (legislative branch)
    The Constitution was immediately amended, for all the states had to ratify it. Yes, the states created the federal gov’t, not vica versa. Some of the states wanted things changed in the Constitution before they would ratify it. Those changes, or amendments, are called the Bill of Rights.
    Each student had 1 of the first 10 amendments to give a brief explanation on what it meant. We had some very interesting conversations about some of them.
    We then had an in-depth discussion on the Declaration. In the opening lines, Jefferson is saying that we are going to be a separate nation and out of respect for England, we will explain why.
    In one of our classes we discussed what it meant to be an American. We will find the answer in the rest of the Declaration…. All words in ( ) are my explanations.
    "We hold these truths (things) to be self-evident (don’t need to be explained), that all men are created equal (this is a biggy! What does equal mean? That we all look alike, act alike, and have the same interests? No! It means that we are equal in the sight of God, in the sight of law, and in the protection of our rights. Age, gender or political status does not effect this! This was not always true down through history), that they are endowed (given) by their Creator (God) with certain unalienable (can’t be taken away) rights, (It is VERY important to believe that our rights come from God, or our Creator, because gov’t can assume it has the responsibility to grant rights to the people and if they can grant rights they also can take them away. Is healthcare a right? Education? NO! God doesn’t give these things at birth, but you have the opportunity to get them) that among these are Life, (where does abortion fit in here?) Liberty (my free actions have limits according to the freedom of others. I can’t steal at the store, even though I have liberty), and the pursuit of Happiness (what makes you happy? You have the right to chose friends, career, whether you want to be married, how many children you want to have, etc.). That to secure (protect) these right, Governments are instituted among men, deriving (getting) their just powers from the consent of the governed (people – not Kings), - That whenever any form of Gov’t becomes destructive of these ends (not protecting or taking away), it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and Happiness." WOW! What do you think?
    We need to beware of Social Justice, which has infected our gov’t today. It is the belief that citizens are guaranteed equal outcomes and economic equality and it is the duty of gov’t to insure that happens. This is contrary to our founding documents and contrary to the Word of God, who directs the paths of men.
    We concluded class with some scenarios and question/answer time.
    We had a really fun and informative class!
    March 19th Class
    We watched a DVD with three 20 min. segments of the different branches of gov't.  I think that brings us up to date with the Civics' Class notes.
    Until next time....... 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hoof Manicures

Wednesday, 07 April 2010

  • Hoof Manicures

     We have been farming for 11 years now, as of this past January.  The herd we have now is our third herd (that is another story), and we have a mixture of breeds.  In the 11 years, we have never had to have a hoof trimmer come and trim the cows hooves.  The main reason for that is that we usually let our cows out to graze as much as possible and the hooves naturally get trimmed from them walking around outside.  Some of the cows we have now had long hooves when we bought them and the herd had to be inside all winter, so that gave their hooves the advantage.  Well, some of our cows were beginning to look like they had skiis instead of hooves.  If they get too long, the cow has trouble walking, developes foot problems, and it can effect their general health.  So, Dave decided that his girls needed manicures.  The hoof  trimmer or "manicurist"  arrived with his set up.  It was a very interesting experience and the trimmer was excellent at his job.
    This is what they call the tilt table.  It is pulled by a pickup and was backed up to the barn door.
     A gate system is set up inside the barn to channel the cows into the pen or table, not sure what to call it.
    gate system
    A cow is put into the "pen", her head sticks out the front,  the one side of the "pen" starts to squeeze into the cow, and it starts to tilt, exposing the cows hooves.  The cow is not squashed to death , but just held snuggly on the table.  The trimmer ropes her legs secure so he does not get kicked and he begins his work.
    tilting 2
    tilting 3
    view from other side of table
    other side
    looking good!
     If a cow had a wart or sore on her foot, the trimmer cleaned, medicated it and wrapped it up.
    I know that you might think this is cruel, or abusive to the animal, but I can assure you that the trimmer was VERY kind, careful and humane in dealing with the cows.  The cows are not hurt in any way.   It is for the good of the cow, for it is neglectful to not have this done when it is needed.  When they were all finished we witnessed how much easier they could walk.    *Interesting tidbit - it took the trimmer 3-7 minutes to manicure one cow!!*  Very impressive!
    Thought this was a funny picture.  We had one very stubborn girl, who was determined (almost) to not have her manicure done.  How many farmers does it take to get a cow in the chute?
    Another day on the farm, another project complete.
    Until next time.................