The Sifford Sojournal

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.

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Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: Surrogate Chicken Mommy to 2nd Round of Turkey Chicks

After we had a turkey mommy accidentally hatch out a chicken chick, we discovered in the barn next to the north footer in the middle a set of turkey eggs being sat on by both a turkey and a chicken. Since the turkey mommy worked well as a surrogate to the chicken chick, I started to wonder if maybe a chicken mommy might make a good surrogate for turkey chicks, especially because a chicken hen is much easier to work with than the larger and stronger turkey hen.

Well, the little things started to hatch, and eventually the chicken mommy ended up near the big door across the barn to the east with the chicks under her, and the turkey mommy kind of hanging out behind her. So, it was round up the youngin’s and the chicken mommy and get them into the summer kitchen (now basically what is a brooder barn).

There were 6 of them, and we initially started them in a cage on the table, which you can see in the video below.

Then not long after, another turkey/chicken mommy group in the barn hatched out 1, and it was walking around on the hay stack next to them, and so we grabbed it and put it in with the brooder barn mommy, hoping she would accept it, and she did!

And then, another 1 from that same 2 mommies in the barn, and so it was off to the brooder barn.

And so now, there are 8 turkey chicks with their chicken mommy in the brooder barn all still doing great! That last one is a little tiny, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to make it, but it’s still going!

And, along with the picture above, here is another picture of them. However, the chicken mommy at this point seems to be losing interest in attending to them as a mommy, and has been jumping out of the caged run area, so we may just let her go soon, although we do like the idea that these mommies being there might protect the young from snakes:

2nd Round of 2022 Turkey Chicks

And here is their video:

We thank the Lord for granting these new little provisions, and for the idea and gracious success of a chicken hen taking care of the young turkey chicks!

— David

Storing Rain VI – West Tank (Pond) – Update I

Initially, when we had our west tank (that’s Texas for “pond”) dug last year, the Lord saw fit to stop the process before we had planned to finish by filling it up quite full — too full to continue.

Since then though, we’ve been in one of our worst droughts since we’ve been here. Since it was dug and filled as it was, there had been very little substantial rainfall. The tank lasted very well though, although it was getting lower, and was the only ground water available at the time for the cows.

But, God in His mercies and graces, saw fit to drop a decent amount of rain here, runoff rain, back in early June. It wasn’t a whole lot, but it was enough to put a lot of water in the other tanks on the land, and, for the first time, cause our west tank to overflow!

Since it was dug, I wasn’t sure if the water would make it around the bend without having to flood the entire area, but the expert diggers felt it would, and sure enough, it worked great!

Here’s looking back at the pond from the overflow side:

West Pond Full

And then it overflowing (the top image shows it too):

And we recorded a video of it too:

The Lord granted a decent amount of grass to grow as a result also, which has taken some of the burden off having to feed the cows manually, and we have been thankful, although there hasn’t been any more rain since, and we are around 100 (give or take several degrees) every day.

We do pray God might have mercy on us again and bring rain soon, as we look to Him as our Provider, but until then, we wait, hopefully patiently, knowing He is good and faithful regardless of what we might see around us.

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: 2nd, 3rd & 4th Chicken Hatchings of 2022

After our first chicken hatching this 2022 came from a turkey mommy accidentally sitting on a chicken egg and hatching one out, the Lord has graciously continued to grant more chicken chicks!

This is group 2 for 2022. We usually put 12 eggs under the broody mommies, and she either hatched out them all, or close to it…I haven’t done a count yet, but there are quite a few! They are in the image above, and this one:

More of 2nd Chicken Hatching of 2022

And here’s group 3. She actually hatched out 5 more, but I think she ended up killing them as she tore apart her nest after she lost her broodiness. Sigh. But, she still has these 4 going strong!

3rd Chicken Hatching of 2022

And here is group 4. Originally, these eggs were under a mommy under our house. We grabbed her and her eggs and put them in the mini-chicken tractor shown here. However, about 5-6 days short of the 21 required, she lost her broodiness, and tore apart the nest, and sent eggs somewhat scattering. We even found one dead not-quite-complete chick, I guess perhaps just broken out of the shell by her maybe?

Anyway, we gathered up the rest of the eggs and re-set them in the nest, and tried putting on them other broody hens we had that weren’t sitting on eggs (we pull their eggs if we don’t have a safe place to let them hatch out chicks). Well, finally, I believe it was the 3rd mommy attempt which stuck, and she did bring it home, hatching out these 2 little ones! She’s still acting quite broody, but I have a feeling the other eggs are not going to hatch. And at least, her little ones are apparently figuring out how to drink and eat regardless:

4th Chicken Hatching of 2022

And lastly, here’s the video of all 3 groups:

As always, we are grateful to God for granting these new provisions, and we pray He glorify Himself through them, and that they might benefit others as well!

— David


With the extreme drought happening here, everything is very dry. And, around here, that often makes for severe fire potential.

Well, recently one got very, very close to our “backyard”, and it was a little unnerving to say the least.

Above, and these following, is what it looked like from a road about 1/4 mile (maybe a little more) behind the south end of our overall land area. It was pretty windy, which made things difficult. Apparently, 9 fire departments were called in:

Grissom Fire 2022 - From Road Behind Us
Grissom Fire 2022 - Wide Angle

And from our homestead:

Grissom Fire 2022 - From Homstead

And from the roof of our house that first night (the flames are not on the ridge directly behind us; it’s probably the next ridge back). So, you maybe see why we were a little concerned. It did slowly dwindle as the evening rolled on, and I sat on the roof until 2:25am, and by that time thankful the glow essentially could not be seen:

Grissom Fire 2022 - From Roof

By the next day though, with more winds, the fire picked up again. And by the time we got back from Lord’s Day services, the forestry service had a helicopter working on it, one that could suck up water from ground-water tanks and dump it, and by later in the afternoon, multiple planes flying over dropping bright red, we believe, flame retardant.

Their goal was to keep it from jumping that back road I was on when I took the above pictures. I went back there again and asked one of the firefighters if he thought they could keep it from jumping the road, and he said it was iffy. For us, if it jumped the road, it was nothing but forest up the hill, over the ridge behind us, and then down the hill to the back of the land, where there are multiple homesteads.

They worked on it all afternoon, and were still working on it into the evening. Everyone here had already prepped for evacuation if necessary. With all that continued firefighting effort, I was pretty worried.

However, as I watched the smoke billows from the windy roof of our house through the evening, I spent some time with the Lord in His presence in prayer, not just asking for His mercies, especially for the homesteads in the back, which were most vulnerable, and working through making sure I was submitted to His complete will in this situation (especially if it was to be that everything burned down), but just spending it in His presence…just a time alone with Him, even with the winds howling at times and fire somewhat bearing down on us. It was a special time with Him, and one I pray I won’t forget.

As the evening continued, one of the volunteer firefighters from a nearby town who we know some was able to contact our county’s fire chief, and he indicated that they were able to get it settled down for the night, and that it apparently wasn’t going to advance at that point. And so, we didn’t have to evacuate.

The next day, the winds picked up again, but from then on, the crews were able to keep it from moving any further. While we continued to smell smoke, and I think I saw smoke flare up at one point, the Lord mercifully granted it essentially to come to an end. And we are not aware of any loss of human life, most thankfully.

Later that week, we drove by to see how close it got to the road, and you could see burned trees not far in from the road. And here’s a map showing just how close it got, the top of the fire heading toward us. I think part of the reason they were able to contain it was because the forested area actually narrowed down between two fields, which probably helped them isolate it:

Finally, here’s a video of some of the events, including a little more from that Lord’s day evening, and drop aircraft (please forgive the wind noise):

We thank the Lord for His mercies to the firefighters, to other folks, and to us. May we always be submitted to His will in all things.

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: Surrogate Turkey Mommy Chicken Chick

We had a broody turkey mommy next to a hay manger in the barn goat stall. One day she had a hatchling showing itself with her. But, it looked funny for being a turkey, and that was because, it wasn’t a turkey! A chicken egg got in with her clutch, and she hatched out a little chicken chick!

But, turkey eggs need a week more of sitting than chicken eggs, and so we were worried she might stop sitting on her turkey eggs. Well, sadly, that sort of did happen, although 3 sort of hatched out. We actually tried taking them and all her eggs and putting them under a broody chicken, and 2 more tried to hatch out, but in the end, all 5 turklets didn’t make it. 🙁

However, this little one — I think now it’s a rooster — is still alive today and doing fine!

Here’s another picture of it with its “mommy” in the barn:

And then a video. I had to use a flashlight to try to get light on them:

Even though it didn’t go as we had planned, we are thankful to the Lord for granting this provision of the new chick, our first for 2022!

— David

Psalm Singing – April 2022

We just finished up recording the next set of Psalms from the psalter we use, Psalms 99A-103D, in the hopes they might help others learn them if anyone wants to!

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 99A-103D

May we praise the Lord with our hearts, thoughts, voices and lives for ever!

Ps 89:1 – “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

— 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
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