Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Babies

God blesses some people with children, others He blesses with wonderful pets. Here are my babies. Mollie (black and white) is a 3-4 year old Heeler mix. Finnegan is a 6 year old Cocker Spaniel. Both are spoiled and much loved by their momma.

They are mine because their previous owners did not give a darn about them. I adopted Finn, heartworms and all, from the Fort Worth Humane Society in February 2004. He was a disgusting mat of fur and fleas. I adopted Mollie, November 2007. She was living at Furry Friends Rescue with 10 other dogs.

Finn is on the really smart, but acts really dumb side and Mollie is too smart for her own good.

If anyone ever wants a dog, please get one from a Humane Society or a rescue. One of the best places to find a pet is Rescues are also WONDERFUL. These dogs live with humans, other animals, and often kids. They are screened for behavioral issues and are fully vetted.

Jesus Wept

What seems like several posts ago, I gave testimony to the miracle of prayers answered. My Aunt Monica's lung cancer was gone. It was truly an answer to everyone's prayers. Therefore, it hurts my heart in so many way to have found out today that the cancer has reappeared in her liver.

I am not going to question why the cancer came back, even though that is human nature. I will not let it shake my faith in God, nor will I raise a fist in anger at Him. Though that is also a human response. I know that our prayers were answered, if only for a short time.

And it was no coincidence that our sermon today, in the "God Did What?" series was "God Cried." John 11:35; the shortest verse in the bible. It simply says, "Jesus wept." Jesus wept compassionately for his friend Lazarus who had died. In Luke 19:41-44, Jesus wept upon his entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday for He knew what would happen.

Two words, yet they convey a wealth of meaning.

Today we learned that our God is emotional and empathetic. With this knowledge, I take comfort; not for the news delivered today, but in knowing that God cries when we cry.

Because I weep for my aunt as she possibly draws closer to the end of her life; He also weeps with me

P.S. For anyone who reads this blog, please keep Monica in prayer. I pray for her body to be healed. If that is not God's plan, I pray that He takes her peacefully and painlessly home and her immediately family is given His comfort.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Top 10 Reasons I Shouldn't Go Snorkeling

10. The catamaran is a great place for catching a tan

9. Floating around in fish poop...need I say more?

8. Saltwater is very harsh to my delicate self

7. I can see tropical fish in a tank any time

6. If I can't wear my glasses, I can't see the fishies

5. I am not bait

4. Objects in the water may be closer than they appear

3. My snorkel gear doesn’t match my swimsuit

2. My dive fins make me look fat

And the number one reason I shouldn’t go snorkeling….

1. Hello, am I the only person who watches “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Unplayed - My Guitar Stands Alone

Turlough Round Tower and Church

I've been playing with some photo enhancements. This is "metallic."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Never Laugh at The Royal Oracle of Snow

I love snowflakes. I adore snowmen. I am the royal oracle of snow, goo goo g'joob.

Last year, my staff discovered my penchant for snowthings. Accordingly, they decorated the window next to my office door with "peel 'n' stick" snowflakes. It was our way of heralding the advent of winter in Texas (all 24 hours of it) and decorating our otherwise plain vanilla office (you should have seen what we did at Christmas).

After the stuffing, turkey, and pumpkin pie had been consumed last Thanksgiving, I stuck the same snowflakes on the same window. I also decorated my office with my snowmen. I realize this has become somewhat of a ritual for me. It's all done with the hope for that elusive White Christmas. It's March 2008. I'm still waiting.

Nevertheless, I keep the s'flakes and s'men displayed all winter. This year, I decided to use some reverse psychology on the SnowyGoodnessGod. On Leap Day, I removed the snowflakes; commenting to the staff that I was doing it early hoping it would snow.

They laughed.

The darnedest thing happened. Three days later, we had our first snowfall of the winter. Dang, I'm good. I put away the fake flakes and received the real deal.

But wait, there's more.

I had not yet stored my "Let It Snow" men or my pudgy snowmen figurines. Hmmm, based on the previous weather activity as a result of removing snowlike items; I wondered if I could conjure more snow? I put the snowmen away; and told my staff based on the previous snowfall, I could only assume that by storing more snowmen, we could very well have a blizzard.

They laughed.

Yesterday, North Texas was the recipient of my royal oracle-like snowy prognostication. The lovely city of Denton received nine, yes, nine inches of snow. My fair homestead was graced with two inches, give or take a half-inch.

Again, let me say, I AM GOOD, real good. Next year, I'm going to store my ski jacket, gloves, and goggles.

I wonder what that will do?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

March in North Texas

It snowed!! For the snow starved (most native Texans) it was a big deal. We had it all; rain, sleet, snow. Tonight ice will reign supreme. I drove past two snowmen and kids having a snowball fight.

Finn is busy chasing a stray snowflake. Mollie decided that it was cold and wet, so she high-tailed it inside.

Smart girl.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

God Waits For Her Return

What do you say when someone whom you thought had a heart for Christ says, “I’m an atheist”? What do you do when you can actually feel your heart breaking?

Kate is a very good friend. We bonded over hockey in 1999 and have been fast pals since.

We were very much alike until she forged a friendship with a co-worker. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I have no issues with my friends expanding their "friend" quota. However, this new friend was the antithesis of all in which Kate believed. Over time, her new friend was able to transform Kate's belief system. The change was tangible, from conservative Christian to liberal Atheist.

Kate knew I had been attending a new church; and thoroughly enjoying what I was hearing and seeing. She knew I was recommitting myself to Christ by being re-baptized. To commemorate the occasion, she purchased a lovely Bible charm for my bracelet. I was surprised because I had been exposed to her angst with God.

The same day she gave me the charm, we went to dinner. During the meal, she said, “You can talk to me about church you know. Just because I have atheistic leanings now, doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear about what you are doing.” Silence. What could I say? What did I want to say?

“Kate, my heart is breaking for you. What a sad existence you’ve chosen with this path. I’ll certainly pray that your eyes and heart will be opened and you will receive the joy and love that only Christ can bring.”

But I didn’t say those words to her. Instead, I sat silent, allowing conversation to continue. I would like to think my lack of comment was disbelief rather than the ache of confirmation. This was the first time she had given voice to what I had already come to know.

With Kate's revelation weighing heavily on my spirit, I had a “God Moment”. A moment when God loving smacks me upside the head. I’ve always told Him that I do not get subtle. And to His credit, He is not. Then again, He is God.

My church is in the midst of an amazing sermon series entitled, “God Did What?” The second sermon was “God Ran.” One of the main points of the message was that God waits for those who leave and runs to those who return. Can you imagine God running towards you, face aglow, arms open? His willingness to embrace and love you regardless?

I had no idea what the content of the sermon would be, but there was Pastor Drew, speaking God’s words directly to me. A salve for an aching heart. I kept Kate there, in my heart, the entire time. At the end of the sermon, Pastor Drew asked us to put someone we knew was lost or had left Christ on our hearts. He invited us to come forward and he prayed.

I cried for Kate. I prayed for Kate. During the prayer, I became strongly convicted that I need to invite her to the Saturday service for Easter. Shortly after Pastor Drew ended the prayer, he told us to invite that lost person to service on Easter. Ok God, I get it.

I’m not sure what I need to do for Kate after asking her to church. Part of me wants to walk away. Yet, the other part knows I need to love her like God loves us. He never strays from our side. I know I have a part to play in her life. So, I pray.

And in praying, I know God eagerly and patiently waits for her to return.