Saturday, November 28, 2020

Happy Birthday #52!

2020 has flown by for me. I do not think I have ever worked harder or accomplished as much for my family! I have grown closer to the Lord as I have had to rely on Him for direction, wisdom, and strength. I am enjoying this highly productive season of life very, very much and believe the best is yet to come!

I can say this again this year: I am blessed with good health and am not on any prescription medications. I am approaching the day for it but currently do not wear prescription glasses. I have all of my own teeth. I am physically active working in our home, on our farm, and in helping others. I am married to a strong, loving, Christian man, and we are raising and loving on our seven children who bring us much, much joy. 

This is worth repeating too: "For decades, I was torn apart and felt lower than every other human being but escaped those chains and found my value in the Gift God gave to me. His name is Jesus and He offers you the same gift of salvation. He's real, and He is life/eternity changing!

To God be the glory for every single bit of it! I am blessed far, far beyond what I ever imagined could be possible for myself. I would not trade my life for anyone else's. I am His, and He is mine.

Today marks another year closer to realizing what is behind the veil. I am a bit closer to meeting "the One Who loves me more than all others combined" face to face. One day I will leave my family behind and run away with Jesus. My mind struggles to comprehend casting off this mortal form and stepping into eternity much like a caged bird would struggle to comprehend the vastness of the great outdoors. 

Birthdays are simply mile markers in this journey that has a glorious ever after ending."


My birthday prayer for myself for this next year is that I will become more focused on Him, will guard my heart, eyes, mind, and lips more diligently, and will share His good news with more people. I am asking for discernment and wisdom in all areas of my life. 

If you would like to give me a gift for my birthday, Dear Reader, share Him with someone else. Share your testimony, a Bible verse, how He answered a prayer, or give Him the glory for something in your life. In person, through text, or on social media, it doesn't matter. Just share Him! It would be fantastic if you made an effort to reach the lost, but you can build up another Christian too. I would consider you doing this a highly valuable gift to me. 

My love to all!


Friday, November 27, 2020

We had a very nice Thanksgiving

in our home with our family and a few friends who took time to say hello. 

We normally try to get in some outdoor time like a hike through our woods, a "tractor" ride, or a yard game. It was raining most of the day, so we were indoors. That was a blessing in disguise! We enjoyed our meal and rested all day which made for a nice break from our labors. 

We worshipped and prayed together. Then we watched some Charlie Brown and Christmas movies, rap battles, old televised music performances, and a couple of delightful orchestra performances. We played some games and the girls took time to draw. The kittens came in for a visit and treats. We all became sleepy so Amanda made us a delicious gourmet coffee with whipped cream and toppings. We had a very special, peaceful, and relaxing day. The meal, which everyone contributed to, was delicious!

Dear Reader, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

My job is

 My job is to take care of the possible and to trust God with the impossible.

Ruth Graham

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

 Happy Thanksgiving!
to our family and friends
near and far, old and new
close and estranged
You are loved!

Our family is gathering together to give thanks to the Lord, enjoy a feast, play some games together, and watch some movies.

I hope that wherever you are on this day, you take time to thank the Lord. No matter what is going on in the world, there is always something for which we can be thankful.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. 
William Arthur Ward


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Did you witness voter fraud? FORM

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScdJ8ygHaBi5DXSgYgsg357T6qJjjnDRj42_WpWe7lqk3BcRw/viewform 

copy and paste into your browser


Why I Chose the Nesco Dehydrator

dehydrators


dehydrator_broccoli
 broccoli spears

I've been doing product reviews in several places online and in print since I started homeschooling over 25 years ago. Many of the initial products I reviewed were educational electronic toys marketed to the homeschooling community. I really enjoyed getting those items for my children for free too. Businesses liked my reviews and the kinds of things I noticed that others missed, and it just grew. One of my children is getting a $200 tablet I received for free from the manufacturer for Christmas this year.

I have had the first dehydrator for over 15 years, and the second one is a new addition I purchased in August 2020 when my first failed. Clint was able to fix the first, so now I have two. I use them three to five times a week here lately.

A lot of people think of fruit leather and jerky when they think of a dehydrator. While those are delicious, the uses for a dehydrator go so much further.

For one thing, they are invaluable for preventing food waste. If you have food you know you can't consume before it spoils, you can dry it, package it properly, and then it is preserved for many years. Dehydrated foods can last up to 20-30 years and maybe longer if you have the right packaging. I have never had to throw away anything that was dehydrated.

If you have a food processor or coffee grinder, you can make your own nutritional powders. Herbs can be dried and ground for seasonings and medicine. 

Potpourri from fragrant herbs and flowers grown in a home garden is so nice. I use a mix of basil, thyme, rosemary, and lavender in a hot bath for a relaxing aromatic soak. Dried powdered milk and dried lavender is a nice spa like treat too. (I purchase the milk, but it could be dried in a dehydrator.)

I have used my dehydrators to carefully dry seeds for the next year's garden. The trick there is to not let the temperature get over 100 to 110F.

We like to camp and hike, so the dehydrator helps me dry foods and create soup mixes that take up less space, are light to carry, and easy to prepare. 

The dehydrator also lets me keep a lot more food on hand because once dehydrated, the foods do not take up as much space. Did you know 100 pounds of dried and powdered onions will fit into a small cannister?

Yogurt, sourdough, kombucha, kefir grains, and other types of cultures can be dehydrated when you need to go on vacation or take a break. Dehydrating will preserve the cultures which can later be activated and used. For those who purchase cultures, this can save a lot of expense.

Sour cream can be dehydrated to use as a thickener and flavoring in soups. I leave it in chip form, but a lot of people powder it.

While I dehydrate a lot of our garden produce, I also dehydrate things I purchase from the store. Frozen mixed vegetables are an easy go to for making soup mixes.

Dog treats are so easy. I peel, slice, and soak sweet potatoes in chicken, turkey, pork, or beef broth overnight and then dehydrate them. Easy and so much cheaper than the store!!

I chose the square Nesco because it is a long standing brand with a solid reputation. I wanted a dehydrator I could add trays to because of my family size. The stackable style dehydrator allows expansion whereas the kind that has a set number of trays in a box does not. 

I live in an area with high humidity, so the metal dehydrators were out of the question due to rusting concerns. I chose the square model over round because squares make more efficient use of space which is a tip I picked up from a friend who organizes spaces for a living.

Remember to run your dehydrator with all of the trays it came with to keep a good airflow and prevent the unit from overheating which can damage it. My dehydrators came with four trays each. Each of mine can hold a maximum of eight trays each. 

I use the silicone mesh screens because it keeps small foods from falling through and makes it easier to clean. For foods you know will stick, use a little food safe silicone spray to make it easy to remove them. My favorite way to clean the trays and bottom is to put all of them in a storage tote, soak them for a good while in warm water and dish soap, and then clean them one by one in the sink. That makes quick clean up. 

I also have extra fruit leather trays and have made my own by using inverted plastic lids from meal prep/restaurant take out style containers.

I love my dehydrators because they help keep my food budget on track and can be used in so many ways that enhance our health and daily living.




Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Congratulations

 to Rebecca at ECU for passing your big exam!


Monday, November 23, 2020

Prayer Request: Clint Offered a Job

Update: The company could not match his current rate. So that's a no go. However, he learned he has been added to a large database and his name will be shared with more companies. He finds that very flattering!

*****

Clint has been contacted by many recruiters over the past few years. 

This time it is to see if he would be interested in a job at Acesur in Suffolk, VA. Acesur is an olive oil company that is based in Spain and has been family owned since 1840. 

Because it is an hour and fifteen minutes away, we'd have to relocate which is another consideration. While moving is not something we are eager to do, we are open to the Lord's leading and provision.

We are prayerfully waiting to see if the company can at least match his present income and benefits. The recruiter he spoke with sounded very optimistic. 

There is also a 5BR 2BA home we can stay in (free) for a few months during the transition.

Lots happening in our lives! It's a very good, very busy season!

Maybe

It looks like Amanda can move to day shift sometime in February. We are praying that can happen. She will still have her same role and will lose the night shift differential. She has the most seniority of the people who want to go. We will see if God opens this door!

Bethany in Uniform

bethanyCFA

She is loving her job!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

what kind of people ought you to be?

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? 

You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. 

That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

2 Peter 3:10-12

emphasis mine

holy: dedicated to God or a religious purpose; sacred (set apart)

godly: reverencing God, and his character and laws; obedient to the commands of God from love for, and reverence of, his character; conformed to God's law; devout; righteous; as, a godly life.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4

Dear Reader, Like you, I am watching and wondering what the rest of 2020 and into 2021 will bring. I do believe we are being given a wake up call. It is encouraging to see so many come to know the Lord and others rededicate their lives to the Lord.

Life is easier when we know exactly what is expected of us. In 2 Peter 2, Peter, writing to the churches, is pointing to the end times and telling the Body of Christ exactly what God expects of us. We are to keep showing our love for God by dedicated obedience to His Word. That is a lot easier to say than to put into practice. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Trucker Strikes?

I was asked what I could find out about the rumored trucker strike. 

First, I've been around a little while and have seen many trucker strikes. I do not recall any being very effective. A lot of companies own their trucks. In the past, they have fired the unwilling drivers and hired new to keep supplying their customers. 

In searching for information, it does not seem organized and lacks traction. Some are backing off of their plans. My best guess is this is a nonevent. At the most, I think it will be one with very small impact. I just can't find enough info to make me think otherwise. If I can't find it, those wanting to participate can't either. 

Also, the people I see as reliable sources of information...it isn't even on their radar. There are bigger things. 

Stop the Tires 2020

It appears the FB page for Stop the Tires 2020 has been taken down. 

https://www.counton2.com/news/stop-the-tires-2020-truck-drivers-planning-a-strike-now-cancel-movement/?fbclid=IwAR3N9-o2nr62HgxF7fyPify9bPFTh9W9Uz66fCO7jvLhAxQuPsOVifQU42o says their event has been canceled.


Trucker Strike 2020

https://www.facebook.com/truckerstrike2020 seems to be the main page for Trucker 2020. 

https://www.facebook.com/truckerstrike2020/posts/891803994684815?__cft__[0]=AZVcvO-IwcjpbAhKaPWVYRXO4IzpXk8Kgg9n6NcYo01AMVphFuo-FbzgH_qtii1mVGK02Kbav9zdphMUwozFfjN4VTfJVjtGyh4PYjP3qJMcSBJD_CP8YuuinDwAN5iGWkMEoK27nGDcKVwMekEDBq2z&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R  contains the following quote...

"We do not have any dates set. Because, as I said a moment ago, we feel we need at least one million drivers standing behind us to get the attention of the bureaucrats making these regulations. ...This is not a political movement... Trucker Strike 2020 with this face plastered on it...is not political."

"There are some movements out there that have dates set that we are not affiliated with."

I stopped listening around 15 minutes.

****************

Yes, I read the following articles that were sent to me by a few people. While I am not minimalizing the importance of truckers, and I certainly do highly regard them, I could not find evidence of the momentum necessary to cause major interruptions. 

I am not someone who panics very easily...floods, fires, hurricanes, escaped large livestock...changes a girl. I learned not to get scared but to get prepared to overcome the problem. I like to research and analyze, and I'm telling you, I am not doing anything differently because of rumors of a trucker strike. 

A Trucker Strike in November Could Be Another Nail in the Supply Chain Coffin https://www.theorganicprepper.com/trucker-strike-november/

Brazil’s 2018 Trucking Strike PARALYZED the Country: Here’s How America Could Face Similar LONG-TERM Disruptions  https://www.theorganicprepper.com/brazils-trucking-strike/

A more likely scenario than the rumors of a massive trucker strike shutting everything down is people panicking over that information and emptying shelves. We do have empty shelves in my area. Toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, alcohol, cleaners, and some canned goods are sparse, but you can find it if you have the time to drive around and look. (Networking with friends to find/purchase things is very helpful.)

Emotions help us experience this life. Fear is very useful to us. It causes us to take notice and hopefully be motivated to take appropriate action. However, if we do not engage our intellect, we can be easily make bad decisions or even be led astray. I am always telling my family, "Good information helps make good decisions." Walk circumspectly, Dear Reader! My love to all.  

PS Every time I post something, this person thinks I mean this and another person think I mean that. Above, I am only addressing the strike question.

Do I think, regarding expected rioting and other major problems we are facing, that you should stock up? Well, a good portion of my friends only keep three days worth of food in their house. So, yes. I agree with the common advice to start with a week's worth and gradually build upon it until you get at the very least three months' supply. Water, food, medicine, spare fuel if you can safely store it, etc. If there are lockdowns, shortages (sporadic or long term), layoffs, illnesses, etc, you will have a cushion and time to locate resources. If nothing happens, you simply purchased things when the prices were cheaper...always good investment! You can choose to keep your stores and rotate your stock, or use it up and put money into your bank account. At any rate, there is wisdom in being like the ant.

Copy and Paste

My oldest son recommended not linking directly to some sites, so you will need to do a copy and paste.

Friday, November 20, 2020

On Covid Lockdowns

 https://twitter.com/cspan/status/1329460565018808323

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Raccoon Rescue

Caleb, my 19 year old third born son, woke me with 7-11 coffee, a Chick-Fil-A cookie, pictures of a beautiful sunrise...

and his story of excitement in the night. 

Last night, Caleb was awoken to what sounded like anguished human screaming! 

He followed the sound to where we hold our trash and saw a "kitten" frantically swimming in a barrel trashcan. Reacting quickly to the urgent need, he quickly grabbed the "kitten" intending to take it inside by the woodstove to dry and warm it...only to realize he had a young raccoon in his grasp!!! He quickly let it go before it could bite him. 

Caleb was half awake, so I am glad he dropped it BEFORE he brought it inside our home. Can you imagine?!

Clint had heard the frantic screaming and thought it was one of our younger girls. He had arrived just in time to look out a window and see Caleb pick up the raccoon and drop it. 

Unfortunately for the baby raccoon, it landed back in the trashcan!

Caleb kicked over the trashcan and set the poor little coon free. It was very confused and walked up and down our deck stairs going back and forth past Caleb a few times before going under our house to dry off. 

The masked baby was not there this morning, so we know it survived.    

Because we have lost a kitten to a rain filled trashcan in the past, I drill holes in the bottom of our trashcans. This barrel trashcan was a recent addition by a family member. I was not aware of the new trashcan or the raccoons, so last night happened.

See, if our cans are not placed in their designated area, rain water comes off of a building's roof and fills the cans. They can't be set off to the side, care must be given to put them their proper spot. Life is so busy, sometimes we forget proper placement, and the rain fills them. To eliminate the risk of another fuzzy friend drowning, I drilled the holes. 

A bag of trash was floating on the water in the trashcan, so the danger was concealed from the raccoon. Finding himself in a world of trouble, the pitiful creature cried out for help. Our loving God sent Caleb to the rescue.

When we do not give proper placement to God and His instructions, there are serious consequences. We need to remember that situations are not always as they appear, and be wary of traps laid for us by the enemy in this world full of trials and tribulations. We have to fight our fleshly desires, and submit to God's way for us to live.

Thankfully, even when we get our selves in trouble, God hears and responds to us just as He did to the raccoon last night. "Are you not of more value than they?" Mathew 6:26b

As I gently remind my dearest one and my seven joys of where to place the trashcans, I will be praying for myself, my family, and you too, Dear Reader, to keep God and His Word as our life's focus. Let us not wait until we are in dire straights to call out to the Lord. Let's acknowledge Him all along our way and ask Him to direct our paths. My love to all.

That Old House

oldhouse

I love old houses! I asked Clint to stop and take a picture of this one for me on a recent trek. He knew just which house I meant because it had stood out to him too. Here is a little of what I see...

The pier and beam foundation is still holding her up. Someone took the two chimneys out of the house. The roofline is fairly straight. The porch roof is missing. Guessing from the damage across the front, it might have had a porch deck at one time with the existing steps being added later. They must have had a dog because the bottom of the screened porch door is protected by a metal grid. There is a white porcelain base porch light. I think it goes to a light switch inside because I do not see a pull chain. It's been a long time since I've seen those old three board, spaced, board and batten shutters. The deciduous tree growing very close to the house is around 8-10 years old. 

When I see an abandoned property, I remind myself that Once Upon a Time, someone was so thankful to have the house built for them. Time passed, events happened, and the house was abandoned. Even still, in our world and even in the US, there are people who would be very, very thankful to have this home as it stands today.

Dear Reader, Another thing I am reminded of as I look at a run down home is that when we accept Jesus into our lives, we are the run down home. He is cleaning up all of our spaces working from the inside out. His is a more gentle transition. I am thankful that with Jesus I get better with time as He teaches, chastises, heals, and grows me. We need have no fear of being abandoned by Him. My love to all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Prayers for a Dear Family Friend

11/18: I apologize for not updating sooner. Life has been even busier than normal. I also did a number on my neck, shoulder, and chest muscles.  

While somethings are improved, she is out of breath a lot and is very tired. Her daughter is having to travel back and forth a lot to help them still. The valve issue may be growing worse. Her watchman procedure and possible valve repair is scheduled for Dec. 10th. They are trying to get it done sooner if an opening presents itself. Oh, she also found out the diabetes meds she has been taking for 7 years now were not necessary. Even though a previous doctor told her she did, she doesn't have diabetes. Just so you know, it is really hard to not inject my opinions on some of these updates.

10/29: Her pain has continued to increase from the RA flare which has probably been brought on by the stress on her body. She was unable to get into a wheelchair. They gave her steroids which made it so she could walk again. The steroids are a Band-Aid approach. She has two doctors appointments in early November. She gets an iron IV on the 5th and has an appt with the rheumatologist on the 6th. Thank you to all who are praying along.

10/21: They are suppose to get the test results today at 3. Please keep praying.

Update: There is no other explanation for it! 

GOD DID IT! 

All of the numbers that have been off for two years straight (leading to hospital stays, numerous tests, iv infusions, and blood transfusions) are now NORMAL! That also includes her blood pressure!!! She is off of the blood pressure meds for the first time in many years!!!

The bone marrow test came back noncancerous! The oncologist they met with today is openly Christian with openly Christian nurses. Wonderful experience!

 GOD IS GOOD!!!

She still needs the watchman procedure and heart valve repair. She will see an RA specialist to work on that. The doctor told her she will improve. "We will get you straight!"

In the last 4-5 days, her RA has flared up really bad. The doctor said it was due to the extreme stress she has been under. She will see an RA (rheumatoid arthritis) specialist to work on that. 

THANK YOU to all who have been praying for our dear friends.

THEY THANK YOU AS WELL!

PRAISE THE LORD!


10/20: They are suppose to get the results tomorrow or Thursday. So many of our friends are being hit hard right now. 

10/18: I was asked for an update. This is directly from the family: "She is not doing well at all. She is sleeping most of the time. Please keep praying. They are very anxious about the test results." Thank you to all who are praying along.

10/14: The results were not given yesterday as they had been told. They now want her to wait until the 22nd to get them by going to an office. They do not plan on giving her any care until after then. Here's the thing. When she left the hospital, her hemoglobin was 8.1. Level 7 is when they give a transfusion. It will not be but a couple of days before she needs a transfusion again. She can not walk unassisted, her thinking is not normal, and her speech patterns are off. She is sleeping a lot. She is unable to eat more than a few bites a day due to pain and nausea. She has to have someone with her 24/7. 

I don't believe I've shared this: The problems she's having with the hemoglobin level go back to a botched surgery she had two years ago. She has never been able to sustain her hemoglobin levels since then. No one until now has looked to see why. Last week, the doctor in the hospital found blood in her stool and wants to do the pill camera procedure. That was supposed to be done in the hospital before she left. Didn't happen. 

The doctor who nearly killed her left quietly to another practice. Her family has asked her to go to another hospital, but she has people she has relationships with in this one. She is not one you can easily persuade. 

This lady calls Clint and I her "children," and we are so very concerned for her well being. I've known her since I was a toddler. Clint's known her since he met me in 1985. She's loved by many. Please keep praying for her health. Please pray for the whole family. 

Avoid the H @ Chesapeake. Far too many bad stories from that location. 

10/12: While I have been getting daily updates, I have not had time to share. Life has been very busy. She was sent home Sunday despite being told she would stay in the hospital until at least Tuesday. The family was shocked because she is so weak she can barely walk. She can walk a few steps and has to rest against a wall or sit down. 

10/9: The pain is when she eats is back, but it is not as intense. The hospital was trying to send her home which really upset her family, but her doctor insisted she stay. The doctor feels it is not good to send her home as weak as she is. The doctor looked at her records and learned she has been bleeding since before August but no one has looked to find out why. A "camera pill" is going to be given to her to help figure out why she is losing blood. They did find blood in her stool once she was able to have a bm. She was not able to eat enough to have one for a long time. The family needs a lot of prayer right now. Thank you to those who are following and praying. 

10/8: She is so lethargic and weak; they are giving her a blood transfusion as I type this. This is a "band-aid" until they can figure out what it going on. Some test results may be back tomorrow. The main results they want to see are due back on Tuesday. Update: She ended up getting 2 pints which took 5-6 hours. 

10/6: She had bone marrow taken today. She was told it would be extremely painful even with the twilight anesthesia, but she felt nothing! Praise God! Some things have improved, but there is a lot of concern about her low WBC. Please keep praying.

10/5: Thank you to those who have checked in regarding this well known and very dear friend from our hometown. There isn't much of an update. She is about the same as she was a few days ago. Her magnesium and potassium levels have improved and she can eat without pain. They tested her last week to see why her WBC was so low. Still no results. Maybe today?? She was scheduled and taken down for a procedure yesterday, but they returned her to her room because she was not off of one of her medications long enough. It is a bit crazy and a little scary too. Her family is understandably frustrated. 

9/30 9:30 a.m.: She has been admitted with extremely dangerously low potassium and magnesium. She has been on IVs getting both, and there is some improvement already. There was a bit of a battle with a rude nurse over her husband being allowed to be with her. After three hours of trying to reason that his wife is too weak and incoherent to be left alone, he just walked to her room to keep an eye on things. Security did not try to stop him, so he able to make sure this hospital does not fail to give her adequate care yet again. If they would have proceeded with the surgery as the surgeon wanted, she likely would have died from the added stress on her body.

9/30 8:00 a.m.: The family tried to have her seen by a doctor and even asked if she could be admitted to the hospital. They were ignored. Her husband later again expressed concern regarding her condition and the surgery they wanted to do on Tuesday, but they told him they would proceed. However, the procedure did not happen. Her husband called her GP and told her what was going on. GP told her to go into the office on Tuesday (yesterday). She was taken from a doctor's office straight to the ER by ambulance. I am waiting for an update. Her husband estimates she had lost a total of 35-45 pounds. She has been unable to eat more than a cup or two of yogurt or something similar a day for weeks due to the pain and vomiting. She can barely sit up, needs help bathing, can only walk 2-3 steps at at a time before she is out of breath, etc. Neither the ultrasound or CAT scan have shown any blockages or etc. Please keep her and her family in prayer. Please pray over the situation with the doctors.

9/21: She had the CAT scan and was sent home. They were not told when the results will be given. She has started vomiting due to the severity of the pain. She has lost 25 pounds in two weeks. She needs continuous help due to the pain. The family has requested she be admitted to the hospital, but she was sent home. Please keep praying.

9/20: A very good family friend, a matriarch from our hometown, is in extreme pain. She has undergone some tests, but the doctors have not found a cause for the pain. Tonight, it is quite severe. There is a CAT scan tomorrow. Please pray they find the cause and are able to address this pain. Her daughter just texted me asking for prayer because the pain has ramped up. 

Broken

 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Matthew 5:3


"Poor!" the preacher said. "Poor! Do you mean broke? You're still empty, still searching.

"Broke!" he exclaimed. "Or do you mean broken? The losses in your life have left you broken."

Then the preacher said, "Welcome home, friend. God has been waiting for you. He wants a personal relationship with you. He said so right here in this book"--the preacher held up the Bible--"and he's been saying it all along. You just couldn't hear him." A Warrior's Faith by Robert Vera

I am glad I know of Ryan's story and his relationship with and impact on the author, Robert Vera. Robert tells the story of Ryan Job in a straightforward conversational manner. I often felt like he was sitting across from me imparting the lessons he learned about the amazing life Ryan Job lived. This book was recommended by a friend whose loved one has a traumatic brain injury. She also derived a lot from the book. This book reinforces that very bad things happen to very good people but by the grace of God they can be victorious and can lead a life that inspires and encourages others. Our suffering only limits us if we allow it to damage our attitude. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

fulfill your ministry

 But you be watchful in all things, 
endure afflictions, 
do the work of an evangelist, 
fulfill your ministry. 
2 Timothy 4:5

Sunday, November 15, 2020

there is nothing to fear

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 
Isaiah 41:10

Notice what God says in addition to telling us there is nothing to fear and to not look around in apprehension and alarm. He reminds us that he will strengthen and harden us against the very agony, anguish, and anxiety that would befall us. He speaks knowing what we will encounter all this and more, but He also promises that He will develop within us the strength and fortitude to stand firm in the face of it, survive it, and thrive in the midst of it. -T. D. Jakes Crushing

Dear Reader, I had many of the posts you are reading now scheduled for a long, long time. I think I read this book a few years ago and, like you might have noticed, I spread the quotes out over time. It was a random thing to give room for the day to day of our lives and to keep the posts more varied. I do not think it is a coincidence these quotes and verses are coming up now while there is so much uncertainty. God's timing is always perfect. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Why Pressure Can When You Can Freeze? (with a little extra)

Here's another canning question I was asked today. I think I've addressed this in the blog before. With the many new canners out there, I figured I'd post it again.

I've been through FEMA disasters: floods, fires, and hurricanes. When the power goes out long enough, the freezer assets are lost. We've had different companies for our home owner's during these events. Contrary to what many friends told me, our home owner's did not cover lost food in the freezer ANY of those times. However, my pressure canned foods were still good to go! 

Pressure canned items do not need cooking, just reheating which is quicker, saves electricity (or fuel). 

My husband and children like having Mom's healthy, prepared "fast food" on the shelf to grab and go to work or for a quick meal which saves time and money. It also keeps them eating healthier options. It's rewarding for me too. I can't tell you how warm and fuzzy it made me feel to see Amanda drop by, head to the pantry, grab a jar of my "Wendy's chili," pop it open as she sat down in front of me, and eat it straight out of the jar without heating because she had been craving Mom's cooking! 

Storing food on the shelf costs me nothing except space,* while the freezer continues to run increasing the costs of my food investment. I use to have three of the largest upright freezers available (large family, grow a lot of our own meats and veggies) plus two side by side refrigerators. I reduced my power bill by eliminating two freezers and put more money into canning. I have one large freezer now and use it to hold food until I am ready to can. 

Canning, pressure canning and water bathing, for me is not seasonal. It do it as the jars empty. My philosophy is that empty jars are small investments that are not working for me. They aren't filled with meals and are taking up space that could be used in a better way. My job as manager of my home is to make things work for the best of our family.

*I think of space as "inside real estate." You only have so much and need to make it work for the best of your family.

Advice to Someone Wanting to Learn Pressure Canning

The how-to's of gardening, livestock raising, child rearing, food preservation and more were not passed down to me, so I had to learn how to do everything on my own including pressure canning. I SAW some of those things being done and had to help with a few of them like weeding a garden, but the instructions of how, why, when were not shared. 

The info on the internet was sparse when I was a younger woman wanting to learn, so I bought Carla Emyr's book Encyclopedia of Country Living as a place to start. I still have it today. A lot of things, I learned through experimentation. I just tried and learned along the way. Now, it is so much easier to learn by asking others on the internet. 

Take the leap, Darlene! You will be surprised how very easy and safe pressure canning is! Once you master that, it will give you courage to gain new skills and try other things. Skills can never be taken from you and are so very worth the time it takes to learn them!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Setting the Stage?


Based on what I am seeing and hearing, I believe this is soft disclosure of something well under way. 

Is it setting the stage for this?

so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. Revelation 13:17

When things go sideways in a country

Let me say up front, I have no idea what is going to happen in the US or the world. 

Like you, dear reader, I am just a passenger on this train. I am trying to stay alert and on my toes for my family while keeping my eyes on the Lord. I do know what the Bible says will happen as we draw closer to the end times events. 

That being stated, I came across an account of the 90s Balkan War by Selco years ago. Yesterday, I stumbled across the link below which appears to be a collection of the different articles I have read by Selco in the past. It's been a while since I read them, so I read through them again. I figure a few of you might be interested in learning from his experiences. 

The correlations between what Selco experienced before the upheaval in his nation and what we are experiencing now (differences more problematic, polarization, media corruption/control, immigration, shrinking freedoms, etc.) are notable. 

Food for thought quotes: 

"It is really scary how easy it is to make people believe in something ridiculous if that is repeated enough times and if the situation is out of the ordinary."

"It is so easy to manipulate people when you throw hate and fear in the game." 

"The pressing for a one world government did not die under Trump. It simply got a new name." 

"Do not be pulled into general fear and hate because it clouds your judgment and it simply wastes your time. Do not be pulled into it." (W's note: I think a lot of the hate and fear we see in the US is being manufactured (caused/stirred up on purpose). The wise will not respond emotionally but will seek the Lord on how to proceed regarding it.)

"This kind of chaos cannot happen here (in the US). We have the best political system in the world." This is my favorite actually because in my case, the S. did hit the fan. For some period of time I was repeating this to myself, and even more, something like "This can only happen in some country in Africa, not here. Somebody is going to stop this." It can happen, and actually, it would be very bad because the fall is going to be bigger. It is going to hurt much more, and people are going to be shocked much more."

"When the system is out, any knowledge in some particular field is important. For example, being able to recognize a broken rib or infection, and being able to help
with whatever is available in that moment meant a real value that you could sell."

"how many usable skills you have (natural remedies knowledge, gardening, technical skills, fighting skills...)"

"Skills that are valuable now will not be valuable when the SHTF."

"People who depended too much on the system had the worst time when system disappeared."

"This is the first step of home defense of the Gray Man principle. Using your weapon should be last."

"It was ridiculous to read the same stuff in every newspaper, but people read it. Actually, most people, after some time, believed it."

There are a lot more useful takeaways from his experiences.

You can read the whole story here:

Save this link if it is of any interest to you. 
Survival Lessons from the Balkan Wars (free online articles in interview layout)
by Selco Begovic (affiliate link to his books)


Again, I have no idea what is going to happen. I don't share Selco's story to frighten you. I share it to get you thinking and to empower you. I ask you to consider this: Is it wise or prudent to read Biblical prophecies and say we believe them... 

...and then carry on like we never read them?


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Every Legal Vote: US Election

EveryLegalVote is a data driven approach to highlighting fraud in the 2020 US election and preserving the integrity of our electoral process.

World Holds Its Breath Over Election Shenanigans let us delve into some of the intriguing events surrounding the contested US Presidential election of 2020.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Let's not battle half-heartedly.

Dear Reader,

I am hearing a lot of discouragement, fear, and anger. I am being asked if I am scared, and what I think is going on, and what I think will happen. 

  • I am in a state of peace and have no fear. I believe we are and have been fighting good vs evil in irregular warfare for a long, long time now.  
  • I believe God is on His throne and in control, so we have no need to fear the future. 
  • We do need to walk circumspectly, in obedience to His Word, and be united with other Christians. 
  • I am actually excited because prayers I have lifted for my nation look like they may be answered soon. Darkness is being revealed. God has risen up soldiers to fight it. Christian, these are good things. We should rejoice and join in the battle in any manner we can.`

No matter what side we believe we should support, we can be united in praying continually and fervently that those who are fighting for what is right will prevail. Jesus Christ is and always will be the only answer. As my family has seen over the last few years, HE is the starting place for true and lasting unity. It is true love for Him that pulls people together where pride and sin pushes and keeps people apart.

On the horizon, we see plans in place for a lot of what Scripture tells us will happen in the end times. As my oldest son Brandon said, "Evil is burgeoning at the gates. The only thing holding it back is the Holy Spirit (aka The Restrainer)." If you can't see it; ask God for knowledge and His wisdom to see and understand.

Will the Lord show more grace to this wretched planet, or will He return soon for his bride? His return looks closer than ever in my lifetime, but no one can say with absolute certainty. As Christians, we are to keep living and spreading the gospel for whatever time we have left. Let's not battle half-heartedly. Let's leave it all on the battleground.

For those of you battling fear: Read your Bible about how God sees you and loves you. Pray your "heart out" (tell Him everything burdening you and ask for His help with it). Sing worship songs. Shout His praises. Remember what God has done for His people in the past. Remember what He has brought you through. Turn off television programming. It is not good for your mind. Is it wise to feed upon what man says for hours without giving equal or greater time to the Lord who knows all?! Hang around a friend who is strong and can lend you some strength. Love to all!


Matthew 24

The Parable of the Fig Tree

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

No One Knows the Day or Hour

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.





Pride makes for a struggle.

Pride is what makes us struggle and strive against each other. 
When grace is truly at work in our hearts, the struggle ends. -w

Monday, November 09, 2020

Easy Does It

clintshelfbuild

Clint is taking a break.

spltdownseam

I had a store bought shelf nearly collapse because the plastic support split down the seam. The situation was a bit risky as I unloaded the damaged shelving unit. I was able to do it without injury or losing our investment in the breakable items stored there. 

When asked what I wanted for my birthday, I asked my family to help build shelves for our storage needs. The wood cost a little over $600 so it's a pretty big undertaking! These shelves will last me decades, and I'll always remember how my family pulled together to make it happen.

I am looking forward to organizing everything after the shelves on all four walls of this building are completed. I love organizing and already have the layout drawn out on a chart. 

Sunday, November 08, 2020

the harder it is to be broken


By delaying repentance, 
sin strengthens, 
and the heart hardens. 
The longer the ice freezeth, 
the harder it is to be broken. 
-Thomas Watson

Friday, November 06, 2020

we must trust Him to work out all the details

"We see that God is firmly in control of history and of the nations and rulers that, from our human point of view, determine history. God establishes governments, determines who will govern and for how long, rules in the councils of state, causes officials to make both wise and foolish decisions, grants victory or defeat in war, and uses ungodly nations to carry out His will…

History is like a giant piece of fabric with very intricate and complex patterns. During the limited span of our lifetimes we see only a tiny fraction of the pattern. Furthermore, as has been observed by others, we see the pattern from the underside. The underside of a weaving usually makes no sense. Even the upper side makes little sense if we view just a tiny piece. Only God sees the upper side, and only He sees the entire fabric with its complete pattern. Therefore, we must trust Him to work out all the details of history to His glory, knowing that His glory and our good are bound up together." Jerry Bridges in Trusting God

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Worried?

Not at all. 

Pay attention. Take it all in. Respond with your intellect, not emotions. It's going to get interesting. Pray hard for our nation. Pray very hard.

FYI, I was told to anticipate the internet and cell phones to go down. I do not know enough to say if it will or won't, but I was advised to back up my data offline. I did.

Love to all!

interesting theory on election

 This was shared with me a little while ago. It's an interesting theory about the election: https://twitter.com/WarClandestine/status/1324265430521962497?s=01

Incredible Guy!

I am so thankful for my husband. Clint has a tremendous responsibility on him between work, home, friends, and business. He has so many people looking to him. Clint bears it all with patience and a great attitude. He is a loving and dedicated husband and a fantastic father. He gives his all at work and comes home to lend a hand to our neighbors before fixing an issue around the house. He is often on his feet from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. He is incredible and asks so little for himself! I am blessed!

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

PRAY

PRAY

Those paying attention over the last few years knew:

The election will be legally contested. 

Doubt will be infused into the heart of the populace over the outcome.

Riots have been planned.


If you haven't figured out the kind of battle we are fighting and what is at stake, ask God to open your mind and heart to the truth of what is going on behind the scenes.

GOD IS IN CONTROL!

This battle will be fought on our knees.

Pray unceasingly!


Monday, November 02, 2020

https://contentmentacres.blogspot.com/2020/06/dont-neglect-your-armor.html

and

https://contentmentacres.blogspot.com/2020/06/riots.html

Dear Reader, I hope you took me seriously. Trouble is ahead. A military friend said, "There no chance at all that things will stay peaceful."

This video was sent to me by a Facebook friend and is worth a watch and prayerful consideration. Title: Violent Takeover Plans Exposed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJyLOV-Q2Vc&list=WL&index=10&t=1s&ab_channel=DeanRyanTV

The single and utmost important way we can prepare is to prepare spiritually.

If you have not been redeemed by the blood of Jesus unto the Father, I encourage you to seek the Lord while you still can.

Perfect song for this election period

Warrior Steven Curtis Chapman

I see the smoke on the horizon

I feel my heart pounding in my chest
I hear the war raging all around me
And somehow I feel like I was born for this
I can taste the fear, but I choose courage
As I raise my shield and lift my sword

And I fall on my knees and I fight like a warrior
I am a warrior on my knees
I call on the Name of the One Who is Conqueror
I'm more than a conqueror when I believe
The enemy trembles every time
'Cause he knows the battle is no longer mine
When I fall on my knees and I fight like a warrior, like a warrior, oh, oh, oh

...

So fall on your knees and fight with me
We are the Warriors when we are on our knees
The enemy trembles...

We will fall on our knees and fight like a warrior
We are the Warriors on our knees
We call on the Name of the One Who is Conqueror
We're more than conquerors when we believe
The enemy trembles every time
'Cause he knows the battle isn't yours or mine
When we fall on our knees and fight like a warrior, like a warrior
We are warriors on our knees
We are the warriors, we are Warriors, we are Warriors on our knees

Jesus!
Calling on the Name of Jesus!
Power in the Name of Jesus!
Calling on the Name of Jesus!
Power in the Name of Jesus!
Calling on the Name of Jesus!
Power in the Name of Jesus!
Calling on the Name of Jesus!
Power in the Name of Jesus!

The rest of the lyrics and you can listen to the song here.


Dear Reader, Let's band together in prayer against this darkness we are battling. Join me in prayer for our nation and for humanity. If you believe the Bible and have read the prophecy for the final chapter of this earth, then you know we are on the precipice. Will the efforts ongoing buy us more time? I don't know. Prepare yourself spiritually, mentally, and physically. Prepare yourself and your family for possible supply disruptions. Drop any hard-heartedness and repent of sin. Pray and fast like you have never prayed and fasted before. Make a renewed effort to reach the lost. 2021 is looking very, very rocky. Scary times indeed, but we are not called to live in fear! Discipline your mind and refocus on Truth, fellow Christian, and prepare for the battle to grow stronger. Remind yourself: 

What a Mighty God We Serve (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUIUG1bKghk&ab_channel=waterboi772) 

and lift Every Praise to Our God (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuuZMg6NVeA&ab_channel=HezekiahWalker)

If you have not been redeemed by the blood of Jesus unto the Father, I encourage you to seek the Lord while you still can

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Best Bonfire Ever!

cdawglitit
The flames doubled the height of the pile.

The bonfire and cookout went until almost 2:30 a.m.

Brandon felt ill, so he stayed home. Clint led us in a short message and prayer. Then he lit the bonfire in a spectacular manner! Clint had to go to bed at 10. I hung out to welcome the group that arrived shortly afterwards.

There were instruments played around the fire. We had singing, dancing, and quite a few firsts.

  • As we walked out to lead them in prayer and to light the fire, Clint and I felt like celebrities when we heard people whispering and asking "Is that C-Dawg and Mama Asbell? I think that's them. Is that them? That's them! That's them!" Then someone yelled, "HEY C-DAWG!!"
  • We never had that many people come before. The front yard was packed with cars!
  • Many asked if we could do it again for New Year's. (No. Maybe in late winter, early spring when it is warmer. Yes, again next fall, if the Lord wills.)
  • It was quite a few people's first time to a bonfire, first time making smores, and first time cooking over a campfire. We are thankful we could provide that opportunity.
  • We taught another person how to make fire with magnesium and a flint striker. It gave me joy to see how determined he was to succeed at that skill.
Thank you to April who brought deviled eggs and donuts for everyone. We didn't ask anyone to bring anything, so that was very thoughtful of you!

Thank you to everyone who came!