Saturday, March 21, 2009

We are moving!

Well, the doors have swung wide open for a move to Missouri from Ohio. I know pictures are important and I have them down below, but you have to go through the narrative first.

WARNING! Jesus Freak information follows. If you already don't like me because I'm a Christian or because I take the Bible literally, or maybe I've told you about how to get right with Jesus Christ and that He is the only way to Heaven, be warned. You'll be reading something that gives our Creator the glory He is due! Carrying on...

It's important to me as I told the Lord I wanted Him to have all the credit due to Him as this in NO WAY could have been done by us alone. You'll understand as you read this.

Okay, here's a teaser (it's so cool!!!). Here are aerial views from Google Maps of where we are and where we are going:

1. Where we are now, click HERE
2. Where we are going, click HERE

We were looking into moving three years ago to an area near this one in Missouri, but a few things happened that prevented us from going. One is that the Lord brought me into a right relationship with Him which turned my life upside down and so moving was the
last thing on my mind!

I've lived in the city almost all my life. Coming from the Bay Area in California and landing in Columbus Ohio, it's a huge desire of mine for me to live in the country. It's been such a learning experience for me as I've pondered and asked the Lord if I'm being selfish, whether we should be content where we are, or if it's okay to go and what He would like us to do there. Decisions like this are hard for me because for so many years, I heard false teachings from the Bible (well, from false teachers!) which says, "if you come to Jesus, He will give you stuff! You'll be amazed. He is all into health and wealth." That's a false gospel and sends many to destruction. However, God is good and sometimes blesses His children beyond belief. I can't always discern what He is doing because of the cult-like theology I was taught.

Anyway, I found after prayer, my heart was not content where we are here in Ohio and so God had to bring me to a place where He showed me the serious sin of idolatry and covetousnes. I was miserable, to say the least, and realized how much I needed His hand on me through a period of repentance. He finally got me there! And so I ended up leaving all of it in His hands (a BIG thanks to Dana and Angela on this too!), realizing His sovereignty in my life extends far beyond my salvation, making that narrow gate REALLY narrow! Not that it didn't creep up on me and I didn't worry about things or desire this new house badly, but Scripture would come to mind and one thing I held onto the last couple days is a famous word from John Piper which says, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."

It gave me time to sit and think, "Tamara, are you really satisfied in Him?" Do you need this house to be satisfied?" "Is it moving that will make a person satisfied?" The answers were No! I don't need anything but Him and He has promised me a better country when I go to be with Him anyway:

"But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:16)

It hasn't been such a roller coaster ride for my husband, Roger, as it has been for me, but he sure is pleased about where we are going. He hasn't wanted to move for a while now, but is now very interested in moving! He will be transferring his job to one in the city out in Missouri and he is doing a wonderful job packing, getting things prepared to go, and keeping my emotions a little more under control. This is a difficult move for my son though. He doesn't want to go, but knows he must and so we are trying to make the best of it. I enjoy him so much and hope he makes his home near us when he gets his own house, but I'm also leaving that up to the Lord.

We want to thank certain people who the Lord has used for this move. Jim and Dana who have worked constantly on finding a place for us. Jim is even taking his five vacation days to come out to help move us! Dana homeschools their three children and in the midst of all this, plus their home business, and Jim working full time, she has managed to do lots of picture taking, contacting owners of homes, and much, much more. The Lord has given her such faith that I've leaned on her many times for support in this. Thank you Jim and Dana! And Angela... oh my! She has been my rock on many occaissions through trials, times of repentance, frustrations, joy, and lots of prayer. I love you, Angela! You've taught me much. Mary Alyce has been such a support to us since my son has come home and is in full support of this move, thinking it's the best thing for our little family. She and I have committed to praying on the phone with each other on Fridays and I'll tell you, she is some lady! Pastor Tim and Becky have prayed and prayed (and prayed!) for us. Just knowing Tim trusts the Lord and His guidance for us, knowing that to me, seeking Christ and His plan for us is important has given me a sigh of relief as I want so much to be in God's will. He and Becky pray for us quite a bit and I know this has been on their hearts as they've sought our Lord. Thank you Pastor and Becky! Cindi, I know we will get to know each other better in the future, but I've got to say that the conversations we've had on the phone so far have proven to me that you are a very kind and gracious person and we look forward to taking care of your home and property. And thank you to all those who have prayed, who have supported us and forgive us if we have missed you in this post or if we have not communicated about this move earlier. It's been a long process, but going so quickly!

The Lord has given us more than we asked for in all this. Well, that's just like Him, now isn't it?! On my TOP 7 LIST was:

1. Living in the country,
2. Having neighbors more than 5 steps away from us (preferably a LOT more),
3. A little bit of land so I can garden much more than in Columbus,
4. Not too much more money than what we pay for the house we are renting now,
5. Within driving distance of a Lowe's for Roger's transfer,
6. At least 3 bedrooms, and
7. Near the Amish (great neighbors and resources!)

I know, I know, a biblical church should be on the list, but I figure we would drive if we had to in order to hear the word preached right and have good fellowship. The church we attend now is about a twenty minute drive anyhow.

So how did my good and gracious God do with my list? He basically threw it out and showed me HIS list with a "Tsk! tsk!" on His lips as He opened the floodgates of blessings and basically said:

1. Country? You want country, Tamara? I own cattle on a thousand hills. Have you forgotten this my beloved daughter? How does fourteen acres of land sound? (Me: I feel as little as Job in chapter 42)

2. Five steps between you and neighbors only? Ye of little faith. How is three or four football fields away for the closest neighbor? (Me: Okay Lord, that's totally fine with us!)

3. Fourteen acres; I own it all. You can use it, but be sure to take care of it. (Me: Oh yeah, You DO own it. I have to keep remembering that!)

4. You want to pay around the same amount for a house with FOURTEEN acres of land instead of the one you have now with NO land? Ha! How does $10 less per month sound? (Me: Uhhhh... yes, we can manage $10 less and put it toward Roger's gas money for commuting to work; thank you again.)

5. Done! And have Roger put in the transfer paperwork. There's some openings in Ozark for him to look at soon.

6. Three bedrooms isn't what I want for you, Roger, and Rick. The house will have four bedrooms and a second bathroom that you can finish up later. I will work with you on your debt in the next year so there will be an option to buy it in a couple years from Cindi. (Me: Oh my!! I've never owned a home. Are you sure? Ooops! Scratch that last part!)

7. You only want to be near the Amish? How about 1.5 miles down the road there will be an Amish store and the Menonites in town who you can buy your produce from that's organic? By the way, dear one, there's a co-op for food from farms near you. Oh, and also, I have wild berries that grow there, so you can have all the berries you like, and they are organic, just the way I made them! (Me: Mouth shut at this point.)

AS IF THAT'S NOT ENOUGH... He added to the whole thing by giving us a landlord who is super nice, will allow us to have animals like a HORSE on the land, let us fix up the place as we see fit, and she already has organic gardening beds done up where pesticides, herbicides, and especially Monsanto hasn't touched!

So here are some pictures... the first set are
where we live now in Ohio...

Front of the house (ours is the white one on the right... the neighbors are about 5 steps away):

4 views from our front door:

View from our living room window:

Back of house (ours is the white one... neighbors are so close, it's hard to close in on one house at a time):

Our backyard and views on both sides
(I was standing just outside the back door):

The street where we live now:

Front of the house garden. We split it with the guy who lives on the other side of the house. The picture shows our portion:

View of the alley behind our house where we park:

Winter in our front patio and back yards:

Believe me, I am really thankful for what the Lord has given us thus far with the house in Ohio. I'm not at all complaining and now I believe I would be content living here as I gave up my "dream" knowing He is good and whatever He does is good whether it FEELS good or not!

With that said, allow me to introduce my God's list of what He is allowing us to take care of in Missouri in picture form....

The front of the house (little girl not included!):

Some of the view:

Our nearest neighbor (about 1/5 of a mile away):

The swing (!!!) and garden in the back:

The driveway (which is 2/10 of a mile long and the mailbox is at the end!):

The nearest place of business which is 1.5 miles from our new home is below. It's a garage. There is an Amish store close by also:

The wrap around deck (goes from one side of the house to around the back):

More pictures of the house inside and out are HERE.

"Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in h
is mighty heavens!
Praise him for his m
ighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with t
rumpet sound;
praise him with l
ute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with s
trings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding symbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
raise the Lord
! - Psalm 150

- Tamara Slack


C.B. Shearer said...

Very cool Tamara, praying for you and Roger!

The Amish are unfortunately a very rich missions field, Mennonites seem better, but still have just as many tares in with the wheat as most churches.

Chris said...

I love what you wrote here, and especially the God-centered contentedness. Amen! But there still was an unanswered question: Where WILL you guys go to church? You don't want to assume that the churches within driving distance are Biblical. Good thing you can get cheap broadband where you are going, you can download Piper and Mahaney ;-)

You're doing what me and my wife are talking about now: Moving to the country. I've decided to work harder at the small spit of land the Lord has given for now. It's about as small as yours but enough for a few veggies. I've let it go in the past but now am convicted to make the most of it before we consider a move.

Hey, you'll be interested to know that sea water (salt and all) makes an amazing organic fertilizer because it has so many trace minerals which have been washing into the sea since the great flood. I wrote about this and some other very interesting organic growing methods here. Bought some tomato plants and will be testing each of these methods this year.

Your property is an amazing find. Praying that you find JUST the right fellowship where you're going!

Grace Abounds said...

Canyon -
Yeah, I don't know much about the Amish and Mennonites as far as what they believe. Do you? I know my friend Dana gives gospel tracts to everyone in town there and I will too of course. We'll see if we can strike up conversations there. I had one convo with an Amish guy who rode his buggy here in Columbus from up north in Ohio and I gave him a tract and he rushed after me (imagine an Amish guy kinda running after me lol)... he pulled out his biz card and gave it to me and we talked; he said they believe like Baptists. We went over some major doctrines and he was right on. Interesting to see if things differ within different communities ya know?

- Tamara

Grace Abounds said...

Chris -

Thanks for the links! I did the Square Foot Gardening last year and it was a major success! All organic and yummy. You know what's weird? I just started back eating sea salt for the mineral use and I'll tell you, I feel tons better. Well, even though we are moving, I seeded some broccoli, lettuce, beets, peas, etc. in yogurt cups and thought, "hmmm! I wonder if sea salt might help them out a bit?" And then voila! Here was your post on it.

I'm totally going to look into the other guy you gave me and the blog entry you wrote. Ahhh! More books to buy huh? If I had the money, I would definitely get the one on there that is the main one to learn veggie gardening. Have you read all of this guy's material? What do you find are some of the major strong points?

Yeah, I'm always listening to sermons so I'm fed lots and lots online, but I want to look for a SG church and I know where Dana and her husband attend / fellowship too. My theology is changing somewhat (oooh, that might not sound good... I've already been told I'm leaning toward heresy, but then again, I've been told that because I don't agree with decisional regeneration either!).

Hey if you ever have pics of what you and your wife are doing re: gardening, I'd love for you guys to share!

- Tamara

fisherwoman said...

Oh that is sooooooo wonderful to hear!! He is SO kind and good to us!! When??

We grew up semi-country, about 5 miles out of town w/ a few acres..but this looks good!

I think the Amish are mixed believers and non.sure you'll get to know them!

Rhonda said...

Tamara, What an Awesome and Mighty God we serve! He is full of mercy and His loving-kindness endures forever!

I am so happy for you and Roger. What a wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness. The house is beautiful and all the land to boot!! Wow! I know the

Lord has plans for you and Roger in Missouri. How very exciting!

We are praising God with you!
Rhonda Miller

PS. Chicken on the grill sounds great! Maybe some day?! Lord willing! =)

Chris said...

To help you save money on the gardening books, you can learn about 60-70% of what you need to know for Mittleider on their website. I purchased the all-in-one garden library which has every (or almost every) book/manual Mittleider produces, so it's extremely thorough and a good price.

I don't have the seawater book but I think you can skip it; I believe it's just a defense of the method and history of research. I learned a TON from and their competitor, (the latter two are the same company, different country). Application of the fertilizer is very simple so there really isn't much to learn except its benefits.

Now as for Dr. Mittleider, seems to me like he was a genius and also very knowledgeable (they don't always go together). I've read a significant portion of what he wrote and his strengths are that he thought outside the box. He basically figured out how to blend the best of hydroponics with the best of dirt gardening (mostly, the cost). His method's strengths seem to be centered around a several pieces not seen in most gardening manuals:
* The multi-mineral fertilizer
* The grow bed and its layout
* The scuffle hoe
* The place that you are told to water
* The vertical growing method
* Work with any soil, no tests needed

These unique pieces combine to make an outstanding method.

He was right to identify that plants need more minerals than the standard NPK. But I think he fell short of the full range. Some plants want *all* of the nutrients in the periodic table, which is where seawater fertilizer comes in. Being a Seventh-Day Adventist, he believed that the great flood washed all of the minerals into the sea, but he never followed up on the idea liked Dr. Murray did.

Also, not everything Mittleider recommended was organic, though the fertilizer technically is (it's just rock minerals). He recommends some synthetic fertilizers in his books, so take that with a grain of salt and use organic methods when available.

Mittleider was a super star in Russia, where he significantly helped the economy. He was so famous that recently there was a rise in persecution of churches. All churches were affected except the Seventh Day Adventists. They also turned the island nation of Tobago from a place where they were importing more than exporting; now they are exporting as far as Miami. So you can see that this has Kingdom potential; just imagine if a Sovereign Grace Ministries church had been the one to bring it to Russia!

So Dr. Mittleider's method looks great but as I mentioned in the article I want to try seawater together with it, along with other fascinating techniques. Read what you need from the Mittleider and seawater websites and buy the garden library CD if necessary. It really does have quite a bit of valuable info, but I think the website has enough for most people.

I've purchased 18 tomato plants for some semi-scientific tests of each type of fertilizer; Square Foot Gardening, Mittleider, Seawater, Mittleider+Seawater together, ordinary organic, ordinary commercial. I really feel that Mittleider+seawater will perform the best. Really going to try to blog about it, for the benefit of all.

"You know what's weird? I just started back eating sea salt for the mineral use and I'll tell you, I feel tons better."
Funny thing about that. People who have problems with table salt, doctors give them magnesium, potassium, etc. Guess what's in sea salt? Magnesium, potassium, etc. LOL God knew what he was doing.

There's a presentation on the Ocean Grown site that leads me to believe that malnutrition is contributing to many social problems. Now we know the root cause is sin, but sometimes satan plays our poor health like an organ to meet his whims.

John Piper said it like this: "If patience is a fruit of the Spirit, why is it I am more patient when I've had more sleep?" I think it may be because God intends we get good nutrition, and the best example of that was in the garden of eden: raw fruits and veggies (Genesis 1:29), grown from dirt that had just been drenched in seawater (Genesis 1:9). Poor nutrition CERTAINLY didn't cause Adam and Eve to fall, but being in poor health can certainly tempt us more severely than when not. So it all contributes together.

Anyway, I say all that because we all crave salt. Secular scientists believe that came from oceanic evolution but I think it may come from a lack of nutrients which sea salt contributes? The High Brix Gardeners said it this way: "Why won’t little Johnny eat his peas? They taste terrible. Little Johnny instinctively knows that sweet tasting peas are better while poor quality peas are instantly rejected. Have you ever eaten a 22 brix grape? Once you have you won’t forget the taste. A candy bar will be held in disdain by little Johnny compared to 22 brix grapes."


Unfortunately, using sea salt on your foods only contributes some; we do better consuming organic* minerals rather than the inorganic minerals found in sea salt. Hence, eating celery which is LOADED in sodium is not a problem for heart patients because it is an organic salt.

* When I say "organic" I mean "living," not "organic" as in -- no chemical pesticides. If I recall, organic minerals have carbon in them.

So I'm saying, sea salt is great, but it seems God intended we let the plant process it for us. Interesting, the plants produce our oxygen and probably are intended to process our salt as well.

Ocean Grown has a fascinating presentation that provided a lot of "aha!" thoughts for me on this subject; check it out. Also, here's Mittleider's free ebook.

"I don't know much about the Amish and Mennonites as far as what they believe."
Me either, but I've known people who do, and I think Canyon is right. While we might believe them to be more spiritual people, those who know them said often there is serious corruption and self-righteousness. Gee, where have I seen this before? Good thing Tamara is going to them! They have the perfect standard of God's Law, I wonder if they've met it?? ;-)

"I want to look for a SG church"
Oh cool!

"My theology is changing somewhat"
In what direction?

By the way, Jeff is going to be signing off on the radio show :-( I may continue or I may not, I don't know, still praying. I would love to, but I have to see what King Daddy says.

We want to do one more show together on the Gifts of the Spirit. I recently heard Sam Storms (author of Convergence: Spiritual Journeys of a Charismatic Calvinist) when he came to speak at a SG church. You can hear those messages here. The first 45 minutes are definitely worth hearing; He gave 12 bad reasons to believe the gifts have ceased, and 12 good reasons to believe they continue, with the first good reason being "the first 12 bad reasons not to believe" hahaha. He really nailed it; I'm afraid I cannot see any credibility in the cessationist case after that sermon.

"I've already been told I'm leaning toward heresy, but then again, I've been told that because I don't agree with decisional regeneration either!"
Hahahha... everywhere you go you make enemies Tamara. Maybe you shouldn't move ;-)

"Hey if you ever have pics of what you and your wife are doing re: gardening, I'd love for you guys to share!"
Oh yeah great thanks for asking! I just worked on me garden yesterday for the first time, wish I'd have captured some "before" pics.

You too... get us some pics on your blog!

Grace Abounds said...

Betty, Rhonda, and Chris,

I have had so much to do and we have so little time that I haven't taken the time to write back. So sorry!!! Betty and Rhonda, you have to figure out how to come visit :)


I have so much to write to you about. I had mild heart palps reading all that stuff on the gardening *faint* What a wealth of information and how excited I am to dig into all this!!! I wish I could sit and read 24/7 about gardening and then do it. We will be in MO around the 18th or 25th and I have little seedlings I'm bringing with me, but boy, I think I need to really be planting some stuff! Anyway, wanted to shoot out a quick "thanks!" for all the help / links. I will get back to the rest of your post later...

Because of His grace,