Monday, October 30, 2017

Flowing Oil

When a Christian tries to live by reason he is moving out of God’s country into the enemy’s land. We belong in the miraculous and the supernatural realm. –John G. Lake

I have heard of many wonderful miracles. I have seen healings where the person being healed said he or she could feel the healing taking place even though it was completely internal and I saw nothing. I have seen people healed of pain, which is a bit more visually obvious to others. I personally have been healed.

You would think I would not doubt God's love, but I do at times...because I am human and human nature is a harsh reality in a world of reality and harshness. We tend to believe what we see and know what is material. While unbelievers would say things like if there is a God, you would think He would make himself known, I see all His creation proclaiming Him—when I want to, that is. Sometimes—probably most times if I am to be honest—when I am sitting at a desk and typing our my thoughts, I see a desk and computer, same as unbelievers see. What I should see...well, what should I see?

God knows. God knows this. God knows this about us. God knows all this about us. God knows all this about all of us.

Yesterday, I saw a miracle. It was one of those miracles that I have have heard about yet never had seen for myself. This miracle started with a little prayer group in a little room in a little gift shop in a little city...just two hours away from my little space. Just a handful of people who prayed, who sought God, who were told to that He would show them something after the inauguration of the President in January. A new Bible of one of those members began to produce oil.

Oil so pure that it is clear and odorless. Thick and yet when placed in the eye or in the mouth it seems to becomes more like a water-based substance. When it began, they thought a grandchild had spilled something on it, When it continued to spread throughout the Bible, they placed it in a plastic bag. When it filled the bag, they placed it in the clear tote. The Bible stays engulfed in the oil that continually replenishes. In fact, God told them that as long as they do not sell the oil and give it away, it will replenish. It has been analyze and they were told it is like mineral oil but not. It is thicker and has properties that no one can explain.

God told them that they were to go out. Even in the sermon, the preacher mention how we are accustomed to say "come." Come to my church. Come to the alter for prayer. But Jesus told his disciples, told us to "go." So, this little group of people have had their lives changed because now they go out transporting a tote with a Bible producing oil to various churches to spread refreshing news about God and His love.

They have only gone where they have been told by God to go and they do not accept invitations. They give the oil freely but differently than when they first started. Weeks ago friends of ours watched quart jars being filled while the oil stayed at the same level. They watched people dipping their hands in it and yet it stayed clear. However, now that so many more people know about this oil, God has told them to just give out small vials. They fill vials on Monday night and send some out as they receive so many requests. They place the Bible in a tote until it fills and then in another. Oil is also dripping down in the prayer room.

One man, who goes to the prayer room on some Mondays, told us that when they open the Bible, each book has a different aroma! Imagine that from an oil with no fragrance.

What is the oil? They describe it as the presence of God, they call it Flowing Oil. To me, it is that and something that I would describe as a purest white light in oil form. It is like...pure love.

The oil will sometimes multiply on a person, usually one gifted with healing, but not always. Some say a small vial has lasted them a long time or would refill! And while the oil is a gift, I think the miracle was a small group of people, who were seeking God in prayer in a little room, being chosen to share this gift. Whenever we think, who are we...whenever I think, who am I is insignificant, I will think on these people, because I want to live in God's natural realm of the miraculous and supernatural.

My Lord, my world is so small, but keep reminding me that it is not insignificant. I was thinking of two friends of mine in particular yesterday. One who is struggling financially and in need of her finances to be replenish like this oil replenishes. Another, who has a very small church, who may be feeling their efforts are rather insignificant, but are not to You. I ask that you bless them both...significantly. Thank you, my Lord.   

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Intolerant Tolerant

The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn't angry enough. -Bede Jarrett

Where have I been for the last few weeks? I have been home, but my husband has not. This week makes for five in a row although he did come home on the third and fourth weekend. This weekend starts a week long vacation and we all need it!

What have I been doing for the last few weeks (since I have not been blogging)?  Quite a few things but it feels like hardly anything at the same time and that is probably since I spent too much time on a few things that cannot be fixed.

I am so disgusted with a wide range of immoral, unethical, and just plain disrespectful things that are going on in my country right now and those are the things I have been spending too much time on when I have been online.

  • Football players kneeling to our National Anthem and Flag so now children are doing it too is one of the latest. I really do not care why they are doing it, it is just wrong and disrespectful to our military, our vets, and all other who serve this country. To top that off, the blacks who are doing it are not considering how their enslaved ancestors, who endured being subservient to all free men and women, would have been appalled that they, who have the freedom to stand in equality, have decided to take a subservient knee. Actually, our founding fathers would have been even more appalled, because they were against kneeling to any man or object; they would only take a subservient knee to God.
  • The alphabet crowd that just seem to never have enough letters to fit in every kind of sexual deviancy making more demands about what we all must tolerate.
  • Politics and the Anti-Trump crowd, including the media, trying to make him look bad and take him down in any way they can. Enough said there.
  • Liberals with their specific agendas are not standing united against conservatives as they did but increasingly they are finding fault with everyone who does not support their agendas, including other liberals. The result: They are now in the process of eating their own! Bernie Sanders bowed out of a speech at the Women's Convention because the women on social media had a fit about a man speaking, apparently they want only women speakers. Black Lives Matter protesters use their free speech rights to shut down an American Civil Liberties Union speech, who is a defender of free speech, with chants, one being that the ACLU defended Hilter (meaning, the ACLU would defend—probably has defended—the free speech rights of any white supremacist). Which all just goes to show what I have known all along: The tolerant only tolerate what they find tolerable and never the intolerable, yet they never see themselves as intolerant. In the end, they tolerate very little, but demand the rest of us to tolerate much.
This world is becoming so wearing on my spirit. 

My Lord, I know it is not as bad as it could get, but that is what bothers me the most...and You, my Sweet Lord, are thought of little in all of this turmoil. Forgive us, forgive me, for that.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Background Workings of My Blog

It’s not lost on me that I’m so busy recording life, I don’t have time to really live it. -David Sedaris

Since March I have been considering giving my blog a new fresh look, but being that I have so many other more important things to do I decided to put that off. However, I began updating the css codes on my older posts so that all the fonts would be like the ones I have been using since 2011. It was low on the list of my priorities but I have been working this from time to time.

Then something else major happened to my blog that requires a great amount of time and patience to make it right again.

Since before I began blogging, I have had a Photobucket account. I stored all my blog pictures there and every picture on my blog was linked to there. This year, I decided to just up load them to Blogger directly when I make a new post to my blog and use Google Photos, which made it even easier to upload photos directly from my phone. So, I stopped uploading to Photobucket and I would call that a "Thank you, my Lord, for that nudge!" kind of thing, because....

A few months ago, I went to my blog to find that every single picture and graphic and including my backgrounds were replaced with this:

Sweet, right?

I thought I had misread and violated the original Photobucket policies and they just caught up with me, when I first saw this little annoying graphic that now took the place of every one of my pictures and graphics hosted there. But, no! I found that they could be seen not just on my blog but also several others as well as websites and other people were just as unhappy because it had just happened to them also.

Photobucket changed its policy in June of this year and did it in a quiet way, with a memorandum on their blog and then just no pictures. Now if I want to pay for 3rd party hosting that would be for the bargain price of $400 a year. Thank you, but NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Some people use the pictures to make a profit from their websites, but I, and probably a significant number of others, do not. Some people complained that they were not able to download their digital images as if Photobucket was holding them for ransom, but they could. They just could not be see those pictures on their webpages.

I have downloaded all my pictures and graphics from my Photobucket account to my computer, even though most of them were already there. So, now I am working on replacing all my digital images by uploading them on each and every blog post. Photobucket is no longer my friend and I will be deleting my account with Photobucket. This unplanned project will take far more days than I have to spare, but my blog is important to me. I periodically download the entire thing to back up on my computer.

Why bother with all this? Because it is a journal of my journey in life and my walk with my Lord. In between the lines, I remember far more things that I did not share publicly. It not only gives me pleasure but chronicles many things with which I have struggled, loved, lost, and cherished. I am not ready to let it stay in a state of neglect and disrepair. I have seen so many blogs that have been abandoned or that have been deleted since I first found them. I wonder what happened to those people: why they started. why they stopped, where are they now. I feel a lost when they are gone, even though I did not know them,

No, I am not yet ready to give up on my blog. 

Well, my Lord, it is not like I do not have enough to do already with this coming up as well. Please, help me to keep my priorities and perspectives in line with Yours.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Back to the Rabbits

There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace. -Aldo Leopold

We are trying to get back into raising rabbits. With all that was going on throughout this last year, we had only bred for one kindle about a year ago, so we have not really been raising rabbits...just feeding them. Not breeding broke down our cost effectiveness for having them. You see, we feed rabbits and then we buy less meat for ourselves and for our dog and cats. Our grocery and animal feed costs have risen so we are looking forward to getting them back down again.

Then we had another issue to overcome. Of our original three New Zealand White rabbits, two does and one buck, we had one doe who probably should have been put down months ago. She has recently been laid to rest because she was in pain and would have passed in a day or two.

We started with the three NZWs, but later added two Silver Foxes, a black with the blue gene buck and a blue doe. When we bred them together we usually got average of half of them being black and half being blue. We still have the blue doe although this will be her last year for breeding most likely and we had to put down the buck because of teeth and eating issues. I have been trying to find a black buck with blue to replace him, but the breeder we had gotten them from is not breeding them anymore. Silver Foxes are more rare and it looks like we are going to have to take a trip to get some. Since they are so rare and I like them so much more, my husband and I are considering raising Silver Foxes solely. They have smaller kindles with usually six to eight compared to the NZW which have had up to thirteen, but we lose less and the SF does are excellent mothers. The offspring do take about three to four weeks longer to go to full size for culling, but their coats and temperament are worth the bit of extra expense. Plus we could probably sell more as breeders, since they are difficult to find for those of us who are looking.

What we have now:

Whoops is a New Zealand White who was sexed wrong and put in with her brothers so she ended up pregnant, hence the name. Of all our NZWs she has been the gentlest so we decided to keep her as a breeder.

Golden Girl is a NZW and Silver Fox cross that is actually a Gold Tipped Black Steel. She was a real surprise to us after having crossed NZW with SF for two years and getting mostly brokens (spotted). We learn that the genetics causing the albino, called Red Eye White (REW) appearance in NZW also covers a lot of genetic coding, like the broken gene, that cannot be seen unless they are bred with another rabbit that is not a REW. We kept Golden to breed with her father who had the steel gene, but we did not get another one and will not since he died of old age. (This is also is a picture of our latest modification in the kindling cage. The drop nest is supposed to help keep the kits in the nest. Even those who get dragged out will wiggle around and end up falling back in, which is very important because they need their siblings covered with mama's fur to stay warm enough to survive.)

The oldest and largest of our rabbits is Misty Blue, a Blue Silver Fox. She is also our biggest eater! I think this will be her last year of breeding which is why I am trying desperately to find a SF buck. She is a very good mother. I have never lost any of her kits.

For weeks during this summer we had no bucks. As I wrote, our NZW died of old age and the SF could not eat due to teeth issues, so we had to put him down. I found a NZW breeder who was selling off his stock to move. We planned to buy one buck, but he offered three for the price of one, so we got the three, two are brothers and the other a distant cousin, but we plan to only keep one of them as we begin to replace all the NZW with Silver Foxes. These bucks were a little young, but we tried a breeding with the rowdy distant cousin and Golden Girl.

Golden Girl was due yesterday and it looks like she is not pregnant, although I have had the does fool me before. Rabbits really do not show their pregnancies. Palpation can be done at two weeks half way through a pregnancy, but I have yet to master that. In fact, I have rarely felt the babies until the week of the due date and even then if there are many and they are small, I still cannot tell with certainty.

So, if I see nothing in the nest for the next two days we will try breeding her with the same buck to see if he can reproduce.

My Lord, please bless us with some Silver Fox rabbits, which have been so difficult for us to find, and may all our rabbits be healthy.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Heavy Metal

Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond. ~Miguel de Cervantes

It is my third day in braces and I some perspectives that are vaguely familiar being that this is the second time around and some I do not remember ever having and some things that are just...different.

Right now I do not have braces on the very back teeth. I might later as this is sometimes done, I was told, or I might not need them on the back ones at all, which I am pretty sure I will because of the inward tipping. So, my back molars are not sore when chewing, but that is not to say that the gums are not slightly swollen due to all the other teeth being moved.

I well remember that the first three days from getting my braces on the first time and every adjustment thereafter were the worse days with pain and it was particularly hard to eat anything that needed chewed. I used to have a big meal after an adjustment and not really eat for a few days. That meal usually was a stop at a mom and pop burger joint just a few miles from the orthodontist office. I had to drive 20 miles to a larger town where they had an office only two days a week from my little town as their main office was another 20 miles further away from the satellite office in another city. It was the 70's and I was 17 years old when I started, so my diet has changed significantly since those days.

I started again with the big-meal-after tradition and take my daughter out when she has an adjustment, but she goes only about every eight weeks. Back in the day, I went every four weeks. New materials and techniques have made for less visits to be necessary in most typical cases. My case is not that typical, of was not when I was seventeen and it is not at fifty-seven. Sigh!

I also ate a bigger meal after I first got my braces this week, because I did not know exactly what to expect. Everyone says braces are more painful as an adult than they are for children, particular those who have had them twice to know. (It is not all that uncommon to need them later again for some people and I just had to be one of them!) However, I was not very young when I started with braces the first time and I had them for over five years so the last few years I was an "adult" and there are certain natural changes that happen with the mouth in those years making moving teeth a bit more challenging, so actually the last few years for me seemed to be significantly more painful than the first ones and that pain lasted longer too. Basically, I had experience with the difference before, but gradually.

For years now, my diet has been far healthier than when I was in braces before. There are plenty of things I can eat that are highly nutritious that do not have to be chewed, like soups; yogurt; cottage cheese; vegetable, fruit, and protein smoothies; fruit popsicles; raw milk (I know it is drunk but it is a whole food) and such. Of course, there still are all the other things that I now try to eat only sparingly like pasta dishes, cheesecake, cakes, ice cream, shakes, and other simple carbohydrates and sugary foods.

As to needing braces again, part of that might be because of a procedure that was done at the end of my treatment all those years ago that is not done now, probably because it caused more problems than not. In those days, it was common practice to tip all the teeth inward and then bring them back up straight. I was told it set the roots better. I mentioned that to my orthodontist and he said that he had that procedure done to him as well and told the name of it to the technician, which I do not remember other than it started with a "b." He said the problem with the procedure is that the teeth did not always come back to a fully upright position and I can say that I well remember that after that my lower front teeth tipped inward, maybe all of them did, but it was those that I noticed.

Frankly, it was not until the wires were on my teeth that I fully realized how maligned they really are! Yikes!

Here is one thing I do not remember from my first experience. I noticed on the following day that I had them put on that even though I could swallow without any obstructions, I felt like I did not want to swallow anything, not even water. Being that I have an analytical mind, I gave that some thought. I think the mouth being overall irritated has something to do with it, but I also think it is having these unfamiliar rough feeling things on the teeth that I feel behind the cheeks and lips and having a natural repulsion of the possibility of swallowing them. It will diminish in a few more days probably.

The first time I was so very happy to have braces completely for free, I just found everything about them amazing! They were a badge of honor, a sign of the grace of God, and I just did not let anything about them bother me much as to getting used to them. Still, there were some things I could not deny away. I had raw areas and cuts in my mouth that rubbed against the braces at various times throughout all those years. Eventually the areas compensate and toughen up and were more resistant to being raw, but that is a that I am going through right now. I have placed the wax they gave me on every irritating bracket, but still...the corners of the lips are the worse places because of talking and smiling. I have to remember to smile above the braces.

Other things I did not remember until I got them on for a day is that my sinuses run more and...drooling! It is like a baby going through teething, even with a slight headache at times. There is just constant pressure going out in all directions from the braces. I am so much more understanding of the Princess having bad days!

I was wondering if the Princess and I should try to keep our appointments on the same day or purposely not. She is not worth much the first three days and I am thinking I will be the same, so if we take it easy at the same time, perhaps we make those homeschool days light and then jump back into the heavy schedule together. Or maybe it would be better if only one of us is going through this at a time. The orthodontist kind of settled that as he put me on a five week schedule for the time being and the Princess is on an eight.

The reason I am on five weeks is because I had a front tooth that dropped down due to the bone loss I was having because of my bite and he is working on trying to get it back up. I have been told over and over by everyone in any kind of dentistry that it will not go back up, even the orthodontist is thinking he can only get it to to a better position but not where it should be, yet he is giving it a try. Because it is so out of place compared to the length of the other teeth, he had the thinnest wire placed on my uppers and I felt the pressure on it immediately. So it will have to be nudged gently, which is why I need to go more often at first. I was warned that the tooth might even try to poke out as it goes up and to contact them if that is the case. As I said, I am not typical, but I am praying that God works a miracle and the tooth repositions to exactly where it should be.

When I went to make my next appointment, the scheduler looked up the Princess' next appointment which was four weeks out and moved her time to later that day so we could be in on the same day and same time. So, in a month we will be miserable at the same time, but after that that we will likely be on different days.

Last night, my husband and I ate dinner while listening to the Princess play at the restaurant. I had fettuccine Alfredo with shrimp with a salad and, yes, we shared a slice of cheesecake. I had forgotten how much everything gets stuck in braces, which is why it is always wise to brush immediately after eating, except I have wax on so many areas that I have to take all that off first, then brush, then put them back on. Also, I lost some of the wax when I ate my salad.

I have spent quite a bit of bathroom time on my teeth and gums to keep them healthy for years but now it is like everything takes nearly three times as long. I have a water pick, which works great after I removed the wax. I still have to floss with floss, which requires the floss to be threaded under the wire and it takes me ten times as long to floss that way. I also use those dental brushes that go between the teeth at the gum line. An electric toothbrush and a hand toothbrush are also used each day. Then I have to carry many of these things with me at all times in case I eat anything, which I actually already had been doing for years also.

For several months, I have added one more treatment that I have kept a secret. I read about a device that orthodontists use to lessen the time needed in orthodontic care. This device is usually used with those having the plastic braces that go over the teeth and are "invisible." It is simply a device made to produce micro-vibrations through the teeth to stimulate the gums for twenty minutes. The one that orthodontists sell is highly overpriced but it is rechargeable and keeps count of how often it is used. I found a knock-off device that is a battery operated that runs for ten minutes and does not keep count on Ebay. I have been using it for months at night for twenty minutes and many of those deep pockets I had between my teeth and gums improved, so much that the periodontist only found two. I know I had more months before and I was taking extra care but I still think the little device (which is still overpriced for what it is, but way lower than the other) did stimulate my gums.

So, I am hoping with my orthodontic work and this gum stimulator and God 's blessing that my front tooth will go farther up than they think it can. Also the gum stimulator reduces the pain. I have been using it about four to five times a day, when I am feeling more irritated and it does take the edge of the pain.

So, all is going well. This is just me making adjustments to the braces.

My Lord, this will be for a short time, but presently it seems long. Help me to adjust quickly and well. Also help me keep focused on the results.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bracing Myself

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection. -Thomas Paine

Having been released after the periodontal surgery I had six weeks ago, it was time to move to the next phase. On Wednesday, which was also my birthday, I spent two hours in a dental chair for a thorough periodontal cleaning. I have had periodontal cleanings before, but this one was overkill if you were to ask me. Then the following day (yesterday as I am writing this), I spent another two hours at the orthodontist.

Braces again...40 years from the last time I had them put on at 17, almost to the month. I was thinking, hoping, that braces should make me look younger by at least ten years, but I do not think that worked. Maybe the wrinkles and whitening hair are giveaways?

So, I am trying to get used to the metal in my mouth and the tension on my teeth with its new aches, which is why I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and could not go back to sleep. I finally gave up sometime after 4:00 and here I am at my computer, having much to do, but not wanting to do it. Computers, although inherently innocent, are such terrible time wasting devices when they are not being used productively!

I have been rather productive the last two weeks as to organizing our homeschool and getting on a schedule. The Princess needs structure to get through her assignments (and I need it too). With her working on Friday and Saturday nights and having added giving piano lessons, she has to be even more flexible than before and do some assignments on some evenings.

While my mind is on getting her focused on her education and piano, I was also looking forward to starting back to work on my house clean up, repurposing rooms, and renovations...but my husband has been tossing around more ideas about the business we might be starting and these ideas are good, but just seem to be too overwhelming to try to put together with just the two of us...actually I am not sure that it will not be just mostly me.

He, of course, is feeling pushed into it because he is scheduled next week to start an install that keeps him away from home for five weeks straight, including weekends, which is against our rules, particularly because he is salaried, not eligible for financial compensation, and has to fight to get off for the extra days because they have him going all over the eastern side of the country, even though other co-workers are sitting at home. He was told that this customer would not buy the machine unless they were promised that my husband would be installing it and other customers also specifically request him.

On the manufacturing side, which is based in England, the Brits have decided to manufacture only one machine to streamline production on their end because of higher demand. So, instead of customizing the machine to the customers specifications at the factory, now the field engineers are to customize their base machine in the field. Therefore, an install that would have only taken three weeks, without working weekends, now can take up to six weeks straight because he is not just adding to the machine, but also removing things from it as well to send back to the factory, which seems to be counterproductive. All this time, the customers are getting impatient with the installer, because they expected to the machine to be production ready in two to three weeks.

My husband is one of their top break-fix guys as well as installer, so often what happens is that his manager is hounding him about finishing the install because there is a problem with a machine somewhere that no one else they sent was able to fix. By the time my husband gets there, the customer is needing to vent about how how the machine being down is losing him business because of how long the problem has persisted, but at the same time they are relieved to see him, because they trust him to actually fix it. He is in demand, which is great for job security, but it is wearing on our family. They need about three more field engineers but the manager cannot find anyone who wants to work for the company. Small wonder there.

I am still not sure what we are supposed to do and when we are to do it if we are. We have asked and are waiting for certain things need to fall into place, if having a business or being self employed are paths to which my Lord is leading us.

Meanwhile, I am in braces...and looking forward to a better smile on the flip side.

My Lord, thank you for the opportunity to have a nice smile again and help my family to find reasons for smiling. Please, my Lord, grab our hands tightly as if we are little children unaware of dangers around us as You lead us on the path You have prepared.