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: April 2015

Goat Field Grass

When I had bought the seed to plant the north field with sorghum almum (with some millet as a filler), I also had bought enough to plant one of the goat fields that has just turned into more of a place in which the dogs can run around than anything else.

So, just a couple of weeks ago, after the field had been plowed, I wanted to get it planted before some potential rains, and so Sue and I got out there and just walked around, hand-throwing the seed:

Sue Planting Grass Seed

Also, I thought I’d use the shack caddy similarly to how we did the north field, dragging it; but I really didn’t want to use the truck or tractor; and although I forgot about it initially, I didn’t want to hook up the chain to make drag “fingers” like for the north field, as we wouldn’t have been able to pull the caddy by hand with them.

So, Sue graciously accepted my invitation to help me drag it around the field, and we got out there and did it. The result wasn’t as good as having the chain “fingers” behind, but I was hoping it would be sufficient to cover enough of the seed, and that the rains would do the rest.

And here we are on our little “romantic” walk in the field together, including shots from the DavidCam and the SusanCam! 🙂

Thanks to Sue for the help and nice time together! 🙂 And thanks to the Lord for the provisions to plant, and we pray the Lord might grant the grass in the field, so we can be further sustaining, relying on Him directly!

— David

David’s Digest: Of Reviling

I came across these verses as I was going through 1 Corinthians in Puritan Dr. John Gill’s commentary:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – “9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Reviling is listed here by Paul as a great sin. But what does reviling mean? Here is what Gill says:

Nor revilers;
who are free with other men’s characters, load them with reproaches, and take away their good names; either openly or secretly, either by tale bearing, whispering, and backbiting, or by raising and spreading scandalous reports in a public manner.

That’s pretty clear, and convicting.

Reviling is highly divisive and strife-causing, allowing the devil to drive in wedges, which he knows works to destroy (Matt 12:25). Even secret reviling is a grievous sin. Sadly, I find this in myself at times, for which I ask God for forgiveness and that He grant me repentance and help against this.

More from Gill:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
[Paul said this] partly to reprove them for their injurious and unrighteous actions among themselves, their tricking and defrauding of one another, with other sins they were guilty of; which, if not repented of, would show, that notwithstanding their profession, they were destitute of the grace of God, were unfit to be in the kingdom of God, in a Gospel church state here below, and would be shut out of the kingdom of heaven hereafter.

That should be frightening.

Obviously, the Lord Christ never reviled, but He was constantly reviled here. And who reviled Him the most? Knowledgeable, self-righteous religiousites who claimed to be following the true God, Jehovah.

It is no different than today, where those who claim to be followers of Jehovah the Son, Christ Jesus, revile, and revile much. I’ve had heathen friends more forgiving and less reviling than what I’ve seen in churches and fellowships or experienced personally. And if Christ is our example, we should expect to be receive the same treatment from the same type of people.

But, we should pray the Lord grant we imitate His perfect response:

1 Peter 2:23 – “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

May God grant us forgiveness and repentance from any reviling, even that which is in our hearts; may He mold us in the image of Christ and grant us His graces so He may glorify Himself in reflecting Himself in us; and may we leave ourselves and our circumstances to Him that judges righteously.

Matthew 5:10-11 – “11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: New Calf “Mateo”

Once again, the Lord granted us another calf this year, another little bull calf from our cow Amistosa! We’ve given him the name Mateo, which means “gift of God.”

Here are a couple pictures of him — he has the grey coloring from his daddy:

New Pure Longhorn Calf Mateo

Another View of New Pure Longhorn Calf Mateo

And here’s a video of him, and him with the other two calves we’ve done blog posts about before:

We are always grateful for these gracious gifts of God. We pray they’re used for His glory, and the benefit of His Church!

— David

Passover 2015

The other night, we once again gathered together to celebrate the Lord God’s mighty temporal and spiritual works represented in the Passover!

Here we are getting ready to start the Passover seder:

Getting Ready for the Passover Seder

Here, Sarah reads the four questions that are answered during the seder?

  1. Why do we eat unleavened bread on this night when all other nights we eat leavened bread?
  2. Why do we eat only bitter herbs on this night when all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables?
  3. Why do we dip our vegetables twice on this night when we do not dip our vegetables even once all other nights?
  4. Why do we eat our meals reclining on this night when on all other nights we eat our meals sitting

Child Reading the Seder Questions

This is our seder plate and the cup of wine. The lamb represents Christ, the Lamb of God; the bitter herbs (horseradish here) represent the bitterness of bondage; the “matzah” is unleavened, representing how quickly the Israelites had to leave Egypt; and the “haroset,” a mixture of apples, nuts, grape juice and cinnamon, represents the mortar the Israelites used to build the Egyptian cities, and the sweetness of a better world. And there are four cups — the cups of sanctification, judgement, redemption, the kingdom; Christ drank only the first two, and we drink only the first and third, skipping the second cup because Christ took God’s judgement on Himself, and the fourth cup in waiting for joining with Christ in glory one day, we pray:

Passover Seder Plan & Cup of Wine

The “karpas” (celery here) symbolizes the new life for the Jewish people and the hyssop used to sprinkle the blood on the door posts, and is dipped into salt water representing the tears of slavery:

Dipping Bigger Herbs in Salt Water

These are all “types” or shadows of the spiritual realities of being set free from the bondage of sin and its rule in one’s life (where now one also has the freedom to obey in matter and manner of God’s commands), and set free from the penal death for sin and from the law as a covenant of works and from the ceremonial law. And again, these are only made possible by the sacrificial Lamb, the Lord Christ Jesus, who also brings sweetness in obeying Him and to the tears of sorrow for sin in forgiveness with repentance.

Mr. Bunker holds up the matzah, or unleavened bread, as representing Christ, which he eventually breaks and wraps in linen, as Christ was broken and wrapped in linen:

Holding Up the Matzah Bread

Here, we’ve dipped our finger in the wine 10 times, representing the 10 plagues brought down on Egypt:

10 Dips of Wine for the 10 Egypt Plagues

And then it was time to eat the Passover meal:

The Passover Meal

Eating the Passover Meal

More Eating the Passover Meal

It was a blessed time of fellowship and remembrance of the Lord Christ Himself and His great works!

We pray the light of His glory in the work of His graces in worthless vessels shine forth from us, for the glory of His name, even if it’s just for the heavenly realms to see:

Passover Lit Candles

We’re grateful to the Lord for His infinite graces and mercies and condescension in providing and becoming the sacrifice for His people. May His name be praised forever!

— David

A House – Update XXXIII – Wood-Burning Cook Stove – Update I – Baking & Hot Water

With our wood burning cook stove in place, it was time to try it out on things other than just keeping the house warm.

It has a water trough on the back to heat water, and David will talk about that in the second part of the blog post, but it also has an oven, and we thought Susan could take you along for the ride of her first foray into baking with it! …..

“Go Ahead, Bake My Day”

I had grown fairly comfortable with cooking and heating things on our newly functioning wood burning stove top, but the oven seemed like this intimidating metal monster with its steely stare saying “Do you feel ‘lucky’ punk? Go ahead, bake my day.” Well, I figured I didn’t have much to lose in that our propane oven had been broken for a time, so I overcame my hesitancy with this opportunity to bake again. And if it was edible – bonus!! I couldn’t go “too” far wrong with simple cookies, right?

Cookies Ready for Wood Burning Cook Stove Oven

So, while I still had the courage, I hurriedly prepared my snickerdoodle cookie dough, took a deep breath, walked ten paces towards the oven, nervously opened the door, quickly slid our inaugural cookies onto the baking shelf and closed the door yelling “Bake THAT!”

Cookies in the Wood Burning Stove Oven

Well, we soon found that 375 degrees F are not the same in different ovens, according to how quickly these were baking:

Wood Burning Stove Oven Almost 400 Degrees

I’m still not sure which oven has the correct temperature, but I was thrilled something had actually gone from soft and doughy to hard and crunchy! Practice makes perfect, so I attempted to disarm the metal monster by singing “Getting to Know You” to it…..

First Plate of Wood Burning Stove Oven-Cooked Cookies

My attempt at making a new friend must have had some impact. Here is my second batch after adjusting the temperature and baking time. Much better!

Second Plate of Cookies

I don’t have to tell you which batch is which. 😉 They were all very tasty, though! (Clarification: I didn’t personally eat them all, but I did take the liberty of sampling the heck out of them):

First Two Plates of Wood Burning Oven-Cooked Cookies

I figured I’d keep going and strike while the oven was hot, so I made up some dinner rolls and shoved them into the metal monster’s mouth, as well:

First Biscuits Ready for Wood Burning Cook Stove Oven

You’d think I would have learned from the cookies, but I still needed to fine-tune these batches. I’ll let you guess which was batch number one. 🙂 But it was all edible, thanks to God! Another monster slayed; another friend made! Hopefully, my baking in this new stove will get better over time. Thankfully, I have a wonderfully understanding, patient and supportive husband:

First Two Batches of Biscuits Cooked in Wood Burning Stove Oven

We are so thankful to have this method of baking that doesn’t rely on anything we need to buy. I realize women have been baking this way for hundreds of years, but now I’m one of them!! With God’s help, if He wills it, I hope to continue to improve in my baking and utilize this stove for many years to come.


Wood, Ashes and the Hot Water Trough

We’re still a little unorganized with our wood piles, but here is some of it stacked inside where the kitchen counter will, Lord willing, go one day. I do plan to build an indoor wood pile stacker:

Cook Stove Wood Pile Inside

And here is the staging area outside next the house entrance:

Cook Stove Wood Pile Outside

This is where we’re collecting our ashes. This fairly large, handy galvanized pail works great!

Collected Cook Stove Ashes

In our first wood-burning attempts, we didn’t really know how to get the ashes to burn all the way down, so some charcoal was left over. I’m thinking after wiping off any ash these could be crushed up and used as activated charcoal:

Cook Stove Charcoal

And here is a video of the hot water coming out of the water trough. It works great! Not that the water is really potable, but I figure the animals’ health won’t really be compromised by using the hot water once in a while when their water is thickly frozen on top and it dilutes with the water already there:

We are thankful once again to the Lord for granting the provisions of the wood burning cook stove and some successful oven and hot water trough usage!

— David

Wheat 2015

Back in October or November, we planted a wheat crop for this year. Since we had decided to try to keep our inner field in the native grass that had started to grow last year, I thought I’d take one of our goat fields and use it for a crop, figuring it would be a more manageable size (I think they’re each about 1/2 acre, while the inner field is something like 3 1/2).

There are some places where Winter weeds have grown in, especially where the chickens ate the wheat down in the south east (front right) corner, but we thought we would just post a quick mention about it, and show where it is after the majority of the Winter weather has very hopefully passed. 🙂 These are from mid March:

Wheat Crop 2015 Mid March

Closer View of Wheat Crop 2015 Mid March

And here is the latest look at it (a few days ago), after some warmth and gracious rain from God:

Late March View of Wheat Crop 2015

Late March Closeup of 2015 Wheat Crop

Late March Closer View of 2015 Wheat Crop

We pray the Lord might grant provisions from this, and we thank Him for the growth He has granted!

— David