Brrr…it’s cold outside

It is cold outside. We’ve been in the crosshairs for about a week or so for some decent cold weather. We have a ton of ice from last week, 3” of snow from yesterday, and the weather folks are calling for another 3”-6” of snow today.  To make it even more fun, the windchill this week is supposed to be around -40.  If you’re curious what we do with the animals when it’s that cold, or are just curious about what’s been happening on the farm, check out the video below.

Also, as we distribute a lot of lamb to people in our community, I tend to get a ton of questions about how to cook lamb.  Well, you’re in luck because I love to cook lamb.  It’s one of my favorite meats (next to bacon) that I like to cook.  So, I thought that I would share with you one of my favorite lamb recipes. It’s right below the video.

Have a great day and God bless!  Stay warm!

 

Scottie’s Lamb Sliders

This meal is a favorite meal for my family.  I developed this recipe when I was looking at recreating a White Castle slider, but healthier.  After lots of trial and error (and some help from Big Red Kitchen*, link is below), we hit on this. The lamb, combined with the spices and the blue cheese, is very tasty. If done right, it tastes like a gourmet burger from a high-end burger shop. To mix it up a bit, consider adding bacon to the top of the lamb and serving with avocado.

About the lamb we raise

Lamb is considered lamb if it is less than a year old when it is processed.  The older the lamb, the more sheepy it will taste.  People that have had lamb, and don’t like it, usually had lamb that wasn’t seasoned well, or it was too old and considered mutton.  Garlic, Rosemary, and Sage don’t just obscure a strong sheep taste but accentuates the good flavors while reducing and removing the bad flavors that most people don’t like.  So, make sure to season this dish. You’ll thank me.  Also, lamb is naturally fatty.  I usually don’t add olive oil to the pan before I add the onions. However, if you are using a lean cut of meat, you may need to add a ¼ cup of olive oil to help the meat cook.

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground lamb

Large Red Onion very thinly sliced and chopped divided in half

4 oz crumbled blue cheese

4 T Paprika divided in half

2 T Rosemary divided in half

2 T Garlic powder divided in half

1 T rubbed sage divided in half

½ cup Worcestershire Sauce divided in half

Salt and pepper to taste

Slider buns

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Put half the onion in a 9×11 glass pan and spread evenly.
  3. Sprinkle half of the Worcestershire Sauce, paprika, rosemary, rubbed sage, and garlic powder over the onions.
  4. Pat the lamb into ¼”-½” patties and press into the pan. When you are finished putting the lamb into the pan, the bottom of the pan should be completely covered.
  5. Spread the remaining half of the onion over the top of the lamb.
  6. Sprinkle remaining half of the Worcestershire Sauce, paprika, rosemary, rubbed sage, and garlic powder over the onions.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes. Because the lamb is ground, you don’t want any pink in the meat.
  9. Once the lamb is done, pour the fat off and throw the fat away.
  10. Spread the crumbled blue cheese over the cooked lamb and place back in the over for ~5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  11. Cut the lamb into small squares about the size of your slider buns and serve right away.

*link to Big Red Kitchen (https://bigredkitchen.com/2009/06/white-castle-like-sliders-a-how-to/)

Blessing Day

I tried to post this yesterday, but had some IT issues. I tried my tech support (Gretel the Pug) but all she did was to demand a cookie. So, I am trying again this morning. Lets see how this goes.

~Scottie

__________

Today is blessing day! Not only that, but we are also announcing the honey give away results!

First the honey give away results … Lindsay Kinsey is the lucky winner of the honey and the lip balm. Congratulations Lindsay!

On the Farm, Blessing day is the culmination of a years worth of labor on the farm. This is the day were we distribute the fruits of our labor, give food to the hungry, and show the love of Jesus Christ to our community.

Check out the video for more information and to see a special guest appearance by my dear brother Dewayne Braxton!

A Tour of the Farm

Greetings from the Farm!  I pray that everyone had a blessed and fun Thanksgiving!

Exciting news!  I am giving away a pound and half of honey and some chap-stick this week.  In order to be eligible for the giveaway, in Facebook, just like this video and then share this post on Facebook.  The deadline to enter is December 2nd at 11:59 PM.  On December 3rd I will randomly select a winner.  If the winner is within ~50 miles of Farm, I can deliver the honey and chap-stick. If the winner is further away, you will be responsible for shipping costs.

That said, check out the video, enjoy the tour, and join us in this exciting ministry!

Check out our Website!

Send us a message!

Donate and Support the Farm!

 

It’s official!

God is good! Our ministry is expanding and we are now a 501(c)3! Check out the video* below to see what we are up to.

Tax deductible donations can be made at…

A dozen eggs, a pound of honey, and a pound of meat.

or…

Donate and Support the Farm!

*side note. Did you know that when you record on Facebook, the image is flipped. Yeah, we didn’t either. When I showed a map of Michigan, it was backwards. So was our website. Pretty funny.

Farm Skills Classes are starting up!

Greetings from Merrywhether Farm! It’s a new year and we have some fun new stuff happening here at the farm!

In addition to our monthly Farm Days, we’re adding a Christ centered Farm-skills class. If you’ve ever considered Bee Keeping, raising chickens and turkeys, shepherding sheep and goats, or raising your own hogs, then this is a great opportunity for you! Not only will you get to interact with the livestock, but you will also learn about Christ centered faith and what it means to put your faith into action.

Classes start in April and will meet twice a month. Days and times are to be determined.

There will be a time commitment, beyond the twice a month classes, and depending on your farm interest. Space is limited.

If you’re interested, please contact Scottie or Victoria through our Facebook farm page or you can email us at merrywhetherfarm@gmail.com.img_4103

God Provides

It’s easy to say, “God will provide,” but harder to believe it until after it happens.

Yesterday, a local farmer baled our hay. We knew it would rain that night, and hay can’t be rained on or it will be ruined. We planned ahead, told the farmer to push the loads into the barns and we’ll shut the door and stack another day.


His equipment was too tall and the barn doors too low.


Suddenly, we had to stack all the hay that night, or we would lose the entire crop.


I panicked – the task was impossible for the two of us to accomplish alone. Who would help us at such short notice? What if no one came? What if we lost all the hay? We would have paid for hay and gotten nothing, we would have no food for the animals over winter and have to buy hay, we would have to dispose of hundreds of heavy bales of hay that were rained on and useless.

God will provide. He always does.

But I jumped to the worst case instead. I didn’t need to.

An hour after I had my ‘worst case scenario’ moment, a team of six people joined us stacking – some we knew, some were strangers willing to help. We got everything in the barn before the rain, with an hour to spare.

It is easy to look back and say, “Yes, God provided.” Clearly he did!

For me, it was impossible for me to think about what lay ahead and say, “God will provide.”

I didn’t follow Jesus’ words in Luke 12. V22 “…Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…v25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”

Jesus says that God clothes the grass in the field which is here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow (or in our case, in the field one day, baled, and stacked in a barn the next), but that we are much more valuable.

Shame on me; I didn’t believe him.

God is full of grace: he provided anyway. Thank goodness he is patient, or he would have given up on me, on all of us, a long time ago.

Do you believe God will provide? How do you act on it?

–Victoria

Peaks and Valleys

Ever notice how life, how faith, is filled with peaks and valleys? When you’re on the peak, you can see the horizon, the air is clear, your world is full of life, and joy imbues every aspect of what you do. When you’re in the valley, its not bright and sunny like the peak. Life crowds in and, at times, threatens to overwhelm you. You seem beset by life and trials. We tend to love the peaks and struggle in the valleys.    

The above truth is true for you and for us. The last Farm Day was awesome. We had a great meal, lots of laughter, enjoyed teaching about Jesus and His love for us, and loved watching people enjoy what God provided. The next day, we were able to meet some friends in Chicago and enjoy the Chicago Art Museum. It was a lot of fun and a great time. This was one of our peaks. Watching our Lord move, resting in what He has given for us to enjoy, worshiping Him with our hearts and hands. 


 The following few weeks though were, have been, and are a struggle. While we were in Chicago, our air conditioner leaked and flooded our bedroom. We ended up with water damage and a mold problem. An old friend passed away. My pug was bitten by a spider and almost died. One of our kittens was killed. Our coop was raided by raccoons and we lost 2 chickens. (Technically though, it happened before the farm day) Then, to add some extra icing to the last couple of weeks, I was injured sending sheep to the butcher and now have to have surgery for a torn rotator cuff. We are exhausted. We feel spent. This is a decent little valley. Full of feeling financial strain, physical pain, frustration, and fear.   

Here’s the deal. It’s easy to watch God when you are on the peak. However, It’s hard to look for Him in the valley. On the peak, we can see Him. Our hearts are aligned with His Heart. Our minds and spirits see Him clearly. In the valley, we get distracted. The unknown grabs us. The hurts, worries, and unknown future call to us. We take our eyes off of God. It’s easy to do. We are all guilty of doing it too. When we put our eyes and hearts on the valley, then we aren’t looking to God. We are looking to ourselves and our ends. It is then that we begin to sink. It is then that we feel the water and waves wash over us. It is then that we fear. 

Oh how much like Peter am I. I feel full of fire…then the trial comes and I realize how much of my fire was from me versus Christ’s flame.

Peter walked on the water. He went out on the waves. He gazed upon our Lord and sank. But when he sank, Jesus was there. When Peter pulled his eyes off of the Son of God, he sank. Yet Jesus was there. When Peter sank, Jesus lifted him up and loved him. Chided him, “Oh you little of faith…why did you doubt?”, and loved him. 

Peter walks on the water

When you are walking hand in hand with Christ, and you exit the valley, you realize it was in the valley that you saw God move. It was in the valley that you tasted God’s goodness, His grace, His mercy. It was in the valley that you learn to lean on Him, trust Him, and replace your sputtering internal fire with His unquenchable flame.

Praise God for the valleys. Relish Him on the peaks and worship Him regardless of where He leads you. God is so good. He will never leave us or forsake us. 

He will never forsake us  

Thank you Lord Jesus for this valley! May it be here that we see You, Hear you, know You, and love You!

 

Sheep Run Amok

Blog for May 26, 2016 


When Jesus says we are like sheep, it’s no compliment.

Scott and I raise sheep and recently built a new paddock for them to graze in. For the first few days everything was great. The sheep had lots of grass, access to shelter and water; life was good.

Then they started to escape.

First a sheep knelt down and crawled under the fence. We caught her and fixed that fence.

Then a sheep stood on the fence to eat leaves off a tree, which smashed the fence to half its original height, and a sheep hopped over. We caught him and fixed that fence.

Then they smashed through the fence and tore it off its post. We caught them all…

…and haven’t fixed the fence yet.  

It is a sobering analogy to our relationship with Jesus. “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures…” (Psalm 23:1-2). When I led my sheep to green pastures, they ran amok and caused me extra work. When Jesus has you lie down in green pastures, do you accept the gift he has given, or do you squander it?

Psalm 23New International Version (NIV)

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me  all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

2 Cor 5:7-For we walk by Faith and not by sight.

I get a daily devotion from the father, and his friend, of a close friend at work.  Al Green and John Kesting.  Al and John put together a great devotion and, often, the devotion speaks directly to our daily life.  With permission, I am posting their devotion from last Thursday.

How often, throughout life, do we believe only that which we can see and touch?  How often, do we eschew anything that speaks of blind faith?  The world tells us that there is no God, that He does not touch our lives, or that He cannot impact the physical.  However, the bible tells us, AND I will tell you that the world is telling you a lie.  It wants to steal your joy, your peace, your deliverance.

My dear sweet wife suffered for years with an “incurable” paralysis of her stomach. She was on a liquid diet for years.  The doctors told us that her disease was incurable and that we should make plans for a feeding tube.  During our darkest times, as we prepared for her death, Satan would whisper “God doesn’t care” or “God can’t heal”.  It was easy to be distracted and to listen to the voices, to surrender to despair.  However, God is light and He doesn’t give up on us.  In Deuteronomy, we are told that God “will never leave us or forsake us”.  He doesn’t.  By God’s hand, and in answer to prayer, He healed Victoria’s stomach and delivered her from a very slow painful death at the hands of gastroparesis.  Don’t sell yourself, or God short.  Trust in Him and walk forward.

Al and John, Thank you.

Scott

 

Saints

‘For we walk by Faith and not by sight.’ 2 cor 5:7

I am painting at my son’s house. He is on the road with his job and is never at home, so my daughter-in-law and my wife have decided , since I am old and retired and have nothing to do, that I could work around her house, getting odd jobs accomplished. I started painting an iron porch railing a week or so ago (a job that would take a professional a 1/2 day is taking me a week). I scraped off old paint off the rail, and sanded with a wire brush. It turned out so nice that I decided to put on a coat, then 2 coats, of primer ( yea, I know, I didn’t need to do all that). So all that took place all this week. But today, I promised, I would finish the job, and actually paint the thing like I should have done a week ago.

But,alas, rain was predicted, but I went ahead anyway. I was about 1/2 done painting with the finish coat, and lo, here comes the sprinkles!! I said ‘Lord, I need about another 1 hr of dry weather to finish this job( latex paint needs about 10 minutes to dry enough as to not run off when wetted). Can you accommodate?’ He said, in my spirit, I did not hear an audible voice, ‘sure, you got it’. So I took Him ( actually his Spirit witnessing to my spirit), at His word, for He HAS NEVER LET ME DOWN BEFORE, and proceeded to continue to finish the job, ignoring what looked like certain rain any minute. And just as I started to paint again, again more sprinkles, this time a little harder. I said, ‘whoa Lord! The winds is picking up from the south west, it sure looks like rain any minute. I better quit’. He said, ‘walk by faith, not by sight’. I said, ‘your the Boss’. So I pressed on. About that time the sun literally came out for a moment and a fine dry wind picked up, drying to touch the paint I had applied. I finished applying, and every thing worked out just fine. I even had time to hit a few touch up places, clean my brush, and put up all my tools . In fact, it still hasn’t started raining yet.

Thank You Lord!

‘Now, really’, one might say, ‘Do you mean to tell me the the Lord of the universe, with all He has to do, took time out and held up the rain just for you?’

Sure, He love me. And He will do the same for you too. In big things, like sickness, depression, fear, apathy – he doesn’t want His children dealing with those things- or small things, He wants us in Faith, believing His promises, of love, joy, peace, strength, power, and blessing – and all for His glory. Just like Jesus told Catherine Marshall, as He appeared to her in answer to her prayer for a cure for her TB, ‘Relax, there is nothing here I cant handle’.

Now, one might also say ‘how does Him holding off the rain just for you glorify Himself?’ Well, I am able to tell you about it, aka witness – aren’t I ? Look what our Lord has done for me, when I stepped out in Faith. And He will do it for you as well. He loves you just like He loves me. He will honor your faith just the same. Praise to you gracious Lord, for you will never leave nor forsake us. AND ALL WHO TRUST IN YOU SHALL NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED. AMEN!

Yours In Jesus. His Father – Our Father- is a Gooooooooooooood God!

John and Al

PS. Great Daily! Beware of the Amalekites – (http://www.blackaby.net/ Search April 22nd) ‘The Amalekites continually sought to hinder the progress of God’s people and to rob them of God’s blessing’, aka, just like those things that deter us from believing God’s promises and acting in faith on them. They will always try to dissuade you away from faith to thinking and acting ‘practically’!

Psalm 34

1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.2 My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad.3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.4 I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.5 They looked to Him and were radiant; their faces shall never blush for shame or be confused.6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.7 The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe] and each of them He delivers. 8 O taste ( jwk – for yourself…) and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him. 9 O fear the Lord, you His saints [revere and worship Him]! For there is no want to those who truly revere and worship Him with godly fear.