Friday, October 28, 2016

Chore Time

The sun is sinking lower in the sky, and there is a coolness in the air. You don't have to listen hard to hear the bleating of restless goats as they know what time is coming . . .

Dad feeding the girls and their kids 

We had another litter of baby rabbits born recently, and Leah removed the covering of fur to check on them . . . all eight are doing well!

They are so cute! It won't be long before their eyes will be opening. 

On my way to get water for the rabbits

In the evening light, I captured a few photos from around our place, too . . . .

My rose bush has continued its profusion of beautiful blooms 

A few remaining tomatoes on the vines . . . it's a bit unusual to still be getting tomatoes from our garden when November is just around the corner! It has been so nice to still have homegrown ones to eat.

Purple beans in the garden.
The fall bean crop has been excellent! In addition to putting them up in the freezer, we've been enjoying fresh beans sauted in a bit of butter with garlic which is delicious.

Brilliantly colored marigolds. Mom had planted a bunch of these for color and as a pest deterrent, and they have grown and bloomed so well.

Another beautiful Autumn day drawing to a close!

In other news, this morning Leah and I were able to meet a sweet woman I had met online through blogging (her blog is: Authentic Virtue.) It has been an encouragement to see her heart for the Lord and trust in Him, and especially as she and her husband have been walking quite a difficult path the past several months as they look forward to welcoming their precious son, Uriah, into the world. She is also someone who radiates joy, and Leah and I loved our time with her! (Thank you so much, Frannie!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Rescue the Perishing

For some time, there has been something very much on my and my family's hearts and minds, and now, this post is a fruition of that and I'll try to put it into words . . . .

When watching The Berean Call conference in August, Carl Kerby's talks on evangelism really spoke to our hearts. Then as we watched the 2013 conference on DVD (which my Dad had gotten when he and I bought a bunch of materials from The Berean Call), the two sessions by Mark Cahill impacted each of us strongly. They, too, were on evangelism.

We have since watched several more of his videos both on youtube and ones that he sent us free on DVD when we got some of his materials and booklet tracts to give away. We have also been watching some street witnessing youtube videos by Ray Comfort and Todd Friel.

(*as a disclaimer, we don't agree with all that these individuals teach or all of their methodology when evangelizing, but overall, the work they do and the example and teaching they have is very good. We have learned a lot from them and their examples!)

The following short video is one that nearly moved me to tears when Dad shared it with the rest of us . . . the message is so very powerful:

I do not think I can put into words how much we have been convicted by what we have watched and read over the last few months . . . and how it has affected our daily lives. It feels like some of the 'fog' over our eyes has been removed, and we can see more clearly how to fulfill Christ's command to each of us to:

"Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

This conviction and enthusiasm has spread not only to my family and I, but also to our church as these videos were shared with them as well. It is exciting to see how God is working in each of our lives and how He is opening doors of opportunity!

In the first conference video we had watched by Mark Cahill, he spoke about "Praying for B.O.B" which stands for:

Burden - Opportunity - Boldness

He spoke about each of these points at length, and it was so convicting and inspiring. (As was his second talk titled "Hey Stranger"- unfortunately I can't find the newer 2013 of this talk online.)

While the below video is not the same one we watched from the conference, the main talk is the same so they are quite similar . . . and while it is long, you won't regret taking the time to watch it!

Evangelism has long been something that has been on my heart (since I was a teenager in fact.) Yet while I and my family have always tried to look for and take opportunities to share the gospel and share about the Lord with others (and we are thankful for the many times we have been able to), there are a lot of times that we missed them simply because we didn't have the boldness or didn't know how to respond to the opportunity.

We're also seeing even more now that we need to make opportunities, not just wait for one to 'fall in our laps' so to speak. And it isn't as hard as one might think! (Though it's not exactly easy either. :)

Over these last weeks and months, it is exciting to see how all that we have seen, heard, and learned is impacting our daily lives and interactions with others. We're each working to grow in this together, are encouraging one another, are excited to hear about the conversations each of us is able to have with others, and then we keep practicing, praying, and learning.

Dad has probably made the most opportunities so far! When in town, he's been able to start conversations with a number of people, including a fairly lengthy one with an older gentleman he found to be a true believer in Christ . . . . Dad was sitting in a lobby and saw this man walking toward the exit door. Dad felt a strong urge to talk with him and immediately prayed for that opportunity. The man stopped right at the door, paused a few moments, then turned right around and went and sat down by my Dad! As my Dad began talking with him and also asking questions, it led into talking about God, faith, and the Bible. It was wonderful to see how the Lord answered his prayer!

Some of our conversations, though, have been quite brief, and we keep reminding ourselves, each one is practice! And as we keep doing it, it will get easier and easier, and we'll learn better how to respond in certain situations.

Mom has had a number of opportunities as well both in encouraging other believers, sharing about doctrine (such as Calvinism and its errors), and talking with and sharing many evidences with a friend/acquaintance who doesn't believe in God and who thinks the Bible is just a bunch of stories. We loved hearing her share about these conversations with us! It is so exciting to see how God is working and opening doors!

Leah, likewise, has been able to talk with a number of people about the Lord and His Word and to offer prayer for those in need.

I, too, have continued to have many opportunities online (about: how does on become saved and know they're saved?, Calvinism, and a number of other things as well) and also have had quite a few in-person conversations. One of the latter resulted from something Carl Kerby had said in one of his talks which convicted me: "if you miss an opportunity, go back."

I had missed an opportunity with an acquaintance/friend who isn't a believer in Christ and who believes in evolution, so . . . I went back. I brought up with her a comment that she had made about evolution and was able to then share that I don't believe in evolution, but believe that God created everything. I had printed out some information about creation/evolution that answered her question/comment and was able to talk with her for a bit. While it wasn't necessarily easy going back, I am so glad I did!

So while daily life and busyness has continued over the pasts months and things might 'look' the same as always, God has been working in each of our hearts and we are excited and eager to do much more than we had been with starting conversations and sharing the gospel with friends and strangers alike, taking opportunities and making opportunities, sharing materials and books, making ourselves available for others . . . and all for one purpose . . . .

We so desire, as God desires, that not one person perish. We so want those we love and care about, those we meet on the street, our friends and our acquaintances . . . well, everyone, to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and to prayerfully, surrender their lives to Him and believe in Him as their Lord and Savior. As Mark Cahill says . . . each one of us is one heartbeat away from eternity. Ten out of ten people die, and who knows when that last heartbeat will come for each of us?

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire . . . ." Jude 20-23a

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Feathered Friend

Look what's been coming up to our birdfeeder!

A Red-breasted Nuthatch
(The photos were taken through our window with the camera handheld and then cropped, hence the blurriness.)

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is listed as an uncommon winter resident for Missouri, so we were surprised to see this little guy at our feeder! We have only seen them twice in Missouri before and both times in the winter. (Leah and I saw and heard a lot of them when we were in the Rocky Mountains, though.)

He began coming about a month ago and has become a daily regular. We often hear him in the trees, too, making its little call. It's such a cheerful little bird and has been a treat to see!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Creek Play

A sunny Monday . . . temperature near 90 degrees . . . our sweet friend Molly . . . four of our favorite little people (her children :) . . . a picnic lunch . . . and a creek to play in. It was the perfect combination for a wonderful afternoon!

We began with a picnic lunch underneath the trees which was fun! After eating and while the children played nearby, Molly, Leah and I talked for awhile which was so nice. As we shared different circumstances in our lives, past and present, the conversation turned to trusting the Lord and promises in His Word. It was really an encouragement and also refreshing to talk with her.

Eventually we packed up the lunch things and headed to the creek . . . .

Molly and Sadie and Will and I throwing rocks in the creek

You might recognize these dear little friends :) . . . Will (who I work with at the therapeutic riding center) and his three sisters. These children are some of the sweetest, happiest, most fun, caring, and enthusiastic children. We always love the times spent with them and their mom, Molly!

Suzi with an armful of rocks to go throw in the creek . . . we threw in lots of rocks this day!

His expression after throwing one in and seeing the big splash

Leah and sweet Sadie
Photo by Layla (with some help :) . . . I had no clue what type of photos we were getting, but loved this one!

Another Layla photo

Molly with two of her girls, Suzi and Sadie. She is an amazing mom! Leah and I love watching her with her children.

More rock throwing

Layla wasn't so sure about the water at first, so we ventured across the creek together hand in hand looking for little fish swimming in the water. We made it to the other side and then explored for a bit.

Leah found a frog in the water and was showing it to the girls. Suzi wasn't quite sure if it was 'safe' or not so she climbed in Leah's lap to look at it!

Will eventually wanted to go into the water as well which was a new experience for him to go creek wading! We walked quite a ways down together and had lots of fun (and threw in more rocks, too) . . . it was so special to have his hands holding tightly to mine as we adventured together. How I love this sweet boy! (And his sisters!)

Darling girls all wet after running up and down the creek (and face-planting a few times!)

It was so fun spending this time with Molly and her children and watching the children thoroughly enjoy themselves in the water . . . and thoroughly enjoying ourselves along with them. :)

Plus enjoying hugs, smiles, laughter, good conversations, funny antics, and cute sayings. One question from the day was: "What is God's middle name?" :) The things children say and ask!

We certainly made the most of one of the last unusually warm days for this time of year!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"The KJV . . . is it the perfect and preserved word of God?"

Posting today on my other blog Follow in His Steps . . .

"Recently I had both a good conversation and a correspondence with two different individuals who each hold to KJV-onlyism (one is a sweet friend, and the topic came up during a phone conversation.) It was interesting timing as both of these happened nearly simultaneously! 
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with KJV-onlyism, it can be summarized in one sentence as: the belief that the King James Version Bible is itself the perfect, inspired, preserved word of God, and the only Bible that should be used as the other translations are corruptions or perversions of God's Word. 
Since one of these conversations/discussions was an e-mail correspondence, I decided to compile many of my responses into one and share it here. While it only covers some aspects of KJV-onlyism, I hope that it will be enough to at the least, provide good food for thought . . . . " 
Read the rest here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Treasure Find

Last weekend after a very busy week, we decided to spend some time together walking through a nearby antique mall (as in, it's only about 5 minutes from our house.) It has changed a fair bit since we were last there with many more booths and antiques added. We had a lot of fun going through it together!

There was much to admire, some things to wonder about ('what in the world is this?!'), and a few treasures found their way home with us. Dad and Mom got an old three-pane window that they plan to put black-and-white photos in, and I found two books. The first was this one . . .

I already have an antique copy of In His Steps, but whenever I see favorite antique books that are reasonably priced (which is not very often as they are getting rarer), I like to get them. If I am ever blessed with a family of my own, I would love to be able to pass these books on to my children. If I am not, there are so many others that the books could be shared with.

While I was glad to find this book, of the two, the one I was thrilled to discover was this one (and for only $1.50!) . . .

It is now the oldest book in my collection with the copyright date of 1833 (the same year the first edition of the book was published - who knows, maybe this is a first edition!) Unfortunately, it is missing 21 pages near the beginning so I need to see if I can find the book online and print those out.

The book, written by Harvey Newcomb, is titled Letters to a Sister and is literally, letters to his younger sister. When she was left orphaned, she went and lived with him under his care until at some point, she left to go live with strangers (I am unsure why.) These letters were written then with the purpose to help her in her walk with the Lord, since he was no longer near her.

The letters are all instructional in the Christian life (save for a few on health/lifestyle which are a bit interesting given the time period :) and are overall, so good. From the love of the Scriptures and reading them, meditating on God's Word, studying God's word, prayer, denying self, service to others, the fruits of the Spirit, self-examination, and much more.

Here are several excerpts that stood out to me when reading it the other evening (emphasis in the original) . . .


"Searching [the Scriptures] is a difficult and laborious work. To induce us to engage in it, we must have a strong desire for something valuable. There is, in this blessed book, a treasure of sufficient value to call forth this desire. It contains the revealed will of God. All who love God will be anxious to know his will. They will make it the rule of their conduct. 'Thy word,' says the Psalmist, 'is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.' 

"The will of God, as made known in this world, is like a lantern, which sheds a light on our path, and directs the steps of our feet. The sincere Christian will then search after a knowledge of God's will, with more eagerness than he would search for hidden treasures of gold and silver. He will set his heart to the work. This is what God commands . . . To set our hearts to any work, is to go about it in earnest, with all the energies of our souls . . . David says, 'Thy word have I hid in my heart.' But mark the reason of his conduct. Why did he hide God's word in his heart? He explains his motive: 'that I might not sin against thee.'"


"When you open this blessed book, let this always be the sincere inquiry of your heart: 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' Come to it with this childlike spirit of obedience, and you will not fail to learn the will of God. But when you have learned your duty in God's Word, do it without delay."


"From the precious truths and promises which we have been considering, we infer the duty of contentment in every situation of life. If God directs all our ways, and has promised to give us just what he sees we need, we surely ought to rest satisfied with what we have; for we know it is just what the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, and unbounded goodness, sees fit to give us. 

"But the apostle Paul enforces this duty with direct precepts. 'But godliness with contentment, is great gain.' 'Having food and raiment let us be therewith content.' ' Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.' Here he gives the promise of God, as a reason for contentment . . . The child of God should cast all his care and burden upon him; and when he has made suitable efforts to accomplish what he considers a good object, he must commit the whole to the Lord, with a perfect willingness that his will should be done, even to the utter disappointment of his own hopes."


Aren't these excerpts good? I haven't read much of the book yet and am looking forward to reading it in its entirety!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Happiness is . . .

(at the therapeutic riding center) . . . 

. . . little arms spontaneously reaching over to give me a first-ever-from-her-hug tightly around the neck. When playing a game on horseback after much concentrated effort and many tries, a sweet little girl that I am working with successfully threw a bean bag through the hole. The hug quickly followed. :) So heartwarming!

. . . dear Will whom I have been working with the last two years, saying my name for the first time with a big, sweet smile on his face. I couldn't keep the tears from my eyes . . . such a priceless, happy moment!

Will and I - Spring 2016

. . . adorable little grins from a little boy who has grown to love horseback riding therapy!

He and I - Summer 2016

. . . the opportunity to talk about the Lord with an older rider there.

. . . working on letters and doing 'trick' riding (on her knees, backwards, sideways, etc.) with a precious little girl Leah and I have both been side-walking with the last two years.

Leah and I with our little trick rider. No tricks at this moment, though, since she was in a 'real' saddle this day. :)

. . . seeing bodies strengthen, words being spoken more easily, tears turning to smiles, focus improving, confidence growing, vocabulary increasing, and much more.

Our days at the therapeutic riding center continue to be so wonderful and a very favorite part of our week!