The Bible says we are known by our fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. What kind of fruit do you grow?
I see so many people who say they are a Christian, and their actions do not show it. I am sort of struggling with this post, because I feel people may think I am judging them. I am not the judge, but I do know when my apple is rotten and I don’t want to eat that. It is ugly, bruised, smells weird and is squishy. When it is like that, I just throw it away.
Matthew 7:16-20 reads,
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them
This scripture tells me that the fruit will show me if it is good to eat or needs thrown into the fire. Your actions will show others if you are a Christian or not. The way you talk. The way you dress. The way you treat others.
If you go around cussing like a sailor, do you really think that you are going to be able to witness and be a missionary to someone who is NOT a Christian? Do you really think acting like the world is going to make someone WANT to go to church? Why would they waste their time? You are just like them, but you spend your Sunday going to church, and they could be sitting at home on their couch.
We are to be set apart. Christians are supposed to be peculiar and unique. We are not to be of this world.
Romans 12:22 reads
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We are also not to marry a non-believer. It will never work. There will be constant strife. My husband and I have had our share of problems the last 21 years. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if we did not have Christ at the center of our marriage. I can tell you one thing, we would not be married anymore. We would have just given up. But, because of God, we have made it through. I am thankful for a husband that loves the Lord.
In 2 Corinthians 6: 14-18 it tells us this:
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore, go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
You need to look for a spouse that is already a Christian. A person that bears good fruit all the time. If you don’t then the good fruit that you bear, becomes slowly tainted. Soon, your fruit will become rotten and unable to be eaten. It will have to be thrown into the fire.
I hope you understand what I am saying. Make sure your fruit bears good fruit. Make sure that your actions show the others around you that you are a strong Christian. Don’t allow others to bring you down.
I see it in so many young people as they learn to go on their own. One person can change them and it is a horrible thing.
We don’t know how much longer we have on this earth. Whether it is by death or the rapture. I would hate to gamble my life away. I would hate to think that I could be left behind, or spend eternity in hell.
Evaluate your life. What kind of fruit does your spirit bear? Is it good or is it bad?
We all go through times in our life where we feel that there could not possibly be one more thing that could go wrong. Well, we all have said that a few times in our life. I know I have, and I will be the first to say I am guilty of that very same statement.
There are times we truly feel that our world is crumbling in around us. It feels like we are being buried alive. It is a horrible feeling but, there is always someone who has it worse.
I have been reading the book of Job in my Bible. I have read it many times before, but have never read it entirely through and actually studied it like I did the last few weeks. While I read it, I jotted down notes as I went.
I must admit, I have NEVER had it has bad as Job. I also dare say, not many have.
Did you know that Job was a very wealthy man? He had seven sons and three daughters. He had 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, 7000 sheep, 3000 camels. I know we don’t measure wealth in livestock today, but back then, Job was a millionaire.
Satan and God had a conversation one day. Which sort of made me wonder how often they spoke. Makes you go Hmm? The Lord spoke to Satan, “So where did you come from?” Satan responds very nonchalantly, “Well you know I go to and fro across the earth, and I walk here and I walk there.” To be honest, he didn’t really answer the question, which would have frustrated me, if I was God.
Being God, I am pretty sure he knew what Satan was doing and thinking. The Lord knew who he had his eye on for his next victim of torment. So, the Lord asks Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is none like him on the earth. He is a blameless and upright man, and he fears God and shuns evil.”
I can just see Satan rolling his eyes, and making an obnoxious facial expression. He asks God, “Would Job fear God if he has nothing? You have blessed his hands and have increased his possessions in the land. So, go ahead and touch all that he has and I guarantee he will curse you to your face.”
God has all the confidence in the world in Job. He tells Satan, “Behold, all that he has in your power; but cannot kill him.” God believes with His whole being that if Job had nothing he would still be a blameless who still feared and loved God. Can that be said of us all? Another question that makes us go hmm.
Then Satan went to work.
One day when Job was going about his business a messenger came to Job and told of a raiding of the Sabeans and they took all 500 yoke of oxen and 500 female donkeys that were feeding nearby. They also killed his servants with the edge of their sword.
While this messenger was still speaking, another messenger came by and told him “The fire of God” fell from heaven and burned up all 7000 sheep and the servants. They were completely consumed.
A third messenger came by within seconds of Job being told of the loss of all his sheep and servants. He told Job the Chaldeans formed three bands, and raided the camels and took all 3000 away and killed all his servants by their sword.
While the third messenger was still speaking, the fourth messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house when suddenly a great wind came across the wilderness and struck all four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Wow! Just wow! In the matter of minutes, Job lost everything. He lost his wealth, his livelihood, but most importantly he lost his own flesh and blood, ten children. I can’t imagine his devastation. How can someone lose that much in that short amount of time and not blame God for it all? But Job never did.
Job tore his robe, he shaved his head, and fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord,” In all of that tragedy that just struck Job, he never sinned nor charged God with wrong doing.
Of course, we all know that Satan was not through with Job, he attacked his health next. Covered his whole body in boils. He had boils from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. At this point, even his wife tells him to curse God and die.
Wow! Yes, I am saying it again. WOW! I can’t believe she would tell him that. Curse God and die? Man, what sympathy she has. Would not want her to back me up when trouble comes.
But Job speaks back and tells her “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” So true. We do this all the time. It is so easy to accept things that are great and a blessing to us. But the minute something goes wrong we are appalled at the idea that something bad is happening to me. How dare I have rough times? Good comes with the bad, and bad comes with the good. We are not exempt. We all will have problems in our life. Everyone will have problems in their life, and we should accept them and still love and fear God.
Suffering is one thing that people do not understand. Some people believe that if you suffer, you have sinned in some way. Suffering is not the evidence of sin. Suffering is something everyone will go through equally.
Job remained faithful in all his suffering, but he had friends that tried to tell him that he had done something wrong in his life. Job struggled through this bad time. He was in pain. He had many sleepless nights. He carried around so much grief, it was almost too much to bear. But none of that was the result of sin.
In fact, in all his suffering, he knew in his heart that nothing was impossible with God. He clings to God through it all. He does sometimes questions his existence, I mean, who wouldn’t. He admits that if through all this, even if God killed him, he would keep on hoping.
Through all Job’s suffering he eventually lost his friends. His face was flushed from all the weeping and he was just completely give out, but he still prayed to God for relief.
Job went through a short time where he just didn’t understand the injustice. I have been there, and know exactly how he felt. He wonders why he is going through such hard times when he has never failed God. Why must he suffer when the ones that fail God daily or does not even care to know God, prospers. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever wondered why someone who is not a Christian and denies God in every way is successful and wealthy in every avenue, but you struggle with everything you touch? Job had these very same thoughts. None of us really understand the injustice, but I do know that this earth is not my home. My wealth is not here on this soil and in these earthly banks. My wealth, my success, my reward is waiting for me just beyond the other side. It lies in wait, inside those heavenly gates.
In Job, there is chapter after chapter of false encouragement from his friends, but then God speaks and the relief begins.
In chapter 38-40, God asked Job 49 questions about the natural universe. It is beautiful poetic verse. He asked Job if he has created the sea, and told it where it’s proud waves must stop. He asks him, can you lift your voice to the clouds and cause an abundance of water that can cover you? Who has set the wild donkey free? Have you given the horse strength? Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high? (such a good read, you really should not miss out)
Job didn’t have an answer to any of these questions. God’s point is to tell us there are some things we don’t have the answer to. We just don’t know. The only thing we DO know is God is in control and we can trust him.
In response to God’s speech, Job humbles himself. God then rebukes Job’s friends for their false accusations, false comfort and critical attitudes. Then finally restoration began. God blessed Job’s life two-fold. He received even greater blessings than before he lost everything.
God restored Job with 14,000 sheep, 6000 camels, 1000 yoke of oxen, and 1000 female donkeys. God also blessed Job and his wife with seven sons, and three daughters.
Job will forever be remembered for his faithfulness.
We go through things that we do not understand, but the most important thing to remember is God is control and he knows all. Be like Job. When all is lost and you feel that nothing is going right, still remember to fear and love God, because God loves and cares for you even when you are at our lowest.
Last night I got home late, got out of my car and heard my favorite sound. Spring peepers. I could not believe it, seems so early. But, that is completely okay with me, it means spring is so near. I love spring and look forward to seeing the signs that spring is right around the corner
I was reading in my Bible the other morning and I read an interesting verse. A verse that is sort of dear to my heart.
Matthew 24:32:35 says, 32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[a] is near, right at the door.34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
When Jesus was talking to his followers, he spoke in parables. Stories. He tried to make it real, so people could understand by using real life examples. So many of us are just like that. We need examples of real life scenarios so we can relate.
When he was teaching about the rapture of the church, he used many different stories to explain it, so everyone would be able to comprehend what he meant.
The story of the fig tree is one of my favorites.
Spring is a wonderful time for me. I love the temperature, the sounds of the birds and spring peepers, the grass becoming greener, the buds on the trees. When we see all these signs, it tells us that spring is right around the corner. It prepares us. Jesus uses nature in many of His parables.
In this parable of the fig tree, he tells us that as soon as the branches become tender and puts on leaves, we know summer is near. The fig tree is telling us to look forward to the coming of warmer weather, the coming of summer.
What he means when he tells us this, is that we need to keep our eyes on the coming of Christ. There are signs of His return, just like when the fig tree is giving us signs about the coming of summer.
We must always be ready when Jesus takes His church out of this world. Nobody knows the hour that He shall return. All we can do is watch for the signs.
In Mark 13:35, it says “35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning”.
We must keep our eyes on the sky, watch for the signs of his return, always keep our lamps full of oil.
I look forward to His return more and more each day. What a glorious day that will be.
I am sure most of the world has heard of the terrible school shooting in Florida. I don’t understand people. I don’t understand why they think taking someone else’s life can make theirs better. My heart goes out to them. Every time I hear of a shooting in a school, it brings me right back to Lindhurst High School, May 1st, 1992. Takes me right back in the classroom where the booms are so loud that it makes it thunder in your chest. The place where innocence died and terror began.
I hate that it does that to me. I hate the fact that something so tragic can last your whole lifetime. I know what the people in that community are going through. They are reaching out for each other in this time of loss and torment. They are trying to wrap their heads around how this could of have happened.
People are gathered together in prayer and will be attending memorials, crying in each other’s arms. There are some that are in shock and really don’t believe what happened……just happened. There are father’s and mother’s that are so lost because they said goodbye to their child that morning, but didn’t know it would be the last goodbye they would say. There are family and friends, teachers and administration, that are doing their best to not allow the anger to overtake them.
There will be a few that reality will hit them weeks down the road, and one loud noise or one smell will bring them right back to that very moment where all hell broke loose. I remember that moment when it happened to me like it was yesterday. I remember realizing that I was not okay with what happened. I pray that they will have someone with them on that day.
This person took away their security. He invaded their sanctuary and took away lives with him. He had no right to do that. It causes me great anger when I think of what this person has done to hundreds of lives. He has caused pain, anger, hatred, unbearable grief, just because he had anger issues or grudge against the school. For whatever reason he thought he had, it is never, ever okay to take it out on someone else. Never, ever okay to take an innocent life.
I know how they feel. This moment will forever be with them, and I pray that each and every one of them has someone they can turn to. I pray that they all accept help in this tragedy. I hope they are not like me, and say they are alright, and then years down the road realizes, they really aren’t.
I am praying for you Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. Be strong, hold each other up in prayer, and remember that you are not alone……there is someone out there that knows exactly how you feel.
Do you ever wonder about yourself? Do you ever have that self-image of yourself in your head, and you realize that it might be a bit skewed? I am sort of struggling with that right now. I feel, what I thought about myself, might need to be re-evaluated.
We all think of ourselves in a certain way, and then when situations come across our path, we may think we are prepared. And then we are not! This has sort of happened to me. I thought I would think a certain way and turns out I definitely have a different point of view than I expected.
I guess that has happened to us all. There is a saying that goes, “The proof is in the pudding.” Something can only be judged how it tastes by the act of eating. Which means, a person can only know how they react to something by actually going through it. We all can say we would act a certain way during certain scenarios. But, until we actually experience it, then, that is when we really know who we are, and what we can handle.
The last few weeks I have realized that I am not exactly who I thought I was, and I am sort of disappointed in myself. To be honest I don’t know how to change that, and not sure I want to. Which sort of makes it even worse.
I am sure I have piqued your curiosity, but we all know curiosity killed the cat. So, you will have to remain in suspense. I may be pretty much an open book, but I do have some things I would like to keep to myself. I would appreciate a little prayer though. Pray that my way of thinking changes, or the situation changes. Either way would be okay with me.
I know I am not in alone in this world. We all go on a journey to find our self. We all take one day at a time. We all reach a point in our life where we must choose our path. Sometimes those paths get narrow and grassy and you wonder if it is even a path any more. It is not worn and used much, but you can sort of tell that the path has once been in use and you are possibly the first one that has been on it for some time. But, toward the end, you can sort of see an opening, and it becomes a bit lighter, which gives you a little hope that you are going in the right direction.
Life is tough. We all know that. God gave us a lot of promises. Eternal life in heaven is one of his biggies. But there are three things that God did NOT promise.
God does not promise days without pain, but He does promise He will be with us to give us strength for each day. He does promise that He will carry us through.
God does not promise that this life that we live, is going to be easy. Many false preachers promise that obeying God will lead to prosperity and success, but in fact God warns us of the opposite. Hardship and persecution. The Christian life may not always be a comfortable life, but it sure is a fulfilling life.
Instant change is the third thing that God does not promise. All lives can experience a transformation. But, still people can wrestle with habits and those annoying, besetting sins. In Philippians 1:6, a promise that implies this change is going to take a while. (For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.) There are instances where people are miraculously changed in an instant. As bad as I wish I was one of those cases, I do have the reassurance that God has promised to change me, but has not exactly promised to change me instantly.
None of this may make a bit of sense to anyone, but I just felt I needed to tell the world that we all have problems in our life. We all struggle with character flaws. How do we change? We ask to God to help us. He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. So, even in the moment of my major character flaw discovery, I know that God was on my side, and will always love me no matter what. He will see me through. It may take a while, but I am willing to walk that unworn path to go in search of who I am and where I am supposed to be, in hope to find the end, where eternity begins.
The last few days I have been reading in Genesis. In particular, I have been reading the story of Joseph. He went through a lot before he knew what his purpose was.
Joseph was loved by his father, more so than his brothers. He was one of the younger sons and he spent more time with him. He was also the son of Rachel, the woman whom Jacob loved with his whole heart. The one woman that he spent 14 years in servitude so he could make her his wife. His siblings knew that he loved Joseph more and grew angry because of it. Jacob made him a coat of many colors to wear, but it caused jealousy and hatred in the hearts of his brothers. It didn’t help their feelings for Joseph when he had a dream of a sun and moon and eleven stars bowing down to him. They were angry at him. How dare him think that they would bow down to him.
One day, a couple of the brothers decided to kill him, but Reuben stopped them. While Reuben was away they sold Joseph to Midianite traders that passed by. When Reuben came back it was too late.
So, the brothers devised a plan to soak his coat of many colors in goat’s blood and tell their father that he was killed by an animal.
Joseph was sold in Egypt, and started out as a slave to Potiphar. Joseph served his master well and gained great favor. Then Potiphar’s wife started pushing herself upon Joseph. She kept asking him to lie with her. After his rejection, she went to her husband and lied about Joseph, which resulted in Joseph’s imprisonment.
Even though he was sentenced to a life in prison, God protected him. He made friends with the prison guard and the guard favored him. He interpreted the dream for the chief butler and the baker one day. The poor baker’s fate was not so great, for he had his head taken off. But the chief butler was restored his position. Even though Joseph asked him to remember him, it was 2 years before Joseph could use the gift that God gave him.
When Pharaoh had his dream of the seven fat cows being eaten by the seven lean cows and the seven plump heads of grain being devoured by the seven thin heads, Pharaoh’s magicians could not interpret the dream. That is when the chief butler finally spoke up that he knew of young Hebrew man who could interpret dreams.
Joseph cleaned up and changed out of his clothing and interpreted the dream. He told Pharaoh the seven fat cows and the seven plump grain heads are seven years of plenty and the seven lean cows and the seven thin grain heads is seven years of famine. He explained to him that Egypt needs to store up food for the next seven years, otherwise they will all starve.
Pharaoh rewarded Joseph with overseeing the land of Egypt. He told him that there is no one as discerning and wise as Joseph. He placed him over his house and all his people, and only in regard to the throne was Pharaoh greater that Joseph. He placed a signet ring on his hand.
There are times in our life that we suffer greatly and go through tough times in our life. We don’t understand why, but God does. He allows suffering to happen to us and turns that suffering into good.
Why does God allow suffering? It makes so many people crazy with anger because they suffer over situations in their life. I believe it to be the greatest challenge in our Christian faith. When you suffer, God suffers right along with you. God is able to use that suffering for good in many ways.
He sometimes uses the bad things that happen to bring about his good purposes.
He also teaches us along the way in every situation we encounter. Yes, Joseph suffered, but he was training him for a greater purpose.
Joseph’s brothers were afraid that he was seek revenge upon them when they learned of his postion in Egypt. They were fearful of his power. But Joseph said, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.”
So many times, in our life we go through struggles that will make us stronger, or prepare us for a purpose later. I would not be who I am today, if I had not gone through the many trials in my life. There is always a reason. Joseph was successful because God’s hand was upon him and turned the evil into a blessing.
So, when you feel like you are suffering, remember that God has His reason, and He is preparing you to take on a greater work for Him.
This time of year, you can see that love is in the air. Couples going to special dinners. Buying trinkets, or jewelry. Taking long weekend trips to spend time with one another. That is what we do as humans; we desire to spend time with each other. We want to love and be loved. We also want to know about one another. We observe each other and want to know what makes the other one tick.
Friends and family who love one another, want to know each other on a deeper level. We want to know their favorite color. What their most favorite meal is to eat. We want to know where they like to go, or what activities they enjoy doing. We feel it is our duty to understand our loved ones’ behavior. We all know what makes them, mad, sad, happy, or frustrated. We know when they are heart-broken or if they are busting at the seams with excitement. It is human nature to care for others. We can know what they are thinking by the simple facial expressions they make.
I know with my family, with one look at each other we can burst into fits of laughter and not a word was spoken. We know each other inside and out and like nobody else. The only way to get to know another human being, is to have a conversation with them, spend time with them, and observe them. As humans, this comes natural. Our uttermost desire is to have close relationships in our life. But, do we think about having that same type relationship with other beings on this earth?
There are many people who have that same type of relationship with their cat or dog. They know their pet’s behaviors and know when they are sad or happy. They know what makes them who they are. What about your chickens? Do you know what makes them happy? Do you know their favorite meals or treats? Do you really know why your chickens do what they do? There are some, I am sure, that know exactly what makes their chickens exactly who they are, but some, really don’t have a clue.
To make our chickens happy we must observe them and talk to them. You probably wonder what I mean when I say talk to them, but we need to speak to them in their language. We must do some research to figure out why they behave the way they do.
Here are a few behaviors that we may wonder why chickens do them.
Why do chickens roost?
By nature, chickens want to roost in the highest point they can get to. They prefer to be gathered together in a group. They do this because it creates warmth and provides the feeling they are safe while they sleep. Your chickens will be happier if you create a place which allows them to follow their instincts. There are two basic rules when creating your roost. The first rule, do not place the roost over the nesting boxes where the chickens will sit to lay their eggs. The second rule, do not place the roost over your walking path to the nesting boxes to pick up the eggs.
Why do they eat rocks?
As chickens’ forage, they naturally consume small pieces of rock, or gravel. The pieces pass through their digestive system and lodge into their gizzard, where they chew up seeds, grains, bugs, and grasses they eat. They need grit because chickens don’t have teeth and are not able to chew their food to aid digestion. The rocks grind their food the way molars grind our food.
Why do chickens brood?
When a hen is sitting in her nesting box a little bit more than usual, and possibly a bit more aggressive than normal, it is because she has decided she wants to sit on her eggs and raise chicks. Of course, hens can brood on her eggs with or without a rooster on site. Without a rooster, the eggs will not be fertile and will not hatch. If you don’t want her to brood there are several methods that you can try to “break” her from brooding. Not all breeds go broody, but some breeds are more likely than others. Some breeds will go broody whether or not they have eggs. It is quite incredible she knows how to keep the eggs at the right temperature and humidity. She will even pluck some feathers so her bare skin can be right next to the eggs. A mother hen with chicks is the cutest thing you can see, so if you choose to let your broody hen hatch her eggs, it will be quite a blessed time. Some don’t like to allow their hens to brood and put they prefer to place the eggs in an incubator, but they forget they have the world’s best incubators right in their little chicken coop. Like the saying goes – Mother knows best.
Why and where do chickens molt?
When the temperatures begin to become cooler we think of fall activities, pumpkin pie, and winter approaching. Chickens also start preparing for winter. Due to shorter days and cooler temperatures it is sign for chickens to renew their feathers. Losing feathers and re-growing them is called molting and occurs every year when the days get shorter. During molt, chickens usually stop laying eggs and use that time to build up their nutrient reserves. Even though they are not laying, it is still crucial that they maintain the same high-quality diet that they have been on. Molting and growing in new feathers requires a lot of energy, so be sure their diet consists of at least 16% protein. All chickens are different. Some will lose a few feathers and grow back quickly and others will lose a lot of feathers and may take 12 to 16 weeks to grow back. Make sure you show love to those that don’t look quite like they used to, it is painful for them and increases stress. So, don’t panic when your chickens start to lose feathers and stop laying eggs. Molting is a normal and natural process.
What do chickens prefer to eat?
Chickens are omnivores. In the green season, chickens will supplement their diet with grasshoppers, fly larvae and any other insect they spot crawling through the grass. While grazing they may also find snakes, frogs, or lizards to supplement their diet. In the winter, when insect life is nearly nonexistent, this is traditionally when farm flocks were supplemented with vermin. They don’t mind indulging in flesh from time to time. Some people don’t like the idea of their chicken eating meat, but chickens aren’t vegetarians. Chickens like a little variety in their meals. They will appreciate it if you put a little protein in their diet. To add protein to their diet, you can supplement with scrambled eggs or hard cook eggs. Cooked chicken, beef, lamb, or pork scraps can be given to your chickens as well. Meat can be cooked or raw, depending upon your preference. Dried meal worms are also a great source of protein, and chickens go nuts for them.
Why do chickens roll in the dust?
Chickens love to dust. In fact, dust baths are absolutely necessary. They use their wings and legs to loosen up the dirt and then roll in the dirt throwing the dust upon them. This helps with preventing parasites and mites and to clean themselves. Chickens do not take water baths they take dust baths. All chickens should have access to dust baths. If they are not free range, then it is easy to create a spot where they are kept so they can dust themselves. A simple shallow pan or kiddy pool filled with loose dirt, sand, hardwood ashes, or a combination of all these would make a great place for any chicken to relax in their dust bath.
These are just a few behaviors that your chickens will display. Every flock is unique and only you can determine what is normal or abnormal behavior for your chickens. The best way to build a relationship with your chickens is to spend time with them, observe them, talk to them, and most importantly, listen to what they are telling you. Relationships in every form takes work. Whether it is a husband and wife, mother and daughter, brother and sister, friends for life, or human and chicken, they all have something in common. They require patience, kindness, humbleness, respect, devotion, dedication, communication, and a whole lot of love, and the greatest of these is love.
This week I realized something. There are times in our life when “Is” becomes “Was”. Since my grandpa passed from this life to the next, I find myself saying “he was”. I am not fond of that. I realize that he is no longer on this earth and I can’t talk about him in present tense, but it still disturbs me a bit.
I find myself saying:
“he was a great man”
“he was compassionate”
“he was a great man of God, and loved the Lord”
“he was talented with wood”
“he was always trying to make us laugh”
“he was always telling jokes”
“he was always in church”
“he was such a loving person”
“he was…. he was… he was.”
We used to say, “HE IS”. He is the greatest grandpa. He is telling another joke. He is always trying to make everyone smile”. “He is loving”. I could go on forever.
“IS” has become “Was”.
I don’t like that because, he isn’t really gone. He may not walk this earth like we do, but he walks on streets of gold now. He “IS” walking streets of gold. He “IS” talking with Jesus. He “IS” making others smile. He “IS” sitting beside Moses, Elijah and Abraham. He “IS” seeing his sister and parents. He “IS” hearing with so much more clarity than before. He “IS” singing in perfect harmony. He “IS” going to live forever in heaven.” He “IS” waiting for us to get there. He still “IS”.
We may die from this life, but it’s not the end. There is life after, and if you have asked Jesus in your heart and believe that Jesus died for you and me, then you still “ARE”. You just spend the rest of your life on the other side.
I think it is easier for me to comprehend the death of my grandpa to think of him on an extended vacation. On the most excellent vacation that anyone can ever take. A vacation where the tour includes, streets of gold, crystal seas, the Bible Greats of our time. Where you can see a Lion lay down with a lamb. A place where you hear angels sing to you for your entertainment. A place where there is no pain, no death, no tears, no stress and the sun is always at your back. But, most importantly a place where you can finally meet the man who died upon that cross to save a soul such as mine. We get to see Jesus.
Grandpa “IS” still with us, but it’s just in spirit, and one day we will see him.
So, for the time being we will be say “was” while we talk about him while he walked this earth, but saying “is” while we think about him in Heaven.
Last week, was by far the worst week, I have ever had to endure. We laid to rest my Grandpa on Friday, Jan 26th, 2018.
My grandpa had suffered from Alzheimer’s the last three years. He was doing well for the most part. Other than answering the same questions a million times and forgetting what he said 5 minutes earlier, his health was not bad.
The last five or six months his mind had gotten a bit worse, but he became much weaker. He still knew who we all were. That is one blessing that we all had, he never forgot us. On Christmas, he seemed to me more unstable and fell a few times. I could see that he was fighting a losing battle, but there was nothing we could do, but watch.
January 14th, he sat in church for the last time, because Tuesday of that week he took to bed and never left. I am not sure why he went downhill so fast, but one week and one day later he met Jesus face to face.
January 22nd, I received a phone call that my grandpa had a heart attack, and was not expected to make it through the day. I left work in a panic. I couldn’t get to his house fast enough. When I got there, I laid my head on his chest and bawled like a baby.
The rest of the family came. Just the day before we all got together at the house and we all played music and sang. He slept most of the day, but I believe he heard us. He could speak to us and tell us he loved us.
We were glad that we could say our “see you laters” and “I love you’s” to the greatest man on earth. I am even more glad that he could say it back.
We were all by his side, when he passed from this life to the next. I must say that was the most excruciating pain I believe I have ever experienced. I don’t believe my heart had ever been so broken.
I can honestly say that I have never seen him angry. I have never seen him even raise his voice, unless he was cheering someone on or laughing. He loved to make people laugh. He told jokes all the time, and even if I heard the same joke 500 times, he still said in a way that made you laugh. He was the happiest person I have ever met. Even on his death-bed, he was making jokes.
He loved the Lord with all his heart. I have never seen him waiver in his faith. He was faithful to go to church, he never missed a Sunday. He will be rewarded for his servitude. He loved to help people. He was a carpenter and made beautiful works of art out of wood. I guess grandpa and Jesus will have something in common.
I am going to miss him so much.
There will forever be a hole in my chest.
But one thing I am grateful for, I will see him again. Someday, when I cross over that river Jordan, walk down those streets of gold, and enter the gates of that Heavenly city, I will see my grandpa again. What a joyful day that will be. I look forward to that day.
I couldn’t have asked for a better grandpa. The world was a better place because of Otis Wayne Gage. Rest in Peace Grandpa, I’ll see you later. Love you to the moon and back. You will forever be missed by all.
There has been a lot of talk about Oprah Winfrey lately. Do you know when you have a burp, and it is cross between a burp and throwing up? The one where you literally throw up in your mouth. It leaves this foul, disgusting after taste in your mouth. I am sure you all know the taste very well. Well that is sort of what happens to me when I even hear her name. Yep, I gag at the thought of this woman just waltzing around corrupting others, and persuading them to practice her perverted religious “awakening”. I am not even going to call it an “actual religion”. I mean really? The Church of Oprah Winfrey? Who goes to this church? Believe it or not she has a rather large following.
Oprah’s net worth is estimated to exceed one billion dollars. Her television audience of ten million, 2.7 million people with her magazine, thousands more with other media outlets that she reaches out to, is growing exponentially. She has an incredible following. She regularly appears at the top of the “Most Admired Women” listings and has become a cultural icon. This talk show host, film producer, and philanthropist, is not ordained. She is neither a preacher nor a religious professional, but her following has deemed her as an influential leader. I call her evil, false prophet, liar, misled, misguided, confused, a puppet that Lucifer himself is using. (well you may say that is harsh, but this is my blog, and my own opinion, and I call them as I see them)
We are told by God to not be the judge. Some of you may say that I am being a bit judgey, but let me tell you what the Bible also says about false teachers.
In 2 Peter 2:1-22 it states, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
In 2 John 1:9 it states, “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”
2 Timothy 4:3 states, ”For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”
Oprah speaks about how the Bible has impacted her life and how God gives her great hope. The only problem is nobody is really sure which God she is referring to, because she leaves Jesus out of the equation. She is very insistent in being called a Christian, but a well-circulated YouTube video shows her speaking adamantly about the fact that Jesus is NOT the only way to the Father. She also allowed Rob Bell to trash the Bible on her broadcast. Rob Bell is a former mega church pastor that was outcast when he questioned the existence of hell. His liberal teaching and perversion of the Bible is outrageous. John Piper once wisely wrote, “Bad theology dishonors Gods and hurts people. Churches that sever the root of truth may flourish for a season, but they will wither eventually or turn into something besides a Christian church.”
The term “Christian” is so widely used. I don’t think the general population understands what it actually means. The definition of Christian in the Webster’s dictionary states, one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. According to this definition, Oprah Winfrey cannot call herself a Christian.
What Oprah believes is not Christianity, but a New Age-New Thought worldview. Oprah, on many, many counts has rejected the essential tenet of faith of Christianity: There is only one path to God, through the Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus states it very clear in the Bible. In John 14:6 it states, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. Yet she rejects His own words while at the same time declaring from every media standpoint, “I AM A CHRISTIAN”. NO OPRAH, YOU ARE NOT!
One of Oprah’s many beliefs are from the Hindu belief in pantheism. In case you don’t know what that means, I looked it up……don’t worry I won’t leave you in suspense. Pantheism is the doctrine the equates God with the forces and laws of the universe. It is the worship of all gods of different creeds, cults, or people’s indifferently. It also means the toleration of worship of all gods.
I was watching one of her videos the other day and she stated that she came from a Baptist background. One day she was sitting in church and the pastor was describing God and then he said that God was a jealous God. This upset her and it didn’t set well with her. She did not like the idea that God was jealous of her. That was when she decided to go on her own journey to seek her own religion and belief system.
When our human minds define the word jealous, we think of it in terms that it is the sense of being envious of someone or something that we do not have, but we want. Or person may be jealous of another person’s skills, abilities, wealth or even beauty. In the ten commandments, it states that “We shall not covet”, which means to not want what another person has, and that does not belong to us, which is where jealousy is derived from.
Here are just a few verses that refer to God as being a jealous God.
In Exodus 20:5 NKJV it states, “you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate ME,”
In Exodus, 34.14, KJV, it states, “for thou shalt not worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is A jealous God.”
In Deuteronomy 4 23-24, it states, “So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
I could go on, there are many verses that states our God is a jealous God, and have the same meaning. But it does not mean the same thing that Oprah thinks it does. He is not jealous of us. He created us. Why in the world would our creator be jealous of us? He can create anything that He desires. For crying out loud, He created the heavens and the earth. He created the whole universe. I am sure if he wanted something else it would not take Him long to whip something up. I can guarantee, He is not jealous of little ol’ me.
In all these verses, there is one thing in common. He does not want us to worship other gods. He is speaking of people making idols and bowing down and giving worship to other gods beside the One True God. It is a sin to worship idols and other gods.
Let me put it a little more simply. I have been married to my husband for 21 years. He is my husband and I love him dearly. But if he started flirting and giving another woman a little more attention than me, I would be jealous. He is supposed to flirt with me and pay attention to me, not other women. And, vice versa, if I flirted with other men my husband would be the same way. We belong to each other. This type of jealousy is not sin. Jealousy is a sin when you have a desire for something that does NOT belong to you.
Worship, praise, honor, and adoration belong to God alone, for He is truly worthy of it. Therefore, God has the right to be jealous when that worship, praise, honor, and adoration is being given to other gods or idols.
Oprah has many beliefs and none of them align biblically. I will give credit to Oprah in many ways. She has become quite a success. She has helped thousands of people. But in the end, without Jesus in her heart, it is all for nothing, and she is leading others astray in the process. I hate to see that. I pray for Oprah. I pray that she sees the light and opens her heart to the truth. I pray that she asks God to forgive her sins and ask Him to come into her heart. It is not my desire to see any soul lost for eternity.
My advice to you, is to seek the truth from the one true account of Jesus, and that is the Bible. Read it from cover to cover, but while you do that, seek God, and He will make it all clear. He will see you through. God Bless