Friday, February 25, 2011

Goodbye Pharaoh...and Empress

Yesterday, when going out to feed the chickens, the small bantam rooster, Pharaoh, flogged my Bata industrial boots (mucking boots) was the first time he had dared to do something so rooster-like.
Poor thing didn't know that I had been thinking how he and his mate, Empress, were more trouble than they were worth. His flogging performance sort of sealed the deal of their departure. But breaking it to their owner, my youngest daughter, wouldn't be so simple.

Bantam Baby
Pharaoh as a chick. See that glint in his eye...already scheming on me, he was.

You see, I've been wanting free-range chickens since we made our big move out here to the wilds of Oklahoma. And just last year that desire to have chickens came to fruition.
Last Spring we purchased six pullets and they're definitely high production egg layers! The three gold sex-links average five eggs a week per chicken and they're producing large to extra-large size eggs. The three white rocks have performed almost as satisfactory although their eggs are a bit smaller, but I've been happy with these six hens.
The newer crop of chicks we purchased last Fall, have started to mature. My oldest girl's Wyandottes have both started laying and one of my Buff Orpingtons has started laying. We still have another Buff Orpington that hasn't. We also have Mr. Incredible, our incredibly handsome Buff Orpington rooster, that seems to be a bit on the dull side...but that's okay because I'm not scared of him. And with that, we come back to Pharaoh and his queen, Empress...both of which would become cat chow in a heartbeat should I let them out with the rest of the chickens.
I'm a practical woman and Tim has indulged me quite enough with this chicken dream of mine. I can't ask him to build an extra coop for the small ones as an extra run and coop was built this past Fall for any hens that go broody and decide to raise some chicks this Summer.
Enough is enough...and all this was explained to my darling daughter as tactfully as possible. Yes, there was crying and pleading, but I wouldn't be moved from my decision. She understands now and is already planning how she can get back into the whole chicken project here at our little farm.
But I can't help but suspect that one day when she's all grown and she has a place of her own there will be bantams there, lots of them.
Have a safe and blessed weekend, Julie

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Monday, February 21, 2011

In Love, We Journey On

Gate Chain (Edit)

Tim and I have been on a journey.

Honey Locust @ Sunset 2

It hasn't been pleasant.

Barbed-wire Fence

In fact, it's been downright painful and confusing at times.

Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
C.S. Lewis 

There have been tears, arguments due to conflicting emotions, fervent and even travailing prayer...seeking Him, seeking Him, seeking Him,...our King...and His will be done, His direction, wisdom, and guidance!
We have strived to be obedient in the situation, realizing the weight of it and how the decisions we make can affect not just us, but our children, and our friends...but yet we know that God comes first in all this, we must live out our faith, our belief, our salvation.

North Fence

But through it all we've been driven closer to Jesus, our Lord.

Didn't He endure much for us?

Honey Locust @ Sunset

And He is faithful to guide us, His children, when we faithfully seek Him with all our hearts.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
James 3:17

Above Reproach

It is our desire to be peaceable, non-divisive, above reproach, and full of God's love, mercy, and grace in the decision we believe God has led us to make.

Dreams, hopes, and goals have been shattered like a shiny iridescent soap bubble...floating, floating,...then pierced by the wand that just produced it.
We're grieving, but we have a eternal Hope.

I am not one to be cryptic or even subtle in my communicating with others.
Please forgive me for coming across as "not getting to the point."
I will, but I had to lay the groundwork, the disclaimer if you will.


And with that...
God is leading us out of the fellowship/church that He had directed us to five years ago.
This is not a decision that we came to quickly, but have been praying over it for quite some time.
We are not rejecting the relationships, the wonderful friends that have become like family and really aren't they???
But we've been guided out for reasons that we are not allowed to disclose.
That one is really hard for me, I'm a talker and like to get things out in the open.
I need transparency.
So this sounds a bit paradoxical but it is not.
We've been diligent to search the scriptures to see how this is done and we are not Biblically in the position to disclose our reasons.
Enough said as we've been counseled not to say more.
And so why would I air this out here you may ask?
Well, really I've not aired anything but that God has led us out of this fellowship and that we're believing that He is faithful to lead us elsewhere to further His Kingdom.

I am also reminded that we as Christians are to be broken bread and poured out wine as our Lord was...our lives should reflect His as He lived here on this humble planet.
It's not about me, or even my desires and plans to glorify Him, but about Him and His plans to use me to glorify Him.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind

What does He command me to do?

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
Matthew 22:37

If I am obedient in the greatest commandment, He is so faithful to carry out His purpose and His will for me.

He loves us and He's the King, The Lord, The Risen Saviour!
And I am my Beloved's and He is mine!

Please pray for us as we begin a new chapter on our journey here in the shadowlands, we truly desire them and need them.

For now, I leave you with this...a beautifully articulated quote from the theologian, John Piper.
Thanks to my wonderful homeschooling friend, Lesly, for posting it at facebook, I needed it!

‎"If you don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great."

— John Piper (A Hunger for God)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Looking Ahead

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We have a small spring behind the house.
When we bought the house a little over five years ago, it was described to us as a "frog pond."
But it is a natural spring.
And it's just a short walk from our back porch.
Many mornings I enjoy getting outside early in order to get some pictures while the light is good.

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I enjoy taking pictures at dawn and dusk, it's about the light a lot of times for me.
The spring is all dried up right now as we've been experiencing drought-like conditions here.

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But the rains will come soon, as they always do, and provide the much needed water.

There Will  Be Showers of Blessings

Bella & Trixie in the Rain

The rains will come and warmer weather.
Dragonflies and butterflies will return!

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The flowers will bloom once again!

Oh! Happy Faces, I long for you!

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The cicadas, clothed in humble dull cases, will crawl from the earth.
And then they'll emerge anew, winged, to fly from bough to bough chorusing from the tree-tops!

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I'm yearning for Spring and all her promises...I'm looking ahead.

Spring is also about new beginnings.
Our family is about to begin a new journey with the guidance of our Lord.

He is faithful, He is trustworthy,...I'm looking ahead!
Blessings! Julie

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wolfie & Lambchop


Hope your day is filled with love!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Don't Understand

She's a Keeper

There is so much that I don't understand.

For instance those that believe there is no God, no can they explain the origin of the universe...or even the origin of molecules, atoms, the smallest known subatomic particles that are the very foundation of our universe?

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:3

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I don't understand how followers of Christ that are in authority positions intentionally deceive those within the body of Christ, misleading the flock into thinking their message or actions are of God.

For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
II Corinthians 2:17

I don't understand how these same people who are entrusted with our Lords redeemed can claim they love the flock but when trouble arises flee the flock.

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
John 10:13

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I don't understand how a nation that allows the practice of infanticide, even nods their heads in approval of it can expect to be blessed by a holy God, the Creator of all mankind.

Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters - See 2 Kings 16:3; Ezekiel 16:20; Ezekiel 20:31; Isaiah 57:5.

And again, I don't understand the great mercy that our God shows us.
But by repenting, turning from our sin, He will forgive...He is faithful.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
II Chronicles 7:14

Prayerfully and a bit homesick for home/heaven, Julie

Thursday, February 3, 2011

And About That Snowstorm

It snowed here...a lot.
Twelve plus inches with wonderfully tall snowdrifts.
The university where Tim works is closed, which absolutely never happens.
It has been for three days straight...wonders never cease.
The temperatures have been unbearably cold. Last night it dipped several degrees below zero. Our highs have been in the single digits up until today.
My poor Buff Orpington rooster, Mr. Incredible, suffered frostbite on his comb which means no Grand Champion ribbon at the county fair for him.
I still regret I didn't name him Larry Boy (long sigh).
Rooster names are fun to come up with.
Here are a few photos I would like to share.

This is Sammo's puppy.
She loves the snow.
Tippy-toe in the Snow

This is the gate that leads to the pasture.
Out to Pasture

I think bones are interesting, beautiful subjects for photos, and I keep many of the bones we find out here. I have another cow skull on the porch that the dogs drug up in the pasture.
And last year they brought us a beaver skull. It's in the school room.
I enjoy taking it to Sunday School also, especially when we have a lesson on creation.
Cow Skull on Corral Fence

When the storm blew in Monday night, the wind gusted up to forty-five mph at times and kept it up throughout the night and through Tuesday evening. We literally had blizzard-like conditions...something usually very alien to us.
Our cellar lies under these drifts.
Ok Snow Drifts - 2/1/11

Much of Central Oklahoma's roads look like this right now.
We haven't seen much traffic.
Snow Covered Country Road

And here is some wonderfully striated patterning in the snow caused by the wind! I love the contrasts in shadowing and light.
February 1, 2011 Snow

I took this Tuesday evening after the storm.
It's a phenomenon known as a sun pillar.
You can go here to read the explanation for it.
Sun Pillar - February 1, 2011

Well, that's a wrap.
Gotta go feed some hungry people, it's my job.
And clean the kitchen...and watch the weather while I'm at it...and hope...and even prayer for an early Spring.
Blessings, Julie

Wednesday, February 2, 2011