Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box


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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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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


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Feline Fever


The last 2 days were detoured by our precious cat. She started doing some strange coughing, and her meows were sounding like a kitty in real pain. Her dreariness and all of sudden loss of appetite warranted a trip to the dreaded Vet.

At almost 11 years old she knows what it means when I pick her up and carry her to the car.  The open carrier in the back seat is the sign to her of the worst place on earth to go.

Normally she begins a “wail” or “whine” before she fights me with her claws as I have to force her in to this prison for animals. However, her very sore throat allowed for the most pitiful sounds I have ever heard coming from her usual big mouth. She must have felt so bad she clawed the top of the carrier in an effort to stop this meeting where other strange cats and dogs end up in the same room with her.

Her determination not to attend this visit was worse than most. Finally I pushed her into the cat carrier but not before she showed me her sharp teeth which were ready to bite off the hand that feeds her.

As soon as the doctor checked her he gave her two shots; one for pain and the other was an antibiotic. The pain meds kicked in quickly but she was so exhausted she laid on the table with her head and little body as close to me as she could get.

The ferocious feline had suddenly become a very frightened little kitten who didn’t want the hand that feeds her to leave her alone for a second.

On the way home it hit me this must be the way God feels about us, his children.

We do what we can to claim our independence from the Creator of the Universe while he is doing what he thinks is best for us by getting our attention even if it hurts.

Trying to explain to a 10 year old, once feral cat she needs medicine is like God giving us his “book of life” that we place between two bookends, forgotten and unopened.

Her stubbornness to keep from getting what she needed is a reminder of how we fight God as he patiently waits for us to desire to seek him of our own accord.

But, like a ferocious feline as soon as fear sets in, we search for a Cross on a hill where we can fall into the arms of the one who created us.

Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Maxicat

Maxicat

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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Birds of A Feather don’t Always Like Each Other


Our bird feeder hangs from the flower bed  in front of the window in the dining room.

Not far from it, is a Hummingbird Feeder.

From our den, the view gives quite a story.

Certain types of birds flock around both of them all day.

CardinalbluebirdSparrowMockingbirdHummingbird

(Above Photo Credits: John Randolph Harrison http://www.pbase.com/jrandyh)

The Cardinals who always arrive in pairs, dine almost everyday. So do the Sparrows but they come in bunches.  The Bluebirds visit occasionally. The Mockingbird doesn’t care much for the menu, but he shows up to make noise and annoy the others who are trying to enjoy a decent meal. The Hummingbirds frequent their feeder quite often.  However, these tiny little creatures prefer dining alone; that is sharing the feeder is not an option.


No group exists without a bad apple.  Blackbirds are large, obnoxious, arrogant feathered bullies who use their size to eliminate the competition. Not only are they insolent and rowdy they enjoy flying in groups of 2-3, land on top of the feeder while other smaller and less flamboyant birds fly away. Blackbirds then put on a show of egotism by literally crawling in a circle around the pole to the bottom where most of the food is. Consuming the seeds in accelerated fashion, Blackbirds reveal their greed and sloppiness. And, these birds are loud! As they eat, a shrill screech marks their territory. The sound is at times deafening.

black birdred wing blackbird

Filling the bird feeder requires sitting it on the sidewalk to fill it up. Spilling a portion on the sidewalk is a given but it never goes to waste. The Doves, who also always fly in pairs, come in for a daily landing to clean it up.  I love these birds with their quiet maneuvers and peaceful attributes.

dove

Watching the birds has become a daily adventure. Never thought of myself as a “birdwatcher” but we do live in a “Bird Sanctuary.” We are blessed to observe a variety of small and large fowl from Hummingbirds to Egrets to the Golden Eagle.

What I didn’t know is birds have personalities, habits and lifestyles as unique and different as humans.

Depending on their size, discrimination is prevalent.

Fighting amongst themselves is a common thread.

Two are better than one.

Some birds are well liked by each other. Others are considered mean, unfriendly and impossible to get along with.

Enjoying games is a notable past time.

Fear of their predators is instinctive.

Feeding times are much like ours.

Matthew 6: 26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”


If I didn’t know better, I would think birds are relics of humans.

Some are beautiful, yet difficult.

Others may be intelligent, but cocky.

Many are colorful, dazzling in appeal and radiance.

Some aren’t as alluring or stylish, but make up for it in their composed and steady characteristics.

So what have I learned about birds?

They may not always get along with each other, but most want the same things in life.

The world may be a wreck but I believe most people no matter who they are, what background they come from or geographical location are no different than the birds.

Why? We all have the same Creator.Red heart

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/i-believe/

http://faith1stministries.com/2013/06/01/the-gospel-changes-everything/

http://terry1954.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/i-felt-your-presence/

http://connectingdotstogod.com/2013/06/01/one-faith-different-vocabularies/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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“Raindrops Keep Falling on her Head”


Outside door # 1 it is raining. Outside door #2 it is raining. However the cat doesn’t understand why it is raining behind both doors.

After her long morning nap, she makes a pit stop at her food bowl for a snack. Once done, she sits in front of me with those beautiful green eyes wanting to go outside door # 1. As she hits the back steps raindrops start dropping on her little sweet head.

Maxicat

Maxicat

Not long after that, she is climbing the door wanting back in. Cleaning the moistened drops off of her fur she looks at me once again heading for door #2.

The repeated conversation I have had with her over and over is that the rain is outside door #1 and door # 2. She ignores my attempt to explain the weather and scampers out.

Jumping to the steps and onto the sidewalk, she is quick to notice raindrops dropping on her head again. But why she meowwwwwwssss?

Her tiny, pea-brain believes the climate is different out front from the back. Try explaining that to a cat. She remains hopeful it will change.

Her thinking isn’t that much different than ours. How many times do we find ourselves repeating habits hoping for a new outcome?

“They” the people who seem to know says it takes us humans 21 times duplicating the same habit over before we can break it. How exhausting.

A habit by definition is a “behavior, tendency or frequent repetition or exposure performed regularly until it becomes involuntary.”

“Habits” in and of themselves have been given a “bad rap.” Automatically we assume habits are evil or wrong.

Sleeping 8 hours a night is a good habit.

Smoking is a bad habit because it is harmful to our bodies.

Eating your vegetables is a good habit.

Watching too much TV is a bad habit.

Gossiping can become a bad habit.

Spending too much time on your laptop is a bad habit…..ugh…..

Pathological lying is a very bad habit.

Drinking a soft drink everyday is a bad habit.

Feeding your cat everyday is a must.

Indulging in a chocolate bar everyday can become habitual unless you do it for recreational purposes like playing tennis and you need that boost of energy.  For the record a Snickers bar will do the trick.

Reading the Bible everyday is a good habit.

Wait, what was that last one?

READING THE BIBLE EVERY DAY IS A GOOD HABIT?

But isn’t that legalistic? Does God want us to spend time with him out of habit?

No…..but what may start out as a planned habit to be with him may turn out to be a joy, comfort and peace.

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

Some habits are worth forming. The onset may be a humble and upright goal; to perform a task as it were to eventually become the highlight of your day. Or that one thing you simply cannot live without.

At least that is how it started years ago with me. Now, reading the Bible, praying and spending time alone in the morning with God is the one thing I can’t live without. My day is complete and instead of getting a boost from a chocolate bar, his words fill me up.

Now, no longer a habit, God is my goal and purpose.

Jesus is the center and everything else falls into place around him.

Now if I can just get Maxi to understand why raindrops fall on her head behind both doors……nah…….

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/gods-love/

http://butchdean.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/the-spoken-word/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/look-to-the-scriptures/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/sihs-think-on-these-things-proverbs-45-9/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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There is No War on My Cat


Reading the news lately the shock of discovering there is a war on our “furry felines” of course routed my attention immediately.

The following article http://news.yahoo.com/staggering-stats-cats-kill-billions-animals-162839117.html gives statistics involving the hunting/killing of birds and mammals by our ever-loving feline friends.

At least we are not New Zealand who recently posted a ban on cats!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/22/new-zealand-cat-lovers-campaign

An environmentalist, Gareth Morgan in New Zealand decided cats are killing native birds. In an effort to rid New Zealander’s from their prize kitties he suggested;Maxicat 011

  1. Euthanizing them is not necessary but an option
  2. Neuter them and do not replace them when they die
  3. Keep all cats indoors
  4. Make registration mandatory

What? Who is this guy? He should be flogged and hung out to dry.

Seems he has managed to dip out of sight after his declaration of “natural born killers” on the loose. New Zealand is one of the largest cat owner countries in the world.70% of the cat owners there disagree with his absurd and foolheaded assertion. He is fortunate at this point he doesn’t live anywhere near me.

So now this has spread to the United States where our precious pets of the feline nature are blamed for killing billions of animals a year. Had my Maxicat not “killed” for her food the first year of her life because she was feral, she wouldn’t be with me today.

A study done showed most cats who are pets kill between 4-18 birds a year and between 8 and 21 small animals a year. Out of 84 million owned cats, the majority are given the option to go outdoors to perform their so-called dastardly deeds upon the helpless targets of attacks. Enter at this point; what about the dogs who kill cats?

The majority of “bird killing cats” are feral. So why are they picking on our pets?

In my neighborhood alone are many feral felines running around. These wild kitties are homeless and in need of love so they struggle to survive on their own.

Last spring I wrote a blog about 2 Mockingbirds who graced a tree in our front yard with a nest. We lived here first but try explaining that to a mean, noisy Mockingbird who decided he ruled this roost. Stepping outside on the front porch was a dangerous move for any human and especially Maxi.

“Daddy Mockingbird” attempted over and over to swoop down and peck us on our heads to inform us we were not wanted. As a “father bird” he was instinctively doing what father’s do; protecting his eggs from the undesirables of the world.

Waking up on a warm spring morning, I made my coffee and peered out the back door looking for the cat. Only Maxi wasn’t present.  But she had definitely been there. My guess was the “mom and daddy Mockingbird’s” tried pecking her on the head a little too close and well, let’s just say she got the best of them.

If you want to get rid of mice, rats or moles get a cat. Maxi has quite a resume of taking care of those varmints around here.

A final note made in the study found that removing cats from the outdoors might have a negative impact on the ecosystem. Also noted was cats are a checkpoint for preserving certain species of birds and mammals from other prey.

Maxicat 004

Maxicat

So…..STOP PICKING ON THEM!

http://theteentheme.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/immersed-in-gods-word/

http://larrywho.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/dont-you-judge-me-ya-hear/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved