Jon and Candy Summers share:
Formerly Christian Home Educators Fellowship—Now Family Covenant MinistriesFaithfully honoring God, equipping generations, and serving the homeschooling community for the past 30 years! www.chef-missouri.com
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME May 2014 Information
Family Covenant Ministries (formerly CHEF) Information and Activities
1. FCM Fundraiser to the Creation Museum
2. Thank You!
3. 2014 30th Anniversary Conference
4. FCM Vision for the Next Six Years
a. God’s Signature Scripture for FCM-Isaiah 61
b. FCM 2015 Conference
6. FCM Used Curriculum Sale, May 28
7. FCM 30th Annual Graduation, June 7
8. FCM Entrepreneurial Field Trip, Brown Family Tour and Party, August 16
9. Special Opportunities-Sharon Jeffus Free Online Lessons
There’s No Place Like Home Articles
1. Notes from Subscribers
2. Covenantal Families-CHEF Graduation Charge June 1, 2013 by Bob Wells: A Chosen Generation-Called for Such a Time as This
3. Casting a Vision for Multigenerational Family Business-Wolf Designs Since 1834
4. Multigenerational Estate-Fursdons from 1216
5. In the Library-All Kinds of Kisses by Nancy Tafuri
6. Delightful Surprises
a. Back in the Saddle
7. Summers Signature-Dusting with a Chamois
8. Summers on the Farm
c. Once the Chipping was Done
d. Buttercup Gave Birth
e. Jon Brush Hogged
f. Cleaning the Vegetable Garden
g. Jon Seeded
h. Bonny Doon and Molly Blue
i. Danica Enlow’s Names
j. Annabelle Gave Birth
k. Our Puppy
9. The Joy of Country Living-Occupant: A Sight for Sore Eyes
10. In the Garden
a. Sweet April Showers Do Spring May Flowers
b. Gardening God’s Way
11. Family Outings-Alice’s Tea Room and Miniatures
12. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made-Salom
13. Dismantling of America
a. Putin Doesn’t Threaten Our National Security, Obama Does
b. To Be Salt and Light, We Must Love Our Neighbor as Ourselves
If you get a blank email from us (mailto:
) on your cell phone, please try looking at the email from your computer instead.
FAMILY COVENANT MINISTRIES FUNDRAISER to the Creation Museum
To purchase your tickets, go to creationmusem.org, click tickets, click buy online, enter number of adult tickets, click continue and then enter our Family Covenant Ministries code, which is 8113232.
Until June 2, you may purchase your two-day adult tickets to the Creation Museum for the discounted price of $20 and receive $9.95 savings on every ticket you purchase compared to the regular admission fee of $29.95.
Now with that said, let me share this other savings with you. Through the rest of this year, the Creation Museum is offering children 12 and under free admission to the museum with an adult ticket of $29.95. So this is what AIG recommends. If you have children 12 and under, you purchase one adult ticket through the Museum so your children under 12 get in free and then purchase an adult ticket through us so that you can take advantage of the $9.95 savings and bless Family Covenant Ministries as well. That way the entire family receives a discounted admission. And if you have children over the age of 12, purchase your tickets through Family Covenant Ministries and receive $9.95 savings on each ticket you purchase. As the savings add up, so do the funds to Family Covenant Ministries, which in turn helps you as we use them to advance God’s kingdom by equipping generations for the Lord.
I always worry about forgetting someone. If I have forgotten to thank you, please forgive me and let me know.
Our deep appreciation to:
Joye Hengst for editing and sending out all our emails and for helping at the Family Covenant Ministries and There’s No Place Like Home booths.
Binkley family for bringing all the stuff it bags that they stuffed, managing advertisements for the convention center screens, working speakers’ tables, working the AIG fundraiser booth, boxing and preparing speakers’ materials for mailing, and watching the ballroom doors for those who we knew intended to come to see the Duggars without registering. I am just always amazed at how people, who call themselves Christians, try to get into our workshops and celebrations without paying.
Carr family for allowing materials to be delivered to their home, picking up printed materials and storage boxes for registration at Office Depot, printing all our labels and placing them on our attendees’ packets, picking up boxes from our house and taking materials and supplies to the Embassy Suites.
Mark and Kate Ritter for picking up printing at Office Depot, selecting foods for our vendors, managing our volunteers for stuffing our attendees’ name badges and envelopes, and managing the hospitality room for our vendors and speakers.
Tom Ritter family, Mark Ritter family, the Keithlys and the Reames for helping to stuff our name badges and attendees’ packets.
Ritter family for managing speakers’ booths and the FCM booth, setting up the exhibit hall and packing it up at the end, and working registration.
Reames family for picking up and mounting photographs for the creation booth, making signs for evaluation form boxes, picking up name badge containers, picking up boxes from our house and taking to the convention center, checking booths to make certain they were set up according to our specifications, helping us manage the Family Covenant Ministries and There’s No Place Like Home booths and selecting and arranging the roses for the booths, making sure I was at my workshop on time, that I was hydrated, and for watching the doors to Duggars performance.
Linda Carr for managing the registration tables throughout the entire conference.
Linda Carr, the Wells, Ritters, Staffords, and Prices for working registration even through the glitches with our new online service, which will be corrected for next year.
Weilands, Reames, Ritters, Tornatores, Williams, Howards, Hardebeck, and Hermanns for helping our vendors set up.
Weilands, Reames, Ritters, and Hermanns for helping our vendors move out.
Drinkards for decorating boxes and bringing stuffed animals for the AIG booth. Picking up materials from our house to take to the convention center. Making deposits and writing checks for the conference.
Carol Weiland for decorating our AIG Creation Fundraiser booth.
Dustin Ledden for coordinating our taping crew, for taping, and for putting together our slide show.
Seth Rice for taping and photographing.
Stephen Littmann and his crew of Peter Saffa and the McCardie brothers—Austin, Curtis, and Phillip—for taping.
Emily Rose, Andrew Keithly, and Joshua Kleveter for taking pictures.
Bob and Conrad Wells, Devin and Garrett Carr, Michael and Michael Payne, Jr., Brendan Koch, Garrett Valeu, Peter Saffa, Wayne, Andrew, Jason and Luke Howard, James Wilkerson and Dakota Starnes for opening our patriotic tribute.
Koenigs for their terrific performance.
Bob Wells for his kind and loving prayer.
And to all of our families for their dedication and commitment to discipling their children.
2014 30th ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE
As families from all over the country gathered together to learn from our speakers, support our organization, and fellowship with one another, they enjoyed basking in God’s goodness to us once again. What a magnificent conference, everyone said; what magnificent blessings God bestowed on us at this conference. Thank you for the godly messages.
The speakers’ messages were magnificent and truly transforming as they resounded with biblical truth, direction, and hope.The patriotic tribute was spectacular and the prayers powerful. Everyone who spoke to us sensed the mighty moving of God’s Spirit amongst our families. We are praising God, once again, for His mercy, grace, and goodness to all of us as we see a great revival among our families.
We wanted to let you know how very much we will miss being there with you all this year! With our daughter’s wedding 2 weeks away, we just couldn’t do it. We pray God’s richest blessings on this conference and that all may receive a thorough refreshing through the Spirit of God! –Cordova, IL
FAMILY COVENANT MINISTRIES VISION FOR THE NEXT SIX YEARS-In upcoming newsletters we will be sharing the wonderful things God is doing with FCM!
Prior to the conference, a group of families joined us in fasting and praying for FCM. God opened a floodgate of blessings upon us as He directed us to a signature scripture for FCM and enlightened us with detailed plans for the next six conferences all the way to 2020. We are all really excited about the wonderful and mighty things God is going to bring forth from Family Covenant Ministries, not only for our families’ children, but for our children’s children to come.
Speakers, vendors, and many attendees all confirmed to us, over and over again, that God is moving mightily through Family Covenant Ministries and has great things in store for us in the coming years. Let us give thanks for His particular favor to all of us!
“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3
God’s Signature Scripture for FCM
Isaiah 61“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers. But you will be called the priests of the LORD; you will be spoken of as ministers of our God. You will eat the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs. For I, the LORD, love justice, I hate robbery in the burnt offering; and I will faithfully give them their recompense and make an everlasting covenant with them. Then their offspring will be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them because they are the offspring whom the LORD has blessed. I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.”
FCM 2015 CONFERENCE
Family Covenant Ministries 31st Annual 2015 Southern Exposure of America’s Bible Belt Extravaganza This extraordinary conference will address the following topics and how they impacted families, and thus the foundation of our nation!
Spanish Influence on America
Eli Whitney Cotton Gin
McCormick Reaping Machine
Daniel Webster/Henry Clay/John C. Calhoun
Clipper Ships/Paddle Wheelers
War of 1812/Battle of New Orleans
Texas/Battle of Alamo
Stephen Foster, Father of American Music
War Between the States
Rough Riders/Teddy Roosevelt
Essential Oils/Herbal Remedies
Multigenerational Family Plan
Celebrations will include a Cotillion, Costume Contest, American Music of the South Production with a Sing-a-long, and a Mountain Folk Festival with Irish Cloggers.
If you would like to contribute to the mighty transformation and revival that is taking place in our families and in our nation as our families rise up and take dominion of their culture for Christ, please visit our website and donate through the contribution button on the front page. www.familycovenantministries.com
FAMILY COVENANT MINISTRIES Information and Activities
Please Note Activities and entertainment alone do not build or strengthen, quite the opposite in fact, as they set the stage for destruction. That is why we combine instruction with fun activities—biblical meat that edifies—fellowship that honors God—all while fortifying His body.
Our meetings and activities are for building up a body of families who are faithful to the multigenerational family covenant, who understand the vast importance of community of like-minded covenanted families that support, strengthen, and protect Family Covenant Ministries and our Family Covenant Ministries families, as we go forward advancing the faith by taking dominion of our culture for the glory of Christ! Thus they are not designed for entertainment alone, but also for instructing in biblical truths that will equip our families while also giving the opportunity for meaningful fellowship.
FCM (CHEF) Used Curriculum Sale,Wednesday, May 28, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noonat Westminster Christian Academy, 800 Maryville Centre Dr., Town and Country, MO 63017. www.wcastl.org. We have people come from all over the state and other states. Sellers may begin setting up at 8:00 a.m. Tables are $13 for an 8-ft. table. To register for a table, send your check payable to FCM (Family Covenant Ministries), Sonia Summers, 236 St. Louis Avenue, Ferguson, MO 63135 or contact her at 314-521-8487. Directions:From Hwy 270 go west on Hwy 40/64. Get off at the Maryville Centre exit. Make an immediate left over Hwy 40/64 going south. This goes directly into their campus.
FCM (CHEF) 30th Annual Graduation, Saturday, June 7,8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.at 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. Our ceremonies are wonderful celebrations of God’s work in the lives of our homeschooling graduates, and we would encourage each of you to come and be blessed even if you do not have a student graduating.
FCM ENTREPRENEURIAL FIELD TRIPS
We have asked several of our entrepreneurial families to open up their family businesses for hands-on field trips so that our FCM families can experience different areas of production. Please watch for others that will soon be forthcoming.
FCM Brown Family Tour and Party, Saturday, August 16, 1:30 p.m. at GFC, 34273 210th Ave., Pittsfield, IL 62363. Tour will be from 2:00-3:30 p.m. with a potluck dinner at 4:00 p.m. Please bring 2-3 dishes and lawn chairs. Paper goods and drinks will be provided. Fellowship, volleyball and games will follow. Please bring any additional games if desired. RSVP to 217-285-6487 or
[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 Jeffuswrites: Here is my free online lessons link and what I teach in just 2 days for the Landry Academy.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME-Celebrating 28 years of inspiration, encouragement, and biblical instruction www.theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com
NOTES FROM SUBSCRIBERS
We just wanted to drop you a short note of thanks for your service to our family. There is really no way to measure the impact that you have on the community of homeschooling families as you provide example, leadership, service, and support and information! We know that our own family has been strengthened and enriched over the years through homeschooling, as well as by incorporating some of the vision and values of Christian home education even when we were not technically teaching at home. Hopefully as the children move into adulthood they will continue to draw upon the positive values that they have learned and seen demonstrated and build families of their own that are stronger and Christ-centered. We appreciate the Summers family for devotion to God and our homeschool families. –Florissant, MO
Your latest newsletter, which included the names of farm animals present and future, went straight to my heart, though you did forget a nanny goat and a few kids. I still dream of a mini farm, and we have a shelf of books in the apartment, which make all my Korean friends laugh. (My daughter) reminded us (with much hilarity) that she knows how to do CPR on a chicken in the event of a disaster (thank you, “Living with Chickens”) and I am assured that my future Dolly, Daisy, Daffodil, Penny, and Calpurnia can breathe easily. Such wonderful news about your work together on the farm - we would love more pictures if you can attach them to an email easily! And I look forward to someday letting the chickens play in the orchard planted from your stock. The ponies, Pumblechook and Mr. Bumble, will enjoy the fresh apples which our grandchildren will share with them! –Handong, South Korea
CHEF Graduation Charge – June 1, 2013 given by Bob Wells
A CHOSEN GENERATION – CALLED FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
Have you ever heard the expression: “Hung with his own rope?” A perfect example can be found in the Book of Esther. A righteous Jew, Mordecai, refused to bow down to Haman, the chief magistrate under a Persian King. Haman vowed to not only kill Mordecai but all of the Jews in the province. Later, Esther, Mordecai’s young cousin, who had been abducted and taken in as Queen, convinced the king that Haman was a traitor. The angry king decided he would put Haman to death. One of the king’s servants informed him that Haman had a gallows right in his own house that he planned to use to kill Mordecai. This gallows turned out to be the very instrument that the king used to destroy Haman.
Today, I plan to use your own chosen class scripture to bring my address to you and this distinguished audience. And by your own choosing, this scripture may very well lead to a bit of squirming and discomfort as I bring these charges to your attention. But seriously, I hope that this message will provoke and challenge you to move from this point in your life to bring great glory to our God.
Class Scripture – 1 Peter 2:9 (reading from the Amplified Bible)
“You are a chosen race (generation –K.J.), a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, God’s own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
Some of you Bible scholars may know what a rich, rich Old Testament foundation this verse in 1st Peter contains:
1. Chosen generationwas lifted from passages like Isa 43:20 – The beasts of the field will glorify Me; The jackals and the ostriches; Because I have given waters in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosen people.
2. Royal Priesthoodfrom Isa 61: 6,7 – But you will be called the priests of the Lord; You will be spoken of as ministers of God. You will eat the wealth of nations, And in their riches you will boast. Instead of shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation you will shout for joy over your portion.
3. Dedicated or Holy nation– Exodus 19:5,6 – …you shall be My own possessionamong all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
These and a host of other prophetic scriptures speak of the people of God, those who are chosen and called by the name of Christ on this earth. What wonderful promises these are indeed!
Now arguably those promises have been fairly well received and accepted by Christian people in this day and age. We are good with being called Chosen. We have grasped that we are something of a priesthood of believers – even that we are a special (or peculiar) people set apart and Holy for our God.
But there is a problem with our full understanding of this verse of the Bible. As is so often the case, we tend to grasp the fruits and benefits of the blessing without embracing the responsibility that goes along with it. We tend to neglect that little “THEREFORE” in the passage. Ever noticed how many “SO THATs” and “THEREFOREs” that there are in God’s Word?
An example can be found in the test that God gave Abraham as he commanded him to sacrifice his first natural-born son, Isaac as sacrifice....SO THAT God would know Abraham’s faithfulness.
Or in the New Testament, “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which when sown is smaller than all other seeds yet when it is sown, grows up it becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; SO THAT the birds of the air can nest in its shade.”
So what’s the So That in 1 Pet 2:9? Let’s read it again: “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, God’s own purchased, special people,SO THAT youmay set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
Before we look closer at that “SO THAT” in this verse, allow me to bring an observation. Have you ever noticed how the meanings of things change over time – like with words? If I were to say to you that something isAwful, what would you think of? Perhaps something that is wicked, horrible or despicable? You would be very surprised to find that the original meaning of awful is“deserving of awe and admiration.” What about Sophisticated? You may think of something cultured, refined or high class. But the original word meant “corrupted.” How about Silly? Probably brings to mind someone rather goofy, mischievous or overly playful. But the original word meant “blessed or happy.” And finally, Nice. This may conjure up thoughts of someone super sweet, kind and thoughtful. But surprise! The 13th century meaning of nice was a bold insult meaning “foolish or stupid!” So just a sideline note: Be suspicious if someone calls you Sophisticated or NICE!
In a similar fashion, we often change the implications or meaning of certain facts. I would offer to you that the SO THAT in this passage has been changed in like manner over time for many Christians.
A New “So That” Has been Created in Our Modern Day Christian Economy
I would like to present a few possible scenarios for revised SO THATs to this familiar scriptural passage.
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, God’s own purchased, special peopleSO THAT you can explore the power of your creativity and do great exploits with your gifts and talents finding new ways to amaze the world with your Christian caliber and upbringing.
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, God’s own purchased, special peopleSO THAT you can find the true fulfillment of knowing the real you, self-actualizing and validating your existence on this planet and reaching the pinnacle of your deepest dreams and desires.
And here is my favorite and probably a more likely revision by many Christians today.
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, God’s own purchased, special people SO THAT you can live a nice comfortable life, completing your college degree, getting into a great profession, finding a really nice home and someday settling down to think about raising a few children to be NICE upstanding members of society.
Oh, how dramatically different are these “So Thats” than what the scripture actually prescribes… “…so that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him who called you…”
TWO Essential Parts to This Command
So what does it mean to “show forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him?” Well, we will examine these commands in two distinct parts:
FIRST PART of this “So That” - Show Forth His Wonderful Deeds
1. For one thing it means you must be willing to think more of displaying HIS greatness than of YOUR greatness. John the Baptist said it well when he said: He must increase but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
If the Lord had not said it Himself, that “love of money is the root of all evil,” I would certainly have cast my vote for SELFISHNESS as the worst root of all man’s evils. We have a great propensity to want to blow our own horns…as if we had a tune that EVERYBODY is obliged to listen to!
Somebody once said: The man who lives by himself and for himself is likely to be corrupted by the company that he keeps. Sir Walter Scott said:Sordid selfishness doth contract and narrow our benevolence, and cause us, like serpents to infold ourselves within ourselves, and turn our stings to the entire world besides. John Owen offered: Selfishnessis the making of a man’s self as his own center, the beginning and end of all he does.
But the Lord has called us to display HIS greatness, not our own!
1. Another part of “Showing forth His wonderful deeds” is that we must be completely focused on thinking His thoughts, on determining His will and His methods instead of fixating on Our thinking, Our will and Our methods.
R.J Rushdoony co-authored a book called Tithing & Dominion in which he expounded the importance of the tithe in today’s Christian experience. He beautifully made the case from scripture that tithing is an act of acknowledgment of the Lord’s own sovereignty and ownership of all creation and that any who would seek to deny the Lord this “tax” were in essence denying His Lordship and refuting His total sovereignty over all of His creation. I commend this book highly to you. But a statement that he made in this work is very pertinent to our topic at hand today that I would like to quote:
The issue that faces every man is the issue of sovereignty; it is the issue of Lordship. Who created man and therefore, to whom is man accountable? Is man a creature of God? Who is the Sovereign Lord…and who is the steward-creature within creation? ... The legal principle of God as Lord requires that the believer think and act in harmony with God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is God’s law, or Word, that is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is precisely because man lives “by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” that God’s every word is absolute law for man. This means that man is neither to think nor act apart from the Word of God.” (emphasis added)
Now that’s quite a mouthful, but here is what Rushdoony was saying to us:
God is the creator and thus owner of all creation including man. Because God owns man, then man is totally unfit to be anything but a steward (a caretaker) over God’s creation. And in order for man to be a good caretaker, then he must think and act like the owner. He must have the owner’s thoughts and wishes as his chief objective.
For us, this means that there is no area of study, no vocation that does not hinge on a theological belief of who God is. Economics and Theology are indivisible. Science and Theology are indivisible. Art and Theology are indivisible. Certainly many of your parents understood that Education and Theology are indivisible! You have been trained with a worldview that says that the Lord Jesus Christ has dominion and ownership over every aspect of creation…every vocational endeavor…every area of thought and philosophy.
1. Finally, “Showing forth His wonderful deeds” means that you must be willing to establish a legacy that will cause your efforts to show His wonderful deeds in more than just your immediate lifetime, but indeed to cause them to expand into the next generation and the next generation after that.
The sad but repeating story of the Old Testament is God’s people finding the mercy and glory of God and reveling over it for a few years and then neglecting to transmit that to their children only to have the next few generations stumble and fall into wickedness and sin, resulting in the curse of God in the following generations. And the same is incredibly true today with us.
There is one time-tested, rock-solid way that I know of to ensure a faithful transition of God’s truth and glory into the next generation and that is to HAVE and RAISE UP AS MANY CHILDREN AS THE LORD WOULD BRING to fear and love God with all their hearts, soul, mind and strength. This is sometimes called “Multi-Generational Faithfulness” to the Lord.
Graduates, this is the first of THREE Charges that I will offer to you today. Make this a prevailing goal in your life that you, Lord-willing, will leave a legacy of God-fearing children as you leave this earth.
It can be summed up no better than the Psalmist in Psalms 78:1-7.
SECOND PART of this “So That” - Display the Virtues and Perfections of Him
This is pretty simple in concept, but it is every bit as hard as the first because it requires much sacrifice and selflessness. There MUST be a noticeable difference in your LIFESTYLE, your BEHAVIOR, your CHARACTER and your PRIORITIES than those who are not Christians!
I recently heard a very challenging message from one of our brethren, affiliated with our church, who is a pastor and teacher in India. His name is Rajib Ottowan. Rajib has helped to establish dozens of churches in a region of India, but it has not been without consequence. India is officially a Hindu state. Christianity is NOT freely welcomed, and in many provinces Christians are persecuted and often killed for their Christian faith. Rajib has had to bury at least one or two of his close brethren over the last year, so he bears credibility when he speaks of sacrifice for the faith.
Rajib, commenting on the prophet Daniel and his challenge with King Nebuchadnezzar when Jerusalem was overwhelmed, said that Daniel and his fellow brethren who were chosen to serve in the King’s service had to “DRAW A LINE” as to how far they would go in living life with their heathen captors. Daniel said he would work for them, study for them, and serve them…but he said he had made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank. (Dan 1:8)
This world offers us so many nice choice “meals” and “good wine” if we will but allow ourselves to relax our standards, back off our insistence on a sovereign and demanding Lord. It is so easy to get comfortable with “doing it my way” (as Frank Sinatra taught us). As Rajib put it…Daniel had determined where he needed to draw the line so that he could live “IN the world” but not become part “OF the world.”
You recall the 1st Charge was to make it your prevailing goal to leave a legacy of God-fearing children when you leave this earth. I have two more charges for you as graduates today. The first of the two is an INTERNAL one, the other an EXTERNAL one.
Your 2nd Charge is this…DRAW YOUR LINES NOW. Determine the lifestyle, behaviors, character and priorities that YOU WILL NOT VIOLATE as you move through the next days and years of your life. And with this I offer a caution: If you wait until the challenge is upon you, it is too late! The passage in Daniel BEGINS with him “mak[ing] up his mind” what he would do and not do. You must make up your mind NOW and commit yourself to purity and virtue!! And as an added security…tell someone you trust (perhaps your BFF) of these things and ask them to hold you accountable.
Called for Such a Time as This
As I move to the last charge I must share with you a sincere belief that I have. In the mercy and grace of God, He is committed to restoring this world in its broken and rebellious state back into His grace and peace. He has also committed to always having a “remnant” with which to do this restoration. I believe that you young people, being trained and equipped the way you are, have Been Called “For Such a Time as This!”
Recall that I began my talk with the story of Esther. When Mordecai found out about the command that went out for all the Jews to be exterminated, he sent word to Esther to ask her to intervene before the King. She balked a bit, and Mordecai reminded her that if she remained silent, relief would come at some point through someone…but he also reminded her of the unique situation that God Himself had placed her and the resulting responsibility that she had as a result… “who knows whether you have retained royalty for such a time as this.”
Most everyone in this audience, and I HOPE each of you graduates, knows that we are in a WAR in our society – a CULTURE WAR. This war has many heads and takes on many aspects, and I will illustrate just a few:
Whether that be the rightness or wrongness of taking the life of a child in the womb of its mother…
–or- whether the text of the 1st eleven chapters of our Bible in Genesis are just nice flowery metaphors which have no true historical validity and that we can somehow justify God’s creation using the “scientific” theories of Charles Darwin from his Origin of Species…
–or- whether the gender roles of men and women (more specifically husbands and wives) are up for debate and should be defined by today’s virtues or whether God really meant that the husband is the “head” of his wife…
–or- whether the institution of marriage is just a convenient creation of man and can be defined and/or dissolved as quickly as it is engaged or is it really a God-breathed institution which emulates the very binding and covenantal relationship between Christ and His bride, the church…
–or- whether the civil government can assume the status of the new Jehovah-Jireh in this generation or if it is indeed a creature of God’s own discretion which must act as ministers of justice for His laws…
Regardless of the specific issue, I can tell you this. All these culture clashes have one root. They seek to answer one question: Who is Lord…God or Man?
And each of you must be prepared to give an answer for what you believe. You must be prepared to meet the challenges of your day and answer the thorny cultural questions being posed by our society. Your mission is beautifully summed up by the prophet Isaiah:
And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail [SO THAT]…those among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell. Isa 58:11-12
So as a recap, your 1st charge was to have as your prevailing philosophy and goal to leave a legacy of God-fearing children into the next generation. The 2nd charge was to draw your lines now to live in purity and godly character. And here is your 3rd and final charge:
Your 3rd Charge is this: COMMIT TO REBUILD THE ANCIENT RUINS and RAISE UP THE AGE-OLD FOUNDATIONS.
This world, especially America, is in great devastation today and has fallen mightily from the great position that she once had, and it is primarily because her foundations have crumbled and decayed badly. But all is not lost! God can bring relief. But you cannot afford to stick your head in the sand and say that this is the job of someone else. It’s not just for the pastors and elders. It’s not for Billy Graham or Campus Crusades for Christ. It is for you. Because YOU are “a Chosen Generation, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, God’s own purchased and special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him, Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
God bless you all, as you endeavor to meet these charges I offer today. IF YOU WILL…YOU WILL BE A SUCCESS, regardless of the world’s standards and the Lord’s Goodness and Mercy shall surely follow you all the days of your life.
June 1, 2013
Edward Powell and Rousas J. Rushdoony, Tithing & Dominion, pp. 37-42, Ross House Books, Vallecito, CA, 1979
CASTING A VISION FOR MULTIGENERATIONAL FAMILY BUSINESS It is always good to hear from you that you are reading these to your children. We must be diligent in casting a vision for multigenerational faithfulness!
“In 1834 in Hanau, Germany, a silversmith named Philip Wolf I began to produce leather-covered presentation cases for his silver products with the rationale that ‘Quality jewelry should always be kept in a case of equal beauty and quality.’ This idea has since passed through five generations of the Wolf family. They recently celebrated 170 years of production. Today, Wolf Designs offers unparalleled value and quality which is achieved by European craftsmanship, high quality materials, state of the art electronics, sophisticated timing sequences, patented technologies and five generations of quality manufacturing experience. Wolf Design…handmade for a life time!” www.bigwatchworld.com/wolf-designs
Wolf Designs since 1834 Wolf Designs have been creating handmade jewelry boxes since 1834. This exquisite collection has been designed exclusively for Pottery Barn, inspired by English antique jewelry boxes and pieces from the Wolf Designs archive. Each limited edition box is reminiscent of a bygone era, of luxury and class, to enhance and bring to life your jewelry collection.
Leadership Simon Philip Wolf’s apprenticeship started early, barely out of his teens. His father, Philip Wolf IV guided him every step of the way, laying down a foundation of knowledge that had been passed to him by his father and that is invaluable to Simon who leads the company today with a clear vision and a desire to be the very best.
The People A company is a reflection of the people who work for it. We are a multi-cultural, thoughtful, hardworking team, and family. Together, we make up the heart of WOLF’s family business.
1834 Our History With each generation, we become an even more unique company. Strong traditions and ethics passed down from one generation to the next. Instilling a sense of pride at the achievements we all have made in this family led business, a business that has become a family.
1895 The Apprentice Son Philipp Wolf II had been working as his father’s apprentice. An enjoyable summer in southern Sweden convinced him to immigrate in Malm. There he started his own workshop and soon earned the respect and recognition within the area for his craft. As time passed, his sons, Ernst and Philipp III, proudly continued the tradition of box making.
1930 Philipp Wolf III Philipp Wolf III continued to expand the Swedish factory into its third generation of box making. After the Second World War, he embarked on long trips to America to sell his presentation boxes to newly emerging watch and jewelry markets. Progress was slow, but steady, the trips to America by sea taking up to a month each time.
1962 Philipp Wolf IV Philipp Wolf IV, the first of three sons born to Philipp III, immigrated to England to start a new factory. Over time, his highly automated factory employed over 300 people and was recognized as the largest manufacturer of jewelry boxes and display materials for all of Great Britain and much of Europe.
1988 Simon Philipp Wolf V With the economy and business flourishing in England, the time was right for the Wolf Family to assume the biggest challenge ever undertaken: tackling the USA and Canadian Markets. It was up to Simon Philipp Wolf V, with guidance from his father Philipp IV, to persevere through difficult challenges and achieve remarkable success.
Today Simon Philipp Wolf V The Wolf Family’s business legacy proudly continues! The company not only crafts great jewelry boxes, but now creates a wide variety of fine quality gift items as well. Their patented technology and innovative product design in jewelry cases and watch rotators has made the company what is today—the market leader.
The Fursdons of Fursdon
The Early Fursdons
Walter de Fursdon first took the land at Cadbury during the reign of King Henry III (1216-1272). He was a Freeman of the City of Exeter and died in 1301. There were Fursdons here when Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales; when Drake defeated the Spanish Armada and when Columbus discovered America. The name “Fursdon” is probably taken from the surrounding countryside - Furzey Down - meaning gorse covered hill.
Seven Centuries of Fursdons
The house at Fursdon has evolved over 750 years from humble beginnings as a cross passage dwelling made from cob with a thatched roof. There have been many changes and adaptations - a major rebuild in the 18th century - with the last major addition being the library wing in 1815.
In 2009, 750 years of stewardship were celebrated with a series of events starting with the symbolic planting of a sweet chestnut tree on the estate.
A tour of the house reflects these changes and the related fluctuating fortunes of a family steeped in the tradition of land ownership and farming. Many fine examples of clothes and artifacts remain from the 18th century family. These are displayed and illustrated by guided tours when the house is open to the public.
Present Day Fursdons
Fursdon is privately owned, and the responsibility for the preservation of the house and the estate lies with us. There are about 750 acres of mixed arable and woodlands including the home farm. It is hard work, and as a family we are indebted to many friends and part-time staff who help and support us so willingly. What you see is a home steeped in family history. Restoration, conservation and maintenance are everyday tasks that go hand in hand with family life at Fursdon. www.fursdon.co.uk/History.html
Fursdon family celebrates 750 continuous years at Fursdon Estate, Devon
David Fursdon, wife Catriona and his children are part of a Devonshire family which has continued in an unbroken line for 23 generations over 750 years, a period of time that has seen 37 monarchs come and go.
Very few families in Britain, let alone the world, have enjoyed the Fursdon family’s long history. It is even more exceptional when you consider that Walter de Fursdon, who took his name from the hills of Mid Devon, settled at Fursdon in 1259 only a year after the Oxford Parliament, before the ravages of the Black Death and before Columbus’ discovery of America or Drake’s defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Of the celebrations, David Fursdon said, ‘We feel it is fitting that the Bishop of Exeter will launch the celebrations to mark 750 years of the Fursdon family residing at Fursdon. We are very proud of our ancestry and family history and will raise a glass to the generations who have lived on this lovely estate while, at the same time, looking forward to the role that we can play in an uncertain future.’
How has the family survived? Was it the Dragon of Cadbury Castle, mentioned in a survey of Devon in 1626 as guarding treasure on the Estate and known to protect the family at time of dire need, driving Cromwell’s troops away during the Civil War? Was it the influence of Grace Fursdon, widowed in the Civil War, who supposedly reappears annually on the anniversary of the execution of Charles 1?
Certainly the family has needed (God’s blessings)in marriage, warfare, business, family affairs and inheritance. The line nearly died out in the 18th century when a little boy, George, was at the age of 1, the only heir to the Estate. Family members served in the Hundred Years War, the Napoleonic Wars, in Greece and Hong Kong in the 19th Century and in the First and Second World Wars. They have had their heroes and villains, successes and failures. The fortunes of agriculture have been fundamental, and there have been diversifications such as a disastrous venture into copper mining in the 19th Century and a better one into tourism in the 20th.
They have suffered sadness in the premature loss of children, parents, wives and husbands. On the other hand they have known the satisfaction of looking after one of the loveliest landscapes in Britain with the confidence to plant trees for future generations to enjoy.
The house has reflected developing needs and tastes over the years; from a central hall house of late medieval times where everything happened in one room, to the stylish and fashionable 18th century Georgian country house, to its current incarnation as part family house, part business where commercial functions have competed with children’s indoor rugby for space.
The family has retained a keen interest in politics and maintained relationships with politicians but have not become directly involved in politics themselves, preferring to observe and understand the forces that might shape their destiny rather than become embroiled in the minutiae and intrigue of political life with all the attendant risks to the stability of the family and the land.
Despite this the Estate covers only a fraction of the land that it once encompassed, but the family is still there in the form of David and Catriona Fursdon and their three sons, Oliver, Tom and Charlie not to mention Lottie the labradoodle, Ruby the chestnut mare and a collection of other animals.
The Fursdon Estate is about 750 acres of arable, pastureland, parkland, orchards and woodland. The diversity of landscape, combined with some of the most stunning views Devon has to offer, makes the Fursdon Estate a great place to walk and enjoy the countryside.
Fursdon is a traditional country and sporting estate with working farmland surrounding the manor house. The land is used for growing cereals, grazing livestock, and managed game shooting. It is this farming which has been the mainstay of the estate over the centuries, and although Fursdon has not been immune from the need to diversify, farming remains very much a core aspect of the estate. The particularly scenic views and rural character which make the estate so special are dependent on the agricultural custody of the land. It retains many of the traditional features present for hundreds of years, such as ancient trees and hedgerows, old lanes and agricultural buildings.
There is an abundance of wildlife to be seen, encouraged by conservation projects which we have implemented in recent years. One such project has been the replanting of the original orchards, with the apples being used to make batches of Fursdon cider.
The house stands on the 600ft contour line and the highest point on the estate is Cadbury Castle, the site of an ancient Iron Age fort - home of the Dragon mentioned in Risdon’s survey of Devon 1626. Firdown is a hilltop copse of beech trees, and on a clear day you can see the sea at Sidmouth gap to the south east, Dartmoor to the south west and Exmoor to the north.
The Coach Hall
The Coach Hall is situated in the stable yard and is used for many activities. It serves as a ticket office and an atmospheric tea room when the house is open to the public but is also right at the heart of the Cadbury community, being used as the parish hall for events and meetings.
It can be hired for functions and is suitable for lunches, lectures, exhibitions, small family parties etc. It can seat up to 50 people, and there are fully equipped kitchen and toilet facilities.
IN THE LIBRARY
All Kinds of Kissesby Nancy Tafuri
The cover of this book depicts four animals kissing their babies in their own way—a goat with its kid, a dog licking its pup, a chicken pecking her chick, and a duck stroking her duckling with her bill. Since parents’ kissing their babies is naturally irresistible, I naturally opened the book. What met my eyes was a lovely farm at sunrise. Birds were flying, a rabbit was hopping, a mouse scurrying, farm animals were sleeping in their sheds as others were waiting to be milked, all while the rooster announced the beautiful morning to one and all.
No family member yet stirred, but I knew they were coming soon because the animals looked with anticipation for someone to milk them and release them from their confines to the open pasture.
Although we all know how much we loved kissing our babies, this book is more about how “little ones love kisses.” Given that the story begins at daybreak, kisses were in order to welcome little ones from their sweet slumber to another glorious day. Remember how much fun it was to awaken our own little ones with smiles, kisses, and “good morning sweethearts”? But as I read the book, I realized that the kisses throughout the book were those given by mothers to their children throughout the day ending with “There are all kinds of kisses, but the best kiss of all…is Mommy’s kiss good night. Sweet Dreams, Little One!”
From beginning to end, the animals all give their own specialized kiss. Little Calf loves Moo kisses; Little Kid loves Maaa kisses; Little Lamb loves Baaa kisses; Little Pup loves Woof kisses, and so on. Need I say more? It is a very cute book.
-Back in the SaddleWhen discussing clothing and gifts for children, Teresa Carr told me that she had purchased some cute things from www.backinthesaddle.comfor her daughter who loves horses. As I looked over the clothing, jewelry, boots, shoes, bags, backpacks, hats, belts, equestrian gear and clothing, ornaments, toys, games, and home décor, I understood the appeal for horse lovers. It is a great place to find gifts for both young children and adult children. After clicking on their “About Us,” I realized that this was part of a group of direct marketing catalogs that we already received—Potpourri, Expressions, Serengeti, and Young Explorers. If your child loves horses, this is the place to purchase gifts.
-Butterfly When the Croys came over to visit, Claire and Julia brought me an adorable butterfly made from a toilet paper holder. Decorated wings cut from construction paper were glued to the back. Eyes, nose, and mouth were created with colorful markers. It was so cute I thought it would make a fun project for your children for spring.
Dusting with a Chamois
All my life, my mother had our furniture dusted with a chamois, so naturally when I began my own home 35 years ago, I continued to dust my own furniture with a natural chamois cloth as well. The fact that it was a family tradition sparked my loyalty, but beyond this I believe that it is the best cloth for picking up dust without excessively dampening or streaking furniture. It is lint free so does not leave particles behind. And it is very soft, so does not scratch.
Simply dampen, wring out, and use just as you would a common dust cloth, only the leather chamois wipes up the dust instead of spreading it into the air to land elsewhere in the room. Since Jon uses a chamois to dry our vehicles after the boys wash them, he is the one who replaces mine when he purchases one to replace his, as they begin to disintegrate over time. You can get these at auto parts stores.
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!
-With a mile of branches facing us, the children and I chipped non-stop for five days. The work was so rewarding, yet the piles of chips that we placed in our barn lot were a whole lot smaller than I anticipated. I am not certain how many chipped branches it takes to make a yard of wood chips, but I can tell you that it is a lot! It reminded me of the vast amount of sap it takes to make just one gallon of syrup, only this was much more work. Good work, but hard work nonetheless. We rented the chipper for the week, so when figuring how many yards of chips we received compared to what it would have cost to purchase that many and compared it with the price of the rental, we came out ahead; except for the amount of hours we labored to chip all those branches. Counting our labor, Jon said it was not worth it. If in the future we were able to purchase a used chipper, it would be worth it because there are so many blow downs still in the woods.
-FIRE The days we were chipping, two burn piles for stumps, rotten logs, and branches that we were not chipping continually blazed. On one of the days, I left to fix lunch with the understanding that everyone else would follow in thirty minutes. Knowing that time flies when working in the field, I continued to work in the house after I had finished lunch while I waited for them to arrive. After nearly an hour, I began wondering why they were taking so long. Gazing out the window, I saw clouds of smoke billowing down the road. Being a half mile away from our fields, I contemplated if that much smoke could really come from just two burn piles. Pretty certain something else was happening, I put on my shoes and took off on our four-wheeler. To my dismay, I saw the aftermath of a fire that had burned acres of our front meadow. Apparently, Jon and the children were leaving on foot, four-wheeler, and truck when Jon and Sonia saw the boys run through the field. They could not really see anything at first, but then realized that the field was ablaze with flames. Shortly before their departure, strong gusts of winds had caused the flame in the middle of the field in a bare spot to jump to the surrounding tall brown meadow grasses. Within minutes, acres were burning. As Jon, Sonia, Jedidiah, and Josiah were battling the fire, they all realized that they could never stop it. And to their horror it was fast approaching the tree line, which separates our field from our neighbor’s. So they began crying out to God to stop the fire. Thankfully God immediately answered their prayer and stopped the fire just short of the tree line, just as quickly as it had started. It was truly a miracle for which we were all truly grateful and a very good lesson for the children in how quickly a fire can spread.
-Once the chipping was done, the boys started working in our lawn and landscaping business full time again. Naturally this brought our work list to a screeching snail’s pace. So after the boys went back to work in the city, Sonia and I stayed down for two days, finishing the work in the fields. During the week of chipping, we did not have time to chip all the cedar branches or pick up all the cedar posts and firewood the boys cut, so Sonia operated the Bobcat, going back and forth, piling logs on our log pile, firewood on our wood pile, and cedar branches in huge burn piles. I stayed on foot, helping pile logs in the bucket of the Bobcat, but for the most part raked up sticks in piles left by the Bobcat. When Sonia was finished piling cedar branches, she came back to each of my piles, and I raked them into the bucket. After we finished, we just gazed at the smooth, clean ground and praised God at how wonderful it all looked.
-Buttercup gave birth to a beautiful bull calf that is all black with a white face. Our bull is an Angus bull; our heifer is a white-faced Hereford. Buttercup is such a sweet cow. She loves to be petted and scratched, and she comes looking for us to receive our affection. This has been a blessing because Jon has had to milk her. The calf will not nurse one of her canals, so it becomes engorged, which could lead to mastitis. On top of this, she ran through a fence to get to her calf—who loves to race around while Jon is milking—and in the process, tore her udder. So now Jon is treating the cut as well.
-Jon brush hogged each of our fields to remove all the briars, scrub saplings, and thick-stemmed weeds that had proliferated due to neglect. As Jon was finishing the last little bit, Jedidiah took Josiah, Sonia, our Doberman and terrier, and me for a ride through the fields on our hay wagon, so we could enjoy the clean pastures. They looked absolutely lovely! Created in the image of God, our spirits soar when order conquers disorder.
-The children and I spent a day cleaning up the original vegetable garden. Picking up trash, pallets, wooden stakes, metal stakes, rusty equipment, tarps, and boards, we cleared as much debris away as possible to get the ground ready for tilling. The former owners had recently used the garden to store round bales. Tarps had covered these, but were now stuck in the ground. Jedidiah and Josiah used the tractor and a chain to pull these out of the mud. In the course they found a very long black snake. Josiah carefully placed him at the edge of the garden. But the snake was not very happy about his discovery, and subsequent eviction, because he climbed up a small tree and hung there with his head pointed towards the boys and just watched them as they worked. I was not very happy either. Then as the boys cleaned up the metal roofing left from a burned barn just on the outskirts of the garden’s border, they found four more snakes all snug under the metal roofing. As boys will be boys, they assured me that these snakes were really very good snakes because they devour bad snakes, rats and mice. However, I was not convinced. Being a firm believer in scripture, I take it to heart when God said that He placed enmity between the snake and women. I hate snakes—all snakes. They make me cringe, quiver, and shriek. So how is this helpful to the gardener who will be weeding and picking produce? Needless to say, I have been somewhat less than ecstatic about gardening in the country.
-Jon drill seeded two of our hayfields last fall with a variety of seeds. Now he is hand broadcasting two of our other fields. It is really neat to see him work because he is using a cloth shoulder seeder that his father used to seed their family’s fields over 60 years ago when Jon was a young boy.
-As we walked down our lane after a hard day of work, the cows came over to greet us. Bonny Doon, and her heifer calf Molly Blue, stuck their heads over to us to be patted while they licked our hands. Cows are such marvelous creatures.
-I really liked Danica Enlow’s names for her future chickens—Dolly, Daisy, Daffodil, Penny, and Calpurnia andher poniesPumblechook and Mr. Bumble.
-Jon just called to let us know that Annabelle had a beautiful bull calf. God has blessed us by allowing us to see the last few calves shortly after birth. It is marvelous to see the gift of life so often on a farm.
-Many of you have asked about our puppy. He is tall enough to lick preserves off a piece a toast on our kitchen counter, big enough to knock me off my feet when bounding around me, and weighs nearly 80 lbs., gaining five pounds each week. We hope he reaches his father’s weight of 150 lbs. He should continue to grow for several more months before reaching his optimum height. It is so much fun seeing him play with our adorable 20 lb. farm terrier. He sometimes takes her entire head in his mouth when they play, but ironically, he is always the one that cries out in pain after she bites his ear. Twenty minutes of his rough housing is about all she can take and then she streaks off like lightning to hunt for smaller varmints. God was so gracious to His children to create animals for their enjoyment. The mud stain you saw on my white pants at the conference was from his muzzle as he lovingly rubbed up against me when we walked out the door for the convention center that morning.
THE JOY OF COUNTRY LIVING
“Occupant”-A Sight for Sore Eyes
It was a beautiful day! My nose took in nothing but clean fresh air; my ears the mooing of cows and the babbling of our creek; my eyes the majestic trees and hillsides. What more could one ask for, really? Yet for all its glory, I would not have guessed that something so insignificant to some could have such an awe inspiring effect on me.
It happened when I glanced towards the mailbox that stands to the side of our farm’s graveled lane. Usually I enter from the other side in anticipation of seeing cows happily grazing in our field, tall grasses swaying in the breeze, birds swooping overhead, and dogs racing through the wide expanse. Today, however, I passed right by our lane so I could gaze at our entire field as I drove on the road that ran parallel to it.
Kind of like a mother staring at her newborn, I just cannot get enough of this blessing from God, so I continue to stare and wonder at the beauty of such a marvelous pastoral face. In the midst of gawking, my eye caught a glimpse of something in the mailbox that stoops to the side of our lane.
I say “the” mailbox instead of “my” mailbox because I have never really considered this mailbox as mine. Leaning to one side with a door that often stands open, it actually seemed like another dilapidated structure that needed dismantling. And since our mail is still delivered to our primary residence in Ferguson, to my dismay, I might add, I rarely noticed this forlorn silhouette because it just seemed abandoned. But lo and behold it now held something that stopped me in my tracks. I backed up the four-wheeler, placed my hand in the opening, and drew out mail.
Who really knew we were here, I wondered? When I gazed down upon the mailing label, the very sight of “Occupant” took my breath away. My heart beat fast, but not for the same reasons that most people’s hearts beat when they see the word occupant.
All of us receive those pieces of unsolicited mail addressed to no one in particular. For the most part, little regard is given to the content of something that is “not requested or sought.” That is why most people consider it junk and toss it into the trash bin. Many, in fact, are downright perturbed by the sight of junk mail, which in turn causes their hearts to beat faster as they mutter things under their breath while they toss it into the wastebasket.
So while most people were bemoaning their mounds of junk mail that day, I was rejoicing. Not over the content, because I did not care what it contained. Even if it announced that I had won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, I could not have been happier.
What thrilled my heart was that it was addressed to the “Occupant”—which happened to be me. I now occupied what I had dreamed of all my life, had longed for all my life, had prayed for most of my life. And at many times, begged God to let me be an occupant of this country.
See, receiving something addressed to “Occupant” was not a demotion as some might think, but definitely a promotion for me. It was at that point that I claimed the mail as personally addressed and claimed the mailbox as mine. Hmm, I pondered. I don’t have to have everything standing straight. After all it is the country, and I like rustic. Yes, I thought, this mailbox could definitely work. With a few flowers at its base, it might even be considered quite attractive.
Even though most loathe and despise junk mail, I now find it refreshing to go to my mailbox and find something that defines occupancy. Someone does live here, at least part time, and though most homeowners want to put a stop to junk mail, I say, “Keep it coming, because ‘Occupant’ means that I have finally come home.”
IN THE GARDEN
Sweet April Showers Do Spring May Flowers –Thomas Tusser, 1557
Although most of us were taught April showers bring May flowers, the original rhyme comes from Thomas Tusser’s collection called A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry and goes like this: Sweet April showers, Do spring May flowers. I personally prefer this version, don’t you? It just seems to denote a more tender, grateful sentiment for the lovely showers God sends for bountiful, glorious flowers.
I love showers, I love flowers, and I love to bless my family with bouquets in every room of our home throughout the growing season. So I thought this the perfect time to encourage you to sow your garden with flowers for bouquets.
As a gift to a friend for having us over for lunch, and for sharing cuttings from her garden for our new farm, I gave a beautiful glass vase with encouragement to place flowers in every room of her home as we do. This was a note she sent to me afterwards. We are enjoying our new flower vase and having flowers throughout our home ... bathrooms, bedrooms, dining room… Yesterday one of my daughters put some lovely flowers on top of the shower to enjoy. Wow! Many blessings to you and your family as you enjoy the gift of your new farm! Much love!
Fill your house with vases of Roses, Zinnias, Loosestrife (Lythrum), Celosia, Catnip, Borage, Liatris, Sweet Peas, Perennial Sage, Lavender, Peonies, Coneflowers, Bee Balm, Veronica, Sunflowers, Cosmos, Queen Anne’s Lace, Rudbeckias, Hyacinth Beans, Cleomes…and bowls of floating Rhododendrons and Roses.
Cindy Tornatore sent this to me. I thought it was cute, so I wanted to share it with you.
Gardening God’s Way
PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS
Peace of Mind
Peace of Heart
Peace of Soul
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE
Lettuce be Faithful
Lettuce be Kind
Lettuce be Obedient
Lettuce Really Love One Another
NO GARDEN WITHOUT TURNIPS
Turnip for Meetings
Turnip for Service
Turnip to Help One Another
WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND CULTIVATE WITH LOVE
There is much fruit in your garden
Because you reap what you sow.
TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN WE MUST HAVE THYME
Thyme for God
Thyme for Study
Thyme for Prayer
Alice’s Tea Room and Miniatures
After church one Sunday in December, several of our families went down to Old Town St. Charles to walk the streets and listen to the carolers. As we passed by 329 S. Main, a lady on crutches stepped out of Alice’s Tearoom onto the snowy sidewalk. After experiencing some difficulty navigating on the slippery pavement, she requested assistance from Jedidiah to help her into a nearby car. She thanked him and told him to come by for lunch someday, as she was the proprietor. Several employees looked on as they watched her enter the vehicle and then turned back to us to encourage us to come back for lunch someday and see their miniature museum. When they saw our enthusiasm, they allowed us in to see all the dollhouses the tearoom’s owner and her mother had created from places they visited around the world. It was absolutely delightful. We actually spent quite a bit of time enjoying the details of each well-crafted and well-appointed house. This museum would be a great place to take girls who love dollhouses. Afterwards you could purchase a few pieces of furniture for your daughters’ dollhouses, as they sell many accessories. Contact them at 636-946-0505 for hours of operation.
FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE
From our Vendor, Renee Yeo, with Beyond Organic and Young Living:
“Salom,” better known in our culture as “shalom,” is a universal word for peace. As a homeschool mom of three, that is indeed a word that I have come to appreciate!
Peace – What Does That Mean?
I had the blessed privilege of speaking at a health workshop this past December on the biblical view of health. As I was preparing my presentation, I discovered that marvelous word “shalom.” I decided to look into that word a bit more, and I was amazed at what I discovered. “Salom” in Hebrew does mean peace; however, take a deeper look at the contextual use of the word, and you will find it means so much more! The Hebraic definition of the word salom means completeness, contentment, health in every area of your life, including financial, emotional and social health. It means to have fullness or what we term “fulfillment” in our lives. Its meaning has such a broad context that it is hard to define in our English language. And, furthermore, with a look at the complexity of shalom, we can see that it is beyond what we ourselves could ever bring to our lives.
My “Aha” Moment
It was only four years ago when our family was facing a difficult health crisis. Trying to find answers to my oldest daughter’s sickness was taxing on all areas of our life. We certainly did not have “shalom” in our lives. We were thankful that God, in His Sovereign care for us, did eventually bring us “shalom” as we sought Him for the answers. I often wonder if I could have spared my daughter years of sickness, had I gone to our Great Physician first rather than last. In supplicating prostrate before Him when all the specialists finally concluded they had no answers for us, it was only then that we found the “shalom” that we were seeking. I was convicted of this when I read:
2 Chronicles 16:12-13 “And in the 39th year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. So Asa rested with his fathers.”
Everyone has a story. In the three years of our family’s ministry for health and wholeness, we have come across so many who suffer from sickness and disease. One thing we have found is there is no “magic” formula for health. The Bible does give us all we need for health and wholeness. His Word does “prescribe” a blueprint for our health. Our family does provide resources and education to help our culture change its mindset on health. We have a passion to help the Body of Christ view health from its biblical perspective. Yet, through it all, He is the One who heals. He is our Jehovah Rapha (God Who Heals). He is the object from which all Wisdom comes.
Perfect Protocol, Perfect Healing?
That God is the One who heals is an understatement. Recently, a very dear friend of ours suddenly passed away. He had been diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. After the “traditional” cancer treatment left him hopeless, he came across a natural, biblical protocol for treating his cancer. The top health experts in the industry oversaw this protocol. We all expected full and complete recovery! For the last year and half, he thrived – he said he never felt better in his life. His wife became pregnant with their first child, and it seemed that the Lord was indeed giving them a “new lease” on life. Then he suddenly passed away. In the middle of the night, he was gone, leaving his wife and unborn son without him. Seven days later his son was born. His wife is now a widow, and his son is fatherless.
Miraculously, we have seen God’s supernatural work. We saw the Lord “carry” his wife during the week of a very “overdue” birth. We saw the family of God surround her with care, emotionally, financially and spiritually. We saw how God gave our friend’s wife the strength to deliver a healthy 11 lb. baby boy. And, we have seen this young wife have the wisdom to understand that her husband is more alive now than he ever was before. In her words, “My husband had the perfect health protocol, and we were asking the Lord for perfect healing. We received what we asked for. Nolan is indeed perfectly healed!”
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Redeemed, Restored and Revived
God has indeed numbered our days. He is the Author of life. The question is not “how can I add days to my life,” but instead “how can I add life to my days.” We have had the privilege of working with many people ready to “change their diet.” More often than not, after helping them understand the biblical model of health, we have seen God do amazing things. They not only lose weight, gain energy and resolve many health issues, but also they experience “salom.” Our God is a redeeming God. He has made our bodies with an incredible capacity to heal. He made our bodies in such a way that when given the right things, we can restore our health and live vibrant lives, for the Glory of God. We can experience shalom. Our friend Nolan experienced shalom these past two years of his life. His wife and newborn son are experiencing shalom despite their loss. This is a great reminder that our help can only come from the Lord.
Yes, shalom – even in our best of days, upon our own strength, we could never truly have shalom. It is only something that Christ can give us. He is our Sar shalom, Prince of Peace!
If you or anyone you know would like more information on how to begin your health journey or if you are on the journey and would like to learn more about our growing health community, email me at
DISMANTLING OF AMERICAJoye and Joe Hengst share: “Putin Doesn’t Threaten Our National Security, Obama Does” by Don Feder
Vladimir Putin isn’t the Easter Bunny. On the other hand, he isn’t Joseph Stalin. It takes a truly fevered imagination to see Russian forces in the Crimea as a prelude to Russian tanks rolling across Europe toward Berlin and Paris.
Putin is a power player who cares more about Russia’s national interests, and Russian minorities in his near abroad, than in that mythical force known as world opinion. Would that America had a president who cared more about our interests than in promoting globalism and the left’s social agenda.
The Crimea’s population is 60% ethnic Russian. For most of the past 800 years, the Ukraine has been Russian.
An independent Ukraine disappeared in the 12th century. It reappeared briefly after the Bolshevik Revolution, only to be crushed by the Red Army and not emerge again until the fall of the Soviet Union. All of this fuss about the “territorial integrity” of a state born yesterday.
The Russian-backed government in Kiev came to power democratically, but was ousted by the Maidan mob. We’re told that the interim government is pro-Western and pro-EU.
When Reagan was president, the expression pro-Western meant something. It meant pro-representative government, pro-human rights and pro-Western (Judeo-Christian) values.
Today, it means a willingness to accept same-sex “marriage,” abortion on demand, an anti-religion ethos – the agenda of the EU’s cultural commissars – and the economic dictates of the Brussels bureaucracy.
Putin doesn’t want to see the EU — and, possibly, NATO — on his doorstep. Do you blame him? If someone overthrew a democratically elected, pro-American government in Ottawa and replaced it with an interim regime hostile to our interests, that contained neo-Nazi elements and which immediately moved against English-speaking Canadians, it would irritate us too. It would, that is, if there was an American in the White House.
But don’t I care about a possible Russian annexation of the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine (with its Russian-oriented, Orthodox population), conservatives who are still fighting the Cold War ask me? Not really. I’ll tell you what does concern me:
Obama’s hollowing out of our military— Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans to slash the army’s active-duty personnel by at least another 70,000. Some support aircraft and cruisers are also slated for mothballs. The Marine Corps will lose 8,000 of the few/the proud. In 2013, defense spending was 4% of GDP — taking us to pre-Pearl Harbor levels. The president doesn’t think we need a military, just a marker for drawing red lines.
Obama’s life style-friendly military— If Putin doesn’t take us seriously, is it any wonder? The headline in the March 2 Stars and Stripes beams: “Gay, lesbian troops perform in drag at Kadena Air Base” in Okinawa. The publication disclosed that the drag show was “in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered troops.” Doubtless, this will do much for the morale of the non-LGBT troops. But as then-Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr. said at the time of the Ft. Hood massacre (which the administration still refuses to call a terrorist incident), diversity is the New Action Army’s most important product.
Muslims in the Obama White House— including Arif Alikhan (Deputy Executive Director for Policy in DHS), Mohamed Elibiary (Homeland Security Advisory Council), Rashad Hussain (Special Envoy to the deeply anti-Semitic Organization of the Islamic Conference), Imam Mohamed Magid (Obama’s Sharia Law advisor, on loan from the Islamic Society of North America, with its Brotherhood ties) and Eboo Patel (on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships). A Muslim who takes his religion seriously must put loyalty to Dar al-Islam above allegiance to an infidel state.
The suicide pact Obama and Kerry are determined to force on Israel – Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu arrived in the U.S. Monday to the administration’s threats. If Israel doesn’t participate in a negotiated surrender (leading to Jihadistan on its borders), Washington won’t be able to contain the “international fallout,” the White House warned. Unlike the Ukraine, Israel’s territorial integrity is in our national interest, as our only friend in a region with a lot of people determined to destroy us.
Obama’s metastasizing autocracy — We fret about democracy in the Ukraine while Obama treats the Constitution as a series of suggestions. For the president, the three branches of government are him, his pen and his telephone.
Putin is a strong man. Obama is a weak man (except when it comes to bullying our allies). Obama venerates multilateralism. Putin is willing to go it alone. Obama is committed to the entire LGBT agenda (including gay “marriage”). He’s also the only sitting president to address Planned Parenthood, such is his commitment to abortion without borders. Putin believes the foregoing is the road to national annihilation.
Where does the threat to America lie?
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.
(First published at AmericanThinker.com)
TO BE SALT AND LIGHT, WE MUST LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES
Recently we had a conversation with a waitress that included the fact that she and her boyfriend were soon to purchase a house, to which I inserted, “After you’re married, I hope.” She sheepishly looked at me with downcast eyes telling me all I needed to know. I quickly asked her if she knew the high statistics of failed marriages of those who lived together prior to marriage. I then shared with her the significance of making a solemn sacred covenant before the Lord, for better or worse, richer or poorer; in sickness and in health—for it is only that commitment before the Lord that holds any marriage together.
I then told her to make certain that she waited until that boy made an honest girl of her. And then told her that if he really loved her, he would marry her. I then asked her what she thought would hold them together if they moved in to the house they soon hoped to purchase without being married—the house? But before she could answer, I told her that houses are easily disposed of and can easily be divided between two parting parties. I pointed to my family, and said that this is the blessing marriage brings. But I also shared that in my 35 years of marriage, we certainly had differences that could have ended in divorce had it not have been for our commitment before God to stay together for better and for worse. I then encouraged her to wait until that young man married her. Thankfully, before we left, she came up to me and said, “I will strongly consider what you have said to me. Thank you.” Love your neighbor as yourself!