Category Archives: Life

The World in 2019

Everyone sees it. The financial CPAs and stock gurus are preparing for the largest crash the market has ever seen, and the rich are building bunkers – a guy who builds bunkers for a living says he normally does two or three a year, now he has a wait list of thousands. The news is jam-packed full of disaster stories using the words “apocalyptic” “biblical” and “unprecedented”. World records are being made for flooding, fires, earthquakes, and storms. The USA is staggering under debt and division. It’s only a matter of time before we collapse, and when we go, it will have a huge impact on the rest of the world. The Economist, known for its colorful predictive covers, has only this to say:

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And that’s only if America survives long enough for a financial or civil collapse. There are several powerful natural events that are overdue. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is locked and ready to go at any moment. I know a guy who is doing a documentary on it, and he’s interviewed most of the seismologists and local scientists (including Chris Goldfinger) and they all say it’s going to go. Soon. Some of them have to say it off the record, because they’ve been told not to ‘fear-monger’, but they all say it. He also interviewed FEMA employees, who said this area is completely unprepared, and there will not be help for the people who live here. The Northwest will be almost completely on its own. If you don’t have basic survival items, food, and water, on hand, you’re not going to make it.

And that’s just one natural event that’s poised to happen. There are many others, and there is now evidence to suggest that if one huge fault gives way, others would be triggered and also give way. This includes the supervolcano underneath Yellowstone, which is showing some alarming signs of waking up all on its own.

Things are beginning to happen in the world, things we have not seen before. But thousands of years ago, it was prophesied and written down in the Bible, the only book with a 100% track record when it comes to prophecy. There are over 300 prophesies concerning the first coming of Jesus Christ to earth, and each of those was fulfilled in exact and perfect detail.  The Bible says he is coming back again, and gives equally precise details about how the world will look right before he comes, and what will happen – and every one of those precise details is either happening (right now!) or else clearly in the process of coming together.

You think it’s bad now? Just wait. It will get so much worse. Unbelievably worse until the majority of the world’s population die from natural disaster, famine, disease, and war. But before those final seven years of horror, Christ will remove all his people from the earth, to protect them from that time. No one has to stay and experience that. God doesn’t want that. He loves every single person on the earth so much that he died a humiliating, horrifically painful death to pay the price of mankind’s sin. Of your sin. And because he rose again to eternal life, he can give that life to you.

But it’s a gift. Just like you can’t be perfect enough to earn your own way into eternal life, you could never do enough to earn God’s gift. In fact, God says that if you try to earn it with good works, everything you do is like ‘filthy rags’. He alone can give you perfection to wear, his perfection. Never yours.

I think the reason so many people try to earn their way to eternity is because God’s way seems far too easy. Just believe? Just trust? That’s all? But what about people who accept Christ, and then do bad things? How can they possibly be worth of heaven?

It simple because God loves us.  He wants all of us to be saved, and he doesn’t want it to be hard, or wearisome, or a heavy burden. Plus, he knows us. He knows our current bodies are formed of dirt, and that our nature is always going to be fundamentally selfish, prideful, and self-righteous while we are here on earth living in those dirt bodies. All he demands from us is our trust that he will eventually change our bodies into perfect ones, and our willingness for him to transform us into perfect people, filled with joy and made complete. Does this mean we can accept Christ and then do whatever evil we want? No. Once you’re saved by Christ, you will be a different person. You will feel differently, think differently – and your eyes will finally be opened, and you will see the world around you as it truly it. You will never be the same as you were before.

If you were with a person who you truly love – husband, child, parent – would you think to yourself, I love this person, and I know they love me, so I can do whatever I want to them, and it’ll be ok. I can cheat on them, and abandon them, and ignore their wishes, and be however selfish I want. Because we’re together. No. If you love someone, you want to do good for them. You want to be kind, you want to make them happy. Your relationship with God is no different. You want to do things to make him happy and proud of you…but not because you feel you have to constantly prove yourself and earn his love. On earth, that would be a bad relationship, and it’s no different with God. He loves you, and just like a good father, he will continue to love you, no matter what you do. Once he has adopted you into his family, he will never abandon or abuse you. And you, if you are a good child, will try to earn his praise – but you can never earn or lose his love. You are eternally secure, and bound for more pleasure and happiness that you can ever imagine.

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Fun With Subscription Boxes

I love getting fun things in the mail. Periodically, I’ve signed up for one of those monthly subscription boxes…they have one for virtually every interest. I haven’t had one for awhile though, so last month I decided to treat myself and signed up for two.

One of them is called Lip Service.

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I love lip balms, especially ones from sellers from places like Etsy. Ones with unique flavors and natural ingredients. I’m also a bit of a snob when it comes to lip balms; they need to have a very smooth, non-greasy texture or it’s a no-go for me. The first one they sent I ended up giving to mom – it had a nice smell, but was too grainy for me. This month’s was a keeper, though.

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It smells just like cake, and is very smooth! I also like the surprise extras they include every month. Well worth the small fee.

The other box is a snack box. I’m always fascinated by candy/snacks from other countries, so I got the Universal Yums Box. Can you guess where the first box came from?

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Love the packaging!

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There was also information sheets about Russia, and about the snacks I was getting.  This would be such an excellent thing for a homeschool family!

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The box is guaranteed to have at least six different snacks, and usually has more.

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Reading the reviews of the Russia box online afterward, it seems to have been one of the least favorite boxes offered. I can say that there were definitely some strange and unusual flavors! The meat jelly one…ick.  But I did really like the grapefruit and chocolate, and the one with currants and marshmallow!

I’m looking forward to next month’s. If you’d like to give this box a try, sign up through this link, and you’ll get $5 off your box.

Hungry, Hungry Hippos (or Bunnies)

I do feed my rabbits. I swear I do. They have free choice hay, plus nearly unlimited pellets while they are pregnant, nursing, or babies. Still, though, whenever I refill the bowl, it’s mayhem.

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Absolute mayhem! You’d think I gave them pellets once a month instead of refilling their bowls twice daily.

 

Most of the garden is preparing to sleep for the winter now. I’ve had a light frost on my car windows, but my backyard is a warmer microclimate, and even the tomatoes are still limping along…ripening those last few cherry tomatoes. The olive tree has small green olives on it, but I don’t know what’s going to happen with those. This is the first year it’s attempted to set actual fruit.

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We’ll see. The tree is tucked up against the house wall, in the warmest possible place. There are a few apples left on the apple trees, and we just ate the last of the pears. That was exciting – it was our first year to have pears! The mini pear “Seckel” produced about 15 pears, and they were very tasty! Just like full size pears, only half the size. One of my co-workers brought me couple of unusual fruits she’d been given by a friend of hers. They are a pear/ash cross, called a “Shipova”.  I’d never heard of them, but according to One Green World, they are “A unique hybrid of Mountain Ash and Pear, Shipova Mt. Ash Hybrid bears round, yellow-orange fruit, about the size of a large apricot. Quite delicious, the sweet, seedless fruit has a delicate, rose-like aroma. Shipova forms a pyramidal-shaped tree with attractive, grayish-green foliage.” They are pollinated by actual pears, so I think I might try getting a tree next year. The ones she brought me were slightly overripe, but still very good!

It’s weird, planning for the future, when you know the world as we know it is coming to an end. I’m pretty sure I won’t even be here on earth next Spring…but in case I’m wrong about the exact timing of the Rapture and start of the Great Tribulation, I still have to keep going, planting my garden and providing for my family, as the Bible commands. But it’s a strange, strange feeling.  I’m also in high gear planning for Christmas, and I hope I won’t even be here for that! I’d so much rather celebrate Christ’s birthday in Heaven with him.

I’m also crocheting like a fiend, getting tons of charity items and gifts finished…but I’m also making a few things for me, of course! One of those things is this Virus Shawl. Love, love, love the pattern – once you figure it out, it’s fun, because it’s the same four rows repeated, so you can do it without thinking. Perfect for watching YouTube videos and listening to audios!

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And I love MelodyyByWolltraum on Etsy for the yarn. She imports this gorgeous gradient Wolltraum yarn, which is “is hand-tied gradient yarn made with love in Switzerland. The gradients are created by tying little strands of colors together and the tiny knots (TK for short) are so small they are easily hidden within your project with no additional cutting/tying necessary.” It’s so much fun to work with, and unlike many of the other importers, her shipping is very reasonable. The above shawl was made with her Summerwine yarn, and it is just yummy! I have another order in with her for a cake of her Brown Sugar yarn, and I can’t wait to get it.

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Highly, highly recommend her.

 

The Wisdom of Chickens

Hesitant…so hesitant to believe it’s real. They never imagined anything like this. Their whole lives, up until now, lived in darkness and pain and misery – not even truly aware of how miserable they were, because they couldn’t conceive of their being anything better.

And then someone loving lifts them up and away from all that evil, and brings them into a world of sunshine, green grass, soft nests, and treats.

Watching the above video, I couldn’t help but compare it to we humans. All of us were born into a dark, evil world – but because it is the only place we’re ever known, we don’t understand there is anything better. A lot of us don’t even realize how horrible this world is. We try to ‘look on the bright side’ and ‘think positive’ and ‘be the change we want to see in the world’, but all the time this world is wearing away at us, stripping us of our beauty until we are raw and naked.

But just like these chickens, we have someone who cares, someone who wants to rescue us and lift us away into a place of brilliant light and happiness – a place we can’t imagine because we have no frame of reference for anything so good.

God wants to save us. He wants to save you. But I wonder, when these people visited the factory farm to take these chickens home, how many other chickens ran away from their outstretched hands instead of running to them? How many chickens reacted in doubt and confusion and fear instead of joy? How many chickens flinched away back into the familiar darkness of their lives instead of accepting the gift of freedom that was being held out to them?

Humbling Thoughts

So I was at work the other day, and as usual when I’m doing something mindless and routine, I started thinking things. It started out, as it so often does, with whole-body goosebumps and butterflies-in-the-stomach at the realization at how close I am to leaving this world. It’s amazing to think that I could just have a week left…or two days…or two hours. The knife is literally balanced on its edge, and any second it will fall. God’s adopted children will be caught away to safety and glory, and the earth will be left to destruction. I’ll be a little surprised, honestly, if we get through this month of September; everything is just lined up so perfectly, prophetically and politically. It could be that God still has work he wants accomplished first though – and we could be here another couple of years. I truly doubt it, though. I feel it in me, that he is ready to open that door into heaven; I think all of we born-again Christians who are awake and watching are feeling this…anticipation, this joy.

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But on this particular day at work, my thoughts turned to some truly humbling thoughts. Before the earth was formed, God knew that he would make me. He knew everything I would ever do, all the mistakes and horrible decisions I would make, all the sins I would willfully commit, all the people I would hurt, and all my missed opportunities. He knew every evil thought I would ever have – he knew me, absolutely and completely – and despite this, he still loved me so much that he made me anyway. He knew that he would have to come down to earth in the weak body of a man, that he would have to suffer all the temptations and sorrows and pain of a mortal life – and at the end of that life, that he would die the most painful and humiliating death ever devised. He did that, for me.

For me. Because although I can’t fully comprehend this, God wants to spend his eternity with me. Me, personally. I’m not just some faceless part of humanity. He knows me, every part of me, and before the world was made, he was looking forward to welcoming me home, to giving me every good gift – things and experiences I can’t even imagine – despite how, compared to Creator of the entire cosmos, I should be completely insignificant. I am completely insignificant – except to him.

He loves me.

I cannot even describe to you how humbling that is. And how wonderful. And the truth is, he loves you just as much. Whoever you are. Whatever you’ve done. He knew your name and your soul from the beginning of the world; he made you, and no one will ever be able to love you more than he does. He loves you more in one second of your life than anyone else could in your entire lifetime. God is love, and he wrote in his book that he’s delaying the end of the world just in hopes that you will realize it. He wants to spend his eternity with you, as well. He doesn’t care what you’ve done, or how badly you’ve messed up. That, he can fix. He can remove the most terrible sin from you, and make you flawless and perfect before him. He wants to do that. He wants to take away your shame and embarrassment, your pain and your grief. He wants to give you peace and joy. Even during these last few days on earth, he wants to give you peace and joy regardless of your circumstances. And then, when he finally can delay no longer, he wants to snatch you up out of this world and into perfection.

 

The most frequent argument atheists make is: If God is real, why doesn’t he show himself? 

Well, that’s about to happen, literally. God is just about ready to show himself to the entire world. He’s going to appear in the clouds, above every nation on earth, and on that day, there will not be a single atheist left on earth. Many people have this perception that when God comes to rescue his adopted children, his people who have believed in his death and resurrection, his heirs and future kings and queens, it will be a silent, secret event. Genuine Christians will just vanish, leaving a little stack of clothing behind. I don’t believe the Bible says anything about the rapture being silent or secret. It will be sudden, it will come without warning to those who haven’t been watching and looking for it, but it will be filled with noise and drama – because that is our God. He is a dramatic God – just look at the world he created!

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The sad part is, mere belief is not enough. Many of those people will still turn their back on him. And for many others, sudden belief will not come soon enough, because on that same day, violent disaster will come upon at least part of the world. I don’t know if it will be a terrible earthquake, or an attack by another country – or both – but I suspect this destruction will be centered on the USA. We were blessed for two hundred years because we blessed God, but things have changed in America. Evil is now prevalent, and just as the Bible foretold, those doing the evil are so confused that they believe they are doing good.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  (Isaiah 5:20)

But the Bible is clear that those who genuinely believe in his son’s sacrifice will not only know the day in which he will come, but will escape all the horror that will come.

“But concerning the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” (I Thes. 5:1-5)

That day is coming. It’s almost here. I think all of us that have been watching and waiting, the ones that have been reading the news and studying the earth in light of God’s prophetic word, see that now is the time. Now is the last chance you have – all of you who don’t believe in God because you haven’t bothered to look for him. Once he appears in the sky, it will be too late for you to escape. You will still be able to turn to him, accept his truth and his life, but you’ll have to live through the most horrific time earth has ever experienced, and you will probably be killed for your new faith. If you don’t believe in God, if you think you can’t because you weren’t raised in the faith, or because you had a bad experience in some church somewhere – then just try this. Pray to God and ask him to show you whether or not he exists. He will answer, if you genuinely want to know the answer.

Because here’s the thing about God. He doesn’t force himself on you. He loves you enough to come down to earth, take on the mortal body of a man, and die a horrific death to pay the penalty for every one of your sins. Every evil thought, every deed, however large or small. He wants you to be with him, forever. He wants to adopt you into his family, make you one of his heirs and seat you on his own throne, a royal king or queen, to rule over all the earth. He wants to give his own joy – a joy that cannot be found anywhere but in his presence. More than your father, he wants to be your friend. But he will not force you, and it’s very hard for you to see him and understand who he is. The evil in this world is purposely blinding you to the truth. An unbeliever literally cannot see what is right in front of them.

It’s an amazing transformation, once you accept him and his free gift of salvation. Suddenly your eyes are opened, and everything -literally everything – is different. The way you understand the world is changed, the way you look at a butterfly is changed.

 

As for me, I know that he is returning for me – very soon. There is such a sense of urgency in me…and so much anticipation! The Bible uses the analogy of a Jewish wedding to explain Jesus and his believers. Among the ancient Jews, after a man became betrothed to his future bride, he would leave her behind in her home, while he went to his father’s house to prepare a place for them to live. He would often spend a year or more building this new house, and during that time, the bride would have no idea when he would be coming back for her. She was supposed to prepare herself for her new life, and keep watch for his return. Then, when all was prepared, the groom would return, suddenly, blowing a trumpet and shouting for her, and she would drop everything and travel with him to the place he had prepared for her, where they would celebrate their wedding. The Bible calls true believers the “bride” and Jesus the ‘groom’. He has indeed gone to prepare a place for us, a place so fantastic that it is beyond our ability to comprehend it. But he is coming back, with a shout, and with the trumpet of the Lord, to take us away with him.

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And he is coming. In September? Maybe. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. There are so many signs that it could be. But if not, I know it will be soon. This world doesn’t have much time left. You don’t have much time left.

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)

 

 

 

Babies, More Babies, and Baking (not the babies!)

The critters around here think it’s Spring. I have eight (possibly more) bunnies born yesterday, with second doe due on Sunday. This, I will admit, is my doing, since I did enable the affair. They were certainly enthusiastic participants, however! I still have three from the previous litter – one of them I actually sold. This handsome little buck is going to be a pet – and possibly getting a girlfriend later on.

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The Snowflake Bobwhite quail have decided to try for a family too. I’m not overly optimistic about success, since Buckbeak (my male) suffered a leg injury as a chick and has never had perfect agility since. I’m not sure he’s able to properly balance on Bellatrix in order to fertilize those eggs. They are so sweet, though.

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Buckbeak has taken to sitting on the eggs with her, and when she leaves the nest to stretch and eat, he moves over to keep the eggs warm. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’d love to see them manage to hatch out at least a couple of chicks!

I’ve also had two different chickens decide to go broody on me, too – despite me explaining over and over again that we have already had our allotted chicks for the year, and we really can’t have any more.

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So they are taking turns in the broody prison. I just released the last one this morning…I hope she’s actually changed her mind about babies and isn’t just going to sneak back onto a nest when I’m not looking.

I FINALLY got the girls’ musical instrument mounted in their coop, right above the oyster shell and grit where I know they can’t miss it.

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They are pretending it isn’t there. Not a single hen will touch it. I guess my girls just don’t have dreams of going on America’s Got Talent or the Kimmy Kimmel Show.

The guinea pigs have moved out into the large outdoor coop, and are loving all the space.

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Of course, their favorite activity is still coming up the wire to beg for treats. Both are especially fond of cherry tomatoes.

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It’s been too smoky from all the wildfires to do much work outside, so I’ve been doing lots of cooking and baking. You know how you tend to pin things on Pinterest but never actually do them? Well, I’m making a point of making the recipes I’ve pinned, and most of them are turning out! A pretty good percentage are actually keepers, and I’ve transferred them over to a new board “Recipes I’ve Made and Liked”.  Just yesterday, I made the Bacon-Wrapped Cornish Hens, and they were fantastic…and super easy. Besides the Cornish hens, I also made two apple pies with apples from my backyard tree (these apples make the most extraordinary pies…but I didn’t plant the tree, and have no idea what variety it is). One pie to bake immediately,

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and one to freeze for later.

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As you see in the background, I saved all the cores and peels to make three gallons of apple scrap vinegar. It’s so easy, and tastes just like store-bought apple cider vinegar. I use it for everything but canning. (Canning requires at least 5% acidity for safety, and I haven’t tested the acidity of mine.) Some apple scrap vinegar recipes tell you to start with yeast, or add sugar, or do all sorts of extra things. I do nothing but throw my apple scraps in a jar and add filtered water. Put some 90 grade cheesecloth over the top to keep out the fruit flies, and stir it vigorously at least a couple of time per day. You’ll notice it starts to bubble, and smell like hooch. Once the bubbles stop, and the apple scraps sink to the bottom after a few weeks, strain the scraps out, replace the cheesecloth and store the jars in a cool, dim place for up to six months. You’ll know it’s done when it smells and tastes like vinegar, and then you can bottle it up and use it like you would apple cider vinegar. When you make future batches, add a little of the dregs from your previous batch to kick-start the process.

In the same day, I also made Lemon Poppyseed Yellow Summer Squash Bread – you’ll find the recipe in my pinterest recipe link above. It’s a super way to use up those overgrown yellow summer squash, and you’d never know it has squash in it! I recommend cutting down the sugar by at least half a cup, though. Most comments on the recipe say it’s too sweet as-is, and I’m glad I followed their suggestion.

Dexter was glued to my side during all this baking frenzy, and boy was he ever exhausted by the end of it!

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It is hard work cleaning up all the scraps that accidently (and on purpose) fall to the floor. He didn’t even wake up during his close up.

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Finally, Amazon sent Bundy another cat bed in the mail, and this one, sadly, was slightly undersized.

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He did his best to make it work, though!