Monday, August 14, 2017

The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Life of a Christian

Let's look at some verses that show how the Holy Spirit is/can be active in our lives....

"That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. " Galatians 5:16-18

"For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." Romans 8:13 &14

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

"But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is not law." Galatians 5:22 & 23

That is just a few of the ways the Spirit works in us. With those in mind let us also remember the message of this verse:

"Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30

Saturday, August 12, 2017

County Fair Week and Other Recent Pictures

   This is the week of our county fair. That tends to be one of the busiest weeks of the year (though we are doing less at it -than we used to-  in some areas but more in other areas).  On Tuesday we took 4-H projects to drop off. On Wednesday we took our open class items and the 4-H chickens and Aaron and Megan did performing arts with 4-H. Aaron also did Dog Showmanship and a dog training exhibition. On Thursday we only went to the fair quickly for Aaron to take care of the chickens. On Friday Aaron was part of the poultry show and we three worked at the 4-H food booth. This evening we finally went out as a family to watch Aaron and Megan participate in the Dress a Chicken contest. We also found out while we were there that Megan had won Grand Champion in performing arts in the Junior division. We were excited for her. She had played a piano solo.
This is a sculpture that Megan made and entered.
Aaron doing his harmonica song in performing arts. He also did a Mandolin solo.

Here is Megan the Miller with the "Little Red Hen".

Robin Hood and Little John.

Last week was the Dog obedience show and Rally Show. Aaron and Kitchi participated in that and won two blue ribbons and an award.

We are so loving eating out of our garden! This plateful included fresh potatoes, beans and cucumbers. Yummy!

Last weekend we enjoyed spending some time at the Itasca Family Music Festival.  It is a fun time of listening to good music, hanging out with siblings (above I am pictured with my brothers and sister-in-law) and visiting with a lot of friends. It is a really neat family friendly event.
 Mara and our friend Thomas enjoying the music,

 I love my garden at this time of year. It gets a little bit jungle like but it is so much fun to see all the growth and enjoy the production!
 I have made one batch of pickles and I want to make more soon.

What is going on at your place? Do you have a garden that is producing a lot of food?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Buying Bulk Chicken Feed and Saving Money

I am pretty excited because last week I was able to figure out how to get chicken feed that not only was about 1/2 the price of buying it in bags at the feed store but also it has way less GMO ingredients in it AND it works for all our chickens (layers and broilers) and mixed with some other stuff it is the main source of feed for our rabbits too! 

  I did actually buy food in bulk once last year as well with my dad's help and that was a huge money saver but this time I did even more research so that it was healthier ingredients (without raising the price hardly at all) and it works for the rabbits. 

So... if you also raise animals and haven't looked into this I thought I should share what I did.

 Our local feed store has an option where you can buy 500 lbs or more (I think 500 is the minimum but I am not sure) of feed that they mix together for you according to how you want it. Then they bag it up for you in reusable bags that I can take back to them to use again (I love that aspect too - no waste!). My Dad usually gets his feed in 1000 lb quantities and gets them in a really big bag that he moves around with a bobcat.

I wanted around 18% protein. I think my batch ended up closer to 17% but that should be fine as we feed them a lot of other scraps too and often soak their grain in whey or extra old milk so they will get protein in other ways as well.

Here is my recipe which is just over 500 lbs. I based it off of my dad's recipe and then a lot of research online and a lot of talking with the feed store and finding out what they had available and the price and then figuring out the protein content of each addition.

150 lbs. Barley
50 lbs Corn (I may cut this out completely next time or see if I can get it organic to avoid GMO)
100 lbs Hard Red Winter Wheat
100 lbs Oats
50 lbs Black Seeded Sunflower Seeds
30 lbs 41 Poultry Concentrate (a mixture of many things but high in Soy so I will work to find a substitute for this in the future. I used way less than most mixes however so at least it was a big improvement in my opinion.)
25 lbs Flax Seed
10 lbs Calcium
2.5 lbs Trace Mineral Salt
2 lbs Vitamins A, D and E
1.5 lbs Molasses

My total cost was $95.39

It should last for many months. We are currently feeding 32 broilers but they will be butchered soon, we also have 23 layers and 4 (with 2 more coming on Sunday) Rabbits. We do try to also give them a lot of weeds and scraps. With the rabbits we mixed the feed with rabbit pellets for now but will be added hay and things like that in the future.

I would love to hear what you feed to your chickens and rabbits and why.

 Our broiler pen was getting stinky so I have been added sawdust and other wood shavings to it. It makes it so much nicer! I got sawdust from my dad's sawmill.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Instructions concerning the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 6:17 tells us: "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

We need to be actively using the Bible (and the message of the Spirit that it contains) in our lives.

Galatians 5:16 says: "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did; sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." For the mind set on the flesh is death but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." Romans 8:1-9

"Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:31

Let us work at walking by the Spirit!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Windstorm

 Last week one of the big events was a rain storm with high winds. We were on my way to my parents when it started and then were there for a while. When we came home this is what we saw. Some new arches for our driveway. We were super blessed that they didn't hit the house as the one did come close.
 I am always sorry to loose trees but I was very thankful that the house was spared and really the poplar tree wasn't that exciting and the oak was close to the driveway and had been hit before so people might appreciate it being gone. Our cat, Mr. Sippi thought it made a wonderful playground.
The kids did too. After Ken had cut the poplar tree then the oak was free to move and they could pull it back (the bending over part) and up the driveway and then somebody would grap hold and the others would let go and it would swing them.  They thought it was great fun.

We also lost the top part of a dead tree in the back yard. Again I was super thankful. This one also could have hit the house but it went the other direction. When we previously talked about how we were going to get rid of this dead tree I was concerned it would take out some birch trees when we cut it - but it didn't bother them at all. God is so good to us.

Have you had any severe storms where you live this summer?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What Do I Have In My Hand? - MILK-

Something that we are very blessed with is my parents sharing their goats milk with us each Summer and Fall (and in Spring some too - basically just not in Winter). I really appreciate having that healthy option and also it saves us a bunch of money as we like Milk and Milk products. Ken hasn't brought himself to developing a taste for Goat's milk for drinking (so we still buy some cow's milk) but I use it in all my cooking and the kids and I also drink it.

  We have been getting more than we need to drink recently so I have been trying to do other things with it.

 Last night it went into a very yummy quiche that is in the background of the picture above.
I also made chocolate pudding yesterday. Some of it I will freeze into pudding pops, some we have eaten and I made some into a pie.

  Something I am have the most fun with just now is cheese making. I am attempting aged cheese for the first time. I found  a simple recipe in my Amish cookbook and I am giving it a try.
 Here is my curd.
 Currently it is sitting in my very fancy cheese press (the bucket with holes in the bottom) with my fancy weight (the rock) on top.

 I also canned a whole cannerful of milk this evening. We did that last year (like 20 plus quarts) and we used it all up and wished we would have canned more.

  I have also been using some of the older milk to soak the chicken feed in. It gives them additional nutrition.

What do you or would you do with extra milk if you have(had) it?

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Quiet Day at Home

Yesterday we took these four (also pictured on the left is our friend Irindee who rode with us) up to camp. I am praying they have a great week and looking forward to getting my kids home again. I am sure my niece and nephew will be very happy to get home as well especially as they have a new baby at their house.

 When we dropped the kids off at camp we were also able to pick up Mara who had just arrived back from a mission trip to an orphanage in Mexico. She had been gone a little over a week. It is great to have her back!

   Today was one of those nice quiet days of getting a lot of domestic work done. Monday is my laundry and cleaning day. I always do my mopping and try to get some of my other deep cleaning done. I really enjoy working in our home. It is fun to make it a place that is comfortable and beautiful.
 Noodle making was one of the activities of the day. Noodles take a little time to get all rolled out but are truly quite simple to make. I like homemade noodles and I really like the idea of knowing exactly what is in them and being able to avoid the trash of packaging. Generally most of the pasta we eat is still strore bought but possibly we will work towards changing that.
 Lots of laundry! We had a beautiful day for drying the laundry on the clothesline. I did all but 1/2 a load out there and it dried quickly. I like to fold my clothes on the window seat where I have a beautiful view while I work.
 This evening Ken, Mara, Jonathan and I went canoeing.
 Jonathan was relaxing while he canoed. It was a beautiful night to be out.
I had made a blueberry icemilk for a treat after we got back. I loosely followed this recipe but I ended up substituting nearly everything to use what I had. Goats milk instead of cream, honey instead of maple syrup and blueberries instead of strawberries. It was still yummy.

What was your day like? Do you enjoy days of working around the house?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Here we go again in talking about the Holy Spirit in our lives. I just really enjoy this subject and want to cover it thoroughly and also I just haven't had time to write long posts about it so instead you are getting short little snippets each week.

  The Holy Spirit was promised to us:
"Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believe in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." John 7:37-39

"Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." Acts 2:38 and 39

Have you received that promise?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Family Olympics

Megan trying out archery
 On Monday nights we like to have family time at our place. We have that night set aside where we try not to schedule anything with anybody else and we just have fun together. This family night we were missing Mara and we do have my niece and nephew staying with us so they got to be in on the fun too.

  Last week somehow in our visiting we came up with the idea of having some competitions on Family night. So the plan was that everybody could choose 3 events and then we would all compete in them. In the end we didn't have 3 events chosen by each person as we didn't have time and a thunderstorm came up before we managed to do our water sports. We did however have a fun time.

  The competitions that were held were:
- Chase Kitchi (our dog) and get item away from him. This is a challenging game that he loves to play. Megan and Jonathan had to split this point as Megan was the one who tackled him and then Jonathan grabbed the item out of his mouth.
-Tomahawk throwing
-A sprint
-The game of lightening (shooting baskets)
-Hopscotch (timed)
-Racing while balancing a book on our head.
- Doing a gymnastic bridge (I can't - I tried) and holding it the longest and the highest.
-Spelling bee
-State Capital bee

It was the night for 13 year olds as Aaron won with 4.5 points and Beatrice came in second with 3 points.

Gregory throwing the tomahawk.
 The events that we didn't get to were:
- Kayak race (timed)
-Holding your breath under water the longest.
-Swimming race
-Drawing a house while holding the paper on a book on top of your head.
-Racing while carrying heavy weights.
-Tree climbing
-A don't get wet challenge that requires the contestant to stay in a certain area while all the others have one bucket of water each to throw at him/her.


The scoreboard
And I was kicked out first on the spelling bee. How horrible is that!!!?

We had a lot of fun. This might need to be repeated some other time.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Holy Spirit in the Lives of Christians

I am working to study about the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians. I would love to have you join my as we look and see what God's Word has to say about it.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not  your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." 1 Corinthians 3:16 & 17

"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in  you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." Romans 8:9-11

That is super straightforward. We need to be controlled by God's Spirit if we are truly following Jesus Christ.

I have tons more verses that I want to share on this subject but this was at least a start. I will look forward to sharing more with you later. Meanwhile I would love to hear your thoughts on the Holy Spirit and his work in our lives. If you have any favorite verses on this subject I would love it if you share them!

Pictures of Our Life in the Last Week Or So

 While DJ was here we enjoyed some fishing. I didn't catch any of DJ and Aaron did. This was the big one that DJ caught but it had to be thrown back because I think it was breeding time or something like that. We did get to keep some others and enjoyed fish for a couple of meals.
 We are loving some of our flowers that are blooming!

 We had to take Mara down to the cities to catch a plane to go on a mission trip in Mexico. We stayed at my sister's and went to the Ramsey County Fair with her and her family. They had a marionette show there which was fun.

 Beatrice and Megan working on projects.
 We have been a little tired around here. Yesterday morning we were down in the cities and got up around 3:30 am to take Mara to the airport (she had to fly out early!) and then drive home. So Aaron, Megan and I along with Beatrice and Gregory got back home in good time in the day since we got such an early start. We were also tired but I had bees that were swarming and I was trying to capture them and then I had a lot of wedding flowers to do so I didn't get a whole lot of rest. Jonathan also got home yesterday from 2 weeks of camp. His granddad picked him up and he got home a while after us. Afternoon came and both Gregory and Jonathan were very tired. We hadn't gotten a bed set up for Gregory yet so he crashed on Jonathan's bed. Later Jonathan laid down too and slept as well. Ken got home for supper and looked in the boys room and asked if we were starting to require Navy style sleeping. Anyway- we found it cute.
 Today and yesterday were focused on wedding flowers.

After all the wedding set-up I visited a quilt show that Ken had been given a complimentary ticket to give to me. The pretty embroidery above was there. It was fun but I didn't stay very long as I was tired and ready to be home.

That is some peeks into our life. Have a wonderful new week - we plan on it. :-)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Seeking To Simplify - The Garage Sale Edition

First I will quickly report on my goals and how I did these last 2 weeks since I last reported.

- I got rid of 60 items (exceeding my goal of 50).
- I cleaned out 10 spaces (right on track)
-I sold over 100 items (in addition to the other things we got rid of)! That was with the help of the garage sale and that caused my to complete my selling goal for the year but I do still want to try to sell some other things anyway.
-My house is doing pretty good with my working to get rid of clutter. My computer however has been a little neglected in the decluttering lately as I neglect to weed out e-mails and photo files. Hopefully I can work on that again before long.

It was an exciting couple of weeks for making good progress! And now Ken just put up storage shelves for me down in the basement so I have been going through more stuff down there and getting organized and ready to get rid of some more things.

And now....

Let's talk about garage sales.

Somebody commented and asked if I could share how we had a successful garage sale. I don't think I really have much if any in the way of new ideas nor do I think I am an expert but I will gladly share what tips I have....

  • I prayed about it. Okay, so I do like to pray about most things I do. I also regularly pray for God's guidance as I have been working to go through and get rid of things in our house. I ask Him to help me know what I should keep and what should go, etc. With the garage sale I did pray that He would just guide according to His will. That we might be able to make whatever money that He knew we needed and that He would guide concerning who came, etc. I believe that He truly was working in our garage sale. I felt so very blessed and thankful, not only for money made and excess gotten rid of but for the people that I could spend time with and meet.
  • We made a bunch of matching, simple signs. I made them by using the plain side (inside) of box cardboard and painting "Sale" and an arrow on them with some dark wall paint. I did also write our address with permanent marker on the bottom of most of them. Ken has been telling me for years that simple is better when it comes to signs. I think he is right. I do also think that matching is beneficial for a garage sale. Mine weren't all identical in size but they were all dark blue writing on cardboard. I have discovered that making signs with paint for the big letters is so much easier that using permanent marker that stinks and wears out. Paint goes on so much faster. You just have to allow for drying time.
  • We set up in a clean garage and we tried to move things that weren't for sale out of the way so it wasn't confusing.
  • We put up as many tables as we had with bright tables clothes on them. It is nice to be able to spread out quite a bit. Having stuff crowded isn't so nice.
  • Have things priced as much as possible. To keep things simple don't be afraid to make signs that say things like "Clothes - 50 cents each unless otherwise marked." Have plenty of those signs. Most people like to know how much something costs and not have to ask all the time.
  • Don't charge to much. That is my theory anyway. People go to garage sales to get a good deal. They expect prices to be less than going to a 2nd hand store.
  • If you really want to make money sell baked goods too. I mostly sold whole wheat bread and it went pretty fast. I sold nearly 20 loaves and could have sold many more if I would have had them made. Cookies also sell well.
  • Be friendly, visit with people and ask them if they are interested in.... whatever it is that you have. Sometimes they have noticed your bread or the books, etc. 
  • Use Craigslist and Facebook rummage sale sites for free advertising. That is all I used and it worked well. I know that many came from seeing my sale mentioned there.
  • Use any down time during your garage sale to do more decluttering in your house or garage and look for more items to sell. I set a goal for looking for stuff every hour. That didn't quite work but I did find quite a lot of things to get rid of while the sale was going on. It did help that I have kids old enough to watch the sale for me while I ran inside.
  • Hang up clothes that you have for sale as much as possible. I think people generally prefer looking at clothes hanging rather than spread out over a table. They stay neater too. Be creative in figuring out things to hang them on. Set up a step ladder or so and prop a big ladder between them or just run a rod from ladder to ladder. Tie up rope somewhere. Think outside the box!
  • Use balloons or streamers or whatever to attract attention to your signs and also to the garage sale itself.
I would love to hear any tips or suggestions that you have as well! If you hold a garage sale I hope you have fun and success!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

More verses on the Holy Spirit

Just a picture that I took recently.
Matthew 4:1 says: "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit in to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

Jesus obviously followed the direction of the Spirit - even to such a place and conditions as that.

Jesus cast out demons by the Holy Spirit's power: "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." Matthew 12:28

"And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district." Luke 4:14. Jesus is being led by the Spirit here as well.

The Holy Spirit was active in Jesus' resurrection: "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." Romans 8:11

The Holy Spirit helped the apostles as He glorified Christ: "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you." John 16:13 & 14

The Holy Spirit was obviously very involved in the earthly work of Christ.


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