Monday, February 18, 2008

Who'll take The Son?

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art." The young man held out this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of the son The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"

There was silence.

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."

But the auctioneer persisted. "Will somebody bid for this painting. Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?"

Another voice angrily. "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"

But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

"We have $10, who will bid $20?"

"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters."

"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son.

They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"

A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!"

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."

"What about the paintings?"

"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.

The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: "The son, the son, who'll take the son?"

Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

Friday, February 15, 2008

End of winter chores....

We are finishing up the last of our winter projects and trying to prepare for spring. Josiah and I spent last weekend trimming apple trees. We planted a small orchard years ago but the trees have not been cared for properly. We are trying to remedy that this year.

Years ago we hosted a fruit tree workshop here on our farm for a local non-profit organization. They brought in two local experts on fruit who taught about all kinds of home fruit production. They showed the attendees the proper way to plant trees and then everyone was divided up into groups to plant a tree. Great for people to learn and we had a dozen trees planted for us!

Then they taught us to trim trees. We have three large trees on our farm and they probably hadn't been trimmed in decades. They were used for demonstration purposes. Each tree received a small trim but we have lots of work left to get them into shape. It was a lot of fun and very informative. If you are in the Bristol TN/VA can visit Urban Homestead to get apple trees that are native to this area - or visit their website here. Tim and his family do an amazing job!

While Josiah and I were trimming all the little trees in our orchard, Jeremy was busy working on fences. This weekend, weather permitting, we will tackle the big apple trees again. I was amazed at how much Josiah remembered. I thought I would be teaching him but in reality he knew more than I did and was able to explain to me why different limbs needed to go. They say you should be able to throw a cat through an apple tree without harming either the tree or the cat. Not something I want to try :)

Jeremy also managed to bush hog the apple field and most of another field. It was so good to see all of that weedy brush disappear. Spring will be beautiful! This week we also had a group of ladies come out to help us pull the weeds from around each tree. The boys and I had done 3 trees - and it took us about an hour for each one. We pulled the weeds out about 1.5 feet from around the tree, worked in a shovel full of compost, covered it with a thick layer of newspapers and then applied a deep layer of mulch - but not up against the trunk.


Once the ladies arrived it was amazing how fast the work went. We had fun chatting and getting to know each other better and they just flew through the work! They finished another 12 trees in just a few hours! Many hands truly do make light work!!


We then enjoyed a wonderful lunch together and spent another hour or two chatting about our desire to serve the Father, herbs, canning, soapmaking, and gardening. I look forward to working with them often.

Next week we will be getting the greenhouse cleaned up, potting soil mixed up and seeds lined up for planting. I am excited again about spring.....I love my little greenhouse and all of the miracles that seem to occur there on a daily basis....each little seed "casket" that contains a miracle of life that feeds my family. I can hardly wait!

It is time to start talking herbs again...I'd like to talk about some of the things that will be coming up next month so that you can harvest them for your own needs. Some I have written about before but I'll tackle some new ones too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Are we clueless?

....tell me what you think...
What's With All These Clueless Christians?

By Chuck Baldwin
February 12, 2008

This column is archived at

"For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs
and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect." Mark
13:22 (KJV)

"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they
should believe a lie." II Thessalonians 2:11 (KJV)

What's with all these clueless Christians? How is it that people who
have the benefit of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the warning and
insight of the Sacred Scriptures--not to mention a rich Christian
heritage here in America--can be so ignorant, blind, and naïve? Yes,
the majority of evangelical Christians seem to be all of the above.
The problem has passed being serious: it is catastrophic!

How is it that we have drifted away from being an informed, active,
knowledgeable, and dedicated group of highly motivated Christian
patriots to a group of impotent and anemic sheep? Our Christian
forebears must be turning over in their graves, because we are in the
process of squandering the greatest human sacrifice--save that of the
sacrifice of Jesus Christ--ever made: the sacrifice of America's
Founding Fathers.

The problem is manifold, of course. For the most part, our pastors
have become glorified politicians and business executives. As
attorneys are not schooled in the Constitution, today's ministers are
not schooled in the Scriptures. They are motivational speakers,
salesmen, and business managers. The Bible is only used as a side
reference, if at all. It is not taught or preached literally. Pastors
go through the Bible the way people go through a salad bar: gleaning a
few sweet-tasting morsels and rejecting everything that appears the
least bit distasteful.

Then there is the "fit-in-with-the-brethren" mentality. The politicos
in Washington, D.C., have nothing on many pastors' fellowship groups.
Fitting in with the denomination seems to be a far greater priority
than being an independent man of God. And, of course, let's not forget
the importance of not "making waves" with the deacons, elders, or
church trustees. In a word, today's pastors have been very effectively

Another problem is the way our pastors and churches have become
"success" driven. Churches used to focus on truth and discipleship. No
more. The church-growth movement of the last three decades has
produced a generation of Christians much more concerned about crowds,
buildings, and activities than they are fidelity to truth. Church has
become a numbers game where success is measured by attendance and

There is yet another problem: today's churches are completely enamored
with power. No, not the power of God. They are completely infatuated
with the power of men. Rich men. Popular men. Influential men.
Celebrities. Politicians. Millionaires. Sports stars, etc.

Yet, listen to what God tells us about rich and powerful men. "Do not
rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?" James
2:6 (KJV)

Historically, it has always been the super-wealthy, super-powerful
elements of society that have brought tyranny and persecution to God's
people. It is the political and business elite who have trampled
people's freedoms and liberties, enslaved their children, and ravaged
their lands and properties.

Nothing has changed: the super-elite in the United States and Europe
are continuing to do what they have always done. Both the Republican
and Democrat parties are controlled by those who desire to create a
globalistic society in which they will control the world's materials
and peoples.

Both George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush have contributed to the
tyrannical goals and ambitions of the super-elite. So has Bill
Clinton. If John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton or Barack
Obama is elected, they will follow in the globalist footsteps of their

The Christian professions of our political leaders mean nothing.
Absolutely nothing! Putting an "R" behind his or her name also means
nothing. Neither does calling oneself a "conservative" mean anything.
Our political leaders are mostly walking in lockstep with the evil
designs of the super-wealthy. Ditto for the executives who control our
major media.

And our Christians and ministers seem to be absolutely clueless.

James Dobson endorses Mike Huckabee, as does Jerry Falwell, Jr., while
Gary Bauer endorses John McCain. Yet, the truth is, one is as bad as
the other. In fact, Huckabee is posturing himself to be McCain's
running mate after McCain wins the nomination. Does anyone really
believe that Mike Huckabee would turn down an invitation from John
McCain to be his running mate? Get serious! Mike Huckabee would
support the liberal, Big-Government John McCain with all of the
enthusiasm he could muster. Why? Because Huckabee, himself, is a
Big-Government liberal who has joined ideological forces with the
super-elite who run both parties.

And no one within the Religious Right seems to get it. Say you are
"pro-life" and "pro-family" and you are "in." Forget the Constitution.
Forget national sovereignty and independence. Forget the principles of
sound money. Forget the Bill of Rights. Forget "Just War" theory.
Forget non-interventionism. Forget protecting American jobs and
manufacturing. Forget putting America first. It's all about getting
along with the establishment, having a seat at the table, and enjoying
the perks of power.

Christians are supposed to be different. We are supposed to think
differently. We are clearly commanded to "be not conformed to this

In addition, as Americans, our heritage and history is that of being
"non-conformist." We loved liberty, freedom, and independence. We
recognized no sovereign authority, save that of Jesus Christ. We
believed in self-reliance and hard work. We didn't expect government
handouts or charity. We believed in disciplining our children and did
not expect that they would learn their values from government schools.
We viewed human government with deep suspicion and demanded that it be
held in check by powerful Bible preaching and by the constraints and
restrictions of the U.S. Constitution.

Remember, it was the political and business elite who killed the Old
Testament prophets, persecuted the early church, and crucified the
Lord Jesus Christ. It was the political and business elite who
oppressed our Pilgrim forebears. It was the political and business
elite who tried to stamp out liberty and independence from the
American colonies. And it is those same political and business elite
who are forcing globalism, socialism, and fascism upon the American
people today.

And our pastors and churches seem to be absolutely clueless.

Furthermore, when someone appears from outside the elitist mainstream,
someone such as Congressman Ron Paul, he is ostracized, ignored, and
even lampooned by the very people who should embrace and support him
most: evangelical Christians.

The truth is, America is in the doo-doo we are in because of the
cluelessness and cowardice of today's Christians. Or, has the elect
been deceived? Have they succumbed to delusion? The result is the same
either way.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The update

Many of you have been writing to ask how the KSMilkmaid is doing. I had a nice long chat with her last week and am asking you to continue to pray for her and her family. Her husband's criminal trial is over...ending in a plea bargain.

She is now facing the difficulties of a divorce and child custody issues. Please pray that our Father's will would be done in this situation. The road she is walking is difficult...especially in such a small community where everybody knows your business....or they think that they do. It will most likely be spring or perhaps even early summer before all is over and she can begin to make plans for the rest of her life.

Farming has been made difficult by weather problems (freezing temperatures, lack of electricity etc.). Her church family has been faithful to stand by her in this time - we can be so thankful for that - checking on her and the children and helping to meet the needs in her life!

I pass your well wishes on to her as you send them and she is very appreciative of your kind thoughts and sincere prayers. Let's remember to continue to pray until this difficult time is over.



Come Play With Me!

I've been tagged by Gwen. This is the first time I've ever "played" internet tag so this will be fun. I am to list 7 random facts about myself...

1. I was born at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda MD. My dad was a Marine (Semper Fie!)

2. I played volleyball in college.

3. I used to speak french fluently.

4. I was a sign language interpreter for a HUGE church in Clearwater FL.

5. I have Beta Thalassemia Minor, an inherited blood disorder common in the Mediterranean area.

6. I love to scrapbook (but never seem to find time!).

7. I love foods that are spicy hot.....REALLY spicy hot!

Game of Blog Tag Rules:
*Link to the person that tagged you.
*Post the rules on your blog.
*Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
*Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
*Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Tagged: Julie, Holly, Cheri, Mary Susan, Lynn, Emily and Julie.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Christmas Mother....

I know it is past the holidays but I wanted to share something that I found in my stocking on Christmas morning. It was one of the loveliest presents...a letter from my 17 year old Jeremy. Actually, each of the boys had written me a letter, thanking me and expressing their love for being there to love and support them through these last couple of very difficult years.

Most of that is too personal to share but I can't express enough how much it blessed me. In Jeremy's letter he included a story that he had written...I share it below in the hopes of encouraging other Mama's who do so much for their family through the holiday especially meant so much this year because our gift giving was a little on the "lean" side but our memorable moments were numerous, rich and full.
The Christmas Mother

The presents are wrapped, the tree is trimmed, the dinner is ready, the house is clean, and the kids are all scrubbed and brushed for Christmas morning. Who has done all this you might ask? The Christmas Mother of course! She makes everything ready for Christmas every year, year after year. She makes the dinner, wraps presents and decorates everything without being asked and without much thanks and all the while continues her normal chores.

As Christmas morning arrives She has much to do, bake the rolls, baste the turkey, make the casserole, all while dealing with children eager for presents. She is the very picture of motherly kindness and patience.

As the presents are opened, eyes sparkle, mouths gasp, and hands grasp the gifts happily. Very few thanks issue out of the joy of Christmas morning but it doesn't bother The Christmas Mother because of the look of joy in the children's faces and the gasps of delight that issue forth from the flurry of wrapping paper that flies from beneath the tree.

As the last present is opened she calls the children to the table for a light breakfast (which she prepared earlier while they slept). After the breakfast the children run back to their presents while The Christmas Mother goes to the kitchen to prepare for the Christmas Dinner.

A few minutes before the relatives arrive The Christmas Mother calls all her children and makes sure they are clean and presentable after playing with the many wonderful gifts which she had given them.

At the table her children behave well...because she has raised them well. And after the dinner, she watches her children run to the Grandparents for the next round of presents...while she cleans up the dinner dishes. With a heart full of joy from the satisfied looks on the children's face as they watch their Grandparents drive away, she then shoos them all to bed. As she tucks the youngest in bed, he utters three words which make this most definitely the very best day of the year. "Thank you Mommy!".

I love you Mom

Thank you Mom

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