The man on the front of this pamphlet is Rene’ Descartes. He was a French mathematician who lived from 1596-1650. Some of the things he said weren’t helpful to humanity. But one of the good and profound things he said was, “I think, therefore I am.”
This phrase helped me to believe something I already knew in my heart but didn’t know how to put into words: I am more than just a body. I am more than just my brain. I cannot be the same thing as my thoughts for I am aware of my thoughts and can even decide what I want to think about. This proves, at least to me, that I am a spirit living inside a body.
But proving to myself that I am a “spirit-inside-of-body” also helped me to believe something else I already knew in my heart: I didn’t create myself…which means that a Spirit greater than me must have. Yes, I began to believe in God.
I read a story in the Bible where a man named Moses met God and asked him what his name was. The reply from God was, “I am.” That reminded me of what Rene’ Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” If this God I was reading about in the Bible were the greater-than-me Spirit that I knew had to exist, then it made sense that His name was “I am.” Before He created any other little spirits, this would be how he would refer to Himself, wouldn’t it? So, I began to believe in the God of the Bible.
I kept reading the Bible and found that God values Himself and the people (little spirits-inside-of-bodies) He made. Because of this, He made rules on how He ought to be respected by the little spirits and how we little spirits ought to treat one another. These are known as The Ten Commandments and you can read them in the Bible’s book of Exodus, Chapter 20, and see them clarified in Matthew, Chapter 5.
I kept reading the Bible and found in the Book of Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 27 that, “Man is destined to die once and after that face judgment.” Our bodies won’t live forever, but our spirits will. After our bodies die, we will stand before God and be judged by His rules. I read that God said that those who had broken even one of his rules would go to a place of everlasting fire called Hell (James 2:10, Matthew 5:22). That concerned me because I haven’t always treated God or my fellow spirits-inside-of-bodies with respect. I haven’t always honored God and I’ve have been unkind to some of my fellow spirits; I’ve lusted after some of their bodies; I’ve even wished that some of them didn’t exist at all. What would I do?
Amazingly, I found in the Bible that God is actually made of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that this second person, the Son, allowed Himself to become a spirit-inside-of-body just like me. He knew that none of us had kept God’s rules perfectly, so He lived a life of keeping those rules perfectly FOR US. Then He died a violent death, shedding His own blood as the punishment for OUR breaking of God’s rules! Now he asks us to do something that only a spirit can do: TRUST in what He has done for us. If we do, He promises we will live forever with Him in Heaven and we will be given new power for us to obey His rules until then. You can read all about this in the Bible’s book of Romans, chapters 3 through 8.
I love you, fellow spirit-inside-of-a-body. I don’t want you to spend eternity in Hell, but rather in Heaven with all those who have put their trust in the Son of God, Jesus. Please read God’s Word, the Bible, and trust in the great “I am” and all that He has done for us.
Wow, what a very exciting summer we’ve had! Our goat venture has required quite a bit of our time, along with the bees, chickens, gardens, and school. We’ve been swamped. I’m hoping to be more consistent with the blog–but we’ll see how it goes.
April found us having another baby goat, one we weren’t expecting until about four weeks before her birth. Her mother is quite aloof and so we didn’t notice anything until she started developing a milk bag. The baby’s name is Sadie May, and she’s just beautiful. She makes up for her mother being so stand-offish. What a sweet girl she is.
We also got three packages of bees, as we lost our hives during the winter. One hive we put at Mimi and Popsie Westfalls’, and two are on our property. We’re struggling to learn the ends and outs of beekeeping. I still think it’s the most fascinating venture we’ve attempted here.
May found us bottle-feeding baby goats. Tom took some time off from work so we could explore the local zoo and spend some fun time together.
T.J. had his wisdom teeth pulled. I’d show you pictures of him all drugged-up but he might not appreciate it! After recovering, he was blessed with the opportunity to exercise his gifts of website design by building Popsie Westfall’s business website. You can visit the finished product here.
I had a happy birthday at the end of May.
Anna celebrated her thirteenth birthday in June. Anna loves music and has taught herself many songs on the piano. You most often find her playing music from The Prince of Egypt or Celtic Woman. She especially enjoyed our summer visit with our music teacher. There has never been a child who loves to swing more than Anna. If she has any free time, we know exactly where she is: swinging as high as she can.
Joy celebrated her second birthday at the end of August.
And since this was the best birthday picture we had, we’ll give an even better one: Joy wearing T.J.’s glasses and playing on Maribeth’s iPod! I would say she’s just a little spoiled . . .
This has been a very hot and dry summer. We are thankful for Tropical Storm Lee, who gave us close to 10 inches of rain, as well as the beginning of September. We’re starting our list for everything that needs to be done before cold weather sets in. It’s a good thing we have some time . . .
Well, after months of waiting and a week after false labor, Pepper, our Nubian goat, gave birth to twins. It was a easy delivery, as she is a very experienced mother. It was also very fast, which was good for the nerves, except we couldn’t remember where any of our supplies were. We feel very blessed by the Lord because Maribeth was outside grooming Pepper when the goat’s water broke. Had she not been out there we would have missed the whole thing, because the babies were born in less than five minutes. We were greatly blessed with both a buck and a doe, and their names are Dixie, for our love of the South, and Houston, named for the great Texas hero Sam Houston (history invades all parts of our life).
That was Friday. Saturday (yesterday) I began watching Gretel, our young Alpine, who seemed unusually large and uncomfortable, especially since she was four days overdue. She began having contractions in the late afternoon and had her darling baby doe, Liesel, at 8:30 last night. It was quite different from Pepper’s delivery, since Gretel is a first-time mother. I kept telling Maribeth it was the difference between her birth and Benjamin’s. But Gretel did a great job, and we were very proud of her. Our only problem was that we don’t have lights in the barn. Since we didn’t have enough light, we had trouble clamping Liesel’s umbilical cord, and the amount of blood caused some alarm. But thanks to dental floss and fluorescent light in the utility room, Liesel is no worse for the wear.
Dixie is bossy, Houston is laid-back, and Liesel is feisty. They’ve enjoyed playing with each other and sleeping all over each other. They should be good buddies in the coming weeks.