This is our journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matthew 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.

Author: David & Susan Sifford (Page 2 of 87)

A Switch in Mind Saves Nine

Back in September, with some recent truck transmission issues, I had put some “goop” in there to try to help with the shifting. And with that, I wanted to take the truck for a test drive to see if it was helping.

As I was heading to the front gate, I had pretty much decided to turn left and head that way. But, as I got to the gate, I thought, “No, actually I’ll just head to the right.” I had no reason to change my mind on that, but just did. Well…little did I know…….

As I proceeded down the road, I got down to the bridge that goes over a creek, and as I crossed over, lo and behold, off to the side just off the road were a whole pack of puppies, just sitting there. A bunch of them. 9 actually, in the end. Whaaaaatt? What was this? I thought, oh no, someone just dumped them, which happens out in the country a lot. (Opinion of those who do that: Jerks!)

Well, I kept going. And actually, shortly after that, the truck transmission started working nicely again, so I was thankful to the Lord for that.

But, when I got back home, I had that little surprise announcement for Sue as to what I found. πŸ™‚ Neither of us could just leave them, so while I had to be on a work call or something, she ran out to see if she could gather them up in the car.

When she got back, she said she had been unable to get a hold of them, and so we packed up some cages in the truck, took some soft food, and headed back out there.

They were still all there, and here are some of them at that place:

Abandoned puppies on the road
More of abandoned puppies on the road

The food had the draw we hoped it would (we figured they were going to be pretty hungry), and one by one, we gathered them into the cages.

Lastly though, there was one that went down to the creek bed and just laid there in some shade, and I thought he was just going to end up running away once I got down there. So I went with some food to him, and he just ended up laying there, and I petted him and then just picked him up and took him to the truck. Interestingly, he ended up just being a really mellow dog…we nicknamed him “Chill”. πŸ™‚

And, there was one more, a really scared one hiding in the woods. So, I took a plate of food and worked my way to him, and enticed him with the food close enough to where I could get him, and was able to, and then bring him to the truck as well.

So, at least we were able to get them all. But now, wow! We have 9 puppies to do something with. Thankfully we have a big dog kennel in the barn, so that was going to be their new home, while Brodey could hang out in the outdoor one, at least until the weather got colder (see the above pic too):

Abandoned puppies
More of abandoned puppies
Still more of abandoned puppies

We started trying online to find an owner, but when that wasn’t happening, it began the process of trying to find them all good homes. We tried online, and sitting with them in the back of the truck downtown, and even at the yearly street festival:

Puppies give-away

Amazingly, some times when we had them downtown in the back of the truck on a Saturday, people couldn’t take a dog with them, but offered finances to help in feed and taking care of the doggies. People were extraordinarily kind and gracious in those things, and we took it as help from God in paying for this unexpected added expense.

A few stories:

One of the girl puppies was popular, but twice God spun around her being taken by someone that was almost certainly going to take her, and actually we were thankful because those 2 households we thought probably just weren’t best. The first was at the festival above, with a lady and her husband, who were worried the dog was going to poop up their house, and if she did, we were going to take her back. Well, they were sitting next to the bandstand with the doggie, and when the drummer started kicking his base drum for sound check, it scared our little girl, and she pooped on the lady right then, and I asked the husband if he wanted me to take her back now, and said, yes, take her back now. πŸ™‚

The second was when we were downtown in the back of the truck. Two ladies said they wanted her, but were going to grocery shop and then come get her. It didn’t seem like a great fit in our minds, but we left it in God’s hands, and when they came back, almost certainly to pick her up, they indicated they were worried their neighbors would end up killing her, because apparently that’s how their neighbors are potentially. So, once again, 180 degrees the other way as to what was going to happen.

One thing we have done with every taker is offer to take the puppy back if it didn’t work out. “Chill” was taken by a lady, but the stress of taking care of a puppy was causing health issues, so after us thinking we had lessened the load for us, he ended up back with us. πŸ™‚ But, he has since found a new place.

And then, one we call “RC” right now (Red Collar, which was actually the one I had to dig out of the woods when we first found them), went to a home, and he apparently snapped at the husband a few times one day, and because they have smaller children, they got worried, so we took him back too. We had not nor since have we seen that kind of behavior from him, so we don’t really know what that was all about. When I come up to him, he just rolls on his back and lays there. πŸ™‚

Now, fast forward, over time, either with someone we knew, or from the back of the truck, we’ve been able to re-home 5 of them, and we still have 4 left. We let them run in one of our gardens. They do a great job with knocking down all the weeds, although they’ve also dug down deep enough to get to one of the goats we buried there, and have snacked on her bones. :/

Here they are, left to right Mollie (named after molasses for the color and being so sweet! πŸ™‚ she was the one kept from going to those two households above; she rolls on her back a lot too πŸ™‚ ), RC (in front), Oliver, and Yapper Dan (he was yappy early on; he rolls on his back a lot too πŸ™‚ ). We’re still trying to come up with better names for RC and Yapper Dan πŸ™‚ :

Last of the puppies

The only other issue has been them getting free. We were hoping they wouldn’t chase chickens or the like, but sadly we’ve had some casualties already, so we have to be diligent in controlling them.

Anyway, that’s been our adventure these last several months. We don’t know what God’s purpose is in any of this, and we really can’t keep 4 dogs for ourselves, we don’t believe, but with colder weather now and them getting bigger, we’re not sure what to do. So, we’ve been continuing to pray for guidance and have started to put their pictures up at some places downtown, although, we’re also growing more attached to them all the time, and they’re all very sweet doggies. πŸ™‚ Hopefully the Lord will grant them good homes at some point, and guide us if we are to keep any ourselves or not. πŸ™‚

— David

Goat Breeding Time 2022!

With November upon us, it was time to put our male and female goats together for this year’s breeding time! We have goats basically for the milk.

Since our nanny Annie died, we kept a young from from this year’s kid crop to take her place, one we named Annalita in memory of Annie, Annie’s grandkid.

And so, we put her and Lucy with Shakespeare, and moved over Elvis to be with Adeline, Nellie, Lily, and Hassie.

And here’s the video of that day:

We thank the Lord for the provision of the goats, pray they make it through the Winter according to His will, and pray God might grant the offspring in due season!

— David

Psalm Singing – November 2022

We just completed recording the next set of Psalms from the psalter we use, Psalms 104A-105E. We always hope doing this might help others learn them…we have found singing God’s word in the form of the Psalms a great blessing!

And here they are:

(If the above player doesn’t work, or if you would like to save any of the files locally to your computer, you can click the Download link below, or right click it and click Save As in the popup menu.)

Psalms 104A-105E

May God’s praises ring out for all eternity!

Psalm 104:33 – “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

— David

Previous Psalms singings:

Psalms 1A-12B (minus 4B)
Psalms 4B & 13-18L
Psalms 19A-22E
Psalms 22F-24C
Psalms 25A-27F
Psalms 28A-31G
Psalms 32A-34D
Psalms 35A-37F
Psalms 38B-40F
Psalms 41A-44F
Psalms 45A-49C
Psalms 50A-53
Psalms 54A-59B
Psalms 60A-65B
Psalms 66A-68E
Psalms 69A-71D
Psalms 72A-76B
Psalms 77A-78H
Psalms 79A-84B
Psalms 85A-89H
Psalms 90A-93A
Psalms 94A-98B
Psalms 99A-103D

David’s Digest: Walk Worthy of Your Calling

Jude 1 - "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:"

God’s people are “called”:

Romans 1:6 - "Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:"

Ephesians 4:1 - "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation [calling] wherewith ye are called,"

2 Thessalonians 1:11 - "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:"

2 Timothy 1:9 - "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,"

2 Peter 1:10 - "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

But what does this calling look like? How do we evidence we are actually “called” ones, and thus actually one of God’s people?

Puritan Thomas Manton examines several ways, but below is one way that I believe is extra important in our day. It comes from his excellent commentary on the Epistle of Jude.

You can listen to all of verse 1 here:

or download it:


The entire book is available here on Monergism’s site, and this section starts on PDF page 5 near the bottom…

…or you can listen to the entire book on this page:

Thomas Manton – Jude Commentary

From Thomas Manton:

Verse 1. β€” Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

5. It may be evidenced by the fruits and effects of a call; the call infers a change of the former estate, both in heart and life.

[2.] In the life there will be a change; men will walk worthy their calling, not disgracing it by scandals or unseemly practices: Eph. iv. 1, β€˜I beseech you, brethren, walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called;’ that is, suitable to the purity, suitable to the dignity of it. When David was a shepherd, he thought of nothing else but keeping his father’s sheep; but when God called him to be a shepherd of the people, then he had other projects, and was of other manner of behaviour.

A new calling requires a new conversation [behavior of life]: so 1 Thes. ii. 12, β€˜Walk worthy of God, who hath called you to his kingdom and his glory.’ The divine calling puts an honour upon you: it is not for princes to β€˜embrace the dung,’ nor for eagles to catch flies; to be vain [showy, empty, useless for God], voluptuous [given to the enjoyments of luxury and pleasure], carnal, and worldly, as others are: you are called to the fellowship of saints and angels; will it become one of your hopes to drive on such a low design as a worldly interest?

If you saw a man labouring in filthy ditches, and soiling himself as poor men do, would you believe that he were heir-apparent to a crown, called to inherit a kingdom? Who will believe your calling when you stick in the mud of pleasures, and are carried on with such a zealous respect after secular interests?

The apostle reproves the Corinthians for β€˜walking as men,’ 1 Cor. iii. 3. Some walk as beasts, others are of a more civil strain; but this is but as men: you should walk more sublimely [high in excellence], above the ordinary rate of flesh and blood. When Antigonus was going into the house of a harlot, one told him, Thou art a king’s son. Oh! remember your dignity, and walk worthy of your high calling; walk as having the world under your feet, with a holy scorn and contempt of sublunary [earthly, pertaining to this world] enjoyments.

And as you should walk worthy of the dignity of your calling, so of the purity of it: β€˜He that hath called you is holy,’ 1 Peter i. 15; and your condition is a β€˜holy calling,’ 2 Tim. i. 9; and the end of your calling is holiness: 1 Thes. iv. 7, β€˜God hath called us unto holiness.’ All which are so many engagements to urge us to the more care. A filthy, loose conversation [behavior of life] will never suit with this calling; you are a shame and a stain to him that calls you if you walk thus: as some in the prophet are said to pollute God, Ezek. xxxi. 9, namely, as their pollutions were retorted upon God.

Someone who takes the name of Christ upon themselves is required to live a different life than the rest of the world. Holiness not only means separate but pure, and it’s not any separation or purity, but God’s separation and purity, His holiness — our holiness should be godliness, and this should encompass every area of our life, at all times in our lives, in some fashion.

Are the things of the world around us, especially entertainments and the like, and how we spend our time, part of the holiness of God, which is perfect and absolute purity?

Philippians 4:8 - "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

1 John 2:15 - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

And we have a God-given duty to work on these things, with the help and strength of the Holy Spirit:

Romans 8:13 - "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye [us, our work] through the Spirit [with His help and strength] do mortify [our duty to labor to perform] the deeds of the body [the carnal, sinful man], ye shall live [if you actually work to do this, with the Spirit's help and strength]."

Colossians 3:5 - "Mortify [a command of duty for us to perform] therefore your members which are upon the earth..."

May God give us a holy desire to be obedient to Him in all areas of our lives, and may He grant us a desire and help by His Spirit to think on the things of Him, and His blessed Son Christ Jesus, the most lovely of all, and to put away (mortify) the things of the world, especially those which might be most pleasing to our carnal man, and may we do all these things to not be a reproach on the Lord Jesus’ name, and out of love to Him who has betrothed us and whose name we have taken upon ourselves.

— David

Operation: Ruptured Turkey Air Sac

One of our young turkeys ended up having an eye problem, and so I brought it into the summer kitchen/brooder barn to try to help.

In the process however, one day I walked in, and it had on its head a big blister. I mean, its whole head was a huge blister.

Whaaat was that?? Looked like a big water blister.

Well, I went and looked it up online, and eventually found out that it wasn’t water, but air, and most likely because the turkey had a ruptured air sac. This site explained it. It also made a crackling sound too when squooshed around.

In investigating further, apparently the avian respiratory system is a lot different than other mammals. Here’s a video I watched on it. Basically if I understand it correctly, it has small lungs and no diaphragm like us, but quite a few sacs in the chest and abdomen which fill up with air as part of a 2-cycle process to flow air in and out and into the lungs and body. Apparently this helps there be the large amount of air, and thus oxygen, required for flight. It was actually quite interesting and amazing to me!

Anyway, if one of the air sac ruptures, the air gets into the body under the skin. Thankfully though, apparently, it can heal, but it was suggested that it was good to release the air using something sterile to poke or cut a hole in the skin to do so.

And so I thought I’d give it a go. Here’s a video of one of the first times, and a few days later. Since this video, I’ve had to perform this procedure multiple times, even under the wing around its abdomen, and have discovered that it helps to pull on the pin (sterilized with rubbing alcohol) to make a bigger hole to help release the air quicker:

Even though I’ve had to repeat it, it does sometimes hold for several days, and I’ve changed to working on its eye only twice a day, to try to give it rest all day and all night, hoping the sacs will indeed completely heal.

We thank the Lord it has worked it seems so far, and we pray God might grant it healing eventually! And what an amazing Creator with the inner workings of a bird’s respiratory system!

— David

Cattle Update – Summer 2022

After our multi-year update from earlier in this year, I thought I’d catch everyone up with some video footage from this year.

It starts from back in February and finishes with an August update.

It’s been a rough year with one of the worst droughts ever here, and we’ve had to feed hay all Spring and Summer, but the Lord has provided, including the “novel” concept of raking up scattered hay back into piles everyday to conserve it. It seems to work great!…only 16 years to figure that one out. πŸ™‚ But, we’re thankful to God for the idea.

Interesting turns of God’s providential workings in our lives: I mention in the video the several heifers that were supposed to go to a local person who wanted them. But, he was concerned the young ones might be a little small and susceptible to coyote attacks. And so, I thought it would be great to get him the older/larger ones first if possible, since we could only do 2-3 at a time, because we have to get them into our trailer and then do a back-back offload into his trailer.

The evening before we were supposed to try to round them up, I went out to check to see if any were in the corral to maybe trap them the night before. And what do you know but the black one, who is the oldest of the heifers, that doesn’t like range cubes, which is the only real way we have to control/lure the cows anywhere, was in the corral. I figured I was going to have to lure the whole herd through the corral to be able to trap her, but there she was. And so, I nonchalantly walked through the gate and to the open end of the corral, and closed it up! Wow! She was in! And then, it wasn’t much after that to get her into the chute to the back of the trailer, and she went in actually like she wanted to be in there. Excellent!

Later that day, the next oldest I also found in the corral, was able to trap her in there and get her loaded too! Wow again!

And so, the next day, the fellow came here, and we got the heifers to swap trailers, and they were off.

Well, a couple of days later he texts me asking if they had normally jumped fences, because they had his, and they were now both in 2 separate herds of his neighbors. Arg. I said they hadn’t, and that I would have at least told him about that if they had done anything like that with us. In trying to figure out what happened, I guess the black one was giving the second/red one a hassle, and red said, “Gotta go!”, and maybe since other herds were around, she/they were trying to find the herd. Or it was maybe just to be with the other herd. But, we’re still not sure what happened.

Continuing, he then said that he was just going to sell them because they wouldn’t be able to handle that situation. And so, sigh, I said he could bring them back if he wanted. And he did.

I found it a very odd providence of God for bringing the situation where the loading of those 2 heifers went so surprisingly smooth, only to have them back here on the land.

And well, that was that, I thought.

But, a week or more later, he texts back and asks about the other 3 heifers, and that he’d like to try with them. I believe he had done some fence work to try to keep them from going over anymore. Ha! More interesting hand of Providence workings.

And so, we were able to get the other 3 loaded and into the trailer the next day, and he came, and we swapped them into his trailer, and now they were off.

And that’s been a couple of weeks now or so, and things are holding apparently, so it looks like those are going to work for him. He also did mention he might like to come back and get one of the first 2 because he thought she was a pretty one, and given his extra fence work, and I suppose because the other 3 are there, and the black one is not, that it might be different this time. Anyway, we thank the Lord those 3 are working out.

I still don’t know what all the rigamarole was with the first 2 and then them coming back, etc., but may we always trust His dealings with us in our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

And now, onto the video:

As always, we are thankful to the Lord for His provisions!

— David

Young 2022 Turkeys – Update I

With the chicken mommies hatching out a 2nd group and 3rd group of turkey chicks, and them continuing on in the brooder barn, and them getting big enough it seemed to not only cause ruckus in the brooder barn, but also because it’s just better to get them outside as quickly as possible, it was time to graduate them to freedom, and life with the rest of the turkey flock and homestead!

This was going to be something of an experiment, because in the past we’ve always sent them out with their turkey mommy to lead the way, so we were hoping despite that that they would stay around the homestead and go into the barn at night.

Sadly, by this time, one of the young turkeys caught a disease or something, and eventually didn’t make it. πŸ™ And so, from the original 13, there were now 12, which we show in the following video starting with the day of the release, and then their adjusting to the outside world:

Today, they are all pretty much doing well. I believe I injured one’s leg when trying to manually round them up one night because they weren’t going into the barn (which they had been doing just fine by themselves up to that point), and it’s still limping. And another has something wrong with one of its eyes…maybe a small infection? Not sure, so they spend a lot of time in the barn, often together, although the limping one just a little while ago today was looking pretty weak, so I pulled it and put it in its own cage back in the brooder barn so it has unencumbered access to water and turkey (wild game) feed, which maybe being as small as it is it still needs. We do ask God He might grant them recovery.

But generally, the other 10 or even the eye one too roam around like they own the place, πŸ™‚ although we do still have to direct them a little into the barn at night sometimes.

But, we do thank the Lord for their continued general health and safety, and pray He might continue to grant that to them!

— David

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