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.

Category: fellowship (Page 1 of 7)

Our Sojourn: The Next Chapter

Sunset or sunrise?

Sunset or Sunrise

Both actually, as a chapter is here ending, and the next chapter is starting…

It was “decided” this past week that our fellowship would stop trying to function as a local church group. The reasons are too involved to discuss in this blog post, but I wanted to mention it for a few reasons:

  • First, I still believe in the main reason why Sue & I moved here: to separate more from the world and its influence, to live more directly on God’s providential hand by growing and raising our own food, and then doing all these things and living out our Christianity in every aspect of our life (Christianity being our lives instead of just a part of our lives) amongst, with, and in support of like-minded believers, to learn to serve and love them. For me personally, over the years the Lord has granted to some degree what I believe are good effects from all these things, in Him granting things in my heart required to actually do these things — more trust in Him, more charity (godly love) to others with some less emphasis on myself, etc., and I am very thankful, and pray He continues as I desperately need and desire more of those things, and more of Him.
  • Secondly, practically speaking from the group’s standpoint, the main change will be that we won’t be gathering together on Lord’s day for Bible study, singing and holy reading, as we shift to looking for other established local fellowships with whom to fellowship. And so, we won’t be streaming meetings from our Lord’s day times on our YouTube page, which we’ve been doing for quite some time. I’ve been personally reading from Christian writings that I have found beneficial, making them available in an audio format, and maybe Sue and I will come up with other things to do on our YouTube page in that medium. We plan to continue this blog too.

    The folks here do hope to maintain the close relationships we all have with each other, and continue some of the Christian-focused things we have done in the past, like gathering to do projects for each other on a “community” — now probably more “neighborhood” — work day, etc. And continuing to focus on opportunities to help others in local towns, as we have been doing recently.

  • Lastly, I believe some good has been done here over all the years, and again, I’ve certainly seen spiritual blessings in my own life. However, I believe some harm to others has been done here for, again, reasons too involved to discuss here. All Sue and I ever wanted to do was help people — that’s why we bought a large parcel of land, much larger than she and I would ever want to use for ourselves. But, sadly things aren’t always right or done the right way, I would presume mostly from sin in ourselves and our carnal man, and to those who have been hurt by the things that were not right, I wanted to apologize sincerely for my part in those things that hurt you, and hope that someday you will be able to forgive me.

From here on, we don’t know where the Lord will lead, but it continues to be our prayer God would glorify Himself through us in whatever way He might, and with His help that we seek Him diligently as we continue our “sojourn” of life.

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.

— David

Community Singing – December 2019

We were thankful to be able to gather together again this past Lord’s Day to sing the praises of God in Psalms from the psalter from Crown & Covenant we use, and to record them to help us all learn them better, and in the hopes that having them available might help someone else. And so we did the next set, Psalms 77A to 78H!

Here are the latest:

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

Psalms 77A-78H

May praise to the name of the Lord always be in our hearts and in our mouths, making a joyful noise to His glory!

— 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

Community Singing – May 2019

For singing time during our Lord’s Day Church fellowship gatherings, for part of that time we sing from the psalter from Crown & Covenant. Well, to help us learn them better, and for anyone else who might be interested in learning them, every so often we record them, and this past Lord’s Day we did so again, Psalms 72A to 76B.

Here are the latest:

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

Psalms 72A-76B

We pray the Lord teach us His ways through the Psalms and the rest of His Word, and may He write it on our hearts that we might not sin against Him!

— 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

February 2019 Community Work Day: Just a Pit-tance

Every month we have community work day on first Wednesday of the month, and this past first Wednesday, we did part day at our place to dig out a fire pit. I thought we might leisurely dig and at least get started on it, but the “crew” busted through it, and we did the whole thing!

But not without the trial often faced when digging holes in the ground in rolling hill country…

It wasn’t too far down, and we hit that rock that’s under this area where we put the house. Not bedrock, or flat rock, or what have you…I’m talking Flintstone-quarry boulders. 😀

Hmm, how to best go about it:

Digging Fire Pit

This one, once uncovered enough, we realized was HUGE. We were able to dig around the edges, and then it was time to bring in Big Red:

Tractor to Pull Out Big Rock

The first pull got the rock to stand up:

Big Rock Stood Up in Fire Pit

And then we had to wrap the chain enough to get it out of the pit:

Wrapping Chain Under Rock

Pulling Big Rock Out of Fire Pit

Big Rock Pulled Out of Fire Pit

Then we were able to cross-wrap the chain under it more, which allowed the rock to be dragged away. This is probably the biggest rock we personally have pulled out of the ground here:

Cross-Wrapping Chain Around Big Rock

Pulling Big Rock Away

Big Rock Pulled Away

And here we are trying to recover the chain. Fun fun! 🙂

Lifting Big Rock to Recover Drag Chain

Then it was on to the others. Thankfully, this rock was the biggest, and so, we were able to continue digging around the rocks and use a breaker bar to lift and loosen them, and then roll them out of the pit. This one I was able to get by myself, but with others I definitely needed help:

Rolling Rock Out of Fire Pit

In the end, we finished the whole thing!

And here are “Williams the Conquerors” claiming victory! 😀 Thanks to the gents for all the help!

Williams the Conquerors

And the final fire-pit product:

Completed Fire Pit

We thank the Lord for granting safety during this time, and we are grateful to Him for granting us this time of fellowship and serving each other, and may He grow us in service to Him and others, as the great Servant showed us when He was here!

Finally, the rocks remind me of something important, from Matthew 23:

3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

And then Ez 36:22-32:

22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.

31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.

32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.

May God grant us a living and not dead, stony heart, cause us to walk in His statutes, and may He make the ground of our hearts rock-free as part of Him helping us persevere under trials and afflictions and bring forth spiritual fruit from us, all so as to sanctify His great name!

— David

January 2019 Community Work Day: Fence Fixing, Milo Gathering & Chimney Sweeping

This past community work day, we did half-day at our place, and the folks here graciously helped us accomplish a few projects…

First, over the years, in trying to get to the “grass that’s surely greener on the other side” of the fencing, the goats have put a pretty good leaning-angle in the fencing when their heads are through and they are pushing to get just that perfect morsel that’s as far away as their little necks can reach. 😉 Anyway, we had to straighten up the fencing on two sides by unclipping the fencing, pulling the t-post, re-pounding in the t-post, and then re-clipping the fencing. Here are the gents helping me with that:

Straitening Goat Fencing

And here, the Stonger boys are helping gather milo seeds from the field:

Gathering Milo

Then, it was time to try our first chimney sweeping. We used an adjustable ladder, uneven on one side, and Mr. Stronger held it in place on the roof while I worked the stove pipe.

After years, I believe the creosote “glued” on the cap, so I had to pound it off:

Removing Stove Pipe Cap

And then it was time to use the sweeper. For our metal chimney pipe, you’re supposed to use a poly brush so it doesn’t scrape up the metal.

I will conquer you o creosote, my foe! 😉

Ready with the Chimney Sweeper

And here’s the sweeping. One thing I forgot about was that near the bottom of the pipe there is a damper, so when I hit the stopping point, I kind of tried to push through it, and ended up bending the damper turner…oops. 🙂 :

Sweeping the Chimney

And then, putting the cap back on:

Putting Back On the Chimney Cap

Finally, here are some other sights from work day….

I’m not going to ask about this one… 😀 I’m with Joshua….must…get…away…quickly… 😉

Community Work Day Folks

Don’t wear out the youngin’s, Mr. Peck! 😉

Community Work Day Folks

A quarter for your thoughts…(inflation, you know) 😉

Community Work Day Folks

Tree climbing, supervised of course:

Community Work Day Folks

Community Work Day Folks

Community Work Day Folks

We all here are grateful to the Lord for Him granting us this opportunity to be here and live together and focus more of our lives on Him, and showing we love Him by loving and serving each other. We thank Him for the safety He granted, and Sue and I thank everyone for the help!

— David

Community Singing – September 2018

This past Lord’s day we gathered together to record the next set of Psalms from the psalter we use. It is our prayer we learn His word better, and that perhaps others might be able to participate in Psalms singing as well with these.

Here are the latest:

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

Psalms 69A-71D

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

We always pray the Lord glorify Himself through His word, and may He mold us in the image of the Lord Christ Jesus through these things!

— David

Invitation to Our Lord’s Day Gatherings

If you’ve followed our blog at all, you might probably be aware that we have a YouTube page where we post all our videos.

What you might not know though is that we also live-stream our Lord’s Day fellowship times. Our prayer has always been that they might be a blessing to others perhaps in some way.

And so, we’re just mentioning it in case you weren’t aware, and to welcome anyone who might interested in joining us live. They are also saved on our YouTube channel so they can be viewed at a later time. The next ones are listed under the “Upcoming live streams” section.

Currently, we stream our Lord’s Day sermon and singing time starting at 2:30PM Central time, and then our holy reading time at 5:00PM Central time. Our meetings are very simple and plain, and the sermons/readings given by our elders are always Christ-based, and are usually writings from teachers of the past, like Puritan writers we appreciate, and often emphasize holy living and practical aspects of Christianity.

Lord willing, we should be wrapping up a series on the application on the live of Hezekiah in the first meeting time this Lord’s Day, and then we’re planning on starting a new holy reading from Thomas Manton on self denial, which I’ve personally been through twice already and really believe it should be required study for Christians.

During our acapella singing time, we sing from the psalter we use, and from a home-made hymnal. We have the chat on at this time too in case anyone is following along in the psalter and wants to request one during the request time, and we are happy to send anyone a photocopy of our hymnal too.

Here are the two streams from this past Lord’s Day, the first again from the Hezekiah series, and then the second finishing up a series on Christ’s eternal existence and the dignity of His person, from Thomas Manton. We also put streams that are a part of a series in playlists:



The internet does stutter some at times, but I believe at least the audio is generally steady, and quite frankly, I’m amazed it works as well as it does, given we’re out in the country connected to the tower in town wirelessly. 🙂

Anyway, we’re not trying to sell this to anyone, but I thought we’d put this out there in case someone would like to join us during these times.

We always pray God glorifies Himself through our lives in whatever way He may, and we pray we are good witnesses for Him, grow in His graces and image each day, and that we are of benefit to others in some way!

— David

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