Monday, September 30, 2013

Dangers of Low Usage

Sometimes when we don't use something for its intended purpose, it starts to fall apart.  Or, in the case above, the original use - feeding birds - disappears and in its place the opposite may happen - feeding ON birds.

An older pick up truck I had kept having expensive repairs made to it.  It wasn't done because of the truck itself, but because it wasn't being used for its purpose.  In other words, I wasn't driving it enough, so the tires rotted, mice ate the wires, etc.

Recently, a small out building had to have major work done to it due to a bug problem.  If the building was used more, then the bugs would not have taken up residence.

You've heard "use it or lose it."  Do you think God ever looks at us, his created beings, and wonders if we're just going to rust and fall apart if we don't live for the reasons he gave us life in the first place?

If every day we don't acknowledge our loving Creator and think of our greater purpose in life, might we be attacked by the bugs of busy-ness?  We need to keep our houses in order and most of all we need to use them for God's glory.  It is not a difficult task, but it is a daily one.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Awkward Communication

This is Ellie (hi Ellie!).  She's going home soon.
Ellie is a delightful dog who, despite diabetes and losing her vision, has a lot of heart and drive. 

For me, Ellie provides a special challenge and I do not mean her twice daily insulin shots.  She shares the same name as my mother.  This makes calling her seem very peculiar.  While I do not call my mother by her first name, I am not at all used to hearing her name followed by "Sit" or "Here's a treat."

Sometimes our communications with each other can be just as confusing.  We don't always find our traction in conversation and things seem awkward and uncomfortable.

It's always good to know that Jesus is the most amazing interpreter of all.  Not only does he understand every language and dialect, he understands the intentions of our heart, even more than we even do. 

Have you ever been misunderstood?  Rest assured that Jesus always understands us.  And with all that, He even loves us deeply.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Count It All Joy

Complaining is easy, especially when you're provided with plenty of material all day long. 

However, now that the chaos of summer is over at the kennel, I've been able to enjoy life again.  With that, I'm realizing - again - how very blessed I am.

While chronically late clients aggravate me as I wait to eat breakfast until their arrival and dogs who can't seem to remember their housebreaking wear me out, now I'm focusing on the beauty of what I do, and the 80% of clients and dogs that make life a blessing.

There's the older man who stopped at home to pick some tomatoes for me before picking up his cat.  The couple that always bring me chocolate (I try not to play favorites, but c'mon, chocolate!).  Or the best, the person who says they didn't worry about their pet and enjoyed their trip instead.
Look at this guy.  He's been with me on extended stay due to unforeseen circumstances.  Yet he's obviously pretty happy.

Where's your focus?  Remember to shift away from the negative now and then, and instead choose thank the Lord and sing His praise.  Even in the most trying of circumstances, God is with us.  Immanuel.

And to celebrate a major accomplishment of a good friend of mine, I'd like to recommend you check out her newly published book. It's fantastic!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Not Fitting In

"Tilly, you're way too big to sleep in that basket lid," her owner said.
With a final twist of her frame, Tilly responded with, "Am not."
Sometimes we put up with a lot of discomfort because we insist we belong some where we truly do not.  Perhaps it is a group of people with radically different values or even just a vacation locale that is a bit more "something" than suits you. 

But we humans want to fit in.  Or, we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  So we continue in our discomfort, jamming ourselves into situations that just don't suit us.

Being a Christ follower can be awkward in certain social situations.  And it seems that is getting more and more difficult.  But that doesn't mean we give up whose we are.  We can disagree without being disagreeable.  We can speak truth in love and compassion. 

How do we discern?  Only prayer can help us find the right place at the right time for each of us individually.  The Lord uses our different interests and skills to reach those who need to know God's love.  Sometimes we stay, sometimes it is time to go.    Ask God to show you the best fit for your life.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Following Another Gospel

Lately, Tilly has been doing a lot of bad things.  Each time I've come home this week, she's been into mischief.  And it's made me furious.

But the truth is, I haven't kicked her out of the house.  For some reason, I still love her.

The truth is....when YOU screw up, God still wants you to turn to Him.  No matter what.  No sin is beyond forgiveness when you turn to the Lord in true sorrow.

Yet there are some who will tell you differently.  If you don't follow a certain number of rules, then you won't be forgiven.  If you don't join a certain church, you can't get to Heaven.  Etc.  Etc. Etc.

The truth is...when you run to Jesus, His arms are still open to accept you, hug you, and say, "come home."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sadie's Near Death Experience

At her advanced age, a serious illness could be fatal.  Somehow dogs do not realize this.  So when Sadie decided she really really wanted to indulge in the rancid grease drippings from the grill, she didn't understand how sick she'd become.
Timing is everything.  It happened shortly before the family was due to leave for vacation.  However, after almost losing her, careful vet care revived her and she's back in fine form.  She arrived at the kennel with a full regiment of medications.  Being the wonderful dog that she is, she was a good patient.  She received plenty of love to restore her health.

Isn't it hard to say no to the wonderful temptations that are all around us?  We want to indulge, not knowing how rancid and sickening a poor substitute for God really is. 

We strive, we fail, but we revive under God's incredible grace, forgiveness, and love.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Lost Was Once

Recently while visiting relatives, this caught my eye:
Decades ago, one of my cousins came upon a dog and he asked the dog, "Are you lost?"  The dog wagged his tail.  His name was now Lost, though he was actually found.  Lost was a great dog.  He was friendly, and would howl identically whatever howling you did first.  Great sing a long dog there.  When I saw the statue, it made me smile.

We all stumble through our lives, climbing up mountains, looking around briefly before struggling through valleys.  Life can be challenging and difficult.  But it can be wonderful as well, and then we wonder what to do with our sense of awe.

Grieving or cheering, we are Lost without the Lord.  It all makes sense through Him, and whatever doesn't make sense (there certainly is that), the Lord's hand can be trusted.  Today, if you hear God calling and asking if you are Lost, nod your head, wag your tail, do what it takes to run to Him.  A better life awaits.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Finding Joy

Sometimes life is so complicated and we can't simplify it as easily as we'd like.  Still, if we seek it, we can find peace.  And if we seek peace, we can find joy.

For instance, a mere $2 garage sale find has provided Tilly endless delight.
"Peace that passes all understanding" is what the Lord gives us when we seek and believe Him.  Perhaps our circumstances won't change, but our hearts will warm and our minds will calm when we run to Almighty, Mysterious God.