Sunday, July 30, 2017

Up To The Task

2 Timothy 3:17 The Voice: so that God’s people may be up to the task ahead and have all they need to accomplish every good work.
Hello, my name is Sara, I am the founder of God's Unbreakable Rope of Love Facebook Page. Today, I would like to share a God moment based on the verse above.
My husband and I live on small farm. The Lord has blessed us with a few sheep. My husband labors every day caring for the sheep the Lord has charged to his daily care. We are not "rich" by the world's standards; we do not have any of the normal equipment that farmers would have to tend the land (no tractor to cut hay or bale it). My husband takes very seriously the daily tasks of caring for the sheep. He enjoys it; he is very committed to continue to do his best with what the Lord has provided us.
We have a small field that we grow for hay. In the last two years we have not been able to find someone to help us with cutting and baling the hay. This means that hay in that field has gone to waste. We have had to purchase hay.
This year my husband was determined, if we could not find anyone, he would cut the hay manually (like in the old days using a scythe). He would manually rake it, and then, gather it all up into our trailer and bring it to the barn. It is a small field, about 6 acres. Yet, this would be no simple task.
He kept saying he would manage somehow, we could not let the field (which is full of alfalfa) go to waste again this year. Plus, we need hay for the sheep in the winter.
He spoke with one of our neighbors last week, who agreed to just cut it for us. The last few days in the hot and humid weather, my husband has gone out to the field, raked up the hay, put it in the trailer and brought it up to the barn. Several people passed the field, slowing down as they passed, watching my husband work.
My husband dressed to go out in the field today again, to gather up the last portion of the hay that was cut. He came back home within an half hour. He looked at me and said, "I am done!"
I looked at him puzzled. I knew he should have been gone longer. I asked him,”What happened?”
His reply, "Someone baled up the remaining hay. There were bales in the field. So, I put them in the trailer and came home."
We are not sure "who" did this. Well, we know it was God who made this possible. We are not sure who He used to accomplish it.
My husband, who was determined to go forward in manually cutting the hay, put his faith in God and trusted God would provide the strength to get the job done. The Lord did provide the strength for the job, and more.

My dear loved ones, let us be faithful in all things. When we include the Lord in even the smallest aspects of daily life, there is no telling what He will do and where He will show up. That is the best part...just knowing He will.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cat Adventure Last Year

God moves in mysterious ways...this is why: So as most of you know, I live on a farm and we have several barn cats [about 20-25] about the land. They love to hang out by the garage. I have a daily commute to Sycamore for my job. Last Friday [10/9/15], I got into the truck, backed out of the garage, my Salah opened the gate for me and out I went to work. Now, I live out in the country just out of Leaf River. So to go to work, I have to go down into the "city" of Leaf River. It is about 2 or so miles down to town. I am going along as normal...when I get into town and slow down to cross the railroad tracks, I hear this cat crying. I looked out the window thinking there was a poor cat lost or something...then it dawns on me...that sound from the cat is coming from UNDER the truck.

Hold on...

So I turn around and head back home. I pull into the drive and my Salah looks worried when he sees me coming back. He opens the gate for me...and I park the truck to get out. I told him...I heard a cat crying from under the truck and that I thought I had rolled it up under the tires somehow. So we search and look under the truck. Could not find it. Now it is about 7:00 am and the sun has not quite come up yet, so it was still a bit dark. It was hard to see and we could not see the cat. The cat kept quiet the whole time while the truck was parked. It never made sound when my Salah tried to call the cat out. We were not sure which one we were looking for. Even though we have several, trust me when I say that my Salah knows each one.

By this time, I was going to be late for work. It was 7:00 and I had to be at work by 8:00. It takes me a little over an hour to drive. So I went inside to call work to tell them I was on my way and would be late. It is a voice mail I call to inform my work of my absence or tardiness. So I left a message that I just rolled over my cat.

So I get back into the truck. My Salah opens the gate and off I go again. Wouldn't you know, I am less than a half mile away when I hear.....wait for it....you are right...I hear the cat again just crying and crying...so I turn around again.

I pull in the drive again and my Salah looks at me surprised to see me AGAIN. He opens the gate and I park the truck to get out. I told him I heard the cat again. So we search and look under the truck again. The sun has come a little bit more but it is still not bright. Now all this time looking over the truck the cat stays quiet...never making a sound. And not coming out of wherever it was hiding under the truck. Probably too terrorized at this point to move.

So I get back in the truck. My Salah opens the gate and off I go. I told him I would not be back. I had to get to work. So I go on down the road to work. I thought briefly I had heard the cat again. But not like the crying I head before, so I thought by now I had killed the cat. Feeling badly, I concentrated on my drive to work to get there without anything else happening.

I make it to work. I sit near the lady who listens to the voice mail for our absences. She looks up as I walk toward her, and she says to me, "I am just listening to your message. I am sorry about your cat." I thank her and walk over to my desk. I explain my story to the ladies I sit by and told them I could not find the cat and it is probably dead now under the truck somewhere. Then I log into my computer and start the day.

After work, as I walked up to the truck, I thought for a second I heard the cat again. I walked around the truck and checked to see I could see anything. Nothing. There are some birds in the trees, so I thought I was hearing things and it was the birds not the cat.
So I drive home glad it is Friday but feeling sad because I killed a cat. Yes, I know I have several but they are cute...and I do not like to be the one that brings harm to any animal.

You must be wondering why I am still writing....ah....foreshadowing...can you feel the suspense...are you curious...remember curiosity killed the cat...OK, bad joke...

My Salah and I looked under the truck over the weekend we could not find, could not see the cat any where. We both thought at that point we would find it after a couple more days because dead animals give off bad odors.

So I went to work yesterday, Monday. No problems and came home.

I went to work today. I got of the truck and about half between the truck and the door to the building...I heard it...a cat crying. I stopped...because remember there are birds too and it was windy today. So I thought I heard birds. I heard it again. I stopped. I waited. There it was again, a cat crying. So I walked back toward the truck looking at the ground up to the building. The cat stopped crying. I get almost back by the truck and the cat cried out again. Right there in front of the truck behind the bushes right up against a transformer...Yep..the cat huddle into a ball by the transformer staying warm.

Oh my word...can you believe it. The cat must have gotten down from the truck while it was parked at work on Friday and stayed hidden by the transformer all weekend. We could not find it under the truck because it had gotten out.

I went inside and with some help from Debbie Kobel, the security guard and Joel Gordon [who happens to sit right be me at work] we managed to get the cat into a box. Well, first I frightened it under another car. I was laying on the ground trying to get it out from under the other car when Joel walked up and asked what we were doing. He and the security guard coaxed the cat out from the under the car and then it went under another car. Then it went back to transformer. This time the cat had placed itself in place where we could corner it with the box. Joel suggested he would hold the box and I would get the cat into the box. Wa La...it went right into the box...phew...I put it into the back seat of the truck. Mission Accomplished.

I went inside and email my Salah. Told him the happy news. He came and picked the cat up so it would not have to spend the rest of the day in the box in the truck. She was so happy to hear my Salah's voice. On the home he told me she would cry out and the when he talked to her, she would quiet back down. She got home and enjoyed some milk. What an adventure for her. Poor thing. So happy she was still alive.

God moves in mysterious ways. Amen


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Never a dull moment

Wow, here we are at August. My oh my, where has the Summer gone.

My Salah has been concentrating on clearing the brush from behind the house the last week. When we moved here back 2008, we had cleared the same area. The area grew back, surprise, surprise, after we stopped clearing when we thought we were going to lose the farm. Now that God has provided us with the resources to continue the adventure on the farm, Salah decided it was time to tackle clearing the brush.

He certainly has made a huge dent. There is a TON yet to go. Each day, he works for a few hours.

Today, he decided he would cut some of the bigger trees to bring more sunlight to this spot.

I needed to run an errand. I left for a little bit to run to the store to pick a few things. When I came back, I thought he was packing up his tools and chain saws [he has two chain saws, anyone will tell  you, you need at least two or three of them]. I went inside to start dinner. Then a few minutes later, I went outside to ask him if I could cook the chicken that we use for the dogs. Salah was standing near a tree behind the garage with a very troubled, worried face.

He looked up at me and said: "I have a problem."

Then I noticed the chain saw was stuck in the tree.

He told me had decided to pack up his stuff but had decided he would take care of this tree first. He used the axe to try to loosen the tree trunk enough to free the chain saw. That was not helpful.

He decided to use the other chain saw instead. And wouldn't you know it, it got stuck, too!

He settled on the sledge hammer to knock the tree and loosen the saws. After several hits to the tree...boom...it went down. He had been able to remove the saws just before the tree fell.

He came inside later saying: "I had engineered it to fall one way, and it ended up falling another way."

Phew. All is well.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

So Ready To Work Out In The Garden

Good morning my loved ones,
 
May you be well and enjoying your day.
 
"I am so over this winter", seems to be echoing from everyone the last few days. I, myself, am so ready to work out in the garden. Ready for Spring. The real issue is what does God have in store for us.
 
It is sunny here again with a promise of reaching 22 degrees. It seems God has not quite finished winter yet as there are predictions of colder temperatures on the horizon for the week. It has been a real winter with lots of snow and cold. Although we are all exhausted and weary from the extreme weather conditions, God a has purpose for keeping the weather the way it has been. He must have a need for making some changes around us. Changes we may not understand until later.
 
What a struggle my mind has with believing the Lord has a reason to bring such coldness that would harden any of us in a flash if we took our eyes off Him for single blink of an eye. Alas, that is where the battle of Faith lies my loved ones...in our minds. I am guilty of looking away from the Lord for one of those blinks of an eye myself...and man oh man...did I get a blast of artic air blown over me and I truly felt the bitterness of the cold winter. It nearly froze all of me...until I read the following devotional by Oswald Chambers. It references Matthew 10:27 from The Voice Bible:
“And you should proclaim in the bright light of day everything that I have whispered to you in the dark. Whatever whispers you hear—shout them from the rooftops of houses.”
The devotional is this: “At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear from Him. “What I tell you in darkness”--watch where God puts you in the darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen. Don’t talk to other people about it; don’t read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed. If you talk to other people, you cannot hear what God is saying. When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light. After every time in the darkness there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation [if there is delight only, I question whether we have heard God at all], delight in hearing God speak, but chiefly humiliation--What a long time I was in hearing that! How slow I have been in understanding that! And yet God has been saying it all these days and weeks. Now He gives you the gift of humiliation which brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God now.”
 
Well, my loved ones, this message touched and warmed my heart in an amazing way. How often lately, have I gone about just chattering away about how cold and miserable this winter has been; how tedious this winter chill makes my job; how freaked out and fearful I am by the cruel weather conditions that I have to endure to get to work. How many times I have spoken aloud to others at work, while out running errands, and most often moaning and murmuring to Salah. The more I looked away from the Lord the more I complained. The deeper the bitter cold settled into my bones casting dreariness over my thoughts. It began affecting my attitude allowing depression to creep into mind which in turn makes me feel utterly hopeless and leaving me filled with self pity. All together just plain sounding like Dino, Fred Flintstone’s pet dinosaur, going: nnnnnnnnnn [well you get the picture]. How could I ever hear God through all of that noise I was making.
 
Perhaps, there is a circumstance right now...no matter how big or small...no matter how significant or trivial...God is speaking to us about it...He will either remove the obstacle or situation entirely, if it glorifies Him to do so...or He will definitely give us the grace, strength and ability to keep walking through it with Him [alas that is the key phrase ‘with Him’]. He asks us to lower the noise level around us and quiet ourselves in order not to miss what He saying to us.
 
If we hold back, if we do not submit favorite wishes and submit with every fiber of our being [that includes unplugging and quieting ourselves--to listen, really listen for the Lord’s voice] every day to the Lord and look only toward ourselves, we find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. How many times I have personally happened upon that lonesome road myself? The last month or so that is exactly where I landed...on the bitter pathway...because I was too proud and loud to quiet myself to heed and listen to God.
 
Reading the above devotional literally slapped my face and snapped my mind right out of that silliness. It focused my vision back unto Jesus where it belongs...it quieted my murmuring and complaining [which no one really wants to hear anyway!]. I was [am] able to hear the Lord’s voice again...and I long to hear His voice and be by His side...I miss Him when I move...it is just like I miss my Salah when I leave Salah’s side; I can hardly wait to get back home and by his side...I love the Lord just like that too and ever grateful to be by the Lord’s side.
 
I leave you with the following prayer: Have mercy on us, my Lord Jesus, according to Your steadfast love, according to Your abundant mercy blot out our transgressions. Help us to remember that we will lose nothing of value by putting You first and foremost in our lives. Create in us a clean heart, and put a new and right spirit within us. Strengthen our faith so that the worthless opinion of others will not sway us. Show up the pride and arrogance that lies hidden in our nature. Make us more like You. Help us to be patient and painstaking in our search for the answer to spiritual confusion. Show us that there are no quick answers to life’s ‘big’ problems. Slow us down so that we keep pace with You. Help quiet us in order to hear what You have to say. May Your will be done in us, no matter what. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.




Friday, March 29, 2013

Episode I: The Attack of the Honey Bees

A Short Story by Sara Marie Hantousch May 2008
We have these
bees

We are shaking at the knees

They had over taken the kitchen window

We decided they HAD to go

Just how do we go about that?

Certainly not with a bat

How about a can of Raid?

Nope, even TWO cans didn't do it I'm afraid

We found after Bees prefer the day

We wasted our spray

Oh how oh how, can this be done?

We have to wait until there is no sun

“Ahhhhh, smoke them out!”

Bring that burning barrel about

The fire it won't start

Building a fire is an art!!

“There we go!”

Bees do not like smoke didn't know?

Away they flew

Only over a window or two

So up the ladder Salah climbed

Filling up the gap was what he had in mind

The smoke died down

The bees started to come around the window pane

It seemed that we had tried in vain

“We are taking our Window back!!!”

Salah proclaimed as he filled up the crack

“Don't you know I am from Iraq!”

The gap was filled

We were thrilled

It was the end of the mission

Until the next day...I discovered “THEM” in my kitchen!!!

Now what shall I do”

I got my shoe!!!!!!!

They were mostly dead anyway

I knocked them out without delay

I patched up all the holes I could see

“You will not take MY HOUSE from ME!!!!”

“Will there be more in my kitchen tomorrow?

I fell asleep thinking in sorrow

Up early I did rise

I found NO bees oh what a delightful surprise

I keep checking to see

No NOT one little bee


They are outside still

Building a cluster in the window sill

At least they are not inside

I can relax and enjoy the day in stride

Episode II: Bee-Wildered

A Short Story by Sara Marie Hantousch June 2008

It all started a month ago, Salah and Sara tried to exterminate the colony of bees that made residence outside in their kitchen window. How hard can it "bee" to rid a home of bees?
Let's take a look.
Salah and Sara have recently acquire the skill of Bee Battling.
What is a Bee Battle?
Well...
When Bees fight it is called a Bee Battle.
And...
When they battle in a kitchen, it's called
A Bee Kitchen Battle
AND..
When Bees battle buzzing from the kitchen to the bathroom and the bathroom is upstairs, they call it
A Bee Buzzing From The Kitchen To The Bathroom Upstairs Battle.
AND...
When Bees battle Salah and Sara in a buzzing battle from upstairs to downstairs and it's in the basement, they call this
A Bee Upstairs Downstairs Basement Buzzing Battle With Salah And Sara.
AND...
When Bees battle these battles downstairs with Salah and Sara from a hole in the cast iron sewage drain pipe in the bathroom downstairs, they call this
You Will Not Believe Salah And Sara Are Battling Bees From A Hole In A Cast Iron Sewage Pipe Upstairs Downstairs Buzzing Battle!

Added Commentary: It turned out the hole was actually a BIG HOLE BEHIND the cast iron pipe. Saying it is from the pipe makes a better story! Salah was able to fit a 9 volt battery into the hole!




God's Concert: A Countryside Storm Spring 2009

This is another story written the first Spring in our homestead.
Experiencing my first thunderstorm, by myself, in my new home, I discovered a difference in the depth and in the sound of the storm out here in the country compared to the storms experienced in the 'city'.
I was drinking my morning tea [an India spice tea with clove, cinnamon and a touch of black pepper mingling with the humid moist air], while listening to the thunderstorm rattle our windows. The rain is a soft yet steady cascade against the leaves of the trees. There is the occasional swooshing of water from a car going by in the street. There is a low hum, much like the sound made when your finger is rubbed around the rim of a crystal glass [but a deeper tone], from our wind chimes hanging within one of our big trees. You can barely notice the flicker of lightening while the thunder resounds nearby but still out on the edge not quite on top of the house. The rumbling continues across the sky with a deep low growl. It gives just enough reverberation to shake the thin glass of my window panes on the first floor. The glass is the older poured or formed glass that is slightly distorted as you look out through them.
The smell of damp old limestone brings a subtle musty, dusty tickling to my nose. Then there is the mild fragrance of the spring blooms [cherry blossoms, I believe] weaving in and out of the freshness of the breeze stirring the bushes and trees. The ground [or dirt if you will] not to be left out, makes its presence known by enhancing the air with a wet earthy bouquet. Birds are adding to the exciting yet quietness of the storm with whistling and warbling [some not so familiar bird varieties]. The grass is a lush green and the poppies are a beautiful burst of bright orange-red against the density of green that surrounds the front of the home.
There is a groundhog that lives in one of the old small structures off to the side of the house; its brownish coat was noticed making a hasty retreat toward its home. Even the worms that are washed out of the ground are larger and harder to avoid as you walk outside just after the rain [not like the skinny little ones found washed out onto the sidewalk or parking lot].

There is a comforting appeal in listening to and in experiencing a storm. I have always enjoyed listening to thunderstorms. I never realized how much the noise of the 'city' overshadowed the peaceful concert of God’s earth. The lightening was noticed [especially at night] and the thunder was never ignored! The rain could be drowned out by the sounds of cars, people, and hidden amongst the closeness of buildings. And being distracted by other things, you might not really take the time to stop and listen to God's fantastic tune.

Just thought I would share the wonder of the storm with you.