The Sifford Sojournal

This is our journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matthew 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Psalm Singing – February 2024

Sue and I have continued on working through our psalter to learn and record them, and we just finished the next group — Psalms 108A-112B. Our hope always is people will use these as help to learn them themselves.

And here they are:

(If the above player doesn’t work, or if you would like to save any of the files locally to your computer, you can click the Download link below, or right click it and click Save As in the popup menu.)

Psalms 108A-112B

May the name of the Lord always be magnified by us forever!

Psalm 7:17 – “I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.

— David

Previous Psalms singings:

Psalms 1A-12B (minus 4B)
Psalms 4B & 13-18L
Psalms 19A-22E
Psalms 22F-24C
Psalms 25A-27F
Psalms 28A-31G
Psalms 32A-34D
Psalms 35A-37F
Psalms 38B-40F
Psalms 41A-44F
Psalms 45A-49C
Psalms 50A-53
Psalms 54A-59B
Psalms 60A-65B
Psalms 66A-68E
Psalms 69A-71D
Psalms 72A-76B
Psalms 77A-78H
Psalms 79A-84B
Psalms 85A-89H
Psalms 90A-93A
Psalms 94A-98B
Psalms 99A-103D
Psalms 104A-105E
Psalms 106A-107E

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: Surprise 1st 2024 Chicken Chicks

The other morning I walked out to start letting the chickens out of the barn and the like, and I looked, and there was a chicken hen sitting in the middle of the open area near our main chicken tractor.

I thought, what are you doing out mommy? (I often call hens “mommy”). And, I didn’t recognize her as one that I usually put away at night.

She wasn’t moving, and was just sitting there, even as I got closer. I thought maybe she was injured, or in shock after an animal attack that she survived.

Well, I thought I’d better pick her up and take her to somewhere inside, and as I reached down, she stood up quickly, and then quickly, 3 little chicks started moving about! Wow!

Oh boy…now, time to try to get a hold of her and her babies. I whistled for Sue since she was in the house still, and she came a runnin’, and we were able to fish-net the mommy and gather up the chicks and get them into the brooder barn (summer kitchen).

Later, I went looking for a nest, and found some eggs next to a tree in our orchard and thought perhaps that’s where she had been…an extra graciousness from God that she didn’t get eaten all those 21 days (at least) sitting there. During rains too!

Anyway, besides the picture above, here’s another, and they’re all still alive and doing well!

And here’s their video:

We thank the Lord for this gift of these first 2024 chicks, unexpected, but again, graciously given from Him, and in the extra special way He did!

— David

David’s Digest: Ungodliness When God Is Not Our Chiefest Good, Part 2

Jude 4 - "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

Puritan Thomas Manton in his excellent commentary on Jude discusses from this verse “ungodly men”, and how men show their ungodliness.

You can review part 1 here.

In the section below, he continues with his premise that God will be acknowledged as the chiefest good, and then lists more ways we can be ungodly regarding this.

You can listen to this part of verse 4 here:

or download it:

Download

The entire book is available here on Monergism’s site, and this part starts on PDF page 173…

…or you can listen to the entire book on this page:

Thomas Manton – Jude Commentary

From Thomas Manton:

Secondly, God will be acknowledged as the chiefest good, and so we are guilty of ungodliness:—

1. If we do not often think of him. [from Part 1]

2. If we do not delight in communion with him, we do not honour him as the chiefest good. [from Part 1]

3. If we do not fear to offend him.

God will be served with every affection. Love is of use in the spiritual life, and so is fear: 2 Cor. vii. 1, ‘Perfecting holiness in the fear of God,’ Love sweetens duties, and fear makes us watchful against sin: love is the doing grace, Gal. v. 6, and fear is the conserving grace, Jer. xxxii. 40.

We have cause to walk in God’s ways, because we are always under his eye. Love is necessary, that we may keep God always in our hearts; and fear, that we may keep him always in our eye: both of them are of great use; but fear we now speak of, which is the true internal root of all obedience and worship, Eccles. xii. 13.

When there is such a settled disposition of heart as that we dare not grieve him nor affront him to his face—as Ahasuerus said, ‘Will he force the queen before my face?’—God is much honoured. But now when we are secure and careless, and forget God, and can sin freely in thought and foully in act without remorse, it is ungodliness.

Fear is a grace of continual use: we cannot be always praising God, worshipping God, and employed in acts of special communion with him, yet we must be always fearing God: ‘Be thou in the fear of God all the day long,’ Prov. xxiii. 17; and elsewhere, ‘Blessed is he that feareth always,’ Prov. xxviii. 14.

A man hath done with his devotion in the morning, but he has not done with God; we should think of him, and remember that his eye is upon us, all the day long: we must rise in the fear of God, walk in the fear of God, trade, eat, drink in the fear of God, Jude 12.

Some graces are as the lungs, never out of use and exercise. More especially must fear be active when temptations and corruptions arise; we must argue as Joseph, Gen. xxxix. 9.

4. If we do not care to please him.

An ungodly man thinks of nothing less than pleasing God; he neither cares to know his ways, nor to walk in them; they are ‘willingly ignorant,’ 2 Peter iii, 5. They do not search, that they may not practice, and so err not in mind, but heart: ‘We desire not the knowledge of thy ways,’ Job xxi. 14. They have not a mind to know that which they have not a mind to do, as those that would sleep shut the curtains to keep out the light.

A godly man is always approving what is the will of God, Rom. xii. 2, and Eph. v. 10-17; he practices what he knows, and is still searching that he may know more, as willing always to be more useful for God. What have I to do more?

May God grant us to always fear Him and obey Him, and endeavor to live to please Him and practice what He has graciously granted we know about Him.

— David

David’s Digest: Ungodliness When God Is Not Our Chiefest Good, Part 1

Jude 4 - "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

Puritan Thomas Manton in his excellent commentary on Jude discusses from this verse “ungodly men”, and how men show their ungodliness.

In the section below, his premise is God will be acknowledged as the chiefest good, and then ways we can be ungodly regarding this.

You can listen to this part of verse 4 here:

or download it:

Download

The entire book is available here on Monergism’s site, and this section starts on PDF page 171 near the bottom…

…or you can listen to the entire book on this page:

Thomas Manton – Jude Commentary

From Thomas Manton:

Secondly, God will be acknowledged as the chiefest good, and so we are guilty of ungodliness:—

1. If we do not often think of him.

If we did not want [lack] hearts, we cannot want [lack] objects to put us in mind of God. οὐ μακρὰν, ‘he is not far from every one of us,’ Acts xvii. 27. But though God be not far from us, yet we are far from God. He that is everywhere is seldom found in our hearts. We are not so near to ourselves as God is near to us.

Who can keep his breath in his body for a minute if God were not there? He is within us and round about us in the effects of his power and goodness, but we are at too great a distance from him in our mind and affections.

How many trifles occupy our minds! But the Lord can seldom find any room there: ‘God is not in all their thoughts,’ Ps. x. 4.

Yea, when thoughts of God rush into our minds, they are like unwelcome guests— we wish to be rid of them. Wicked men abhor their own thoughts of God, because the more they think of God the more they tremble, as the devils do. Therefore the apostle says, ‘They like not to retain God in their knowledge.’ Rom. i.

This is far from the temper of God’s children. David says, Ps. civ. 34, ‘My meditation of him shall be sweet.’ It is the spiritual feast and entertainment of a gracious soul to think of God. None deserves our thoughts more than he, and we cannot put them to better use.

He thought of us before the world was, and still ‘great is the multitude of his thoughts to us-ward.’ Therefore it is vile ingratitude not to think of him again. When we hate a person we cannot endure to look upon him, and the hatred of the mind is showed by the aversation [being averse to] and turning away of the thoughts.

2. If we do not delight in communion with him, we do not honour him as the chiefest good.

Friends love to be often in one another’s company, and certainly ‘it is good to draw nigh to God,’ to preserve an acquaintance between him and us.

He hath appointed his ordinances, the word and prayer, which are as it were a dialogue and interchangeable discourse between God and the creature. In the word he speaks to us, and in prayer we speak unto him. He conveys his mind in the word, and we ask his grace in prayer. In prayer we make the request, and in the word we have God’s answer.

Well, then, when men neglect public or private prayer, or opportunities of hearing, they are guilty of ungodliness. So far they break off communion with God, especially if they neglect prayer, which is a duty to be done at all times—a sweet diversion which the soul enjoys with God in private, a duty which answers to the daily sacrifice.

Therefore the neglect of prayer is made to be a branch of atheism, Ps. xiv. 3, 4. When men are loath to come into God’s presence, out of a love to ease and carnal pleasures, and care not if God and they grow strange, or seldom hear from one another, it is a great evil. Our comfort and peace depends much upon frequent access to God.

So when family worship, when that is neglected, God is not honoured as the chiefest good: the heathens are described to be ‘the families that call not on God’s name,’ Jer. x. 25. In many places from one end of the week to the other there is no prayer and worship in the family, and so the house, which should be a church, is made a stye. Not a swine about their houses but is attended morning and evening, and yet they can find no time for the solemn invocation of the name of God. What are they better than heathens?

May God grant us to always have Him in our thoughts and to desire to and indeed spend time with Him.

Continue to Part 2!

— David

King James Bible / Old English Lexicon to Modern English

In reading Puritan writings, I’ve learned some words they used back then don’t mean the same as today, or we just don’t use them at all anymore.

(On an aside, as a shame to myself, I should have read the Bible enough to have picked up on that before I did in Puritan writings. 🙁 )

And so, I thought for the benefit of those who use the King James version I might put together a small lexicon of old (olde 🙂 ) English words and what today’s version of the word generally or sometimes would mean. Not all of the words are always used in the way listed below but sometimes can be.

Old English Modern English Scripture Example
conversationbehavior

(sometimes this does mean or can include verbal communication as well)
1 Timothy 4:12 – ” Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
fainbe glad to, like toLuke 15:16 – “And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
fool, foolishwicked Psalm 5:5 – ” The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
importunitypersistenceLuke 11:8 – “I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
letprevent (modern definition)2 Thessalonians 2:7 – ” For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
listdesire, want (modern definition)John 3:8 – “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
lustcorrupt desire

(sometimes specifically does mean the baser kind, such as Matthew 5:28)
Psalm 78:18 – ” And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust .
meanlow (estate) Proverbs 22:29 – ” Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
noughtnothingPsalm 33:10 – “The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
oughtanythingActs 24:19 – “Who ought to [should] have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought [anything] against me.
preventgo before Psalm 88:13 – ” But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
sensualpleasing to the sensesJames 3:14-15 – “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
sufferallow Matthew 8:21 – ” And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
vain, vanity showy, empty, useless Psalm 33:17 – ” An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

Isaiah 41:29 – ” Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.
vocationthe effectual, heart changing spiritual calling of graceEphesians 4:1 – “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
wantlack Job 31:19 – “If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;
withoutoutsideGenesis 6:14 – “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
efficaciouseffective, effectualNo verse, just sometimes used in the Puritan writings
essentiallyof the essence ofNo verse, just sometimes used in the Puritan writings

Example: God is essentially good. [Good is of His essence]
obnoxious to liable to No verse, just sometimes used in the Puritan writings
stupid like being in a stupor No verse, just sometimes used in the Puritan writings

I do plan to keep this updated if I find any others.

Also, a good resource for older versions of words, and that even uses Bible verses to demonstrate, is Webster’s 1828 dictionary. Here are hard copy and an online versions.

May the Lord guide us all in the studies of Him in His blessed word!

— David

Hymn – I Hunger and Thirst

If you’ve been around our blog for a while, in times past I’ve written a few songs, some lullabies, some hymns, etc., and many of the tunes were inspired by the names of or phrases I applied to our animals in some way.

And with the recent addition of our new cat Sophie, it didn’t take long before I was trying to think of something for her. And I did come up with a little phrase, which turned itself into a new hymn…

The initial lyric for her song was:

Sophie is a trophy

…mostly because “trophy” rhymes with “Sophie”. 🙂

(On an aside, she’s ended up being pretty prolific with the litter boxes, and with the wafting we usually know when she’s “gone”, so I thought a fitting lyric might be:

Sophie dropped a loafie

😀

At least it is in the litter. 🙂 )

But back to the story: After the initial little lyric, a melody started forming from the phrase, and I worked it out in full, and the chords on the piano.

And once that was in place, since I’m not any kind of poet lyricist, I looked for a hymn from the past with words that were 6-6-6-6 meter, which basically would fit with the new tune, and I did. It was written by John S. B. Monsell in 1866, called “I Hunger and I Thirst”. I liked the words and decided to go ahead with them, and then apply them to the tune I had written, with some small modifications to make them fit better.

And here’s the result:

I Hunger and Thirst

Here’s a PDF version:

I Hunger and Thirst (PDF)

And here’s a vocal version Sue graciously sang with me (she has such a pretty voice! 🙂 ):


I Hunger and Thirst – Vocal (MP3)

And the instrumental version:


I Hunger and Thirst – Instrumental (MP3)

We always pray God would glorify Himself through us in some way, and I pray He might do so with this new little hymn He granted I put together.

— David

Introducing Sophie

Well, one evening a stray cat was found on our porch, with our cat Tuscan interested. While the stray was skittish, as soon as we put a little food out, it voraciously started eating. Poor thing was famished.

The next day, the little stray was around, and when we opened the door and invited it in, it came on in and basically adopted us that day, much like Tuscan and our latest other cat Leila. 🙂 We figure it was not a feral cat as it seemed quite comfortable being inside.

Since, we’ve discovered it’s a girl, and we’ve been trying to catch her up on food. It took about a week, but she finally settled in and is less starving acting and more relaxed during the day now. She also hasn’t left the house since that first day here. 🙂 And thankfully, the other cats haven’t seemed to have any problem with her at all, and vice-versa, basically anyway…a hiss here and there if someone gets too close to the other. 🙂

Sue thought she looked “sophisticated”, and I thought, how about then calling her “Sophie”, and so it was. 🙂

Here are some other pictures of her:

Ahhh….so glad she feels safe now…

And our introduction video of her. She does let us know when it’s time for the next round of food! 😀

We’re thankful to the Lord we have the resources to care for the little, probably throw-away, stray, and we’re glad she has a place to be cared for now. 🙂

— David

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