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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Testimony

Thursday, 29 July 2010

  • My Testimony

    Last week, Mr. Glenn Beck gave a 40 day challenge.  He has become more of a minister than a political talk show host and his theme is Faith, Hope and Charity.  That is what he talks about and is begging people to turn to God and practice these 3 things.  Whoever took the challenge and signed the pledge, here is what they must do for 40 days - practice   1).  Faith - pray on your knees every night and let your children see you.  Pray for guidance, peace, for the leaders of this country.  Re-establish your relationship with God.    2). Hope - hope comes from truth and you can't have hope based on lies.  Question with boldness - about everything and no matter who said it.  Determine what is true in your life.   3). charity - at least once a week, do something kind and loving for each family member.   Notice how blessed you are and be grateful.         I felt lead to take the challenge and I must admit it has been a challenge.  Not the praying on my knees or doing kind things, but determining the truth in my life.  Determining what I really believe in.   We just finished day 8 and my mind is so very full.
    While thinking what I truly believe in has made me think of my whole spiritual journey.  I was raised in a Brethren Church where there were alot of rules, mostly external rules and teachings that was mostly void of heart issues.  It makes me sad to think about it, but that was how things were in that generation of time.  I went to public school and that is where I met Dave (we graduated together), even though we did not start dating until after graduation.  His church background was not strict and he had little interest in Godly things.  Those of you who have gone to school with us, I know that Dave & I getting together was a huge shock.  We were totally different.  I was known as the "mennonite" girl (even though I was not one), and I am not sure what Dave was known as, but certainly not someone who our classmates would've picked for me.  That judgement was made because I "looked" different, but my heart was full of sin and not any better than anyone elses.   The Lord had plans for us, though, and I am amazed at what He has done in  our lives over the years.  Only by His grace.........   Well, we got married, started a family and our spiritual searching - together.  At one point we joined a VERY conservative church that had even more rules and that is where the Lord started showing us some truths that we could not see before.  We left that church, visited another and eventually ended up homechurching for a few years.  It was during that time, that I began to see who I really was, for I no longer had a church telling me what to do, how to look, etc..   I could no longer hide behind church rules, I had to face up to myself, for it was just me and the Lord.  He started showing me that gossip was wrong, envy, jealousy, bitterness, and pride were also sins that needed to be addressed (still addressing them!).  Dave & I started searching the scriptures to find out what God required of us, not other people, but God.  That has been a few years ago, and to be honest, the search goes on and gets deeper & deeper into the heart.    These past few days made me realize that it is easy to believe in something because that is always what we believed in and it certainly is easier to keep believing in it than to rock the boat.  Jesus wants us to get out of the boat, to walk on the water and keep our eyes focused on Him and Him alone.  The point I am at right now, is I have a deep, deep desire to know the truth of the scriptures, not what the Brethren or Mennonites, Methodists, Protestants, Calvinists, Reformed Theology or Arminians say, but what God says, pure and undefiled.  We are living in the days of much deception and it is so easy to become a part of a group, to want to "fit in", to not look different, and sometimes by doing so, we miss what is God's truth for our lives.  We need to stand up and question with boldness.  We need to ask the Lord to reveal to us His truths and then ask for strength to apply them to our lives, no matter if we have to stand alone.  It has been interesting, for He has shown me that the internal is very important, and the external as well.  As a family, we have started writing down what we believe in starting with who Jesus is, who we are in Him, etc..  Maybe I will expand on it next time, if the Lord leads me to.  I was wondering.....what do you believe in?  Who do you believe in?  Is it the truth based on scripture alone?  Are you sure?  Ummmm....please make sure, for in the future you will be tested and at the judgement seat there will be no excuse.
    Until next time...........  

Friday, July 23, 2010

Uriah is 9

Friday, 23 July 2010

  • Uriah is 9

    Yesterday was Uriah's 9th birthday.  I think I say this at all the children's birthday, "where have the years gone?"   He is our 5th child, 4th son and has a very sensitive, sweet spirit about him.  He dreams of having his own business one day.  He wanted lasagna for supper and for dessert - beach cups.  We took crushed vienna cookies and put some in the bottom of a cup, next a layer of pudding, a slice of cake hidden in it and topped with crushed cookies again.  A gummy worm for the eatable decorations (could use fish, too).  We had to use a long match for his candle - didn't work so great, though.  What a blessing to have him as part of the Weidenhammer gang!
    Copy of uriahs birthday 001
    When I was pregnant with Uriah, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  I have never had trouble with that before, but this time when I had the 1 hour sugar test done, it was positive.  I was sent to have a 3 hour sugar test.  How absolutely horrible is the drink they give you to drink each hour!  I still cringe thinking about that stuff!  I flunked that test, also, so I had to see a nutritionist, who put me on a strict diabetic diet and sent me home with instructions on how to stick myself 3 times a day to monitor sugar levels.  My morning levels would not stay low enough, so I had to give myself a shot each night before bed.  That became easier than pricking my finger!    I have a deeper respect for all the people who suffer with diabetes.  Not an easy thing to live with.
    Until next time.......... 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Importance of Stick-Togetherness

Thursday, 15 July 2010

  • The Importance of Stick-Togetherness

    Dave has always stressed that a very important thing in life is for families to stick together.  To work and play as a unit, to pull together for a common purpose.  To look out for each other.  We need to support each other, even though we may have different interests or goals.   Well, here of late, I have been somewhat frustrated at how the boys seem disgruntled at each other all the time.  If one would say something, someone would argue or make fun.  They started treating me the same way - after all, I am just a mom who don't know anything, right?  "Mom, you just don't understand what it is like to be a boy!"  Well, to be honest, I don't always understand why they do the things they do, or how on earth they came up with that idea, but (yes, I know, if you say "but" everything before it is a lie, BUT  I mean what I said before "but") I am still the mom, and I do have more wisdom than they do, so they should NOT argue with me.  DAVE, PLEASE HELP!  So, he gave a demonstration.......
    We have one lonely pencil.  This pencil is a person.  Along comes the stresses of life....a bully, sickness, too much work, no friends or family, disagreements, etc.  The stresses become heavier and heavier, the pencil starts to bend and very quickly.. snaps...
    wringer washer pencil lesson 001
    Or, each family member can decide to be selfish and only care about themselves, only look out for themselves, decide they are the only right one and soon the home is very divided and filled with tension. You are together, but not together.  You become as weak as that lone pencil without family.
    wringer washer pencil lesson 003
    God has put into each & every person the desire to be loved, wanted, and needed.  The desire to be part of a family where parents, brothers & sisters look out for each other, where there is honor and respect.  A place where kind, supporting words are spoken (this is an area we are working on right now) and where there is trust, which is VERY important.   Is it easy?  Not always.  We are all human beings with different personalities, interests and opinions.  Even though we are all different, we can still fulfill God's plan for families, and that is to be a unit bringing honor and glory to Him and showing the world what it means to love one another.  So gather up a bunch of pencils, hold them tightly in a bundle.......go ahead....try to break it.......
    wringer washer pencil lesson 002
    They are strong and can take stress, troubles and trials and they remain in one piece.  That is how we, as a family, need to be, a bundle tightly held together, unbreakable no matter how much "pressure" is put on us.   I loved the lesson and the boys were quite fascinated.  I do believe that I have seen a change in them, already.  Our families are very important and well worth all the effort it takes to hold them together.  May God above give all of us parents the wisdom, love and understanding to take on the task given to us.  We can, in His strength!!
    Until next time...............

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

This & That on the Farm

Wednesday, 07 July 2010

  • This & That on the Farm

    We were very blessed to have 3 bushel of green beans to can today.  It is 10:10 P.M. and I have 3 more canners to go.  It was a very, very hot day today, so we ended up working in the kitchen that is void of air-conditioning.  We survived and the outcome is 56 quarts.  Last week we did 4 bushels, which we put in freezer, and hopefully next week we will be able to get another 2 bushel.  Then we will be finished with beans.  By the way, did you know that you can put raw clean green beans directly in the freezer?  So easy and fast and so yummy stir fried!
    The other week we made hay.  We were able to purchase a baler, so now we can make hay when we want to make hay and not have to wait on someone to come bale for us (we rent a neighboring farm and that is where we make hay).  This baler is an old-time baler, but it works great.  I love helping to make hay!  Making hay is a family affair.  Someone drives the tractor, others are on the wagon stacking the bales.  After the wagon is full, the bales are dropped from baler to be picked up later by dump truck.  Busy, but rewarding time.  I like to make swizzle to drink during hay making days.  The recipe is:  1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 tsp. ginger.  Mix together in a 1 quart jar and fill the rest of the jar with water.  I like to add some lemon juice also.  Love it!

    No, we don't have big equipment, but what we have gets the job done.

    Our charming granddaugher, Oakley, is now 9 months old!  She still has everyone in this house wrapped around her tiny finger.  She is such a sweetie!

    Some friends of our gave us a swimming pool!!  Thanks so much, Ray & Dawn!  You have no idea what a blessing you poured upon us.  The boys haven't had so much fun in a long time.  Oliver and Uriah taught themselves how to swim and all of them have become like fish in the water.  It feels so good to jump in after a hard, hot day of work.

    There is something about swimming that makes a person tired and hungry.  These boys were very ready for bed after swimming.  I caught them just sitting on these bales looking like they were done for the day.

    It has been very hot this week and we need rain very badly.  Our yard is all dried up, as well as the pastures.  It becomes a bigger problem to the farmers than to most folks.  We are so at the mercy of the weather.  We were talking the other day of the faith that Elijah had when there was a drought (in the Bible).  One day he saw a cloud as big as a man's hand and he told the people to prepare for it was going to rain. ( I Kings 18:44)  And it did!  My faith falls way, way short compared to that man.  Something to work at, for sure!
    One more canner of beans to go and then off to bed.  It will probably be 12:30 till I get there.  Life is good, isn't it?  Let's attempt to always keep the right perspective (which is not always easy) and to always remember what is the most important thing in  life, which makes me think of my next post (sorry, you will have to wait) ................
    Until next time..................

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our Last Civic Class and Presentation

Tuesday, 06 July 2010

  • Our Last Civic Class and Presentation

    I realize that I never posted our last Civic Class notes.  This class we covered alot of information from a book called "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?" by Richard J. Maybury. I would encourage you to get the book, either at your library or purchase it.  A great informative book, with simple language, that you will learn alot from in regards to economics. 
    Lay out in front of you a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, & a half-dollar.  Look closely at them and see if you can discover any differences, besides the value, color and size.  See anything?   ˙op sɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ ǝʞıl ǝpıs ǝɥʇ uo sǝʌooɹƃ ǝʌɐɥ ʇou op lǝʞɔıu puɐ ʎuuǝd ǝɥʇ!  You must flip your computer screen upside down to read that, so I will wait to go on...................   Ready now?  Ok, the grooves on the coins are called "reeding" and if you look closely you will notice that there is copper sandwiched between a nickel-zinc metal.  These are called clad coins.  Before 1965, these coins were not clad, but were made of 900 fine silver (90% pure).  You will notice that none of your  dimes, quarters or halves are dated before 1965.  That's because of inflation and recession.  You probably didn't know that all of these "coins" you are looking at are not really "coins".   They are called tokens.  A "coin" is a disk of precious metal, like gold or silver.
    The Roman government had problems 20 centuries ago and the Greeks had problems 5 centuries before the Romans, so inflation and recession is no new thing.  A welfare program is the practice of giving things to poor people.  Modern governments also have welfare for rich folks, but it is called "subsidy".  If you are poor, the gov't gives you food, money, medical care, or housing, that's welfare.  If you are a rich person or a big corporation, and the gov't gives you land, money, or buildings, that's a subsidy.  A law of economics is a fact of life.  It's something you have to live with because you cannot change it. 
    The law the Romans ran into was a big one.  It's slang name is tanstaafl (tans-t-awful), which means "There Ain't NSuch Thing AsA Free Lunch.  Tanstaafl means that nothing of value is free.  Someone must pay for it, if not with money, then with time and hard work.  (Just an insert here.....this means they ain't no such thing as free health care, either!!!).  Tanstaafl was a popular saying during the Great Depression, and it's becoming popular again.  Now the Roman gov't wanted tools, land, and gravel for it's roads, and it had to pay for those things.  It wanted horses and weapons for its soldiers to fight wars and it had to pay for them.  They needed lots of money!  And the way to get the money was to tax the people.  Taxing means taking money, by force if necessary, and that's what the Roman gov't did.  (Sound familiar today?)  The Roman gov't soon learned a very unpleasant fact:  when taxes get too high, people get mad enough to revolt and overthrow the gov't - as the colonists did during the American Revolution.    The gov't realized that they could not raise taxes again, but they still needed the money.  Now what?  The solution?  Counterfeiting - making phony money.  The way to counterfeit money is to use the printing press.  But 20 centuries ago the press was not yet invented.  All the money was metal coins, and the gov't had to make phony coins. The main coin was a denarius, which was 94% silver.  The gov't started "clipping" the coins.  Clipping mean shaving off the edges.  The shavings from the clipped coins were used to mint new coins.  The gov't then had the clipped coins, plus the new ones.  It had a lot more money to spend.  The Roman people were not stupid.  They started to realize that their coins were getting smaller and lighter and some of the silver was missing.  They began to refuse the clipped coins (like a baker would refuse this coin from a customer that wanted to buy bread), or they would require 2 coins instead.  In later centuries, people developed an easy way to tell if a coins was clipped.  They had notches cut into the edges of the coins (reeding).  Any clipped coin was very recognizable after that.  The dimes, quarters and half-dollars are still reeded today, to still look like silver coins, but they are not.  These coins still contained precious metals up until 1965.   Base-metal coins, like the pennies and nickels are not reeded because no one ever clips them.
    The gov't had to come up with a new system of counterfeiting.  So when a denarius was brought into the treasury it would be melted down and some base-metal added in.  It then was only 84% silver.  This went on for many years and was called "debasing" the money.  Your half-dollar was 90% percent silver in 1964, but today it has no silver in it at all!.  The Roman people knew that the money was losing it's value, so whenever they had a coin with alot of silver in it, they stashed it away and didn't spend it.  That is still the situation today - people are saving their valuable coins and spending their "bad" money.
    Do you know how much a trillion is?  Back in 2004, the federal debt was $6.783 trillion.  Today, they say we are  about 14 trillion in debt.  This number is so big that it is no longer "real" to the politicians.  It has become a meaningless number.  But let's try to understand it.  Visualize $1 million in $100 bills laid end-to-end.  You would need 20 minutes to walk the length of this line of cash, for it would be about 1 mile long.  Back in 2004, to walk the fed debt - you would have a line of $100 bills laid end-to-end and it would take you 228 years to walk it.  It would circle the earth 240 times.  If Columbus, when he stepped ashore in America, had immediately begun borrowing money at the rate of $20,000 per minute, by the year 2000, he would still not have borrowed the equivalent of the fed debt in 2004.  We can only imagine how many hundreds of years we would have to walk  today!!   We are in a very bad situation!
    The last thing we talked about was the 4 freedoms we must have to have a Capitalist ecomony.  1).  Freedom to try (we have the freedom to start a business, patent an invention, etc.),  2).  Freedom to buy (we can buy resourses we need to start that business, we can get loans from the bank, etc.)   3)  Freedom to sell (we have free market, we can sell our product to anyone we want to)   4 ) Freedom to fail (we have no guarentee that we will succeed, but it creates opportunities, for instance, the horse and buggy industry failed because the automobiles were invented).  In a communist ecomony, all these freedoms are taken from us.  The gov't then makes all the choices for us.
    Our support group had an end of the year presentation.  Our classes presentation started out with Dave sharing some thoughts.  Then each student recited a quote from a Founding Father.  Then we presented the audience with a quiz about facts of the Fathers.  We did a reading from a section of a skit about a Russian immigrant, recited the "Pledge Allegiance to the Christian Flag" (I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Savior for which it stands,  One Savior, crucified, risen , and coming again With life and liberty for all who believe".  We concluded our presentation with everyone singing "God Bless America".  
    end of year program 004
    This concludes our year of Civic Class.  It was a fun, informative class and we enjoyed spending the time with the students.
    Until next time................................