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Saturday, 27 December 2014

Obedience, Bullseye and iPods

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments."  (John 14:15)
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.  (1 John 5:2-3)

I have often taught the children that the best way to say "I love you" to mom and dad is to trust the instructions and rules given to them from mom and dad... to trust that these are given to them for their good, not bad.  Giving mom a pretty picture that says "I love you, Mom" is great, but if you then go ahead and trample on mom's instructions or lie about hitting a sibling, did that gift testify to the truth?  

This reminds me of a time in ancient Israel when they were consumed by complacency and they would go through the motions of obedience but their hearts were far from God, trampling all over the very heart of His laws which in essence are to serve Him and love Him with joy (not obligation) and to love others with as much joy.  God would say "your heads are turned towards me but your bodies are turned away."  Essentially, any form of worship not proceeding from a heart that rejoices in the truth of His word becomes an abomination and He would declare "in vain do you worship me."

So too, acts of gifts and giving or words become empty when actions of the heart testify differently.

My children know that we seek the intentions of our hearts in our actions and the moments that these reveal a genuine love and trust, a spiritual rejoicing takes over... love becomes truly experienced.

I have to remind my children of this now and again, particularly with bedtime routines.  But once I ask them "how do you show Mom that you love her?" and they respond "through our obedience", a wonderful thing happens.  As I climb up to tuck them into bed and every aspect of their bedtime routine has been accomplished of their own choosing, their beaming smiles on their faces testifying to their excitement is enough to warm any mother's heart.  In those moments, it is my delight to thank them for gifting me with an "i love you" that reaches my very soul.  

True obedience is a gift of love, never given out of fear but out of freedom.  Otherwise one would have to call it something quite different.  Today, I find our culture is so afraid of the word "obedience" and ties it to a scary, authoritative brutal dictatorship where all freedom is smooshed and obedience is demanded and strangled out of someone rather than given.

Obedience is always a choice.  And true obedience is a gift, a freewill offering... or rather, an offering made of our freewill.  And when you know the gift delights the one whom you love, it becomes your delight and joy to give it.

Today, Avalyn was playing on an iPod first thing in the morning... something that is contrary to the rules in this house.  Melina (19 yrs old) and her boyfriend, Jared (19 yrs old) are in town and were in the living room when they saw Avalyn (2 yrs old) playing with it.

"Um, Avalyn?  Are you allowed to play on the iPod right now?"

Avalyn sheepishly looked up at her big sister and shook her head no.

"Then what do you need to do with that iPod?"

Avalyn reluctantly turned off the iPod and slowly walked towards the wall unit where these are kept.  She picked up a second one and stared at both of them in her hands, looking from one to the other.  The temptation was nearly palpable!  As she continued looking from one to the other, something seemed to resolve in her mind, and she said:

"I choose Yaweh."  With that, she put both iPods away where they belonged, turned around and went about playing happily.  Rather than feel deprived, she took delight in her obedience and even revealed a confidence of being freed conscience-wise.  Had I forced her to put it away or used fear to make her obey, I would have robbed her of fine-tuning her own self-discipline and mastery over temptation.  Each of these tiny victories in self-control is like working out a spiritual muscle.  
"My power is made perfect in weakness."  (2 Corinthians 12:9)
And with this I encourage each of you to trust that the laws of God, His instructions, are given for our good, not bad.  That no amount of professing with our lips that we love Him will compare to our delight in doing what is pleasing to Him... love His law, which is spiritual (Romans 7:14).  He will never take away your freedom to choose for yourself if you will gift Him with your obedience, but He knows that by nature of its design, it will lead you to a freed-conscience and a joy beyond measure.  God gifted us with His spiritual law that leads to life because its purpose has always been to keep us aiming on the bullseye, which is Yeshua... the very embodiment of it. 

I envision Him as a Father coming to "tuck us in" and our eagerness and excitement in sheer anticipation of knowing our obedience to His "bedtime routine" is going to put that big smile on His face... I want to see a softening in His eyes as He says "thank you for saying 'I love you' in a way that reaches the very depths of my soul."  Our Redeemer, Yeshua, has proclaimed that if we love Him, we will joyously keep His commandments, for they are not burdensome but rather a delight to give!
For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.  (John 12:49-50)
Jesus did not come to abolish the law (Matt 5:17), but to testify and confirm to the truth of the life found within it... that our obedience may be founded on our freedom to gift it... our freewill offering.  May you be blessed by the very embodiment of God's eternal and unchanging law, the perfecter of our faith, our King of Kings, Lord or Lords... our Everlasting Father.  I ask this in Yeshua's name... Amen.

Friday, 5 December 2014

What Time is it Miss Avalyn?

My children are such keeners that some days I get worried I won't be able to stay a step ahead of them with homeschooling! Another thing that amazes me is how the two little girls watch and learn without my realizing it.

Sivana (who is four) and Avalyn (who is two) found the toy clocks I use for teaching time. I believe that the best learning happens when a child shows intrigue and interest. The girls clearly had this as they were moving the hands around on the clock so I figured I would seize the opportunity and teach them the basics of "o'clock." The little girls already know their numbers so the only thing now was to explain what the hands mean on the clock and how they communicate to us. In our house, the rule is "littlest one first" so this concept was easy to transfer to the little girls... "which one is the littlest of the two hands?" The girls excitedly pointed correctly. "Right! Littlest first so we look to see which number the littlest hand is pointing at. Next is the big hand. Mommy's going to teach you the o'clock rule... when the big hand is pointing straight up... show me your hands pointing straight up... you got it! When that big hand is pointing straight up, he says 'O'CLOCK'! So littlest first then 'o'clock'!"

We went a few times around the clock and the girls got it pretty quick. At this point, by no means was I expecting this to stick but to my amazement, Avalyn has been notifying me what time it is throughout the day! My two year old is better at keeping time than I am! :) Tonight at the dinner table, she said "Mommy, it's seven o'clock." "Yep, Avalyn, you're absolutely right!" She has been struggling lately with staying in her seat until the completion of the meal so I've been teaching her about self-control and obedience. Today, she did a great job with staying seated so after her clever remark on time, I added "And Avalyn.. you have done a great job with being obedient today. Thank you!" A big triumphant grin came across her face "Ah.. yo welcome, Mom. God fixed my heart."

I nearly choked on my bite! I had been teaching Ethan and Anika that no matter what we do in our daily lives, good deeds or bad, if these do not proceed from a loving and serving heart, we've missed the mark. I've tried to call attention to the heart of their intentions to grow in self-awareness. When Ethan swung a rope around and inched his way closer to Sivana until she got hit and cried, I asked him "what was the desire of your heart in that moment?" To which he looked at me and sheepishly said "My desire was to hurt her and make her cry." "Thank you for being truthful, Ethan. Can you tell me why that was something you desired?" "No.. I don't know why." "Well, chances are if you can't figure out the 'why,' you'll likely be facing that desire again. Until you can figure out the why, try harder not to give into the temptation of that desire, ok?"

Or on another occasion, our family was sitting in the living room with my Mom, and Ethan thinking that Grandma Jacquie was cold, grabbed a blanket and put it on her lap. I watched to see if he would delight in doing what was right or if he would look for accolades. Sure enough he looked over at me and said "Did you see what I just did, Mom?" I burst out laughing and said "Oh my son, you were so close! Should we put a blanket on grandma to keep her warm and be helpful or so that other people point out what a good boy you are?"

It is truly a blessing to be in this family and to help encourage each other towards living truthfully and with integrity knowing full well we fail but we never stop trying. The kids are even "good" at pointing out my shortcomings! :) "Mom, remember that it is not kind to raise our voices."

Choke that one down in the heat of frustration!! I've since explained that if I've had to say something more than twice, it merits a yelling. ;) They agreed that was fair.

But here we are with little Avalyn who unbeknownst to me has been soaking in the teachings about keeping watch on the integrity of our hearts knowing it is God who instructs us through His Word, as long as we seek Him diligently through it. For He alone is the God who removes hearts of stone and replaces them with hearts of flesh... hearts that walk in the delight of His law. (Jeremiah 31:33 and Ezekiel 36:26) Avalyn was brilliant in acknowledging that Adonai guided her heart towards obedience... and she responded!

I love the blessing of the life Adonai has given me. I love these little lambs He has placed in my care and their eager hearts to do good. I pray He can guide me to stay one step ahead of them until the time comes for Him to take them beyond anything I am capable of. Then, just like the jet packs pull away from the rocket, Duane and I will, too. And beyond telling time and gaining mastery over the desires of their hearts, perhaps God will grant them a wisdom and understanding that truly is, out of this world.

Blessings to you all out there. May His peace be upon you this night and always.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Avalyn's Sweet Goodnight

As I was tucking Avalyn into bed last night, she giggled that wonderful giggle of hers, jumped legs straight on to land on her bum by her pillows and said "Mommy! I want all fwee (3) bwankets... And fwesh water in my water bottle... Paweeeeease!" I smiled and pulled her up into my arms for a hug and my two year old pulled back, cupped my face in her hands and said "Mommy... You're my best fwiend!"

Every now and again, these moments make themselves known like an angel stepping out of the mist, catching you by glorious surprise and feeling divinely blessed by it.

Simple words but when spoken from the abundance of a truthful heart, their worth exceeds that of any worldly treasure.

Wanted to share the warmth of the blessing with all of you. God Almighty, I LOVE being a Mom to your little lambs! Thank you for this gift and privilege!

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Ethan's First "typed" Story

Fire truck to the rescue we you we you we you we you o fire sssssssss  gos the hose done.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Sower of the Word of God

It was a beautiful morning and all too quickly it was time to get started on homeschool with Ethan (5) and Anika (7).  On this particular morning, I felt it was important to teach the Parable of the Sower.  So we opened our day in prayer, thanking God for the freedom to love and serve Him in our country... we prayed for our Canadian authorities and we prayed a blessing upon the nation of Israel.

"Alright kids, I'm going to read you the Parable of the Sower.  I want you to pay attention to the types of soil/ground that the seeds are working with.  You'll have to tell me WHAT you think the ground/soil represents and what you think the seeds are.  Ready?"

"Ok, Mom!"
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."  (Mark 4:3-8)
"Alright you guys, what do you think the different grounds represent?"

Moment of silence as they contemplated.  "Hmmm... I don't know, Mom."

"Well don't worry!  Even Yeshua's apostles didn't understand so they had to ask Him what He meant by the parable.  Here's what Yeshua answered them:"
"The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear and do not understand it, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."  (Mark 4:14-20) 
"Do you remember how I told you that Yeshua came to teach the people the Torah of God, His righteous instructions, on how we are to live if we claim to belong to Him?"

"Yes."

"Yeshua came to teach us the Word of God, His Torah.  God told us His Torah is everlasting and unchanging, just like Yeshua, and that anyone who teaches contrary or differently from it is a false prophet sent to test our faithfulness to His word.  Yeshua is like the sower and He is spreading the seed of God's Torah, His everlasting Word, to everyone around Him.  The different grounds or soils are the hearts of people.  God's Word is to be in our hearts.  Do you remember how He promised He would write it on our hearts with His Holy Spirit in Jeremiah 31:33 and Ezekiel 36:26?  Can you tell me about the first ground, the path?  What kind of heart is that?"

"It's a path."

"What can you tell me about paths?  Are they made for people?"

"Yes!  And lots of people walk on them.  You can ride your bike or run."

"That's right.  If our heart is living to please people or ourselves instead of God, it will be hard to understand God's word... then what happens to those seeds?"

"Satan snatches them away!"

"Yeah... that's not very kind now is it?  What about the rocky ground?  What kind of heart is that?"

"Hmmm, is it sedentary rock or igneous rock?"

(laughter on my part)  "I'm not sure... let's say its igneous rock."

"Is it like when God says people harden their hearts like stone?"

"Hmmm, that's a good question.  Maybe it's rocky ground because when things get hard, like a rock, the poor seed doesn't last very long.  Is it always easy to do what's right?"

"No."

"Why is it important to do it anyways?"

"Because otherwise we are disobedient and that doesn't feel good."

"Well I'm glad to hear that!  Remember when we felt we needed to stop celebrating Christmas and Easter?  Was that easy?"

"No."

"That was a really hard thing to choose.  It made us feel different and alone, right?  Sometimes God asks us to live a certain way or to do things that can make us feel different and alone from everyone else.  And that can be really hard.  But do we obey anyways?"

"YES!!"

"But can you understand why some people, despite loving God's word like the seed that sprouted, would choose to not make changes because it feels too hard?"

"Yes, we understand because sometimes it is hard... but it always feels good after!"

"Again, I am happy to hear that!!  What about the thorns?  What's going on with that heart?"

"Are the thorns like when we want things?  And stuff?"

"You're absolutely right.  The cares of this world are the things of this world like money and things made by our hands.  You know how sometimes it's easy to make having a toy more important than sharing it?  And sometimes it can be wanting to look pretty... mommy struggled with not letting the thorn of being 'thin' keep her heart from bearing fruit for God.  Or sometimes mommy worries about the bills instead of worrying about sharing what we have with others.  It's when we love things of this world that can't be given to God, more than God.  What happens to His word in those thorns?"

"What does 'get choked out' mean?"

"Let's look at our garden out the window... did we get a harvest?"

"Nope."

"What happened?"

"The weeds are everywhere!!"

"Yep... it's hard to 'make fruit' when the weeds take over, right?"

"Ohhhh."

"But now what about the good soil?  What did that heart do with God's word?"

"It GREW!!!"

"It got some strong roots.  What would happen if strong winds came or if it didn't rain for a while?  Would that plant stay strong?"

"Yes!"

"Not only that, but it made fruit for God's harvest, right?"

"Yeah!  Like fruits of the spirit, Mom, or fruits like apples and stuff?"

(Laughing again)

"Good question... I believe the fruits of the spirit.  Remember that God is not seen because He is spirit so His fruit are fruits of the spirit.  Just like God is seen by what He DOES, His fruit can only be seen by what we DO, especially towards others.  I can't put love in your hand, but you can SEE it when I treat others with love, right?  I can't put patience in your hand, but you can SEE when I am being patient.  Do you see the difference?"

"So God wants us to be like a tree for Him?"

"You got it.  A tree planted by His living water bearing fruit in its season for His glory... fruit that make Him SEEN.  Sometimes the fruit can cause more plants to grow!  Wouldn't it be great to be a tree that can help more trees to be planted for God?"

"Yeah!!!"

"So what kind of heart do you want for God?"

"We want the good soil."

"Then I will do my best to teach you His word diligently.  You will know to test for false prophets, you will be able to recognize why Yeshua says what He says, and you will be cared for by Him because you love Him.  I cannot give you any greater gift than the promise of life through Him.  I love you, my babies, and you are His little lambs placed in my care.  I will do my best."

"Mommy!  It's like you're our shepherd but with God as our real shepherd."

And this is where I choked up.  I have envisioned standing before our Messiah and presenting Him my children, saying "These know their shepherd's voice... behold, your little lambs."  He has trusted them in my care and it has been a painful process of letting them go from my protective grip and trusting His hands above my own.  He will look out for them better than I ever could and having them know His everlasting word, keeping it in their hearts, is the only gift I believe is worth giving to them.

I have taught them "test everything... even mommy and daddy's words one day.  If what we teach you is the truth, testing it will reveal that to you.  If what we teach you is wrong, then you will have an opportunity to teach us!"

Today, I spent quite some time drafting another blog entry.  When I was tucking Anika into bed, she asked if she could pray over me.  I was so touched by this.

"Adonai, thank you for my mother.  Thank you for the woman you have made her to be.  A woman who loves you and teaches us about you.  Help us to do your word and to be good.  In Yeshua's name, amen."

"Oh my dear Anika... thank you for that.  I'm sorry I was so busy on the computer today.  I should have been more diligent in spending time with you guys.  I was busy working on my blog and finding more verses to share."

To which she responded...

"Don't worry, Mom.  You were being a sower."

Yep... water works over here.  What wisdom is this?  What grace is this?  I am humbled by this beautiful and unexpected response!  Oh how I have been blessed by these little lambs!!  It is my privilege and honour to share their beauty with you.  I praise Adonai for their hearts whom He prepared... I am reminded of Yeshua's words that we are to have faith like children.  I see it through their eyes!

Without having to question our words and teachings, my children continue to teach me.

May you all be blessed out there.  I pray that your hearts be handled by His gracious hand and made ready for His Word.  I pray you grow strong, deep in your roots of faith.  I pray that even if you feel weak, you trust the hands of the sower that love you... that you may yield fruit for Him who has given you life.  Blessings to you all!!


Monday, 15 September 2014

On A Much Lighter Note

To lighten things up a bit, I do want to share with you a cute story when we were camping last month.  We were set up in our park site and some new neighbours were pulling in and setting up "next door."  Duane walked up to Ethan who was observing the whole thing.  My husband asked our five-year-old son, "Ethan, what are you doing?"

"Oh, just watching our new neighbours."

"Hmmm, well, do they have any kids?"

Without skipping a beat, our son (who acts like a 50-year-old-man trapped in a little boy's body sometimes!) replied:

"Nope.  Looks like they're adult orphans."

BAaaaaa haaaaa!!!!  The logic was priceless!  Just had to share the precious moment with you hoping that despite the heaviness of recent posts, life is beautiful here... blessed to the rim.... and I cherish every moment.  I will never be able to thank God enough for the riches I have known.

May you be abundantly blessed, too.  Shalom, peace to you all.

Anxiety and Poems (an Odd Mix)

Hello out there!  I'm going to confess something... since mid-August, I have been suffering from panic attacks.  You know what sucks about admitting this?  For one thing, I feel weak in spirit.. after all, "perfect love casts out all fear."  And secondly, I feel like it makes me look not-so-good in the sanity department.  Cue the humble pie, yet again!  So why panic attacks?  In short, whether logical or not, I feel like end times are imminent.  And I know it's a time of horrible suffering for everyone, my family included, and that terrifies me.

My logic says "no one knows the day or the hour" but live life "awake" and ready, loving others without condition and ready to shine His light of love to all of His creation.

But scripture tells me we will be hated.  Hated.  This just makes me so sad.  I think you all know enough about my imagination that it can be my worst enemy sometimes!  Well I will not even begin to tell you the horrific imaginings I've had and the worst part is for whatever reason, I can't just snap out of it.

Every ounce of my logic wants to slap myself across the face, then terror of "what's wrong with me that I can't snap out of this?" gets me in a downward spiral.  Why?  If it's end times, everything will pan out according to his will!  He warned, "some of you must perish by the sword, some of you to prisons but endure with loving obedience to the end, even unto death... because this is how you will make me known."

Suffering.  Death.

Reading about the events in Middle East has me crying out in prayers of supplication for all persons involved!  Both sides!  Surely love can conquer all things?  Surely we can see that we are all seeking after God the best way we know how with our limited abilities and not knowing which scriptural authorities we can fully trust.  But we seek!

Can't we help each other in seeking?  Can't we all ask ourselves "ok, I am human trying to understand the divine.... chances are even if He lays it out plain as day, I will be limited in my understanding... which only HE can give me... so I must always be open to reason!"

I can't claim to fully understand, and I can't imagine taking someone's life because they don't fully understand.  Especially given that this other life is God's very creation.  Doesn't He say that vengeance will be His?  Are we not suppose to try to win souls?  Isn't His mercy His greatest attribute?  He is just, absolutely, and that's what makes His mercy when we deserve so much worse... well... divine!

But I fear the suffering and I pray for those who are living it.  May God Almighty pour His spirit upon you and fill you with His strength.  May you see your adversaries with eyes of compassion, for they know not what they do.  Even they are fulfilling the part of the script that must be fulfilled.

I found the following two poems in a box in the garage tonight as though I needed to find them.  Deep down I think I've always known these days.  I share them with you now.  The first one was my first poem written soon after I turned 12.  During the ages 11 and 12, I experienced this same anxiety from sundown til the first rays of light in the morning.  It was a tormenting time for two years and bless my father who patiently endured my tears, my fears as I tried to explain what seemed unexplainable and bless my mother who looked into resources for help.  At age 13, somehow it all just stopped.  I am praying for this same restitution.  Even if end times do end up being imminent, I want to be living my life in the fullness of my faith... not my fears.

Here are some things I wrote during the anxiousness I felt.  Strangely, the poems would come out as though it was an adult looking back on their life.  I never understood that, but chose to just let the pen respond to what was in my heart.

Alone At Sea

In my little boat I steered,
the ocean was nice and mild.
But when the raging storm appeared,
it went from nice to wild.

When the boat tipped and turned,
I'd get all dirty and wet.
But when the boat began to sink,
It was then I fell and wept.

I thought, "my gosh well it's the end,
my life was sad and odd."
But then I sat and thought some more,
and began to talk to God.

"Lord, my Father," I began to say,
"My life was so hard to live.
I never took, I never fought,
but I would always give.

Sometimes I'd stop and take a break
to try to think things through.
But all throughout the life I lived,
I know, you know, I knew.

So tell me, Lord, before I leave,
why things were the way they were.
Cause all throughout the life I lived,
no peace did ever occur."


The Distance

On the road I walked upon
so long and never ending,
I saw the life I lived those years,
and how they were depressing.

I saw my years of loneliness,
of tears, of hurt and lies.
I noticed that the moon was gone,
and the sun still did not rise.

Through the darkness I kept my way,
but shadows would appear,
from there I got the strangest feeling,
a feeling of coldness and fear.

From time to time a light would shine
so very strong and bright.
But other times it got so dark
that nothing was in sight.

Sometimes I wondered where to turn
for in the dark, I did not know.
But something deep inside me,
told me exactly where to go.

Watching all those restless days,
I tried but could not grin,
so there I asked the Holy One,
to forgive my sins.

And there I saw three angels come,
so I followed like a sheep.
We walked towards the kingdom,
and since then I rest in peace.


There you have it, my dear ones.  A humble post confessing the weakness I feel these days.  Just know that wherever you are, I pray for you.  I uplift you with such love, knowing that whether we have the same understanding about God or not, I know He made both you and me from the same lump of clay... and His breath is purposed in you and its purposed in me.  He will fulfill all that He has said He would, and there is a terrifying awesomeness in that.  And someday, when the end comes, we will be given perfect understanding.  The best part?  Then He will finally be given the glory and honour He deserves.  I ache to love Him perfectly.  I ache knowing that no matter how much I yearn and seek, I am blinded by my human limitations and can only give Him what I know while praying He will continue to teach me and reveal to me where I can do better.  I sooooo desire to skip the seven years of tribulation and go straight to the light of His glory... but He is a God of His word and part of what's coming is to get everyone's attention.

From the bottom of my heart, God bless you all out there.  If you are feeling anxious these days, may He blanket you with His promised love and presence.  Peace be with you all, my brethren.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Dream: Desert Storm Army of Conviction


It began elevated looking over a vast desert land... then suddenly, I was lowered to ground level and began being propelled forward.  In the distance, I could see what appeared to be a dust storm on the horizon.  Miles and miles wide.  I was propelling very fast towards the dust clouds and below them appeared an army.  Continuing at high speed towards the army, I could see people of all shapes, sizes, men and women. These were not arrayed in army gear, nor bearing weapons of war, but with a hidden weapon... the looks on their faces was of sheer conviction.  A strange word to use here, but that word was made clear.  In fact, it seemed to BE the secret weapon.

Conviction.


The resolution on their faces, the sheer confidence as they walked in a quiet faith whose strength marveled around them, was enough to give me shivers, even in a dream!  But the most amazing thing to behold was that it wasn't just people in this army, there appeared to be a heavenly realm... angels, if you will, marching right along with them.  A collective army of the earthly and heavenly... all of them intent in a oneness that spoke louder than a war cry.

The marching of their feet kicked up a storm in their wake.  And the sight was something to behold!

But why is the word "conviction" of such importance?

This dream also happened several years ago.  Just recently, when I had shared this dream with a friend of mine, she looked puzzled and said "are you sure you're using the right word?  I thought conviction meant being declared 'guilty' like a convict.  Do you mean 'confidence'?"

I became puzzled, too, because the word was clear but the faces I saw did not look like convicts!  I said "No, I'm quite sure the word conviction is essential but now I question the 'why.'  There was a definite firm resolve about the faces I saw and this had everything to do with their 'conviction'."

Living in this day and age of modern technology, we both pulled out our cell phones and googled it.  Here are the two definitions:
1.  a formal declaration that someone is guilty of a criminal offence, made by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in the court of law.
2.  a firmly held belief or opinion.

I gasped!!!  I hugged my friend and said, "You have been answered prayer!  I understand it now!"

Right up until five years ago, I was living my life professing to love God, thinking my faith was strong, solid, growing, etc...  I was doing things that as long as I felt "LOVE" in my heart and "followed my heart", I was convinced (definition #2)  it was from God.

Until I started reading His word.

Gulp.  Let me tell you, if I had been given a $5 bill for every time I read a Torah commandment that made me gasp in alarm because it had been something I had broken believing such deeds were "good"... well, let's just say we'd likely be mortgage free!  The only time in my life I have truly repented, and I mean heart-wrenching sobbing for the ugliness revealed to me, was when I started to set aside MY definition of "good" and started believing God's.  Only when I read and believed Torah did I feel "convicted" of my offences (by the law of God) and they brought me to my knees in repentance.


God had answered my prayer "Father, reveal to me my hidden iniquities that I may repent and draw nearer to you.  Please Abba, empty me of my ego/pride... humble me and make me yours.  Take away my heart of stone and give me your heart of flesh."
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:24-26 - I Will Put My Spirit Within You)
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people... and I will forgive their iniquities and remember their sins no more.  (Jeremiah 31:33 - New Covenant Promise) 
And by His righteous law, He has and continues to do exactly this.  For this reason, I write to you all firm in my "conviction" (definition #1 and #2) that the word of God is TRUE and ETERNAL and that by His word, we LIVE.

By our convictions (definition #1), we can repent and receive forgiveness and salvation by His steadfast love.  The fruit of this salvation bears a conviction (definition #2) that sets our hearts ablaze in zealousness for God and the works of faith that declare His everlasting Word!

The army I saw marching was an army of those who, through discovering the Torah of God and consequently coming into the knowledge of their "criminal offences" (which declares them "guilty" before God) are now deeply afflicted... and repentant... and now holding firm to the truth of Torah as a gift to a people redeemed by its Author!  Yeshua, the Messiah, knew that the world must be convicted by God's Torah, so that once we accepted the guilty verdict, He could take on the penalty of death for all those who believe that the Father sent Him!
"If I had not come and spoken [the Torah of God] to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin."  (John 15:22)
"And when he [Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment."  (John 16:8) - matches New Covenant Promise above
So this army is firm in their conviction, and they are marching into battle to defend it knowing there is no greater weapon one can yield than the weapon of faith.  It bears an unseen spiritual armor such as the one that protected David in the face of lions and giants.  It is the front and rear guard of those who believe and bears the foreknown double-edged sword of Truth yielded only by those who have been trained by its wounds of reproof and discipline.

We are like unrefined gold found and redeemed by God.  He makes it clear in the Passover story that His redemption in Egypt is not because of any righteousness or purity on our part but by sheer grace.  Cue in Mount Sinai where God makes it clear to us what is considered impurities and what pure gold should look like... and perhaps this is the very gold in the book of Revelation that Jesus said we must "buy" from Him along with white linen.  But back to Sinai, I could just  imagine hearing His voice... "As a people redeemed by my outstretched arm, declare to the nations WHO has redeemed you by shining the light of my Torah.  Be set apart, be holy as I am holy."
So shall you remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. (Numbers 15:40)
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, (Proverbs 6:23) 
Yet despite His reminding us that we are unrefined, we think ourselves precious and pure.. or worse yet, that by our own righteousness, we can be made pure!  But the ONLY way to access the purity is by looking to our Redeemer who holds us in His hand, patiently waiting for us to say "Ooooh!  Thanks to your light of revelation, your Torah (which came in the flesh to show us exactly HOW to live it), I now see the impurity on me, yuck, get it off!  I'm ready to be refined and purified."  And the Father, who delights in our confession and repentance, places us in the holy fire of discipline (which hurts but only for a moment) and burns off the iniquities we have just acknowledged of our own free will.  And the process is ONGOING.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:8)


But the revelation of our iniquity must be there for us to repent.  Perhaps this is why Paul wrote:
"What shall we say then?  Is the Law sin?  May it never be!  On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, 'You shall not covet'."  (Romans 7:7)
He warns the reader that once you know about Torah, sin has a tool with which to tempt you.  So be self-aware and strong in the vulnerability that comes through the fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Because it's one thing to sin in ignorance (that's where His Grace shines through the Messiah) but it's a whole other ball game to sin AFTER coming into the knowledge of Truth revealed through Torah.  In fact, to do so is considered the only "unforgivable sin" labeled as "blaspheming the spirit".
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?  (Hebrews 10:26-29)
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.  (1 John 3:4-6)
For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them:“The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire."  (2 Peter 2:21-22)
For it is impossible, (in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away) to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.  (Hebrews 6:4-6) 
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed.  (Acts 17:30) 
Formerly, when you (Gentiles) did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?  (Galatians 4:8-9)
Despite the pain of revelation through Torah, my prayer for you is the profound joy of being cleansed by its discipline so that it is your face seen marching into victory for your conviction.  And that the heavenly realm can march right alongside you declaring that through the Messiah all things, both earthly and heavenly, are reconciled to God!
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.  (Colossians 1:19-20)
And I leave you with the following encouragement that by upholding God's righteous law, we declare WHO has redeemed us, WHO is disciplining us by it, WHO has forgiven us by the sins revealed/confessed through it, and WHO has crowned us by His righteousness... that in your brokenness, you recognize the hands that mend you... so that you may breath the most heartfelt "hallelujah."
In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?  “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”  (quoting Proverbs 3:11)  It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons... For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  (Hebrews 12:4-11)
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.  (2 Corinthians 7:10) 
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.  For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.  (Psalms 94:12-15) 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Dream: A Terrible and Awesome Harvest

Behold, there was a great multitude... a mass of people, excited and in awe as they were running like a roaring sea towards what appeared to be a large stage off in the distance.  I was standing among the the rush in wonder trying to ask the people WHAT was going on.  Finally I spotted a very dear loved one and I asked her, "What is going on?" and she answered with much excitement "HE is about to speak!!"

Because I was facing the direction in which the masses were running from, my eyes could see behind them... and there I saw a great red tornado.  No one seemed to have a clue what was looming behind them and I was filled with a terror and wonder.  Why was everyone oblivious???  What was this massive red tornado?  Its span was enormous covering miles and yet everyone seemed distracted by WHOEVER was about to "speak" down towards a valley.

Suddenly I was propelling towards the red tornado from above (as only one can do in a dream... so cool) and behold, I looked down to the ground and saw what I thought were five ravenous combines devouring the earth.  Their chaff flying out behind was red as blood and the wind caused by these massive combines was causing the red chaff to twist, twirl and swirl upwards giving the appearance of a red tornado.

Each combine appeared to have its own designated colour, which I am no longer remembering, but they advanced ferociously in a V-formation... one side being shorter than the other.

In the distance, I saw Duane, on a land appearing to be his but not his... rocky, treed and water running through it... a land for livestock.  I tried yelling to him in warning but he seemed unafraid although unaware, and did not hear.

I had this dream a few years ago before I started truly delving into scripture.  When I had awoken from this dream, I told it to Duane and asked him if the world now had only five major grain companies controlling the food industry.  He didn't know but a little research lead us to a book called "Merchants of Grain: The Power and Profits of the Five Giant Companies at the Center of the World's Food Supply" by Dan Morgan.

Well, could that be it?

Still, something felt unsettled about the dream and it seemed more than just a question of what I had eaten the night before!

A year later, while delving more diligently into scripture and our Torah Portions, we read about the mass Exodus from Egypt... the first Passover story... the very framework of our salvation God would provide thousands of years later... and the framework of end time prophecy.  But I digress...

As we were reading aloud together (as we take turns reading the portions each Sabbath), we read about God being among the Israelites as a pillar of smoke by day... and... get this... a pillar of FIRE by night!  A pillar of fire?!  Wouldn't that have the appearance of a red tornado?!  I gasped, my jaw dropped, and I looked at Duane.  This was a huge motivator to seek beyond a literal harvest and grain companies!


Further readings about end time prophecies seemed to speak of putting in the "sickle" to collect the harvest... and that the wicked (disobedient, unfaithful) will be like "chaff."

Gulp!

I have wanted to write down the dream BEFORE doing a word search on "chaff" specifically in my bible software... otherwise the brain seems to want to bend details to match what is read.  So for integrity's sake, just now, here are the pertinent verses I have found:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers.  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.  (Psalms 1:1-6)
O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind.  As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze, so may you pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane!  Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord.  Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace, that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.  (Psalms 83:13-18)
Ah, the thunder of many peoples; they thunder like the thundering of the sea!  Ah, the roar of nations; they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!  The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm.  At evening time, behold, terror!  Before morning, they are no more.  (Isaiah 17:12-14)
But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff.  And in an instant, suddenly, you will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.  (Isaiah 29:5-6)
Gather together, yes, gather, O shameless nation, before the decree takes effect—before the day passes away like chaff— before there comes upon you the burning anger of the Lord, before there comes upon you the day of the anger of the Lord.  Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.  For Gaza shall be deserted, and Ashkelon shall become a desolation; Ashdod's people shall be driven out at noon, and Ekron shall be uprooted.  (Zephaniah 2:1-4)
The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law- breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  (Matthew 13:39-43) 
My dear ones, I would love to write to you about happy, fluffy feelings... of masses holding hands and singing Kumbaya... but I fear that this is a time and age more than ever where we are to reject teachings and doctrines that "tickle" our ears and cling to the healing wounds of a double-edged sword, called Truth, which is the Word of God.  There is a sense of urgency on my heart, whether right or wrong, that makes me grateful God has prepared me to be untouched by ridicule... for this is not an easy task... but there is a call to repentance at hand.

I think everyone knows it.  Everyone can feel something impending.  There is a storm brewing in the distance and I love God's creation too much to care more about whether or not I sound crazy than to reach out in love and hope that a genuine inclining of the ear will begin... a stirring in the heart will cause a seeking... a crying out of our souls will begin... and it will be heard from on high.

So if you are willing to hear, willing to endure the refinement of godly chastisement through His everlasting Word, to resist the temptation to turn away and give in to what tickles the ears, then please persevere with me as I let go of my desire to blog only about family moments and embrace my greater love, which is to magnify His Holy Name.  I promise you, if you choose to endure, the greatest treasure awaits you!  I can promise this, because God promises this.  And I pray that this non-posteducated stay-at-home mother of six can be a vessel made ready by the Potter's hands.
The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.  (Psalms 119:130) 
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.  (Proverbs 8:17)
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.  (Psalms 19:7) 
 "... if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.  Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul."  (Proverbs 2:1-10)
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting... (James 1:5-6) 
I pray I can be a living testimony to the fulfillment of these promises... or better yet, that YOU will be!  I love you all very much.





Saturday, 12 July 2014

Butterflies, Dreams/Prophesies and Deuteronomy 13

Shabbat Shalom (peaceful sabbath) to all of you out there!

I am emerging from a spiritual cave, if you will, and greeting the sun on my face (despite a current thunderstorm outside) with a renewed peace.  These last few years, nearly ever free moment of my time has been spent with my nose in scripture, seeking understanding and discernment in accordance with the Word of God... eager in my expectation that He would grant me wisdom because I have asked believing fully He will deliver.

But my timing is certainly not God's timing!  However, I am learning that His timing is far more gracious than even my imagination could fathom.

Patience and diligence are becoming all-too-familiar words of "reassurance"... sometimes met with annoyance and other times met with humility.  But the journey is one leaving me deeper and deeper in love with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob... the one and only everlasting God who is steadfast in His love, slow to anger, merciful and just in all His judgments.  And to Him belongs all glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

So why the cave?  Perhaps cocoon is a better description.  I am undergoing a transformation, if you will, as I let the Word refine, rebuke, reshape all that I once believed was Truth.  My old self has experienced a death as God revealed to me where I had elevated my own definition of Truth above His universal one for all peoples for all time.  I thought my understanding of Love was truth but He is showing me how HE defines love... and it is drastically different than what my own understanding had perceived.  To my horror, it left me empty before the question "do I LOVE God?"

No matter how well-intentioned I thought my heart was, I have been deeply humbled by a veil being lifted by the grace of God allowing my eyes to see the god I placed before Him... my own understanding.
"Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."  (Proverbs 3:5)
As I have been transforming, my natural desire has been to share all revealed knowledge with anyone and everyone... whether they asked or not!  "Look!  Look!  Look!  Behold the manna of life!  It will humble you to the point of dying to one's self but see the life it gives!!  Repent!  Repent!  For we risk worshipping in vain!!"

Hmmmm, can you imagine how well THAT message feels to loved ones who never asked for it?  Before I realized it, I was becoming a sledge-hammer whacking anyone near me with a sword of truth I thought would shed light and bring life.  After all, isn't that what anyone wants for those they love?  Well, cue in dose of humble pie number one of... well... countless to come.  Sigh.

I was yielding a sword that left me standing in the blood of a spiritual massacre, trusting that God would breathe life back into His people!  But I ran into battle without waiting for Him alone to say "go... I will be your front guard and your rear guard."

I withdrew as I observed loved ones pulling away rather than drawing near.  How is THAT glorifying to God?  His word should burn like a burning bush and cause others to draw near, just as Moses did... not flee in the opposite direction!  But by the same token, His truth truly IS a double-edged sword cutting through flesh and marrow and revealing the true intentions of the heart.  If that revelation stings (which it ALWAYS does), not everyone will eagerly declare, "Oh please, sign me up for some spiritual torment!"

But...

God is looking for the humble and contrite and let me testify, nothing in my life has humbled me as the chastisement of His word and revelation of His truth.  It is fearfully beautiful, humbling and glorifying, terrifying and glorious all at once.  It is the deepest hurt and death I have experienced and the greatest joy and life I have encountered.  I don't know how He manages to encompass all of these extremes in one but it sheds light to His truth that He is indeed "the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end."

So I have been cocooned in hopes of emerging a new creation... His new creation... in submission to His everlasting and unchanging word... declaring His word, not by whacking people over the head or yielding His sword carelessly around those who never asked, but by living my life as a living testimony to it.  And should my life burn with His light, then He will stir something in others that will cause them to draw near.  Only then, when a heart wants to know and consequently inquires will I be able to answer to the best of my ability... knowing it will never be by my words that one will see and know but by His grace alone that a seed will germinate and bear fruit for His glory... by His calling alone... just as Jesus alone lifted the veil from his apostles in Luke 24 allowing them to "see" Him in all the scriptures (Torah - books of Moses, Neviim - prophets, and Ketuvim - writings (psalms, proverbs, ecclesiastes and song of solomon).

Having said this, I emerge with the hope to share my journey with a humble heart... praying that no one feels the need to withdraw, run away, or take offence, but rather to simply know it as my testimony for others to do with it as God alone inspires them to do.  I am now ready to share because I no longer feel the need to "prove" or "defend" what I understand as if one little person could make a difference in the big picture, but rather to simply testify to what has always been and will always be, truth.

All of this to say my next few posts will likely be dedicated to sharing this journey.  I have taken Deuteronomy 6 very seriously (the Greatest Commandment) and am devoting my motherhood to teaching my children the word of God.  I will indeed talk about it when I am sitting in my house, when I am walking by the Way, when I lie down and when I rise.  I will keep them as frontlets between my eyes and bind them as a spiritual sign on my hand.  And I will indeed, teach them diligently to my children, too.  That the world may know that the Lord our God is ONE.  Not one God for Israel and one God for Gentiles... nope.  One God.  One righteous rule.  One Shepherd.  One bride.  One faith... united through the blood of a Passover Lamb.  Just as Egyptians left with the multitude of Israelites after the 1st Passover and God addressed this WHOLE mixed multitude as "Israel"... so does He look upon Gentiles grafted in to Israel through the blood of the Passover Lamb whose name is Immanuel.  God has indeed fulfilled the promise spoken through Abraham that "God Himself will provide the lamb."  And just as the Gentile, Ruth, declared "Your God will be my God" so do we who have faith through the blood of Yeshua declare this same redemptive work through the outstretched arm of God.

I have known my whole life that I was living in a precious time.  Prophecy is unfolding before our eyes and I feel privileged to live in such a time as these.  I have had dreams and visions for as long as I can remember.  At age five I shared this with my parents concerning God's will for His creation... "God intended His church to be a place of healing, not of judgement."  Even back then, my heart knew this was not concerning a physical building but rather His dwelling among the people... His ecclesia.

It has been pressing on my heart to share some of these dreams knowing full well there could be nothing to them.  But also knowing that God uses dreams and visions to reveal His will.  However, these visions and dreams MUST align with His word or it fails the Deuteronomy 13 test which states that should a dreamer of dreams or prophet come and these visions come to pass BUT this dreamer of dreams or prophet teaches God's people to move AWAY from His Torah (instructions), then these are FALSE PROPHETS sent by God to test our faithfulness to Him.

So I share some of these dreams praying that someone out there, anointed by God, may shed light on their meaning, should there be any.  Again, perhaps they mean nothing but perhaps they mean something.   I put it out there trusting God will reveal which it is.

With much love in my heart, I leave you with this blessing which reaches deeper than my own prayers for you ever could:
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 'The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.'  So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them."  (Numbers 6:22-27)

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Our Family Interview with Local News

A local news station came out and interviewed Ethan and me about living life with allergies.  The only clarification needed is concerning "wet wrap therapy."  This method of treatment was suggested to us by our allergy specialist as a new way of hydrating and replenishing eczema-suffering children.

I had to chuckle at the footage of our basement... of all the places in this house not tidy and neat, it's the basement!  LOL!!  So you'll get a good glimpse into what our basement looks like BEFORE the mad cleanup dash prior to company arriving... hee hee hee!!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A Soil Carbon Cowboy's Modified "Date Night"

With consecutive crop failures, organic farming is becoming anything but feasible financially.  Humbly, we have acknowledged that no matter how much our heart and soul is poured into our integrity, eventually one can only remortgage so many times!

So what does it look like to farm without chemicals and leaving the soil in better shape than we found it in?  How do we give BACK instead of TAKE?  Thanks to the life-work of Alan Savory, founder of Holistic Management, we have a renewed hope.  A six-day course in January lifted our spirits and filled us with renewed purpose.

I am proud of my husband for making this switch.  He has been grain farming from birth.  Some of his earliest memories consist of being dangled (while still in a diaper) into the combine to pull out a screw for his dad.  He lived and breathed grain farming and to say that it "runs in his blood" would be to minimize his ties to the earth he's worked these thirty-nine years.  But despite tearing off a piece of fabric from his life, he is using it to clean up the mess we are facing with our soil carbon, our costs and our farm.

No more grain farming.

Yep.  I had to check his pulse a few times in that process but here we are, seeding season and I am not kissing my husband goodbye for my usual spring/summer/fall widow-hood!  I'm watching him closely for a nervous tick to develop, but so far, he seems surprisingly peaceful.  Praise be to God!

So now what?

We are shifting our focus from mining nutrients from the soil and shipping it off our land, to putting nutrients BACK into the land using livestock and stock-density grazing.  It's about taking the carbon we've lost from the soil and getting it back in there where it belongs!  Phase 1 will include putting the whole farm to forage seed and getting a good plant root-establishment in place while setting up perimeter fencing and water piping for water supply throughout the whole farmland.  Once that's in place, we can get some animals on the land!  God-willing, the animals (primarily cows and some sheep... maybe goats?) could arrive as early as this fall but realistically, it will likely be spring 2015 before we're fully equipped.  So lots of work still this year but once the framework is established, all we will need to worry about is moving around inside-fencing (connected to the perimeter fencing) to create small paddocks for intense short-term grazing over all the fields.

Here is a great nine-minute video summarizing what we are working towards over the next couple of years.  The switch from seasonal widow-hood to weekly date-night of fencing together is much-welcomed (remind me of this after we've done miles and miles of fencing)! :)

My dear ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you a whole new Circle V Farms... may the fruit of our endeavours bring glory to God, may we honour His request that we be stewards of His land including giving our land its sabbatical year, and may we bless Him daily for the land He has given us.

God bless you all out there!

CUT 2.3 from Peter Byck on Vimeo.

For those of you interested in the phenomenal story of Alan Savory, below is his 22 minute TED talk video.