This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 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.

Month: February 2009

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: New Kids “Donny” and “Marie”

The Lord graciously granted Betsy, one of our nanny goats, to give birth to twins. They are pure Nubians. One is a male, the other a female; and so, please meet Donny and Marie. Here is a picture (Donny’s on the right, Marie’s on the left):

And here is a video:

They were born just before sunrise on a near freezing morning. Due to some confusion in our understanding of when new-born goats need to be up, around and suckling, we let them be for several hours. Well, for some reason Betsy didn’t clean them off, and when we checked on them again, they were still laying down, one struggling to get up stuck in the birth wetness. Needless to say, we got them up and cleaned out their little shed and put fresh hay in it. We went and looked up some new-born information in our goat books, and they indicated they needed to be up and suckling within 30 minutes. Sigh. They looked very weak, weren’t really up and about, and weren’t eating; and so, we decided to milk Betsy for her colostrum and bottle feed them. We did this a few times throughout the afternoon. Before our community meeting that night, we closed them into the shed because it was going to be a cold night again. After the meeting we checked on them, and they appeared to be walking around a bit and even latching on to Betsy’s teats a little, and so we decided to not interfere for the night. And we prayed.

Well, God was merciful, and in the morning they were up and standing when we let them out. We watched them throughout the day and saw that they indeed were suckling. Since then they’ve only gotten stronger and are now getting around quite well.

Here is another video:

We are thankful once again for the Lord’s provisions, and his mercies in allowing the new little ones to live and begin to grow healthy.

— David

David’s Digest: The War of the Weeds

From the moment we got out here, there have been some things that have been ever present, and all around us; and for those of you who have dealt with the soil at all, you understand. Those things are weeds, and they are everywhere.

Here are some things I’ve discovered about them:

They grow without planting. They are just there.

They grow back when you cut them down, especially if you don’t pull out by the root.

They grow in whatever soil, around anything in their way, and through it if possible.

They can often be attractive. Notice here the pretty flowers:

Or the field of green:

They grow even when it doesn’t rain. Here is a picture of one of our garden beds after we were unable to water it. Notice what is green and living:

They grow even where they shouldn’t be able to grow, as this little one was in our root cellar:

It seems that there is no way to get rid of them entirely, and I believe this to be generally true based on the curse (Gen 3:17-19). And it seems like all there is to do is try to control them, and in my opinion, this means WAR. They must be cut, hacked, pulled, chopped, and sometimes even burned in order to get the better of them. Everything must be done to keep them down, and this is a constant struggle, one that I believe won’t end until the Lord returns.

If they are not removed, they reproduce themselves exponentially. One cocklebur plant will reproduce itself many times, as this picture shows:

Other have even more seeds:

We have also discovered that in the planting of “good” seeds (oats, for example), and if they are able to germinate and grow, these new plants will suppress the weeds, keeping them more at bay, and choking them out.

The point is that they need to be combated constantly in order to maintain a footing against them. Otherwise, they take over.

Now here is the important part in all of this. It is our prayer the Lord teach us His ways and His spiritual lessons from the temporal world around us. In watching and pondering weeds, by God’s graces it seemed to me that there is a similarity between them and something in the spiritual realm. And so given the above observations about weeds and the actions necessary against them, we pray, with the granting of the Father, the power in the blood of Christ, and with the indwelling help of the Holy Spirit, that God gives us the desire and strength to wage the battle daily against the weeds of sin in the carnal-man fields of our souls.

Rom 8:13 – “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Col 3:5-6 – “5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:”

For more on mortification, please read this.

With God’s help, we need to give constant attention to our souls, and not only work on mortifying our flesh, but filling ourselves with God’s Word, so that He, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Seed, is the predominant Life that is growing within us.

— David