Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Warning: Dogs at Play

Matilda has found a new friend in Ireland.

Since we are all suffering from cabin fever, it's been a good thing for both of them - and me.

We get bored in our culture.  We are so used to being busy with work, meetings, running errands, surfing the internet, that most of us forget how to endure when we aren't constantly occupied.

Yet "being still" is valued.  As much as we need to exercise our body and minds, we are also asked to seek contemplation.  How do you absorb the presence of God when a constant din keeps your attention?

Yesterday's frozen weather cancelled school and work for many.  The roads were quiet.  And, in a rare moment, even the winds were still.  It was so lovely and quiet outside...if you could get past the idea that it was 15 below zero.

Seek balance in life.  When weather interrupts your schedule, allow it to do so, and let a better moment fill your soul.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Take My Word For It

Do I need to tell you it's cold? 
Didn't think so.

Since my unpaid job is Cat Butler, I open and close the door several times a day.  In this weather I don't, which the cats find highly objectionable.  Once, maybe twice a day, I'll open the door, one cat will stick their nose as far as the threshold, then turn tail and find a warm spot.  The cat standing behind the first cat repeats the same behavior.  They simply don't believe the first cat, or me for that matter.

Throughout the day, the bored cats circle, whine, and cause mayhem.  Exasperated, I open the door.  Repeat the above scenario.  They look at me like wind chills are my fault.  In other words, we are all a bit batty.

Sometimes a friend will tell me something, with good authority, and I don't believe them.  I have to find out for myself, often to my own detriment.  Sometimes I will tell a friend something, with good authority, and they don't listen to me.  There seem to be a few trust issues now and then.

But nothing is to our greater detriment than ignoring God's authority.  One can never be too careful to give weight to God's warmth, forgiveness and love without mentioning that, as Designer of the Universe, His authority is greater.  When He advises against something, it is to our benefit to listen and follow.

Talking about sin is not cool.  Recommending Bible reading is so passé.  That doesn't make it untrue.  God's truth endures forever.  Even when it's cold.  Even when we don't want to believe it.  Even when we find out for ourselves that God's ways are better than ours.  The good news is when we learn our lessons the hard way, we can run right back to God to repent and seek forgiveness.  Once again, God's love, warmth and reconciliation is readily available.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Unexpected Gifts

Shiloh still enjoys his Christmas Gift: green grass in Florida.
Previously, Shiloh had to wait for his walks to enjoy rolling in the patches of grass around the neighborhood.  But now he has his very own.  And he LOVES it!

Sometimes we get unexpected gifts in unexpected places and unexpected times.  Those seem to be the greatest gifts of all. 

The Old Testament has the story of Sarai being told she would have a the ripe old age of 90.  She laughed - and who wouldn't?  Supernaturally, through God's unexpected power, her body suddenly was capable of having a child with her 100 year old husband, Abram.  If you're familiar with the story, you know that now their names changes as well - Sarah and Abraham - and joining them was their son, Isaac, meaning laughter.  There must have been a lot of joy in their lives in this latter part of their lives. In many ways, it was a house full of laughter.

Shiloh, at the tender age of 12, is a Collie who probably also would laugh with joy at his unexpected gift. 

We look at our world and our lives with a very narrow, predictable, and often unimaginative scope.  After all, we can't have something unexpected happen if we are expecting it, right?  But, we can have faith in a God whose power is limitless and can, in both the smallest and greatest of ways, change the world as a whole and our corner of it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Back Where They Belong

It's not a great picture, but here's Kody resting in his new home in Texas, with his buddy Kobe running around like a maniac in the background.
In the previous post, I mentioned how I drove these guys (and my Tilly) down to Texas to be reunited with their owner after a 9 month separation.  The dogs weathered the time in the kennel and the 17 hour car ride like champs.  Seeing their owner and new home was a great sight.  And Tilly enjoyed running around with her buddies as they got acclimated.  Unlike their previous home, this one has a nice fenced in back yard.  An added bonus?  Free range, taunting squirrels!  Oh the fun!

Sometimes we go through hard times and we can't imagine why it's happening or when it will end, let alone a reason for the strain.  Maybe we don't get our ideal home, companion, and nice back yard at the end of this life, but for those who trust in Christ, a grander end and eternity awaits. 

Kody and Kobe held their faith.  They endured separation from the one who loved them.  They trusted that eventually life would be different.  A joyous reunion with their Master was their faithful reward.  I look forward to the same.

I hope you will too.