The Dirt on Country Life

Having lived in the country for almost 10 years now, a few things have been learned. After roaming through a variety of homestead type blogs, I realized that with so many people working so diligently to achieve their rural dream, some of my own lessons learned might be of help. So here goes. We're going to get down and dirty, about dirt.

Wondrous, peaceful, personal are words used to describe country life. All are accurate, some of the time. Every way of life, no matter how ideal, has a few bits that aren't so wonderfully peacefully - even a personal homestead in the country. Knowing this enables one dreaming of leaving urbania far behind to prepare even more completely. The more we know, the more we are equipped to tackle with minimal stress.    

Dirt is one potential stress that might slide under the preparation radar. There is dirt, and a lot of it,in the country. Paved roads, parking lots, and concrete sidewalks may not have that nostalgic rural dream feel, but they do keep the dust and dirt down. When preparing to relocate to a less urban area with dirt roads and driveways it might be beneficial to mentally prepare by leaving any obsessively clean requirements behind. Please don't misunderstand, it is possible to live cleanly in the country. It just requires more effort and larger door mats.

Larger door mats along with boot trays at the family entrance will stop a tremendous amount of dirt from entering the home. Mud rooms are a country home's "bestus best friend"; they truly are. If your home has a garage entrance, all the better. Faithfully removing footwear before or immediately after entering the home is also a practice that will eliminate unneccessary mess and save excessive wear and tear on the home's flooring. If the home is new construction consider establishing a lawn of some sort as soon as possible. This will also cut down on dust entering the home.

Within the country home dust may accumulate more and faster than it did when residing in a town or city. This will happen at an even greater rate during dry years. A dust filtration system is something to consider budgeting in, if at all possible. If not, microfiber cleaning cloths work beautifully as do the disposable dusters such as the Swiffer brand products.

There is no way around it, country living means more mess. Planning for the mess beforehand however, turns this potential mountain into a very managable molehill. The saying still holds true "A bad day in the country is worth a month in town." Being prepared both mentally and physically makes it even better.


Passionate Exuberance for God!

Latin style worship music fills the air as dear Peruvian saints of God dance before Him with exuberance. Here and there causcasian believers dot the service. Among them is my daughter, Miss Mustard Seed. I never before realized this, but my sweet girl is white, very, very, white; yet she isn't fair skinned. The rich coloring of the believers in Peru causes my girl to shine out brightly. How beautiful it is as believers from two different countries worship together. All of them are delighted to be dancing before the Lord. Seeing it on the computer screen fills my eyes and my throat with liquid joy.

When the same liquid joy overwhelmed me at the blessings of God overtaking me yesterday, Mighty MOG (man of God) asked "Why are you crying Mama?". "Not all tears are sad son. Some are good. They are because of God's goodness." I gently answered. Rolling his eyes and sighing large my overly wise four-year-old informed me that he knew that. He ought to. He lives with me. Mighty MOG had just wondered why looking at newly potted fern plants caused the watery evidence of happiness to come.

How do I explain it to him? How do I put into words what goes so far beyond telling? Is there a way to adequately describe the joy that floods my heart and spills out of my eyes when I see the abundance of God, even if it is only in my reproducing houseplants? How does one explain that after years of hard when it seemed as if everything in our lives was dying or breaking down that the sight of living and increase looses a flood of gratitude? That seeing true worship being given to the One I have devoted my entire being to causes delight too great for speech to spill out of my eyes; it is a flood that can't help but overflow. I don't think a person can share those experiences in words.

To me, some things are felt too deep for telling. Be that as it may, I'm going to try. I'm going to do my best to put into words the deeply felt gratitude and thankfulness. If it is possible, my words are going to dance and praise God with as much exuberance and joy as my girl and the saints in Peru. I don't know how, but I am DEFINITELY going to try. Would you like to join me? Would you like to break out of the well-behaved box and praise the Lord with everything you've got? Come on! Let's let every part of our lives dance before Him with unspeakable joy!


For Love of a Boy

Masculinity. There is just something so very appealing about it. Apparently there is also something very dangerous else why would popular culture strive so ferociously to remove every trace of it? True manly strength must be extremely threatening indeed to the "powers that be" in society. Don't agree? That's OK.

Before tossing the idea out with the garbage though it might behoove one to take a good long look around. How are men portrayed in the media? Not well. Fathers, husbands, boyfriends are often made out to be idiotic fools incapable of any intelligence whatsoever. According to modern society, raw masculinity is something to avoid and shut down.

As a follower of Christ, I am sensing an urging to pay closer attention to the thoughts and attitudes I allow not only in my home but in my heart. The age old saying "garbage in, garbage out" is just as true today as it was when first spoken.

Father's Day is only a few days away. Examining my heart and eliminating ungodly lies concerning men and masculinity is the perfect way to prepare for the celebration of the men in my life. How can I train my sons to be Godly Men if I fail to celebrate and strengthen their manhood in the way God intended? Their differences are strengths that complete my womanhood. Of course men are weaker in some areas women are strong. Women are weaker in other areas where men excel. Together we are whole. That's why God saw it was good after seeing man and woman together. I pray that every day my attitudes and ideas concerning manliness line up more completely with God's. Anyone willing to join me in another heart search? Feel free to comment or email at amothersrewards@gmail.com.

In Jesus,
Blessed Mama

Prophetic Bulletin by Rick Joyner

As the revelations of the last few weeks now make abundantly clear, our freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and our freedom of religion may have never been in greater jeopardy than they are right now. The remainder of this year will likely determine whether we will remain a free people or succumb to a terrible tyranny.
The scandals around Benghazi, the attacks on the press, and the IRS being used to target political enemies are some of the most shocking Federal Government overreaches in our history. Now we find these are only "the tip of the iceberg" of the assault on our freedoms and our basic privacy.
The revelation that the NSA has the capacity to monitor and store all phone calls, emails, text messages, social network posts, virtually all communications in America, and very soon the world, is so shocking that it is hard for many to believe. Already the power of our Federal Government to impose totalitarian control over its people is the greatest in history. The Administration maintains that their intentions are noble, regardless of the growing mountain of evidence to the contrary. Only the most naïve or ignorant believe that. Even if their motive is for security reasons, is that not the argument every other totalitarian regime in history used to gain control? Even if this Administration's intent is noble, what about those Administrations which follow?

All of these revelations and scandals are far beyond anything we have ever witnessed. They are coming at us so fast that people may go numb and just shut down. In the Book of Daniel, the devil's strategy is to attempt to "wear out the saints," and this has always been an effective strategy. However, now is not the time to shut down and throw up our hands declaring that this is too much to process. Everything we hold dear as Americans, our most basic liberties, are in serious jeopardy. It is time for courage and our most resolute determination that this is not going to happen on our watch, and that we will never give up. It is not too late.
The Three Important Questions
There are three crucial questions to ask in any crisis: What is happening? What is not happening? What can I do about it? These were first stated by the U.S. Army Colonel made famous in the book and movie We Were Soldiers. In the first U.S. Army battle against a regular North Vietnamese Army, Colonel Moore used these questions to lead his force through what looked like impossible odds to ultimate victory. It was then adapted for the U.S. Army Manual as a commander's basis for evaluating a crisis. We will use it here.

What is Happening?

• The Federal Government has built an unprecedented apparatus for monitoring its own citizens that is virtually total.
• The IRS was used extensively to harass and silence the political opposition of the Obama Administration.
• Evidence is surfacing that the DOJ, EPA, and other agencies were used for the same purpose.
• The Administration has illegally seized the communications of journalists who were probing the Administration's activities.
• The level of the Administration's lies and attempts to cover up what happened at Benghazi makes it clear that something extremely important is being hidden from the American people.

What is Not Happening?

• The Democratic Party has not awakened to how much its future is in jeopardy by what is unfolding. Its legacy could forever be destroyed by the level of overreach, scandal, and incompetence now surfacing in the Obama Administration. Democratic Party leaders and members continue to defend these indefensible actions as if they are already controlled by information of threats against them.
• The news media remains asleep, blind, or neutralized so that it is only tepidly covering what is shaping up to possibly be the biggest issues of our lifetime. As this is the biggest threat to the freedom of the press, more people are wondering if that freedom has not already been lost.
• With but a few exceptions, the Republican leadership in Congress is failing to demonstrate the kind of courage, resolve, and wisdom to lead us through this crisis that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.
• The majority of the American people are not waking up, but they are starting to stir.
• More people are becoming deeply alarmed, but they are not hearing a clear trumpet call to know how or where to rally.

What Can We Do About It?

• We must each resolve that regardless of the personal consequences, we will seek to know the truth, and we will stand for truth without compromise.
• An eagle needs a left wing and a right wing to fly. The issues now facing us are bigger than many of the liberal and conservative issues we've been fighting over. Though we must never compromise our convictions, we must learn to fight together as Americans when facing these ultimate issues of our basic freedom.
• The unprecedented Federal overreach is, at least to a degree, the result of the States abdicating their rights under the Constitution to the Federal Government. Leadership at the State level, especially Governors and State Attorney Generals, could be the most important positions in the unfolding battle for our freedom.
Blog, write, and speak every chance you get. Blogging has now surpassed the traditional media as the source of information for most Americans. Social Media is now more powerful in shaping public opinion than traditional media. Use it! Don't worry about who is monitoring it—preach to them too!
Get engaged. Go to town hall meetings. Write to your elected officials often. Run for office. Work in campaigns. Donate time, money, and other resources. If we don't give it freely now, it will be taken from us soon.
• Don't stop because we don't seem to have quality leaders at this time—we have the greatest leader of all—King Jesus. He is the Truth, and all who love Truth will follow Him, regardless of the consequences, regardless of whether anyone else joins us.
We must live by faith, not by fear. When the odds seem impossible is the time when the greatest leaders have arisen and the greatest miracles have been done. This is our time, and we must resolve that we will never, ever retreat or give up.

Key Strategy

It's understandable that Congress does not want to sound too shrill or too reactionary, but to proceed in a sound and systematic way in the face of these serious issues. However, Congress has limited power to investigate and has proven willing to abdicate that power and cave in to Administration pressure or intransigence. Trust in the Government and our leadership will continue to erode if reputable independent prosecutors need to be appointed for each of the major issues addressed above.
That being said, the center of gravity for the fight to preserve our liberty must be taken out of Washington. State Attorney Generals have the authority to prosecute any crime committed in their State and against their citizens. With criminal charges, the power to take depositions under oath from employees and the management of these government agencies is the best way to get to the truth of who is responsible for this tyrannical use of police state tactics, the abuse of power, and the illegal seizure of property, information, and communications.

With the dearth of leadership now being demonstrated on the Federal level, there are some remarkable and courageous leaders arising in the States. If State Governors and Attorney Generals take the lead in this crisis, they will no doubt take back much of the authority given to the States by the Constitution that has been usurped by the Federal Government. This balance, which is essential for the preservation of the Republic, can be restored. There are key Governors and Attorney Generals already taking up this strategy. We must get behind them any way we can.

Rick Joyner
MorningStar Ministries

Email: info@morningstarministries.org
Website: morningstarministries.org

Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church. He is the author of more than forty books, including The Final Quest, A Prophetic History, and Church History. He is also the president of The OAK Initiative, an interdenominational movement that is mobilizing thousands of Christians to be engaged in the great issues of our times, being the salt and light that they are called to be. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben, and Sam.


Too Much Food Network?

Giggles just asked me if a certain hostess on The Food Network was a vegan. We're cattle ranchers how did the girl even know there was a word such as vegan? Anyway, me thinks perhaps there has been a bit too much Food Network watched around here. *smile*


Popsicles for Summer!!!

Last year, this post came at the tail end of summer. Thought it might be a good one to revisit at the beginning this year. A way to get our fun on, so to speak. Making popsicles is one of those things that ought to happen at least once every summer, don't you think? Mocha-frappuccino popsicles sounds like the perfect way to start. Maybe these would be a good treat to welcome home Miss Mustard Seed when she gets home from Peru in a week and a half. She left today. If she comes to mind, please pray. If I come to mind, please pray for me too. This sending one of my rewards
to another country far away is harder than this mama thought. Thank You for thinking of us both!
In Christ,
Blessed Mama

http://www.curlygirlkitchen.com/2012/08/mocha-frappuccino-popsicles.html This blog is for those who enjoy good eats. Delicious sounding recipes, beautiful photography, and homey commentary combine into one of the most refreshing blogs I've read in a long, long time. Realness seeps out of Curly Girl Kitchen creating an image that makes one long to get home and fix supper for the ones we love.

Today's recipe for Mocha Frappucino popsicles is the only recipe that has gotten me to remotely consider dragging out the ice cream maker. Seriously, I'm thinking these have a very real chance of showing up on the to do list tomorrow. They have even got me considering possible alternatives for the non-coffee drinkers among us. Such fun, popsicles to wind down with during these last few very hot days of summer.


Word of Encouragement

Good Morning! It's been so long since we visited that I don't know where to begin! Life continues on in blissful blessedness here at Abundance House. Just know that blissful blessedness doesn't mean life is without challenges and struggles. Everyone is facing something during this exciting season of new, everyone. In light of that fact, the following link contains a very encouraging word. May it be a blessing and a light to all who read it:
Encouraging Word from The Elijah List

In Him,
Blessed Mama