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, May 15, 2014

Get Naked!

What a title! What a request!
Just stay with me and don't write me off as perverted.
What I ask of you, I am also asking of myself. 

Lock yourself in your bedroom or bathroom alone, whichever one has a nice size mirror.
First, take a good look at yourself with your garments on.
 Who are you?  What do you look like?
Are you a well dressed business man?  A sophisticated lady?
Maybe a rugged looking cowboy or apron clad housewife?
Maybe a hip teenager in the latest style?
or maybe a "religious" looking being?
Who are you?  According to your dress?

Slowly strip off one garment at a time and each time I want you to ask yourself
"now who am I?"
Is your identification changing much?
Keep going! Another piece and another until you are naked.

Take down your hair, wipe off the make-up, remove the jewelry. 

You have now removed all of your external identification and stand naked before the mirrored image.
 There is nothing to hide behind.  You are exposed!
Some may be cringing, some may be proud, some may be remembering a day when the image was much more impressive.  :)  Or depressing. 
  But, hang on.... we aren't finished.

I want you to go further.
   Strip away your friends one by one, your family name, your church affiliation.
 Strip away any titles that you hold - Professor, Pastor, Missionary, Dr., Counselor, etc..
Strip away your talents, your gifts
Is the image that has been stripped of all outward and social identification someone you are familiar with?

As we stand there before the mirror, we still have not seen who we really are as a person,

for the person we really are is still there hidden deep in the heart.
  It is within the crevices of our inward being.
It is the part of us that nobody sees, but our Heavenly Father.
And this is the part that is the absolute most important to HIM!!!

We, as human beings, tend to make judgements of who is acceptable and who is not -who is righteous and who is not, but that line is almost always, ALWAYS based on the outward and social identification of a person.  But God don't care about those things like He cares about our way down deep condition of our hearts, for that my dear friend, is who we really are!  We can hide behind "legalistic" rules that are laid on us, we can think we are righteous because of how well we follow those "rules".  We can dress ourselves all up, or down, we can attach titles to our names, we can perform just perfectly, we can speak fancy words, but all the while hidden beneath all that can be - envy, jealousy, hypocrisy, hatefulness, self-righteousness, lust and secret immorality, unfaithfulness, bitterness*.

Let's start digging and see what we find!
This self-examination can be a very painful process!
It requires us to become vulnerable, honest and humble.
It is much easier to hide and put on that beautiful front, while underneath is written across our bare chest - "warning - sin is lurking beneath the surface."

We can fool our fellowman, but we cannot and will not fool the all knowing One!
Stop pretending, get real, get naked and get radical about cleaning out those deep crevices that have been hidden beneath our facade.
 After standing in front of our own mirror naked, slowly and carefully start to get dressed.  Put on a layer of repentance, add a layer of forgiveness, followed layer by layer of His grace, mercy, wisdom, righteousness & truth. Top it off with an outer garment of obedience.  May the words upon our chests fade into the words,
"Blameless from the inside out".

My face is in the dust!!!
  I don't care at all for the image reflected back to me from that shiny, revealing mirror!
 The words on my chest read "Warning!"
I am not happy with that!
But, that is the whole reason Jesus willingly went to the cross!
For me, for you - that the word "Warning!" can be replaced with "Blameless"
and the reflection looking back at us from that mirror can be a reflection of HIM
and not ourselves!!!  

* - Galatians 5:19-21

Until next time...........

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What's Been Happenin'

Well, I am back!
And I have missed you!
I have decided to keep the blog as it was and recommit it to the Lord.
In the past, I said that if only one person is encouraged or challenged by something I write, than it is worth my time.  I will continue to share about our family, farm and faith and trust that the words of my "pen" will be pleasing in His sight and encouraging to at least one of you. 

 To catch you up on what has transpired in the last few months......

Ben turned 25 on Jan. 1st
On his birthday, he had whiskers and I did not get a picture of him.  :(
Now that it is warm, he decided to say "goodbye" to the them.
This was a surprise picture, but he is handsome, don't you think?  :)

Oliver turned 11 on Feb. 4th
Enjoyed having his cousins over to play.

Beginning of April we found out we are going to be grandparents 
again at the beginning of December, 
Lord willing!  :)

Kelsey was baptized on April 20th.
Beautiful, happy day!

I turned 48 on May 1st
There is no photo to prove it, so I guess I can just say that I turned 30! :)

Toby turned 1 on May 8th

Dave turned 48 on May 10th
and since I did take a photo to prove it, I am now married to
a wonderful man 18 yrs. my senior!  ♥

We are finished with our home school co-op for this school year.  
We will miss everyone, but we were also very ready for summer break.

New addition to the farm....
Bacon & Sausage

Things we have been enjoying......

The color reen

Blossoming strawberry plants and addition of blueberry plants 
mixed with dandelions :)

flowering apple trees

 I always wanted a dogwood tree ever since I was a little girl who listened over 
and over to Al Shade singing the Legend of the Dogwood Tree.  Finally was able to buy one at
a nursery auction.  They are so beautiful!  They have flowers on them with 
2 long petals and 2 short petals - likeness of a cross - and the middle is the crown of thorns.


Now don't go criticizing the mason who laid the crooked
little side walls!  The head honcho mason around here is super busy
(which we are very grateful for after the winter we had), so the lady of the 
house had to do the best she could at making this project complete.  
Do you think he would hire me?

this is what it looked like before....

And then there are the 5 sons who always amaze me with their strength!
These 2 brought topsoil up for the one garden and 
this one cylinder dump wouldn't lift it, so they had to shovel some off .....

until George just decided to lift it himself!  :)

Just kidding!

Solomon took on the task of putting up a volley court on the farm....
Wolfe House Mover equipment arrived....

and the task of taking a useless area .....

and making it into a court begins....
Quite some zippy drivers!  Wow! 
Very impressed!  It was fun to watch them.

 And then there was and is and always will be.....laundry! 
But it sure is nice to hang it outside again!

Remember the cool lady that we posted a picture of years ago?
This lady?

well, here she is today, even more cool!!

 Somewhere out of the blue, this silly monkey arrived on our doorstep
and we decided to adopt him!  :)
(can't you tell it had been a very very long winter?)

We managed to freeze about 4 cases of bananas (for the adopted monkey, of course)!
No, honestly, there was a truck accident and it happened to be hauling.....
bananas!  They make delicious milk shakes! And for those of you
who remember.....so do hotdogs!   :)

This past winter, we experimented in baking grain free desserts!  
I highly recommend the book, "Against All Grain."

Uriah is starting an endeavor of his own - growing chickens to sell.
Today the first 100 arrived at the Post Office.


And last, but not least, I am still traveling the highway to better health.
I know....broken record....broken record
Thankfully, this Spring is going MUCH better than last Spring and I have
high hopes that this Summer will continue to bring improvements.  
I am learning to say "no" (most times), and listen to
when my mind & body is saying "enough, I need a break!"
(It really is good for you to sit a read a book in the middle of the day!)

  However, I also had to say a reluctant "no"
 when my mind & body was screaming "beach" and "Hawaii"
in the middle of this past winter!  Boy, that was a very hard "no" to say!

One thing remains, no matter how time ticks away,
no matter the sad conditions of this world,
no matter what good or bad situations happen to us
no matter how old or young we are
no matter how busy we are
~ God IS still there!  He IS bigger than the boogie man!  :)
And HE loves each of us!

Until next time............