Thursday, December 29, 2005

Faith Like Little Children

The bible teaches us that Christians should have faith like little children. This often is turned into a play on words to drive home the point that we need to be "born again". For the record, I believe that people need a rebirth and I am not saying otherwise. I would however like to float out another thought about the faith of little children. Could the bible accually be saying that our faith should be like that of children? Mainsteam american evangalicals find such thoughts troubling becouse they commonly believe that little children can't have faith. They watch the kids growing up, waiting ever so nervously for them to reach an age were they can have "real faith". I'll share a story that got me thinking about all this. Last week Noah was sick with some sort of bug. He was pretty sick, with a fever and all. As Leah and I are getting out medicine and comforting him and worring about what we could do for him, John who is 3, comes up with a novel idea. John interupts our confusion and doctoring, to say "We should pray that God would help Noah feel better". Hmmm, Ok, why the heck is a 3 year old reminding me to pray. Its one of those time where you are so happy and proud of the boy, yet ashamed that you the grown up had to be reminded, by a 3 year old, to have faith like someone that was redeemed by the blood of Christ. Fast forward..... Noah gets better. Noah and John are playing together, Dad is reading a very important book on theology, Mom reading important book by Doug Wilson. John walks over with Noah to Mom and Dad. John says"We should pray and thank God for makin' Noah feel better". Perhaps the bible does teach we should have faith like little children.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Eventfull Weekend

Hello to all. I have not had alot of computer time lately. I'm still recovering from last Lord's Day and all. Our friends John and Abby were back in town to visit Abby's folks and we were able to spend some time with them. Friday evening John and I took a trip out to the Marble's house to discuss theology over thick, dark beer. Saturday we were feeling ecumentical and all went to my inlaws Baptist church for their Christmas Eve service. While there, John and I discovered that the pastor believes in some kind of strange purgatory for old testament saints. If this doctrine is true, father Abraham must be really sick of twiddling his thumbs. On The Lord's Day we all went to visit a new reformed church about 45 min from home. It is a very interesting story. The congregation was originally a "oneness" Pentecostal church. "Oneness" is some heresy that denies and/or confuses the doctrine of the trinity. Anyhow, they not only became reformed Calvinists, they are also postmill, partakers of weekly communion and practice Paedocommunion . It was really exiting to see how God was working in this church. There worship liturgy was very good, much like what we saw in Bristol. These folks are seeking membership with Federation of Reformed Churches. Keep them in your prayers as they move ahead with all the changes. These folks are really exited, happy and joyful about the whole thing and I was blessed to be able to take the trip down and encourage them and worship with them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Agrarians and Technology

Someone once commented that they would take nothing I say seriously because I was promoting agrarianism via a weblog. There is large group of people who do not understand our positions on technology, and a smaller group that misrepresents them on purpose to discredit our camp. I shall try to explain my views on this topic.

Technology in and of itself is not good or evil. At the same time, I want to stress that technology is not a word that is interchangeable with word progress. This is the presupposition that many have, whether they realize it or not. The phrase "you can't stop progress" has come to mean that you can't stop or limit any technology. This is the holy grail of the chronological snobs, new is always better. I also think that our hatred for any type of real work, any that produces sweat on ones brow, has helped us redefine progress as anything that "saves us labor". I am not opposed to all labor saving improvements, no one would be, but there must be a point where these "improvements" infringe on our ability to form real human relationships with family and the fellow saints . I advocate rejecting some technology because some technology inhibits our ability to have healthy, vibrant covenant communities. Some technology inhibits our ability to be godly stewards of creation. What kind of technological improvements am I exited about? How about space age electric netting that can keep chickens in and grizzly bears out, all with a small car battery! This allows us to move birds around pastures in healthy rotations which improve the soil, reduce manure run off in ground water and provide birds with a happy productive life. This is not grandpas fencing! This is technology doing good, actual progress! Should we spray toxic poison all over our food just because its "new technology"? Should we continue to kill all the life in our soils just because chemical fertilizers are newer than manure or sea water? Should we shove 20,000 chickens in one barn just because we can? I believe the answer to our problems with progress lies in our definition of progress. As a group of people, be it a nation, a town, a county or the larger community of Christ, we should be having dialog about the pros and cons of technologies and whether or not they help us live godly lives or present a stumbling block. Ideas have consequences.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Weather, New Blog and a Prayer Request

Mornin' folks. Its warmed up a bit out here. Its now 32 with a mix of freezing rain, snow and hail. We didn't lose power down at the barn... praise the Lord! The cows are all milked and fed and I've got to get out the "lil Ford and push snow up on hill. Dad will be pushing it around with the International down at the diary barn.

The landscape is as pretty as can be today. Its funny how something that causes so much work and stress can be so pretty, if we only stop long enough to notice. The Hemlocks and Pines are heavy with snow. It takes my mind back to Leah and mines first winter in Alaska. Oh, how I wish there were a hundred or so Marten sets to check today! I can see and smell and taste our little cabin right now. Little voices are calling again......the darn little voices.

I'd like to welcome a new blogger to the family! Heres the description....

Reformed, covenantal, agrarian, homeschooling single parent who grows and concocts herbal products for home use. I am still paying bills from an income from a corporate job but we are shifting to living a simpler, self-sufficient, godly life.

Homestead Herbs is name, stop in and say hello.

I have a prayer request for you all. My younger brother is in the hospital with a very bad infection in his hand. It may be in his blood now, they don't know. The antibiotics are not working and they don't know if he is even going to make it now. It started with a sliver, and now hes in real bad shape. He is not a beleiver, so please pray that for his salvation as well as for his wife and sons.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Report From the Frozen North

Its cold. This morning I woke to find the mercury had dropped to -10. Its not uncommon for it to get this cold up here, though it is uncommon this early in the season. I knew it was going to be a fine day when I turned on the vacuum pump and had no vacuum. Seems the steam from the hot wash water the night before had found its way into the pump and froze the vanes up. The salamander died the day before, so I had no easy way to get it going. It took an hour to get it running with the help of a syringe, flashlight and a secret mix of diesel fuel and oil. After milking we had several frozen drinking cups in the cow barn to thaw. Water from somewhere had froze solid in the end if the gutter. 45 minutes with a splitting maul (that will never be the same) and a wrecking bar had me ready to clean the barn. Flipping the switch yielded some strange sounds and flying belt. I did eventually get it done. Every job on the farm seemed to take twice as long to do today.....such is my life from now until spring.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I'll just Smile :)

We are kind of odd balls in the world of modern farming. People don't know what to think of us, really. I suppose you would call us Homesteader/Farmers. Modern agriculture operates under the presupposition that you do only one thing and you do it big. While the majority of our income comes from our little dairy herd, we have always had a multitude of critters on our place. We have always had gardens and raised are own meat. You might think this would be common place in the farming world, but its not. Most dairymen think we are nuts. First, they think any animal besides a cow is worthless. The other thing they have come to embrace is the idea that they are not "farmers" but "producers" or "agribusinessmen". They all, for the most part, think that we are a bunch of backward hicks. I wrote about it this earlier, Here.

I think the one of the greatest gifts my father gave me was an apprecation for all the different kinds of livestock that God gave us to work with. When I was growing up I had the opportunity to raise just about every kind of animal you can think of. We've, at one time or another-sometimes all at once, had hogs, dairy goats, meat goats, chickens, turkeys, dairy cows, beef cows, sheep and others. Dad and the other old timers I grew up learning under had such vast knowlege about things in the natural world. I can rember walking in the woods with dad when I was just a sprout. He could identify every plant and tree and weed in the forest. I've always thought that kids would love learning natural science if it was presented this way. Some things you can't learn well indoors. I have no desire to be a "big shot agribusinessman". I'll tend my little herd of jerseys, grow my gardens, trap my fur and enjoy raising a family in a unique setting that can't be duplicated. While the experts all write their articles and reports about how "you can't make a living that way", and while the rest of the world shakes their collectivist heads in disbelief that anyone would "want to live like that", I just smile a simple country smile and watch the rats race around me.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Soap and Syrup

Just an update on our soap making venture. We got several batches done and labeled and have already sold some. Many thanks to our freind the TNfarmgirl for all the advice and help. If you would like to see it, click Here

I plan on having some posts up soon on maple syrup production. Now is the time to start thinking about it. As requested, I will get up some pictures of our homeade evaporator and bottler.