24 Carrot Rabbitry

City-fied Self-Sufficiency

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Archive for November, 2012

In every thing give thanks!

1Th 5:16-18
(16)  Rejoice evermore.
(17)  Pray without ceasing.
(18)  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Psa 136:1-26
(1)  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(2)  O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(3)  O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(4)  To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(5)  To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(6)  To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(7)  To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(8)  The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(9)  The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(10)  To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(11)  And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(12)  With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(13)  To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(14)  And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(15)  But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(16)  To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(17)  To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(18)  And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(19)  Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(20)  And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(21)  And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(22)  Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(23)  Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
(24)  And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(25)  Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
(26)  O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Whenever I am troubled about things, I do try to remember I Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks.”  It is a hard thing to remember, and I find myself remembering it better when I am encouraging someone else who is worried.

I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom when I was in my early teens.  Just thinking about what she and her family went through puts things in perspective, but there is one passage in the book that helps me remember that even things that seem bad can be used for God’s good.

It’s when Corrie and her sister Betsy have been in a concentration camp for a while, for hiding Jews.  The conditions, naturally, were horrific.  Finally, on top of everything else, their building became infested with lice.  Corrie was very upset, but then discovered that Betsy was thankful.

Thankful?  For lice?  Had Betsy lost it?  Corrie had had about all she could take.

Then Betsy explained.  Hadn’t Corrie noticed that ever since the lice had come, the guards would not come into their building?

Corrie realized with amazement that yes, she could be thankful even for the lice.

This passage is one of the things that will remind me that I see only a tiny part of what is going on.  It is God who sees the whole situation and guides it.  If they could see the mercy of God even in lice, I can certainly trust that the Lord can work my situation for good, as He says He will.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!

Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!
Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!
Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!
~Au­gust L. Storm

Once the property was bush-hogged, and the driveway was bulldozed, it was time to get the land cleared.  The house, having been completed early, was already sitting on the dealer’s lot, and time was ticking on our loan offer.  We needed to work quickly.

We called the logger who had cleared some land farther down the road.  The wood had brought a nice amount of money for the landowner, so we hoped that this would be the case for us, as well.

As it turned out, the logger came and looked at our trees, and said that our trees were only good for pulp because of the large number of branches they had.  Unfortunately, the bottom had fallen out of the pulpwood market, and he was barely getting anything for it, he said, so it would cost us a decent bit to get it done.

Being pretty much at his mercy because of our situation, we agreed, adding some incentive for getting it done very quickly.

Logging day came, and we headed out to the property again.

When we arrived, they had already long since begun. They had loaded a truck and carried it off up the road.

Three large piles of branches greeted us at the back of the property. I could see a lot of burning in our future!

The two pines in the front yard still stood, and the logger would add to the piles left from the bulldozing.

He had already begun adding to the other bulldozed pile.

Mom walked among the trees still marked for removal. We had a little while to wait for the logger and his crew to return.

When they did return, we stayed at a safe distance! ILoveBunnies and Bunny-Wan Kenobi watched the tree-toppling with interest.

A crew member made the cut...

...And the logger used his Bobcat to push the tree over in the desired direction.

With the tree felled, it was time to cut off the branches. Great, more to add to the gigantic burn piles!

The logger lifted the trunks effortlessly with the claw-like device on his Bobcat.

The trunks were loaded onto a truck.

As all of this was going on, I noticed something about a very tall and beautiful pine we were going to keep. A large injury.

As I looked closer, I realized the tree had been girdled a long time ago. The coil of rusty barbed wire still sat next to the base of the tree. It was obvious that the tree had been trying to recover from this injury for a very long time, and had not had a lot of success. There was sap everywhere, and missing bark. I called my beloved Shay quickly. This tree had to come down... did he want me to see if I could get the logger to take it?

As I waited anxiously for Shay to call me back, the crew worked on grinding the final stumps and roots into the ground. Finally, I heard back from Shay, and ran out to the logger.

The logger asked what I would offer for him to take the giant pine. I had $100 in mind, but told him straight that I did not know what the job was worth, and that I would trust him to give me a fair price. He asked how $100 sounded, and we shook hands. The tree was coming down one way or another. It was $100 extra to the logger, $2,000 later to a professional tree remover after the house was up, or a storm. We picked the $100 option, and the logger himself made the cut, as it was going to be difficult to take it out without taking a lot of other trees down with it. We understood we would lose at least two.

He explained to me how the cuts worked. What he left uncut would act as a brake, pulling the tree to fall in that direction. It was fascinating to watch it fall exactly as he wanted it to. As it fell, its branches grabbed the other two trees we knew we would lose -- a maple and a pine -- and brought them down. Other trees lost limbs, but no other trees fell.

At the end of the day, we were left with a barren landscape. We were sad to take down all those lovely trees, but we knew our house would be safe.

The next step would be to decide again exactly where the house would go, as our markers were gone.  Then we could get the pad built, and the house set!

And so we continue.

This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
(Dan 4:17)

That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
(Dan 4:25)

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
(Col 1:16-17)

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
(Pro 21:1)

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
(1Ti 2:1-4)

I cannot say that I believe our country made a wise decision a week ago.

Many people would conclude that I am, therefore, a racist.  They would be wrong.

My votes never have anything to do with the color of anyone’s skin, or any other aspect of ethnicity.  I have voted for Alan Keyes several times.  I moved from Florida shortly before I would have had the pleasure of voting for Marco Rubio.  I have voted for whites, blacks, and Latinos, and I have voted for men and women.

When I do my election research, I look for history, votes, quotes, comments from supporters, comments from opponents, issue positions, articles… anything I can find that will tell me about the person’s true character and beliefs.  What is this person’s view of life?  Of the role of government?  Of the Constitution?  Of rich people?  Of taxes?  Of spending?  Of Israel?  Who endorses him?  Who opposes him?  Etc., etc., etc.

I mark the person who, as far as I can tell, comes as close as possible to a reverent regard for our Constitution, which was penned by men much wiser than they are given credit for today, as they are widely viewed with contempt.  They saw these days of trouble coming from afar off, days in which we struggled to remember our foundations, and wondered what would be the outcome of it.  I believe it was Thomas Jefferson and John Adams who corresponded about it.  They thought that we would ultimately make the right decision.  We shall see.

(By the way, I voted third-party for President this election, as has become my custom, as neither Democrats nor Republicans seem interested in the Constitution beyond giving it lip service, for the most part.)

There are plenty of people who believe that socialism is the right decision.  It isn’t, if you are interested in keeping our Constitution.  There are plenty of socialist countries.  I share the opinion of many others:  if you think it’s such a good idea, go move to a country that already has it.  It has already been tried here, repeatedly.  It doesn’t work any better here than anywhere else in the world.

I have always found it ironic and amusing that so many of Hollywood glow about the governments of socialist and communist countries.  These same people will trash America.  Now, why would they choose to stay here, since this country is so horrible, and these others are so wonderful?  Because they know what side their bread is buttered on.  It’s this country that has allowed them the freedom to become what they are.  In a socialist country, they’d be figuratively squashed like bugs (which would not make many of us unhappy, by the way).

What was the purpose of this country?  To provide a place where everyone could be assured of an equal, fair outcome?  No.  It was to provide an environment in which anyone, especially with persistence and hard work, could have a chance at happiness and prosperity.  To provide an environment of liberty even in faith, in which the government could not set up one faith and outlaw others.  To provide a place where government itself was suspect and bound, severely limiting its ability to restrict the freedoms of the people.  To provide a place where one need not fear the government.

People complain about stalemates in Washington, but our government has frequent stalemates by design.  It slows the ability of the government to take actions that would hurt us.  Possibly the worst thing that happened in our government was the installation of air conditioning at the Capitol.  This allowed our House and Senate to stay in session much more, giving them more opportunity to erode our freedoms.

Our Founding Fathers knew well the dangers of government.  They restrained it as much as possible.  Unfortunately, it has broken many of its bonds, and has been feeding itself handsomely on the backs of its citizens ever since.

The answer is not more of this, it is less of it.  It’s not government assuring you of a fair outcome, it’s people individually taking responsibility for their own risks, their own decisions, their own care and feeding, their own preparation for the future, etc.

Was life hard before big government and socialist redistribution?  Sure it was.  But people had more interest in making a way for themselves, because nobody else was going to do it for them.  You could decide what sort of food to eat, and you were responsible for the consequences if those choices were not wise.  Today, we are allowed to make few decisions, and we are rarely allowed to fail when we do make decisions.  The result is laziness, an inability to think for oneself, penalty for success, and a lack of freedom.


Ultimately, though, I know that God was not caught by surprise at the result of the election last week.  The Word of God is filled with examples of Him bringing one nation to conquer another, as punishment for wickedness, and for other reasons.

If He can turn the heart of a king like a river, He can direct this President to His will.  Not that His will will be pleasant at this point.  This country has strayed far.  But I know that whatever comes, He will carry us through.  Unlike me, God can see the big picture, and somehow, this all fits into it.  I just have to trust and obey.