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: July 2016

The Barn – Update VI – The Loft – Update IV

After the last update in February, the Lord graciously granted we be able to pick up some more materials to finish the floor joists, and get most of the plywood down!

Here is some more of the plywood in place:

Barn Loft

And then the final floor joists in place:

Barn Loft Final Floor Joists

Barn Loft Northwest Corner Floor Joists

Finally, the plywood to finish the north side and center to north east side:

Barn Loft Northwest Corner with Plywood

Barn Loft Northease Side with Plywood

Barn Loft Southeast Corner

Barn Loft East Side with Plywood

All that’s left is the few plywood pieces on the east side! We are very thankful to the Lord for His provisions for the homestead!

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: 2016 Goat Kids

After putting our bucks with their designated lady goats last November, the Lord graciously granted a nice herd of goat kids this 2016! He granted that we lost no mothers and no kids this year too, and we are very thankful!

We’ll take you around the horn here introducing them, and we do so again in the video below. See if you can guess from where we got some of the names… 🙂

Here is Nellie on the left with Eva and Zsa Zsa:

2016 Goat Kids

Behind the black goat on the right next to the camper wheel is Adeline and left to right her kids Arnelle, Adelle, and Alex:

More 2016 Goat Kids

On the right is Marie, and her kids left to right Maggie, Marianna, Adeline’s Alex from the previous picture, and Marco:

Some More 2016 Goat Kids

Here is Pammy on the left, and her kid Peggy underneath the camper:

Still More 2016 Goat Kids

On the right here is Gracie. Next to her is Eddie, then Theodore, and in the back in the middle next to the barn is Wally:

Another Set of 2016 Goat Kids

Here is Wally again in the front, then on the left is Annie, with Frankie next to her and Annette to the right of him:

Again More 2016 Goat Kids

Behind Annie in the background is Hannah with her buck Haney:

Another Group of 2016 Goat Kids

On the left in front is Lucy, and behind her is Boris, and behind the camper steps is Natasha:

A Few More 2016 Goat Kids

And finally, here is Winnie, whom I call “your highness.” Still the queen of the group if she wants to be, but getting older, and this year she didn’t get pregnant, which we don’t mind because we’d rather have her around than die in kid birth:

Out Nanny Goat Winnie

And here is their video:

As always, we are very grateful to God for the kid crops, and for this year’s, and we are extra thankful for the health and safety of all of the mothers and kids!

— David

David’s Digest: Forgive Them

Several years ago, I was reading through Puritan commentator John Gill’s commentary, going through the New Testament, and when I came to the last verse of this parable, something struck me:

Matt 18:23-35 – 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

And here is Dr. Gill’s notes on verse 35:

So likewise shall my heavenly Father
This is the accommodation and application of the parable, and opens the design and intent of it; showing that God, who is Christ’s Father, that is in heaven, will act in like manner towards all such persons, who are cruel and hard hearted to their brethren, and are of merciless and unforgiving spirits; for so it is said,

he will do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
The phrase, “their trespasses”, is omitted by the Vulgate Latin, the Arabic, and the Ethiopic versions, but is in all the Greek copies; and designs not pecuniary debts, though these are to be forgiven, and not rigorously exacted in some cases, and circumstances; but all injuries by word or deed, all offences, though ever so justly taken, or unjustly given; these should be forgiven fully, freely, and from the heart, forgetting, as well as forgiving, not upbraiding with them, or with former offences, and aggravating them; and should also pray to God that he would forgive also. It is certainly the will of God, that we should forgive one another all trespasses and offences. The examples of God and Christ should lead and engage unto it; the pardon of sin received by ourselves from the hands of God strongly enforces it; the peace and comfort of communion in public ordinances require it; the reverse is contrary to the spirit and character of Christians, is very displeasing to our heavenly Father, greatly unlike to Christ, and grieving to the Spirit of God.

Wow. Forgiving, even if I could be just in taking offense; forgiving and forgetting (like we would want God to) and not reviling the person; God’s forgiveness being withheld for my being unforgiving of others!

But here was the kicker for me: It’s easy to say I forgive someone who has done me wrong. But the level of forgiveness I need to have for someone is to where I want God to forgive them — for Him to forget their wrong against me, to where He never holds them accountable for it!

In honestly examining myself, that was much harder to do, as I think deep down I might desire what I may envision as “justice” on them by God.

But what if God gave me all the same kind of “justice” for my offenses that I deserve?

I have looked to God for help by praying to be able to actually and fully desire that God not hold to an offender’s account wrongs against me, as I believe that is the degree of forgiveness we need to have, and what I believe true forgiveness includes.

And we have prime examples from the Bible, from Christ and from Stephen, unsolicited by the offender, even right when the wrong to them was being done — the ultimate wrong someone can do to another — kill them!

Luke 23:34 – “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

Acts 7:59-60 – “59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

May God grant us this Christ-like forgiveness.

— David