Lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes!

Working together to set posts in concreteFor the past two years the orchard has been expanding. It expanded so much, in fact, that half of it was located outside the original orchard fence! We had no choice but to also expand the electric fence, or face the possibility of being decimated by the ravages of wild beasts (deer). The whole project has been an outstanding example of availability on the part of many people.

Project planning and getting all the materials together was a job of its own that took a lot of rethinking due to our small level of experience. Taking time to pray and think carefully in the planning stages saved us a lot of trouble later on.

My brothers Donald, Robert, James, Daniel, and Jonathan and even my sister Esther pitched in to help dig the holes for the posts at the corners and gates and set them in concrete. This was the most labor-intensive part of the work. A visiting friend from Indiana, Clayton Rothenauser pitched in too.A corner. Notice the horizontal braces and the diagonal

Our wonderful neighbor and friend Randy Plaugher generously gave us the service of his tractor and post driver, as well as his precious time, to drive the rest of the fence posts. He even showed me an excellent method of bracing the end posts and corner posts to prevent the tight wires from pulling them in.

Gates must be braced like corners. We had to put in 4 gWhen it came time to put up the wire, more volunteers were there to help. Dad, Donald, Esther, Jonathan, David, and even cousin Tricia all contributed significantly to the success of the project. This was probably the most time consuming job. Thank you one and all for your endurance in the hot sun, your availability, generosity, and diligence. I know these virtues are a result of your submission to Christ, allowing His Spirit to conform you to His image. “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue” 2 Peter 1:3. Grace and peace be multiplied to you!

Kiwi vines and peach trees now protected.

Better is the ending of a thing than the beginning!

Close up of handle and loop



Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I am serving.



  1. Daniel September 10, 2007 at 2:45 pm #

    What a thrilling site to see the orchard expanding so! “Many hands make light work.”

  2. James September 11, 2007 at 7:22 am #

    Great fence post! Many hands make electricity work too.

  3. Donald September 11, 2007 at 6:47 pm #

    Michael, I really enjoyed reading that. It is amazing how light the work seems when there is a goal you are working towards! I can certainly say I enjoyed co-laboring with you on the orchard fence there in July. “Better is the ending of a thing than the beginning thereof” and I am glad the objective was reached for now but may the Lord continue to lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes!

  4. Esther September 15, 2007 at 5:46 pm #

    This is a great picture of how the Lord wants to expand His Kingdom!

    The actual verse is Isaiah 54: 2-3 “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.”

  5. Joshua September 16, 2007 at 7:10 am #

    Ah, thy ‘orchard’ runneth over (Ps.23)! I whole heartedly believe that submission to our Savior (as you mentioned Michael) produces <i>the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto those who are exercised thereby. </i> May many come and partake with joy in the spiritual fruits being grown within each one.

  6. Dad September 16, 2007 at 4:09 pm #

    Well done. Great experiences in planning, diligence, leadership, delegation, and faith. Now our minds can be at rest regarding the ravages of those wild beasts.

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