Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What You See Isn't What You Get

If I were to take the news at face value, I wouldn't be able to face one more day.  It seems that the raunchier, the greedier, the more ruthless people are, the more famous, successful and wealthy they become.  Our society consistently rewards the very worst of us - and in our ignorance, we rush to emulate them.

I was reading in Psalms the other day, and this passage struck a chord; "For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.  For there ware no pangs in their death, But their strength is firm.  They are not in trouble as other men, Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment.  Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish.  They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; They speak loftily.  They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks through the earth." Psalm 73 3-9.  Sound familiar?  Just look around - our politicians seek to oppress our liberties and continually prosper at our expense.  Our celebrities are proud and their eyes bulge with an abundance gained from us, yet they scoff at our values and reject our principals.  In our upside-down society, rather than elevating what is good and what is just, the most depraved among us occupy the seats of kings.

As I was talking about the truth of what I see around me, my dad made a comment - "Satan likes to reward his followers".  A simple enough statement, to be sure, but it really made me think.  In John 12:31, Satan is referred to as "the prince of this world".  And, of course, when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, who was doing the tempting?  Satan.  And what did he have the power to do?  Offer Him power, money, position!  He was offering to Jesus exactly the same things that he has offered to all of our politicians, celebrities, athletes and influencers -  but they've accepted.

The more I thought about these things, the more I realized that what you see truly isn't what you get.  On the outside, it seems that the wicked and ruthless and immoral of our society thrive and prosper - but Satan has deceived them with the greatest of lies.  They are dead.  All of their power, their money, their fame and their success will follow them to the grave and their rewards will turn to dust.  Their eternity will be one of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Do not lose heart!  Do not let the appearance of the world blind you to the truth of God.  Our eternity is sure - an eternity where there will be no tears, no hunger, no pain.  Our eternity is beyond comprehension.  Know that the wicked, the boastful, the proud have only today - and today is nothing compared with eternity!  

What you see isn't what you get......

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A New Chapter - the Grand Opening!!

Finally, after a summer and fall of hard work, numerous challenges and cooler and freezer mishaps, we opened our doors for business.  Our Grand Opening was held on November 20th, however, we had already slaughtered 2 steers and had a number of deer in the cooler by "opening" day.

It has been an amazing adventure.  Sir Knight has been learning the art of butchering (from Master Hand Grenade) while I have been setting up the office and bookkeeping procedures.  Miss Serenity has been slaughtering animals while Princess Dragon Snack has learned to wrap.  Master Calvin scrapes steaks and labels packages.  Although we thought we were building a business, it turns out that God has been building men and women.  He has built our faith and our perseverance.  He has brought us to the edge of ourselves and called us near to Him.  It has been the most rewarding and the most terrifying time of our lives.

Every day is a new adventure.  We are still learning to juggle a business and a family and a whole new life.  And we continue to grow and learn and do the next thing.....

Sir Knight, Miss Serenity and Master Hand Grenade

Where we bring animals into our building

Princess Dragon Snack and Master Calvin wrapping and labeling

Cooler full of meat

Our Grinder

And saw

And cuber

Sir Knight bringing in a half of beef on our rail system

Grinding burger

The second grind

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Our Life in Pictures

As you can imagine we are so, so busy!  We have been anxiously awaiting our cooler and freezer, which have been sitting on a truck (broken down) in Sioux City Iowa for the last two weeks.  The trucking company is "guaranteeing" the delivery by Friday, but we'll see.

We have been finishing little details here and there, but really are on hold until the freezer and cooler get here because we have to wait to put in the cooler door, which means we have to wait to finish the FRP, which means we have have to wait to build our last wall.  And so it goes!

We've also been working on things here at Caer David.  Our winter wood supply is almost done, and I've been busy trying to configure everything to work well for our family.  The newest re-arranging has been in the pantry and kitchen.  We were able to buy an amazing "Baker's Table" at a yard sale, which just HAD to come home with me!  Sir Knight and Master Hand Grenade sanded the table (which had moldered away in a shed for who knows how many years) and rubbed butcher block oil into it until it glowed.  In order for me to make it work in the kitchen, I had to figure out something else for our dining table, so I cleared things out in the pantry and turned that into the dining room!  We'll see how it works in the long term but for now it seems to be working wonderfully.

Soon, we should have our butcher shop complete and then will come the Grand Opening!  We can't wait!!!!

We'll keep you posted on our progress, but for now, here is Our Life In Pictures!

Our slicer

The sink and cutting table with the grinder in the background

The beginning of the wrapping station

Our "new" Baker's Table

Freshly sanded and oiled

The Pantry/Dining Room

Enough room for everything!

Picture taken from the front door

Looking from the living room to the kitchen

The wood cook stove

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

House of Serenity

Our move from Little Shouse on the Prairie was somewhat bittersweet.  Although our move was an amazing answer to prayer, it did come with a cost - our two eldest daughters.  Maid Elizabeth owned a home and Miss Serenity had secured a job and made a 5 month commitment.  As we drove down our driveway for the last time, I watched our daughters grow small in the distance.  With tears streaming down my face I prayed for their protection.  And I prayed that God would do His will in their lives.  

Maid Elizabeth and Miss Serenity have spent their summer making the trip from their home to ours.  They have helped us get settled.  They have cleaned and painted and built right along side of us.  And then they've made the trip back home.

As Miss Serenity's job came to a close, she began anticipating the next chapter in her life, whatever that might be.  As she prayed and thought, her mind kept coming back to home - the home where we now lived.  We talked about job prospects and house prospects and what she wanted to do with her life and things began to fall amazingly into place.  Within the span of a week, Serenity had a new job lined up (for next spring), and had purchased a house! 

Following her house up the mountain

Miss Serenity's house is not a typical house, it is a former Potlatch (timber company) scalers shack!  It is 8 feet by 20 feet and is on a 5 ton military axle.  It is sturdy and solid and is going to be oh, so cute when she is done fixing it up!  

Serenity chose to "park" her house behind our new butcher shop.  She has privacy, a yard and a year around creek running in front of her home.  Not only is it a wonderful place for her to live, she will also work at the butcher shop in-between other jobs.

Sir Knight bringing the forklift to set the house into place

Picking it up and moving it to line up properly with our building

Getting ready to block it up

Cutting the dunnage
Our chicks are coming home to roost!  We are so grateful that our children choose to be nearby and we thank God that He is providing a business not just for Sir Knight and I, but for our children as well!  

And now we get to be a part of the House that Serenity built!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Abba, Father!

Abba, Father!  That is the cry of our hearts every day as God leads us on this adventure of faith.   We are terrified, we are excited, we are expectantly hopeful.  We are learning to walk in the knowledge that God has our every footstep measured.  He has filled our cup with blessings, pressed them down and caused them to overflow, leaving us in awe of His mercy, His grace and His everlasting faithfulness.

For years, our family grew and learned and toiled in the classroom of Little Shouse on the Prairie.  While hauling water and lighting lanterns and coaxing generators to life, we were learning life's true survival skills, falling on our knees in dependence on God.  We prayed and cried and praised.  And we trusted.  And now, in the blink of an eye, our lives have changed - our prayers have been answered and our tears have been turned into dancing.  And all we can cry is Abba, Father!

Getting ready to pour concrete

Sir Knight working on the pad

Guys from our local lumber mill using their forklift to hang our sign!

Getting it done

The first sheet of FRP goes up

Sir Knight and Miss Serenity working on the wall


10 x 4 foot sliding door

Plumbing going up

One of our grinders

The office (the beginnings anyway!)

Painting done - still awaiting the final metal touches
Although we are not open, every day we are getting closer.  We have installed FRP (an FDA required wall covering for food processing facilities) on the walls, removed garage doors and scrubbed every square inch of our building.  We have poured concrete, built doors and painted inside and out.  We have rebuilt equipment, acquired equipment and cleaned equipment.  We have pulled wire, plumbed sinks and cleared drains.   We have hung signs, off-loaded a HUGE cooler door and are expectantly awaiting our cooler and freezer delivery.  And every step of the way, we have watched God do the impossible, paving the way before us and causing us to sing His praises - Abba, Father!

And so, we wake up every morning in anticipation - with the cry of Abba, Father, on our lips!!