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: March 2015

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: New Calf “Amadis”

Back around the second week of February, the Lord granted us our next calf for this year! A little bull calf from our cow Adelina! We decided to call him Amadis, which means “to love God.”

Here’s a picture of him — he’s the tan one to the right of the red calf in the middle, and his dam Adelina is to the left:

New Pure Longhorn Calf Amadis

And here’s his video:

We thank the Lord as always for His graces and mercies in granting this healthy new little provision, for the safety He granted in the delivery, and for the continued safety and provision He has granted the entire herd!

— David

Orange Day 2015 – Ain’t Catholics Day

Once again, this March 17th, we gathered together in a local tradition we have, in Protestant opposition to the Catholic Saint Patrick’s Day, wearing our orange colors. Some time ago, Protestants in Northern Ireland and Scotland took the color orange in honor of William the III, also known as William of Orange, and for his stands against the Roman Catholics, especially on July 12, where he defeated the antichrist Roman Catholic forces at the Battle of the Boyne (see the “Antichrist” section on our “Soul Info” page regarding our belief that the Pope and Roman Catholic Church are the Antichrist and religious system of Antichrist).

Here’s William, our orange tabby, named after William of Orange, ready to start the gathering!

William Our Orange Cat

And here are all of the arrivals, preparations, meal time, and fellowship together. This was the first time at our house, so that was extra special!

Walking to Ain't Catholics Day

Arriving for Ain't Catholics Day

More Arriving for Ain't Catholics Day

Preparing for Ain't Catholics Day

More Preparing for Ain't Catholics Day

Ain't Catholics Day Meal

Yet More Arriving for Ain't Catholics Day

Still More Arriving for Ain't Catholics Day

Even More Arriving for Ain't Catholics Day

Yet More Preparing for Ain't Catholics Day

Even More Preparing for Ain't Catholics Day

Still More Preparing for Ain't Catholics Day

Again More Preparing for Ain't Catholics

Waiting for Ain't Catholics Day to Start

Getting Ready to Pray Over the Meal

Eating Time

More Eating Time

David's Meal

After Meal Fellowship

More After Meal Fellowship

Annabelle & David

Once again, we stand with our Protestant brethren throughout time. We remember Christ’s martyrs of the faith. May the Lord grant us His faith and the courage to stand firm in it unto the end, whatever He might have for us, for His glory.

— David

Chickens On Ice Show

We’ve had two straight weeks of cold fronts lately. And for us thin-skinned California-raised folk, that feels like two years! However, the Lord was very merciful in that there was one day in the middle of each week where the sun came out and it was warmer; just enough time to come out of the cave and get to town for some essentials and back again before the next wave hit. We were spoiled in January with some very mild, beautiful weather, and then the other shoe dropped hard at the end of February. Well, one morning last week I came out and was treated to some farm levity that I thought I’d share with you. This short video captures some sights, sounds and slips on our icy homestead. Hope it makes you smile 🙂


The Orchard – Winter 2015 – Fruit Tree Pruning

With the growth of the fruit trees the Lord granted in our orchard last year, I figured it was about time I get out there and start to prune some of them, especially the big ones.

And so, I watched a few videos, and here are a few interesting things I learned:

  • Peaches grow on first-year wood
  • The skin of apples actually helps in the photosynthesis process as well as the leaves, which is why it’s important to take out a lot of the middle of an apple tree, to allow the sun in
  • The worst thing you can do with pruning is not get out there and do it.

So, I got out there with the loppers and pruners, and started in.

And here are a couple before and after shots. I noticed that I became a little less timid from the first tree to the latest done: 🙂

Fruit Tree Before Pruning
Fruit Tree After Pruning
Another Fruit Tree Before Pruning
Another Fruit Tree After Pruning

I believe just about all, if not all, of creation has type and shadow in it of spiritual realities. The Bible talks a lot about fruit, and that there must be not only fruit, but good fruit, being beared by ones who take the name of Christ, which evidences good works brought forth in their hearts by the Spirit (Eph 5-22:23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.“)

Even pruning is discussed in spiritual terms:

John 15:1-2 – “1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Here is what Puritan commentator Dr. John Gill says about verse 2, which regards two types of people who say they are Christians:

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit
There are two sorts of branches in Christ the vine; the one sort are such who have only an historical faith in him, believe but for a time, and are removed; they are such who only profess to believe in him, as Simon Magus did; are in him by profession only; they submit to outward ordinances, become church members, and so are reckoned to be in Christ, being in a church state, as the churches of Judea and Thessalonica, and others, are said, in general, to he in Christ; though it is not to be thought that every individual person in these churches were truly and savingly in him. These branches are unfruitful ones; what fruit they seemed to have, withers away, and proves not to be genuine fruit; what fruit they bring forth is to themselves, and not to the glory of God, being none of the fruits of his Spirit and grace: and such branches the husbandman

taketh away;
removes them from that sort of being which they had in Christ. By some means or another he discovers them to the saints to be what they are; sometimes he suffers persecution to arise because of the word, and these men are quickly offended, and depart of their own accord; or they fall into erroneous principles, and set up for themselves, and separate from the churches of Christ; or they become guilty of scandalous enormities, and so are removed from their fellowship by excommunication; or if neither of these should be the case, but these tares should grow together with the wheat till the harvest, the angels will be sent forth, who will gather out of the kingdom of God all that offend and do iniquity, and cast them into a furnace of fire, as branches withered, and fit to be burnt.

And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
These are the other sort of branches, who are truly and savingly in Christ; such as are rooted in him; to whom he is the green fir tree, from whom all their fruit is found; who are filled by him with all the fruits of his Spirit, grace, and righteousness. These are purged or pruned, chiefly by afflictions and temptations, which are as needful for their growth and fruitfulness, as the pruning and cutting of the vines are for theirs; and though these are sometimes sharp, and never joyous, but grievous, yet they are attended with the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and so the end of bringing forth more fruit is answered; for it is not enough that a believer exercise grace, and perform good works for the present, but these must remain; or he must be constant herein, and still bring forth fruit, and add one virtue to another, that it may appear he is not barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ, in whom he is implanted. These different acts of the vinedresser “taking away” some branches, and “purging” others, are expressed by the Misnic doctors

It behooves us to examine whether we bear true spiritual fruit of the Spirit or not.

May He grant us His fruit, which is only brought forth by the work of His Holy Spirit in our hearts; and then may He grant us extra faith, strength of heart, and courage during times of His pruning.

Temporily, we pray for a successful pruning of our fruit trees in the Lord granting us provisions from them, according to His will.

— David

A House – Update XXXII – Attic Access

With the ceiling sealed in and still needing to get insulation in the attic, I also needed a way to provide an access portal into the attic. I figured having it above the closet of our bedroom was probably best, so that I could stand on top of it to be able to more easily get into the attic without having to have a taller ladder to reach the greater than 11 foot ceiling height.

After some planning and obtaining some supplies, I delved on in…

This is the panel I chose. Besides being above the closet, I wanted to use one of the half-panels so I could more easily remove and install the panel without assistance:

Ceiling Panel to Put Attic Access In

Here it is removed. Before removing it, I first had to remove another small panel so I could get into the attic and mark out lines where the trusses ran along the access panel, which would help me know exactly where I would need to cut:

Ceiling Panel Removed

Once the panel was down, I drew the cut lines that would make the access door. The plan was to have one side of the door be the original side of the panel and close onto a truss and cover half way, thus requiring only three cuts. The opposite side (shown top here) would lay half way on the other truss, allowing the panel to be re-attached to the truss and for the door to cover the other, exposed half of that truss when closed:

Cut Lines Drawn on Ceiling Panel

And here is the cut panel:

Attic Access Door Cut Out of Ceiling Panel

And then back into place in the ceiling:

Cut Ceiling Panel Back in Place

Here is the view from the attic, showing the cross pieces in place. The cross piece that was to hold the door hinges I put flush with the ceiling panel cut, and the other side, where the latches would be, I put exposing half of the cross piece, which would allow for that side of the closed door to cover that half of the cross piece:

Attic Access View from Attic

Then, it was on to making the door…

Here are the door frame pieces. They needed to be cut to length so the hinge side would be flush with that edge, and the other three sides would show about one inch of panel, which are what would cover the exposed halves of the trusses and cross pieces when closed, plus a little gap to keep the door frame from hitting a truss or cross piece when actually closing the door:

Attic Access Door Frame Pieces

These are the pieces made into the door frame:

Attic Access Door Frame

And then installed on the door:

Attic Access Door Frame on Door Panel

Here, the door hardware is installed — two hinges and two bolt latches:

Attic Access Door Hardware Installed

And close-ups of each:

Attic Access Door Bolt Latches
Attic Access Door Hinges

This is the fancy way I held the door in place to attach the hinges to the ceiling and cross piece: 🙂

Attaching Attic Access Door Hinges to Ceiling

And here the door is closed and latched into place! One side of the bolt latch on the door didn’t have a door frame into which to put screws, so the ends of the screws were sticking out and preventing the door from completely closing; so I drilled out little holes into the cross piece where the ends of the screws would fit into:

Attic Access Door Bolt Latches Latched

And here is the original ceiling panel showing the new attic access door installed:

Attic Access Door Installed

And with it open:

Open Attic Access Door

From the back side:

Open Attic Access Door Back Side

And front side:

Open Attic Access Door Front Side

I was amazed it actually worked. It was almost anti-climactic in that there was no “drama” with it, which there usually is in my building projects. 🙂 But, it was nice to have it work out as well as it appears to have worked.

We’re thankful as always to the Lord for granting the provisions and continued progress on the house, and I’m thankful to Him for the idea and plans for making this bit of the project seem to work successfully.

— David