homesteading

Why a Vertical Log Cabin?

It has begun! What a few weeks it has been. After my mother’s passing, I needed something to cheer me up and this certainly has done the trick.

We started work on a cabin for our youngest daughter and her husband, which will also serve as a guest cabin! This has been a project my husband and I have thought long and hard about because it is not a normal log cabin with horizontal logs-it is a vertical log cabin otherwise called stockade style.

Why build vertical instead of the traditional way? We have had this question asked numerous times in the past week, so I decided to explain our thinking behind it. There are many reasons why we wanted to build a cabin like this. Here are some of the reasons:

  • The need for large or heavy equipment is reduced or not needed at all because of the length of the logs.
  • Vertical log shells can be built in half the time as horizontal shells.
  • The logs we are using are 10 feet to go from floor to ceiling verses having to use 24 foot logs for the whole length of the cabin. Two people can easily carry the 10 foot logs. (Which is great for us who aren’t as young as we used to be!)
  • Due to the direction of the cracks that may form in a log, virtually none of the cracks in a vertical log home will direct water infiltration back into the home which can happen with a horizontal log home.
  • Windows and doors can be installed directly to the logs with no worries about settling or shrinkage of the walls since logs do not shrink vertically.
  • Wiring can be installed easily between the logs where as with a horizontal log wall, each log has to be drilled to allow the wire to pass through.
  • Last but not least I like to think outside the box and I really like the look of the vertical logs.

I’m sure I will be posting more photos of our journey through this process. It has been great seeing everyone come together and share their strengths in working on this project.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9

family

Empty Nest…

I always wondered what an empty nest would feel like. Now that my husband and I are in the midst of this new experience, I have had many emotions ranging from happiness on one end of the spectrum to sadness on the other end.

I knew this day was coming and we have obviously known for sometime. But it really didn’t hit me until I came around the corner near our house and I fully understood that no more kids would be waiting our return. I got teary eyed as we came around the bend. I knew I wouldn’t be greeted with a smile from any of our children.

As we make this new transition, some things have been great-like less dishes in the sink and our grocery bill has gone down considerably. Our daughter, Storm, who lives next door to us and does grace us with her presence every now and then has been able to eat dinner with us on occasion and it’s been wonderful having the three of us share a more intimate time together. So, are we true empty nesters if one of our kids lives next door? Probably not in the true sense of the meaning, but we are still going through a transitional phase.

The wonderful part is that my husband and I have always been best friends and we aren’t having to get to know each other again, which is what happens to so many couples. We are just continuing to live life, talk, reminisce, make new memories together, and become closer because we truly have one another to lean on.

The end of the school year is upon us and being a teacher, I am looking forward to summer. Please don’t get me wrong, I enjoy teaching very much and love all my students. However, it has been a crazy few months for us and part of me just wants to rest and love on the people that God has currently in my life.

I find myself thinking, did we prepare our kids for the real world? Are they ready to take flight? We tried to protect and nurture our children, while not having them live in a bubble. They experienced hear-ache and the sinful nature of man. They had some tough times. On many occasions I had to ask forgiveness because of my bad, freshly attitude. So again, I ask, “Are they ready?” Maybe. Maybe Not. What I do know is that God is bigger than our mistakes. I can rest in His assurance that His Word doesn’t return void. (Isaiah 55:11) Will they struggle? I guarantee it. Will God see them through? Absolutely!

So, here’s to my BFF husband, relaxation, ministry, and ever growing friendship and prayers for my adult children!

Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. (ESV)

family, homeschooling

My Homeschool Journey

Wow!! I am looking through all my books, videos, papers, tests, and thinking, so this is how it feels…I have no more curriculum to buy. No more science DVD’s to watch, no more papers to grade. My homeschool journey has come to an end. Our youngest daughter has officially graduated!

When I started this windy road of homeschooling 17 years ago, I never dreamed it would have taken me the places it has. I had to learn patience and perseverance. I had to learn time management, realizing more often than not, that my timing and God’s timing are two different things. I had to learn to be still and quiet even when I wanted to scream. I had to lean on my husband for sound advice and to trust that it was all going to work out. I learned that stopping and smelling the roses is much better than rushing a child who isn’t ready.

God made each one of us in a unique way. It’s what makes our world so fantastic. But, because of that we don’t all learn the same way and you can’t fit people in a box. I have three kids and they all learned differently.

By homeschooling, I learned intimately how each child thought. I learned not to compare my child to anyone else, no matter what. I learned what their likes and dislikes were. I learned what their love language was and how to make them feel special. Most importantly I learned that building relationships is far greater than anything a textbook or essay could ever teach.

Was it hard? Absolutely! Did I want to quit? Yes, many times. Did I love it? You bet I did! Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Now, I pass the torch to those who dare go down this crazy, beautiful road. It is one of the most difficult things you will ever do, but in the end it is so very worth it.

Congratulations Sarah! You did it!!

Psalm 32:8 ~ I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Missions

Cherith Brook Baja Newsletter

December 2018

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Hola, from south of the border!

Feliz Navidad, from The Landis Family and Cherith Brook Baja!

After being here almost one and a half years, and seeing God’s provision and handy work first hand, I am left with one clear thought;
The Best is Yet to Come!

To all our family, friends, and supporters we cannot thank you enough. Your prayers and your financial support have meant so much to us we could not do it without you. So, that means you are all part of the work God is doing down here. Please keep coming down for visits, it really lifts our hearts to see our church family.

Cherith Brook’s mission is simple; we are called to Love the one in front of us. The core of what we do as a family on the mission field is to Educate, Encourage, and Equip. This may also include some plumbing, electrical, and baby-sitting.

God’s dreams are so much bigger and better than ours. Christine and I are on the mission field with all three of our grown children. Not in a million years did I ever dream of seeing that!

Aaron, our son, has been here for four months. He is volunteering at Open Arms, which is a great ministry that serves the community by offering free day-care for children from image010infants up to the age of 12 years old. This enables the less fortunate to keep their families together. Aaron lives on-site at Open Arms and gets two meals a day, which means we get to see him a lot when he gets hungry. The kids and the daycare have really taken a shine to him, and he is even learning some Spanish, as he can order his own tacos now.

Storm made it back from Ghana safely. She doesn’t feel called to do missions there for now, but she is always open to wherever God will take her, and the Ghana families loved her so much they keep calling hoping she will move there. She hit the ground running when she came back and has close to 100 students that she is teaching English to at the local high school. She has also started going image007over to the women’s home a couple times a week. It is a home where women can get off drugs/alcohol and taste the love of God. She spends her time laughing, crying, and loving on them. She also leads worship for a Bible study and got a chance to teach at another Women’s Bible study, which must have gone well because they asked her back.

Sarah is working hard at finishing high school early this year and turned 18 on Dec. 16. She is very happy about this! She helps teach dance on Mondays to the locals, and she is baby-sitting one of Christine’s students named Evalynn, a couple days a week. Evalynn is the daughter of Johnny, who is our newest teacher at the La Mision Homeschool Co-op that Christine teaches at.

There is nothing better than seeing your adult children start living out their own faith in Christ!image014

Christine had to move the school this year to the Skill center, which our dear friend, Mary, runs and teaches practical working skills out of. Christine has really come alive now that she has her own classroom and doesn’t have to set up and breakdown every day. She loves the kids and pours so much of herself into them. She also goes to the women’s home with Storm and loves on the ladies there. She is teaching from time to image012time at the ladies’ Bible study at Calvary Chapel Rancho Libertad, and has been asked to teach at their upcoming women’s conference. There is nothing better than watching my wife take flight and become what God has dreamed of her being. Over the last few months Christine managed to reformat her book, Beautiful Dependence, so that it will be printed and shipped by Amazon. This will help us tremendously so we won’t have to drive to the states and hand ship it every time somebody orders it. Our children’s book How Bright is the Moon can also be found at Amazon. We’ve really been getting a lot of good feedback on both books.

As for me (Mark), I have been spending a lot of time transitioning the notes from the grace class that I teach into a book format, and finally finished the first draft, but I still have miles to go before it is finished. Hopefully, by this time next year we will have a printed copy. I am calling it Grace in Plain Sight. I am still teaching a couple of Bible studies a week, and on occasion I get to teach at Calvary Chapel Rancho Libertad in La Mision. I still get to keep my carpentry skills sharp as I often get a chance to help with repairs for other ministries as they need.

My recent favorite was a home I was able to work on for a farming family that lives in the river valley. I wired the whole house and taught the uncle how to run wire, it had to be the Spirit because I don’t speak Spanish and he doesn’t speak English! However, by the end he was running and hanging the wire perfectly, and I taught the kids a few songs as we worked, It was a grand time!

If any of this sounds fun, come on down to Cherith Brook and we will put you to work of loving on and being loved on. We are His hands and feet.

In His Love,
Mark Landis

Husband, Father, Pastor, Teacher, and Friend


Prayer Needs:
Many of you have asked for specific prayer needs. God is so awesome and has blessed us with many people to share our burden. Without you, we would not be able to do what we are doing here. Here is a list of things that we need both physically and spiritually.

*We see many broken people and it’s easy to get discouraged.
Pray against discouragement.
* Wisdom
* Physical Health
* To continue to learn the culture and speak Spanish!
* That we would do God’s will
* Continued financial support
* That the power company would work with us to finish getting power to the farming
family that we helped.
* That the Lord would show Christine what to speak on at the Ladies Retreat.
Retreat dates: January 25-27

If you wish to make a donation there are a few ways you can do that.

Through Pay Pal, www.paypal.com you can find us at pappamark@hotmail.com .

Or, if you want to make a tax-deductible donation you can go through Strong Tower’s website at: http://www.strongtowerministries.info/donations/ When you make a donation please tell them it is for Mark and Christine Landis in the notes or it will not get to us.
Contact Info: Mark & Christine Landis  e-mail: pappamark@hotmail.com /
facebook: MarkandChristine Landis (Through facebook we can text, call, and video chat.)

christianity, homesteading, Uncategorized

Go into all the World…

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

A few months back I wrote a blog post called, “Send Me.” Little did I know just what those wordsTraditional-Mexican-Food-Recipes-2 would mean in the short time to follow. I meant what I said with all my heart, “Lord, send me.”

However, I did not think that it would happen so suddenly. My husband and I met a man recently that God has used to change the course of our lives. This man came to one of our home fellowships and really hit it off with my husband. Over the next few months, we have had several meetings with him, fellow-shipping and breaking bread together. He is in the Navy, but on his down time, he does short mission trips to Mexico.

One evening after spending several hours talking about our life living off-grid and discussing this gentleman’s mission trips, he asked my husband and I if we would pray about moving to Mexico permanently to be caregivers of a mission house. We were stunned. We had been feeling like change was on the horizon, but didn’t know when, and most assuredly didn’t know what we would be doing.

We prayed that evening together and as we were laying in bed I said to my husband, “I feel like if they asked us to go tomorrow, I could.” I had a peace wash over me. Mark replied, “I feel the same way!” So the past few weeks, we have been preparing and letting family members know. God is opening the door wide! (Revelations 3:7 & 8) God is going before us. He has already had funding come in and the house is being prepared as I write this.

Our two daughters will be coming with us and our son will be staying in Washington. He is almost 20 and has a good job. He feels like God is telling him to stay behind. As we prepare, the Lord has shown us more and more what we would be doing in Mexico.

Some of the other missionaries found out that I homeschool and have asked me to teach their kids! I am so excited about this. I thought my years of teaching would be coming to an end soon and here, God has made it clear that this could be just the beginning. My husband will be teaching Bible, doing building projects, marital counseling, and much more. All of us will be helping out at the orphanages, medical clinic, and churches in the area.

Although this has been a shock, we are all very excited. I have moments when worry and fear can consume me, but in the end, I know that God will take care of us. I understand it will not always be easy but I can see how God’s hand is on this journey and I believe our days of living off-grid has prepared us “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14)