If I Were Saying Goodbye…

An atheist friend of mine once told me: “If Christians really believe in what they say they do, they would be the biggest a******s in the world if they didn’t tell everyone. Which is why I don’t mind when Christians tell me about God.”

He’s right. We would be the biggest…jerks…in the world if we didn’t share the most amazing story in the world, the truth that not only lifts people today out of the most appalling lives of drug addiction, hopelessness, and anxiety, but also guarantees us an eternal life of absolute abundance and joy. If we believe this, we have to share it, because not sharing it would be the most horrible act of selfishness we could ever do.

Particularly now, when the world as we know it is just about to come to an end. There is not much time left. Perhaps only days. Perhaps this is the last blog post I will ever write – and oh, how I hope that is the truth! And if it is, there are four things I want you to know:

God loves you. Regardless of who you are, or what you’ve done, God loves you so much that he died to save your life.

No matter how good you think you are, you’re not good enough to save yourself. You’ve lied, stolen, and wished evil upon other people – which in God’s view is the same as if you’d actually murdered them. But God loves you anyway.

God wants, more than anything else, to give you a life of joy and utter, complete happiness and abundance. The proof of his existence is literally everywhere you look, and if you genuinely ask him, he will reveal himself to you.

When the genuine Christians are supernaturally taken off this earth, when judgement begins, and all the terrible things I’ve warned you of begin to happen, it’s not too late. The Bible says everyone who cries out to God will be saved. If you won’t cry out to him now, remember this. Please remember this. It’s not too late.

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And if you genuinely don’t know where to begin, if you’ve been raised outside of the church and have only a vague idea of who Jesus is, or why he matters, consider watching the film below. If nothing else, Christianity and Jesus are a major part of history, and the driving force behind everything that has happened here on earth. Aren’t you at least a little bit curious?

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A Corgi in Watercolor

I have a weakness for watercolor art. Part of it is how wild and unpredictable it seems, to work with water.  One of my friends, Colette Griffith, recently discovered she has a talent for watercolor, and has been making some gorgeous paintings. One of them is a custom portrait of my corgi, Dexter.

I gave her this photo of Dexter:

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And she painted this portrait:

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I think she truly captured him! (I particularly love how she did his paws…I’m a “paw person” and I always loved Dexter’s big corgi feet!) I’m definitely going to ask her to paint me another…as soon as I settle on which animal/photo.

Colette enjoys doing custom art, and she told me she’s currently doing several paintings of business storefronts. She does amazing architectural watercolors.

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Her animals, as you’ve already seen with Dexter, are wonderful too.

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It’s entirely possible my next request of her will be a chicken. Ellie, my favorite soul-mate chicken, already has one watercolor portrait of her…but what queen doesn’t need more than one official portrait?

If you would like Colette to do a watercolor for you (a pet, storefront, or childhood home, perhaps?) she is accepting commissions, and her prices are extremely reasonable.  It depends on the subject and size, but mine of Dexter was only $20!

She is still working on settling up a website, but you can contact her at colettegriffith@yahoo.com

Spring Babies

You know it’s Spring when all the critters are reproducing!  Before we get to the new babies, here’s an update on the pigeons.

Guys, we have genuine feathers! Below is the one I’m calling Mordecai (they were hatched on Purim).  Although these Kings are supposed to be all-white, this little one has black around his eyes. It would definitely disqualify him as a show bird, but as I don’t show, I don’t care. It makes him interesting. Notice I’m calling him ‘him’.  I don’t have any experience in sexing pigeons, but this one is much more dominate and feisty than the other. He acts just like his father, so I’m guessing it’s a male?

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And here is Esther.  Just like her mother, she is very calm and gentle. I’m guessing female, which is perfect!

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Look how much their wings have grown!

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Emerson and Peabody (the parents) are expressing considerable interest in the second nest I put in the dovecote for them, so I’m hoping another pair of eggs will be laid soon. When the first batch of babies reach a certain age, the male pigeon takes over feeding them, and the female starts sitting on a new clutch of eggs. Ultimately, I want a total of three pairs of adult birds, and then I’ll start eating eggs and/or squabs.

Now…onto to the new babies! I don’t have a picture yet, but one of my Rex rabbits (Thistle) gave birth to her first litter this year. A litter of exactly…ONE kit! Sigh. Rabbits have litters between 1-10 babies, and last time she had 8. So I was hoping for more. One kit can be dangerous, because baby rabbits can’t properly regulate their temperature and use the body heat of their siblings to keep warm. The mother rabbit only goes into the nest to nurse once or twice a day. She doesn’t keep them warm. I was worried, but Thistle made a massive nest this time with LOTS of hay and pulled hair, and the baby has been toasty warm. It’s going to survive. But it does put my breeding schedule off. I have gone ahead and bred my other doe, Blackberry, so hopefully she’ll come through with a large litter to make up for this one…though I’m not entirely sure she’s even pregnant. She was in a MOOD when I put her in with Sorrel, and I don’t know for one hundred percent he were successful in wooing her. I’ll have to re-breed Thistle in a week or two.

My cream legbar chicken, Sansa, went broody right on cue – it only took me a couple of weeks of asking “Do you want babies????” for her to answer “YES!!!!” I ordered a baker’s dozen of bantam mottled cochin eggs for her, and they should hatch sometime around the end of April. The adults should look something like this:

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And just for fun I also ordered seven silkie eggs for my incubator. I’ve only ever used the incubator for quail eggs, which are so small and often so darkly colored that you can’t really shine a light into the eggs and watch them develop inside the shell. Silkie eggs are white and considerably larger than quail eggs. The person I bought the eggs from has a jumbled flock of many colors, so my chicks could be almost any color, not just white.

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The problem is, he packed them in such a small box that despite the “live hatching eggs – handle with care” sticker on it, the post office didn’t see it, and threw the box in with the general mail. Which means it got thrown around a lot more than it should have. Which means my mail delivery person was very angry on my behalf (she has chickens herself) because she knows my chances of hatching chicks from these eggs went way, way down. Normal hatch rates on shipped eggs vary, but generally you get about 50%.

After four days in the incubator I candled mine, and only ONE is developing! So many things can go wrong with eggs, that I might not end up with any. But assuming this little chick manages to beat the odds, I’ll put her out underneath Sansa with the mottled cochins. They will all hatch out at the same time, and that way she won’t be lonely.

And that was supposed to be it for the chicks this year. But then I went to Tractor Supply to pick up some bedding, and they had a sale on Freedom Ranger chicks – $1 each.

I came home with four.

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These are a meat chicken breed, meant to be similar to the Cornish Cross grocery store chicken, only minus the health issues that breed has. We’ve been wanting to experiment with these guys, to see how healthy they are, and how fast they really grow. So far, I’ve had them a couple of days, and they are super strong and stocky. I think three of them are roosters, because they just act like teenaged boys. The fourth is slightly more delicate and I’m sure she’s a hen. Hopefully they reach butcher weight before they all start to crow!

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I’m still waiting on the Muscovy ducks. The person I want to get them from had a problem with her hatch, I think – but she’s got more in the incubator, so hopefully within a month I’ll have ducklings.

I love spring.

Looking Ahead to the Very Near Future

There’s a thing called ‘normalcy bias’. Basically, it’s the assumption people have that since everything is ok right now, that things will continue to be ok. People don’t think that cancer, or a car accident, or a natural disaster will happen to them. That belief is, of course, absolutely wrong. Bad things happen to people all the time, and no one makes it through their life without something happening, at some time.

But more of the time, we recover. We move on. We continue.

For example, we assume that despite everything going in the world right now, that things will somehow still be ok. The government will bail someone out, provide healthcare, build a wall (or prevent a wall being built). We support or despise the man in power, forgetting that the only reason anyone is ever in power is because God chose to put them there. This is true of Trump, this was true of Obama. America is going through a difficult time right now, but normalcy bias tells us we’ll be ok. We’re a world superpower, we’re too big to fail, too important to fall…as Assyria did, as Rome did, as all the world superpowers before us did.

America is great because she is good. When she ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.      – Alexis de Tocqueville

The above statement, written not long after our founding, is absolutely true. America has done some evil things in her past, but always, there has been enough righteous, God-following people within her to change that evil. But now…that isn’t the case. There are very few righteous people left, people who genuinely believe in the God of the Bible, and who seek to follow his will for their lives. A VERY great number profess to be Christians, but doing ‘Christian’ things, and sitting on a church pew doesn’t make you a genuine Christian. There is only one way to God, and it has nothing to do your works.

Most of these false Christians have been swayed by the world into accepting evil as good. The Bible said this would happen.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

The Bible also told us what would be the result. Watchmen would recognize the signs of the end, and would sound the alarm to warn the world, but the world would not listen.

2 Peter 3:3-4 
…knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.  They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

But regardless of what the world believes, the Day of the Lord will come, and it will happen so quickly and so suddenly that the world will be shocked and stunned.

Matthew 24:37-44
For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.

The Bible gives amazing, detailed prophecies regarding what the world will look like at the time right before everything changes forever. These prophecies are so detailed and specific that only about 70 years ago, many people believed they had to be taken “spiritually” rather than literally, because they were about things people thought were absolutely impossible. The regathering of Israel into a nation again. The presence of Russia in Syria, and Russia’s alliance with Turkey and Iran. The exact technology we have now, and the genetic tinkering we are currently doing – even mentioning an ‘abomination’ of swine and mouse. https://futurism.com/scientists-used-genetic-modification-to-create-low-fat-pigs/

The Bible says the warning signs of war, famine, pestilence, natural disasters, and technology will be as the birth pangs of a woman – increasing in frequency and strength until the time of the end. I could write an entire book about just the signs of natural disasters, but here is just one example:

Known Asteroids Passing Less Than One Lunar Distance From Earth (2001 – 2018):
2001 – 1
2002 – 2
2003 — 5
2004 — 10
2005 — 6
2006 —- 12
2007 —– 15
2008 —— 20
2009 —– 19
2010 ——- 22
2011 ——— 27
2012 ——- 22
2013 ——– 23
2014 ————– 32
2015 ——— 27
2016 ——————- 60
2017 —————— 56
2018 —————————— 91

One day, very soon, two massive asteroids will hit the earth.

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Revelation 8: 8-11

The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A thirds of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

Every genuine Christian who is awake and paying attention knows that the end is coming – and it’s coming very, very, very soon. I just bought some fertile eggs to put underneath one of my hens to hatch, and I truly doubt whether I’ll see those eggs hatch out. Everything I do now, everything I plan is based on this knowledge: JESUS IS COMING FOR US. SOON. I cannot stress this enough. It IS true, it IS happening, and the world has very little time left.

Because while he is coming with great joy to rescue his Church from the world, he is also coming  to deliver righteous wrath on the evil being done in the earth. He has blessed America above most of the world because America was good. But America has turned away, America is actively celebrating horrific evil.

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Abortion is evil, absolutely. And not only do they want to murder the unborn FULL TERM babies, they want to actually deliver babies, then set them aside to ‘rest comfortably’ while the mother decides whether she wants to have her child killed or not. These people who do this…some of the women honestly don’t understand what they are doing, they are brainwashed or ignorant, but the doctors know.

Pedophilia is now being pushed into public acceptance. The new revelations about Michael Jackson’s abuse of children prompted Barbara Streisand to comment: “You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard them say, they were thrilled to be there,” she said. “They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”

God cannot and will not allow this forever. America (and the rest of the world) will be rightfully and righteously judged, and this judgment will be the worse thing ever to happen to the world. If you’re in America, in particular, I’m not certain you will survive, however much prepping you’re done. More and more I believe America will be completely and absolutely destroyed, wiped forever off the map. I had hope that the people I know who aren’t currently believers would have time to realize the truth and accept Christ after they see the Rapture of the Church happen, after they finally recognize the truth of what I’ve been saying….but I’m not so sure anymore that’s going to be possible. I think the total destruction might be too sudden and too complete.

But the judgement of the world is something that not only will happen, but it has to happen. The world cannot continue going on as it is now, growing more and more evil. God will bring it to an end, so he can remake it into the glorious creation it was before sin entered into it.

After this, there will never again be sin, or death, or pain, or sorrow in the world again.

Maranatha!

End of March

Pigeons grow INSANELY fast. Remember how small they were at hatch?

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Here they are, today.

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Such funny looking, prehistoric birds! And so calm. They don’t mind being taken out of the nest at all. The parents have differing opinions on that subject. The father, Emerson, would guard his chicks to the death when HE’S on the nest. He growls and pecks and slaps me with his wings. Peabody, the female, is pretty sure I intend no harm. She prefers I not touch, but if I do, she just gives me a precautionary wing-slap, then settles down and lets me pet her and the babies. Needless to say, I handle the chicks when she’s on guard duty…or when they’re both off the nest.

The first ten days of life, the parents feed the chicks with ‘milk’ produced in their crop. They are one of only three birds that do this, and it’s really cool. The crop actually changes to produce milk much the way human breasts do, then changes back after ten days. These babies are on solid food now. When I touch the thin skin of their chests, I can feel the crop’s contents and tell by the bulges that the parents are bringing them whole grains and peas to eat.

The mealworm farm is doing fantastic too. Most of the original worms are now either pupae or beetles. When the beetles first hatch, they are white, then slowly turn brown, then black.  Hopefully the beetles are laying eggs, and soon I’ll have a bumper crop of new worms – some to feed the critters, some to let grow into the next generation of beetles. They are kinda creepy, but definitely the easiest animals I’ve ever cared for. Put them in some wheat bran, add a few slices of raw potato, and let them do their thing.

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The Spring here has been fantastic. About 60 degrees during the day and sunny, in the 40s at night. The garden is exploding with life.

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I filmed a little video tour of my March garden. My camera shut off halfway through, so it’s in two parts.

Spring Pigeons

If you’ve read my last few posts, you know I recently acquired a pair of White Utility King Pigeons.

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They promptly mated, laid two eggs, and now – I am thrilled to announce – hatched out two healthy squabs! Despite the mother’s objections, I want to handle these babies fairly frequently as they grow, so that will be tame as adults. I did this with Zebra Finches years ago, and once they could fly, I could release them out of their cage into my room, and they would come flying to land on my fingers.  So today, I took one of the squabs out of the nest and held it.

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They are ugly-cute, for sure!

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I can’t get over the shape of their beaks! And look, on the very top/tip of that beak, you can still see the little bump called the ‘egg tooth’. This is what chicks use to break out of their shell.  Since they were hatched on the third day of Purim, if they turn out to be a male and female, I’ll name them Esther and Mordecai. Seems appropriate.

The weather here in Skagit County has been so glorious. Upper 60s, and Spring is bursting out all over. The anemones are in full bloom:

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And I started planting out starts and seeds. I have lettuce, kale, beets, collards, and kale coming up from seed, and many herbs. The first few pansies I plant are always so precious, and smell so delightful.

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And look what just happened today…the very first peach tree blossom!

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This is my absolute favorite time of year.

Spring Wedding?

I have a brief critter update at the end of this post, but first I want to talk about weddings. Specifically, Jewish weddings around 33 A.D. They had some beautiful traditions.

The marriage would be agreed upon between the two families, and with the future bride’s consent, the betrothal agreement would be signed. Although they were now firmly and legally joined together, the marriage itself would not happen for at least a year. During this time, the future groom would go away to his father’s property, and build a house for his new wife – a house as good as, or better, than the home she would be leaving. The bride would be working on her wedding dress, and making herself ready to leave for this new house at a moment’s notice – because no one (not even the groom!) knew when the wedding would take place. It was the groom’s father who decided, based on when he felt the house was finished to his satisfaction.

I can just imagine the impatience and longing with which the bride waited, wondering each day, as she saw the signs of her future home being built, and heard rumors from her friends and family of how fine it was, and how close her future husband was to finishing it! But finally, all was prepared to the father’s satisfaction, and he said to his son: “Go and bring home your bride!”

 

The groom would immediately go to the outskirts of his bride’s village, and sound a trumpet to announce his arrival. The bride, who had been seeing the signs and knew it had to be soon, had started sending out her friends to watch and wait for him. When they hear the trumpet, she dresses herself in her wedding finery and runs out to meet him. He scoops her up in his arms and takes her back to his father’s house, where they go into a private room for seven days to consummate the marriage. After that week alone, they are announced to the world as husband and wife, and celebrate a massive wedding feast with their families and guests.

Jesus says that he is the bridegroom, and his bride is all those who believe in who he is, and accept his free gift of salvation. After his death and resurrection, when he legally and irrevocably bound his life to ours, he went away to build us mansions in his father’s house, in heaven. When all is ready, and all the signs say that now is the time, he will return and catch us away for seven years, to protect us from the horror that will come upon the earth. At the end of the seven years, he will return with us to earth, to destroy evil and return the earth to a state of perfection. And there we will have our ‘marriage supper’ with the King of Kings, he who loves us more impossibly and more incredibly, than we will ever be able to understand.

 

We’ve been waiting for our Bridegroom a very long time, but now, finally, all the signs are here that he told us to watch for, and any time now we will hear that trumpet, and feel him wrap his arms around us and lift us up, and take us home.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are [a]asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

I feel so incredibly fortune to be alive on earth during this time. This will be the single greatest moment of the past 2,000 years – and one of the three greatest moments in the history of the entire world.

But while I’m waiting, I have work to do here. The very first job ever given to mankind was in the Garden of Eden, right after the world was created.

Genesis 1:26 
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Genesis 2:15 
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

It is a running theme throughout the Bible that God cares deeply for all his creation, and he does not take kindly to those who destroy and mistreat it. This is why I have a garden and an urban farm. This is why I don’t use chemicals in my garden, and why I give my animals the absolute best and most natural life I can. Nothing I raise or grow in my garden is mine – it all belongs to God, and I am merely the steward and caretaker of it. One day, I will stand before him, and he will examine my work, and judge the value of it.

Hopefully, that day will be soon!

Song of Solomon 2:10-13

My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away, for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing[d] has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.

My pigeons have laid their second egg, and have begun to sit on them.  In about two weeks, the eggs should hatch.

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And just today, I found a local woman who has Muscovy ducks. She has eggs that will hatch next week, and they are just the color I’m interested in. So if I’m still here, I will finally get some ducklings. I think 7-8, to be sure I get a good ratio of drakes to hens. I plan to keep three of them, one drake and two hens.

The mama “Peanut” is such a cutie.

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In chicken news, two nights ago I went out to shut them up in their coop. It was getting a little dim out there, so I walked down the length of the perch, petting each chicken and counting them as I did. One of the chickens felt…funny. I looked closer and discovered she was wearing a necklace!

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Can you tell what that is? It’s a paper plate! They’d had some leftover mashed potatoes earlier, and obviously she’d managed to rip out the bottom and slip it over her head! It was too dark them to take a picture, but I saved the plate so I could recreate the moment for you guys. Is she hinting that I should make her a costume? It is true that I’ve seen those pictures of chickens wearing tulle tutus and always wanted to make one!