Planting the 'Earlies'.....Yipee!

Before we leave for our holiday.....IF the flights decide to take off in time!... the Builder and his Brothers had some work to do. First they ploughed this patch.

The Builder is driving the tractor.

That's the difficult job. Obviously.
The Builder's Big Brother, and the Builder's Baby Brother are helping.
My Baby, Calum Stewart, is the gaffer.

After the ploughing, the ground was harrowed

We (notice the Royal 'we' - you do understand 'I' am involved. Mmmm) had to remove stones and smooth the ground off.

All ready to plant these. Early potatoes.

Production line

Notice how the three of them work in total harmony.
Notice also the 'gaffer' making sure they're not slacking off. You just can't trust these big boys.

Ploughing MY plot. Yes!!

This was a bonus. The manure we (there's that 'we' again!) put on a couple of weeks ago is now well and truly mixed in. I can't wait to start planting. Can't wait!


The Builder and D.R. were working the other day in Harris. Here are some photos they took en route.

Sunrise over Loch Seaforth

Loch Seaforth

You can possible see the run rigs in the background. This was a system of furrows for planting potatoes that was used in the past - in the Outer Hebrides and in other parts of Scotland and Ireland. Boy, it was tough for them, surviving in these parts.

There are actually four villages in the range of this photo! The photo is taken from Ath Linne, and before you reach the 'end' of the photo, you will have passed through Bogha Glas, Ard a' Mhulaidh and Scaladail. They don't believe in packing the people into their villages in Harris!

This photo is taken on the way up the Clisham - the highest hill in Harris.
At the bottom, just on the other side of the loch, you can see Ard a' Mhulaidh Castle
(it's the large white house)

A typical Harris village.

The terrain in Harris is totally different to where we live in Lewis. Our land is flat; much of their land is rocky, hilly, rugged. In a word - beautiful.


The Shorter Catechism

Catherine and Katie with their (beloved!) Catechisms yesterday
Here are the two girls finishing their revision of the Shorter Catechism, ready for their final recitation of all 107 of them.

They have now done it!!! Learnt them all. Recited them all.

The Shorter Catechism is an amazing collection of questions and answers covering all aspects of Biblical doctrine.

The first question is:

Q1. What is the chief end of man?
A: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.

If only they were all this easy to learn!

Here is an example of another catechism:

Q96. What is the Lord's Supper?
A: The Lord's Supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ's appointment, His death is showed forth, and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of His body and blood, with all His benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.

Here is a link to the Shorter Catechism, and when I get switched on to this technology business, I will show a .... a.... thingymajig.... on the side of my blog showing a different catechism every day.

So much to learn....so little time.

I'm sure I heard someone say that already in the past day or so.

Shipping Update

In the past 24 hours, we have had quite a number of ships passing. Some have crossed the Atlantic and are heading to various parts of Northern Europe. For others, we are the last land they'll see until they reach the shores of North or Central America.

I'll give the name of the ship, where they are heading, and where they have come from. Calum spent some time yesterday afternoon looking at GoogleEarth, and at a globe, tracing the journeys of some of the boats. Who says you need a classroom to teach Geography?!

Maybe you and yours will have some fun looking up some of these places. I intentionally did not put the names of the countries with the destinations. How many countries would you guess just from the spellings? Isn't language fascinating?!

The Olympic Miracle passed heading for Cristobal, Panama.
It sailed from Kaliningrad.

The Aegean Faith passed heading for Houston, Texas.
It sailed from Teesport.

The Santa Maria passed heading for Puerto, Bolivar.
It sailed from St Petersburg.

The Bro Alma passed heading for Mongstad, Russia.
It sailed from Dublin.

The Montreal Express passed heading for Montreal.
It sailed from Antwerp.

The Green Cooler passed heading for Las Palmas.
It sailed from Sirevaag.

The United Treasure passed heading for Norfolk, VA.
It sailed from Hamburg.

They say it's a small world. It may be, but it's fascinating too.

And He has the whole world in His hands.

Who go to sea in ships, and in
great waters trading be,
Within the deep these men God's works
and His great wonders see.

For He commands, and forth in haste
the stormy tempest flies,
Which makes the sea with rolling waves
aloft to swell and rise.

They mount to heav'n, then to the depths
they do go down again;
Their soul doth faint and melt away
with trouble and with pain.

They reel and stagger like one drunk,
at their wit's end they be:
Then they to God in trouble cry,
who them from straits doth free.

The storm is changed into a calm
at His command and will;
So that the waves with raged before,
now quiet are, and still.

Then are they glad, because at rest
and quiet now they be:
So to the haven He them brings,
which they desired to see.

O that men to the Lord would give
praise for His goodness then,
and for His works of wonder done
unto the sons of men!

Psalm 107: 26-31 (Scottish Psalter)



It has been pointed out to me - by my kids - that the 'eater-of-my-daffodils' to which I referred in the Day on the Croft post with "she is gorgeous, isn't she" is not a 'she' at all.

Apparently, it's quite easy to tell.

I did tell you I had some way to go before I was fully croftified.

Croftify: verb The process by which a person becomes knowledgeable in all aspects of crofting life, including animal welfare (and, indeed, animal recognition)

Just check Oxford English Dictionary, latest edition. As in, the one yet to be...editioned. You can look that word up too if you really have nothing else to do.


Granny's Visits and Tidying the House

CS: Is Granny coming over today?
Me: No, darling, not today.
CS: So why are you tidying the house?
Me: Gulp. Looking slightly aghast.... Do I only tidy the house if Granny's coming over?
CS: Well..... yes.

Really??!! Can this be true? I think about it, and come to the conclusion that I have 3 options.

1. Stop tidying the house the day Granny is coming over.
2. Start tidying the house much more often than just when Granny is coming over.
3. Tell poor Granny that this is the impression she's giving our kids - that she must have a tidy house before her when she comes to visit.

The problems with the above options:
1. If I don't tidy the house when Granny is coming......well, you know.
2. This is just not an option.
3. 'Poor' Granny would be delighted that she has this effect on me. And she would hope this feeling of a need to tidy the house would rub off on the youngsters.

Maybe Option 4 is my only choice.
4. Leave things as they are, hoping that
a) Granny will not come over too seldom. The house wouldn't cope.
b) Granny will not start coming over too often.. I wouldn't cope.


A Day on the Croft

We had a beautiful day today. The sun shone all day. This is the Isle of Lewis, and so, a day of sunshine is worth posting about.

This morning, we looked out to see this.

Now, I know we don't have much of a garden to talk of, but I still don't appreciate our few daffodils being had for breakfast.

Having said that, she is gorgeous, isn't she?

But there was more.....lots more going on on the croft this beautiful Spring day.

First the Builder and eldest son, DR, went to the croft beside us to......

...rake up some dung.....

(I had some photos, which appear to have been deleted and lost. Maybe that's for the best.)

The cowpats were duly spread on our vegetable plot. Yes, yes, I know it's all good for the soil; I know the minerals etc in the .... dung.... aids my veg, and for that I'm most grateful.... But (you just knew there was gonna be a 'but') there is something about all
that ...dung... sitting there in our lovely plot that is slightly unnerving.

Clearly, I have a little way to go before I am fully 'croftified'. Or certified. Or something like that.

Our friends were over with us for the day. Their kids are adorable, and they were allowed to see our museum exhibits. Okay, our tractor. It's probably as old as the Builder himself. But these kids got to drive it too. They had a ball.

Here they are with our eldest, DR. I told you they were adorable.

Of course, the lambs kept a-coming. Daughters, Catherine and Katie, are always on hand with their uncle, the Builder's Big Brother.

I've told you all before how I feel about lambs. The gory stuff is.....well.....gory. It is NOT my scene. My kids, on the other hand, are naturals.

I can assure you that this is the LEAST gory of the photos Catherine took. Suffice to say that the other photos...... no, I don't think I'll go there.
Here's Katie helping with the feeding.

But aren't they gorgeous after a day or two.
To round off the day, I planted some of these.
Aaahhh, that felt good.

When you are surrounded by nature, and by the beauty of God's creation, it takes a blindness beyond comprehension to believe the fairytale of evolution.

'O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches' Ps 104v24

'The fool has said in his heart, There is no God' Ps 14v1

A Greater than Solomon...

Here is my recommendation for today. I do hope you enjoy this sermon, speaking of the wonder that the Queen of Sheba experienced whilst visiting King Solomon.

And a greater than Solomon is here. He is our Lord. He is our King. He is our all and in all. Jesus Christ, our Saviour. We run out of names for Him. We run out of descriptions for Him. Little wonder that in the end, all we can say is, 'He is altogether lovely'.

The sermon was preached by Rev Dr David Murray, a Scot (therefore, good!) who is now lecturing in the PRTS in Michigan. When he left our island, it was your gain in the US, but it was definitely our loss over here. We still feel such sadness, and yet we know that God has placed him in that seminary for a reason.

Happy listening! And God bless


A Powerful Sermon

The man's glory is that he is the head.
His humility is that without the woman, he is not complete.

The woman's glory is that she, and only she, can give this completeness to her husband
Her humility is that she was made for him

As a woman, as a wife, I find this so beautiful.

God has given me the unspeakable privilege of giving completeness to my husband. What a privilege we, as wives, have, and what grace we need to fulfill this duty.

The union of husband and wife speaks of the union between Christ and His bride, and so, all our actions within that context speak of Christ. This is a bold statement, but I believe it is true. If I honour my husband, my actions speak of me, a believer, honouring her Saviour; if I show reverence to my husband, it speaks of the church showing reverence to Christ.

When my husband shows sacrificial love to me, his actions speak of Christ's love to His bride; when he guides and leads me, he speaks of Christ, our Guide and Shepherd.

On the other hand, if I am treating my husband with contempt, my actions also speak. They speak a lie, because they depict the relationship between Christ and His bride as a contemptuous one. If my husband is unfaithful, he speaks of an unfaithful Christ. What a lie!

How great our responsibility then. What sermons our children see every day, when they see us together. Do our lives speak the truth of Christ and all He is to His bride? Or do they speak lies of our Saviour? I pray the former would be true.

(These thoughts are taken from a series of lectures on Marriage and the Family, by Dr J Beeke, and can be found here.)


Another sermon to listen to

Another recommendation....

Resurrection Benefits for Paul

I have listened to this sermon many times, and I never tire of it. If any of you feel inclined, please drop in to the comments section and write down something from the sermon that really spoke to you, or touched you. I'd love to hear what others appreciate in the sermon. And when we have a few comments, I'll add my own.

Every blessing whilst you listen....

Our Beach

This is 'our' beach, with the Atlantic waves rolling in. Can you see the hole in the rock, almost at the tip of the rock?

Legend has it that when the Vikings came to Lewis first, they liked the island so much they tried to tow it back 'home'. I like the story. I like it because I like the Vikings and I like that they liked this island.

I like the Vikings because they decided to stay and so we have tall, handsome Norsemen here to this day.

I have no idea what gene pool I come from. It was certainly not the Viking one. Pity.

Legend also has it that a tiny island just off the Butt of Lewis - Luchruban - was once inhabited by pygmies. We may have the answer to the question of where my genes came from. Mmmm.

You may be able to see a tanker on the horizon, just approaching the Eye. It's the Onoba, a 330m long tanker - heading to Hound Pt, which is a BP-owned oil terminal near Edinburgh.


Our First Lamb

Today we have our first lamb. Lambs, actually: one set of twins, and one single lamb. They were born in the midst of darkness, strong winds and hail showers. They are hardy little things.

There's a photo of Lamb #1 below. The kids have called him (her? it?!) Alpha.

Just to clarify. We don't have sheep. But the Builder's Big Brother has. And our children feel as if they are their sheep.

Me? I think they all look the same. The kids think this is the height of ignorance. They name them; they recognise them; they think they're lovely.

Me? I think they're lovely too. When they're tiny. When they're cute. And when they're on a plate. The end.

These are photos of the present:

Lamb with mother


This is a photo of the future

Meat and 2 veg. Yum!

My favourite words in the English language

"In Christ"

This is everything. To be 'in Christ' is everything. Out of Christ, we have nothing to bring before God but the filthy rags of our own self-righteousness.

But 'in Christ' - oh, in Christ - how different everything is. If we are in Christ the all-Holy, all-Powerful, all-Just God sees us .... in Christ. Covered by the pure and perfect righteousness of Christ, God looks on us who are saved sinners, and sees only the righteousness of His Beloved Son.

Praise God that our salvation is thus. Praise God it is not of ourselves. Praise God it is not part-God, part-us. Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him that I add nothing to my salvation. That I bring nothing, but come pleading only the righteousness of Christ and His finished work. What hope would I have if salvation was any other way?

What a salvation! What a Saviour! Would that I would love Him more. Would that I would serve Him more.

He is altogether lovely.

In Christ: salvation
Out of Christ: condemnation

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