Sunday, November 30, 2014


Acts1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Witness (from the Greek) - martus:  1 one who is a spectator of anything.  2 to give testimony of an observance or faith. 3  those who after his example have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death (martyr).

Believers are all obligated to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.  Most of us will probably never experience intense persecution let alone martyrdom because of our faith yet martyrdom is anything but extinct. Estimates are that more people died for the cause of Christ in the last century then in the preceding nineteen centuries combined. One reliable estimate indicates that currently a minimum of one thousand Christians lose their lives in martyrdom each day. Some estimates are considerably higher. However, without a powerful spiritual awakening it is clear that should persecution break out in North America (such as being experienced by our brothers and sisters in ChinaSudan or Iran) the majority of Christians here would never dare witness to anyone again. How can I be so sure? The fact is that the number one reason that Christians in the west do not witness to the lost today is that we are concerned about our social standing and how others will view us if we tell them about Jesus! Do you think we’d stand up for Christ if prison or a guillotine might be the end result?  The obligation is not excused because of a mortal threat. - Eric Barger

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

DIY wood stove 5

As per the Silvius suggestion...I revised my "hot plate".  For those not welder savvy - the red arrows on top are welding magnets.  55,70,32,0,B

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DIY wood stove 2

Scavenged another tank for a wrap around door.  Leg parts ready for cutting and welding.  45,58,33,0,B

Monday, November 24, 2014

DIY wood stove 1

Popped the valve off an old 30 gallon propane tank and flushed it with water to make it fire safe and started taking the paint off.  It was a lot of work using my grinder for half of it so I used my torch on the other half.  Comes off easy now with just my random orbital sander.  53,67,35,0,B

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Only Work Required

Gospel: Good news of victory from battle which brings about reward.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.  It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes...

1 Corinthians 15:21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.

Ephesians 1:14 The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised...

Ephesians 3:17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.  Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though is is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

John 6:29 Jesus told them, "This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

barn day...

Ben "helping" me clean out the barn today...  57,70,51,0,W

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

a ton of food...

The boys love to see a trailer load of hay and alfalfa.  54,74,34,0,C

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ya get what ya pay for...

Well...the little Chinese wood stove is officially a piece of crap - even worse than all YouTube reviews I watched.  It seemed like a good deal at $99 including shipping only because other retailers sell it for as much as $260 including shipping.  Although it functions correctly, the craftsmanship is embarrassingly pathetic and not worthy of TFL.  Been burning off the bad paint on it all day.  Going to go with my intuition of a DIY model along the lines of the suggestion of M. Silvius who was first to comment on my post about buying this stove.  Will clean up this one and offer it for sale locally for fifty bucks.  That's what I get for breaking the cardinal rule of Abe Connally who ultimately led me to this area..."Don't buy it if you can make it and don't make it if you can find it."  48,67,29,0,B

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Red Zone

Success!  Finally passed the 400° mark with a solar oven.  Outside temperature in the shade rose from 40° to 52° while I preheated the oven for 2 1/2 hours.  When I loaded the pot with 2 cornish game hens and 2 sweet potatoes the temperature dropped from 405° to 325°.  Cooked the meal for 2 hours mostly at about 350°.  44,57,37,0,C

Monday, November 17, 2014


Just posted today by my friend Kirsten Dirksen - the queen of viral videos about sustainable culture.  39,48,27,0,C

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What's love got to do with it...

Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē[1]) brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.
1 Corinthians 13:4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. 5  It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8  Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

painting gig

A friend out here got tired of looking at his old tin quonset hut garage and asked me if I would like the job of painting it.  Just happened to have a brand new Wagner Paint Crew sprayer that I bought before I moved here and has never even been taken out of the box.  Easy to use and works like a charm.  Four hours and five gallons later - over half of the original job is done.  He likes it so much, he wants me to do the inside as well.  I don't remember why I bought it in the first place, but it finally came in handy.  55,72,34,0,B

Friday, November 14, 2014

someday soon?

My friend Brandon came out just before the cold snap and got another flight in.  This was his 4th flight at TFL and his 30th flight since training.  I better get up in the air soon if I ever hope to catch up.  45,55,36,0,B

Thursday, November 13, 2014

more free energy

Thoughts of free refrigeration and the vacancy inside the hut with the fridge on the porch for the winter got me to thinking about the heating season.  The idea of a wood stove really never caught my attention due to the fact that there aren't any trees on my property.  I happened to notice recently that my scrap wood and pallet pile has grown over the years.  The past two winters I have kept track of my propane usage for my Mr. Heater Big Buddy.  In 2012-13 I used 8 tanks @ $18/tank...2013-14 I used 6 tanks.  I thought about building a wood stove but did some digging online and found a reasonable altenative to a DIY model.  For less than what I usually pay for propane for one heating season I ordered this little stove to try out.  I reckon I have enough fuel on hand to last at least 3 winters and there are plenty of free pallets at McCoy's.  I just hope that keeping a wood fire burning won't loose its' charm.  35,43,31,0,W

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Desert Refrigeration

FYI for those new to off grid living in SW Texas.  Refrigeration is accomplished energy free for about the next 4 months.  Overnight temperatures will keep your food cold in an insulated box.  Just moved my chest freezer (used only as a refrigerator) out to my front porch today.  37,48,35,0,W

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Now that it is finally getting cold...I am more inclined to experiment with things that involve heat.  Since I have been back on the solar oven project, I have been doing new research on solar ovens.  I came across this one 2 weeks ago.  They had a kickstarter campaign back in 2013 that ended up raising far beyond their initial goal.  I really like the simplicity and size of their little oven so I found and ordered the main ingredient pretty cheap on Ebay for a little DIY.  45,63,50,0,B

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Road Rage

One of the main reasons I moved out here was to reduce stress in my life.  Overcoming obstacles daily on my own terms builds upon that goal.  Each new thing I figure out or prepare for is one less thing to worry about.  I rarely beat myself up over an unforeseen circumstance because it is a rarity.  All of that is precisely why the road issue tends to catch me off guard.  Someone rutting up my road after a storm produces more frustration and sadness than anger...but it is that smidgen of anger that really gets my attention.  It is very easy to just go with the anger.  Watching someone do something that adversely effects others seemingly without regard for anyone other than themselves drives me crazy.  It really makes that "love thy neighbor" rule hard to swallow.

Today I took a step back to look at the big picture - because anger is only fun for a little while.  There are over 7 billion people on earth right now.  Every second of every day - somewhere someone is doing something that is pissing someone else off.  The problem with the world today is that the emphasis of every "consequence of action" is more about the deed done and less about the reaction to it.  The Bible teaches that love conquers all - but it can't unless we give it a shot at every opportunity.

Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with the might by his Spirit in the inner man;  17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints that is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fog bow

Fog bow is a similar phenomenon to a rainbow; however, as its name suggests, it appears as a bow in fog rather than rain. Because of the very small size of water droplets that cause fog—smaller than 0.05 millimeters (0.0020 in)—the fog bow has only very weak colors, with a red outer edge and bluish inner edge.  54,67,59,0,W

Friday, November 7, 2014

never fails...

...some idiot just has to tear up my road after a storm.  57,65,53,0,B

Thursday, November 6, 2014

sun soon?

Heading into the portion of a storm event when cabin (and barn) fever begins to kick in. Ben and Bud spend most of their time in the barn unless there is an alfalfa snack outside.  More rain in the forecast through tomorrow morning...then the long wait to drive a dry road.  53,57,52, .31",B

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Full Tanks

Finally a Field Lab First:  all my tanks are overflowing.  22,000 gallons tucked away for safe keeping.  Got up and checked the rain gauge - found that over 2" fell overnight and could hear the water flowing through my canyon.  Some sun would be nice now... 47,61,56, 2.18",B

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ugly day...

...and gonna be uglier tomorrow.  
Good news is I caught about 4,500 gallons of water.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sunday, November 2, 2014

First person scripture

Romans 6: 20  When I was a slave to sin. I was free from the obligation to do right. 21 And what was the result?  I was ashamed of the things I used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now I am free from the power of sin and have become a slave of good.  Now I do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wage of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

hazy heat

The oven hit 375° today through a slightly hazy sky and a stiff breeze.  The extra layer of glass and some weather stripping really helped.  Adding another foot of reflector length will max out the amount of extra sun bouncing into the oven and should tip me past the 400° mark.  Plenty of time to get that rigged as we have some cloudy weather moving in and some good chances of rain through the end of next week.  68,78,53,0,B