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February 2016 PDF Print E-mail

Family Covenant Ministries(formerly Christian Home Educators Fellowship) Faithfully honoring God, equipping generations, and serving the homeschooling community for the past 32 years!



THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME January 2016 Information



Our Family’s Vision and Mission



Family Covenant Ministries (formerly CHEF) Information


Needs and Services



January 16, 2016 PDF Print E-mail

Family Covenant Ministries(formerly Christian Home Educators Fellowship) Faithfully honoring God, equipping generations, and serving the homeschooling community for the past 32 years!



THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME January 2016 Information



Our Family’s Vision and Mission



Family Covenant Ministries (formerly CHEF) Information and Activities


1.  FCM Activities

     a.  FCM Annual Ice Skating, Saturday, January 30

     b.  FCM Annual Christmas Ball, Saturday, February 6

     c.  FCM Tru-Combat, Saturday, February 20

     d.  FCM 32nd Annual Graduation Meetings in February and March

     e.  FCM 18th Annual Heart to Heart Tea, Thursday, March 17

     f.  FCM 22nd Annual Art Festival and Photography Contest, April

2.  Needs and Services

     a.  Summers Family Farms

     b.  15 Passenger Van for Sale

     c.  Solar Energy Information

3.  Conference Notes

4.  FCM 2016 Conference

5.  FCM Fundraiser

6.  Special Opportunities-Joy of Visual Manna Paint Party


There’s No Place Like Home Articles


1.  Notes from Subscribers

2.  Heart to Heart-A Note from the Summers Family

3.  Casting a Vision for Multigenerational Family Business-Maple Grove Farms since 1915

4.  New Homeschoolers, Part IX

     a.  America’s Constitution

     b.  Reformers Teach Their Children to Read Scriptures

     c.  Method-The Principle Approach

     d.  America’s Christian Republic versus France’s Reign of Terror

     e.  Madison’s Presuppositions Impacted His Political Direction

     f.  Liberty is Only Possible Through Christianity

5.  In the Library-Playtime Rhymes: A Treasury for Families to Lean and Play Together

     a.  Sleepy Fingers

6.  Delightful Surprises-Teaching Multiplication

7.  Summers on the Farm

8.  The Joy of Country Living-Exactly How Long Does it Take to Put up 38 Ducks and Geese?

9.  Dismantling America

     a.  Obama’s Retaliation Against Dinesh D’Souza for his Documentary Film 2016

     b.  Seven Questions for Abortion Supporters in Light of the Planned Parenthood Scandal

     c.  Concealed Weapons

     d.  Cruz’s Simple Flat Tax

     e.  Gun Sales: Smith and Wesson’s Stock up 850%


If you get a blank email from us ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text59294 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) on your cell phone, please try looking at the email from your computer instead.




FCM Annual Ice Skating, Saturday, January 30, 4:00-8:00 p.m.at the outdoor ice rink at Shaw Park, 217 S. Brentwood, Clayton, MO 63105. Preregistration cost is $5.50 per skater (includes skate rental, hot chocolate, and paper goods); $6.50 per skater at the door. You may either pay online or mail your check payable to FCM, c/o Sonia Summers, P.O. Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645 by January 25.


To pay online, use this link and choose Annual Ice Skating by clicking on the arrow on the Event List drop-down menu.



Under Reservation, make sure the Ticket Type “Family” is selected. Then select the appropriate “Number of Attendees” in your family.


To get this deal, we must pay in advance, so please pay online or send your check in by the deadline. However, if you are able to come at the last minute, we will still be able to accommodate your family, but it will cost $1 more per skater. Do not pay at the ticket window; pay us. Just make certain that the ticket window knows that you are with the FCM (CHEF) group. This outdoor rink is a beautiful place to skate at night. Bring a finger food or plate of cookies to share, as we will set up hot chocolate in the warmed seating area just off the rink.


PLEASE NOTE: This is just a polite reminder that we would really appreciate if more families would sign up prior to this event as the skating rink needs to know our numbers so that they have enough referees. We also need to know for purchasing the right amount of paper goods. As always, we desire to accommodate everyone and so will continue to take registration at the door. However, it would be very helpful if you know that you are coming that you let us know. You may call 314-920-6135. Thank you!



FCM Winter English Country Ball, Saturday, February 6, 7:00 p.m.-Midnight (please note change in location)at St. Charles Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, MO 63303. Their gorgeous ballroom is where we have held our conferences the past ten years. Our ball will include dances that the whole family will enjoy. Please feel free to dress in ball costumes of your choice or your Sunday best clothes. This will truly be another spectacular event as always. Our family looks forward to seeing all of you there. No prior dance experience is required. PLEASE NOTE that the convention center DOES NOT allow outside food and beverages into the convention center, so there will be no food at this year’s ball.


Preregistration cost is $6 per person; $42 maximum per family; Children 2 and under free. Cost at the door: $7 per person; $49 maximum per family.You may either pay online or mail your check payable to FCM, c/o Jon Summers, P.O. Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645 by February 2. You may still pay at the door, but we would like to know how many people will be attending. You may call 314-920-6135.


To pay online, use this link and choose Winter English Country Ball by clicking on the arrow on the Event List drop-down menu.



Under Reservation, make sure the Ticket Type “Family” is selected. Then select the appropriate “Number of Attendees” in your family.


Please Note: Young people’s behavior to one another should be that of brothers and sisters in Christ. No flirting, pairing off, or loitering outside the building. 


Please dress modestly. Parents, we realize how difficult it is these days to find modest apparel for daughters; however, we ask that you make sure that your daughters wear knee length or longer dresses and modest necklines. No off the shoulder dresses or spaghetti straps allowed. If you invite someone else who has never attended, please make certain that they understand our godly standards.




When traveling from the East

Take Interstate 70 West over the bridge to St. Charles. Take the second exit after the bridge, 5th Street South (Exit 229A), and go to Veterans Memorial Parkway and make a right. Go 1 mile to the light at Fairgrounds Road. The Convention Center will be immediately on your left. Make a left onto Fairgrounds Road and enter to the rear of the complex.


When traveling from the Southeast (Clayton/Kirkwood)

Take Interstate 270 North to Highway 364 (Page Road). Go West on 364 (Page Road Extension) approximately 6 miles and take the second exit after the bridge (St. Charles). When exiting at the St. Charles exit, stay to the right to get on Highway 94. Highway 94 intersects Veterans Memorial Parkway just before Interstate 70. Turn right and head East on Veterans Memorial Parkway. Go one mile and turn right on Beverly Street. The Convention Center will be immediately on your left.


When traveling from the West

Take Interstate 70 East to St. Charles. Take the 5th Street exit (Exit 229) and veer right at the end of the ramp. Go to Veterans Memorial Parkway and make a right. Go one mile to the light at Fairgrounds Road. The Convention Center will be immediately on your left. Make a left onto Fairgrounds Road and enter to the rear of the complex.


When traveling from the Southwest

Take Interstate 64/State Highway 40 to Highway 94. Go North on Highway 94 to St. Charles. Highway 94 (First Capitol) intersects Veterans Memorial Highway just before Interstate 70. Turn right and head East on Veterans Memorial Parkway. Go one mile and turn right on Beverly Street. The Convention Center will be immediately on your left.



FCM Tru-Combat, February 20, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. $125 per person. Includes 7 hours of field play reserved exclusively for FCM players, AR-15 rental, MILES 2000 laser system, 140 rounds of blank ammo (this should be enough for the day, but extra ammo will be available for an extra fee), and one MRE. For ages 14 and up, but all ages are welcome to view games. For your convenience, onsite food vendor, free parking, free camping, shady rest area, private restrooms, and ATM are available. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience actual military combat using an eye-safe laser system connected to real AR-15’s firing blanks while team fighting in the woods of central Missouri.


Located at Snyder Farm 14 miles east of Osage Beach just southwest of Jefferson City. Snyder Farm, 92 Howell Loop, Ulman, MO 65083. Driving distance is less than 3 hours from St. Louis and Kansas City. MILES 2000 is Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System. It is the fourth generation laser engagement simulation employed by the US military over the past 40 years. And One Shepherd is the only commercial provider of MILES in the world. No projectiles are used! It is safe. Every time a blank cartridge is fired, MILES emits an eye-safe laser to score hits on your opponent. “Kills” are possible at more than a half mile. The blank ammunition keeps operational costs similar to paintball expenses. Realism receives high marks because MILES is used in conjunction with real firearms, including the flash and recoil of blank ammunition. And while there is no pain involved, experienced warriors still find themselves under considerable stress when the “near miss” tone beeps during the chaotic noise of battle. Engagement ranges are phenomenally good, easily engaging targets at 400 meters and even out to 800 meters (a half mile) with small arms weapons. Feedback provides not only “near miss” and “kill” shots, but identifies who shot whom and with what weapon system. Even hit/miss statistics are available. Finally, safety is excellent because MILES emits nothing more than an eye-safe beam of light.


Registration Deadline: January 31. Make checks payable to FCM, c/o Josiah Summers, P.O. Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645. Include your email address. If you have any questions, please call Josiah at 314-920-6135. For more information go to http://trucombat.1shepherd.com/. Presented by One Shepherd Technical Institute of Leadership: One Warrior, One Leader, One Shepherd, http://1shepherd.com/. The first step in the direction of preparation to avert war, if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come, is to teach men to shoot! –Theodore Roosevelt



FCM 32nd Annual Graduation If you have a graduate, please email your graduate’s name, parents’ names, address, phone, and email address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Shortly after we receive your information, we will email our Welcome packet. Our meetings will be held in February and March at the beautifulSalem United Methodist Church, 1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Conveniently located just off Hwy 40/64 between Hwy 270 and 170, a little north of Frontenac Plaza. To give you an idea of the focus of our graduation you may read the godly and inspiring charge, “Destined to Make a Difference,” which was presented by Bob Wells in 2010 by going to http://www.familycovenantministries.com/. Click on “Services” and scroll to the bottom of the page.



FCM 18th Annual Heart to Heart Mother/Daughter Tea (Mothers without Daughters are Welcome!) Thursday, March 17, 7:00-10:00 p.m.at the Hawken House Hearth Room, 1155 S. Rock Hill Road, St. Louis, MO 63119. Preregistration cost is $11 per person; $12 per person at the door. You may either pay online or mail your check payable to FCM, c/o Sonia Summers, P.O. Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645 by March 14 to reserve your place or call 314-920-6135 to make a reservation.


To pay online, use this link and choose Mother/Daughter Tea by clicking on the arrow on the Event List drop-down menu.



Under Reservation, make sure the Ticket Type “Family” is selected. Then select the appropriate “Number of Attendees” in your family.


Mothers without daughters are welcome to come. Come and enjoy tea and delectable pastries with other homeschooling moms. I will be teaching on the lessons—both practical and spiritual—that I have learned from living on a farm. Hopefully, I will have a visual presentation to go along with my talk.


Directions:If you take Hwy. 270 south, exit at Big Bend Road. Go east on Big Bend approximately 4 miles to S. Rock Hill Road. Go right on Rock Hill for 2 blocks. The house is just past Hawken Condominiums on the right. Barn is on right in back of Hawken House. There is no Big Bend exit if you are going north on Hwy. 270. Therefore, if you take Hwy. 270 north, go east on Hwy. 44. Exit at Big Bend Road and go east for approximately 1.5 miles to S. Rock Hill Road. Then follow above directions.



FCM 22nd Annual Art Festival and Photography Contest,a Saturday in April at the beautifulSalem United Methodist Church, 1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Conveniently located just off Hwy 40/64 between Hwy 270 and 170, a little north of Frontenac Plaza. Last year’s festival was a great success, so mark your calendars and begin to plan your children’s art projects. We are pleased to continue our assorted arts category, along with fine arts and photography. More information will be included in future newsletters.




Linda Carr shares: Looking for referrals for the installation of solar energy in our home at a reasonable cost. Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text34985 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



FCM CONFERENCE NOTES Many of the following excerpts are taken from lovely letters received from our families. Each letter, note, and email deeply blesses our hearts. Thank you. Hopefully thesewill bless your hearts, as well, knowing that God is working mightily among us.


The scope of your labors cannot be measured in incremental ways. Surely God’s blessings will continue down through hundreds of generations because of your efforts. –Speaker, Canton, GA



FCM 2016 CONFERENCE-Unforgettable that’s what it is!


Family Covenant Ministries Homeschool Week in Branson, September 5-7, 2016


Details to follow this month!





How does Ancient Paths/Young Living helpFCM?With a purchase of the Premium Starter Kit of $160, you will be providing $50 back to FCM! To participate use this link: www.ylscents.com/ancientpathsor contact Renee Yeo at 847-602-2792 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.





[This information is communicated to you only as a service to our families. The information contained herein is not screened or verified by FCM. Please be discerning at all times.]


Sharon Jeffus shares: Joy of Visual Manna Paint Party Learn painting techniques and get a spiritual lesson as well. Learn how to encourage and uplift others through art. Choose from four themes including “Be Still and Know that I am God,” “The Righteous are as Bold as a Lion,” and “God’s Glory in the Stars.” Have fun with painting for only $25 that includes two paintings, one on stretched canvas. If you register with a friend it is only $20. This is a great mother and daughter or son activity, or just for homeschool moms or Bible study. Please email me at visualmanna@gmail.comfor more information.



THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME-Celebrating 30 years of inspiration, encouragement, and biblical instruction www.theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com


Notes from Subscribers Many of the excerpts are taken from lovely letters received from our families. Each letter, note, and email we receive deeply blesses our hearts. Thank you. Hopefully these will bless your hearts, as well, knowing that God is working mightily among us.


There’s No Place Like Home is a great newsletter! Our nation needs this for all the homeschoolers.Arden, NC


I cannot tell you how happy and excited I am to see the newsletter. Thank you for all your hard work and perseverance. I also want to thank you for a great conference. I was one of those who was greatly in need of God’s encouragement. God bless you and your family.St. Louis, MO





Dear Families,

If you have not had time yet to read the following articles, we highly recommend that you stop and read them to your family now.


October 2015


Heart to Heart-America Has Become a Culture of Death

Covenantal Families-Without Strong Christian Families, It Makes No Difference which Candidate Becomes President

Come Gather at Our Table-Soaring Food Prices

The Joy of Country Living-Symbiotic Relationships Between Family, Farm Animals, and the Family Farm


December 2015


Covenantal Families-The Bible Emphatically Proclaims a Message of Hope





Maple Grove Farms in Vermont since 1915


Maple Grove Farms is the largest packer of Pure Maple Syrup in the USA, the largest manufacturer of Maple Candies in the world, and the home of the best selling line of Specialty Dressings in the USA.


Maple Sugaring on horseback, Maple Grove Farms of Vermont had sweet beginnings over 86 years ago when Helen Gray and Ethel McLaren began perfecting maple confections on the family farm.


From a 1927 issue of The Vermonterby Lois Goodwin Greer: If I were asked to write a commentary upon the proverb, “Great oaks from little acorns grow,” I should use exactly two words...Maple Grove, for surely no better example could be found which would more comprehensively cover the topic than this enterprise which, begun some years ago in a farm house kitchen, has today not only become one of Vermont’s most prosperous and prominent industries but has successfully invaded the commercial world of New York and many foreign countries.


Katharine Ide Gray is a person of rare ability and attainment. She is blessed with an independence of thought, a fine graciousness and a keen business sense. These would have been as naught to her, however, had she not also possessed a remarkable clarity of vision which is happily combined with an integrity of purpose which the years seem to have increased rather than diminished. It is probably true that back in 1915 Mrs. Gray did not visualize herself as president of three great corporations, two in Vermont and one in New York City, but she must have foreseen the potential possibilities of that summertime venture which she aided and abetted.


“My daughter was a student of Home Economics at Columbia University,” she told me. “The professors were always urging the girls to try out at home the things which they were being taught at the school. Helen thought she would like to do a little experimenting with maple sugar, and incidentally she hoped to find some occupation, which would keep her at home. She interested a friend, Miss Ethel McLaren, in her scheme, and I told them to go ahead and do whatever they wished and that I would help them all I could. We worked all one summer, and finally produced some maple candies that were quite delicious. By experimenting we made our own recipes, which policy we have always pursued. Even today we use no recipes but our own. It was rumored about that the girls were making candy to sell, and finally we had our first customer.


“Mrs. Henry Fairbanks telephoned down that she would like some candy, and we were all so excited over it,” she said laughing quietly, “that it required the three of us to pack and wrap the box, and even when Mrs. Fairbanks arrived late in the afternoon we did not have it exactly as we thought it ought to be, and kept wondering all the evening how we could have made it nicer.


“We built over a back shed into a candy kitchen and worked diligently. Very shortly we were making and disposing of more candy than our quarters allowed, and the demand exceeded that which we could do alone. Therefore, we had to enlarge our working force as well as our kitchen. In fact, we had to enlarge our kitchens twice during our four years at the farm.”


“We soon realized,” Mrs. Gray went on to say, “if we were to develop and expand, as seemed possible at the time, we must have larger accommodations. Several places were considered, but finally the Governor Fairbanks mansion in St. Johnsbury, which was for sale, was chosen, and in 1920 we moved.” No more lovely spot could have been found in all Vermont than this fine old house with its traditional splendors, its winding drives, its emerald lawns and spreading maples; a place where sunshine and shadow vie with one another to lure the weary traveler within its sheltering embrace.


This undertaking meant a large investment; it meant doing things on a much larger scale than had been attempted heretofore; it meant an intensive campaign of advertising; it meant an organization which must be directed and guided in a businesslike manner—in short—it opened up wonderful possibilities. In order to make it a paying proposition many things had to be considered which had never been thought of before. For instance, in the farm house the chief pursuit had been that of maple candy making, and now with this huge establishment upon her hands Mrs. Gray had to devise devious ways and means by which the tremendous “overhead” would be diminished. And thus it was that there was born the Maple Grove Tea Room and later Maple Grove Inn, not because it was the original intention of these women to cater to the public in any way except as to tickle the sweet tooth, but because it became a necessity to take advantage of every lucrative opportunity and contingency.


Consequently, the spacious rooms in the front of the house were converted into guest rooms upstairs, while the lower part was used for waiting room and dining rooms all having fine old fireplaces and many windows “looking out upon spacious lawns, huge spreading trees and inviting nooks among the shrubbery.” An ample guesthouse was built adjacent to the main house, which provided for an overflow. The rear of the building was re-modeled into modern, well-lighted and well-ventilated quarters for the candies. One has but once to partake of the genial hospitality, the delicious food and to feel the quiet dignity of this charming house to be converted forever to its spell.


“Nothing is ever attained without a struggle,” said Mrs. Gray, “but sometimes our struggles have seemed almost too titanic to overcome. We have had to fling out every possible line in order to get our anchor firmly placed. From the making of a few simple candies we have developed into a business of diversified interests. Today we are making, in addition to our regular maple bon-bons, over seventy different kinds of chocolates, manufacturing maple sugar and maple syrup and maple cream in dozens of different ways, and recently we have been developing another country product, which I will tell you about later. Then, too, we needed a large supply base for our syrups and sugar, so we purchased a plant formerly owned by the Vermont Farmers Co-operative Assn., at Essex Junction, Vermont, where all of our syrup is reconditioned. We buy directly from the farmers and they deliver their syrup to this plant. This corporation is distinct from the Maple Grove Candies, Inc., and is known as Maple Grove Products of Vermont.


“Again, in order to get a better New York market for the candies and maple products we opened a restaurant and sales room incorporated under the name of Maple Grove Products, in that city. That enterprise alone requires a manager in which capacity my daughter’s husband, Harold Gates Powell, acts most efficiently.


“You see it has meant a continual branching out. Some of the things we have gone into would never have been attempted except as we have been forced into them.


“Genuine Vermont dishes, real farm products and maple sugar mixtures are served in the 57th Street shop in New York. To make it all a bit more realistic the walls are decorated with scenes from the Vermont hills in maple sugar time, while rustic maple saplings used here and there add a dash of zest and a breath of the country.


During the winter months when the Vermont roads are clogged with heaping drifts of snow and the thermometer drops perilously lower and lower which causes the travelers to turn southward, there is an additional activity going on within the dignified old walls of the Maple Grove home. Hundreds of barrels of apples, and hundreds of pounds of meat find their way into the kitchens, and with spices and raisins and good maple sugar the great copper kettles are kept busy until tons upon tons of real Vermont mincemeat are made and shipped to all parts of the country.


It is a lesson in higher mathematics to go into the storerooms and try to count the tubs and tubs of mincemeat, the hundreds of cartons filled with candies or other maple products ready for shipment. It is a revelation to the layman to inspect the different departments where the candies are made from the first stages of simple fondant to the intricate process of chocolate dipping. It is also a pleasure to learn that many of the present employees have been with Maple Grove since the first days of the enterprise at the farm. Mrs. Powell now holds an important official position in each of the three corporations, while Miss McLaren, in addition to her vice-presidency of the Maple Grove Candies, Inc., is superintendent of the candy factory.


Only a woman with a versatile brain, a wealth of imagination and the executive ability of a genius could conceive and maintain a business of such magnitude and multiform character. But more than all this, Mrs. Gray maintains a household with apparently the greatest ease and efficiency which not only commands the deepest admiration of her friends. The Powells make their home with their mother and the two Powell children, Donald and Katharine, have found a big place in the heart of their grandmother. Her face sparkles with delight when she relates something of their little activities.


To these mature years Mrs. Gray has brought a wealth of experience. Born of one of the finest families of northern Vermont she has had the advantages which social position and prestige always give. During the years in which her uncle Judge Henry C. Ide was Governor General of the Philippines she was one of the first white women, with the exception of the wife of Gen. Corbin, to cross the island of Mindanao through the Moro country in an army wagon when a military escort was constantly necessary. She has traveled extensively in the orient, in China and Japan, and knows her own country from coast to coast. Until the details of her business occupied so much of her time she was actively interested in all civic affairs of her town and community.


With this background of education and culture Mrs. Gray has contributed to Vermont something which is priceless; she is the personification of the truth that a woman can be a devoted mother and home-maker, and at one and the same time assist tremendously in developing the natural resources of her state to such an extent that she is recognized as an essentially outstanding figure in Vermont’s economic and industrial world. It is inevitable that a person who has done all this must command and hold the attention of all who know her, or, of her. http://maplegrove.com/content_about.asp



NEW HOMESCHOOLERS-Part IX as presented at the Conference


America’s Constitution


Again let us contrast Landmark’s author’s interpretation of history with truth. “American independence, the fruit of the struggle that had started in 1760, set a new task—the job of writing a Constitution and giving form to the ideas of self-government that had gradually developed…America’s leaders knew that their ideas of liberty had come from England, the temporary enemy.”


Although many of the Reformers/Puritans came from England, they also came from other parts of Europe as well—Switzerland, Scotland, France, and Germany—and it was not that the ideas of liberty came from England but from God’s Word, which had been placed in the hands of men in Europe during the Reformation. As a result of this extraordinary witness of God’s faithfulness to His people, the Puritans’ attentiveness to divine truth and providential instruction gave them clarity of mind and singular purpose towards that law of liberty ordained by their Sovereign God. They understood that their only reason for existence was to glorify God by taking dominion for Him in every area of life through the divine covenant of family, which thus formed the foundation of church and civil government. It was this powerful Christian faith that gave birth to America.


Reformers Teach Their Children to Read the Scriptures


Prior to the Reformation, parents were not able to read the Word of God, so when the Word was finally placed into their hands, they knew its value and cherished the treasure for what it was. Therefore, parents’ primary concern for their children’s education was to teach them to read so that they could read the scriptures for themselves. And as we have demonstrated in the past, they knew that the truth was life and thus put Deuteronomy 6:6,7 into practice.


Understanding the import of Colossians 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ”; parents’ foremost priority was to teach their children to read the Bible, consequently producing the most literate nation on earth. America actually achieved an astounding 99% literacy among its people.


Method-The Principle Approach


Thus the foundation of our Christian Republic was the biblical instruction that parents passed on to their children and on to succeeding generations. So prevalent was Biblical Scholarship and discipleship among the colonists that even non-believers adhered to a Biblical worldview.


Contrary to popular belief that our American forefathers, for the most part, received a Classical (pagan) education, in truth they received a Biblical education primarily from their fathers, who discipled them according to the Biblical mandate, enabling them to reason from God’s Word and apply that reasoning to every area of life. This teaching of Biblical principles became known as the Principle Approach.


Principle means “Chief; highest in rank…most important or considerable.” Approach means “to come or go near…to draw near; to advance nearer…” Hence, the Principle Approach means to draw near to the most important truth; to advance nearer to understanding God and His purpose for our lives through the study of His revelation. And since God is the Creator of all things; therefore, knowledge comes only through Him for the purpose of glorifying Him in the plans He has eternally decreed.


The Principle Approach is commonly referred to as the four R’s, namely, Research, Reason, Relate, and Record. Basically research involves “careful, systematic study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to discover or establish facts or principles.” In essence, this means researching each field of knowledge from a Biblical perspective, using the Bible as the primary source for establishing these principles. This does not exclude other resources but only establishes God’s Word as the origin of all truth, the ultimate authority, the plumb line, if you will, and the perspective by which all other sources are discerned.


Reasoning is nothing more than thinking God’s thoughts after Him. For since He is Creator of all things, in that nothing exists apart from Him, for which He upholds all things by the power of His will, to reason then means to see things as God reveals them to us with the purpose to understand God and His purpose.


Reason is “the principle…of anything said or done; that which supports or justifies a determination, plan or measure.”


Relate, of course, is to tell that truth which was discovered by diligent study of the subject. We have our children constantly answer our questions about the subject we are discussing while also having them to retell what they have learned in their own words.


Record is to write down the account of the truth learned, for the purpose of learning to accurately relay facts; indelibly etching them upon the child’s mind; and for preserving these truths for a perpetual memorial. When our children were young, we would have them write down the answers to their catechism questions with biblical references. We would also have them write down facts verbatim from different sources about the subjects we studied. As they got older, we would have them write down in their own words what they were learning from their morning quiet time and from whatever else we were studying. They would also write down facts from their own research, including diagrams, pictures, and maps.


Notebooks were a part of every founding father’s education, whereby the child took notes from his parents and from his research of other resources. Instead of learning from a textbook, children created their own books.


This method of education is far superior to any other method, not only for imparting truth, but also for fixing it deeply into our children’s hearts. Furthermore, it teaches them to think and reason.


Samuel L. Blumenfeld says: “Of the 117 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, one out of three had had only a few months of formal schooling, and only one in four had gone to college.” America’s Providential History, p. 105


For over 200 years prior to the establishment of the first and only Christian Republic, God had been preparing the hearts and minds of His people through the diligent study of His Word passed on to each subsequent generation through parents’ faithfulness to discipleship of their children. This then laid the foundation for the most powerful preaching that accompanied the revelation of Truth. Not only did the pulpits of the Reformation, and subsequently the Puritan pulpits, flame with the Word of God, they sent forth resurgent calls for a return to God’s divine purpose. This then is what formed the first and only Christian Republic.


America’s Christian Republic versus France’s Reign of Terror


So let us return to the Landmark’s author who ends with this summation: “The fact was that despite the war, the people in England on one hand, and the Americans and French on the other, were moving in similar directions...France, too, was on the point of developing her system of political democracy. The three nations that fought the Revolutionary War, linked by their common ideals and governed by men their own citizens had elected, were to become firm friends and constant allies.


“A particular kind of new country was established—a nation in which every human being could be free, and have something to say about how he was governed.”


First of all, America and France were absolutely NOT moving in similar directions! Quite the opposite in fact, as the ideas which led to our liberty came exclusively from the Bible, as liberty can only be achieved through redemption from bondage to sin through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


The French Enlightenment, on the other hand, set out to destroy all vestiges of Christianity, which led to anarchy and a reign of terror, culminating in a horrific bloodbath. The founders understood where the French Enlightenment was leading and thus adamantly opposed getting involved in their Revolution. In fact, although they were appreciative of France’s help during the Revolution, they were greatly disturbed by the impact the French’s immorality was having on Americans in this country and resisted their attempts to alter America’s Christian foundation.


Secondly, although France was “on the point of developing her system of political democracy,” she was not doing it “too,” as the author stated, because America was a Representative Republic, not a democracy. In truth, the Founders strongly opposed the idea of a democracy because they understood the depravity of man’s heart and thus knew that democracy was nothing more than mob rule, which is exactly what brought about the reign of terror.


The Founders’ understanding of the depravity of men’s hearts, found in scripture and seen throughout history, clearly defined their political direction, which we see here in Madison’s writings: “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The personal interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”- Federalist Papers, No. 51, February 8, 1788


“In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature.”- Federalist Papers, No. 52, February 8, 1788


“As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.”- Federalist Papers, No. 55, February 15, 1788


Madison’s Presuppositions Impacted His Political Direction


Madison’s presuppositions are attributed to his training from Witherspoon as Marshall Foster in The American Covenant, pp. 137,138 explained: “Throughout his career, Madison was always acutely aware of ‘the mischiefs of factions’ which he was convinced could only be handled effectively through the separation of powers. His college mentor, Dr. Witherspoon, had long held this view. Indeed, in order to understand Madison’s political principles, it is necessary to understand his theological roots. As scholar James H. Smylie writes: ‘Madison’s theological orientation is of paramount importance.’ Why? Because, as Smylie notes, ‘The source of his political presuppositions’ lies in the Calvinism he imbibed from Witherspoon during his formative years. While Madison was to come under many influences throughout his life, it was Witherspoon’s which was of critical importance.”


“What did he learn from Witherspoon that would affect his view of political power? Interpreting scripture and the script of human experience, Witherspoon spoke often about human nature…His view of human nature must be seen in relation to his view of the ‘Dominion of Providence.’ On the basis of this dependence, Witherspoon could emphasize human depravity as universal and inevitable without excluding or minimizing man’s obvious potential for good. The latter possibility was evidence of the preserving Providence of God, who was continually working to fulfill His promises and purposes.”


“Because Madison gained a realistic Christian view of the nature of man from Dr. Witherspoon, he had far less confidence in the people than Jefferson did—far less confidence in political majorities. He steered clear of that optimism in human nature which almost always leads to anarchy, and thus he helped to modify the least desirable aspects of Jefferson’s political thrust.”


“It is not too much to assert, as Smylie does, that “Madison translated the views of Witherspoon on the nature of man into a political instrument.’”


“Because our system of representative government was created by godly men, like Madison and Witherspoon it needs the leavening of godly men and women to make it work—whether acting as voters or those elected to office. This is not to say that men must be perfect in order to have good government. Such a hope would be unrealistic. But men—and women—who understand and support the Biblical view of men and government are needed to represent the people at all levels of government. As Samuel Adams observed: ‘He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue and who, and so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man…The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of heaven, let us become a virtuous people…’”


Liberty is Only Possible Through Christianity


Continuing from The American Covenant, pp. 144,145:“In an election sermon in 1799, Dr. Jedidiah Morse reminds us of our part in the preservation of our Christian form of government: ‘To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion, as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom…whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present Republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.’”


From Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers by John Eidsmoe, pp. 291,292: John Adams “greatly distrusted absolute power, whether in the hands of kings or popes, because he knew the sinfulness of man. This fear of power, which was consistent with his Calvinistic upbringing, made him an ardent champion of republican principles…Adams distrusted absolute power in the hands of rulers, but he equally distrusted absolute power in the hands of the majority. Since rulers possess sinful natures, they can abuse power and oppress the people. But the masses also possess sinful natures, and can also misuse the power of majority rule and oppress minorities; furthermore, blinded by passion and self-interest, they can make poor decisions that result in national disaster. He made this point in a letter to Jefferson in 1815. ‘The fundamental article of my political creed is, that despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power, is the same in the majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratical counsel, an oligarchical junto, and a single emperor. Equally arbitrary, cruel, bloody, and in every respect diabolical.’ In response to the slogan of the French liberals that ‘vox populari est vox dei’ (‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’), Adams inquired, ‘If the majority is 51 and the minority 49, is it certainly the voice of God? If tomorrow one should change to 50 vs. 50, where is the voice of God? If two and the minority should become the majority, is the voice of God changed?’ In contrast to that notion, Adams declared that vox populari est non vox dei; that the voice of the people was ‘sometimes the voice of Mahomet, of Caesar, of Catiline, the Pope, and the Devil.’”


Adams believed pure democracy—that is, absolute, unfettered majority rule—was therefore as dangerous as pure despotism, and would inevitably would lead to the same result.”


This truth was most evident in the French Revolution, where in rebellion to their duty to their Creator, the men who formulated the French Enlightenment simply created their own reality. Thus by eliminating God as Creator of the Universe and making man a mere product of nature, they removed their duty to Him and to their fellow man. Subsequently, instead of a Sovereign God who justly directed all of mankind, they became sovereign. Consequently, they were free to determine their own standard of right and wrong. In essence, they elevated man’s reasoning as the ultimate authority.


This is clearly exemplified in the statement made about the French Revolution by Landmark’s author: a nation in which every human being could be free, and have something to say about how he was governed.”


Consider, once again, the far-reaching implication of the fact that ideas have consequences. If a parent naively placed this Landmark book into the hands of his children, what would they most likely think of the recent revolution in Egypt? Most likely, they would applaud the Egyptians for their gumption to demand their freedom so that they have something to say about how they were governed. But if their children had read any of the proceeding godly books which I mentioned, they would have been greatly distressed by the emotionally charged mob of pagans who gathered to demand their freedom, which the children would know could never be theirs without Christ. They would know that what they saw in those mobs was equivalent to a Democracy for which those people cried—that of mob rule. And they would most certainly understand the possibility of that happening in our own country because of American’s biblical and historical ignorance and their indiscriminate use and preoccupation with the Internet.


The Egyptians don’t know the first thing about the True God and thus don’t know the first thing about liberty. Consequently, they cry democracy, just as the French did many years ago. And so because of pagan man’s untethered reality, he thinks that he is free to choose whatever he desires and thus determines his own destiny, when in truth he is in abject bondage to Satan and his sinful nature. Quite frankly the Egyptians have come no further than in the days of Pharaoh because pagan cultures are always static societies.


How clearly history bears witness to the truth Webster conveyed in his statement that “All government originates in families, and if neglected there, it will hardly exist in society…The foundation of all free government and of all social order must be laid in families and in the discipline of youth…the Education of youth, an employment of more consequence than making laws and preaching the gospel, because it lays the foundation on which both law and gospel rests for success…”


All ideas are either true or they are false, righteous or wicked, subsequently leading to heaven or hell. With this understanding we can clearly ascertain that education is most certainly a religious mission whereby Christian parents impart Christianity or they impart humanism just as our godless state imparts humanism, quite unmistakably confirming that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Without a doubt, our present culture reveals the statist religious training of our young people. But more discomforting is the fact that even the homeschooling culture of today reflects a far more humanistic approach to education than in former days, as many parents have been taken “captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”


If we minimize our children’s understanding of history to facts and dates, or give them historical novels, or books touted as Christian, which in fact are not, we become the oppressors who suppress the truth of Divine Providence just like all the secular authors mentioned earlier. It is of solemn import that we take our duty seriously, for God tells us that it is better for a millstone to be hung around our neck than that we lead a child astray.


In light of God’s warning, it is quite sobering to know that we will be held accountable for what we teach our children. For whatever we place in the hands of our children, whatever we teach, whatever we don’t teach, will be judged as either righteous or unrighteous!


In truth, a home education that instructs with secular history books, novels, or even watered down “Christian” twaddle is no better than a Babylonian public education.





Marc Brown’s Playtime Rhymes: A Treasury for Families to Learn and Play Together

As you know by previous posts, I loved doing finger rhymes for and with my children. Unfortunately, our finger rhyme book drowned in the deluge that hit our basement many years ago. Thankfully the children were grown by then, but I lost a very precious link to the past and a vast resource for playtime with grandchildren. That is why this book was met with such great enthusiasm. It begins with a note from the author sharing how much he enjoyed doing finger rhymes with his son. After collecting more than 350, he offers his favorites in this book for “new generations to enjoy.” Many of them will be familiar to you; nearly every one I had done with my children. Here is a delightful example of the precious rhymes that are contained in this book.


Sleepy Fingers


My fingers are so sleepy, It’s time they went to bed. First you, Baby finger, Tuck in your little head. Ring man, not it’s your turn. Then comes Tall Man Great. Pointer Finger, hurry, because it’s getting late! Let’s see if they’re all cozy. No, there’s one to come. Move over, Little Pointer, Make room for Master Thumb!




[Reprinted from There’s No Place Like Home book]


Teaching Multiplication-A Necessary Skill for Computing Eggs per Chicken per Year and Other Such Things


To make certain that your child thoroughly comprehends multiplication, it is imperative that you use a variety of manipulatives. And since multiplication is the inverse operation of division, teach division at the same time. For instance, give your child 12 raisins and have him divide them equally between the two of you. Have him count the raisins in each group. Then say, “You had twelve raisins and divided them into 2 groups of 6.” Write 12 divided by 2 equals 6. Say, “Now 2 groups of 6 equal how many?” Write 2x6=12. Explain that the multiplication sign means “groups of.” Eat the raisins.


Now set up another example using another manipulative that the child relates to. Place two stuffed animals next to your son and tell him that they are his friends. Give him 15 marbles to divide evenly between himself and his friends. So 15 divided into 3 equal groups equals 5, and 3 groups of 5 equals 15. Write the equa­tions on paper after each problem is solved. Then give another personal scenario by creating problems such as “You and Sean had a lemonade stand which made 20 dollars. How will you divide the profits using real dollar bills?”


For further practice, get out the plastic farm animals. Then using blocks, yarn, or tape, make four corrals and place the horses evenly in each corral. Now tell him that the farmer wants to know how many horses he owns. If you have five horses in each corral, and there are four corrals, then there are 20 horses in all.


Using matchbox cars, the child pretends he owns five dealerships. He just received 35 cars and needs to distribute them equally to his dealerships. After he solves the problem, say, “Now each dealership has 3 cars they cannot sell. How many cars won’t sell?”


Using your own home, you could say something like this: “Our living room has 2 windows and our dining room has two windows, so 2 rooms with 2 windows each equals how many windows? If you were a builder and were commissioned to build 6 homes with 8 windows each, how many windows would you need to order?”


Continue using as many practical applications as possible so the child fully understands the process and how it is used in life. Next, show the importance of memorizing the multiplication tables by posing problems of quantities too large for them to easily calculate.


Then begin memorizing the multiplication tables by writing them down, continuously repeating them verbally, walking off the increments on a number line, making and using a multiplication chart, using flashcards, and continually drilling and quizzing them frequently during each day. Once they learn the tables, continually reinforce and sharpen their memory by playing games.


Make multiplication bingo cards placing a product in each square or a problem in each square. Then call out the problem or the product of the problem; have them cover the appropriate square. For instance you call out 3x2 and they then cover the square that contains 6 or you call out 6 and then cover 3x2. Or you can both take turns drawing multiplication flashcards and calling out the equations with both of you covering your own bingo card.


Make a set of Multiplication Memory cards by writing multiplication equations on a set of index cards with the products on another set of cards. Mix up and place in rows, face down. Take turns picking up two cards at one time and trying to match the equation with the right product. Again you would match 3x2 with 6.


Play Jeopardy, placing your own multiplication equations behind the dollar amounts. For instance, for $300, 12x6; the player correctly answers by saying, “What is 72?” or “Equals 72.”


Play Multiplication Outburst. For example, in 30 or 60 seconds, name all the factors of 144 or give me all the 3 tables such as 3x0=0, 3x1=3, 3x2=6 and so forth.


Buy a pair of 12-sided dice. Take turns rolling the dice and multiplying the topside of each dice. Keep score for each correct answer.


Using a deck of cards, play Multiplication War. Remove the jokers and jacks. Each card equals face value with Aces=1, Queens=11, and Kings=12. Play as you would war, except instead of each player turning up just one card, turn up 2 cards and multiply their values together to see who has the larger product. The player with the larger product wins and takes all 4 cards. For example, if I turned over a King and a 5 my total would equal 60. If my opponent turned over a 9 and a 4, their total would equal 36. Since my product is larger, I would keep all four cards. The player with the most cards wins.


Addition or Multiplication Flowers: Using construction paper cut out a seed and place below ground level (using black construction paper as the soil). On each seed, put a sum or product and on the petal of each flower, which stands above the ground, place the addends or multipli­cand and multiplier.


When memorizing addition, subtraction, and multiplication families, memorize them in order, in their families, before random quizzing. It is better to drill a little each day over an extended period of time than to overkill with long daily exercises. Memorizing the multiplication tables takes time, so before it becomes stale, diversify with graphs, money, measurement, reading thermometers, and studying geometric shapes. Once multiplication tables are memorized, the child can proceed to fractions, measurement conversion, and geometric equations for further practice, because each involves multiplication. By the way, it is normal for children to stumble through multiplication the next school year, but they should come around with a little practice.



SUMMERS ON THE FARM Everything we do is being recorded for our posterity to know and understand the loving sacrifices we made to ensure their prosperity!


-Although I have always used hay for the nesting boxes and bedding in the egg mobile, we need all the hay we can get for our cows, so Jon suggested I switch to straw. It was not a good choice, as the chickens kick it out, leaving their boxes empty of bedding material. Therefore, I am switching back to hay for the nesting boxes. However, I won’t use our hay but will purchase hay bales from a nearby farmer. The straw, however, has been a good choice for the geese and ducks’ bedding material on the floor of the egg mobile because the chickens are constantly scratching in it, keeping the straw loose and dry.

-Jedidiah placed the fowl in our garden today. I have never seen all the fowl so productive and happy. They have so much to keep them busy—spent flowers, seed heads, produce, straw bales, insects, and tall grass. We will keep them in there for several days before we move them back to the field.

-We are replacing our 12-foot gate openings with 14- to 16-feet openings and gates. It will be easier for the tractor and egg mobile to pass through.

-We are having so much fun with our 7 new kittens. They are so adorable, funny to watch, and lovely to snuggle with.

-Cleaned up trash interspersed with scrap and years of junk.

-Last year Jedidiah and Josiah installed a wood-burning stove in their work shed that we received in payment for some work a customer could not pay. This year Jedidiah picked up the firewood on the old homestead porch and placed it by our shed to be used in that wood burning stove this winter.

-Jedidiah cut down a large mulberry tree, removed fencing, two outhouses, and debris around the old farmhouse for increasing our backfield. Josiah helped repair the fencing, and I helped moved sticks and logs to our burn pile.

-The boys have been burning the two outhouses, debris, logs, and the large mulberry tree for two days now.

-Went to a dairy in Fruitland and picked up two Jersey heifers that will calve in January around the same time as Jubilee. Hopefully the cows will have some female calves to build up our dairy herd.

-We placed the heifers in the side chute for the night. Will let them out in the small paddock behind the barn during the day and then return them to the side enclosure at night for two weeks so we can begin the process of gentling them. I purchased two collars for them, which Jedidiah will place around their necks tomorrow.

-I helped Josiah tar the holes in the old roofing he used for his hog house. Our family is very frugal, using all the old materials we can salvage, but when it comes to roofing, I am not certain this was a good idea. Jedidiah had covered our egg mobile with salvaged roofing, and it is already leaking. Of course the turkeys roosting on the roof did not help.

-Sonia and a friend cleaned up our bed of flowers along the front entrance to our farm and then they spread mulch—trees that we had chipped from our farm.

-Sonia, a friend, and I picked up logs and limbs in our meadow so Jon could mow down the tall weeds and brambles.

-Except for our blackberry patch, Jon mowed the brambles in the backfield.

-Moved the cattle and horses in the backfields to give them more protection from irresponsible deer hunters.

-Our milk lady called to say she had rhubarb and strawberry starts for us. Josiah stayed home with Mom to greet our company that was coming to hunt. Jon and Jedidiah helped dig strawberries from outside their bed and then packed those along with the rhubarb in boxes.

-Six inches of rain caused our creeks to rush over our two low water bridges giving a whole new understanding of the saying, “God willing and the creeks don’t rise.”

-Repaired fencing where the cows were getting into the hayfield.

-Planted 25 rhubarb plants and around 400 more strawberry starts. Mulched the rhubarb with manure compost from the manger area and the strawberries with straw. Sonia, Jedidiah, and I actually mulched the strawberries by moonlight. The night was so still and beautiful.

-Visited two dairy barns for ideas on how to construct our milking shed. Took notes as the owners talked about their operations.

-Sadly, Bonnie Doon lost her calf. The vet had to pull the calf and give Bonnie Doon antibiotics for infection. We all felt very badly; I cried. Bonny Doon and her last calf, Molly Blue, are two of the sweetest cows we have. They love to be petted and often walk up for some attention. Jon is milking her and looking for a calf to put on her because she is so forlorn.

-Received 2 three-week-old runt piglets for free. Picked them up in our cat carrier filled with straw. As soon as they snuggled in under the straw in the warmth of the truck cab, they fell asleep. When we arrived home, we set up a nursery for them in our chicken house with plenty of straw and a heat lamp. The next morning one was cold to the touch. Jedidiah brought it into our warmed bathroom and pointed a bathroom heater towards it. Even after warming it and feeding it electrolytes and warmed milk with an eyedropper, it died. We all felt badly; I cried.

-I don’t think any animal should be alone, so Jon picked up another piglet to keep our cutie pie company. We are bottle-feeding them Daisy’s milk and some of her clabbered milk mixed with a little pig feed.

-A friend picked up Daisy again to be bred since her first trip did not take.

-Jedidiah and Josiah laid out the configuration for a new road through a densely forested area at the end of our property. Called a friend who works at MoDot to find out about a permit for the road. The friend is taking care of it.

-Let the new heifers join the other Jerseys. They are so happy to be out with the others.

-When we let the pigs out of their pens for the first time, they literally went wild with excitement, running through the barn lot, kicking up their little bottoms, jumping up in the air and twirling, and rolling in a nearby mud puddle. Then they ran out into the field with the horses and cows. Neither liked them at all and began chasing the pigs and the pigs them. It was hilarious.

-When ordering the turkeys and geese, several came in straight runs, meaning we ended up with more males than we should. As breeding season commenced, the ganders became a bit testy. Although the geese chase after the ducks, I have never seen one take a bite out of one until yesterday. Since it was bleeding, we isolated the injured duck in the chicken house so the other birds would not pick on it. Jon put Pine Tar on the open wound. Pine Tar is an antiseptic. It is also used as a hoof care product for horses and cattle.

-For months I have mentioned that I miss so many adorable pictures of the animals because I forget to take the camera with me. In response, the children purchased a slim pocket camera for me so I could capture all those delightful moments.

-After each milking, we bring in our new heifers into the head catcher and run all over the back, legs, and udder to get them used to being touched. We also run the milking machine so they get accustomed to the noise. Since they were never milked or handled at the dairy from which they came, it is imperative that we gentle them before we begin milking them at the end of January or the beginning of February.

-I love our turkeys. They fly over the electric fence each morning to greet us and then follow us back into their enclosure and all around the chicken run as we feed and water all the birds, pecking on our clothes and shoes as we work. Therefore, I am sure you can understand how hard it was for me to agree to butcher one for Thanksgiving. Yes, I know that is the reason we have them, at least that is what I thought in the beginning, but I have grown so fond of them! Unlike the chickens, they all look so much alike, so I really did not know which one they picked to butcher. The boys butchered our first turkey for Thanksgiving while Jon read them instructions from our Turkey book.

-Our water pump at the farm stopped running, which means no water for all our animals. Although we do scoop our water from the creek for our cats and our bull when we put him up for the night, running water was extremely helpful when filling up 5 five gallon waterers twice a day. Jon called the plumber. He does not work on jet pumps anymore. He called several other plumbers and received the same reply. He finally took the pump to have it repaired. It only cost $40 to repair, and the man delivered it from Desloge to Fredericktown. Now that is service.

-Jedidiah and Josiah began their first lesson today on how to butcher. The farmer who had butchered our grass fed beef for many years agreed to show them how it is done. While they were there, they helped cut up a side of beef, a deer, and a pig.

-Jedidiah and I removed all the lumber in our lean to next to the chicken house, and Jedidiah stacked it on the covered porch of the old homestead. This will be turned into a room for our geese and ducks during the bitter cold, as we will bring all the fowl back to the chicken house during that time.

-Jon just purchased metal roofing to replace the old roofing on the egg mobile. We could not believe how thin the new roofing was compared to the old roofing. It is disgraceful! When a culture rejects God and begins to degenerate morally, its skills and products degenerate as well.

-Took a few days to work on our home. Jedidiah added an additional clothing bar in both my and Sonia’s closet. He also finished putting baseboards in our bathroom. Josiah painted our living room ceiling. Sonia painted our living room, kitchen, and hallway. I painted over Sonia’s first coat to give it the suede effect. Sonia and I stained the wood on the kitchen window. Josiah stained baseboards for the dining, living, and hallway area. Jedidiah stained, mitered, and installed trim around our front French doors. Jon repaired several lamps.

-Sonia and I are going through all our boxes in storage to pare down even more from when we moved. We are also separating out items for grandchildren and placed them in their own boxes. Then Sonia is washing, and we are repacking everything in large plastic storage containers.

-Jedidiah framed in our lean to next to the chicken house, constructed really nice doors, divided the space in half so the ducks and geese would reside separately, as the geese pick on the ducks, and secured the foundation to prevent varmints from digging into these birds’ sleeping quarters. This will be used during severe winter weather and for raising more little ones.

-Jon and I stacked square bales in our barn to be used for forage and for our nesting boxes.

-Jon brought round bales into the center of the barn to cut down on the cold air that comes through the cracks in the doors and walls.

-I stacked straw against the center gate in our barn to give the pigs protection from any bitter cold breezes.

-Josiah removed the loading ramp in our side manger and all the rocks that formed the ramp’s foundation. Stone by stone, he removed all the rock.

-Visited our third dairy and then drew up plans for ours.

-We have met with the contractors for excavation, drilling, and concrete. Our dairy barn will have a milking parlor on the full length of one side and a kitchen, office, and bathroom on the other. The kitchen will also be used to wash and package produce.

-Jon and Josiah just pitched 111 more square bales of hay on our trailer and then unloaded and stacked them in our barn.

-I just found out that we will not be getting sheep until spring, which is probably best since we are worried about having enough hay for all the animals. It will also alleviate the use of a portion of our stalls, giving more room in the barn next month for our two heifers, cow, and their calves, so they are out of inclement weather.

-Josiah removed weeds around the farrowing house, shoveled dirt around the foundation, cleaned the interior, filled it with straw, and placed electric fencing all around it to make ready for our pigs. He then constructed a door to the house and hung it so it can be closed during the coldest of nights.

-Josiah moved Piggy Sue and Winnie to their new quarters for the winter. They will still be allowed to roam the farm during most days and then beginning in the summer again, they will rotate around our pastures with the other animals.

-After the flooding, Jedidiah graded our roads.

-Drilling just ended after finding clean fresh water in granite 340 feet below ground. It turned out to be an artesian well. This water is for our dairy, barn, and house. We are praising God for giving us an abundance of such wonderfully clean water.

-The excavation just commenced for our 30 by 40 dairy.





Exactly How Long Does It Take to Put up 38 Ducks and Geese?


When friends begin to tell you that they think of you every night, not because they are longing for your company, but out of sympathy, knowing that you are spending nearly an hour rounding up your ducks and geese—you know it is time to find a solution.


It all began right after acquiring the farm when I realized we could have roosters that crow, chickens that cluck, ducks that quack, and geese that honk. And then there was Jon’s longing for our own eggs.


Not knowing much about chickens or what varieties were available, I began poring over Murray McMurray’s descriptions of each breed. Acclamations such as Great egg layers; Both good egg layers and meat birds; Broody hens; Watchdogs for intruders; Heirloom varieties; and those that weeded strawberry and corn patches; all appealed to my inner sense of practicality. After deliberating over the different qualities and temperaments, I highlighted my choices, marked desired quantities, picked up the phone and began placing my order.


Right away, I identified myself to the company’s representative as a novice that needed some assistance. When I told her that I wanted to order 100 chickens, but wondered if that was a bit much for a novice, she suggested that I might want to consider ordering less. I deferred to her judgment and complied.


After quickly surveying my order to determine where I needed to decrease numbers without eliminating any particular breed, I asked, “Do you think 65 would be fine?” She responded, “Sixty-five? Yes, that would be fine.” Upon reflection, I wonder why 65 was better than 100. Could I have ordered 80 and still received her stamp of approval?


At the time, she did not know I was also ordering ducks, geese, and turkeys, which might have made her suggest even less chickens, but it was too late, and we proceeded. The guineas and bobwhite would come later.


My First Introduction to Chickens


The closest I ever came to raising chickens was holding three colored chicks my aunt purchased for me at Easter—a ridiculous gift considering we lived on the third story of my parents’ pharmacy, gift shop, and doctors’ offices with no grass in either our upstairs roof garden or our patio just outside the back door of our pharmacy. Pavement is all we possessed. Hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Therefore, the bathtub was the only logical place to put three dirty chickens. Not a good gift at all. But considering my father’s relationship with his sister, I realized later in life that those chicks, and the poodle that followed, was her way of needling him.


Sadly, those chicks died shortly after their arrival. Of course, I never saw them actually keel over; I just woke up one morning and found them gone. At the time, I never suspected my father as responsible for their demise because I was only three or four; nor did I ask him later in life because I did not want to make him feel badly. No father wants to admit responsibility for his daughter’s dismay. However, I suspect he was responsible for their disposal. After all, we had no place to put the chicks when we bathed, so they really had to go.


You may wonder at this point if it was those birds that inspired my order last year? Absolutely not! Even then I did not think that blue, pink, and yellow chicks were normal, let alone raising them in a bathtub. On the contrary, my love affair with chickens, particularly the roosters that praise God for another day, came on a lovely summer day when I walked in the barn lot of the farmer across the road from where we live now. But that is another story for another time.


What You Don’t Know Can’t Hurt You


The saying that what you don’t know can’t hurt you is absolutely a lie. What you don’t know can hurt you and most likely will! Now I cannot say that I regret my purchase of so many fowl because I don’t. But I wish I had been better informed about the ducks and geese. For one thing, they are very messy. In fact, it took us around two hours in the morning and the evening to clean the chicken house because we had to remove and replace all the wet bedding caused by the ducks and geese slinging water all over the floor—during and after drinking from the waterers.


Unlike other fowl that go to the waterer solely to quench their thirst, ducks and geese must have water while they eat, while they play, and just about any time of the day and night. After all, they are waterfowl. To my chagrin, I wonder why I didn’t think of that!


Being outdoors makes this absolutely fine, but in confinement, creates an inescapable mess. Donned with shovels to scoop up the waterlogged pine shavings and bags upon bags of pine shavings to replace the bedding, we shoveled and spread a lot those first several months. Nevertheless, we loved these creatures and sat for hours each week just watching their adorable antics.


Egg Mobile


Shortly after we purchased the birds, the boys began building an 8’ by 20’ egg mobile on a truck chassis to house our chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. Essentially it was to serve as the birds’ night time quarters after grazing all day. Jedidiah also constructed 116 nesting boxes, each sized appropriately for chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys so they could also lay their eggs during the day.


At about 12 weeks all the birds were transferred from the chicken house to the egg mobile, including the waterfowl, which for them meant that they could frolic in their swimming pool and sling as much water over the pasture as they desired, liberating us from hours of housekeeping in the chicken house each day so we could turn our energies to other endeavors for those four hours. Little did we know that we would soon be spending hours each week doing something entirely different with these feathered creatures.


On the first day of their arrival to their new home, just before nightfall, we returned to the egg mobile to herd in the chickens, ducks, and geese. We knew it would take a few nights of training, but after that we were confident the birds would know to go back to the interior of the egg mobile for safe sleeping just by walking up the ramp and roosting on the perches, or snuggling down in deep bedding on the floor, depending on the individual breeds.


Contrary to what people say about chickens being dumb, this is not true in my book because in just three days the chickens were in their egg mobile before dark. With very little prompting they learned to climb the ramp and ascend their perches in record time, consistently, night after night, just before sundown. Even the turkeys, which I have also heard touted as stupid, knew enough to fly to the peak of the egg mobile to avoid attacks by night marauders.


Not so for the ducks and geese! They were a different matter entirely, as we found them lying on the ground each night, night after night, not under the egg mobile, but out in the open, seemingly oblivious to the possibility of annihilation from all manner of carnivorous hunters. Surrounded by hundreds of acres of national forest, filled with all manner of predators—coyotes, fox, raccoons, opossum, and mountain lions—meant nothing to them.


Hmm? When I placed my order, I had not considered that geese and ducks might not climb up the ramp upon which they descended each morning. If I had, I would not have ordered so many. For no matter how many times we tried to herd them onto the ramp, they refused to climb it. Even if we picked them up and started them on the runway, they would veer off course and flop to the ground. Consequently, we resorted to the only other solution we could think of at that time.




Three to five of us chasing first the ducks and then the geese into the corner of the fencing and then trying to capture a few and placing them one by one into the egg mobile was not very effective as the remainder of the flock slipped by and then had to be herded in the corner again. Besides, none of the ducks nor geese complied with being caught. It was not like they sat still for us to pick them up. Instead we had to pick one out of the bunch that we thought was close enough to outrun. Even the dogs that watched from the perimeter of the fencing each night seemed to understand the scope of the pandemonium and realized that their masters did not have things under control.


After seeing the ducks and geese laying on the tarp we had attached to the egg mobile for the purpose of providing shade during the day, we decided upon a different approach. Namely, herding the ducks, and then the geese onto the tarp, quickly folding up the tarp to trap them into a nice tight grouping, and then taking turns picking them up one by one—all 38 of them, I must add—and depositing them into the egg mobile.


Placing 38 fowl into the egg mobile should logically take 38 trips, or so we thought. If we had contemplated otherwise, we would have begun with two bird dogs to help us keep these birds in line. Although ducks and geese can become relatively friendly, they are for the most part wild. The reality of their innate fear of man meant that they possessed a flight instinct that was not overcome by gratitude for our tender loving care for the past several months. In fact, all 38 birds were skilled escape artists who would come out of the egg mobile as fast as we put them in, vastly increasing the amount of trips we made from the tarp to the front door of their home. Depending on the amount that escaped, this ritual took us 45 minutes to an hour each night—night meaning in the dark with flapping and quacking and honking with feathers flying through the air. That was bad enough, but many of them bit us during transportation.


After this ritual occurred over a period of months, you would think that the birds would catch on and want to be the first one to pick out their spot for the night. On the contrary, it seemed that they would rather be caught by lurking predators than by their compassionate owners who were just trying to save their lives. If you think that farm life’s routine might be boring, think again, as these nightly episodes made for very interesting nights. City dwellers often say that they live in the city for the excitement it affords them. Take it from a past city dweller that lived a pretty exciting life: if you want real excitement in your life, move to a farm!


Did I mention that it was each night of the week, for weeks on end, that we herded them onto a tarp, folded up the sides, and one by one picked them up and put them in? Enough weeks, in fact, that quite a few of our friends had time to see the chaos in progress.


Here were their leaders who had faithfully nurtured thousands of homeschoolers, hosted thousands of meetings and events, presented hundreds of workshops, written hundreds of newsletters, published a book and magazine, and yet could not control just 38 birds—just 38!


To make matters worse, the tarp that served as an awning for shade from the sunlight by day became a sagging mess covered with fowl droppings by night. Through the years I have shoveled a lot of horse manure out of our barn and did not mind a bit because it is not wet, runny or messy like ducks and geese. Consequently, by the end of the evening’s ordeal, the herders, trappers, and haulers were covered with muck, as well. No wearing those clothes a second day! Mine were so dirty that I actually dropped them off in front of the washer each night before I climbed the stairs for a shower.


All I can say at this point is if we had possessed any other disposition than one of great thankfulness for the farm and our new-feathered friends, each of us would have spit, stomped the ground and espoused a few choice expletives before shooting the silly things. But as God would have it, we laughed at the irony of the situation. Who knew that we would be rounding up fowl each night instead of enjoying a leisurely evening eating dinner, talking, and playing games? Yes, we still do these things—occasionally—when we aren’t too tired from ending our day.


You Poor Things


Since we have had the farm, friends continually call and invite themselves for visits. We love that our friends feel close enough to invite themselves. And we love the opportunities it affords us for more intimate times of fellowship. After all you really get much closer to people while sharing chores. Of course, we did not have friends help us with the fowl task each evening, except to hold a flashlight so we could see. At least only those who sincerely wanted to participate in this messy job, instead of watching and laughing from a safe distance, were accepted as helpers.


Can you imagine watching three to five grownups poking long sticks under a huge egg mobile and attached tractor to expel excited birds from cover to herd a flock of ducks, and then a flock of geese, onto a tarp, and then racing to pull up the corners before any escape so that they could be scooped up one by one to be taken to the coop while squawking and hissing and flapping, only to have a few escape, which meant repeating the process all over again? Besides the deafening noise from these birds, our family could be heard calling to one another, “Hurry, they are coming around. Quick, quick pull up the corners! That one is escaping, hold your end up higher.”


Well, I can tell you that friends began ending their subsequent calls, notes, and emails to us with: “Although we always pray for your family each night, we now think of you at sundown, putting up your ducks and geese—poor things.” It was almost as if they had all discussed the situation and decided upon their message to us, for each sentiment was the same, ending with an emphasis on “poor things.”


Their sentiments were genuine in their dismay at our dilemma, which we truly appreciated, but it is one thing for friends to pray for us each night because of our ministry, and quite another to feel sympathy for us—night after night—struggling with our flock. Although we had been contemplating possible solutions to our dilemma, our friends’ reaction to our quandary prompted us to remedy this preposterous situation immediately.


A New Approach


Jon, being the one who did not want this many birds in the first place, suggested butchering a few. Horrified, I quickly began thinking of another alternative.


At first I thought maybe these web-footed creatures felt as if they might slip on the ramp, which led me to wonder if they just needed little toeholds. So Jedidiah placed crosspieces all the way down the ramp. Sadly, it did not make any difference.


Next I thought if the ramp were a bit wider, the birds might feel safer. So Jedidiah made it wider. Obviously not wide enough for the birds’ liking, so I thought, “If only it was wider.” So Josiah made it even wider. After completing the three ramps, none of which worked, I considered that maybe sides would give my beauties the security they needed to ascend their traveling palace. So Josiah constructed sides similar to the sides of a stock trailer and then added shorter sides to the end of the ramp to help funnel the birds up the ramp.


Would it work, some wondered? While I was confident that the sides would indeed resolve our problem, the boys’ skepticism, at this time, made them think that nothing short of building their own enclosure on the ground would resolve our predicament. Sonia, on the other hand, who did not want birds at all, thought we should get rid of all the birds and just purchase our eggs and chickens from the farmer who had been supplying them to us for the past several years. Jon, of course, was still holding on to the prospect of drastically reducing our numbers by butchering a good many of them. Not his favorite brown ones that he picks up, strokes, and calls by names; just the noisy, aggressive, squawking white ones that hiss and bite. Even after reminding him that this was the nature God gave them to protect the flock, he remained unmoved in his remedy.


Was I holding my breath to see if the newest addition would be successful? I never hold my breath because I know that there is always another day and another way that has yet to be discovered. Always seeing the glass half full, I am always hopeful that all will work out in the end. This time, it was just a matter of when the end would come to pass.


Hurrah, It Worked!


The time for testing the elaborate ramp had arrived. The sides were in place, sticks were in hands, and so we began slowly herding the ducks towards the entrance. Upon arrival, the ducks kept right on moving, waddling one right after the next, up, up, up into their home. Excited, we all applauded the success of Josiah’s ingenious sides.


Knowing the geese as we did by then, we definitely knew it would be a bit trickier to get them to use the ramp, especially the feisty, indignant white ones. However, with the ducks ascending as easily as they did the very first time, everyone hoped that the geese would follow suit, even if it took a few tries.


As suspected, we herded the geese around the egg mobile past the ramp a few times before they got the idea of our determination to have them use the ramp. About the third time around, we bunched them up a little tighter and gently pushed the more docile ones in the general direction. Reluctantly, those ascended. Around again we went setting in motion a few more towards the ramp until finally all ascended, in record time, I might add.


Excited about our success, we called friends who had put up the ducks and geese for us one night while we were in Branson negotiating our 2016 FCM contract, and sang to them our fowl version of My Fair Lady’s “You Did It” lyrics. Here is what they heard: They did it! They did it! We thought they would not do it, but indeed they did. We thought that we would rue it; we doubted they could do it. But now we must admit it, that succeeded they did!




Which now brings to mind another song, which I loved as a child.


Remember Rawhide’s theme song?


Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

Keep movin’, movin’, movin’

Though they’re disapprovin’

Keep them doggies movin’



Don’t try to understand ‘em

Just rope and throw and brand ‘em

Move ‘em on, head ‘em up

Head ‘em up, move ‘em on

Move ‘em on, head ‘em up



Cut ‘em out, ride ‘em in

Ride ‘em in, let ‘em out

Cut ‘em out, ride ‘em in



Well, I loved that song and dreamed of one day sitting in the saddle herding my own cattle, never dreaming that I would be on foot with sticks in my hands herding ducks and geese. Not exactly what I had in mind.


My cows, on the other hand, actually come when called. Who would have guessed?


Always learning; always laughing; always having fun—farm living is the life for me.



THE DISMANTLING OF AMERICA Every hour our government spends 200 million dollars it does not have! Every day our government allows 3,700 babies to be aborted.


Obama’s retaliation against Dinesh D’Souza for his documentary film 2016: Obama’s America and book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage. How Dinesh D’Souza Became a Victim of Obama’s Lawless Administration




Seven Questions for Abortion Supporters in Light of the Planned Parenthood Scandal by Jerry Newcombe


Unless you’ve been in a cave the last few days or you only get your news from the mainstream media, I am sure you are well aware of the Planned Parenthood scandal exposed by a secret videotape (see all of the videos at the Center for Medical Progress— Investigative Footageand Documentary Web Series).


Over dinner and a glass of wine, a Planned Parenthood doctor casually explains how they can sometime preserve body parts of the unborn babies that can be sold. She glibly discusses how they sell the heart, the lungs, and the liver.


My colleague at the ministry, John Rabe, made a great point the other day about this scandal. Either it will cause a great shift in the national debate on abortion, or it will show us the great searing of the American conscience.


In light of this egregious revelation, here are seven questions I’d like to pose for those who support abortion:


If the unborn babies are not human, then why is there a market for their body parts? Why would anyone want the heart of a “blob of tissue”? Who cares about the lungs of a “POC” (Product of Conception)? How can a mere “blob of tissue” even have a heart or lungs?


Indeed, one thing this scandal does is underscore the humanity of the unborn. Though some try to dehumanize them by calling the unborn fetuses, fetus comes from the Latin foedus, and it means “unborn baby.”


Do the mothers undergoing the abortion know what is happening to the remains of their dead babies? In fact, how can one retain the maternal instinct and participate in the deliberate destruction of the unborn in the first place?


As Mother Teresa once asked, “If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell others not to kill one another?”


For those who think being pro-abortion rights is the compassionate position, for those who claim to care about those whom Jesus called “the least of these,” how can you be in favor of the wanton slaughter of the unborn? To find out that some of these dead babies are being stripped for body parts for profit adds insult to injury.


If you say it’s okay to go ahead and sell human parts of the unborn babies for profit, where does society draw the line? Who’s to say an assisted-care facility should not sell parts from deceased patients for profit? Perhaps they could even speed up death in the interest of making money. There is no limit to the evil that could be done if this is acceptable.


If these aren’t little unborn babies being killed in the Planned Parenthood clinics, then how come someone at the clinic after each abortion has to reassemble all the parts of the aborted baby to make sure nothing is left in the womb, which could cause an infection?


Pro-life activist Carol Everett used to work in the abortion field. She once told me, “In the front counseling room, the young woman is asking, ‘Is it a baby?’ And she’s being told, ‘No.’ But in the back, every single baby, as early as it can be done, has to be put back together—the arms, legs, hands, feet, the head, and the spine—to be sure it’s all there. It is a baby.”


How do they avoid the comparisons to what the Nazis did to those human beings whom they devalued and treated as subhuman?


In the book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer dedicates about a dozen pages (pp. 979-991) to some of the medical experiments the Nazis conducted on human beings, usually Jews, in the concentration camps.


For example, experiments were done on men and women, exposing them to freezing conditions to see how soon they would die. All the data was carefully timed and recorded. Any objecting medical personnel with a bothered conscience were removed from their posts by S.S. Chief Heinrich Himmler because they were impeding the (supposed) greater good.


Why should Planned Parenthood get a lot of their money from taxes? Why should we the people be forced to support such a dehumanizing organization?


I asked George Grant, who wrote the book on Planned Parenthood years ago—Grand Illusions—for a statement on the scandal from his perspective.


He wrote me, “As you can imagine, like so many I was shocked…Even so, I was not surprised. Both the grisly business of the abortion monolith and its blithe nonchalance in the face of the gruesome reality have been Planned Parenthood’s stock-and-trade since the time of its notorious founder, Margaret Sanger.”


In short, it’s time to stop dehumanizing the unborn. As Mother Teresa put it, “Abortion is a crime that kills not only the child but the consciences of all involved.”




Dr. Jerry Newcombeis a TV producer and the co-host of Kennedy Classics. He has also written or co-written 25 books, including The Book that Made America (on the Bible) and (with Dr. Kennedy) Doubting Thomas (with Mark Beliles, on Jefferson), and George Washington’s Sacred Fire. He hosts the Vocal Point radio show.



Below is an excerpt regarding Cruz’s simple, flat tax plan


Sean Hannity: You released your tax plan on the day of the last debate. I want to put it up on the screen. You would abolish the IRS, 10 percent flat tax rate on personal income, eliminate all corporate taxes, 16 percent business flat tax, universal savings accounts, by the way end the death tax – which is double and triple taxation. Would that come in to balance in your view and how does it get into balance? And what would the percentage of growth need to be for it to be in balance?


Ted Cruz: So it absolutely comes into balance. I would encourage your viewers if you go to our website www.tedcruz.org. We have the detailed numbers there. You can see that this tax plan, a simple flat tax would produce 4.9 million new jobs, would increase capital investment by 44 percent, and every income group in America would see your after tax income grow by at least 14 percent. So if you’re a single mom making $40,000 a year, it means your after tax income is an additional $5,600 a year. It is a Reagan camp growth tax plan, and it produces the most jobs of any Republican plan on that main debate stage.



December 1st, 2015 PDF Print E-mail

Family Covenant Ministries (formerly Christian Home Educators Fellowship) Faithfully honoring God, equipping generations, and serving the homeschooling community for the past 31 years! www.FamilyCovenantMinistries.com


THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME December 2015 Information

Our Family’s Vision and Mission
Family Covenant Ministries (formerly CHEF) Information and Activities

1. FCM Activities
    a. FCM Christmas Ball, February 6 or 12
    b. FCM Annual Ice Skating, Saturday, January 30
    c. FCM Tru-Combat, Saturday, February 20
    d. FCM 32nd Annual Graduation Meetings in February and March
    e. FCM 18th Annual Heart to Heart Tea, Thursday, March 17
    f. FCM 22nd Annual Art Festival and Photography Contest, April
2. FCM Conference Notes
3. FCM 2016 Conference
4. FCM Fundraiser
5. FCM 2015 Art Festival Winners
6. Needs and Services-Summers Family Farms Dairy

There’s No Place Like Home Articles

1. Notes from Subscribers
2. Southern Traditions: Faith, Freedom, Family, Farm, and Friends-Wonderful Gift
3. Covenantal Families-The Bible Emphatically Proclaims a Message of Hope
4. New Homeschoolers Part VIII-God’s Protection in Preventing the Subversive Plans of Benedict Arnold
5. In the Library-Hurry! Hurry! Have You Heard?
6. Come Gather at Our Table-Jambalaya
7. Summers Signature-Luxurious Bedrooms
8. Summers on the Farm
9. The Joy of Country Living-Recreating Noah’s Ark-Hardly!

If you get a blank email from us (mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) on your cell phone, please try looking at the email from your computer instead.



FCM Christmas Ball We could not find a location in time for our Christmas Ball, but we did find a location that would work at the beginning of January. However, the entire month of January would not work for our caller. So we were able to secure two dates in February on the 6th and 12th at the St. Charles Convention Center where we have held our conferences in the past. We are waiting to hear back from our caller to see if either of these dates work. As soon as we know, we will place the information on our website. It may not be a Christmas Ball, but it will still be a spectacular festive winter event.


FCM Annual Ice Skating Saturday, January 30, 4:00-8:00 p.m. PLEASE NOTE: Add $1 more if you pay us at the door. Outdoor ice rink at Shaw Park, 217 S. Brentwood, Clayton, MO 63105. $5.50 per skater includes skate rental, hot chocolate, and paper goods. PLEASE NOTE: You will soon be able to pay for this event online. If you are unable to pay online, please send name, number of skaters, and check payable to FCM, c/o Sonia Summers, PO Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645 by January 25. To get this deal, we must pay in advance, so please pay online or send your check in by the deadline. However, if you are able to come at the last minute, we will still be able to accommodate your family, but it will cost $1 more per skater. Do not pay at the ticket window; pay us. Just make certain that the ticket window knows that you are with the FCM (CHEF) group. This outdoor rink is a beautiful place to skate at night. Bring a finger food or plate of cookies to share, as we will set up hot chocolate in the warmed seating area just off the rink.



FCM Tru-Combat, February 20, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. $125 per person. Includes 7 hours of field play reserved exclusively for FCM players, AR-15 rental, MILES 2000 laser system, 140 rounds of blank ammo (this should be enough for the day, but extra ammo will be available for an extra fee), and one MRE. For ages 14 and up, but all ages are welcome to view games. For your convenience, onsite food vendor, free parking, free camping, shady rest area, private restrooms, and ATM are available. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience actual military combat using an eye-safe laser system connected to real AR-15’s firing blanks while team fighting in the woods of central Missouri.

Located at Snyder Farm 14 miles east of Osage Beach just southwest of Jefferson City. Snyder Farm, 92 Howell Loop, Ulman, MO 65083. Driving distance is less than 3 hours from St. Louis and Kansas City. MILES 2000 is Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System. It is the fourth generation laser engagement simulation employed by the US military over the past 40 years. And One Shepherd is the only commercial provider of MILES in the world. No projectiles are used! It is safe. Every time a blank cartridge is fired, MILES emits an eye-safe laser to score hits on your opponent. “Kills” are possible at more than a half mile. The blank ammunition keeps operational costs similar to paintball expenses. Realism receives high marks because MILES is used in conjunction with real firearms, including the flash and recoil of blank ammunition. And while there is no pain involved, experienced warriors still find themselves under considerable stress when the “near miss” tone beeps during the chaotic noise of battle. Engagement ranges are phenomenally good, easily engaging targets at 400 meters and even out to 800 meters (a half mile) with small arms weapons. Feedback provides not only “near miss” and “kill” shots, but identifies who shot whom and with what weapon system. Even hit/miss statistics are available. Finally, safety is excellent because MILES emits nothing more than an eye-safe beam of light.

Registration Deadline: December 31. Make checks payable to FCM, c/o Josiah Summers, P.O. Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645. Include your email address. If you have any questions, please call Josiah at 314-920-6135. For more information go to www.trucombat.1shepherd.com. Presented by One Shepherd Technical Institute of Leadership: One Warrior, One Leader, One Shepherd, http://1shepherd.com/. The first step in the direction of preparation to avert war, if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come, is to teach men to shoot! –Theodore Roosevelt



FCM 32nd Annual Graduation If you have a graduate, please email your graduate’s name, parents’ names, address, phone, and email address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Shortly after we receive your information, we will email our Welcome packet. Our meetings will be held in February and March at the beautiful Salem United Methodist Church, 1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Conveniently located just off Hwy 40/64 between Hwy 270 and 170, a little north of Frontenac Plaza. To give you an idea of the focus of our graduation you may read the godly and inspiring charge, “Destined to Make a Difference,” which was presented by Bob Wells in 2010 by going to www.familycovenantministries.com. Click on “Services” and scroll to the bottom of the page.



FCM 18th Annual Heart to Heart Mother/Daughter Tea (Mothers without Daughters are Welcome!) Thursday, March 17 7:00-10:00 p.m. at the Hawken House Hearth Room, 1155 S. Rock Hill Road, St. Louis, MO 63119. Cost is $10 per person.

I will be teaching on the lessons—both practical and spiritual—that I have learned from living on a farm. Hopefully, I will have a visual presentation to go along with my talk. PLEASE NOTE: You will soon be able to pay for this event online. If you are unable to pay online, please mail your check payable to FCM, c/o Sonia Summers, PO Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645 by March 14 to reserve your place or call 314-920-6135 to make a reservation. Mothers without daughters are welcome to come. Come and enjoy tea and delectable pastries with other homeschooling moms.



FCM 22nd Annual Art Festival and Photography Contest, a Saturday in April at the beautiful Salem United Methodist Church, 1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Conveniently located just off Hwy 40/64 between Hwy 270 and 170, a little north of Frontenac Plaza. Last year’s festival was a great success, so mark your calendars and begin to plan your children’s art projects. We are pleased to continue our assorted arts category, along with fine arts and photography. More information will be included in future newsletters.


FCM CONFERENCE NOTES Many of the following excerpts are taken from lovely letters received from our families. Each letter, note, and email deeply blesses our hearts. Thank you. Hopefully these will bless your hearts, as well, knowing that God is working mightily among us.


Thank you for the most wonderful experience last week. I am still trying to get my head around it. Very encouraging. Thank you again. Your labor is NOT in vain. –Appomattox, VA



FCM 2016 CONFERENCE-Spectacular that’s what it is!

Be looking for a special email that highlights details for our upcoming FCM A Walk Through the Bible 2016 Conference in Branson, Missouri on September 5-7, 2016!




How does Ancient Paths/Young Living help FCM? With a purchase of the Premium Starter Kit of $160, you will be providing $50 back to FCM! To participate use this link: www.ylscents.com/ancientpaths or contact Renee Yeo at 847-602-2792 or ancientpathsjer616@gmail.com for more information.




The 2015 FCM Art Festival, held on April 11 at Salem United Methodist Church, was once again a beautiful event! What wonderful God-given talent displayed by our children! The lovely projects included submissions in Fine Arts, Photography and Assorted Arts. As we viewed the artwork and voted on the People’s Choice awards, we were very blessed with music performed by our homeschool families—Joe, Steve and Lisa Haney; Alyssa Drinkard; and Jenna and Garrett Carr. What a lovely evening it was!

Our deepest appreciation to Salem United Methodist Church for the lovely venue; to our judges for generously donating their time; to our musicians for making the evening lovely with their musical selections; and of course, to all the children who shared with us their artistic talent!!

Below are the 2015 FCM Art Festival Winners:

Ages 7-8
Lance Filsinger: 1st Place
Nolan Schrum: 2nd Place
Niles Schrum: 3rd Place and People’s Choice
Gillian Carr: Honorable Mention

Ages 10-11
Dawson Jeffers: 1st Place and People’s Choice
Joshua Connell: 2nd Place
Levi Jeffers: 3rd Place
Ian Hamann: Honorable Mention

Age 12
Mikayla Crile: 1st Place and People’s Choice (tie)
Carter Schrum: 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and People’s Choice (tie)
Darby Hamann: Honorable Mention

Age 13
Rebekah Tippy: 1st Place and 3rd Place
Helen Ritter: 2nd Place and People’s Choice
George Broyles: Honorable Mention

Age 14
Jarod MacKeen: 1st Place and People’s Choice
Ashley Ulbricht: 2nd Place and 3rd Place
Jenna Carr: Honorable Mention

Age 16+
Chris MacKeen: 1st Place
Alyssa Drinkard: 2nd Place and People’s Choice
Celeste Drinkard: 3rd Place
Heather MacKeen: Honorable Mention

Ages 7-11: Dawson Jeffers
Ages 12-13: Mikayla Crile
Ages 14+: Chris MacKeen

Ages 7-8
Claire Croy: 1st Place
Selah Connell: 2nd Place and People’s Choice
Gillian Carr: 3rd Place and Honorable Mention

Ages 9-12
Hamilton Croy: 1st Place and People’s Choice
Julia Croy: 2nd Place
Connor Hamann: 3rd Place
Elizabeth Ulbricht: Honorable Mention

Ages 14+
Celeste Drinkard: 1st Place and People’s Choice
Jenna Carr: 2nd Place and 3rd Place
Heather MacKeen: Honorable Mention

Ashley Ulbricht

Age 14
Jarod MacKeen: 1st Place
Jenna Carr: 2nd Place
Emma Schmitt: 3rd Place, Honorable Mention, and People’s Choice

Ages 15-16
Heather MacKeen: 1st Place
Kaity MacKeen: 2nd Place
Kara Jeffers: 3rd Place and People’s Choice
Tabitha Ritter: Honorable Mention

Ages 17+
Andrew Weiland: 1st Place and 3rd Place
Zipporah Ritter (& Olivia): 2nd Place, Honorable Mention, and People’s Choice (tie)
Alyssa Drinkard: People’s Choice (tie)

Ages 14-16: Gabrielle Stafford
Ages 17+: Alyssa Drinkard



THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME-Celebrating 29 years of inspiration, encouragement, and biblical instruction www.theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com

NOTES FROM SUBSCRIBERS Many of the following excerpts are taken from lovely letters received from our families. Each letter, note, and email we receive deeply blesses our hearts. Thank you. Hopefully these will bless your hearts, as well, knowing that God is working mightily among us.

May your day be blessed by His peace, surrounded with love and bathed in a gentle light of hope! Thank you for your sacrifice, devotion to God, example of motherhood, and friendship! ‘Blessed is the man who trust in the LORD, and whose hope is in the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.’ Jeremiah 17:7,8St. Louis, MO


SOUTHERN TRADITIONS Faith, Freedom, Family, Farm (Home), and Friends

The Keithlys blessed us with the most wonderful plaque:
The South \the\ ‘sau’th\, noun
The place where…1) Tea is sweet and accents are sweeter. 2) Summer starts in April. 3) Macaroni & Cheese is a vegetable. 4) Front porches are wide and words are long. 5) Pecan pie is a staple. 6) Y’all is the only proper noun. 7) Chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy. 8) Everything is Darlin’. 9) Someone’s heart is always being blessed.




The Bible Emphatically Proclaims a Message of Hope-Taken from Jon’s sermon on Exodus 19:4

I. Exodus 19:4 “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.”

A. This speaks of God as the Lord of history, who sovereignly rules over all manner of men—even those rulers who rise up in apparent charge of government on earth—to accomplish His will. A study of Israel’s history, and subsequent history of Christians, reveals God’s particular affection and favor towards His children.

1. Acts 17:26,27 “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God.”
2. Deuteronomy 29:2,3 “And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, ‘You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders.”
3. Deuteronomy 4:6-8 “Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?”
4. Titus 3:4-7 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
5. Ephesians 1:7,8 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”
6. John 17:22-23 “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
7. Acts 2:46,47 “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
8. 2 Peter 1:2,3 “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”
9. Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

B. God sovereignly accomplishes His purpose by superintending all the events in history. Take for instance the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. God purposed that Christ would be born in Bethlehem from the beginning of time, but revealed that purpose over six centuries prior to His birth through the prophet Micah. When the time came, God turned the heart of the godless ruler, Caesar Augustus, towards ordering his entire empire to register in their ancestral home for the purpose of being taxed, thus forcing the very pregnant Mary to accompany Joseph of Nazareth back to his hometown of Bethlehem. Caesar Augustus must have been quite proud of his shrewd move, yet it is God who worked out His will through this godless ruler and his bureaucracy.

J.C. Ryle states: The overruling providence of God appears in this simple fact. He orders all thing in heaven and earth. He turns the hearts of kings wherever He will. He overruled the time when Augustus decreed the taxing. He directed the enforcement of the decree in such a way, that Mary must needs be at Bethlehem when ‘the time came for the baby to be born.’ Little did the haughty Roman emperor, and his officer Cyrenius (Quirinius), think that they were only instruments in the hand of the God of Israel, and were only carrying out the eternal purposes of the King of kings. Little did they think that they were helping to lay the foundation of a kingdom, before which the empires of this world would all go down one day, and Roman idolatry pass away. The words of Isaiah, upon a like occasion, should be remembered, ‘He means not so, neither does his heart think so.’ Isaiah 10:7

The Expository Thoughts on Luke, vol. 1, pp. 39,40 states: The heart of a believer should take comfort in the recollection of God’s providential government of the world. A true Christian should never be greatly moved or disturbed by the conduct of the rulers of the earth. He should see with the eye of faith a hand overruling all that they do to the praise and glory of God. He should regard every king and potentate—an Augustus, a Cyrenius, a Darius, a Cyrus, a Sennacherib—as a creature who, with all his power, can do nothing but what God allows, and nothing which is not carrying out God’s will. And when the rulers of this world ‘set themselves against the Lord’ he should take comfort in the words of Solomon, ‘There is one higher than they.’ (Eccles. 5:8).

1. Micah 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His going forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”
2. Luke 2:1-14 “Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’”
3. 2 Samuel 7:12,13 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your father, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
4. Luke 1:30-33 “The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.’”
5. 1 Samuel 16:1-5;13 “Now the LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.’ But Samuel said, ‘How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.’ And the LORD said, ‘Take a heifer with you and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.” You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate to you.’ So Samuel did what the LORD said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elder of the city came trembling to meet him and said, ‘Do you come in peace?’ He said, ‘In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.’ He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.… Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward.”
6. Isaiah 46:10 “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’”
7. Romans 1:1-7 “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

C. Unlike the heathen who believed that the times and seasons were controlled by chance, God’s people knew that God controlled the times, seasons, and vicissitudes of states. The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 3, Article 1 clearly expresses this belief when it states: ‘God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass…’ (Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15,18).

Chapter 5, Article 1 tells us, ‘God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by this most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.’ (Hebrews 1:3; Daniel 4:34; Ps. 135:6; Acts 17:25,26,28; Job chapters 38-41; Matthew 10:29-31; Proverbs 15:3; Ps. 104:24; Ps. 145:17; Acts 15:18; Ps. 94:8-11; Eph. 1:11; ps. 33:10,11; Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 9:17; Gen. 45:7; Ps. 145:7.)

1. Revelation 1:5 “From Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.”
2. Colossians 1:13-20 “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
3. Psalm 33:11 “The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.”
4. Ephesians 3:9 “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”
5. Daniel 2:21,22 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.”
6. Daniel 4:30-35 “The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’ While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes. Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”
7. Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.”
8. Acts 1:6,7 “So when they had come together; they were asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.’”
9. Job 12:13-25 “With Him are wisdom and might; to Him belong counsel and understanding. Behold, He tears down, and it cannot be rebuilt; He imprisons a man, and there can be no release. Behold, He restrains the waters, and they dry up; and He sends them out, and they inundate the earth. With Him are strength and sound wisdom, the misled and the misleader belong to Him. He makes counselors walk barefoot and makes fools judges. He loosens the bond of kings and binds their loins with a girdle. He makes priests walk barefoot and overthrows the secure ones. He deprives the trusted ones of speech and takes away the discernment of the elders. He pours contempt on nobles and loosens the belt of the strong. He reveals mysteries from the darkness and brings the deep darkness into light. He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then leads them away. He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth’s people and makes them wander in a pathless waste. They grope in darkness with no light and He makes them stagger like a drunken man.”
10. Psalm 75:2-7 “When I select an appointed time, it is I who judge with equity. The earth and all who dwell in it melt; it is I who have firmly set its pillars. I said to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up the horn; do not lift up your horn on high, do not speak with insolent pride.’ For not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert comes exaltation; but God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.”
11. 1 Samuel 2:6-10 “The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and He set the world on them. He keeps the feet of His godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; for not by might shall a man prevail. Those who contend with the LORD shall be shattered; against them He will thunder in the heavens. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed.”
12. Jeremiah 27:5 “I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight.”
13. 1 Kings 3:11,12 “God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall none like you arise after you.’”
14. James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
15. Proverbs 8:1-36 “Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice? On top of the heights beside the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gates, at the opening to the city, at the entrance of the doors, she cries out: ‘To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men. O naïve ones, understand prudence; and, O fools, understand wisdom. Listen, for I will speak noble things; and the opening of my lips will reveal right things. For my mouth will utter truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them. They are all straightforward to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge. Take my instruction and not silver and knowledge rather than choicest gold. For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her. I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate. Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine. By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, all who judge rightly. I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, and my yield better than choicest silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice, to endow those who love me with wealth, that I may fill their treasuries. The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, from earliest times of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills I was brought forth; while He had not yet made the earth and the fields, nor the first dust of the world. When He established the heavens, I was there, when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, when He made firm the skies above, when the springs of the deep became fixed, when He set for the sea its boundary so that the water would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth; then I was beside Him, as master workman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in the world His earth, and having my delight in the sons of men. Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, for blessed are they who keep my ways. Heed instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death.”

D. This verse at the end of Proverbs 8—But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death is clearly seen in the culture of Egypt. Gary North in Moses and Pharaoh, pages 296,297 describes this truth:

When Moses and the Israelites looked behind them from the eastern shore of the Red Sea and saw the army of Egypt overwhelmed by the water, they saw the judgment of God on the power religion and its institutional manifestation, the power State. They had been involved in an historic confrontation analogous to the original confrontation between Satan and God. They had been given visible evidence of the inescapable outcome of this confrontation between these two rival religions: in heaven, in the garden, at the cross, and at the final judgment. The power religion does not have the power to defeat a holy God and His holy people, whenever they conform themselves to the terms of His covenant. Seeking power, the power religionists lose it—in time, on earth, and in eternity.

Nevertheless, the victory of God’s people, while assured, is not visibly manifested in every confrontation. Herbert Schlossberg is correct: ‘The Bible can be interpreted as a string of God’s triumphs disguised as disaster.’ As he says, ‘We need a theological interpretation of disaster, one that recognizes that God acts in such events as captivities, defeats, and crucifixions.’ It often seems as though the power religionists—the seekers of Gnostic salvation, the elite central planners—have all power. They don’t. ‘Never ask the enlightened ones about their track record, which is a series of disguised disasters…’ Most of Christianity’s victories have been disguised in the past, and so have most of Satan’s disasters.

The Hebrews’ experience in Egypt testified to a truth summarized by Schlossberg: ‘When loyalty to God disappears, there is no longer a barrier to an omnicompetent state.’ But the self-professed omnicompetent State isn’t omnicompetent; it is progressively incompetent, as Egypt’s experience reveals. Such a State is simply the chief institutional manifestation of covenant-breaking man’s attempt to imitate, and then usurp, the omnipotence of God. But omnipotence is an incommunicable attribute of God. Therefore, the only possible source of man’s long-term but limited power is biblical ethics. Adherence to biblical law, by grace through faith, is the only means of fulfilling the terms of the dominion covenant.

Thus, there is no need for Christians to become adherents of the escapist religion in order to avoid becoming adherents of the power religion. The dominion religion is God’s alternative. ‘We do not pretend that the fate of the world is in our hand. That way lies madness, being a burden that no human being can bear. Yet, we are not condemned to resignation and quietism, still less to despair. We are not the lord of history and do not control its outcome, but we have assurance that there is a Lord of history, and He controls its outcome.’

I cite Schlossberg repeatedly because it is his book, more than any other in my lifetime, which has best stated the theological case against the power religion. (Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago has best stated the historical case.) The idols of covenant-breaking man—history, humanity, mammon, nature, power, and religion—again and again reappear in the civilizations built by self-professed autonomous man. All idols, he asserts, are either idols of history or idols of nature. Covenant-breaking man asserts his authority over both nature and history, but because man is a creature, mankind is thereby captured, for mankind is, in the humanist view, both a product of history and a product of nature. By seeking power over both, covenant-breaking people place themselves in bondage to the self-professed master of the mysteries. By asserting that ‘man must take control of man,’ the humanist thereby implicitly asserts that ‘some men should take control over all the others.’ By seeking to exercise dominion apart from God, ethical rebels thereby deny their own creaturehood and therefore their status as humans.

Egypt is the archetype of covenant-breaking society. It proclaimed divinity for its leader, the sole link between the gods and mankind. It sought escape from the rigors of nature (drought and famine) and the rigors of history (change). The goal was static power—power over nature, over the netherworld, and over scarcity. But such a static state of existence can be achieved only in death. Thus, the monuments of Egypt were monuments of death: the pyramids, the tombs, and the labyrinths. Their quest for power, meaning freedom from the God-cursed changes in life, led to their cult of the dead. The Egyptians hoped for resurrection, but theirs was a resurrection based on magical manipulation, not a resurrection based on biblical ethics.

Pharaoh manifested this cult of the dead in his attempt to murder the Hebrew males. He could not stand the pressure of social change, particularly the social changes forced upon Egypt by the high birth rates of the Hebrews. He launched a program of genocide. In this respect, he was only marginally different from the humanitarians of the twentieth century. As Schlossberg says:

‘It is no coincidence that humanitarian policy has reached the zenith of its influence at a time when death propaganda is so much in evidence. The arguments in favor of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia reveal that the humanitarian ethic wishes to restrict the right to live and expand the right to die—and to kill. Humanism is a philosophy of death. It embraces death, wishes a good death, speaks of the horrible burdens of living for the baby who is less than perfect, for the sick person in pain. It is intolerable to live, cruel to be forced to live, but blessed to die. It is unfair to have to care for the helpless, and therefore merciful to kill. Those who wish to go on living, it seems, are guilty and ungrateful wretches dissipating the energies of “loved ones” who have better uses for the estate than paying medical bills.’

God confronted the Egyptian religion of death by calling in to question its assertion of power. He dealt with the Pharaoh, his priest, and his people in terms of their religious presuppositions. He demonstrated publicly for all the world to see that the power religion of Egypt was a fraud. Pharaoh had no choice in the matter. God decided to make a spectacle out of him and out of Egypt. ‘And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared through the earth.’ (Ex. 9:16).

The Hebrews had this example behind them. They were to remind themselves and their children of the implications of the power religion. This was the educational function of the Passover. It was an institutional testimony to the futility of seeking power apart from biblical law. It is therefore futile to seek to fulfill the terms of the dominion covenant apart from God. It is equally futile to attempt to escape from the burdens of this covenant. Such an escape leads directly to historical impotence and slavery under some temporarily successful group of power religionists. Better to be Moses herding sheep in Midian than anywhere in Egypt, either as a Hebrew or as a Pharaoh. Better yet to be Moses confronting Pharaoh. Even better to be Moses on the far side of the Red Sea watching Pharaohs drown. Better yet, to be in the Promised Land, with a copy of God’s law in your possession. But best of all, to be at work in the wilderness, progressively converting it into a garden by means of hard work, in terms of the biblical law which is in your heart, and also in the hearts of all your neighbors (Ezk. 36:26-29; Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:10-11).

F. Drunk on their own pride, rulers and nations devise wicked things against the Lord because they do not want to be constrained by His plan or restrained by His power. Yet Isaiah reveals a truth that has been confirmed in the history of the world that God hates the haughty spirit of prideful rulers and will bring them down to the pits of hell. Babylon was defeated by Medo-Persia; Medo-Persia was defeated by Greece; Greece was defeated by the Romans; Rome by a deluge of barbarians, and so on.

1. Psalm 2 “Why are the nations in an uproar and the people devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’ He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, “You are My son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.”’ Now therefore, O kings show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”
2. In this chapter you will see that the spirits of departed rulers wait in Sheol to taunt all the rulers of the nations who have attempted to raise themselves above God and His laws. Satan, and the rulers he has controlled, will all be thrown down to the pit of destruction because there is none other like our Almighty God who is a jealous God and will have no one rebel against His order. Isaiah 14:1-21 “When the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. The people will take them along and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the LORD as male servants and female servants; and they will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors. And it will be in the day when the LORD gives you rest from your pain and turmoil and harsh service in which you have been enslaved, that you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon, and say, ‘How the oppressor has ceased, and how fury has ceased! The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers which used to strike the people in fury with unceasing strokes, which subdued the nations in anger with unrestrained persecution. The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; they break forth into shouts of joy. Even the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, “Since you were laid low, no tree cutter comes up against us.” Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come; it arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth; it raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones. They will all respond and say to you, “Even you have been made weak as we, you have become like us. Your pomp and the music of your harps have been brought down to Sheol; maggots are spread out as your bed beneath you and worms are your covering.” How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?” All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb. But you have been cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch, clothed with the slain who are pierced with a sword, who go down to the stones of the pit like a trampled corpse. You will not be united with them in burial, because you have ruined your country, you have slain your people. May the offspring of evildoers not be mentioned forever. Prepare for his sons a place of slaughter because of the iniquity of their fathers. They must not arise and take possession of the earth and fill the face of the world with cities.”

E. Our covenant-keeping God always keeps His children safe in His bosom. Matthew Henry writes regarding Psalm 91: “In these verses we have a great truth laid down in general. That all those who live a life of communion with God are constantly safe under his protection, and may therefore preserve a holy serenity and security of mind at all times. He that dwells, that sits down, in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty; he that by faith chooses God for his guardian shall find all that in him, which he needs or can desire. It is the character of the true believer that he dwells in the secret place of the Most High; he is at home in God, returns to God, and reposes in him as his rest; he acquaints himself with inward religion, and makes heart-work of the service of God, worships within the veil, and loves to be alone with God… to converse with him in solitude. It is the privilege and comfort of those that do so that they abide under the shadow of the Almighty, he shelters them, and comes between them and everything that would annoy them, whether storm or sunshine. They shall not only have an admittance but a residence, under God’s protection; he will be their rest and refuge for ever. There being no reason to question his sufficiency, fitly does it follow, in him will I trust. If Jehovah be our God, our refuge, and our fortress, what can we desire which we may not be sure to find in him? He is neither fickle nor false, neither weak nor mortal; he is God and not man, and therefore there is no danger of being disappointed in him. We know whom we have trust…God protects believers, with the greatest tenderness and affection, which is intimated in that, he shall cover thee with his feathers, under his wings, which alluded to the hen gathering her chickens under wings. By natural instinct she not only protects them, but calls them under that protection when she sees them in danger, not only keeps them safe, but cherishes them and keeps them warm.”

1. Psalm 91:1-4 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’ For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”

F. How I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Herein lies the essence of salvation that God brings us from a life of oppression under Satan, which Pharaoh represented, to Himself, for a life of rest and peace. Not that we should not work but that God works in us to do His will. This is the epitome of God’s gracious grace that He brings us into His presence without fearing His wrath because Christ’s sacrifice took away our sins and makes us acceptable in His sight. He makes it possible to fulfill our calling to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, to be like Him, creation restored upon our persons. We are lost in the wilderness, but God comes to us and lifts us up on eagles’ wings and brings us into His presence. What a beautiful picture of our deliverance and salvation from sin and death.

1. Deuteronomy 32:9-11 “For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.”
2. Matthew 11:28,29 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and You will find rest for your souls.”
3. Romans 8:2-10 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
4. Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
5. Psalm 148:14 “He has raised up a horn for His people, praise for all His saints, for the people of Israel who are near to Him. Praise the LORD!”

III. Exodus 19:5,6 “‘Now, then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”

A. This was God’s plan for His people. But if we have learned anything through these lessons, it is that man is utterly incapable of being obedient or saving himself. The Israelites clearly exposed all men to be nothing more than insane, fickle, ungrateful, rebellious, brazen sinners, who love death more than life because they continue in their rejection of God and disobedience to His law. There is nothing lovely in man to save him. That is why grace is so incredibly precious. God out of His good pleasure and good will towards man initiated the covenant to save men from their deserved eternal damnation, and He is the only One capable of keeping that covenant and its stipulations to secure deliverance from death. Thankfully this points to the covenant of grace foretold by Jeremiah, fulfilled in Christ, and given to us. For God had not yet given them a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.

1. Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
2. Deuteronomy 5:1-3 “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today.”
3. Deuteronomy 7:6-11 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His commandants; but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face. Therefore you shall keep the commandment and the statutes and the judgments which I am commanding you today, to do them.”
4. Jeremiah 31:31-33 “‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the LORD. ‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’”
a. God has not yet given them a heart to know and obey.
Deuteronomy 29:4 “Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.”
b. John 12:36-41 “These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them. But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: ‘LORD, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?’ For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, ‘He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.’”
5. Hebrews 8:6-10 “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says, ‘Behold days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘When I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them,’ says the LORD. ‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ says the LORD: ‘I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’”
6. Hebrews 9 CHAPTER
7. Hebrews 10 CHAPTER
8. John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
9. Ephesians 2:1-10 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
10. Romans 3:24,25 “Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”
11. Romans 9:16 “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”
12. Colossians 1:16,17 “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.”

B. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.
Israel’s recorded history clearly conveys this truth: covenant keepers win; covenant breakers lose. For these things happened to them as an example and they were written for our instruction. Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, pay heed.

1. Deuteronomy 4:9,10 “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons. Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’”
2. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 “For I do not want you to be unaware brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.’ Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

C. Let us not think that Israel has been cast away. For God is faithful to His people even when they fail Him.

1. Romans 11 the entire chapter
D. Matthew Henry states about these verses: That he would be to them a God in covenant, and they should be to him a people. God here asserts his sovereignty over, and propriety in, the whole visible creation: All the earth is mine. Therefore he needed them not; he that had so vast a dominion was great enough, and happy enough, without concerning himself for so small a demesne as Israel was. All nations on the earth being his, he might choose which he pleased for his peculiar, and act in a way of sovereignty. He appropriates Israel to himself, for as a people dealt unto him. You shall be a peculiar treasure; not that God was enriched by them, as a man is by his treasure, but he was pleased to value and esteem them as a man does his treasure; they were precious in his sight and honorable; he set his love upon them, took them under his special care and protections, as a treasure that is kept under lock and key. He looked upon the rest of the world but as trash and lumber in comparison with them. By giving them divine revelation, instituted ordinances, and promises inclusive of eternal life, by sending his prophets among them, and pouring out his Spirit upon them, he distinguished them from, and dignified them above, all people. And this hour have all the saints; they are unto God a peculiar people, his when he makes up his jewels. Secondly, as a people devoted to him to his hour and service a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. All the Israelites, if compared with other people, were priests unto God, so near were they to him, so much employed in his immediate service, and such intimate communion they had with him. When they were first made a free people it was that they might sacrifice to the Lord their God, as priests, they were under God’s immediate government, and the tendency of the laws given them was to distinguish them from others, and engage them for God as a holy nation. Thus all believers are, through Christ, made to our God kings and priests, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.

1. Titus 2:13,14 “Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
2. Hebrews 1:3 “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
3. Ephesians 1:11 “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.”
4. Romans 8:29,30 “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified He also glorified.”
5. Revelation 1:5,6 “And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
6. 1 Peter 2:9,10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

E. Rushdoony in Exodus says of verse 5: God’s word to Israel is that they must keep His covenant. The word keep is the Hebrew shamar, to hedge about, protect, and guard. It is the word used in Genesis 2:15 when Adam is commanded to keep the Garden of Eden. It means to be instructed with, to have charge of, a trust or treasure, which in this case is God’s Law, justice must thus be guarded and prized. We cannot underestimate the importance of this. God’s grace is to give His law to men and nations, and His chosen people, then Israel and now the church, are the guardians of the Law, of God’s justice. Psalm 2 tells us that the ungodly nations conspire together against God and His bonds or Law, and they rage at God’s restraints upon them. The penalty for custodians of God’s law who fail to their calling is death. Their failure is the frustration and perversion of God’s justice, no small offense.

Because of the calling to keep the covenant, to uphold and advance God’s law and justice, Israel is also ‘a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation’ (v.6). Justice is religious concern; it deals with moral ultimacy. Hence, a chosen people must be a priestly people and nation.

The meaning of being ‘a chosen people’ should now be apparent: it means the people who set forth God’s grace and justice to the world. Many nations, Christian and non-Christian alike, have seen themselves as a chosen people, as for example, Rome, Byzantium, Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, and others. It is seen as a position of privilege, whereas in Scripture it means responsibility, responsibility for justice, God’s justice. This is what it means to be a ‘peculiar (or, unique) treasure’ (v.5). ‘All the earth is mine’ (v.5), God says, as He summons one nation to erect the banner of salvation and justice for all men and nations. Solomon, in the prayer of dedication for the Temple, was mindful of this world mission and prayed that foreigners coming to the Temple might especially be heard by God and their prayers granted so that they might return home as witnesses to the Lord. Psalm 87 celebrates the foreign believers who come to the Temple.

The phrase ‘a kingdom of priests,’ is referred to in Isaiah 61:6, but nowhere else in the Old Testament. It is, however, cited several times in the New Testament, in 1 Peter 2:5,9, and Revelation 1:6; 5:10; and 20:6. ‘A holy nation’ (or, people) is referred to in Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2,21; and 26:29; and Isaiah 62:12; 1 Peter 2:9 also cites it.

By making Israel His unique measure, God adopted the people as His children, a status now possessed by the church. Adoption into a family once meant adoption into both privilege and duty, and this emphatically applies here. A holy nation is an obedient nation which has been given covenantal responsibilities to witness to God’s grace and justice. It is, indeed, God’s peculiar or unique treasure or possession. According to Cole, the expression means ‘special treasure; belonging privately to a king (e.g. 1 Ch. 29:3). This implies special value as well as special relationship.’

IV. Exodus 19:7-9 “So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the LORD had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do!’ And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD. The LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.’ Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD.”

A. Faithfully delivering the Word of the Lord to the people and then returning their words back to Him, Moses represents Christ as our mediator who, serving as Prophet, reveals God’s will to us, as our Priest, offers to God our sacrifices of praise and prayer and resolutions to do His will. Though sinful man cannot come to the throne of grace without fear of certain death, Christians are now able to boldly approach the throne of God through Jesus Christ our Lord who shed His blood to cover those sins. Therefore, it is not by our own merit, but by Christ’s merit that we find acceptance, for He says that no one comes to the Father except through Me. Accordingly, we pray in the name of Christ, as our mediator, who makes intercession for us.

1. Deuteronomy 5:4,5 “The LORD spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.”
2. Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
3. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”
4. 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
5. 1 John 2:1 “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
6. Ephesians 3:12 “In whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.”
7. Hebrews 4:14-16 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
8. John 16:24 “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”
9. Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
10. 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
11. Hebrews 13:15 “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”
12. Romans 8:26,27 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He interceded for the saints according to the will of God.”
13. 1 John 5:14,15 “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
14. Revelation 8:3,4 “Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.”

B. The LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever. Similarly, God’s Spirit descended from heaven and spoke to the people when Jesus was baptized and then again, His Spirit came down upon the apostles like tongues of fire. It is the Holy Spirit through the Word of God that converts men to the faith. For the Word is Christ and is living and powerful to convert the hearts of men.

1. Deuteronomy 5:4,5 “The LORD spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.”
2. Matthew 3:16,17 “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’”
a. Matthew Henry comments: In and through Christ, the heavens are opened to the children of men. This descent of the Spirit upon Christ, showed that he was endued with his sacred influences without measure. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. At Christ’s baptism there was a manifestation of the three Persons in the sacred Trinity. The Father confirming the Son to be Mediator; the Son solemnly entering upon the work; the Holy Spirit descending on him, to be through his mediation communicated to his people. In him our spiritual sacrifices are acceptable, for he is the altar that (1 Peter 2:5) consuming fire, but in Christ, a reconciled Father. This is the sum of the gospel, which we must by faith cheerfully embrace.
3. Acts 2:1-3 “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.”
4. Hebrews 4:12,13 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
5. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
a. After all, God spoke and all the heavens and the earth came into being.
1. Psalm 33:6 “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.”
2. Psalm 148:4,5 “Praise Him, highest heavens, and the waters that are above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.”
6. Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
7. Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
8. Ephesians 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
9. Ephesians 6:17 “…the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s Word.”
10. 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God…”
11. Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
12. Revelation 1:16 “In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.”

C. It is each man’s responsibility to give a reason for the hope that is in him in season and out; not in persuasive words but by the powerful Word of God.

1. 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account of the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
2. 1 Corinthians 2:4,5 “And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”
3. Romans 10:1-4;14,15 “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.… How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things.’”

D. Are we living as if the world is against us or as we against the world? This question may seem rather insignificant, but upon further reflection, sheds light upon our understanding of scripture. Either we believe in an impotent God who has failed miserably in accomplishing His eternal purpose or the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Almighty who reigns over heaven and earth.

Consider that Athanasius, the great Church Father of the fourth century, lived through one of the most severe persecutions the world had ever seen, the Emperor Diocletian’s all-out attempt to stamp out the Christian faith. Later, Athanasius had to stand practically alone for 40 years in his defense of the doctrine of the Trinity against rampant heresy, being exiled by the government on five occasions and sometimes in peril for his life. In fact, his story gave birth to a proverb: Athanasius contra mundum (Athanasius against the world). Yet he never lost sight of the basic fact of world history, that the Word had become flesh, conquering the devil, redeeming mankind, flooding the world with Light which the darkness could not overcome.

He adhered to a doctrine of hope, which until just recently, was held by Christians throughout Christendom. His classic book On the Incarnation of the Word of God reveals this doctrinal truth: “Since the Savior came to dwell in our midst, not only does idolatry no longer increase, but is getting less and gradually ceasing to be. Similarly, not only does the wisdom of the Greeks no longer make any progress, but that which used to be is disappearing. And demons, so far from continuing to impose on people by their deceits and oracle-givings and sorceries, are routed by the sign of the cross if they so much as try. On the other hand, while idolatry and everything else that opposes the faith of Christ is daily dwindling and weakening and falling, the Savior’s teaching is increasing everywhere! Worship, then, the Savior ‘Who is above all’ and mighty, even God the Word, and condemn those who are being defeated and made to disappear by Him. When the sun has come, darkness prevails no longer; any of it that may be left anywhere is driven away. So also, now that the Divine epiphany of the Word of God has taken place, the darkness of idols prevails no more, and all parts of the world in every direction are enlightened by His teaching.”

The Church’s eschatology of dominion radically shaped the history of Western civilization. For example, think about the great cathedrals of Europe, and compare them to the church buildings of today. Those old cathedrals, magnificent works of art constructed over decades and sometimes generations, were built to last for centuries—and they have. But modern evangelical churches are usually built to last a generation at most. We don’t expect to be around long enough to get much use out of them, and we certainly don’t expect our great-grandchildren to worship in them. We don’t even expect to have great-grandchildren. It is safe to say that the thought of descendants living five hundred years from now has never even entered the minds of most evangelicals today. Yet, for many Christians of previous generations, the idea of future generations benefiting from their labors was not strange in the slightest degree. They built for the ages.

Let’s look at a very different field: exploration. Not one historian in a hundred knows what motivated Christopher Columbus to seek a western route to the Indies. Trade? Yes, that was part of the reason. More than this, however, it was unfulfilled prophecy. Before he began his expeditions, Columbus crammed his journals with quotations from Isaiah and other Biblical writers, in which he detailed the numerous prophecies that the Great Commission to disciple all nations of the world would be successful (see, for example, Isa.2:2-5; 9:2-7; 11:1-10; 32:15-17; 40:4-11; 42:1-12; 49:1-26; 56:3-8; 60:1-22; 61:1-11; 62:1-12; 65:1-25; 66:1-24). He figured that if the Indies were to be converted, a sea route would be a much more efficient way to bring them the gospel; and he credited his discoveries not to the use of mathematics or maps, but rather to the Holy Spirit who was bringing to pass what Isaiah had foretold. We must remember that America had been discovered numerous times, by other cultures, yet successful colonization and development took place only in the age of exploration begun by Columbus. Why? Because these explorers were bearers of the gospel, and their goal was to conquer the world for the kingdom of God. They came expecting that the New World would be Christianized. They were certain of victory, and assumed that any obstacles they met had been placed there for the express purpose of being overcome. They knew that Christians are destined for dominion.

Examples could be multiplied in every field. The whole rise of Western Civilization—science and technology, medicine, the arts, constitutionalism, the jury system, free enterprise, literacy, increasing productivity, a rising standard of living, the high status of women—is attributable to one major fact: the West has been transformed by Christianity. True, the transformation is not yet complete. There are many battles ahead. But the point is that, even in what is still largely an early Christian civilization, God has showered us with blessings.

Many Christians do not realize it, but the Hope is the basis for many of the great old hymns of the faith, written before the modern era of evangelical despair and pessimism. Think about that the next time you sing Martin Luther’s ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,’ Isaac Watt’s ‘Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun Doth His Successive Journeys Run,’ or George Duffield’s ‘Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.’ Do you really believe that Jesus is now leading us ‘from victory unto victory…till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed’? That is what the Church has historically believed.

This can be seen most clearly in the traditional Christmas carols, which, like Athanasius’s reflections on the Incarnation, are unabashed expectations of Christ’s triumph over the world through the gospel. Carols such as ‘Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus,’ ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,’ ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,’ ‘God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen,’ and many others are written from the same basic perspective. The conviction that—as a result of His first advent—Christ is now reigning from heaven and conquering the earth underlies the message of

‘Joy to the World!’:
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness
And wonders of his love.

The same is true of that great victory-oriented carol, ‘It Came Upon the Midnight Clear’:
For lo, the days are hast’ning on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When with ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold.
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.

There is a very important connection between the Church’s worldview and the Church’s hymns. If your heart and mouth are filled with songs of victory, you will tend to have an eschatology of dominion; if, instead, your songs are fearful, expressing a longing for escape—your worldview and expectations will be escapist.

Historically, the basic hymnbook for the Church has been the Book of Psalms. The largest book of the Bible, God providentially placed it right in the middle of the Bible so that we couldn’t miss it! It is noteworthy that the Church’s abandonment of dominion eschatology coincided with the Church’s abandonment of the Psalms.

The Psalms are inescapably Kingdom-oriented. They are full of conquest, victory, and the dominion of the saints. They remind us constantly of the warfare between God and Satan, they incessantly call us to do battle against the forces of evil, and they promise us that we shall inherit the earth. When the Church sang the Psalms, she was strong, healthy, aggressive, and could not be stopped.

Listen to the historic hymns of the victorious Church:

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations will worship before Thee. (Ps. 22:27)
For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the earth. Yet a little while, and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be.
But the meek will inherit the earth,
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
(Ps. 37:9-11)

O clap your hands all peoples;
Shout to God with the voice of joy.
For the LORD Most High is to be feared,
A great King over all the earth. He subdues peoples under us,
And nations under our feet. (Ps. 47:1-2)

All the kings of the earth will give thanks to Thee, O LORD,
When they have heard the words of Thy mouth.
And they will sing of the ways of the LORD;
For great is the glory of the LORD. (Ps. 138:4,5)
Let the godly ones exult in glory;
Let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand,
To execute vengeance on the nations,
And punishment on the peoples
To bind their kings with chains,
And their nobles with fetters of iron;
To execute on them the judgment written;
This is an honor for all His godly one.
Praise the LORD! (Ps. 149:5-9)

The fact is that you will not work for the transformation of society if you don’t believe society can be transformed. You will not try to build a Christian civilization if you do not believe that a Christian civilization is possible. It was the utter confidence in the victory of the Christian faith that gave courage to the earthly missionaries, who fearlessly strode into the farthest reaches of pagan Europe as if they were at the head of an army, preaching the gospel, driving out demons, smashing idols, converting whole kingdoms, bringing vast multitudes to their knees at the feet of Christ. They knew they would win. …history was on their side, that Satan’s domains were being shattered daily, his illegitimate hold weakening and slipping with every advance of the Christian forces. They were not the least bit pessimistic about the power of the gospel. God honored their faith in His promise, and enabled them to lay the groundwork for a Christendom which will someday embrace the entire world.

When God’s people disobey and slip back into unbelief, the Church begins losing battles to Satan. Does this suggest that the Hope is mistaken? ‘This is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith’. (1 John 5:4).

Our civilization will rise or fall in terms of God’s blessing; and response to our covenantal obedience (Deut. 28).

Jesus commanded: You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 5:13-16).

This is nothing less than a mandate for the complete social transformation of the entire world. And what Jesus condemns is ineffectiveness, failing to change the society around us. We are commanded to live in such a way that someday all men will glorify God—that they will become converted to the Christian faith. The point is that if the Church is obedient, the people and nations of the world will be discipled to Christianity. We all know that everyone should be a Christian, that the laws and institutions of all nations should follow the Bible’s blueprints. But the Bible tells us more than that. The Bible tells us that these commands are the shape of the future. We must change the world; and what is more, we shall change the world.
–David Chilton’s Paradise Restored

Our work is cut out for us. Let us encourage one another to go forward and proclaim the living hope that we possess.



NEW HOMESCHOOLERS-Part VIII as presented at the Conference


The following is taken from the Landmark Series The American Revolution: Benedict Arnold’s attempt to betray the Americans at West Point by aligning himself with an ambitious British “Major Andre who had been working on the plot for more than a year…Arnold gave Andre the plans of West Point and some secret papers. Then he returned to his West Point headquarters while Andre hid for the day…Andre…carried the secret papers…in his stocking. He got safely past the southernmost American post when three young men stopped him. They meant to rob him. They made Andre take off his clothes to make sure he wasn’t hiding any money, and they found the papers in his stocking.”

This account makes it sound like a coincidence, doesn’t it? Well, that would be a correct assumption as Landmark’s author later states: “The coincidence as Washington was on his way to inspect West Point.”

Everyone possesses presuppositions that affect every thought, including the interpretation of everything we see or hear. These thoughts in turn have consequences that affect others. In this case, the author’s perverted anti-Christian view of history affects every one of his readers.

These seemingly harmless tales have misshaped our culture’s view of history, and as a result, has produced uneducated citizens that are at enmity with God and His church. Yet how many homeschooling parents have failed to examine their children’s books because they themselves have not labored to know the facts about American’s Christian history? If truth is not known, then lies cannot be identified.

The truth about the Providential discovery of Benedict Arnold’s treason is taken from Miss Hall and Miss Slater, which is quoted in America’s Providential History, pp. 163-166: “An example of God’s Providential protection against such ‘Imminent, though unseen dangers’ was in the amazing capture of the British spy Major Andre which revealed the treachery of Benedict Arnold. Of this event, Washington himself wrote to John Laurens: ‘In no instance since the commencement of the War has the interposition of Providence appeared more conspicuous than in the rescue of the Post and Garrison of West Point from Arnold’s villainous perfidy…A combination of extraordinary circumstances.’”

“Washington’s letter of September 26, 1780 to Major General William Heath gives more details on what happened. ‘Major General Arnold has gone to the enemy. He had an interview with Major Andre, Adjutant General of the British Army, and had put into his possession a state of our Army; of the Garrison at this post; of the number of Men considered as necessary for the defense of it, a Return of Ordinance and the disposition of the Artillery corps in case of alarm. By a most Providential interposition, Major Andre was taken in returning to New York with all these papers in General Arnold’s handwriting, who hearing the matter kept it secret, left his Quarters immediately under pretence of going over to West Point on Monday forenoon, about an hour before my arrival, then pushed down the river in the barge, which was not discovered till I had returned from West Point in the Afternoon…’”

“Major Andre was finally brought to General Washington on the 26th, and then the full story of his capture came to light. On September 23, three young militiamen had posted themselves on the Old Post Road close to Tarrytown, waiting to waylay ‘cowboys’ who were stealing cattle and driving them into the British lines. Suddenly, about 9:30 in the morning, they saw a solitary rider coming toward them. They stopped him and learned that he was on his way to New York. It was Major Andre who believed that they were loyalists who had established a look-out of the British. He didn’t show them his pass and talked so freely that the young militiamen began to be suspicious. They made him strip off his clothes and discovered the incriminating paper stuffed in the feet of his stocking. Realizing the game was up, Andre then tried to bribe the boys, but they contemptuously dismissed his efforts and took him to the nearest outpost which was North Castle.”

“The following is General Washington’s message (delivered by General Greene to his troops) concerning Arnold’s treason and its discovery: ‘General Orders-Head Quarters, Orangetown, Tuesday, September 26, 1780. Treason of the blackest dye was yesterday discovered! General Arnold who commanded at West Point, lost to every sentiment of honor, of public and private obligation, was about to deliver up that important Post into the hands of the enemy. Such an event must have given the American cause a deadly wound if not a fatal stab. Happily the treason has been timely discovered to prevent the fatal misfortune. The Providential train of circumstances which led to it affords the most convincing proof that the liberties of America are the object of Divine Protection.’”

“Following is the official response of Congress to this event: ‘Journal of Congress, Wednesday, October 18, 1780. …Congress took into consideration the resolution reported for setting apart a day of thanksgiving and prayer, and agreed to the following draught: “Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God, the Father of all mercies, amidst the vicissitudes and calamities of war, to bestow blessings on the people of these states, which call for their devout and thankful acknowledgments, more especially in the late remarkable interposition of his watchful providence, in rescuing the person of our Commander in Chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened from execution; in prospering the labors of the husbandmen, and causing the earth to yield its increase in plentiful harvests; and above all, in continuing to us the enjoyment of the gospel of peace; It is therefore recommended to the several states to set apart Thursday, the seventh day (of December next), to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer; that all the people may assemble on that day to celebrate the praises of our Divine Benefactor; to confess our unworthiness of the least of his favors, and to offer our fervent supplications to the God of all grace; that it may please him to pardon our heinous transgressions and incline our hearts for the future to keep all his laws; to comfort and relieve our brethren who are any wise afflicted or distressed; to smile upon our husbandry and trade; to direct our public councils, and lead our forces, by land and sea, to victory; to take our illustrious ally under his special protection, and favor our joint councils and exertions for the establishment of a speedy and permanent peace; to cherish all schools and seminaries of education, and to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth.”’”

“Done in Congress, the 18th day of October, 1780, and in the fifth year of the independence of the United States of America.”




Hurry! Hurry! Have You Heard? by Laura Krauss Melmed, Illustrated by Jane Dyer

The inside book cover says it best. Everyone remembers the friendly beasts of the stable at Christmas, but what of the creatures of field and forest? From her perch in the rafters, a small bird’s heart fills with love. Out over the countryside she flies, carrying the glad tidings, Hurry! Hurry! Have you heard? A child was born tonight. And every creature large or small is precious in His sight.

Bunny and fox, mole and mouse, hummingbird and tortoise, spider and ladybug all hurry to the stable to welcome the new baby. And what a noisy greeting they give!

In lilting, lyric verse and magical watercolor paintings, Laura Krauss Melmed and Jane Dyer have given us a Christmas treasure sure to be a family favorite year after year after year.




Jambalaya With green peppers from Carol Littman’s garden, quite a few brats from lunch, and fresh okra and tomatoes from our garden, I began making Jambalaya. First I sautéed an onion and several green peppers in olive oil. To that I added cut up tomatoes, sliced okra, and homemade chicken broth. Chicken meat from yesterday’s carcass and a copious amount of sliced brats from the day’s noon meal were added. I seasoned the pot with minced garlic, fresh Serrano chili pepper, white wine, cumin, salt, and pepper. After simmering on the stove for several hours, I served this piping hot over steamed rice.




Luxurious Bedrooms Luxurious bedrooms were common in homes throughout the South. An eye towards beauty and a heart for comfort directed the furnishings and decorations so as to create sumptuous ambiance that welcomed families to lounge and slumber beneath their protective wings. Accordingly, both in the city, and now in the country, I have worked to create bedrooms that we reluctantly leave in the morning and long to return to again and again. They beckon us to linger and enjoy while providing the perfect place for sweet dreams.

From estate sales and stores that carry nice but inexpensive wares, I purchased burgundy velvet drapes for our windows, burgundy velvet fabric for recovering a wing backed chair my parents gave me many years ago, a mahogany dresser, a walnut side table, two mahogany side tables, six beautiful lamps that emit soft light from incandescent bulbs-not LED, burgundy velvet drapes that hang on a rod above our bed, a white loveseat, burgundy velvet pillows, gold silk tufted pillow, grapevines draped with beaded pearl garlands, burgundy feathered boas, and a gilded mirror draped with gold/burgundy shimmering fabric, ornate garland, ornaments, and gold bells on gold cording.

Our present bedroom is not as large as our previous one, in fact I would call it a little cramped, but it is beautiful and cozy and comfy, and quite enticing. It starts each morning with smiles, provides a luxurious place for family gatherings, and brings the aahhh at the end of the day, which sends us into sweet slumber each night. It is where we watch movies, read books, often study, and sometimes eat meals and play games.

Our bedrooms should be more than a place to lay our heads. They should be favorite rooms where we love to spend leisurely hours with those we love.




Everything we do is being recorded for our posterity to know and understand the loving sacrifices we made to ensure their prosperity!

-When the birds were small and resided solely in the chicken house, we cleaned their quarters twice a day, mainly because the geese and ducks created such a wet mess. Now that all the fowl have been moved to pasture and only use the egg mobile for sleeping and laying eggs, I clean the egg mobile once a week. Cleaning 116 boxes and the floor of the egg mobile and then replacing the old bedding with new hay takes me about two hours whether I have a few chickens about me or several dozen chickens and turkeys at my feet.
-Sonia used the Bobcat to clean out both sides of the barn. She placed some of the manure and hay on the fallow garden area and heaped the rest into a pile to be turned until thoroughly composted.
-Jon and I weeded 300 strawberry plants. Besides the fact that it was grueling work, I ended up with poison ivy on 80% of my body. Jon told me that we would space the next batch differently with rows wide enough for a lawnmower or tiller. I am not certain how he plans to accomplish this improvement with runners going in every direction, but hopefully he has a plan because I do not want to have this same problem in the future. I can say most emphatically that I hate weeding strawberries because it hurts my body so much, being on hands and knees for hours on end, but even more disconcerting is the possibility of snakes lying beneath the straw. On the brighter side, when Sonia and I initially planted the strawberries, she said that it reminded her of the times I would read Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Strawberries. It is such a blessing when our children pass on fond memories of their childhood.
-Sonia and I pickled 35-40 quarts of cucumbers. I froze 10 quarts of okra and 30 lbs. of rhubarb. Sonia canned a bushel of peaches. Sonia and I also canned rhubarb chutney. Not enough to supply our winter consumption, but a good start.
-Although we have harvested and eaten a plentiful amount of vegetables this season, the stark reality of this year’s harvest clearly reveals that we would have starved if we had depended solely on our garden for a year’s consumption. As this year was a year of experimentation, I have learned that I need to plant much more for canning and storage. How much? I am not sure, but I better learn before next spring. The MO Extension website (www.extension.missouri.edu/p/G6201-2) lists quantities of vegetables to plant per person for both fresh use and processing. Although this website sets forth a starting place, I can tell you, for families that love to eat as much as we do, the listed amounts would not be enough for us. If I can find my Back to Basics book, I will compare its list with the website to determine the ratio of vegetable plants per family member.
-We purchased two Anatolian Pyrenees for protecting our dairy calves, sheep, fowl, and pigs from predators. They come from breeding the Anatolian Shepherd with the Great Pyrenees for protecting livestock and family from bears and wolves. Although we don’t have such predators, we do have formidable packs of coyotes. Therefore their 110-150 pounds will be a good deterrent for this smaller predator. Several people have told me that these dogs quickly eradicate coyotes from their flocks’ territory. Unlike the Great Pyrenees, which man is not to have any contact with so that the dogs will bond with their flock, Anatolian Shepherds are allowed to run free to patrol the entire farm from predators. Needless to say, this choice is much better for the Summers family who loves on all their animals. Consequently, the dogs have become fast pals, following us around from one task to the next, while periodically leaving to patrol the farm. Although they lay by us as we work, they can often be found lying upon the hill overlooking the other animals and then heading off fast and furiously as they bark at intruders who dare to cross their family’s land or lounging with the other animals. I love that! I hope to breed Anatolian Shepherds sometime in the future.
-We purchased 10 guineas to help eradicate ticks and poisonous snakes. I was told to house them for two months and then let one out. If it comes back, I am to let out the second one with it the next day. If it comes back, I am to let out the third. If they all come back, I can let out the entire flock. I failed to ask what I do if they don’t come back. I guess I am to house them longer. Hmm. I better inquire about this.
-I began weeding the strawberries again. Had a snake slither between my right hand, past my left, and into another patch of straw. Yikes! I hate snakes—all kinds of snakes! After all it was God who placed enmity between the serpent and the woman. His Word is always true. So that was the end of my weeding for the day. I will wait until I have help, as my courage needs bolstering.
-I have always loved watching groundhogs, but since the resident groundhogs continue to eat our melons, Jon has been spraying Liquid Fence on the produce. It amazes me that the groundhogs know exactly which melons are ripe enough to eat and that they always eat them the night before I plan on picking them. Twice now, I picked melons two days earlier and let them sit out on the counter a few days. They are not as good, but as least we ate them before the varmints. I am willing to share some produce, but not my melons.
-I planted our fall seedlings of green cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and a variety of lettuces.
-I found Jedidiah weeding the strawberry patch, so I joined him. Ahh, it is so nice to have him with me. I know that many farmers use plastic weed barriers, but I don’t want the residues in our soil as we are doing everything organically.
-Sonia sowed radishes, peas, and carrots.
-Jedidiah, a friend, and I weeded the strawberry patch again. What a job! Yet every time I remembered reading Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Strawberries to Sonia, I smiled. I also smiled when I remembered that I had purposely purchased weeder geese for our strawberry and corn patch. Actually both our brown Toulouse and White Chinese can be turned into strawberries, corn, or cotton to eat the weeds without touching the crop. How magnificent! Since this is our last weeding, I will gladly use them for next year’s growing season!
-I purchased another 5 guineas.
-Our mama cat had 7 more kittens. We kept them in the house for the first four weeks and then placed them in an 8’x15’ cardboard enclosure in the garage with boxes, ball, baskets, and other play toys. Each day we bring them inside for a playtime with us and then outside on our front porch for some sunshine and fresh air.
-Our turkeys are getting bigger every day. They are so curious and love to watch us from the windows in the chicken house while we work in the garden.
-Jedidiah and Josiah separated the good from the unusable lumber from a huge pile that lay in our barn lot. They burned the old and stacked the good in our barn.
-Jedidiah scraped the ground from the low area next to the creek bank in our barn lot. He then hauled all the concrete that was removed from our barn and placed it in the low area to build it up. He put the dirt back on the concrete and seeded that area. Sonia and I then covered the area with straw. This will be fenced in and used as a holding pen for the cattle or to expand the back barn lot for the cattle when we work them through the head catcher to treat their ailments.
-Took one of our kittens to the vet after being bitten by a copperhead. He received some antibiotics and prednisone. Jon mowed the taller weeds in the barn lot to discourage snakes from that area.
-I took Josiah to pick up two Berkshire gilts. It is a breed he has always wanted because of the James Herriot stories I read to the children each winter. An heirloom variety from England, Berkshires are known for their succulent flavorful meat and their docile disposition. They are great foragers and can thrive on pasture if rotated frequently. We named the pigs Piggy Sue and Winnie. We will keep them penned up for a week or so before we let them out into their electrified enclosure next to the fowl in the field. Originally I was going to put them in with the birds until I heard Joel Salatin say that when pigs get up around 100 lbs., they develop a real hankering for drumsticks. Our pigs were around 50 lbs. when we picked them up. Knowing that they gain a pound a day gives them only 40 days in with the birds before they begin eying my chickens for dinner. Therefore they will go into a separate enclosure next to the birds.
-Josiah feeds Piggy Sue and Winnie gilt rations and throws corn on their straw for some foraging. I take a bowl of goodies—clabbered milk, eggs, produce, and stale bread… to them each day, calling them by name as I approach. They greet me with eager grunts and voracious appetites. Jon, the boys, and I sit with them so that they become tame.
-Jedidiah spread two loads of gravel from the gate to the barn door so it won’t be as muddy this winter when we pull in to milk.
-After soil samples revealed a lime deficiency, we limed our hayfields.
-We had the mama cat and first set of kittens spayed and neutered.
-Sonia and I planted, watered, and mulched our garlic for next year’s harvest.
-We expanded our electrical enclosure around the egg mobile and then took our turkeys from the chicken house and placed them in the field with the chickens, ducks, and geese. The turkeys are very curious animals, following us around the chicken yard and pecking on our clothes while we attend to feeders and waterers. Instead of sleeping in the egg mobile, the turkeys prefer roosting on the peaked roof. Out of all the birds, the turkeys have been easiest and most personable.
-Josiah constructed an enclosure on skids for our pigs that can be moved each time they rotate in the fields with the fowl. The enclosure provides shade from the sun and a place for them during inclement weather. In the fall, the pigs will be secured in our woods so that they can forage for acorns and other goodies. In the winter, the pigs will be penned up in the backfield around their permanent farrowing house so they have greater protection from cold weather.
-Sonia and I planted a large patch of turnips for Piggy Sue and Winnie.
-Jon is installing outdoor lighting on our barn so that we will be able to see around the entire barn in the dark. This will be helpful since we are always working after dark—rarely coming home until after 8pm, but especially helpful when milking this winter.
-Someone asked if they could use our barn for their wedding, so we had our first wedding here this past weekend. The couple rode in on horses and took their vows on horseback.
-Ever since I was a very young girl I always dreamed of one day owning a farm and collecting eggs from my own chickens. Joy of all joy, a hen laid two eggs for us today. I am cooking them tomorrow for breakfast and splitting them six ways. Can’t wait to begin collecting loads of eggs every day!
-Sonia dug a bucket full of purple Molokai sweet potatoes. They are beautiful but not as flavorful as what we are accustomed to and rather dry. They won’t go to waste, though, because the pigs will eat them.
-Sonia loves lilacs and tree peonies, so I surprised her with both. We planted them together.
-Jedidiah used our auger to dig holes for the two kiwi vines I purchased.
-Opened the chicken house door three times this past week so the guineas could go out. None of them ventured outdoors, so Josiah and I ended up herding them out. They are staying around the chicken house.
-I suggested that one of the boys construct sides on the ramp leading to the egg mobile in hope that the ducks and geese would feel more secure so that they put themselves to bed. Josiah constructed sides similar to a stock trailer’s sidebars with two bottom pieces that fan out. Praise God, it worked! Now instead of taking us 45 minutes each night putting in the birds one by one, it only takes about five minutes to herd them onto the ramp, and up they all go.
-Jedidiah used the Bobcat to fill in the gullies in our barn lot’s roadway caused by all the rain this summer. I spread straw over the upturned earth to prevent more gullies from forming. We will feed hay there this winter so the seeds from the hay sprout to form a barrier against erosion.
-Although none of our other dogs chased the guineas, sadly our Pyrenees found it to be a great sport. Severe reprimanding did not abate their appetite for these birds. Again and again, we tried our best to capture the birds so that we could save their lives. Being wild, they would not allow us to get close enough to seize them. One night, Josiah and I went out with flashlights in hopes of finding them roosting, but to no avail. Shortly thereafter, he found one that had been injured and placed it in our chicken coop. Since they flock together, we secured the injured bird on one side of the chicken house and opened the door in hopes that the others would join it. Thankfully this worked. I have heard that these wild birds will fly over our electric fencing if we don’t clip their wings. I am sorry that they cannot roam our farm at will as planned, but I cannot afford to take a chance on their survival. Trimming wings will occur soon.
-We began training our Pyrenees to stay with the fowl without eating them by placing them in the chicken house for several hours each day, with the fowl on one side and the dogs on the other, and taking them on leashes through the fowl’s field enclosure.
-Jedidiah, Josiah, and Sonia loaded up more discarded scrap to take to the salvage yard.
-Using the Bobcat, Jedidiah and Sonia loaded six truckloads of firewood from our field and then she and I stacked it at the house. After each load, I shoveled the pile of bark and dirt into our compost pile. We ended up with nearly four cords of wood.
-Our Anatolian Pyrenees came in covered in blood. I ran for two buckets of water—one with soap, the other just water—and two rags. The boys cleaned off the blood and then doctored their wounds. The wounds became quite swollen, so we placed them on antibiotics.
-Not only are ducks and geese messy, but they also love to dig holes near their watering troughs and pool. In an effort to keep our other animals from hurting themselves in these holes, I spent hours traversing our hayfield to locate the holes and then filled them with dirt.
-Jedidiah is fencing an area around the chicken house so that we have a place for our birds to roam during the winter and for chickens too young to join the flock in the fields next spring.
-Many farmers lost their beehives to starvation during last year’s bitter cold spell. One of the men at our Bee Club told Josiah how to build a sugar screen so that the bees have immediate access to sustenance during the worst winter days. Josiah just created one for each hive and placed them in the hives.
-We just purchased another milk cow named Jubilee. She is a three-year-old Jersey. As soon as she was released in our barn lot, our other milk cow, Daisy, began to lick her as if she were her baby. They have been fast friends ever since. Jubilee is as gentle as Daisy and comes when called. She will calve the latter part of January. We will probably keep our little Jersey bull, Oscar, who is Daisy’s calf, for breeding Jubilee next March.
-Daisy was picked up and taken to my milk lady’s farm to be bred again.
-Sonia gathered a five-gallon bucket of acorns for the pigs. Every day we let them eat acorns from our hands and then scatter a handful over the straw to give them something interesting to do in the stall. It is fun to watch them search for tasty morsels.
-Sonia also gathered a barrel of black walnuts to be cracked this winter. Some will be for eating, others for making a tincture for worms, and the rest for the pigs.
-Sonia and I spent another few hours filling holes in our hayfield created by the ducks and geese.
-One of our hound dogs scratched his eye. It looked pretty bad, so we took him to the vet for evaluation and medicine.
-The cattle turned over our beehives. The boys were gone, so Jon scraped them up and placed them back in the hive. When the boys returned, they put the hives in our enclosed orchard.



THE JOY OF COUNTRY LIVING-Recreating Noah’s Ark-Hardly!

[Jon did agree to allow me to run this article, which he found quite humorous.]
I have never done anything half-heartedly! In truth it can be said that I meet everything with an enthusiastic zest that resembles the rough riders taking San Juan Hill. Shouting? No. Charging forward? Yes. When it came to the farm, Jon happily tells everyone that I am having as much fun as a kid in a candy shop. He truly derives much pleasure from my enthusiasm and always has. In point of fact, Jon proudly tells others that I consistently bring his ideas to fruition before he even has time to draw breath after voicing them. With this in mind, knowing me as he does, he really should be more careful with his thoughts if he does not want the same results that he speaks so highly of, especially when it comes to his desires for our farm.

The dichotomy of the situation began shortly after we purchased the farm. Day after day, with longing in his voice, I must add, Jon would express his desires for farm acquisitions. He said, “I can’t wait until we have our own honey.” So naturally I ordered bees. Then he mentioned that he could not wait until we drank our own milk. So in step with my nature, I found a milk cow. He could not wait until we had our own pork, so I logically ordered pigs. He could not wait until we had our own sheep. So as expected, I ordered sheep. And then, he could not wait until we had our own chickens for fresh eggs. So of course, I ordered chickens with some ducks and geese thrown in for good measure.

After all, our family had discussed our plans for raising our own food and becoming self-sufficient. As a nurturer and provider for my family, I followed through with each wish, which if I must say so myself, placed me in a tenable position to criticism. Decidedly not based on nebulous assumptions but on tacit evidence, and certainly not executed from rash judgment—no one could ever accuse me of that—but on a firm foundation of level headed discernment. I just heard Jon tell someone at church that I have always been level headed. These orders were placed with complete confidence that everyone would be thrilled with the animals that were soon to become part of our family. Therefore I can most assuredly confess that it never even occurred to me that Jon would be less than thrilled. Sadly, he was far less than thrilled.

How was I to know that “cannot wait,” meant in the future—some time over a period of years—not now but later. He failed to mention that little detail. After all why would anyone wait when they could have what they wanted right now?

Besides, words express very specific thoughts. For instance, when someone, like himself, says that he “cannot wait,” to most people that means that he is anxious to possess, as soon as possible, the sooner the better. Even after 37 years of marriage, I cannot translate “cannot wait” into “light years.” Needless to say, I actually thought he would be pleased that once again, like clockwork, I had fulfilled his wishes in record time.

Boy, oh boy, was I wrong! If we had been participating in a game show for married contestants, I would have lost a lot of points on this question: “Will your husband be thrilled with all the farm acquisitions you made on his behalf after he told you that he could not wait to possess them?”

On the other hand, if it had been a contest to see which married couple could disrupt their peaceful existence in five easy steps, I would have won hands down. Order bees; order dairy cow; order pigs; order sheep; and order fowl, and there you have it. Bingo! You are the winner of a nice fat divorce.

To make matters worse, he specifically asked me how many chickens I ordered. Why chickens, I wondered? If he had asked me about the dairy cow, I would have gladly told him that I only ordered one. Or how many bees? I could have smiled and said only two hives. Pigs? I would have replied, just a mere three. Not much danger in those minuscule numbers. Instead he pointedly asked me the number of chickens.

Now imagine my trepidation of having to reveal that I had ordered 65 chickens after realizing that he was not thrilled about owning any additional animals on the farm at that time, other than the cattle we purchased with the farm. Even when I explained to him that I had initially planned on ordering one hundred chickens, but did not because the lady who took my order suggested I order less, which if he was interested, was 35 less than I originally hoped for—indeed a third less—he was not interested, nor was his frustration appeased by any stretch of the imagination.

“Sixty-five chickens! Are you out of your mind? With everything else you are doing, you will lose your mind taking care of that many birds!”

Now I must confess that most of the animals were to arrive shortly before and after the conference, so it probably was not the best timing for me, but certainly the best timing for the animals, compared to the hottest part of summer or the beginning of winter. Besides it takes 18-24 weeks before chickens begin laying eggs, so the sooner the better, according to my way of thinking.

However, at that moment in time, I realized that caution should direct my path, as this conversation was fast approaching an all-out fight. Considering the question was not directed to any other species of fowl, just chickens, meant that remaining silent about the number of other birds I had ordered would not have been deceitful. But that is not my way. I am an up front, straight forward, get it all out, tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, sometimes divulging more than one should kind of gal, so I offered, “Well, that is not all the birds I purchased.”

At this point his eyes looked as if they were about to pop out of his head. “Not all the birds you ordered?” as if 65 birds were more than anyone had a right to own. Really? Has he not heard of Tyson?

I continued, “Well no, I actually purchased some ducks and geese, too.”

“Ducks and geese, too?” he echoed. “How many?”

“Well, I am not certain of the exact number, but I think it is around 38,” I answered.

“Thirty-eight ducks and geese?” he echoed.

“Yes,” I said, “and then there are the turkeys.”

“Turkeys?” he queried.

“Yes, fifteen beautiful heirloom turkeys,” I proudly stated, as he loves wild turkey. “I have not ordered the guineas yet. Does that count for anything?” I asked. Obviously not, as a dreadful silence fell upon the room.

Unsure of how to define his astonishment and anger at my overarching attempt to reconstruct The Ark, he sat perplexed and brooding. I, too, was silent and bewildered. For as long as we had been married, both of us had hoped to live and work together on a farm. I was only trying to make our dream tangible in the best possible way. If we wanted to be real farmers, we needed to have all the necessary equipment, which in my way of thinking included bees, dairy cow, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys.

Of course part of his stress could have come from having another litter of seven kittens in the house. That was not my fault either because I explicitly told him that if he did not want another litter of kittens, he should not let our cat outside. I cannot help it that he failed to take me seriously when I told him that cats can and will get pregnant again while they are still nursing their first litter. But that is another story.

To be quite frank, we nearly ended our relationship because Jon was certain I had lost my mind in ordering everything at once, while I thought he was the rudest cad on the earth to berate me every few days, weeks on end, for ordering all those animals.

Subsequently, Jon would start these cumbersome critiques of my over exuberance, which had been lauded as a rare endearing quality on all other occasions, as if it was the only thing he dwelled on day and night with the same rash accusation – “As level headed as you are, I just can’t believe you ordered all these animals at once. On top of everything you are already doing, how could you possibly think that you could take care of this many more things? We are already stretched beyond what most people can handle. And how much are all of these animals costing us? Are you crazy? Can’t you cancel some of these animals?”

Well, of course, I couldn’t cancel orders I had already placed. My parents had taught me that my word is as sure as a contract and should never be broken. Cancel? Of course he knew that I could not cancel. Over and over again, I would explain to him that I had promised everyone that I would purchase the animals when they became available; that we had all agreed that we would work hard at becoming self-sufficient by raising our own food; and that “can’t wait” means “order now.” After all I was just trying to please him by fulfilling his wishes as I have always done for the past 37 years. Besides, I was 58 and he was 66, so it was now or never. If we were going to get this farm up and running for our children, we better hit the road running because he and I did not have much strength or stamina left.

As stated earlier this went on for some time until I finally broke down and cancelled the bees, the chickens, the ducks and geese… When Jon realized that I had cancelled the orders, he briskly walked to the truck just as I was leaving to run errands. I thought surely he was coming out to say he was sorry and to thank me for thinking of him once again. To my dismay, he came out to tell me that he could not believe that I cancelled the orders without consulting him.

Without consulting him? Had he lost his mind? He was the one who had continuously asked me to cancel the orders. To say the least, I was furious! I told him to get out of the truck. All I do is try to please him, and this is what I get? Out! Out! Out!

And out he went and reordered everything that I had cancelled. Apparently the children had a talk with Jon—thank God for children—which made him realize the error of his ways, placing us back on track playing farm.

In the end, all is well, as both of us enjoy ALL of the animals. Both of us water and feed them, talk to them and pet them, and wonder out loud how we will ever be able to butcher these wonderful creatures.

I am sure that the annals of farm life are full of stories of other couples who approached their farm in different ways, who may even have exchanged harsh words, but who in the end, worked together side by side to care for their animals. Yes, farm living is the life for both of us.