Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Corn feed Venison hmm good

I received this in a email. I didn't write it, although with hunting season fast approaching, I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to share soon.

Roping A Deer...Names have been removed to protect the stupid!

Actual Letter from someone who writes, and farms.

I had this idea that I was going to rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it. The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet a way), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up -- 3 of them. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold. The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation. I took a step towards it...it took a step away. I put a little tension on the rope and then received an education. The first thing that I learned is that, while a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope.

That deer EXPLODED. The second thing I learned is that pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with a rope and with some dignity. A deer-- no chance.That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled. There was no controlling it and certainly no getting close to it. As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I had originally imagined. The only upside is that they do not have as much stamina as many other animals. A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head.

At that point, I had lost my taste for corn-fed venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope. I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere. At the time, there was no love at all between me and that deer. At that moment, I hated the thing, and I would venture a guess that the feeling was mutual.

Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer's momentum by bracing my head against various large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in, so I didn't want the deer to have it suffer a slow death, so I managed to get it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder - a little trap I had set before hand...kindof like a squeeze chute. I got it to back in there and I started moving up so I could get my rope back.

Did you know that deer bite? They do! I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite somebody, so I was very surprised when I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist. Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse where they just bite you and then let go. A deer bites you and shakes its head --almost like a pit bull. They bite HARD and it hurts. The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly. I tried screaming and shaking instead. My method was ineffective. It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes, but it was likely only several seconds. I, being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now) tricked it. While I kept it busy tearing up out of my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose. That was when I got my final lesson in deer behavior for the day.

Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on their back feet and strike right about head and shoulder level, and their hooves are surprisingly sharp. I learned a long time ago that, when an animal -- like a horse strikes at you with their hooves and you can't get away easily, the best thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards the animal. This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can escape. This was not a horse. This was a deer, so obviously, such trickery would not work. In the course of a millisecond, I devised a different strategy. I screamed like a woman and tried to turn and run.
The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer may not be so different from horses after all, besides being twice as strong and 3 times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down. Now, when a deer paws at you and knocks you down, it does not immediately leave. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed. What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down on you while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your head.

I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away. So now I know why when people go deer hunting they bring a rifle with a scope so that they can be somewhat equal to the Prey.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Do not fret

But oh how easy it is to say. I woke this morning still sick to the pit of my stomach over a situation that has arisen that is breaking my heart, putting my character on trial and hurting others. I do not understand why this has come upon my life, but it is here. So what now? I feel so void. If I have ever given the impression that just because I post what I'm learning when I'm reading through the Bible that it means I have perfected that area of my life, then forgive me. Most of the time I can post because I feel I have so far to go. I often go back and reread my own notes and think, "Did I write that? I don't remember writing that" or read something that I really needed to hear. I have long prayed that my words would glorify Him and that He would use me. That only He would be glorified. I pray for wisdom, but any wisdom I appear to have is only Him.

I read and study and share because I need Him and His grace so deeply in my life. I share all my shortcomings and failures openly as they will be brought to light someday none the less. I am my own worst judge and enemy.

As I mentioned, Psalms 57 would be my next Chapter to study through. This morning I didn't even want to study it. I thought I would come on here this morning and say that I planned to close my blog as while it has brought me great joy, and I only started it as a way to have a permanent location for my notes and thoughts, and for friends and family to occasionally peek in on us, I never thought anyone would care to read it. However, my words have recently brought pain to others. Maybe this is why Proverbs tells us that a man of many friends comes to ruin and that an incessant talker is a fool. Maybe this is why Titus tells us to not be busybodies and be keepers of the home.

So after many sleepless nights from prayer and confusion, add to that a baby with another ear infection, I sat down and opened my Bible this morning and read through the chapter, studied some commentaries and wrote my notes in my paper journal.

The very 1st verse starts with "Do not fret..." Is that what you Bible says? Probably not, because even though I have a bookmark in Psalms to save my place, it had fallen out and I read through, studied and read through Psalms 37. In my barely enough coffee in my body to start the day mode, and since I didn't pull out my list, had 37 in my mind for some reason. These were the first words I read. "Do not fret...." Maybe it wasn't just a pure mistake. Maybe it was in intentional leading. Isn't that what all of life is. Intentional by Him?

Lord forgive me for forgetting once again that you are bigger than any of my problems. Help me to give this completely over to you and obey you and not fret over this conflict.

And what Psalms 57 really says is "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed." So that is where I'll be, to find rest.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Psalms 55

1 Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help!
2 Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.
3 My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats. They bring trouble on me and angrily hunt me down.
4 My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me.
5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.
6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!
7 I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.
8 How quickly I would escape— far from this wild storm of hatred.
9 Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans, for I see violence and conflict in the city.
10 Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders, but the real danger is wickedness within the city.
11 Everything is falling apart; threats and cheating are rampant in the streets.

12 It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—I could have hidden from them.
13 Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend.
14 What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.

15 Let death stalk my enemies; let the grave swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them.
16 But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me.
17 Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.
18 He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me.
19 God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them. For my enemies refuse to change their ways; they do not fear God.
20 As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises.
21 His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!
22 Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
23 But you, O God, will send the wicked down to the pit of destruction. Murderers and liars will die young, but I am trusting you to save me.

Previous Study of Psalms 55

I plan to study 57 next, anyone else want to join me and compare notes? This post was out of order (according to my list) but wanted to post this Psalms.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bible Study

Our moms group has started up again and our 1st speaker of the year challenged us ladies to have a daily devotional time with God. And the book we are reading, Small Changes For A Better Life, talks on the importance of doing just this. Quiet time with my Lord is something I feel very passionately about today. I thought I would share what I do and how I got to this point.

I didn't just get convicted one day. I like everyone else, had heard how important it was to have a daily quiet time...many times over. Christmas morning 1983, my dad gave me the Thompson Chain reference Bible (I was 12 years old.) I started going through the concordance, looking up the verses in order of the topics A-Z. I wasn't so much interested in learning in depth as just the goal of studying through the Bible, highlighting as I went according to the suggested color codes. This is still my main bible & it is quite colorful.

Over the years I was hit and miss on my consistency depending on where my walk was at the time. When our first child was born I became a stay home mom. I made the decision that I was going to read through the Bible in a year. I would quickly read through my assigned chapters, daydreaming about all I had to do, justifying it that at least I was reading.

Then in 2001 I heard a lady say she had a "Power Hour" with God every morning and it changed her life. An hour??! What in the world was she doing? And honestly I thought I would fall asleep out of boredom! But I couldn't get it out of my head. I wanted growth. True, deep, understanding. A RELATIONSHIP, I wanted more of Him and less of me. So I prayed. And felt like God was prompting me to do that. At first, I would set the timer for 10 minutes just to make sure I hung in there, it was like taking medicine, it had to be done. Then each week I increased the time 10 minutes. It was growing to become a habit, and one that enjoyed. Then once I got up to 1 hour, it was something I needed. Like sweet honey to my soul.

I studied and prayed and listened every morning for an hour. For 3 years. Rarely missing a day. And the days I did miss, I longed for that time. It did mean I had to get up early. For a while it meant that I got up when Allen left for work at 4:30am and then went back to sleep til the kids awoke. It was a path for me and for my heart and God led. I didn't think or feel better or wiser than anyone else. But I did think and feel better and closer to the Lord than I was prior to starting this journey.

I often found myself feeling as if I needed to apologize for my time and consistency to other ladies. honestly felt at times embarrassed when I was used as an example somewhere when others found out I did this. I could feel the stares and felt the tension of me being that stinkin kid that got the A on the test and took away the excuses from everyone with C's. Which was never my intention. I only share this now as an encouragement that when we commit to follow God's plan, He'll meet us.

In 2006 I felt ok with going to 30 minutes every morning and that is what has stuck. At that same time is when our marriage and lives were under such a heavy burden. You would have thought I would have bumped up that time. However, many mornings all I could do was just sit and cry. I believe it was the years prior, the time of sowing that allowed me to continue to harvest and find comfort in a close friend as He carried me.

I thought I would share what I do so that if any of you are like me and just don't know where to start this would give you something to begin with until you find your own direction.

1. Sit quiet in His presence.
2. Pray for the scripture I'm about to read that He will show me what He wants me to take away from it.
3. Read 1 Chapter. What do I read? I have a list. Of course. 2 Old Testament, 1 New Testament, 5 Psalms, 1 Proverb, 1 Gospel. So I work my way through. If you do want to read through the Bible in a year by reading one of each of these a day you can read through the entire bible in a year, Psalms and Proverbs in a month, and the Gospels once every 3 months. I go in order unless I'm needing to finish a certain study or feel convicted to study something specific. It works for me.
4. Study the Chapter, concordance, commentaries, history, Strongs concordance in Greek or Jewish. Ask Why? Who? Where? Parallels? I journal all I'm learning in my private journal and sometimes put the notes on my blog and pray His words will reach out to others.
5. Read the Chapter again.
6. Spend time in prayer. I posted on praying a while back.
7. Contact for prayer follow up. I have prayer card for M-S. If I know of a prayer need I add them to the day of card I found out about the need. Then I pray on that day for the needs on that card. I contact with just a quick email or ecard or somethings a snail mail yet beautifully made card:) to follow up on them.
8. Read a devotional.

Do I complete 1-8 every day? No. If I make it 1-3 one day the next morning I repeat steps 1-2 and then move to 5. This sounds so rigid, but it's what works for me. I have yet to read and study and not learn something from each and every chapter. I'm not even sure who decided the Bible needed to be read in completion every year when it took thousands to write. I personally feel I'm gaining more when I'm understanding what is being said.

I also have sermons and scriptures on tapes. And I put them on in the kitchen to listen to throughout the day when I'm doing dishes for the 5th time. The computer has endless sermons and music for support on those days when nothing goes right. I also use these tools when I have have a newborn or have been up most of the night with a sick child and need that extra sleep in the mornings.

God will use whatever you give Him. Your time will not return void. So I urge you that even if it is just 10 minutes that you have to get up earlier (I say early because of all the times I see of great men and women spending time with God it is in the early morning hours-first fruits) that you will not miss out, but gain greatly.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Creativity

Part of our homeschool studies include the study of a Character Value (just one a month) and this month it is Creativity. I asked the kids to tell someone who is creative and how they are creative. Brian pipes up, "I think daddy is creative because he always finds new ways to be mean."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Psalms 56

Psalms 56

Everyone is largely affected by their fears. Our fears can even be our puppeteer when we give in to them. Even among the professing Christians there is much fear. Many prayer requests that are voiced are fear based. Rather than for the peace, strength, direction, building of character, the beatitudes, the fruits of the spirit, or becoming more like Christ, our prayers are for specific answers to take away the problem. Why do we fear certain situations, circumstances and things so much? If we truly believe that He orchestrated all things to come together for our best, we can stand in peace, eyes closed, looking up and take a deep breathe


I am still striving towards this myself. Allen has been dealing with a Staph infection. It has been difficult to not let fear of the medical bills grip, or the fear of what if he gets worse? It is easy to pray for an answer to what is causing the fear, but I forget at times to pray also for letting the fear itself go. To pray for peace and wisdom and then leave it at His feet and go in confidence.

Different people are susceptible to different levels of fear. Some just naturally are more nervous people. Others have a learned fear. Wyatt, our youngest of 18 months wasn't the least bit bothered by the thunder. Until his older siblings started in with the pretend screaming with each boom. After several times, the little man was so scared he was trembling and no longer trusted me when I would gently coax him that "It's ok."

I read a great book years ago, How To Stop Worrying and Start Living. Another great read...and of course another Dale Carnegie book. He talks about compartmentalizing our fears. Look at it. what is the worst thing that will happen if this fear happens? How will I handle it? What will I do? Then accept it, know the answer and put it in a box and snap on the lid and forget about it until it happens and when it does, you've already thought it through and have some options. That's the short wrap up version of what I took away.

This helps with the logical side of things and in that box, we can throw in another note, that we can trust in God. Fear itself is not a sin, it is what we do with the fear that can be. God understands our fears and there are times when they are legitimate. vs 5 tells us that even David was afraid, and choose to trust God. Vs 3 tells us that when we are afraid we too should be bold to choose to trust in God. So the next time we are faced with fear, instead of going to friends for advise and prayer, we can go in confidence to Him who has the answers and trust that when He tells us, "It's Ok." that it really is.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thank goodness I own a dictionary

Last week sitting at the coffee shop swapping these beautiful cards, me feeling so delighted with how mine turned out, the conversation took a turn for the more intelligent. Several of these ladies are involved in the Library's Book club. What? I didn't know our little library had a book club. And the books these ladies were discussing really had a depth to them. Not that my current reads of Raising Godly Tomatoes, Bringing up Boys and Chris Madden's Personalizing your home, do not offer something uniquely fascinating, but, seriously how much more learning to be better at what I'm already doing can I stomach without expanding my world somewhere.

So I proudly walked to the front desk at the library the next morning and asked to be part of the current book club. I felt....old. I think this is 1st time that I ever thought a book club for just pure enjoyment might be interesting. I've done plenty of book studies, but for the purpose to be a better wife, a better mom, a better Christian. But not one just to learn about the world and hone my knowledge of a whole other world.

The librarian hands me the book and while not huge, just a mere 250 pages, she also tells me the next meeting is Sept 8th. Shocked I say, "As in Sept 2008?" Yikes! I'm the world's slowest reader. I read at the same speed silently as I read out loud! So that gives me a week and a half. That's 26 pages a day. That's 52 minutes a day. Well, I might could swing that late at night.

So night 1 I wake up asleep in the book, on page 7, it's 1:30am. Crud, that means I now have to get in 33 pages a night...(OCD? Ya think?). It's not that it is not interesting, it is. Did you have to read that last sentence again? But the book is "The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo". So since I'm homeschooling my children, you'll be glad to know that 1st, I don't think I've ever read anything by Hemingway and I sure don't know where Kosovo is. I'm guessing Russia at this point.

But I'm looking forward to reading in between watching the Republicans tonight. I'm slowly making my way through this fascinating book.

I pulled out the map and found out that Kosovo is in Albania and Albania is in Europe, boarding Greece, but on the map, it's really not that far from Russia...lol.

I'm also having to read with a dictionary in hand as I was reminded that if the term doesn't revolve around birthing, potty training and caring for your husband, than I'm moving into a new area of vocabulary.

So these are the words so far that I've had to look up:
Sepulchral
muezzin
samovar
Bedlum
Kiosks
Blow and go (well this was in interruption from my husband...he just saw a commercial for some hair product that used the slogan of Blow and go, and he had to come and tell me about, "Sounds like the perfect date..ha ha) I just stared at him. What can you say? Amazing. I wonder why the appeal of an intellectual conversation caught my attention?
copse (not to be confused with corpse)
parochial

Am I the only one who had to look these up?

The book mentions that in Kosovo, chaos is normal. It's part of their life. Why do most of us in America see just daily chaos, the water heater breaking, the car dying making us late, the kids getting sick, as severe problems and gravely irritating when they interrupt our time? Are we just so busy trying to get to the next thing, next task that we don't enjoy any part of the journey?

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