Sunday, December 28, 2014

Prepare Practically

Hearing "prepare practically" through morning chores back in April, I realize about nine months have passed.  Gregorian April aligns "generally" with Aviv on Abba's calendar which is the beginning of the year.   I'm not trying to sound too ethereal, but there is an excitement that this year literally started with specific instructions for the homestead and Abba used the word "practically."  There's a spiritual excitement and eagerness that the next step is about to unfold.  I vacillate between knowing I've learned a lot and feeling like a "slow study."

In coming into full covenant, there was a great deal to "unlearn" and I'm thankful that took place in mostly familiar surroundings.  I don't think I could have unlearned so much, while attempting to learn all this.  As I look back at how "ready" I thought I was, and realize how much I had to learn, I'm humbled and actually a bit embarrassed at my chutzpah!

The first year on the starter homestead, I had no idea about heirloom seeds.  I planted all sorts of strangely colored and treated seeds!  I was also clueless about a Jacob's herd.  I spent quite a bit, and lost not a small sum trying to purchase the best of the best in registration and paperwork!   For those who may just be considering homesteading and livestock purchases, the paperwork has absolutely no bearing on the quality and flavor of the milk or meat, and is especially detrimental when a mixed herd is ordained.

By the end of the second year on the homestead, I'd "weathered" an ice storm with no power for a week, as well as a life altering crisis that left me changing bandages and serving as nurse, maid, and physical therapist, for a year and a half; while also surviving another power outage by winter . . . so much to learn, unlearn, and let go of!

The next year was the shemitah, which was highlighted with an E4 tornado in May.  I endured that particular storm on the wellhouse porch, as I went out to get the goats to the barn.  Once the goats were safely in the barn the wind was so strong and the debris blowing so fiercely, I could not make it back to the house.  By the end of 2008, Abba instructed me to do a radio show and by early 2009 the Voice of YHWH was beckoning me to move, again.  I remembered seeing the pillar of cloud earlier and realized He'd given me time to "prepare."

In looking back, I chuckle at how many times I thought I was ready . . .The latest instruction was a larger acreage, still with a well, and farther off the beaten path . . .  Within a month of beginning the radio show, I was led to a larger acreage . . . This direction was gaining speed!  I went east and the door was fiercely closed.  I looked south . . . then I remembered the pillar of cloud the day of the closing at the beginner homestead . . . I went west . . . now fast forward 6 years.

In the past six years there has been notable growth.  Although I'm still learning, the changes that are now taking place are further establishing the bigger picture.  There haven't been as many do overs, as there have been additions that are in place to stay.  There have also been some spiritual realities that I needed to accept without change!  Finally, as I enter the tenth year of homesteading, my life looks nothing like I thought it would ten years ago, much less twenty; and yet it's the life for which I know I was purposed.  Abba is so awesome in His Words with us.  He literally stated that I was to "prepare practically."  I have always been "comfortable" in recognizing and expressing my creativity, but He also created me to be utilitarian and practical.  My "roll-up my sleeves," "can do" practicality is a gift from Him.  It's taken all this time to be a peace with the fact that along with being creative, I am a practical woman!

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee . . . Jeremiah 1:5a

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Inheritances and trusts have been in a number of conversations I've had these past few months.  My parents have been getting their "affairs in order" for ages now, so every conversation involves more instructions, even though I'm not the executor.  It's the new phase of our interactive game . . .

My kids have all scattered like a covey of quail and to date, none have shown any real interest in country living, much less Covenant living, so my "affairs" are not yet in order.  Mr. B's mother died this past year, so all of his family conversations have involved "last wishes" and trust resolution . . .

In an attempt to divert every conversation from after death wishes and maintain my sanity, I've tried to interject a little humor.  As the instructions for what happens after death become more and more involved for everyone, I've suggested it might be easier to figure out how to take it with them . . . I'm only kidding, of course.  What I've truly taken note of, is the fact, inheritances on the American economic landscape have become sparse, and reduced to nothing more than checks in the mail.  Family farms are mostly a thing of the past.  Life insurance policies became the new inheritance a few decades ago, and now we see insurance companies are either collapsing or becoming an arm of the government.

The 80s afforded the upper Middle Class the opportunity to become stockholders and invest in mutual funds.  In the 90s, pension plans became 401Ks.  Of course we know what happened to a great deal of those investments at about the time the investors were retirement age, in the early part of this new millenium. The Biblical principles of inheritance and blessing have been lost in our religiously materialist society.

I wrote several years ago in one of my books that end of life health care would take most of what was left of American inheritances, and that's by and large what is happening.  Many folks die unconscious with tubes in every orifice.  Sadly, it is mostly unlawful for a person to simply die with dignity and their heirs gathered around them as Jacob did.  There's the added factor that most Americans have not raised children that they want to take care of them in their later years.  This is also a sad reflection of our society, dating back three and four generations.

The future of America doesn't look very promising, and there is no longer any way to deny the Scriptural reason.  I am so happy for the young families who are raising their children to love Messiah and follow Torah.  That is the inheritance of promise.

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.  a Proverb of Holy Scripture

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Cycle of Life

The other morning, I made the chore rounds chopping a thin layer of ice from the water tubs.  When I got to the calves pasture, they both came running to greet me.  August bottles should be a distant memory for them, by now.  As I petted them and showed them I didn't have any bottle for them, but had made their fresh cool water available, a thought crossed my mind.  I've raised these calves from the time they were three days old and they are destined for the freezer about this time next year.  Most of the time, I keep those two thoughts as far apart in my mind as I can, but the other morning, they collided.

The fact that I can bottle raise an animal, then serve it for dinner sometimes causes me to question my softer feminine side, as in "do I even have one?"

It's easy to be impersonal when it comes to processing Daddy's deer.  I didn't raise the deer and it's dead when it arrives.  Preparing wild game seems right for a tribal woman, even hunting is completely acceptable, although I haven't gone hunting in years.  Preparing wild game is a practical matter of honoring my father and not wasting what has been hunted, both of which are Biblical principles.  Hand raising my meat, though, is a different matter.  The land of Goshen has the perfect layout for raising different kinds of animals, so having calves in the west pasture is definitely a good use of the land.  I don't like to waste anything!  The west pasture is not goat tight, and I do not have what it takes, physically, to build fence.

For the most part, I embrace my practicality, as well as enjoy being creative and improvisational.  I am creatively practical which many find to be an annoying paradox, while others find the dichotomy to be curiously intriguing.

As I walked back toward the house that morning, I quickly set aside my collided thoughts.  Even in writing this, I feel my brain pushing these two facts to opposite portions of my awareness.  Intellectually, I know I'm raising organic grass fed, non GMO beef and I also recognize the fact that only one in 25-30 dairy bulls has a future as a herd sire, and the rest are headed to someone's dinner table.   Emotionally, on the other hand, I've raised these guys from the "get go."  I tell myself, they are just coming to see if I have a bottle, but the bottles stopped in August and they are still coming to me.  Realistically, even if they now like to be petted, they are not pets.  The day is coming, these young bulls will more than likely become aggressive and dangerous.

Throughout history, this conflict did not exist.  Until the last century, raising one's own food was just part of life.  As I continue to ponder this, I find myself sad.  Not about grass fed calves, but sad that it is no longer the way our society operates and has become, basically a part of American history.  Our food is produced and processed, rather than raised.  I still remember the morning I heard on the news, the President saying, "we are no longer an agrarian society."

And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetch a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man:  and he hasted to dress it.  And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by under the tree, and they did eat.  Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Religiously Held Idolatry

Spiritually, I've been in a place of struggle for a time.  Sadly, yet victoriously, I knew I could only handle this with Abba in Moshiach.  It was so easy to discern the idolatry in allegiance to G-d and country, but when it hit G-d and family, that was difficult.  By and large, our religious society promotes G-d and family as ordained on an almost equal level and that simply is not the case.  Holding anything in our life on the same level as our Creator is idolatry.  The account of Abraham and the words of Y'hshuwah make it clear that family is not to be revered as YHWH is to be.  The sad thing in my life, is before I became a Covenant Walking believer, I hadn't handled family properly, so I spent a great many years trying to make up for that fact . . .

I didn't know where to draw the line.  My old method of not doing what was done to me and not doing what I'd done in the past was still a bit sketchy as to actual direction.  This time, however; even if I wasn't quite sure of the goal, I did have instructions.  As it turns out, I gave as many years to trying to get it right, as the years I did it wrong, and then I simply shook the dust.  I realized in my particular family, a grudge would surpass generations, and loyalty is measured by the diligence of the next generation to carry that grudge.  It was something I simply could not see for a time.  The scales had to fall from my eyes.  When the scales fell, so did the tears.

Here, I've tried to beat myself up and carry the grudges for others against me, when I was simply wrong. Abba has brought to my spirit many times, the account of Abraham, as well as the words of Messiah.  Abraham was called out from his family, literally called to relocate.  So was I.  Even walking in covenant, when Ishmael came along, Abraham had to accept that Ishmael was not part of the plan.  I wasn't walking in covenant when I became a mother, so I have no right to ask Abba to repair relationships established outside of His plan, and I certainly cannot make the proper amends in my own strength.  We see in Scripture that Abraham loved Ishmael, but accepted the truth for what it was.  Of course, we're all familiar with the account of Isaac on the altar, and El Shaddai providing the ram.

Obviously we are to take care of our children and one of the commandments definitely addresses honoring our parents, but it's not the first commandment!  I truly surprised myself a couple of years ago.  I know the commandments, all ten listed in Exodus 20, but when referencing them in an article or book, I referenced the commandments to begin at Exodus 20:12.  I made the correction before publishing, but suffice it to say, it was that ingrained!  I love my family and I do try to honor my parents, and that's all.  Condoning nonsense, and taking responsibility for blame that isn't mine is simply not part of the plan.  It truly has not been easy to remove this "plank" or "beam" in the platform of G-d, family, and country.  Ah, but it was so easy to see and identify the societal religious splinters.

We find in Matthew 19:29, the words of Messiah and Mark also included this same message in his account of the Gospel.  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children , or lands, for My Name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.  Not everyone may be called to literally do this, but some of us have been and will be.  In laying down these relationships, or hearing, as I did, "the matter is settled" doesn't necessarily mean our loved ones will not come into covenant.  What it does mean, is we are to let go and walk by faith when we pray "Thy will be done . . ." we accept the answer, even if it's a painful answer.

 But seek ye first the kingdom of Elohim, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33

Monday, December 1, 2014

Black Friday

The preservation was busy this year on black Friday.  There was no trip to town, no camping on a sidewalk waiting for doors to be unlocked, and no long lines!   I've jokingly referred to the day as the "Black Friday Massive Meat Sale."  There was no assembly required but we did have to do our own packaging.  Daddy brought down a rather large deer and in less than four hours, including a lunch break, it was ready for the freezer.  The deer weighed 150 pounds after field dressing, so there was a considerable amount of meat.  As I was working on that project, I couldn't help but think of this in comparison to the now traditional "Black Friday."

Many retailers even opened their doors Thursday afternoon or evening.  I enjoyed Thursday evening just schlepping around the house in my nightgown.  Realizing from photos that some folks now go shopping in their jammies and slippers, perhaps there wasn't as much difference as I first thought, but at least I didn't go anywhere looking like that!  Although the venison required processing, it was delivered right to my front door, with several other goodies as well.

The net results of this Black Friday non shopping were walnuts and pecans for baking, crackers for the summer sausage that will be made soon, and about 45 pounds of boneless venison in the freezer, with the other 60% heading up the road with a happy man.  There are steaks, strips for stir fry or fajitas, liver, and plenty of ground venison.   All that in less than 4 hours.  I don't have a new flat screen or i phone, but I don't really have a need for those.  Fashionista that I am, I didn't need any new clothes.  Over 100 pounds of red meat for the price of a deer tag, and the hunter was more than happy to cut me a great deal for a couple hours of work.  Perhaps I sound a bit too practical, but I think I made a haul this Black Friday.

Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.  Torah of Holy Scripture

Monday, November 24, 2014

Livestock Guardian Dogs

As more people have headed toward country living and more regulations are in place regarding firearms and predator protection laws, shooting varmints is not always practical.  Word at the local cafe is: there have been wolves and bears micro-chipped and released into the area.  The reasons given for this range everywhere from, "no, that's not true" to "restoring original wildlife population and species."  Since I don't know the real answer, and truly just desire to protect my herd and place, guardian dogs have been a wonderful solution to the problem of predators.  Whether or not there are micro-chipped bears and wolves, there are, in fact, coyotes, foxes, and wild dogs that will feast on chicken dinner and even young kid when available.  Guardian dogs definitely keep potential predators at bay.
Hank as a young pup
This past week, I witnessed something I'd never seen before.  I had no idea how truly protective of the place Hank is, until this past Friday.  Livestock guardian dog breeds are primarily Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherds in this area, and the Land of Goshen is blessed with both a male and a female of the same percentages.  Hank and Babe are both 3/4 Great Pyrenees and 1/4 Anatolian Shepherd and so far . . . have maintained their platonic relationship.  I was hoping for puppies by now, but for whatever reason, none have arrived.  It could be, Hank is just too busy guarding this place.

Guardian dogs are not the same temperament as guard dogs.  Hank and Babe are both very calm and laid back when it comes to people, right down friendly, in fact.  The UPS man actually told me Hank talks with him.  Hank is quite the communicator, yet I digress.   A Brief Chat with Hank

Hank apparently views large diesel trucks in the same way he sees predators.  To see a guardian dog square off with a predator is really quite a site.  It's obvious that dog will fight unto death!  His haunches are set, his front legs spread slightly and firmly locked with his shoulders squared.  It's amazing what Abba has just put in those dogs.  No training is required, they simply know by instinct and their parent's training how to protect without being aggressive, unless . . . So far, the coyotes and foxes have not pushed Hank to the showdown, they retreat.  Hank has even caused hawks to retreat.  As to the rumors of bears and wild boars in the area . . . no sign of any on this place.

When it comes to great big diesel trucks, it's a different matter.  Obviously, due to the location of the homestead, traffic is not a regular occurrence.  I've had a couple of construction projects going which have required two different big trucks on the place recently.  I had to literally, go out and tell Hank, I had invited them and it was okay for them to be here.  He looked at me, offered a bit of an argument, then at least moved out of the path.  It was an amazing to see that huge diesel truck with a boom rig stopped in the lane because Hank was standing in his protective stance squarely head on, toward that truck.

By the time I convinced Hank to let the truck come on in, he looked at me like I was crazy, and continued make the rounds, guarding every other pasture gate.  Once the truck came to a stop where the work was to be done, Hank circled the truck while the driver, still in the cab, asked if he'd bite.  My response was, "he never has, but he does not like your truck."  The gentleman stepped on out and reached out to shake my hand.  Hank looked at him, looked at me, and walked off.  These dogs truly read the circumstances in a way that cannot be explained, but definitely appreciated.

As life continues to unfold on this preservation, I continue to be amazed at the details of creation!

And Elohim made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and Elohim saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:25   

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Peace in Paradise

Sometimes I wonder what life in paradise will be like without conflict.  As believers, we seem to be easily drawn into discussions that become debates, then division, moving on to doctrines, and ultimately denominations.  If paradise consists of no more than the absence of conflict, that alone would be heavenly and quite foreign to humanity.  As I sit here imagining shalom, I think of everyplace it is missing.  Just how many concepts are defined by their absence?  Who can define normal?  Yet everyone has their view of what is abnormal!  I think peace is the same thing.  It seems many describe peace based upon the external atmosphere, rather than emanating from within.

To many, peace is associated with nature.  A walk in the woods means peace to some, and for others peace is envisioned at the water's edge.  Nature is not exactly synonymous with peace, but nature is the work of our Creator, and true peace also comes from our Creator.

The past couple of years have shown me that making peace, keeping the peace, and being at peace are very different.  I first began this discovery a couple of years ago when I had to make peace with the fact some folks don't want peace.  That was such an eye-opener!  There really are people who would rather argue and even tear down relationships than to enjoy others.  Some people truly do enjoy high tension and conflict.  They will literally invade an atmosphere of calm, with upheaval.  It's almost as if they carry a bag of chaos like a suitcase.  They carry it with them fully packed and ready to open, at all times!  Ah, the memories . . . I'm so sorry I didn't learn this truth sooner.  The reality is, it's actually in their heart.  

I like peace, I'm willing to go to great lengths to enjoy peace.  I used to try to make peace, but that doesn't work.  I've dug my heels in trying to keep peace, but ultimately that's a showdown with those who prefer chaos and tension, so I sought Abba on the matter.  He gave me peace in knowing I don't have to make peace with everyone, His favor will cause even my enemies to be at peace with me.  I don't have to keep the peace, for He has said the battle is not mine.  He has called me to be at peace in Him.  His peace is shalom.  Shalom is not defined the way we define peace, politically.  Not at all.  Shalom is a calm when all around is chaos and shalom is acceptance when those we love choose chaos.

A friend shared this from Passion for Truth ministries

God's people are called to make peace (Matthew 5:9). Interestingly, our English word 'peace' is translated from the Hebrew, 'Shalom,' which is spelled: Shin (ש), Lamed (ל), Vav (ו), Mem (ם). If you take the meanings of the individual letters in 'Shalom' and put them together, you have "destroy (Shin) the authority (Lamed) that brings (Vav) chaos (Mem)." The letters of the word 'Shalom' tell us that in order to have true peace, the authority that brings chaos must be destroyed! Furthermore, Satan is truly THE authority that brings chaos. How then do we destroy his authority and make peace? According to James, we destroy his authority by responding to chaos with Godly wisdom (James 3:13-18). We must not add to the chaos by engaging in fighting and quarreling (James 4:1-6); rather, we resist the devil so that he must flee (James 4:7). Let your pride die. Be a peacemaker. Destroy the authority that brings chaos to your life.

This definition has confirmed a great deal of what I've come to understand in the last few years.  Attempting to make peace in some relationships was truly pride on my part.  Attempting to make peace in destructive relationships is not the same thing as being a peacemaker.  Being a peacemaker is not a call to compromise.  We do have to see reality.  

So, how will the body fare through eternity with nothing to debate?  Confusion and chaos will not be present in paradise.  Once those two are completely gone, the body will be amazed at how much we have in common.  
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of YHWH.  Matthew 5:9

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Direction or Distraction

The difference between The Direction or a Distraction can be subtle.  The difference can sometimes be described as discerning between G-d leading and just a good idea.  So often in our Covenant walk of following Messiah, we are faced with a fork in the road, not between good and evil, but rather between a good idea and G-d's perfect will.  I came to one of those forks this week.  The gentleman who presented the opportunity was not trying to tempt me, but rather extended an invitation for ministry.

I had to stop and give serious consideration to this wonderful offer, because to be honest, I've been waiting a long time for the project I'm working on, to fully come to fruition.  Just last week, I shared thoughts about struggling against "throwing in the towel,"  having waited long enough, to entertain a few doubts along the way.  Those are not doubts in our Heavenly Father, but rather in my hearing and execution of the plan.  There have been enough "almost connections" that have ended badly that I have questioned myself, my hearing, and my stand.   I've lost a number of relationships through the years over the uncompromising stand I've been called to take.  It seems so many folks in this country seem to envision themselves as offended victims or persecuted servants, and sometimes I just get weary of that.  I want to make sure, though; that I'm not being stiffnecked, while telling  myself I'm being steadfast.

This year, through the High Holy Days, I took serious inventory and asked myself some questions.  We have to be careful when we do that, as we don't become so self focused we miss Abba's perspective.  So, I asked Him to show me if I've taken a detour or become distracted.  Basically, although still not perfect, I'm where I am supposed to be at this time.  That means, even if I can't see the next step, I'm to stand where I am and continue looking up.  He showed me how some things just weren't meant to be, regardless of how good of an idea they seemed at the time.  As I listened to my Shepherd's voice, I knew the answer was still stand and wait.  So, here it is three weeks following Sukkot and a week after writing about the temptation to throw in the towel, when the invitation arrives.

For a full twenty-four hours I tried to tell myself, this invitation is what I was waiting for, but I wasn't very convincing.  The gentleman had made a very good point, in that he needed someone to come and share that the Commandments were not done away with, that Sabbath was still important for believers in Messiah.  I tried praying about it, but Heaven's silence was deafening.  So, I spent another day repenting for wanting my will over Abba's.  It has been a long time since I tried to persuade Abba to come over to my way of thinking.  That 24 hours of silence was frightening.  It was in the day of repentance Abba reminded me that if I'd gone out of His will and participated in ministry of my own flesh, I would have not only compromised my service, but the ministry that had invited me, as well.  He also informed me that self-serving ministry method is rampant in the country and we've taken it around the world!

On the third day, I wrote my response, asking Abba to please give me the words that would not come across as rejection.  It wasn't easy to decline such a gracious and exciting offer, but it was the right thing to do, and the peace that flooded my spirit certainly washed away the difficulty.  The response was exciting.  We are already working on ways to work together half way around the world!  If I'd fed the doubts or gone on in my own fleshly desire to travel, I'd have missed out on the blessing "with Adonai, all things are possible."   The homestead will be "manned" and via internet and mail, the message can be shared.  Most importantly, two ministries have formed a fellowship and are praying in agreement on opposite sides of this globe!  The distraction was not the invitation, at all, but rather the doubts of the "almost connections" that simply were not part of Abba's plan.  There was no need to doubt the direction at all!

But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting Elohim, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:   Romans 16:26

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Prepared . . . Unprepared

Early Thursday morning I received a message from our very own weather man, Gerry Davis.  He said a freeze was forecasted for the Ozarks on Sabbath.  Immediately, last week's article came to mind about the 72 hour warning.  I didn't have quite that much time, but two days was still a blessing.  I was so thankful for the warning, so very thankful.  The temperature had hit 80° earlier in the week.  Here I've been writing article after article about winter coming, signs of heavy snow, preparation, yet in my own life I was letting some details slip by unnoticed.

The wind had really kicked up Wednesday afternoon, and there was a definite chill in the air through evening chores.  Although garden production had all but ceased, it was still lush and green, with a few cucumbers, peppers, and good sized green tomatoes.  I knew the day was coming soon that would officially end this garden season with a frost, but it was still just at the "knowledge stage."  The windows, after all, were still open throughout the house!  The note from Gerry told me, the time was at hand.  Knowledge would not save my plants or bring in the last of the harvest.  It was time to implement an actual plan of action!

The passage in Proverbs that mentions a "little folding of the hands . . ." came to mind, but I haven't been idle at all.  Everything else was winter ready and with the plants, I was literally just choosing to wait until the last minute.  Now, on one hand I had a good reason, as every day the produce remained on the plant, it further matured, and I knew there was a day coming in late October or early November, when all the plants in pots on the deck and in the orchard should be brought in.  Dragging those big pots in without making a mess on the hall carpet does take a bit of planning.  It can't be done the day after it rains and must be immediately followed by vacuuming.

These plants from the deck that are now sitting in front of the picture window of the guest room really brought home the way we are preparing as we speak of calamity.  I know winter comes every year, I know a freeze, one night will wipe out the entire garden and could indeed kill my potted plants, yet I wait as long as possible to make the winter provision.  I'd cracked the persimmon seeds, the hay is all in place, the winter supply is on the homestead, and some of the firewood is cut; so when it came down to the last minute, all I needed to do was move the plants.  What I had overlooked, however; was watching the immediate signs to recognize the day before the last minute.

Fortunately, Gerry took the time to get the message to me, and that day, I heeded the warning and practically applied my knowledge, in short order!"   So many of us seem to be in that place spiritually, as we watch our societal structure continue to erode.  Many are sounding the warning, some are making preparation, but are any of us actually ready?  Are we ready to be a true beacon of light in a very dark world?  Are we basically ready, with just a couple of things to do at the last minute?  Have we truly acted on the knowledge we have?  As I look at the pepper plant loaded with jalapenos, the tomato vine that is encircling the guest room floor, and enjoy the fragrance of basil wafting up the hall, I am reminded of the Apostle Paul's words to Timothy, in yet another 21st century, agrarian parable.

 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  I Timothy 6:18

Sunday, October 26, 2014

No Mainstream Health Care?

As everyone discusses the changing condition of the world, specifically as it affects the nation in which they live, have we really given consideration to the changes that could be coming?  As I read about folks making their bug-out bags and their next doctor's appointment, I sit quietly and try not to [smh.]  It seems we still have not truly reckoned our words with our actions.  In most conversations I have, especially with those who believe they are watching end time prophecies unfold, there is an absolute disconnect between maintained dependency and preparation of separation.

Society has continued to prop itself up with programs and agencies while loosely connecting just a bit of Scripture out of context, until most of our citizenry seem desensitized to the reality that "tribulation as the world has never known" will in fact include America.  As Messiah said, and I paraphrase, "As in the days of Noah, many will go on with business as usual,  until" . . . the house of cards simply collapses, then what?  This author is guessing, and it's only a guess, that some in the religious know are hedging their bets, so to speak.  I have seen beyond a shadow of a doubt, that some believe they are to remain in mainstream until it does collapse, and then they will head for refuge.  There is every indication that our Creator simply doesn't work that way.  Oh, Scripture says there will be fleeing, but it also says there won't be time to go back for so much as a coat, much less a bug-out bag and GPS to the nearest TO homestead.  There will, undoubtedly, be some who are called to stay and bear witness in the captivity, but they won't be needing a bug-out bag.

It's in the "getting this all together" that we seem to struggle, as a people.  Who will be left to bear witness to the masses?  Who will be led to the mountain refuges?  Who are establishing the refuges?  Who will be deceived?  Who are the elect?  Good questions . . . Profound questions!  Questions that bear need of answer before the time comes!  I know that I know, in being led to establish this place of refuge, I've also been led through some harrowing realities of what I must do to protect the integrity of that in which I've been entrusted!  I've had to face the same harsh reality that Abraham faced . . . some of my loved ones will not be here, and will not be allowed to be here.  Although I will open the gate to whomever Abba tells me to, I will also close the gate to whomever He tells me to.

There are many areas in which the remnant must begin moving away from dependence upon the system.  That is not saying everyone should walk away from their place of employment.  Not at all!  At least not at this time, for many; but that choice will be coming to more than a few, very soon.  One of the big decisions many will face is maintaining employment with the new mandated health care.  When working Sabbath or receiving vaccines are part of the job, it will be time to consider the cost of employment.

For those who are undecided about the line between faith and health care, that line must be determined and established individually before thinking of bringing the mix to any refuge.  Mainstream health care will be a very simple way to monitor the citizens.

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and YHUH shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  the book of James

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seventy-Two Hours?

Seventy-two hours has been mentioned more than once in reference to bugging out when it all hits the fan.  Interesting, that three days is considered the window of time to find refuge in the event of social collapse.  I would suggest also considering just where one might be welcomed in that three day panic.  Now that the Torah Observant followers of Messiah have splintered into denominations, will unity suddenly supersede the divisions and differences?  I'm going to venture to say, "No."  Oh there will be some divisive details that will fall by the wayside, surely, but there are also some major differences that we should take note of and be sure to compare notes before the time comes.  I've mentioned before thinking there would be various refuges according to these major differences.  As the cares of the world seem to be heightening, I'd like to offer where I stand and would encourage others to do the same, for those who are considering just where they will head, when it's time to bug out.  No sense being surprised once the pandemonium is "official."

If the calamity holds off until 2017, the Sabbath year will not be an issue again for a few years, but if the collapse hits before, the camp is fervently divided . . . Some believe there is no need to observe Shemitah outside of the geographical land of Israel, while others consider it to be figured by their individual arrival to homesteading.  The other two camps are steadfastly divided between this year and next.  Here in the Land of Goshen, I am in agreement with Jonathan Cahn, Israel, and those who are observing this year as Shemitah.  I'll have no garden this coming spring.  As it turns out, this year is also my seventh year on the homestead, so I'm also in agreement with those who are keeping Shemitah outside of the Land, based upon their individual homesteading date.  In agreement with two out of four camps, that's pretty good!

The second thing to consider may seem small in detail, but many consider it a very significant issue.  I celebrate Sabbath from evening to evening.  Therefore, any would be bug-outers that arrive here would need to do the same.  It was tempting to consider having those who believe Sabbath doesn't begin until morning, come on board to do the work Friday night, but that would definitely be wrong on my part.  Scripture is very clear about having anyone else work within the gates, so . . . evening to evening it is in the Land of Goshen.  We'll have enough to contend with from outside the remnant, no need to have this debate, on a weekly basis.

Interestingly there are seven recognized methods for determining the new month, probably more.  There are the concealed, conjunction, sighted sliver, full, lunar Sabbath, Hillel [fixed] and the Enochian calendar.  I've kept the Hillel, sighted sliver, conjunction, and now concealed, and gave consideration to the Enochian calendar, but dismissed it.  I don't have a great deal of math or science to back my decision, simply the first chapter of Genesis.  Since everything was created mature, it is taught and believed the first week of the seventh Hebrew month marks the anniversary of creation.  There was no moon, the first three nights.   I've observed this for the past three years at Yom Teruah.   This recent Yom Teruah was celebrated by those of us who keep the concealed moon calendar, Tuesday evening/ Wednesday, and those who observe the sighted sliver, celebrated Yom Teruah on Shabbat.

Since none of us are really sure, and I've already admitted I've been all over a few calendars, we should take the different calendars into consideration before we are faced with the need to get moving.  I'm sure there will be communities on all calendars.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Commandment in Torah of Holy Scripture   

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sukkotin' Solo

As I walked back to the sukkah last evening, I couldn't help but think of all the things I thought were going to happen, that simply no longer seem to be in the plans.  Oh, I still believe this will be a place of refuge, but it won't be like I first envisioned it, not at all.  First is the fact that many who cross my path, really aren't going to make any significant changes until it all hits the fan.  There will be no hearty welcome for those who already know, but plan to survive on someone else's preparedness.  I'm not the only established homesteader that feels this way.  A friend actually gave Scriptural confirmation to that fact.  The parable of the virgins that Messiah spoke in Matthew 25.

As a religious society we've spiritualized everything so much, that we really don't seem to even expect the manifestation of true faith that the early followers walked in.  The early followers brought something to the gathering to share . . . instead of panicked need, or medicated acceptance.  Those who truly sought Abba in Moshiach walked in the power of Moshiach.  There is little evidence that they spent a great deal of time, "ever learning," and constantly debating.  They did speak in the market square and attend Temple, but their lives truly radiated evidence of having been with Messiah.

When I prayed to "live the Bible," I naturally had some ideas, even expectations.  So far, it's been abundantly more than I would have thought to ask or imagine.  In that abundance has also come a few unwelcomed realities.  The largest one being, I'm not going to be Rahab as detailed in Joshua.  Oh, I may host a few folks in their travels along the way, or even hide a couple of brothers, but I'm already in covenant.  Sadly, it doesn't look like my natural family will be here to be protected, as was Rahab's.

In hearing I would receive the promise of Abraham, I was overjoyed.  Who doesn't want to be called a friend of Yah?  Who wouldn't want to be a loving spiritual patriarch or matriarch to many?  I sadly overlooked the Ishmael factor, and that caught me a bit off guard.   Certainly not because Abba concealed it, it's right there in writing; I just didn't want to see it.  Through the years of hearing so many modern comparisons to Bible greats, Abba has placed it on my heart to be sure and read "the rest of the story."  We talk big, but the reality is, most of us get ahead of His plan or bow down to the rules, for employment, for provision, for social expectation, for family peace, for a myriad of reasons.  It's so easy to talk bravely, it's another matter entirely to trust Abba and truly stand on His Word.

We are coming to the valley of decision in each of our lives, or even the valley of the shadow of death.  As the world around us deteriorates further into chaos, we must take inventory of our "oil."  When the Bridegroom comes, there will be those who have their lamps filled and their wicks trimmed and those who don't.  But before Messiah returns, there will be utter chaos and tribulation, such as the world has never seen.  It truly is time to make sure we are ready.  That is, not in making connections for a place to save our own skin, but rather, being so close to Messiah we hear our Creator's voice and have obediently prepared for the Plan He has intended for each of us.

Then Y'hshuwah said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.  the Gospel according to John    

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Coming Out From Among Them

As I sit here waiting for the folks to gather, I'm desperately aware that many believe they are sounding the warning, but what are we really doing differently?  I left city living nearly a decade ago.  I had a lot to learn, and every year has definitely been a learning experience, but as I sound these warnings, what am I doing differently?  Am I seeking Abba more intently?  Am I further separating myself from dependence of the system?  I've read a number of blogs, articles, and social media posts that say most are continuing "business as usual."  Messiah said that's how it would be in these end of days, folks doing what they usually did . . . "as in the days of Noah."

Every year, it seems I have to seek and pray in regard to the line between preparation and hoarding.  I'm not building bigger barns, but the simple things, like how many coats do I need to have on hand and how many chore gloves do I really need to own?  How much is enough to share and how much is too much?  What is "be ready" and what is a lack of faith or wrong priority?  These questions are never in the same areas.  It's changed through the years, so it's not a matter of questioning what I've heard, but rather moving in obedience in the last area of Instruction, to discover there is more to learn.  It seems every year, I also get a new job, without losing my last one . . .   I truly had no idea so much could be accomplished.  I'm enjoying the fulfillment of Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me."

As the would be joiners have come and gone, I'm feeling a real unction that the population of the Land of Goshen will be increasing very soon.  In consideration, of not only this place, but the others that are being established, I'd like to remind us all of the need to begin to separate before we "come out from among them."  I would encourage everyone who believes they will be "heading to the hills" soon, or leaving the cities, a second Exodus, or heading to the wilderness to take an inventory of their present dependence.

As believers, we tend to spiritualize change, that really isn't always made manifest.  For those who speak of spiritual preparation, as we seek to be closer to Abba, we should be farther from the world.  Here's my own basic annual personal responsibility assessment list, as I seek to be closer to Y'hshuwah.  Have there been any tangible changes away from the system in this past year?  How about diet and exercise?  How about health care?  There are many aspects of our individual life that has already been deemed dependent on the powers that be.  This past year, I became noticeably aware that my day to town has become shorter.  There are fewer stops to be made and fewer purchases.  Everything in my life needs to fit into the Plan of our Creator.  The purchases I am making, are for the long term . . . relatively speaking.

I must be prepared to help those who will be leaving the cities, and those who will be leaving the cities must be in condition for their new surroundings.  Any connections of dependency to the powers of the systems will be like lightning rods in exposing the communities of refuge.  Time and effort are of the essence!  I know in my life, the ridiculous notion that freedom is somehow granted by permission still crosses my mind from time to time!  It is the Son who set me free!

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. ~ from a Psalm in Holy Scripture

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Yet Another Season

As the scent of the amorous buck wafts through the Land of Goshen, I am aware that another season is at hand.  The leaves are still vividly green, but a slight golden cast can be discerned as autumn settles upon us.  The garden is also still green, but production is slim compared to what it was just a few weeks ago.   For the first time, here in the Land of Goshen, there is no garden place to till for next year.  This will be the year to place emphasis on the herd, in the importance of attempting to follow the Instructions of our Creator.

Already, there are two assignments for this resting year, and plans to complete another couple of things that have "been on a back burner."  I'm a bit sad that it appears I'll be Sukkotin' solo, but I'm reminded regularly, plans that fall through are simply not part of the Plan.  There's been a real urgency in my spirit to help folks get to places of refuge . . . to the point, I've even offered to assist with transportation costs, but YHWH has closed the door on those offers.  He's made it very clear He's called those doors to be closed and I am not to even try to reopen them.  He's opening other doors.  And so . . . we walk by faith.

In all of this feeling of urgency, I find myself becoming introspective.  I don't want to become so introspective that I'm self absorbed, but in these days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur, I want the dross out of my life.  As I feel the urgency of what is coming, and with that, comes the question of what am I doing differently?  I certainly don't want to be one of those who is "sounding the warning" while going about business as usual, because these are not ordinary times!  I've made some changes around here and been led to become quite specific as to how to recognize those who are called to gather here.

The account of Abraham's servant continues to resonate in my spirit.  And he said, O Adonai Elohim of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham.  Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master.  Genesis 24:12-14

Obviously, the comments will not pertain to watering camels, but I've asked Him for a specific statement from those whom He brings to this community.  He's told me what to listen for, how to respond, and what should follow.  The season of gathering must be getting close. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A New Perspective

All summer long, my attitude has been transforming.  As I can and preserve for winter and the coming Shemitah, a strange new awareness has truly overtaken me.  I can have baked goods, any old time.  Fresh vegetables are a special luxury!  The only reason I've needed bread this summer, is for tomato sandwiches, when I got my little bottle baby and couldn't make as much cottage cheese.  The tomatoes have been so juicy, there's been no need for salad dressing.  Oh, I could go on and on, and so I will . . .

I shared with a friend the other day, our society has everything all backward.  I can go out to the garden, pick a cucumber and tomato and have dinner.  That's fast food!  You'd think, the way I eat, I'd have a perfect body.  Haha!  That is not the case, so it's a good thing I eat like I do.  I may have already written this, but one of my daughters told me, if she ate like I do, she'd weigh 70 pounds.  Considering my propensity and shape, I'm very thankful to have the taste preferences I do.  Back to my transformation in thinking.

The squash was extraordinarily delicious this year.  My eggplant didn't fare so well, but there's a new Italian restaurant that serves wonderful Eggplant Parmesan.  I'll have enough eggplant for "moussaka for one" through Feast of Tabernacles and that will suffice.  I haven't found a way to properly preserve eggplant anyway.  It's interesting this year, in that the produce that preserves well, has been in great abundance.  Just between you, me, and the fence post, it sure wouldn't hurt my feelings if Abba brought forth a volunteer tomato plant next year.  We are called to eat what the land produces in shemitah . . . I've already scouted some pretty nice salad fixins.  If the land should produce a volunteer tomato, I will be obedient!

It's so nice to realize, full figured at 56 years of age, I place more value on a fresh tomato than a piece of chocolate cake!  I find myself already thinking, baked and preserved food is just to help us more appreciate Abba's original plan for man, to tend the garden.

 And YHWH Elohim made a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had made. Torah of Holy Scripture


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hunting Season

Several people have asked me to address the problem of wild game tasting "gamey."  I promised I would do so.  With bow season being just a couple of weeks away, I want to get this posted in time.  Daddy drives nearly 250 miles for me to process his deer.  Although I'm not claiming expertise in this area, I did process deer professionally in the early to mid 80's.

First, upon shooting the deer, bleeding it out is imperative.  Field dressing, (gutting) is not the first step.  The first step is bleeding the kill, so once it's down, slit the throat . . . I recommend digging a shallow hole so the blood can be covered, per Torah instruction.  In the photo above, you see Daddy and I skinning the carcass . . . he had already bled and field dressed the animal at the time he was hunting.

 If you cannot hang it from the hind legs to bleed it out, then at least hike or hoist it's hind end above the head and neck for good drainage.  Do not attempt to field dress before draining blood, or even simultaneously.  Many believe the blood will drain through field dressing, but this is a misnomer.   Field dressing or "gutting" actually interferes with the drainage and impairs the process of the circulatory system.  Do not attempt to field dress the animal until it has been properly bled. After bleeding the animal out, at the throat, then proceed to field dress.  Always hang the carcass, head down.  I've heard of folks using the rack to hang them, but this actually causes the meat to retain the blood, thus the "gamey taste."

The "gamey taste" is primarily the result of the way the animal is processed at death.  I remove the meat from the bones, for easier storage.  It takes much less space in the freezer.  
My aunt cans venison as well, but I'm not really a fan of canned red meat.  For those who keep kosher, the ribs are wonderful!  They are easily removed with a hacksaw, but many hunting supply stores have specific tools for meat processing.  I keep it simple.  Steaks, chops, stew meat, strips for stir fry or jerky, and ground are my choice of cuts.  I do enjoy fresh deer liver, but that isn't always possible.  The only specific tool I have for meat processing besides knives and a steel is a meat grinder.  I have one that is manual, but for now I enjoy an electric one.  After my daughter broke my food processor, grinding meat, I determined a heavy duty meat grinder was worth the investment. 

I truly hope this helps improve the flavor so more folks enjoy the meat.  Although I don't intentionally try to fool people, many guests have enjoyed dinner in my home and never realized they were eating venison.

 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;  And make me savoury meat, such as I love . . . Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, September 7, 2014

To Everything There is a Season

The garden is winding down, the leaves on the trees are still green, but there's a coolness in the morning and evening that wasn't here a week ago.  The air conditioner is off and the windows are open, once again.  As the seasons change I am once again reminded of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes.

A Dear Brother asked me how I kept track of the "first of the year" on the Biblical calendar.  We know YHWH was very clear that the first month is in the spring, when the barley is nearly ready for harvest, yet the number of the year changes at Yom Teruah, the 7th month.  Now, this isn't a new doctrine I'm introducing, but rather a question that has been in my spirit for some time now.

It seems many weeks in social media, the Sabbath is celebrated with the time honored debate as to when it actually begins . . . which has become sad and mundane.  It has been through this nearly never ending debate, I've begun to see something different.  By nearly never ending, I am acknowledging when Messiah returns, the debates will indeed end!  HalleluYah!

When Sabbath begins was not an issue until electricity and the invention of engines.  Without engines and electricity, nobody worked after dark, any day of the week.  There was no way to hang lanterns on a mule's ear or oxen yoke.  It simply wasn't an issue.  With modern conveniences, we now have the capability and free time to make an issue of everything, and with technology, we can take our issues global.  So in realizing Abba's time was really revealed in a day consisting of evening and morning, this led me consider the seasons.

We know the first month is relatively early in spring.  That is specifically addressed in Exodus.  We also know until the industrial revolution, most societies were agrarian.  Even the cities of commerce in Bible times were utterly dependent upon farmers, shepherds, and fishermen.  So, perhaps the seventh month is significant in the same way the seventh day is, a time of completion and the winter months compare to the night.  A time of dormancy.  Since the next growing season, the land will rest, I won't do my usual fall plowing, and the frost will put an end to the fresh veggies.  It may be the time between the completion of seventh month and the first month is simply a time of agrarian rest [night, if you will.]

We keep track of the moon through the winter season and we know the months continue to be numbered. The number attached to the year is simply to remind the people of YHWH, when this world was created, and to enable us to keep track of the Sabbath year.

And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.  Numbers 29:1

Sunday, August 31, 2014

High Holy Days

In less than a month, the celebrations of the seventh Biblical month will begin!  These are such precious times.  Even though I am celebrating without earthly fellowship, right now, I know that's about to change!  This year is different in so many ways.  Obviously the current events of the world are intensifying, but the power of our Creator is also being made manifest in individual lives, and drawing the remnant unto Himself.

This will also begin the year of Shemitah in Israel and the Land of Goshen.  As I consider all that has taken place in the last six years, I've learned a lot.  I've also still got a lot to learn.  Faith is an interesting part of life, in that it is so intense when it increases, yet the increase brings more increase and more desire for increase.  Oh, I want to convey this so clearly . . . Faith brings a desire for obedience.  I know I'm not perfect, but I want to walk as Messiah walked.  I want to please Abba.  I want the things that please Him to so fill my life there is no time or space for the things that are displeasing to Him.  We were created for His pleasure and next month, we are commanded to observe His Special Days.  So, in obedient observance, I want to bring Him pleasure.

This year will begin so differently than any other.  Abba has increased my understanding and my confidence is in Him.  He's changed so much more of my heart than I even realized needed changing.  He's changed my perspective.  Having followed Messiah now, for twenty years, I'm ready for the next stage of responsibility.  Twenty was the age of accountability in the book of Numbers.  The last Shemitah, I was 13 years in my walk, so it was my spiritual Bat Mitzvah.  Oh, and just like a teen, I thought I knew what I was doing . . . and in some areas I did, but I've learned so much, and moved . . . literally.

I'm learning covenant faith isn't just about my trusting Him, but Abba being able to trust me, as well.  In this past seven years, He's been able to trust me in areas in which I wasn't mature enough before.  He's instilled a confidence in me that I didn't know how to handle before.  And He's given me a desire for peace that I'm sure only comes with maturity.  HalleluYah!  I've outgrown the drama!  I've also grown in trusting Him, that the battle isn't mine and fleeing isn't my option, therefore I am to stand and not be moved.  Doing unto others as I would have them do unto me, is not about accommodating human demands.  I answer to Abba, not people.

The Golden Rule will be more than a motto, as this community gathers; it will be practically applied.  Torah is the Law that is fair to all, without favoritism as well being the Instructions for what it is to follow Messiah.  I smile as I realize, as the community gathers, and the five fold ministry meets around this round table, Messiah is the head!
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of Torah.  Romans 13:10

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Preparing for the Gathering

As I look at the jars on the bar, and the basket of tomatoes in the kitchen floor, I find myself wondering, who will be here to share in this?  Every jar I've filled and every new goat on the place seems to have greater significance than just business as usual.  As this season is winding down and the Holy Days approach, it all feels so different, now.  Some of the things I "saw and heard" years ago, are going to come to fruition soon, I believe.

Back in 2007, I remember when Abba said, I had not yet seen the one who would be coming next to the community.  Wow!  In seven years, so much has changed, both personally, and globally.  I remember when my daughter brought her new boyfriend for me meet in 2010.  Even though she and I got along horribly and the visit was a total disaster, I still held on to hope that perhaps he was that one "I had not yet seen," and would be bringing my family to the homestead.  I held on to that hope, for a long time, but that was not to be.

As I sit here recollecting, I've now seen many more that I didn't know at that time.  Social media sometimes serves as a reminder that we can "get to know" someone without seeing them, or long before we actually see them.  I'm blessed with several friendships that although we have not actually seen each other face to face, we do value the friendship.  I'm thrilled to have gotten to actually meet folks in real time that I met on social media.  So who knows?  Abba knows and He knew in 2007 when He said those words to me.  There have been some come, who I know will not be part of this particular community, while others have visited and the door has not been closed . . . I would also guess there will eventually be arrivals that I have not yet even spoken with, at this time.

We are told, we walk by faith, not by sight.  When the gathering begins, we are going to know each other.  Meanwhile, I am very thankful, and feeling blessed to be preparing to share.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Usually time is the subject of "Kingdom Economy" but the timing of three particular incidents correlates with the potential gathering of communities and I felt, perhaps this example would give all of us pause to contemplate the timing of opportunity.  This scenario spans two years, and probably the finality of the second mile.

I had made plans with some people two years ago, over the span of several months, then something began to crumble.  So we all sat down and discussed a new idea at length.  By appearances, an agreement had been made, but I've since been told, the first party left, never intending to look back.  So when the second calamity took place, I knew without a doubt, the others involved did not share the same priorities or had been dishonest, or possibly both.  At any rate, I had been saved from the agreement in which I had ignorantly entered.  I was reminded of Joshua and the Gibeonites . . . and the parable of the "clean house" in which the unclean spirit leaves, but there is no surrender to the Holy Spirit, and so goes to dry places.  Oh my, this situation was so Scripturally obvious, but I wanted it to be the plan.

My comments through the conversation were consistent, as the others tended to vacillate.  When the agreement was supposedly made, it was a matter of learning about alternative power for a year, then coming back and starting the installation business.  Interestingly, even after it all fell apart, one year later, the job of the "learning opportunity" had concluded, but without a reasonable discussion, the door here was not to be opened.

I spoke with the company, just a couple of weeks ago, that would be supplying the products "our" would-be company would install . . . now, two years later, there is still no company established they can recommend.  So, the idea flashed again and I posted it to social media.  Several comments, but no takers.  The real coincidence in all of this, is the person with whom I had first made the plans, just announced that the job he has been working, has ended.  Even more interesting, this announcement came on the second anniversary of when the door was officially slammed shut.

We must take note of timing and opportunity.  When opportunity knocks, it may not knock again.  When we are in the wrong place at the wrong time, too often, we've established our course, but there is a bright point to the flip side of  those who were hopeful.  When people continuously change plans and miss opportunities, it's simply a sign that they are not part of the plan.   As disappointing as that fact may be, their disregarding presence would actually serve as a hindrance.   Those who are in the wrong place at the wrong time, at least cannot impede progress for those seeking the right plan at the right place.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Persevering on the Preservation

The harvest this year is abundant.  The rain has been extraordinarily plentiful and I am feeling a peace settle over letting the land rest, this coming year.  Since my body is made of dust, I'm thinking my body will appreciate the rest as well.  The photos across social media seem to indicate many gardeners are being blessed with a double portion harvest.  Walking in confidence is rather new to me, so I've really been uncertain when the debate began about which year.  I feel the need to have a clear understanding, as my words need to be truth.

In the past year or two, I've taken notice of folks who are somewhat "adamant in their views," only later to discover they've changed their perspective.  What I notice with many of these folks is their confident claim that their new perspective is now a proper understanding.  That is a red flag for me.  Confidently correcting the confident recommendations one gave last year doesn't repair the damage of wrong teaching.  When it comes to spiritual matters, if we are going to speak with authority, we need to be sure we know what we are talking about.  That's not to suggest we remain quiet or compromise, but I do not think any individual is able to speak with authority on all matters.  None of us know everything, but that's not an excuse to remain ignorant.  I've received some interesting advice from some folks whom I clearly discerned were operating, either outside of their call or outside of their understanding.  I pray for them. 

I never refer to myself as a teacher, as that is not my call.  There are some things I can teach and experiences I've gained, but teaching isn't my call, I don't have the heart of a teacher.  I'm happy to answer questions, give demonstrations, write, speak, and I can share knowledge.  I believe I'm even going to share this place with others with a call.  I believe there will be someone called to share in this place, specifically called to the office of "teacher" as mentioned in Ephesians 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;   

In the meantime, I will continue to share what I've come to understand, and of course, always share the Good News.  Many of the debated details, however; are still open to further understanding.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

No Looking Back

This week has been quite illuminating, here on the Preservation.  Insight has been gained regarding the passage in which Messiah spoke of a man putting his hand to the plow and looking back.  He gave a pretty harsh perspective.  

And Y'hshuwah said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of G-d.  Luke 9:62

I used to interpret this as just keep moving forward . . . That may be accurate, but what if you're going the wrong way?  What if you're tending a field that isn't your responsibility?  This isn't about nitpicking Messiah's words or offering a tangent, but rather the revelation that insight gained from the past is not necessarily looking back.  By that same token, what I saw this week in that moving forward with the same old goals may in fact be "looking back."  There are a few personal examples I'll share that may help others as we realize change is imminent and ready or not, life as we've known it is isn't coming back.

This week, Loosed Woman, came to the breaking point.  I realized the actual spiritual significance of the mistake, several mistakes, I almost made.  I struggled with moving forward, as to how I would honor the fifth commandment and share my testimony.  I also struggled with telling the truth, when I remembered, my parents through one of my many chastisements, actually said, "Not saying anything was the same as telling a lie!"  Wow, no more looking back on that one.  The truth shall make me free!

As I pondered in writing, the various situations that arose through that time were opportunities to finally do things differently.  That was the "no looking back" I'd been missing.  There were three areas in my life, I simply did not know how to handle in a new forward way.  I had no idea, how to plow on through!  The light came on as I muddled and rambled through Loosed Woman.  When I'm unsure of my subject, I hide behind words . . . too many or too few.

Circumstances don't have to change.  Others don't have to change.  Even if I sacrifice the present and my future, I cannot change the past.  What happened, happened, and it's not disrespect or disloyal to speak the truth.  My testimony is what it is and Messiah made all the difference to bring me back to our Creator and His plan for me.  I can't hide that under a bushel!  As for putting my hand to the plow and looking back . . . No way would I want to go back!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Unintentional Disregard

Last week, I made an error.  I didn't mean to disregard what YHWH had said, nor did I intend to annoy one of the goats, but I managed both . . . in that order.  One evening mid week, there was a circus in the milking parlor.  One goat, Jackie, was particularly precocious, to the point we had words . . . I literally told her, to straighten up, there was no rain in the forecast.  I specifically remember checking the extended forecast when I published last week's Goshen Gazette and realized, hot without precipitation was forecasted for the week . . . I've since apologized, but it's taken a few days for her to get over her grudge.  I don't think it's so much over the contentious tone, as it is over the fact I took an unnamed, faceless report over her personal insight.

I've mentioned more than once, when I began homesteading, YHWH told me to watch the animals to know what the weather would be.  For a number of years, I didn't even check the weather forecasts.  It's only been since editing the Goshen Gazette, that I have been keeping up with the long range forecast . . . and now I've had to repent.  For nearly a decade, I went strictly by the Instruction of YHWH and when the animal's behavior changed, it indicated a weather change, and I heeded the warning.  The other evening, I shamefully disregarded the warning.  To make matters worse, I reprimanded her behavior and withheld her "Goatie-O's" as punishment for her behavior.

Although Jackie has indicated she's willing to forgive my stupidity, I had to talk with Abba about it.  He had told me to watch the animals.  Even knowing how accurate it had been for so long, I heeded the "wisdom of man."  Some may think I'm splitting hairs or being legalistic, but I was guilty!  As I write this, there is no doubt in my mind that I had to ask forgiveness for disregarding His instruction.  Here we all want to hear G-d, personally, then when we do, do we act on what we hear?  I confess, I was wrong and I'm back on the straight and narrow.  Now the critters behavior is the foregone conclusion.  When I look at the weather site at the Goshen Gazette, it's only to see if that forecast agrees with the experts!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In All Things Give Thanks

We are told in Scripture to do precisely, that.  I had a new "in all things give thanks" experience this week.  The corn is ready, so I've been shucking and canning.  As I was shucking the other day, I discovered a worm in the end of a couple of the ears.  Suddenly, I found myself giving thanks for those corn worms, that were very much alive!  They had made it past the natural pesticide . . . I was so thankful to have organic corn.

I'd had a bad experience with some heirloom seeds I'd been given, so to find this corn that was deficient in Bt and had not been doused with Round Up, was a true blessing.  I realize none of us really have any way of controlling cross contamination with GMO crops, but to find live pests does offer hope!  All things considered, I'm a big girl now, I can cut around a few bad spots and definitely do what I can to stay ahead of pests and weeds.  The cauliflower was beautiful this year, as has been the squash.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, we are blessed when we give thanks.  Our society has gotten so far from the original plan for humanity, however; we often don't recognize what is a blessing and what is not.  Perfect produce absolutely is a blessing, if it doesn't come at the cost of nutrition and sin.   It's time to call GMO exactly what it is, it's sin.  To genetically alter creation is to say we can do better than our Creator, and that is exalting oneself.  The purpose of GMO is to reward laziness and, of course, greed.  It's easy to call Monsanto evil, but to choose to use the produce doesn't make us victims, it makes us accessories.

 I've been blessed with some lovely produce, and the way the corn is being manipulated, I was truly relieved to see it imperfect.  Meanwhile, here is some more of the beautiful, organic, garden produce.

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and G-d saw that it was good.  Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Simply Thankful

For the past couple of weeks, I've been dragging.  I'm still babying my foot a bit, and was resisting the urge to close the windows and turn on the air conditioner, but I caved.  Canning tomatoes last week, it just got too hot, so I'm enjoying the cooler air, but missing the sounds of outdoors.

I knew the day of closing up the house was coming, so since July 1, I've been sleeping in the living room with the front door open.  The realization of just how blessed I am to be able to do that has washed over me, many times.  My house faces west and there has been a nice western breeze most nights, so sleeping on the living room futon was almost like camping.  Almost like camping, but much easier than getting up off the ground.

As canning season is gearing up, I find so much for which to be thankful.  I was speaking last night of the old house in town, and it was a lovely home, but I'm so glad to not have all that to maintain, and beyond thankful to not be in the city limits.  Even if I can't hear them so well right now, I still enjoy looking out the windows to see goats and chickens.  Although I'm so hesitant to close the windows and turn on the air conditioning, I'm thankful to have that luxury.  I'm also thankful to be able to wait until mid-July to turn it on.

I feel blessed beyond measure in the length of the growing season, yet the duration of hot weather is relatively short.  To be able to start my garden in February, and still enjoy a harvest through October, sometimes into November, yet only need an air conditioner for 6 to 8 weeks is truly a blessing for which I am very grateful.  As we become more and more dependent with less and less control and choices, I would encourage everyone to realize how many simple things we can still enjoy.  Take the time, make it a priority to enjoy some of the simpler things.  

So many in our society live in what seems a climate controlled environment, going from furnace to a/c, back to furnace without opening the windows.  Not to mention exchanging the sunshine of daylight hours for fluorescent lighting.  Go outdoors in the cool of the morning or evening and take a moment to just breathe deeply and thank our Heavenly Father for the air we breathe.

 And YHWH G-d formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  
Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Am Human!

A sustainable food supply that involves meat, involves death.  I've been blessed the last couple of years to contract my beef processing.  I still do the deer and chickens and will again do the beef, I would imagine, but for now, I'm enjoying the break.  Processing beef is not only labor intensive, but there is that moment in which, the memories of literally lifting them out of the back of the van and months of bottle feeding, all converge in my mind, on their last day of life.  I'm a practical woman, but a woman none the less.

In processing Daddy's deer, they are already dead upon arrival, and even when hunting, I've never been emotionally attached.  Although chickens are somewhat domesticated and easily held, I don't form the bond with them that I do with the mammals on the place.  I can identify the sex of new chicks, by day three, for the express purpose of separating what will end up on the table and what will provide eggs.  I can look at those fluffy little chicks and know they won't look like that when it comes time for chicken and dumplings a few months down the road.  Once in awhile, I do have a twinge about a particularly colorful rooster, but . . .

I used to process goats and sheep as well, but sheep raising was too much work and too hard on the pasture.  The hardest work I ever did was shearing sheep . . . and it would be cruel to put them through an Ozark summer without shearing, so I may raise a couple for a specific idea, but I will not own them, come shearing season.  I quit butchering goats when I started raising my own beef.

I wrote about figuring out how to load the two that just went to town.  My plan worked great, in that; within a week, they were coming when they heard the lid of the feed bin rattle.  I then added the morning coaxing, as they would be loading out in the morning.  That last night, as they were eating, I had forgotten to put the bucket in the feed bin, so when I rattled the lid putting it away, they both came running and as our eyes met, a momentary sadness washed over me.  I was so thankful that even though the next day was butchering day, I wasn't going to be doing the actual processing this time.  That same flood of memories that hits simultaneously at butchering time, hit me then.  Sometimes I get so busy doing what needs to be done, I am blessed with the reminder that . . . I am human.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Moving Past Grief

I have a serious confession to make about this homestead / preservation.  When the severe family issue exploded, I was truly grieved.  I realize where there's life there's still hope, but I'm addressing the emotional impact at the time it occurs.  I'm also going to be honest about the fact, it was far from the first disrespectful outburst, but it is the last one I will allow on this place.  It took awhile to make peace with the fact, that particular relationship has no future, as it stands now.  I still love the person, but everyone and everything we love isn't necessarily good for us, and we're not necessarily good for them.  In taking the time to actually grieve the situation, there has been healing and resolve that I didn't know could even exist.  This has been the first loss that I didn't attempt to stoically pull myself up by my own bootstraps.  I cried and I prayed and I cried and I prayed some more, and then cried and prayed again.

I also noticed there were a few things I just couldn't face for a time.  Here, I'd been raising most of my food, including the meat, but that summer invasion and explosion left me seeing and feeling reminders in so many places that had once been such a part of the plan and purpose.  The enemy works like that . . .  I'm not saying this individual was "the enemy," but Y'hshuwah very clearly identified who our enemy would be and I'd not only allowed this, but invited this one with open arms . . .

Last year was so difficult to be in a certain part of the garden, that I actually moved the garden.  My son-in-law had been such a part of the gardening the year before and my grandchildren, so it was just a sad reminder when I went in.  Besides moving the garden spot, I also planted a number of vegetables in the orchard.  Ultimately, Abba used that to show me how I would be raising my own wheat after Shemitah.  It would have been nice if I'd have been able to receive the plan without what I allowed here, but unfortunately, I just had to learn this part the hard way.  This year the garden is beautiful, in yet a new garden spot, and the plans for the mini wheat field are taking shape. 

The other thing that I really dropped the ball on was raising my own chickens.  I continued to collect the eggs, but every time I went out to get a chicken for dinner, I just couldn't do it.  My son-in-law had helped me catch the roosters I'd raised and each of the grandchildren wanted to learn how to "kill up" a chicken and make dinner.  To be honest, I haven't fixed fried chicken since that summer.  I say it's for health reasons, but I know the reason, and Abba knows my heart, so . . . I also had the excuse of a broken arm recovery, but the reality is, I was back to milking and typing very quickly, after that injury. 

That summer, even the youngest grandchild in that bunch had learned how to process a chicken from free range to fried chicken dinner.  The first time they wanted to help, I was sure we'd end up having PB & J for dinner, but I was wrong.  They took serious ownership of the dinner!  So, I've taken a year to grieve and eat chicken from the local Family/Farm Market, because it was just impossible to pluck a chicken while crying . . .  This year the preservation is back to full functioning and should probably be at double meat production the year of Shemitah.

And the Sabbath of the land shall be meat for you . . . And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.  Torah of Holy Scripture 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Do I Really Need to Know?

In the past, when I've sustained a serious injury, the break has been obvious, so Xrays were unnecessary.  This past week, I've managed to do something to my left foot which I truly do believe qualifies me for the "injured reserve list," but I can't say there's a fracture.  I will say, even Mr. B has shown some compassion, so it must look serious.

As I've contemplated slowing down a bit, I'm so thankful that it's even a choice.  I feel relatively certain, at my age and the rest that goes with me, if I were to darken the door of an ER, the Xrays and testing would be numerous.  I can clearly see that it's swollen, therefore; injured.  I can look back on past fractures and know very clearly, I was outside of the will of  G-d, therefore outside of His protection.  That is not to say every injury sustained is a sign of disobedience, but in my case there was compromise.

I'm not one to accuse the accuser too often and claim to be under attack, as the adversary is not omnipresent, so I figure he can only be one place at a time, and there are countless reports of his presence all over the place.  This particular incident though, does reek of havoc.  In preparing a new ministry website and moving toward a fuller outreach, I really do think, I irritated the enemy.  Here I'll even be addressing physical and mental health without giving the adversary any negative credit!  

Since YHWH inhabits the praise of His people, it has been my theory for years that the enemy is pleased with negative credit from the people of YHWH.  So, giving all glory to YHWH Raphah, without being presumptuous, I plan to be posting recover photos soon!

Here are my feet, in side by side photos, at the end of the day.  There are a number of healing promises in writing!  That's what I need to know!   

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  Prophet of Holy Scripture