G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision

Farm Jokes

I don’t know, but I’m thinking I might just have to make this a regular feature!  I love corny things like this!

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Exciting

I have to say I’m excited that the blog has 21 followers! Because that tells us that 21 people have enjoyed and/or felt what they read was useful and encouraging.  And many more have stopped by, read a post or two and liked them.  I don’t have a lot of time to read too many other blogs, but I get around the web and find a bunch of useful and uplifting posts myself. 

I find there are certain blog set ups I can maneuver around easier and have tried to bring those ways to ours. The use of categories and tags are what I find most useful.  Especially when I get to a blog via Pinterest and am looking for specific types of post. 

So I just wanted to let you know that we have incorporated those functions on this blog. Sometimes I publish a post forgetting to tag them, but I try to go back and fix it. Especially because we blog about so many different things: animals, recipes, homemade cleaners, homeschooling, building, crafts. I’ve always had a heart for sharing.

And if I can ever figure out how, I will add a search bar. I enjoy that feature on blogs too. 

What do you find useful when you’re on a blog?

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Sunday Notes

As I was driving into town heading to church, I already had a joy and peace I knew was not mine alone.  Jesus was already with me.  It just feels so different when I’m in His presence. And church was amazing today!  It is always a blessed event when we share in the Lord’s Supper together as the body of Christ.  It’s often a reminder to ask God to check my heart and reveal what shouldn’t be there, in case I hadn’t done that lately.

27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood[c] of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  I Corinthians 11:27-28

These are the verses that always come to mind before receiving the Lord’s Supper. We followed this by long, deep worship.  Let me explain, I HATE crying in public.  There are numerous reasons we cry…physical or emotional pain, extreme happiness, and another for me is the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I’ve learned to not even try to control those tears, because I can’t.  And I’ve even learned to enjoy those tears, even when they are pouring out my eyes and down my cheeks in public.

I love that we are part of a church that seeks the Holy Spirit to lead our services.  And if that means worship lasting longer than ‘it’s scheduled for’, then so be it.  Worship seems to be the time I feel I can most connect with God.  When I am able to focus on Him, sing to Him and praise Him…that’s when I most hear Him.

We humans do so much to fill the empty hole in ourselves; wether it be shopping, drugs, alcohol, gossiping, crafting, sex, etc.  I too have used a few of those, but I’ve realized that peace I feel when in His presence is that exact relief I have searched so hard for in the wrong places.

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I have been going through a spiritual struggle this past year.  I think it’s been a combination of the enemy attacking and partly me fighting my growth process.  Even though I KNOW it does no good to fight against God.  It’s soooo much easier when we just listen and do as He leads from the beginning.  Seriously, He is for us, not against us!

The sermon was on the three phases of baptisms.  The first baptismal is Salvation in which we admit we are in a sinner and receive Jesus as our Savior (1 Corinthians 12:13).  God never intended for us to stop at attaining salvation.  He has so much more for us.

Then there comes the Water Baptism; which is our public declaration that symbolizes being buried and raised in Christ.  This is the one most people think of when speaking of baptisms.  Although, this is done in numerous ways depending on religion and beliefs.  I was raised that being baptized meant being submerged in water.  And as more mature (comparing myself to then, not comparing to other people) christian I believe that to be the correct way for a couple of reasons. 1) the word baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo, meaning “to immerse”. 2) All examples of baptisms in the New Testament (including Christ himself) were all done by submersion.

The water baptism represents us dying to ourselves and becoming a new creation in Christ.  I may not yet be who I am called to be, but I am NOT who I use to be!  I need to remind myself of that often because otherwise I beat myself up tremendously because I am not who I feel I should be in Christ.

The third baptism is the Holy Spirit Baptism.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  Matthew 3:11

Let me share with you that I was raised Southern Baptist.  I have never been one to believe something (usually) just because I was told it.  For example, my church believed dancing was a sin.  I was just never comfortable with that belief and took some slack because I did not believe the same.  Yes, you can dance in a sinful nature, but just don’t believe ALL type of dancing in sinful.  Dancing, and let me just insert musical instruments, are in the Bible as uses of worship.

Let them praise His name with the dance;
Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.  Psalm 149:3

I can also say not much (at least of what I remember) was taught about the Holy Spirit beyond the God Head – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Ghost).  We are taught there are Fruits of the Spirit and Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but the gifts were assumed to be only for biblical times.

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same[b] Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.   I Corinthians 12:4-11

I say this because I don’t think I was directly taught against, we use speaking in tongues as an example, but it was something freaks did.  So as an adult when I was first around those speaking in tongues and laying hands on others, it was extremely uncomfortable!  But there was always an inner conflict I felt, so I began to read in the Bible to learn more here and there.  In 2009 we began attending a non-denominational church that did not hide the fact they believed in the gifts of the Holy Spirit; although you did not see or hear it in-your-face at all times.

One thing I could never find in the Bible was where it said those gifts were only for Biblical-time days and were no longer relevant.  And our Father is wonderful!  He does not push us to learn everything at once.  He takes us at the perfect pace.  After about 5 years of going deeper in the Word and learning more, I was finally at a point where I decided if this is from God, then I wanted it!  But it HAD TO come natural in a way I knew it was Him and not me.  It wasn’t until this year, that I received my prayer language and spoke in tongues.

The first thing I noticed was I had NO CLUE what I was saying!  I assumed if it was my prayer language that I would have some sense of what I was saying.  That has not been the case for me at least.  But I remember that night I tried to stop and speak normal and could not.  Time after time of trying to speak, I was unable to.  I thanked God for that because to me it was a sign.  That this was from Him and not me!  And I was more than okay with that.

I won’t say that speaking in tongues feels natural to me yet. I had even stopped doing it for a while because it just made me feel odd.  I’ve been assured it takes practice.  But I try to relax when it comes because I know it is the Holy Spirit praying through me to agree with God’s perfect will. Or something like that….I’m still learning.

I know I am jumping around a lot.  But these post have two purposes: 1) for me to review and meditate on what I learned and 2) not so much to teach you, but maybe give you something to think about.  God has a way of connecting us together in a way to learn and grow.

There are times I feel as if I am in stand-still in my Christian walk.  It may be God’s way of saying I’m having foundation issues.  That will cause Him to stop us from proceeding onward.

6 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.  Hebrews 6:1-3

Just as with buildings, we need strong foundations.  And the taller the building, it is that much more important to have the proper foundation.  Maybe we only prepared our foundation for a 4-story building when God wants to make a skyscraper out of us? Reflect on that!

You recall after Jesus was baptized, he went into the wilderness where Satan tempted him. In what aspect did Satan attack Jesus?  In his identity!  “If you are the Son of God…”  And he does the same to us; which is why we need a strong foundation of who we are in Christ!

I think I recognized one issue I need to learn to deal with….it’s a DAILY thing!  I tend to like to do a bunch of something at once that will last for a while.  But it’s not that way with God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit.  God provides all our needs for this day only!  Jesus gives us the strength we need for this day only!  We are cracked pots and need daily refilling from the Holy Spirit EACH day!

I apologize for the delay in getting this post to you.  I began it when we got home from church on Sunday, but then I realized my son needed a day with me.  And I’m sure you would agree that was more important.  We snuggled, played, watched a couple movies, I made him dinner and then we had ice cream that he so sweetly scooped into waffle cones for us.

One more thing to share…..

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This is one of the movies we watched.  I would not recommend it for small children because there is some inappropriate language and references; mainly in the beginning.  Bug gave me a few choices of movies and I chose this one because I enjoy Morgan Freeman.  His character begins out-of-character for what I expected from Freeman, but the movie did not dissappoint!  I don’t think Bug enjoyed it as much as me, so maybe it’s more of a Momma Movie?  Although there were good lessons for him to learn in it as well.

 

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Strong Bonds

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Why do we get focused on the destination so much that we don’t enjoy the journey?  We are in our 4th year of homeschooling and I’m not sure if I actually ever looked at it as a destination.  I pray I can change my focus this year to enjoying the journey than just merely surviving it.

I never homeschooled my First Born. It honestly was never an option, not was it something God called me to do.  First Born is above average intelligence and I always felt, especially in high school, that he was gravely cheated from a good education.  Class standards had been lowered and the pace slowed down that he was rarely challenged.  I believe it was his Junior year that he was teaching the math class for the substitute teacher.

I try not to let myself focus on that though because 1) it’s the past and we can’t change it now. 2) God’s got this!!!  He was plans for First Born and apparently he didn’t need a super intense high school education for it.

Let’s focus on the bonds and relationships with our children!!!

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Inner Exercise

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Wow, this just fell on me like a ton of bricks.  It is one that hit me from both my view as well as towards Bug.  Homeschooling isn’t easy, at least not for us.  Nor is it super hard (not most days at least)! Not only do I need to allow the difficult days to strengthen me, I need to let Bug deal with his difficult times.

As a mom, we want to protect our children.  Not that we necessarily look to coddle them, sometimes that is what we end up doing when we don’t let them work through their own difficulties and adversity.  We cheat our children those opportunities to grow and mature.  When making a decision for your child, do NOT just think about the now, but think about how it will affect them in the long run.

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Oink Oink

I know I have been a bit quiet this week, but Bug and I have been B-U-S-Y busy!  Starting Sunday afternoon, we ripped a bunch of boards to make our 2×4’s.  I then went shopping for more supplies while he was at Youth at church.  We worked super hard Monday and Tuesday; while finishing up Wednesday morning before we went to pick up the pigs.

We managed to get a few pictures of progress along the way.  First I had to clear the area where we wanted to put the pig pen because it was full of sticker and cocker burrs.

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We really need to find a way to get rid of those!  All I can say is I AM SO GRATEFUL for our tractor and shredder that we got at the beginning of the summer.

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Cleared that up….and then changed my mind!  I left Hubby a message after hours telling him that I thought it would be better to put the pigs where I want to put the spring garden.  Pigs are great at turning the dirt and eating up the roots.  In the morning Hubby messaged me to say that was a good idea.  Because either location is just a temporary area.

The two parts of the build that gave me the hardest time was the notches on the ends of the 4×4’s for the base and the bottom notches for the rafters (because I altered the dimensions).  I made alterations to this plan HERE.

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I made ours 8′ wide and 6′ deep and changed up the front.  I almost made it 4′ deep and very glad I didn’t.  I was trying to watch what I was spending to build it, but at the same time it had to be built well and hold up to the winds we get here.

As you can see, there are still 2 areas on the sides that still need to be closed up.  We had run out of time and also Hubby said it wouldn’t be a bad idea to leave them open until it cools down.

Robotics season just kicked off and it’s a short 6-week competition, so we lost some build time for practice as well.  But Wednesday we went to get the pigs.  They are red wattle and super sweet & friendly!  The man we got them from was very nice as well.  He was very helpful and had a giving heart.  He also gave us 7 hog panels, 11 or 12 t-post, their water bowl and some snacks for them.  Meet Boss & Lulu….

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When we got home and got the panels out from the top of the trailer, we put water in their bowl.  They took a couple drinks and then they just laid in their bowl.  Do you see that smile on Boss’s face?  How stinking cute is that!!!!!

For 2 years I have wanted a big named Lulu.  I have no idea why, but I decided this being the first female pig she would be my Lulu.  Then my friend M suggested I named the male Boss.  She must have seen the gears working because she finally said Boss Hog….ohhhhh!  I get it, Dukes of Hazzard!  Must have been being in the heat for days, lol.

On pig farms, female pigs used solely for butchering are called gilts or butcher hogs. They will be butchered at 10 to 14 months of age. They will weigh from 195 to 300 pounds at slaughter.
Female pigs that will be used for breeding and expanding the pig farm are known as sows. They weigh from 300 to 700 pounds.
Male pigs are called barrows. Those used solely for meat are also called butcher hogs.

We want baby piglets!!!  So butchering will be put off for a little.  The Red Wattle pigs are very friendly.  Lulu is about 6 months old and Boss is about 7 months.  And they could very easily be pushing 250 lbs already.  This breed can get upwards of 700+ lbs.

Bug makes sure they have a mud pool to cool down in and it’s cute to watch them play in their mud puddle.  I had a video to post of them playing, but sadly I don’t have a premium blog plan and they won’t let me put it on here.

Yesterday was a L-A-Z-Y day!  We were wiped and just needed some down time.  Bug went with my friend M and her kids to town.  I did much of nothing (okay, I admit it, I crafted!) until time to pick Bug up and take him to robotics.

So today was clean up day in the barn.  Had to put all the tools away as well as clean up all the animal areas.  Next week we will get back to ‘formal’ school.  This week was hands-on, real-life learning.

 

 

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Perfection Not Necessary

dearmom

Did you need this reminder today?  I sure did! Why don’t we just take a moment and pray….

Dear Father,

Thank you for the honor to raise these children you gifted us with!  They are Yours and we are only stewards of them.  I thank you that You are greater than my biggest shortcomings and that You fill the gaps I can not. Holy Spirit, help me to teach him (her) all things good!

Amen

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One Tired Puppy!

Yes, I’m referring to myself. Been a long day, much of yesterday and today in the sun.  I am sunburned, was so glad I happened to make a coconut oil, lavender & peppermint concoction today for Bug who came in contact with a bush that made his skin burn.  We are trying hard to get the pig shelter done. Yesterday Bug & I ripped the 2×4’s we would need. Then I bought the screws and plywood we need, as well as the 4×4’s. 

Today I let Bug choose a color from our exterior paints and he chose a pretty, lighter shade of blue.   I had him start painting the plywood while I notched the ends of the 4×4’s. Now this was a task I had a general idea of how to do, but not a job I’ve ever done one my own.  There is a difference Between knowing how to do something and being able to do something.  It took longer to do than I had planned, setting me behind and frustrating me.  Once I finally finished that step, Bug and I built the framed sections for the front and back walls and put the base frame together. 


I know some of my pictures aren’t great, but give me some credit for trying to take pictures.


Tomorrow  we will put together the two sides and attach them all to the base.  Then we will work on making the rafters and putting the plywood on and roof.  But first, I need sleep.  Goodnight y’all!!! 

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All Over The Place

We have to leave in 12 minutes, but I thought I might have time for a quick post.  Bug and I had lunch when we got home from church, then I blogged, prepped a sign I’m working on. Want a sneak peek?

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It has taken me almost five days to put the wood together to painting.  Just been hectic lately.

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Tuesday we go to pick up our red wattle pigs, so I drew up a plan (adapted from other plans I’ve seen) of how I want to build my shelter.  Bug and I ripped wood today from some 2×8’s we had to make 2×4’s.  I didn’t have enough screws, so that’s as far as we got today.  I will go shopping while he is at youth tonight.  Need some 4×4’s and plywood too.  We sure hope to make Hubby proud of us on this endeavor!

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We were blessed to buy a whole bunch of wood at a great price

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Bug is too funny, loves to pose for the camera.  Mr. Super cool!

Anyways, time to run, out of time already.

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Sunday Notes

I have done so much driving over the past two days, first to Ft. Hood and then yesterday to Lubbock.  Honestly, I did not feel up to driving into town today for church.I did however want to meet with the Lord, so I attending the local Baptist church here in our area.  Plus it helps to build relationship with local people that we don’t know many of.

Todays sermon was presented by the retired church pastor as the current pastor is ill and had just gotten out of the hospital.  He spoke about Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10.  Zaccheus was the richest man in town being the tax collector and am sure he was unapologetic in his ways. This in turned made him a very despised and shunned man. If I asked you to describe another attribute about him, you would probably say short, of small stature.  This who Zaccheus was in the morning when he awoke.

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His choice to be a tax collector made him go against his roots of being a Jew.  Perhaps he had been ridiculed as a child and took on the thought that if he could be rich and powerful, then people would respect him someday.  This is speculation on my part, but it is natural for us as humans to feel as if we can just have what we don’t already have, then we will finally be happy.

1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him,[a] and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

It says he ‘sought to see who Jesus was’.  Was this mere curiosity?  I don’t quite think it was just that.  God seeks us first and awaits for us to answer His call.  So I would guess his curiosity came from within where the calling was growing.

Jesus had just healed a blind man at the end of chapter 15 so there was a crowd following and praising Jesus.  Zacchaeus knew this would present a problem since he was short, so he climbed into sycamore tree to be sure he would see Jesus. As Jesus passed, he stopped below the tree where Zaccheus was.  I can picture him not even looking up before calling out to Zaccheus.  Jesus calls him down so that He can stay with him.

That did not make the crowd or townsfolk happy at all.  Jesus traded the company of the whole crowd for the one who had seeked him. They just couldn’t understand why Jesus would want to be in the presence of such a vile sinner.  Ummm, hello?!?!  THAT is WHY Jesus came (See verse 10).  And current christians do that even now.  Sometimes it’s out of pride or arrogance; and other times out of ignorance.

Imagine the crowd.  At one moment they are praising God for the miracles and goodness His Son has done.  Then the next moment bashing one of God’s very children.  God commands us to love one another.  It did not say love one another if they are worthy.

Because Zacchaeus received Jesus as his Savior, he was changed.  Jesus did not change Zacchaeus’s circumstances, yet changed his heart.  By that evening, he had decided to give 1/2 of his worth to the poor, as well as repay 4x’s the amount that he may have ever cheated anyone.  Even though this could bankrupt him.  He was still short, still disposed and now without the status of his richest, but he was happy with complete joy in his circumstances.

This part reminded me of a part of an old biblical movie we watched before Hubby went back to work, The Robe.  There was a woman who had been completely bitter and angry about being lame.  Yet, after meeting Jesus, although still lame, she was filled with joy and happiness.  When the Roman soldier questioned how she could be ‘healed’ but still lame, her response touched my heart.  She said it took her a little while to realize that had he healed her physically it would have been a miracle, but the fact that she can find joy and happiness despite her circumstances shows an even greater miracle.

Have you tried reaching out to someone to share the gospel with or invite them to church? And after a while you give up on them and think it’s no use, they will never become a christian?  Why do we give up on them when God hasn’t?  Sometimes we all need this little reminder.

 

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