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.
I believe it was the same day Adelina and new heifer calf Graciana walked up to us during feeding time that our cow, Rosa, showed up with her new little bull calf! When they walked up, it was still quite wet; and so we figured it couldn’t have been more than a few hours old.
A cold front was just coming in too at the time. After dropping some range cubes, I was walking around trying to get a good look at Rosa’s calf, and it started to wander off, slowly, toward the pond. I thought, please don’t keep going or you’re going to…..and yes, fall in. I ran up, in case it was in trouble, but it bounced out with no problem, although now its whole front end was really soaked. And with a cold front coming in.
But the Lord graciously brought the little guy through, and here he is! We decided to call him Manolito, because he’s got so much of the grullo color his sire, Manolete, has. Manolito also means “God is with us” in Spanish:
And here’s his video with Rosa (which was taken about the same time as the video of Graciana as well, I believe):
We are again grateful to God for the provision of this new bull calf, Him bringing him through the cold front, the Longhorns’ continued health, and the fields the Lord has granted us to be able to graze them on.
The Lord graciously granted that as a group we finish a study that has been extremely beneficial to me — Jonathan Edwards “Charity and Its Fruits.” I can’t tell you how important I believe this study is, and probably something that should be re-studied at times.
We posted the first 8 parts here, and now here are the last 9 parts, part 16 broken up into two parts:
Charity and Its Fruits, by Jonathan Edwards
Chapter 9: The Spirit of Charity the Opposite of an Angry or Wrathful Spirit
One thing that stuck out to me was the idea Edwards mentions that a Christian needs not only the LIGHT of truth and understanding, but the HEAT of Christian love in their hearts as well:
From Chapter 1, Charity, or Love, the Sum of all Virtue:
“(1 ) That love is an ingredient in true and saving faith, and is what is most essential and distinguishing in it. Love is no ingredient in a merely speculative faith; but it is the life and soul of a practical faith. A truly practical and saving faith is light and heat together, or light and love. That which is only a speculative, is only light without heat. But in that it wants spiritual heat or divine love, it is vain and good for nothing. A speculative faith consists only in assent; but in a saving faith are assent and consent together. That faith which has only the assent of the understanding is no better faith than the devils have, for the devils have faith so far as it can be without love. The devils believe and tremble. Now the true spiritual consent of the heart cannot be distinguished from the love of the heart. He whose heart consents to Christ as a Savior loves Christ under that notion, viz. of a Savior. For the heart sincerely to consent to the way of salvation by Christ cannot be distinguished from loving the way of salvation by Christ. There is an act of choice or election in true and saving faith, whereby the soul chooses Christ for its Savior, and accepts and embraces him as such. But as was observed before, election whereby it chooses God and Christ is one act of love. It is a love of choice. In the soul’s embracing Christ as a Savior there is love.”
We somewhat recently had a small ice storm roll through here, and when the sun shone again, and the ice started melting, I thought it was an interesting example of what happens when the heat of Christian love, from the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2), is there:
The verse I mention in the video is 1 Cor 1:8: “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
Here is Puritan commentator John Gill on that verse:
Now as touching things offered unto idols This was another of the things the Corinthians wrote to the apostle about, desiring to have his judgment in; it was a controversy that had been before moved, whether it was lawful to eat things that had been sacrificed to idols. This was considered in the council at Jerusalem, ( Acts 15:28 Acts 15:29 ) and it was agreed to, for the peace of the churches, that the Gentiles, among other things, be advised to abstain from them; which, it seems, the church at Corinth knew nothing of, for the controversy was now moved among them: some that were weak in the faith, and had not, at least, clear notions of Gospel liberty, thought it very criminal and sinful to eat them; others that had, or boasted they had, more knowledge, would not only eat them privately at home, having bought them of the Heathen priests, or in the common meat markets, where they were exposed to sale, and at public feasts, to which they were invited by their friends; but would even go into an idol’s temple, and sit and eat them there, to the great grief and prejudice of weak Christians; and what they had to plead in their own defence was their knowledge, to which the apostle here replies:
we know that we all have knowledge; said either affirmatively and seriously; and the meaning is, that the apostles and other Christians knew, and were conscious to themselves of their light and knowledge, and were assured, and might affirm with confidence, that they all, or the most part, only some few excepted, see ( 1 Corinthians 8:7 ) had the same knowledge of Christian liberty as they had; knew that an idol was nothing, and that eating meats offered to them could not defile, or do them any hurt; for they were very sensible there was nothing common or unclean of itself, and yet did not think fit to make use of their knowledge to the grieving and wounding of their fellow Christians: or else this is said ironically, we are wise folks; you particularly are men of knowledge, and wisdom will die with you; you know that you know; you are very knowing in your own conceits, and very positive as to your knowledge. It was the saying of Socrates, that that this one thing he knew, that he knew nothing; but men wise in their own opinions know everything:
knowledge puffeth up; not true knowledge; not that which comes from above, which is gentle and easy to be entreated; not sanctified knowledge, or that which has the grace of God going along with it; that makes men humble, and will not suffer them to be puffed up one against another; but a mere show of knowledge, knowledge in conceit, mere notional and speculative knowledge, that which is destitute of charity or love:
but charity edifieth; that is, a man that has knowledge, joined with love to God, and his fellow Christians, will seek for that which makes for the edification of others; and without this all his knowledge will be of no avail, and he himself be nothing.
And of course, in the 1 Corinthians 13 text we’re studying, vs 2: “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.“
All of these examples show, and Edwards says it directly, that it’s possible to have light — even true doctrine — without the Spirit savingly being there (like the devils that believe and tremble), as the sun can shine while everything remains frozen. But we know His Spirit is in our hearts by His fruit, summed up in Christian charity, being in hearts as well, evidencing itself as charity does, in the ways the Scriptures mention, and Edwards expounds upon, here in 1 Corinthians 13. This is why I believe this sermon series is so critical.
May the Lord grant us His light and heat, and we pray He mix His charity, in all of its forms, in all of our hearts, thoughts, words and actions, for His glory.
The third calf we discovered in this year’s round of breeding was one from a heifer we’ve had for several years but hadn’t given birth before. But now, that heifer is a cow, as she did indeed give birth to her own little heifer, which we’re going to call Graciana, which means “pleasing, agreeable” in Spanish.
Again, we are very grateful to the Lord for granting this new little provision, and for granting an especially safe first delivery, a delivery at all, and good motherly instincts to Adelina.
Heb. 11:8-10 - "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."