Life and Godliness: A DEVOTIONAL

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The Apostle Peter says that God has “given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness…” (II Peter 1:3). In other words, we have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. God has given to us all that we need to know about life and godliness.

What a timely passage for this mixed-up and ungodly nation!

The first thing to capture our attention here is that God is a giver. He is not a TAKER, but a GIVER. Some people are only takers. They are happy with us so long as we allow them to remain takers. Some children excel in the matter of taking from their parents, but are selfish pigmies in giving to them.

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Nature of Disease

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 We just picked ten bushels of beautiful tomatoes, on October 25, and the plants are loaded with blooms and green ones. Compare this to last year when there was not one tomato by the middle of August. It makes one wonder about the nature of disease.

When an organism and its environment are not integrated, synchronized or well organized, specific organs malfunction. Health prevails when life forces are in the preferred element. Ecological stress disorganizes the stream of life.

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Southeastern Biodynamic Association

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A flurry of activity ensued around the end of September, as we once again turned the cabin into a conference center. The living room became a dining hall and lecture room, and the whole house got a good cleaning. Pumpkins and gourds dotted the corners of the yard and an outdoor kitchen materialized.

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Winter Squash

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Winter squash comes in a wide variety of shapes and colors. They ripen and are harvested about the time the summer squash peters out.  With their hard shells, creamy texture and sweet flavor, winter squash are as different from summer squash as…. Winter is from summer.

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Solar Power Electricity

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Solar powered electricity has come to Red Boiling Springs. A roof full of panels sit on an old brick building on Hwy 56, about half-way between the stop sign and downtown. I am partnering with Tri-County to generate clean energy.

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Pumpkins

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As fall approaches on the farm, we gather in the pumpkins. I’ve experimented with many varieties, and settled on this one. It’s called the Old Time Tennessee Pumpkin. A local family gave me a start many years ago, and when it’s fed to livestock they call it the Cow Pumpkin or Hog Pumpkin.

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Basil

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Sweet basil fills up a long row in the garden. I eat it with tomatoes, but until a few years ago that’s all I ever used it for. Now, thanks to my Italian friends, I know what to make with it- pesto.

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UNDERSTANDING THE PLIGHT OF OTHERS

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A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.

“Mister,” he said, “I want to buy on of your puppies.”

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When he Pares Pairs of Pears

When he pares pairs of pears you know something sweet is in the air. They are hanging high in the trees, surrounded by bees, and I’d love another one, please. And when the crop drops we should stop what we’re doing and bop to the top of the orchard hill.

Pears ripen quickly and we picked up a few baskets that had already fallen. That was on Sunday, and Monday afternoon I planned on harvesting them. But first I had to plant turnips, mustard, and a crimson clover cover crop, which took until Tuesday. 

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The Urge for Revenge

When the poet Edwin Markham reached retirement age, thinking he was set for life, he discovered he was penniless. So the story goes, his banker had defrauded him. From that point on he was obsessed with the evil done to him by a man who was suppose to be his friend.

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No Tennis Shoes for PE

Recently, in a county and a school system not to far from Nashville, a little girl was made stay in her room because she didn’t have tennis shoes for her P.E. class. Our granddaughter attends the same school, and was upset when her classmate told her she didn’t have shoes for PE, and that the flip flops she had on was all she had. Our granddaughter went home and told her mother, who in action called the teacher and learned that the little girl was from a poor family. Our granddaughter sent a new pair of tennis shoes too the little girl.

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Fall Gardens

As the summer garden wanes, a whole new garden can be planted for the fall. After the potatoes were dug, we bush hogged the weeds and ran the rebreaker through the field. Cucumbers, summer squash and sweet corn patches also got the same treatment. I don’t want to grow weeds when there are so many other choices.

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“There are two things money can’t buy- Love and Homegrown Tomatoes”

An old saying goes “there are two things money can’t buy- love and homegrown tomatoes.” The climax of the summer garden is the gushing forth of the tomato crop. If you garden eight acres, like we do, or just eight square feet, it’s likely you are growing this favorite vegetable.

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The High Cost of Low Living

We hear countless remarks today about the high coast of living. However, we fail to hear enough and warn of the high cost of low living.

Benjamin Franklin once observed, “What maintains one vice would bring up two children.” Stop right here! Don’t read another word of this issue of Viewpoints until you have pondered seriously Franklin’s statement.

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Watermelons

Everything seems to be ripening quickly this summer. Apples are weeks ahead, along with sweet corn and peppers. But, best of all, we don’t have to wait til mid-August for everyone’s favorite treat. Yes, the watermelons are in.

“No way” I said when asked if they were ripe yet. For the better, I was wrong again. I slipped my knife in deep and she cracked wide open, dripping sweet juice all over my face. We love watermelons.

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Corn & Potatoes

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Until 500 years ago the old world relied on small grains for their sustenance. Tiny seeds that had to be threshed out of the plants to provide something they could store and eat later. Then along came two plants which were far easier to harvest because they were big: corn and potatoes.

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Sowing Squash

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Successively sowing summer squash seeds surely secures a supply of squash and a successful season. We start in May and two months later planted the last three rows. Little ones are sprouting up as the old ones bite the dust.

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Standing for Something

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Two elderly men were discussing the lack of standing for something today, and one of them quoted an old staying, “There’s nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow line and dead possums,” if that is the case, then the yellow lines and dead possums must be growing. To take a stand today on moral issues based upon “right” and “wrong” is to immediately become unpopular. Our entire population, at least at times, seems to be searching for “middle ground,” and as a result few are standing for anything.

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Pole Bean

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Pole bean need to be staked. We’re growing two varieties this year, Kentucky Wonder and the Purple Variety that Ed and Margaret gave us many years ago. I like picking pole beans because I don’t like the bending over that bush beans require.

Along the garden’s deer fence is a good place to grow them. We lean sticks up against the fence and the plants quickly send up their runners. It amazes me how a climbing plant sends out tendrils and knows where to go, and how quickly they find the poles. By the time we finish staking the row, the first plants are already wrapping around the stakes.

We use two kinds of stakes. Eight foot long poles that are an inch by an inch are all the beans need to grow on. A local sawmill cut them for us, out of ash lumber. Poplar or soft maple won’t last as long as ash or oak.

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The Inconvenience of Poverty

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An Old Danish proverb says: “It’s no disgrace to be poor, but it can be inconvenient.” I’m sure many could testify to the validity of this proverb. It’s never convenient to sit in a house where the electricity has been cut off for lack of payment. Things become so inconvenient. While the top dogs enjoy all the convenience made possible by a good income, the underdogs suffer the inconvenience of poverty. Incidentally, some of us may be in darkness before we know it. Electric bills don’t just go up once a year. Thanks to the mismanagement of TVA, they are increased quarterly.

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