Tuesday, January 24, 2012

March For Life 2012

This year, several friends and family members, including myself, went on a twenty four hour pilgrimage, to our nation's capitol, and participated in the national protest against legalized abortion. It was a memorable day. It started with a church service. We then attended a pro-life prayer service at the Capitol. After a brief respite at the Smithsonian for lunch, we joined ranks with multiple thousands of others as we marched down the streets of Washington DC, past the Capitol, Congress and Senate office buildings, and ended up in front of the Supreme Court, all while the Washington Monument loomed over us, half obscured in the clouds and fog. It seemed as if the very heavens were weeping for the many lives that have been lost as we walked through the rain and the mist. These lost lives have not gone unnoticed or not protested. I was grateful to be able to come together with others in this land to raise our collective voices and signs against the injustice that this nation allows against the most innocent creatures that call Earth home, the little ones in the womb, the tiny souls that cannot raise their own voices against those who seek to do them harm.

-Credit to the Washington Post for the image-
"This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more."-Jeremiah 31:15

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sledding At Bentley

This morning, after the three-inch snowfall we received over night, I was given the chance to go sledding with our neighbors on a Bentley slope. Afterwards, all of us were able to enjoy a hot cup of cocoa and the warmth of a house.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Luke Leaves For Rochester

Yesterday morning Luke left for upstate NY, where he will be persuing a three-year long Pediatric Nurse Practioner degree at Rochester Medical School. He drove off inhis heavily loaded down car, which with the help of his friend Zach and brother Jacob, has a newly installed engine in it. Unlike down here at Bentley, there is much snow up there, so the first thing Luke had to do is shovel the walk at his apartment. The whole family appreciates Luke's great determination, when it comes to his scholastic studies, and his zeal for life. Luke patiently awaits the day when he can give back to the medical community which gave so much to him when he was born three months early. Go Luke!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Animals Who Will Brave The Winter At Bentley

This winter, which has of yet has been unusually mild, will see the stay of many animals at various spots around Bentley Farm. These chosen few have been selected to stay here and survive amidst the cold elements of winter.
The sheep seemingly posing heroicly in-front of their barn.
From left to right: Raquel, Ba-Ba Ann, Little Smudge and the fat Rambunctious.
Ajax, the Red-Star rooster, with a few choice hens of his large harem.
From left to right: Speedairy, Duke and Dhallia traipse about the frozen lawns.
Littl' Duke, aka Bub, our toddleresque Jersey-Holstein steer.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Humility of Daniel

Humility, as defined by a Christian article I once read, is doing God's will no matter the cost to our personal life or pride. Daniel, among many Biblical men and women, displays a certain affinity for humility. In Daniel Chapter 6 is the well-known story of Daniel in the Lions' Den. In the beginning verses it states that the Persian King set 120 satraps, small-time princes, to rule through his empire, faintly similar to state governors today. Over these he set three administrators, one of which was Daniel. Later, Daniel has proved his exceptional God-given skills in administration, and Darius begins to plan to set Daniel over all the kingdom's rulers. Soon after jealously takes hold in his co-workers, and they search for any cracks in his life, but due to Daniel submitting to God, they find nothing evil about him. But while they are observing Daniel, they realize he prays to God three times everyday out of his window towards Jerusalem. So then they go to the king and by playing upon his pride they convince him to make a irreversible law which orders all of his subjects to pray only to him and if they disobey and pray to another "god" they will be cast into a den of lions, which though sounds strange to modern ears, was most likely a common capitol punishment among the Medes and Persians. So now Daniel, obviously realizing the trap set before him,has two choices, one being obey the king, or he could disobey his boss. But this would end up ruining all he had worked for the larger part of his life and he most likely receive the punishment of death, yet he, by harkening to the calling God had set in his life, would be forced to completely trust God to take care of him. Some of us may think that Daniel could have compromised by praying secretly to God, thus preserving both his life and relationship with God, but for two reasons, this was not a immediate choice to Daniel. One he would be backing down from his enemies and submitting to man, showing his trepidation of earthly power, and two he would be disobeying God out of fear for his personal life. Daniel, being the incredible man of faith he was, chose to not back down from his adversaries and to continue his prayers to his heavenly Father. So when Daniel prays out his window the next day, the satraps and administrators see it and run back to the king to tattletale on Daniel. Then the king was distressed by this and the Bible records in verse 13, "he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him". But at the end of the day the satraps request for him to be thrown into the den of the Lions and as the law was irreversible the king had to give in. Daniel was "thrown" into the lion's Den, most likely through a hole above their cave, which was sealed by a large roundish rock. Afterwards King Darius returns to his palace and passes a sleepless night. Then comes the best part of the story, early in the morning the king runs down to the mouth of the den, and calls down to Daniel as written in verse 19, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?" Daniel promplty replies telling of how the Lord had sent his angel to close the mouth of the lions. The king is overjoyed, and orders for Daniel to be hauled up. He is examined afterwards, and not a single scratch or bruise is found on his body. Then, the king's anger grows toward the men who has accused Daniel of praying to God, and then are themselves, along with their families, thrown into the den by the command of the king. But a very interesting note is shown afterwards in the Book of Daniel, and it says in verse 20, "And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones". The hunger of the lions was so great that the lions crushed all of the bones in the many bodies thrown down to them, before they even touched the floor of their den. But the retribution and reward of Daniel's remarkable faith does not end there. The king then writes a new decree to all nations, which is recorded as follows in verses 26 and 27, “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed,his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Thus ends Chapter 6, Daniel through great trust in God, and obedience to the calling of God in his life, brings the most powerful man in the earth at the time, to a faith in God. God really does use all things for His glory. In our lives we will face our own lions and satraps, but and we must learn from Daniel's example which is to gird ourselves with humility and obedience. For when we do this, we allow the mouths of our own ferocious "lions" to be shut, our "satraps" punished, and God's glory to be made known in a greater way.