What uncommon things do we want to become common?

Things like:
our children having mutual love and respect for each other.
our teenage children having love, honor, respect and obedience for their parents.
us continually becoming better friends and lovers.
our family totally trusting God in all things and putting our faith in Him to fulfill his promises.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Success is One Good Choice

By Creg

In 1968 Bill was a bored middle school student. So his concerned parents enrolled him at Lakeside, a private school in Seattle. That year the booster club just happened to spend $3,000 to buy a computer terminal. This was at a time when most colleges didn't even have one, so Bill got to do real-time programming as an 8th grader. From then on he practically lived in the computer room. Two years later a group of programmers at the University of Washington formed the Computer Center Corporation which leased computer time to local companies. As luck would have it, one of the founders of that firm had a son at Lakeside. So the C.C.C. asked Lakeside to test out the company's software programs on the weekends in exchange for free programming time. Bill was there everyday after school. “It was my obsession,” Bill said of his early high school years, “I went up there at night & on weekends.” During one 7-month period Bill ran up 1,575 hours of computer time. Bill continues, “My friend Paul & I got into trouble one time for stealing passwords & crashing the system and they kicked us out for the summer.” Not long after he found out that the U of Washington had free computer time between 3 & 6 am. Since he lived within walking distance of the college he'd wake himself up in the middle of the night & head to the computer room. By the time Bill dropped out of Harvard after his sophomore year to try his hand at his own company, he'd been programming practically nonstop for 7 years. Over 10,000 hours.

His last name is Gates.

John, Paul, George & Ringo started playing together in 1957. In 1960 while they were still a struggling high school rock band, they were invited to play at a bar in Hamburg, Germany. There they would play 8 hrs a day, sometimes until 2 am, 7 days a week. They traveled there 5 times between 1960 & 1962 playing months at a time. When they had their first burst of success in 1964 they had performed live a staggering 10,000 hrs. Their manager said, “They were no good onstage when they went there but when they came back they were very good. They not only learned stamina & discipline but an enormous amount of songs, everything you can imagine. Cover versions, rock & roll, jazz."

They're also known as the Beatles.

Those stories come from Malcom Gladwell's book "Outliers." His point is that it takes 10,000 hours to become the most successful in life.

Or does it.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Jesus: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other thief rebuked that criminal. “Don’t you fear God,” the thief said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The thief just asked Jesus to remember him. He got Paradise! One more beggar comes with a request, asks for crumbs & gets the whole loaf. This is salvation. Because none of us have any more to offer God than this thief did.

Did you ever wonder why there were only 2 criminals on crosses? Could it be that those 2 represent all of the options when dealing with Jesus?

Think about the repentant thief. Is he going to spend eternity living under the consequences of all the bad choices he made? No, he will be enjoying the fruit of the one good decision he made. Have you ever said, “I wish I could make up for those bad choices?” You can in one decision.

To be successful in this life you can either practice for 10,000 hours or make one good choice.

Monday, May 23, 2011

God Provides

By Creg

When we pray for something and God provides it, why do we call it coincidence?

Story 1: Several months ago Sierra's golden retriever, Skye, got lost several miles from our house. (see post titled Skye's Adventure) During the search Sierra met a family with several Great Pyrenees in their yard but didn't say anything about it.

When we finally decided to get a dog to guard our chickens (See previous post) Sierra said, "There's a family a few miles down the road that had some Great Pyrenees pups." About a week later (Why did I take so long?) we decided to find the house & ask about their pups. Granny & Sierra found them & they said they just had one returned & we could have it! After talking with the owner today she said, "This won't make any sense unless you're a Christian, but we always pray over our animals for God to give them a good home. And right before you came by all of our pups were taken. However, one family had to return one because the dog's long hair made their daughter's eyes swell. So if you would have asked a week ago we wouldn't have had any available." Now I know why I waited.

Story 2:
My friend Jason is operating 2 recovery houses, one for men, one for women. Yesterday we were talking about him needing more tenants to help pay the rent. I said, "If we're doing what God wants us to do He'll provide people for us." After praying about it God brought 2 guys to us today!

Thank you LORD for your provision.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


by Chelsa

We've been losing chickens...again. Another bobcat has been stalking and killing our egg layers. We started out with 45 birds and are now down to 28 or 29. After trapping and shooting him a couple of weeks ago we've decided to get serious. This morning we brought home our new guard dog Ace. He's just a 3 month old ball of fluff now, but in a few months he'll be over 100 pounds of pure muscle. He's a Great Pyrenees and they make wonderful guard dogs. We took him on a tour of the farm today to see how he would do. He did great with the baby goats, cats, chickens and us. He growled a little bit at Skye, our Golden Retriever, but did fine with everything else. He hasn't seen the sheep, cows or horse yet. Maybe we'll do that tomorrow. I hope he's able to stop the chicken predators.

Flower Photos on the Farm

by Chelsa

Here are a few pictures of some pretty flowers the sun was shining on this morning in my garden and around the house. God does such delicate intricate work and He is so creative! I love my flowers. Enjoy.

Photo #1 - Echinacea Purpurea (also known as Purple Cone flower) This plant is an excellent infection fighter and powerful natural antibiotic. I use it in making our medicine

Photo #2 - Asiatic Lily

Photo #3 - Summer Squash Bloom

Excerpts from my Prayer Journal

by Chelsa

I'm sharing this partly because Creg wanted me to and partly because it goes perfectly with the last blog post on THE LOST GET FOUND. But mainly I'm sharing this because I want to encourage you to ask God to use you! God is Awesome and POWERFUL and He still works AMAZING WONDERS!

Tuesday April 26, 2011 (3:43am)
Thank you for waking me up Lord. I've been feeling the need to spend time alone with you...Whenever I do this my heart is more sensitive to the Spirit's leading and I see distractions as opportunities to minister instead of as interruptions into my schedule. Give me wisdom today Lord. Open my eyes so I can see your will and your ways. I know you want my life and our family's life to bring glory to you. Empower us by your Spirit to have complete unity, one heart and one mind that strives for your kingdom to be on earth like it is in heaven... I've also been feeling a need or burden to be more faithful in praying for others. Lord direct my heart and lead me in this.

Wednesday April 27, 2011 (7am)
Last nights bible study was so good! We were going through a passage in Mark where Jesus taught and healed a demon possessed man. The crowds were AMAZED at his teaching and at his AUTHORITY and POWER - unlike the teachers of the law.

The more I sat and pondered the scripture, the more excited I became about the AUTHORITY, POWER, and AMAZEMENT of Jesus. He still has that same effect on us today. He can rid us of any demon or addiction we have. That is exciting news and I felt the Spirit urging me to share that with others this week.

After I shared my excitement about what the Spirit wanted me to do, a new lady at the bible study, Rachel, looked me in the eye and said, "You can start with me!" How awesome is that! And she reminded me again on the way out to the car.
(Since then we've studied with her about becoming a Christian) That just thrills my soul! Empower me Lord to glorify you. Lead me and give me all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Monday - May 2, 2011 (10:06 pm)
Wow Lord! Where do I begin? I am AMAZED at your POWER and I praise your Holy Name. I was just reading back a few pages in here where I was telling you my desire for more community and for interceding on the behalf of others. You are blowing me away this week by answering that prayer. It's overwhelming!

The last thing I wrote in here was this burning desire you placed in me to share with others the POWER and AUTHORITY of Jesus - his ability to cast out any demon or addiction in our lives. That we can overcome any sin or problem we face by the POWER and AUTHORITY of Jesus. Rachel was the first person to take me up on that - the first of many I have discovered.

Wednesday we went out to the prison for the monthly worship service.
(After the sermon there is baptism and one on one prayer time and I've always let the men do that) I was sitting in my usual spot waiting quietly when a really big inmate I didn't recognize came up to me and asked "Ma'am, do you pray?" And I said "well...yes I do!" He said "then come with me." As soon as I got up I remembered the Tuesday night bible study where I strongly felt you telling me to share my excitement of Jesus' POWER and AUTHORITY with others. And you sent this inmate to come get me and give me the opportunity to do just that. He pulled up a couple of chairs in the back of the gym so I could pray one on one with the inmates. During that time I was able to share your hope and power with them. So cool!

Tonight it happened again. We went out to Jason's recovery house, like we do every week to share a meal with them. Crystal, the girlfriend of one of the tenants, was there even though Chad had to work out of town that night. I've only spoken to her in passing and I didn't even remember her name. I haven't spent any time sharing Jesus with them or studying the bible, only eating and getting to know them. But tonight she brought up the need for me to pray for her. I didn't even know her, yet she was coming to me for prayer. We had a good visit and prayer time then I left feeling so empowered by you. While driving home that night, I got a text from Charlotte asking for me to come over sometime tomorrow to pray for her.

This is truly amazing Lord. You are faithful and you listened to my prayer. Thank you for putting this desire in my heart and for sending all of these people to me. Thank you for answering the prayer that you gave me in such marvelous ways. Thank you for letting me be a part of this great adventure.

The Lost Get Found

By Creg

The Lost Get Found
By Britt Nicole

Hello my friend, I remember when you were
So alive with your wide eyes
Then the light that you had in your heart was stolen
Now you say that it ain't worth stayin'
You wanna run but you're hesitatin', I'm talkin' to me

Don't let your lights go down
Don't let your fire burn out
'Cause somewhere
Somebody needs a reason to believe
Why don't you rise up now?
Don't be afraid to stand out
That's how the lost get found
The lost get found

Britt Nicole - The Lost Get Found (Official... by EMI_Music
So when you get the chance, are you gonna take it?
There's a really big world at your fingertips
And you know you have the chance to change it
There's a girl on the streets, she's cryin'
There's a man whose faith is dyin', love is callin' you

Why do we go with the flow
Or take an easier road?
Why are we playin' it safe?
Love came to show us the way
Love is a chance we should take
I'm movin' out of the way

When is the last time you spent a day doing this?

Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Let's pray that prayer.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Freedom Rangers

by: Chelsa
We are trying out a new breed of meat bird for our family and friends. In the past we have always used the old standby: the fast growing White Cornish Cross. This is the same chicken found in every grocery store in America. These birds grow incredibly fast, growing up to 5-6 pounds fully dressed in just 8 weeks. That may sound good at first since you only have to feed them for 8 weeks, but after raising several batches of them the last few years we've decided we don't like these birds for several reasons.

First of all, you have to realize that these chicks are very delicate creatures. You can't just put their food out like other chickens. Instead, you have to be extremely careful in feeding them and pay attention to how much they eat. If you don't take their food away each evening and keep it away for 12 hours each night, they can die of a heart attack when they get older. Seriously. You're average chicken doesn't need monitoring at all. They know when to stop eating.

Another reason we don't like these birds is that they don't act like chickens. They remind me more of couch potatoes who sit in front of the tv or computer all day eating snacks. They don't run around and forage for food. No bugs, no table scraps, nothing. Even if we bring the vegetables straight to them and lay them at their feet, they turn up their beaks in disgust. They will only eat the store bought pellets. Period. They just sit by the feeder and eat, then poop, then eat some more. That's it.

But the worst problem of all is the last week and a half before we butcher them. By then they are so fat and so lazy that they don't want to walk when we move their portable chicken pen, which is moved 3 times a day. There is this terrible sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you move the pen and find out you accidentally ran over and killed a couple of chickens earlier that morning because they wouldn't move out of the way of the wheels. That's a lot of food and a lot of money down the drain. It's sad. I feel sorry for them. Of course it's not their fault, since they are specifically bred to get big as fast as possible. They're not being the chickens God created them to be. And I don't want to eat a bird like that. You know what they say... You are what you eat!

I'm excited because we received our new breed of chicks in the mail today. These new meat birds are called Freedom Rangers. They also grow big relatively fast, but it takes 10-12 weeks instead of 8. These birds act like real chickens. They forage some for themselves, which means they get some exercise. I'm interested to see how they perform for us. I hope they are hardier than the Cornish Cross.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lance and Squirt, our new soft-shelled Turtles

by Chelsa
Last week Steele and Samantha were playing down by the river and found a soft-shelled turtle. So they brought him home, got down the aquarium from the shed, and prepared it a new home. Now it is in our living room with a few minnows the kids caught for it to eat. They decided to name it Lance.

A couple of days later we invited some friends over and one of them found a little turtle at the river too. He brought him back to the house and it joined Lance in the aquarium. Sierra and Sterling claimed this one and they named it Squirt.

The best thing I like about these little guys is that when they stretch their necks while under water they look just like a tiny swimming dinosaur.