Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Forgiving Father!

The Forgiving Father!

by Clint Baker on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 10:48am
   There are a few commonly asked questions that need to be addressed. These questions are those of a person's that are saved by Gods grace, so they already have forgiveness of sin. 1) "What happens if I commit a sin and forget to confess it or die before I get to confess it?" 2)" Do we still sin after salvation?" Both of these questions are normally asked because of the lack of understanding God's forgiveness and rest on faulty assumptions. Salvation is not a person trying to repent or confess every sin they have committed before they die. If this was the case, we would be taking salvation into our own hands. We would be saying that what Jesus did for us was not enough and unfortunately each one of us would miss some of the sins all together. Salvation is NOT based on whether a Christian confessing every sin, and yes, we should confess our sins to God as soon as we are aware of them. However as Christians we place our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and He forgives us of ALL of our sins, past, present and future. As believers we don't have to keep asking for forgiveness over and over again to be keep our salvation, it's just a way of restoring our fellowship with God (Colossians 1:14, Acts 10:43).
  The second question of "Do we still sin after salvation?" is simple. 1 John 1:8 says, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us." John was telling them that the denial of a persons sinful nature is a false teaching. So the answer to this question is, yes, we still have a sinful nature, as Paul said, he fought sin (Romans 7:21-25), he also says why do I do the things I shouldn't and don not do the things I should (Romans 17:9). So if Paul battled with sin, then yes we all still have a sinful nature, therefore we are sinners saved by God's grace. Gods grace is all that sets us apart.
 The first question was what happens if we do commit sin and don't get it confessed? 1 John 1:9 says, " “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. But if we miss one and we all will, God is faithful and has already forgiven us. On the day of our salvation we had a "Judicial forgiveness" of sins, that means we owed the Judge (God) for our sins. When we trust what Jesus did, He puts all of our debt we owe on His account and He makes us righteous in Gods eye for ever. After salvation, when we ask for forgiveness, Jesus isn't constantly reapplying His blood to our account. If we believe that we are taking away the power of His blood and making it of that of that of a sacrificial cow of the OT.  What does 1 John 1:9 mean about, “confess” our sins to God. The word “confess” means “to agree with.” When we confess our sins to God, we are agreeing with God that we were wrong, that we have sinned.
  Verse 9 also indicates a "Parental forgiveness", How does this work if all of our sins are forgiven the moment we receive Christ as Savior? All of our sins are forgiven “Judicial Forgiveness", the moment we receive Christ as Savior. This "Judicial Forgiveness", guarantees our salvation and promise of an eternal home in heaven. When we stand before God after death, God will NOT deny us entrance into heaven because of our sins that is Judicial forgiveness. The concept of "Parental forgiveness", is based on the fact that when we sin, we offend God and grieve His Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). While God has ultimately forgiven us of the sins we commit, they still result in a blocking or hindrance in our relationship with God. A young boy who sins against his father is not cast out of the family. A godly father will forgive his children unconditionally. At the same time, a good relationship between father and son cannot be achieved until the relationship is restored. This can only occur when a child confesses his mistakes to his father and apologizes. That is why we confess our sins to God,not to maintain our salvation, but to bring ourselves back into close fellowship with the God who loves us and has already forgiven us.
  God has already forgiven a true believer at the day of salvation. His promise to preserve you He will keep, His promise to finish what He started in you He will keep, for God is not a lair.

References: Mathew Henry Commentary, Smith's Dictionary, MacArthur Topical studies, "Understanding Forgiveness" a sermon by Pastor Jeff Arthur
By: Clint Baker

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Urban Garden in a little space for less then $100.00!

My little Farm
  As you know from other posts I grew up on a farm in Ritchie County, West Virginia. But now I live on a small lot in the city of Nitro, West Virginia. I have always wanted a small farm but I know that at this point in my life I can not afford one. I miss farming but I got to thinking why can't use the little bit of space that God had given me? Right outside my backyard fence, beside the railroad tracks is a 30'x65' space that isn't being used. I have to keep the grass cut back there but we don't use it for much else. That's almost 2000 sq. ft. of unused space, much more garden then I have on the inside of the fence. If I used this space it would do a few things, I would help clean up our little town, make my garden space much larger, keep my garden out of the way of flying volleyballs and my garden digging Spaniel would not be tempted. I also would be able to be able to fulfill the desire to have a little farm.    
  First thing I did was clean everything up, there were some trees and brush that had to come down. Some of the trees were old and half dead anyway. Must of the wood was given to a neighbor to burn in his fireplace. It was amazing of the neighbors curiosity of what I was doing. I can't take all the credit though, my friend and neighbor J (which I will call him to protect his privacy) was starting to do the same thing in his smaller backyard and we both were sharing ideas with each other. J is a very good guy, he is a walking encyclopedia when it come to  just about anything out there. We have shared many different Ideas over the years.
After 2 were assembled
   Just 4 doors down from my house is our local greenhouse (I know awesome, right), the owner and I have become very good friends over the past 16 years. So after I got things cleaned up on my new 2000 sq. ft. farm I asked him if I could buy some of the commercial black weed barrier that he puts down all around his outside areas of the greenhouse to put down in my new garden are. I didn't need a whole roll of that stuff and it is very expensive for a whole roll, he sold it to me by the foot and the staples to hole it down. Total cost for what I needed was approx. $60.00! I have just started with a 36'x10'.
   Now to start adding my Raised beds! Went you pick what you are gonna build your raised beds out of, keep in mind the taller they are, the less bending, if they are too wide you will have to step into the bed and you don't want to do that. Also what materials are going to build the out of?  You can build them out of just about anything that will hold dirt but I went to the local Bid Box lumber store and went to what is called there culled lumber area. I bought enough 2x8's and 10's to build a 4'x4' bed and a 4'x8' bed for $16.00. A good rule of thumb for the size of garden you need is 160 square feet per person. You can go larger if you want to share and persevere for the winter months.  I use treated, some say you shouldn't but I used to work in a lumbar yard and I know they don't treat your lumber with the harsh chemicals that they used to, it's mostly done now days with a a salt type formula. But if you are concerned you can paint the inside of the boxes to seal them. Keep in mind, you only want to build these once and untreated will rot in know time. Note: I have seen people use railroad ties, something that I have an ample supply of ever few years when the railroad changes theirs out, but the have worse chemicals in them then the old treated lumber.
   Any way after I built my first 2 beds, I threw all kinds of fillers in the bottom of them to take up some of the space. Everything I threw in though is biodegradable. Anything from scrap pieces of wood to old news papers and even old bills that you never what to through out in the trash but within a few weeks the worms will make them so you won't recognize them. Note: Do Not use anything with colored ink unless it is bio friendly! Then I topped it all off with half of what was in my compost bins and the rest a mixture top soil and manure.
   Well now I am off to get more lumber I have at least 4 more raised beds to build and a fence to put up around it to keep animals and people walking up and down the tracks from eating my veggies. So far I only have about $100.00 for these 2 beds, the weed barrier, hardware and even the soil. I will post pictures as I continue this ongoing project.
2 Beds Finish!
Ezekial 17:8 "It was planted in good soil by many waters, To bring forth branches, bear fruit, And become a majestic vine.”’
By:Clint Baker
Jan. 29,2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

"What God promises us after..."

What God promises us after Salvation

    A  perfect life is the opposite of what Jesus said the Christian life would look like after salvation. Jesus didn't promise prosperity, He promised hardship (Matthew 8:20). He didn't promise that our every want would be fulfilled; He promised we'd have what we NEED (Philippians 4:19). He didn't promise peace in a family; He promised that families would have problems as some chose to follow Him and some didn't (Matthew 10:34-36). And He didn't promise health; He promised to fulfill His plan for us and grace in the trials (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). He didn't promise that we would be rich with money, He did promise we would be rich with His Grace and love. He never promised that we that we would be emotionally strong for every bad thing that happened in our lives, He promised that He would be by our side (Psalm 23) and that He would NEVER leave us nor forsake us. But how do we receive these promises God has given us. We must first hear and understand the true Gospel, (1 Corinthians 15:1-15) we must trust/believe on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and repent of our sins. And in doing this we will want to follow and obey His commands not out of obligation but out of love and respect for what He has done on the Cross.
   If we would receive nothing more than that of what Jesus did for us on the cross of Calvary (Romans 5:7-9), it would be enough. We really don't even deserve that but by Gods grace He made a way for the filthy, sinful, wretched person such as I to become righteous in His eyes (Romans 3:9-18). Christ took our unrighteousness and placed it on Himself and then took His righteousness and put in on us (Romans 4:6), never to have sin imputed on us again (Romans 4:). For it is only by the power of God (Romans 1:16) that our eyes are opened and except salvation through Jesus Christ, so by Gods Word it is by His power that we are saved and stay His children. Yes God has promised many things but a perfect, carefree life, full of earthly riches is not one of them.

Dec. 2011
C. Baker

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Repairing Mixer cord after Thanksgiving dinner mishap!

   Well, It happens to us all,right? When my wife and I fixed our Turkey in the roaster we sat it a little to close to the Kitchen Aid mixer, and well we melted the cord. So we (my wife) thought we would have to buy another mixer. I thought what the heck lets try to fix it and if I screw it up oh well. They cord its self was under $20.00 and the labor was free. Nothing should go wrong, right? Wrong! After we got the mixer totally apart we realized they sent us a cord with the wrong connectors on it. But that's okay, they took it back and we got another one. So, we had to put it back together and tape it up until the other one came. Hey, Christmas was coming and I wasn't mixing all those cookies and stuff by hand! Well it got here and if I can fix it anyone can, there isn't much to the inside of one of them anyway. Just be careful and remember how you took it apart. You can wire it up backwards, just saying!

Step 1: Take band off and top off. So that you have the inside exposed. It looks intimidating but its not, I promise!

Step 2 : Gear cover has to come off. It's the black thing on the front! It has grease in it be careful.

Step 3: Unplug connectors, Mark them so you will plug them back right. Remember what I said about wiring it ups backwards!

Step 4: Take out motor.Usually 4 screws hold it in!

Step 6: Take bottom of the housing off so you can get the cord out.You will see screws you have to remove!

Step 7: Fish the old wire out and the new one in.

Step 8: Reverse everything and put it back together. So I hope you can remember or you will be buying a new one. Once you get everything back on and top cover installed try it and see how you did.

Even with taking the pictures for this post it still only took me 45 minutes. Don't waist your money with having someone else do it or buying a new one!

Here is a link with replacement parts and schematics if you don't have your own.http://www.ereplacementparts.com/kitchenaid-mixer-parts-c-114958_114959.html
There are many different mixer styles on the market but there are many different links and video's to help you do this simple task!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Garden Cloche's" Dirt Cheap"

   When my family and I went to Colonial Williamsburg on vacation one year, we stopped into there little garden area that they have set up in the historic town, so you can see how they gardened in the 1700's. I have so much fun in that section but I think I am the only one who does because I will be looking around and next thing I know everybody else is gone and I am left alone. Trust me its a very neat place. Maybe I will do a post and show some of the pictures from there. 
   Anyway! What I was getting at was this is were I was introduced to these big glass bell's that were setting over the plants. I ask what they were and she told me they were "garden cloches", I had know idea what she was talking about. So she explained, that they help make your growing season longer by allowing you to plant earlier. A mini greenhouse if you will! I thought that was awesome! I have to have at least one, maybe even two, But oh my were they expensive! Almost $100.00! I thought there has to be cheaper ones but even the others get costly.  I remembered what my grandma and great aunt used to use and they didn't pay that much. They used old gallon milk jugs! Dirt cheap and that's for me. I also use plastic juice containers since we drink lots of juice! I have also used full row mini greenhouses made out of plastic. 

All of these work but you have to allow them to breath in the hot part of the day!

Step 1: Clean out Jugs

Step 2: Remove labels and cut bottom off, don't through bottoms away, you can start seeds in them!

Step 3: When ready to use place jugs over plant and place a little soil around the bottom to hold it in place.

Step 4: When the temperature gets to warm just remove the lid to let the hot air out.

And there you go dirt cheap garden cloches made from recycled plastic jugs. Have fun and if you have other Ideas please post and let us all know!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

John Denver and "The Garden Song"

I stumbled onto this old song by John Denver and had to post it. I thought it appropriate for the blog!

The only thing I would like to add is that the someone that bless who will bless those seeds is our Father in Heaven. And there is No such person as "Mother Earth"!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pruning The Bad Stuff Off?

 Like a growing season in the garden, so is the season of your life after excepting the call of salvation. Sanctification is that period of your walk with Jesus where you grow a little, then God prunes the bad stuff out of your life and you grow a little more. Just like we do plants in our own garden, God tends to us in the like manner! Here is a look at that part of our life when we are growing in Gods Garden!

Understanding Sanctification

by Clint Baker on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 8:10am
   Sanctification, a word that you don't hear preached on very much from today's pulpit. What is it, why is it important, why is it not heard of much anymore?   Sanctification is a state of separation unto God (becoming His child),  all believers enter into sanctification when they are redeemed of God,(1 Corinthians 1:30). Not only when we are saved do we receive salvation, but God imputes the righteousness of Jesus' on us and He removes our sin debt and places our unrighteousness on Jesus. He also places the Holy Spirit within us to teach us and give us a measure of divine wisdom (Acts 1:5) 
   This is a forever separation, eternally unto God but not a license to live how you wish (Romans 6:4). It is a part of our salvation, our connection with Christ (Hebrews 10:10). If you read on in vrs. 16-17 of Hebrews 10, God promises us "that our sins will be remembered NO more." He also says that "there is NO longer an offering for sin." Why because Jesus was that sin offering once and for all that would trust/ receive His gospel. God sets us apart to be His children, He wants us to obey His Word but not out of obligation but out of love for Him and the sacrifice that He made for us. His sanctification is the pattern of, and is the power for, ours. The sending and the sanctifying are inseparable.  Because of what Jesus has done we are called saints, hagioi in the Greek; “sanctified ones.” Sanctification is important to understand because it is eternal, we are born again His Children never to cast out of His family again. (Romans5:1-10)
   There is one more sense that the word sanctification is referred to in Scripture. Paul in (1 Thessalonians 5:23, Colossians 1:5,Colossians 1:27,Colossians 3:4) talks an prays about later part of sanctification. This glorified state will be our ultimate separation from sin, total sanctification in every aspect. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). Why is this part so important to understand, because between the salvation and the glorification, we are still all trapped in a sinful body. Paul even says, "Why do I do the things I don't want to do and don't do thing which I should." We are all gonna sin and fall short (Romans) but we are still children of God and yes while God will have discipline for us (Hebrews 10:26) just as we do when our own children are disobedient, God still loves us and we are still His children. Romans chapter's 6,7 and 8 are very good explanation of this and its not my explanation but God's.       
   I believe the biggest reason why sanctification and perseverance of the saints are not taught is because of the lack of understanding of how much God really does love His children. After we have been adopted into His family through the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ, we become in Gods eyes sinless and pure. Why would God sacrifice His own child, for a wretch such as me, to adopt me and at the first time I disobey to turn me back over to Satan. If we believe that every time we sin we must get "prayed up", or saved again, we are saying that the blood Jesus shed on the cross for our sin atonement wasn't good enough. (John 10:28-29, Ephesians 4:30, John 3:15, Romans 8:38-39, Our eternal security is based on God's love for those whom He has redeemed. Our eternal security is purchased by Christ, promised by the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Plant Food In Your Kitchen?

   I had been looking for more organic ways to garden, especially when it cam to fertilizers. I stumbled across this book written by master gardener Jerry Baker. He has a lot of good ideas for doing this, even using a lot of things you already have around the house. A lot of these i remember my own grandma using but really never paid as much of attention to my grandma as Jerry did with his. I sure wish I had because look at him today. I will list some of the ingredients and as the growing season goes on and I experiment with the tonics that he gives I will post the ones that I have good luck with. I can't wait to see if they work as well as others have said they do. I talked to my grandma and she said a lot of these she did use and they were proven. So I guess I will try them and see. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments.

Major ingredients and what they contribute:
Ammonia: is a readily available source of nitrogen, which helps to encourage leafy growth. However, it's really potent stuff! To avoid burning your plants, always dilute it as specified in the tonic recipe's. It can burn, too, so always handle it with gloves. Never, never combine it with vinegar or bleach! The resulting chemical reaction will release toxic fumes!
Antiseptic Mouthwash: does the same thing in your garden that it does in your mouth; destroys germs.
Baby Shampoo and Liquid Dish Soap: help soften soil and remove dust, dirt and pollution from your plants so that osmosis and photosynthesis can occur more easily. They also make plants taste bad to insects.
Beer: helps release the nutrients that are locked in the soil and helps to make your plants strong and healthy.
Banana Peels: Great source of potassium.
Cola: helps feed the good bacteria that condition your soil. be sure you use the real thing; bacteria need sugar.
Coffee Grounds: Worms love it and worms are a gardeners best friend!
Eggs Shells: A very good source of calcium.
Epsom Salts: deepen the color, thicken the petals and improves the root structure of your plants.
Oil: Nontoxic smothering agent for insects.
Sugar, Molasses and Corn Syrup: stimulate chlorophyll formation in plants and help feet the good soil bacteria.
Tea: contains tannic acid, which helps plants to digest their food faster and more easily.
Tobacco: poisons bugs when they ingest it or when they simply come into contact with it. It does the same to germs that cause plant diseases.
Whiskey: or scotch or bourbon provides nutrients and is a mild disinfectant that will keep bugs away.
  There are other organic fertilizers at most of your hardware stores, so if you don't want to try these you could use some of those as well but I think I will experiment with these this year.
Compost Tea: Compost tea is quite easy to make - almost like making a real cup of tea only on a larger scale. Shovel in some compost in an old pillow case or burlap bag. Sink it into a large bucket or barrel of water. Cover the container and just let it steep for a few days. Remember, the longer you steep the stronger it is. You may use this as a light fertilizer to give your plants a little boost. It can also be used as a foliar feeding medium.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Making A Rain Barrel

  With the cost of utility bills so high these days and needing a good water supply for your garden. Plus when my wife came to me and said that our water bill had almost doubled since the start of spring, I knew it was time to do something. So I looked into rain barrels. You can catch gallons of water for your plants and rain water is so much better for them. city water, city water has fluoride and chlorine in it. While city water won't kill the plants it does affect their growth. You will see much healthier and greener plants if you have away to save up rain water. You can buy them already made up or you can do like I did and make your own. You can use many different things to catch water in and as long as you place it at a bottom of a down spout and it doesn't leek, everything will work just fine.

  Here are my Rain Barrels completed! I made mine a little differently than in the information video I posted. The video is very informative and shows you step by step on how to build one. You can find these 55 gallon plastic drums at car washes, most of the time for free or very little. I have approx. 110 gallons of water and that goes along way. Make sure to drain it part way for the winter, so it will give the water room to expand and not bust the drum if it freezes. Well gook luck and have fun!

Linked up with: http://www.randeesorganizedchaos.com/

John 4:11  The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Reaping what you sow"

 I was going through the e-mails that my late Uncle Billy had sent me. This story he sent me I thought appropriate and really loved. I post this in his honor!
                                                              "Reaping what you sow"
A successful Christian business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to takeover the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different.

He called all the young executives in his company together. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you." The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued, "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today -- one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and, excitedly, told his wife the story.

She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil. He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed. A few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot .. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!"

Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO, the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead -- it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers."

"When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!"

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
If you plant hard work, you will reap success
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation
If you plant faith in Christ, you will reap a harvest
So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

Two thousand years ago, Paul wrote to the church at Galatia the same story, but with fewer words, "What you sow, so shall you reap." (Gal. 6:7)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Finding that perfect plant!

   Now that you have located the perfect spot for your garden and prepared the soil. Its time to find the seed or plants of what you have chosen to plant. I love going to my local greenhouse nursery (not the big box store) and look for plants that are ready to put into the ground but normally I start browsing through the seed catalogs really early. Usually in December or January they start showing up in the mail box. My wife gets so aggravated when the start showing up. She always tells me, "everything in those catalogs you can view online". But there isn't anything like looking though, reading about the plant and just learning. A good catalog will have all kinds of information about the plants and other items they sell. You can also get hard to find and unusual plants from catalogs as well. You will have to make a decision, are you buying plants or starting them from seed? That's up to you!
 Here are some links to some of my favorite:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The most important seeds I plant!

What is salvation and Justification? 

  What does salvation mean? Simply, to be delivered or protected from suffering or danger. "Salvation" in the since of becoming a Christian, is being delivered or protected from sin. We were born into sin and have a debt of sin to pay. A debt that none of us can pay, the consequences for this unpaid debt is eternal death (Romans 6:23). Because of our inability to pay this debt God provided a way for us, through His Son Jesus (John 3:16).
  What are we saved from? We are saved from God's Judgment on sin, we are saved from His "wrath" (1 Thess. 5:9, Romans 5:9), eternal suffering and damnation. The sin we were born into separates us from God. But Jesus Christ has already provided us a way to pay our debt, delivered us from the consequences of sin and has provided a way to remove our sins in the sight of a Holy God. But only if we understand and trust the gospel which Jesus came to provide.
   Who does the saving? God is the only one that can remove our sin and deliver us from the debt we owe Him of sin. It is wholly of God by His grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His blood, and not because of anything we do in works or by our own merit. (Eph. 2:1-3; 2:8-10, Titus 3:5, John 1:12, 1 Peter 1:18-19, 2 Timothy 1:9).
   How does God do the saving? Through the sacrificial death on the cross and the resurrection from the grave of His only begotten son Jesus (John 3:17, Romans 5:10, Eph. 1:7). The Bible is very clear that salvation is a gracious and undeserving gift from God and ONLY available through faith in Christ Jesus (Acts4:12, Eph. 2:5-8).
   How is salvation received? Only by faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ can we be saved from the curse of sin.
      1) We must first hear and understand the true gospel, the good news of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Eph. 1:13, Romans 1:16).
         2) We must fully trust, "believe", Jesus and that His sacrifice for our sin debt (Romans 1:16). We must fully trust that Jesus was born of a virgin, was God manifested into flesh, that He lived a sinless life, that He shed His blood for our debt of sin and after three days in a tomb was resurrected from death. 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 is a very good explanation of the Biblical gospel.
         3) In trusting it, it brings a person to "repentance of sin", this means a changing of the mind about sin and Jesus our Christ (Acts 3:19) and in repenting, a person is asking Christ to forgive them of their sins and asking Him to become their Lord over their life (Romans 10:9-10). A true repentant heart will understand the love that God has graciously granted them and accept His gracious gift out of love and not out of obligation.
   "Salvation is the deliverance, by the grace of God, from eternal punishment for sin, which is granted to those who accept by faith God’s conditions of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus." Quote by C.H. Spurgeon.  Salvation is available in Jesus alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) and is dependent on God alone for provision, assurance, and security.
   "True salvation is not to be found through the mere reception of any creed, however true or scriptural. Mere 'head notion' is not the road to heaven. "You must be born again," means a great deal more than that you must believe certain dogmas. The study of the Bible cannot save you! You must press beyond this; you must come to the living, personal Christ, or else your acceptance of the soundest creed cannot avail for the salvation of your soul. Salvation lies in Jesus only!"  ~ C.H. Spurgeon

"Justification is by grace alone (not mixed with our merit)"

   Most churches ignore the work and teaching of justification and focus on a person's sanctification. In doing this people are being taught that the things they do and say are justifying and clearing their guilt before God. Basically they are taught to work their way into heaven. You work for a wage and the Bible says that "the wages of sin are death". This view takes the focus of the completed work of Jesus Christ and place's the emphasis on our performance. It is basically saying that the blood Jesus spilled on Calvary wasn't powerful enough for our sin debt and that His Resurrection from the grave wasn't powerful enough to conquer death! Some teachers either combine both justification with sanctification or put it out into the future where glorification is. Again, justification, sanctification and glorification are in God's souvenir hands not in ours (Romans 8:30)! Faith justifies the person, and works justify his faith.
   "This is the rock where we stand when the dark clouds gather and the floods lick at our feet: justification is by grace alone (not mixed with our merit), through faith alone (not mixed with our works) on the basis of Christ alone (not mingling his righteousness with ours), to the glory of God alone (not ours)." quoted by John Piper
    Simply put, to be justified is to declare you righteous, to make you right with God. Justification is God’s declaring those who receive Christ to be righteous, based on Christ’s righteousness being imputed to the accounts of those who receive Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Justification is Christ taking our unrighteousness off of us and placing it on himself and then taking all of His righteousness and placing it on us for eternity. Jesus sacrifice covers our sins (past, present and future), allowing God to see us as perfect and unblemished. We were declared justified the very moment of our salvation. It pronounces us righteous in the sight of God. It came by placing our entire faith (trust) in the finished works of Jesus Christ and not in  our own works. Because as believers we are in Christ, God sees Christ's own righteousness when He looks at us. This meets God's demands for perfection, so He declares us righteous, He justifies us. (2 Corin. 5-21, Romans 3:21-26)
    Justification allows the peace of God to rule over our lives. In understanding justification , believers can have the true assurance of their salvation. Justification enables God to begin the process of sanctification, the process by which God, daily, removes sin from our lives.(Phil. l:6,Phil 2:3,Eph. 2:10). “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
   1) God justified us at salvation (Romans 5:18-19),  2) Sanctification progressive until we go to be with our Lord Jesus, it is a lifelong process (John 17),  3) Glorification is God's final removal of sin from the life of the saints ( everyone who is saved) in the eternal state (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17). Understanding all three are crucial to our knowledge of the ongoing work that the Holy Spirit does in our lives after salvation (justification). Truly braking the chains that bind us, to live a joyful, peaceful life in Christ Jesus!

Reference: NKJV "The Holy Bible",  Matthew Henry commentaries, MacArthur Study Bible,Q&Ministries

By: Clint Baker
Jan. 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chicken Tunnel in the Garden

   I recently came across an interesting idea for keeping chickens in the garden. Bruce Morgan has come up with a way to tunnel the chickens right to the area of the garden where he needs the work done.  I think that these smaller sections of tunnels would be easier for one person to move alone as well. This is a wonderful idea, one which I haven't tried myself but maybe in the future? It came from another blog

This is so amazing and if you try it or have other ideas, please share with us!

Genesis 2:20 "So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field."

Monday, January 9, 2012

"Q&A before you start tilling"

   Before you start planning what you are gonna plant in your garden you need to determine a few things to be successful. Things to think and survey before you start planning your garden.

  1. What planting zone are you in?   http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html
  2. When is your last spring frost and your first spring frost? West Virginia's are approx. April 20/Oct. 20. This may very do to the elevation or area you are in. 
  3. Where will I get the best sunlight? Full sun all day is the best, but if you don't have that, pick a spot that gets full morning sun.
  4. Do you have a good water source? Plants need lots of water and city water isn't the best for them because of all the chlorine and fluoride in it. If possible collect water to water your plants and it will save you money.
  5. What type of soil do you have? It ranges from sandy to clay soil.
  6.  What is the PH of your soil? Plants are like people, they don't all like to lay down roots and eat the same thing.
  7. A few things you can do to get the soil ready is to, work in compost or manure in the fall, leaves and straw help as well. If you can attract worms to the garden, they are awesome little creations of God's. They will do a lot of the work for you. Just work into the soil table scrapes minus fats, meats and oils and they will move right in and start to work.
  8. How big is your garden gonna be? Gardens range from pots on your deck to raised bed gardens to full size conventional acre size gardens. If you have never gardened before start small and don't do more than you can handle.
  9. From experience, protect your garden from children playing and you wonderful pets. This past year I had so many volleyballs hit my plant I thought for sure they would all die and Maple well she was a little puppy, need I say more?

Now after you figure out where your garden is gonna be. you can start to plan it out and order your seeds or plants. Have fun and God Bless!

Community Gardens in the Kanawha Valley

    I was browsing the web and stumbled across this neat site. Its called "The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition". The site has a lot of good information but the article that I thought to be the must interesting is about all the "Community Garden's" in the Kanawha Valley and about the "Kanawha Community Garden Association". It is wonderful to see so many communities starting up there own community gardens for people to use. For example there are community gardens in Dunbar, Spring Hill and other West Virginia towns. If you don't have one in your city maybe you should start one.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Garden Bench Idea's

   Every garden needs a good place or so to sit , meditate and look at all the things God has made, the things that we take for granted in life that we shouldn't let slip by.  A place where we can listen to the birds and to all of His creation. It is also a good place to rest after a hard days work or a place to plan your next new veggie that is going to be planted. I would like to share a few of the benches that I have made for my garden. Of course you can just buy them if you like but a bench can be made out of just about anything as you will see and sometimes for free.

   My neighbor had a tree cut down and I just asked if I could have a little of it. All I did was cut the 2 legs the same length (comfortable height to sit at), I flattened the area where they attach to the seat with my chain saw. To attach the legs to the seat, I took a piece of 3/4" pipe, drilled a hole on both the legs and the seat slightly smaller. I had to hammer the pipe in, and attached them both together. Oh, so the legs don't attract termites I cut a piece of treated 1x and nailed it to the bottom of both legs. This project took about 1 hour and I made it myself. Cost Free!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
    This little bench is in my little girls secret garden. She and her friend next door like to hang out here some when the weather is nice. It is made out of old foundation blocks from an old house. I believe we bought the blocks for roughly $60.00 and hauled them home.I tried to look at them real carefully when I was buying them, so I could just stack them and leave them, but I had to sink one of the legs about ten inches into the ground to make the bench level. Still even with the travel and assembly it only took about 4 hours.
   As I said, you can make a bench out of anything. This is pretty self explanatory. 2 cinder blocks and a 2x6. This one is where my future expansion of raised beds is gonna be. There will be lots of hard work out here and I will need a place to sit, don't you think? At least that's what I am gonna tell my wife. Do you think I will get by with that? Cost: All that was left over after other projects.

   So I showed you three bench ideas and I hope getting a bench in your garden will help you with relaxing and pondering the important things in life. I want to leave you something to think on as you sit on your new bench that you have created and please send pictures of yours.

 Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January "To Do List"

    We have had really nice weather for a January and we could actually be getting a head start on all the things that we would normally have to do, when things start growing faster than we can handle them. You may not think that there is much to do in the month of January but there is.
Here is a list of things you can be doing:
  • Repot houseplants as they outgrow current pots. If you see roots when you look at the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot, chances are it’s time to transplant.Transplanting into larger pots helps plants grow stronger and healthier.
  • Sketch garden plans, including what to grow, spacing, arrangement and number of plants needed.
  • Order seeds and plants from mail order catalogs or online retailers as early as possible for best selection. There are so many variates to pick from and it's a fun thing to do as a family.
  • Use your hand or a broom to gently brush away any heavy snow that may accumulate on shrubs before it freezes.
  • Fertilize spring-flowering bulbs as they break ground. Use an all-purpose granular fertilizer according to label directions, or apply a light dusting of compost. I like to try to use as much organic as I can.
  • You can also use this time to really catch up on some of the Bible studying that you may have let slip away from you during the busy Christmas season. Another great family activity!
  • Getting everything prioritized makes things so much easier, so take this slow time to prioritize those areas needed. 
  • Get organized in the tool shed, garage, attic, house or any place that maybe a little messy. This is one area that I really struggle in. I always straighten everything up with good extension to keep it that way. But as you can ask my wife, it just never seems to stay that way.
I am sure that if you are like me I have put off so much stuff that I have plenty to do. Just try to make a list, prioritize and get started.

Hello to all!

    I just wanted to start a Gardeners Blog to share some of my Ideas and experiments. I was raised on a farm and live in the city now. I was missing the farm and I knew that we could never afford a large farm again. So I thought "Why can't I farm the little plot of land God gave me in the city as much as I can".  Well last year I started a little raised garden and now I am going to expand it and in doing so I would like to share my experiences, ideas and disasters.
    One of the reasons I love to garden is because it is a time that I can spend with God and just have a quiet peaceful time. It also keeps me from going bonkers from all the hustle and bustle life throws our way. Some time's though it can get a little crazy when our new pup, that we got last year, tries to help me garden. Her name is Maple and she is a Springer Spaniel that likes to eat everything. I am sure you will get to know her and the rest of my friends and family as time goes on. My family and friends are all such blessings to me as well.
    I hope this will be a helpful and encouraging blog. There will be other things posted from time to time on other subjects (Biblical, encouragement, etc,)but I will always try to relate it to the Farming of  this little lot of land in the city! I hope you will enjoy and look forward to meeting new friends.