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Now where is that frog?


 

Last night I posted on FB a picture of a tiny green frog on our dining room wall. Edgar our, ferocious predator cat was determined to get this frog for himself.frog-1

With such a high ceiling there wasn’t any way any of us could have reached this wayward tailless amphibian.

Somehow I don’t think it stopped Edgar. Either he stayed up all night waiting to catch this little guy or ……. He ate it. There is no sign of the frog and Edgar has hardly moved from his sleeping chair all morning. If he gets sick later, then we’ll know what became of the tiny intruder.

The lesson here is that Edgar didn’t learn his lesson from the last time he caught a frog. If he actually did eat it this time he really is a slow learner. He is one to catch a critter and beat it, or torture it to death which I find totally disgusting but not eat it.

His instincts as a feline are to hunt and catch. Altho he is a spoiled baby who has been completely sheltered since he adopted us last June (2015) that instinct is proudly demonstrated in his big world of our back yard. Unlike Maxi our female cat who has left us many gifts, Edgar growls as he runs in the house with arms or legs hanging out of his mouth. He wants to show us his great catch, but don’t even think for one minute he will let you have it.

Aren’t we just like that with God?

We choose to hang on to that which isn’t good for us instead of giving it to God for him to deal with?

Old habits are hard to break. God may even want us to let go of certain habits that aren’t necessarily bad but God may have an alternative that is better.

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

Sounds easy, so why aren’t we doing that?

Maybe you should ask my cat.

 

edgar-in-chair

 


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Our Furry Friends: Unconditional Love


 

Watching the Annual American Humane Hero Dog awards the other night, I once again cried as each nominee was presented. The stories behind these brave animals are no less courageous than humans. Many risk their lives for us humans in various ways.

The Arson Dog, named “Judge” has worked more than 275 fires often bringing evidence leading to many arrests.

The Therapy dog helps the person who needs coaching in life skills.

The Police K-9 or Military Dogs are trained to find bombs, weapons or protect those in their command. “Layka” took shots and lost a leg while guarding her combat unit in Afghanistan.

There was one little dog who was what is now called a Hearing Guide dog. This precious little creature saved her human from getting hit by a bus because she can’t hear environmental sounds.

“Hooch” the French Mastiff who won has a story of his own. When found by Zach Scow 3 years ago in a rescue it was determined Hooch had had his tongue cut out. Emaciated from not being able to eat, he was rushed to a vet for treatment. He is fed by hand now.

2016-american-hero-dog-hooch

Ironically, Zach Scow almost died also from liver damage because he is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. The two are now inseparable and Zach owes a lot of his stability to this survival of the fittest.

Hooch is now used to calm non-verbal autistic children while learning social skills. He also cares for women who have been abused. His peaceful nature is contagious; so much so that some of the first words spoken by these children of autism is “Hooch.” 

How have we humans missed it?

How is it that the unconditional love and loyalty from dogs hasn’t caught on with people?

For the most part, dogs have a natural ability for qualified love. It’s not in us, and unless a dog is abused or neglected that instinct remains.

God is unconditional love.  Maybe He knew we would respond well to dogs so He placed a great deal of that love inside of them.

He also gave them the instinct to know when something is wrong. Out of the love they have for their owners, dogs respond by letting us know when to be alert, on guard or even move us out of the way of trouble we didn’t see coming.

Isn’t that how God is with us?

He is our guide.

He alerts us to danger.

He often removes us or removes that which He doesn’t want in our lives for our own protection, spiritual maturity and growth for the kingdom of God.

Psalm 27:11

Teach me your way, O LORD, And lead me in a level path because of my foes.

 

Dogs know automatically what their purpose is in the life they’ve been given.

Our purpose is to have and maintain a close, personal relationship with God.

Maybe we can learn from dogs how to be more obedient to our calling.

2 John 1:6 “2 John 1:6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

 


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America, the Great? Like Cows in a Pasture


 

If you’re like me, in the natural the world appears to be falling apart.

There are doomsday fanatics speaking fear and dread into the hearts of many. Decades ago I would never have thought America would be so divided and making evil, good.

Supposedly, America is the greatest country in the world that has ever existed. It is only given that award by the Grace of God. It’s only the Grace of God that we will come out of this progressive, evil agenda being forced down our throats. And we have no one to blame but ourselves as we have allowed immorality and wickedness to set up “house” in our personal lives.

The church needs to wake up and I believe God is getting ready to shake us out of our sleep to accommodate His agenda.

We may be living in the end times but so was Paul. It’s just further down the pike of our earthly calendar. There is much work to be done and many souls to bring to Christ so personally I don’t believe the end is as near as many proclaim.

However, that doesn’t mean fear, dread and panic aren’t igniting flames of more hatred and disharmony. It is.

That also means we as Christians need to pursue God seriously in an intimate manner than ever before. Our relationship to God is the answer.

For myself, it has been a battle of emotional valleys. Some mornings I wake up and fear is hanging over my head like a bucket of water about to be dumped all over me. Shaking it has been like fighting against that which I can’t see but so aware of its revolting presence that I cry out to God for relief off and on all day long.

Folks this is real. Trying to explain it to those who have never experienced depression or anxiety is like talking to a bunch of cows in a pasture who only know how to “moo.” I say that with all respect for our “milking” buddies.

I do know this battle is external. The enemy is unhappy with any progress we make therefore attacking us with whatever he can come up with. He is only capable now of annoying repeats.

So let me tell you what God spoke to me this morning about this dilemma.

For years I have been reading 3 verses over and over. They are:

Joshua 1:9

2 Chronicles 20:17

Isaiah 41:10

Now I know my quick thinker of a brain is a little slower than it used to be but it hit me as I read them right in a row they said almost the same thing? Nahhhhh…does God speak like that?

“Do not fear, nor be dismayed.”

That’s it in a nutshell.

I wonder if God is trying to tell me something.

Like, don’t be scared. DON’T PANIC? Don’t fear or dread what you see; just trust Him?

I googled the word “dismayed.” It’s defined as

“Very upsetdisappointed, or annoyed about something surprising or shocking that has happened.” To cause to lose courage or resolution (as because of alarm or fear) or to feel consternation and distress.

Well, that’s just too much to handle.

Which is why God tells us to trust him. He created the world out of nothing.

Told Noah to build an ark which saved him and his family.

Sent plagues to Egypt.

Parted the Red Sea.

Sent manna from Heaven to feed the Israelites.birds

Kept the Bible alive for centuries and has performed miracles every day since creation.

Feeds the birds?

Enough said.

 

 


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2015: My Year from Hell and How God rescued me (Part 2)


 

Why does God allow suffering?

Is that an age old question or what?
If we are going to share in His glory, we will share in Christ’s suffering.

What are a few reasons God gives in His permissive will to allow us to suffer?

 

Repentance

Lessons Learned

Fellowship with Him more intimately and closely

Fellowship with others in their affliction

 

Biblical characters often suffered long and difficult situations.

Moses was exiled from Egypt. I’ve often wondered how long it took him once he was in that desert wilderness before he saw another human being. The desert has no water or food. There are no Marriott Hotels with plush sleeping quarters or fancy bathrooms with extra soap and towels. No Outback Steakhouse for a prime dinner. Forget the Marriott, there are no Holiday Inn Expresses.

Not only did Moses dwell there for 40 years, once God gave him his assignment, he had to deal with some very stubborn, strong willed people.

Esther risked her life for the Jewish nation.

Daniel had to watch his 3 best friends get thrown into a fiery furnace.  Then he was thrown into a den of very ferocious hungry lions. But God performed two of the most creative and amazing miracles in both instances.

And then there is Mary and Joseph.

Mary had to endure immense persecution as a result of her pregnancy by the Holy Spirit. Until Joseph was given a dream explaining it, no one, not even her family believed her. Who would?

On top of that, they had to leave, traveling by donkey to get to Bethlehem for her to give birth.

I have to feel sorry for both of them. She was in her last trimester riding on a donkey; not a warm, cushy car or even a Boeing 747. Traveling by foot was bad enough but pregnant?

And poor Joseph. He probably wished he had bought an expensive pair of Nike tennis shoes before making the journey. Instead he was stuck with sandals that  wore out quickly because he had to lead the donkey Mary sat on. I can only imagine how weary and exhausted he must have been.

The truth is, when we follow God we will have troubles; but he walks through them with us. (Psalm 91:15)

You know, God never promised us a rose garden. Well, maybe but he never told us this life would be easy either.

He did promise us He would always be with us.

Matthew_28-20

 

 

 


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A True Story: The Heart of a Cat


It was early dawn. My husband who gets up before anyone else on earth, arrived in the den only to hear our 12 year old feral feline wailing and acting strange.  Opening the back door there she stood in front of him holding a 2 inch field mouse in her mouth as if to show him her gift of love.

Little did she know opening her mouth very wide to wail one more time the mouse fell out. He shut the door in an effort to keep the rodent from running inside. Maxi took off chasing him as if to say, “You are mine.”

Mark knew he had to stop this chase. Grabbing the cat after cornering this very frightened creature he brought her inside only to have her sit by the door and whine.

He hadn’t even had a cup of coffee yet.Mark and Maxi 2

Leaving her to her misery of the lost gift he made his early morning joe.

By the time I moved much later he told me of this great adventure.

The cat began wailing at me as if I would let her out. Somehow her instincts knew her prey was still around.

He and I went outside only to find the ailing rat in a hole on the right side of the back door. She runs out and begins to attack. The mouse escapes, running around the table, grill and into a side corner. Grabbing the cat once again we put her inside. She was not happy with her grandparents. Her efforts to once again show her appreciation for saving her life years ago was in the least futile in her eyes.  

By now I needed coffee.

We sat in the den watching tv and resting for a while. Too much excitement at 7am.

30 minutes later I went outside. Not only was the mouse still there, he was crouched behind my Swedish Ivy plant up against the brick on the left side of the door.

Mark attempted to catch him only to have the scared mouse run and fall right into the pool! Swimming for his life Mark finally caught him with the pool net. Giving him his freedom, Maxi ran outside to continue to search. 

She sniffed all around still believing she could locate her hard earned present. Her facial expression said it all.

“Why would you do this to me? I wanted to give it to you to show you my love?”

Isn’t that kind of like God?

Not that he wants to bless us with rodents but the abundance of his own love. Love that captures hearts like no other. Love that is supernatural and healer of all ills. Love that surrounds his people so overwhelming that once it hits you are never the same.

Maybe God feels like our cat sometimes. She gave us love only for us to throw it away. She exerted energy she rarely has these days to announce her gratitude only for us to deny it. She spent hours tracking for a gift we simply refused.

We can learn from our friendly felines the word, “devotion.” They seem to know what it means more than people.

God can take the size of a field mouse kind of love and make it grow.

So go catch a field mouse today and give it to God. It’s a start, and he will accept it with open arms.

Romans 8:38 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”


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Do you have a dog?


 

If you do be prepared to have your home owners insurance revoked.

Also no back yard trampolines, pool diving boards or slides. Forget those swing sets your children love to swing on. Either they won’t write you a policy or cancel it after they have taken your money.

7 years in this house with a pool and never an issue with writing a homeowners policy, until now. Why? Money.

pool25

If you want a good laugh, spend some time shopping around to hear what insurance agents will ask you. From my experience, most companies are more concerned about that yappy or very large dog positioning themselves to guard your front yard than the brick front steps one could easily fall on breaking their neck. They don’t charge extra for dangerous steps, just dogs.

Yes, this is really happening folks.

Part of my job in this household is finances. My husband can account for my penny-pinching inherited trait that has paid off more times than I can count. So when we received a home-owners renewal policy in January that a rate hike had kicked in within one year I decided to look around.  In the last 12 months SC policies jumped 12%.

Sorry to say even the agent who tried so hard to find us a great policy has now been placed on a complaint list. He was excellent. We had a great, fun conversation and he wrote us a dream policy. Arrowhead Insurance had no problem taking my money on January 15th; the entire premium in one transaction only to write me a rather nasty letter with an ultimatum.

No apology or “let’s talk about this.  “No chit chat.” (James Bond: Goldeneye)

After a strange inspector shows up a few weeks ago I receive a cancellation notice Tuesday due to our pool slide.  Never mind the locked fence around the pool; they want the scary slide gone.

The option given was we remove this 2000$ slide, send them a photo that it is removed and they would reinstate us. After speaking to “Mary” at Arrowhead I knew I didn’t want them to keep our money anyway.

Hours of phone conversations between the agents company and the provider, we are simply stuck in the middle. For the record the slide will remain.

An investigation into the conversation between me and the agent is in progress. If he asked about a slide I would have told him we have one. He wouldn’t have written a policy knowing Arrowhead was an arrowhead.  This particular agent had a good record of writing insurance. I was told he would now be reprimanded; they would work within to repair the damage. So much for helping me find another policy and/or the difference in price it may cost us.

Sorry, sorry, sorry were the words from the woman in the complaint department. Sorry, but that doesn’t pay for this debacle and the extra wasted time I am having to put forth to be an excellent customer.  I guess being excellent counts for nothing these days. (LOL)maxicat08

It may come down to insurance companies revoking home owners for their disgraceful, mean spirited, biting cats. If they knew ours I’m sure they wouldn’t consider writing our policy.

The moral to this story is don’t get a dog.

Proverbs 13:11 “Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it.”

dog


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Maxicat Adventures


 

A change of pace here and atmosphere.

Our live- in cat is by far a personality of her own. She remains very healthy and carries some feral instincts I doubt she will ever lose.  

She can be grumpy and irritable but also loving and caring on her own terms. In other words don’t bother her if she doesn’t want to be bothered. Never mind she has no problem waking us up in the middle of the night to go out the front door for her nocturnal escapades.

Mark went outside a few weeks ago just after dark to go swimming. He felt someone or something was looking at him. Turning around there she was perched on the roof of the house as if to be smiling and saying, “Hey dad, I’m on the roof and there is nothing you can do about it.”

One afternoon the teenage boy of the guy who cuts our grass watched Maxi in amazement saunter up to our 6 foot fence and take a graceful leap to the top in one move.  Resting a moment, she observed the surroundings from her elevated position as if to enjoy the view.  Hopping down to the ground landing completely poised on all 4’s she was off for an afternoon stroll in the woods. Not bad for an 11 year old feline.

But make no efforts to take this cat to the Vet for anything.

About a month ago I noticed her mouth was swollen. An infected tooth was the first battle.

As usual you could hear her wailing and whining all over the clinic. It was embarrassing. Thinking that horror was all she would have to deal with we had to administer 10 days of antibiotics. None too happy she wised up and hid under the dining room table, ran upstairs and hid behind the couch or landed in a deep dark closet where hiding out would supposedly rid her of this nasty tasting stuff we forced down her throat. What she didn’t know was her teeth had to be cleaned. Oh how I dreaded this.

The morning she was to go no food and water kept her in screaming mode. Following me around the house like a child wanting a new toy the look on her face was “why aren’t you feeding me? Where is my water you stupid cat person?”

I must admit it was wrenching my soul that I knew what she didn’t. The cat carrier awaited for another journey to what she thinks of as a feline “hell.”

I could see what she was thinking as we pushed her into the carrier, “How could my people do this to me over and over when they know I hate it!”

The house was eerily quiet all day with her gone. Her loud mouth had vanished.  Her yelling for wet cat food was absent. Her notorious presence was noticeably missed.

A mad, doped up cat.

A mad, doped up cat.

Later, the call came from the doctor telling me how well she did. Mark brought her home that afternoon only to watch her drunkenly try to maneuver walking anywhere. The anesthesia was still very much in her system causing her to walk sideways until she fell over.

We thought it was funny but she saw no laughter in her plight.

Over the next week administering more meds she was more difficult than before. Even now she is distrusting of us thinking we will shock her into returning to the cat abyss.

I can’t help but think how God must feel when we don’t trust him.

As we hide under the dining room table or lock ourselves in a dark closet from him are we grieving his heart? Do we run the other way when he wants to administer his medicine knowing it is what is best for us?

When he tries to explain himself do we react like a cat who has no idea what is being spoken?

I know how it made me feel trying to explain to Maxi why she needed antibiotics and a Vet visit to restore her “pearly whites.”

Helpless, as if I couldn’t get my point across. Knowing in the long run we would save her from a possible pre-mature death didn’t filter her little brain.

She was no different than us. We want the end result but forget the in-between misery of knowing what we are going through is God’s bigger picture.

Are you running from God?

 jonah