Thursday, November 21, 2013


Today I was thinking about the perimeter boundaries on a piece of property that we keep livestock on.  It is fenced on the southern half of the land, and sometime in the future, will be fenced on the northern half.  When we started building fences, we looked at the land survey, found the corner post, talked to the neighbors, and decided what fencing type would best work for us.  We did all this work for the benefit of owning livestock, for the animals good and for the good of those around them, mainly our neighbors.  If you could ask our cows, they would tell you that they don't need boundaries, nor do they want them, for they are smart enough to make their own choices of grazing and roaming areas.  Now, we all know that livestock left to themselves will make irate neighbors by eating flowers, dirtying sidewalks or drives with cow pies, and putting large hoof prints in manicured lawns.  So, we went to the work to set boundaries in place that allow our cows to enjoy their prescribed areas.  They are free to live life to its fullest, running, eating, relating to other animals, soaking the sunshine, gazing at the stars on clear nights and doing all the other fun things that happy cows do.  As long as they stay within the preset boundaries that their loving caretaker outlined, they will thrive, and our neighbors will be happy. 

As I thought more about this subject, I couldn't think of any area of life that this same principle doesn't apply to us as humans.  The laws of nature, society, and God all serve as boundaries in our lives.  If we live within the preset boundaries, we will thrive. But, if I decide that today I am going to walk on air, stepping off the end of the haymow, I will suddenly be reminded that gravity is one of those boundaries that cannot be crossed without experiencing some kind of consequence.  It is the same with the boundaries that our loving heavenly Father has put into place for our good.  If I choose to ignore his predetermined boundaries for mankind and steal, lie, adulterate or any of His other boundaries, I will hurt those around me.  I will cause myself and others to suffer the consequences of my behavior. 

Our fence boundaries keep our cows in the area that is best for their well-being.  Likewise, when we choose to stay living within God's boundaries for mankind, we also will experience the best pasture for us to roam. :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Apples, applesauce, and cider!!

One of the best things about fall is all the apples that God provides us!  Our family lived on a property in Oregon that had its own small orchard consisting of 10-12 apple trees and 4-5 pear trees.  We loved our little orchard!  Every fall we would work as a family to gather the bounty and bring it into the storehouse to be enjoyed when the cold winds blew. 

Last year the frost got most of the apple and pear tree blooms so we didnt get much crop, but this year made up for the loss.  The crop was soooo good, it made me wonder about God's call for letting the land rest every few years, and what the bounty may look like.  Anyway, this year we were able to visit some friends and family that had trees and fill numerous containers with bright colored fruit.  Monica canned and froze over 40 quarts of applesauce for the winter months.  As I type this, apples are cooking in our basement to process for apple butter, one of our favorite toppings for bread!  We are planning on making our own cider this coming week (look for upcoming pictures).  Monica will also can it so we can have tasty cider when the cold winds blow this winter.

MONEY SAVING TIP FOR YOUR FAMILY:  The crop was so good this year around the Midwest that many apples are laying on the ground going to waste.  I suggest you go to your neighbors or friends and ask them for the apples if you clean them up.  Contact us if you need help on how to preserve your apples in the form of canning, freezing, or cider.  We would love to help!!  Enjoy God's rich bounty this coming winter season for little or no cost.