Saturday, June 26, 2010

Forgiveness is the key!

I was reading my devotional today, and this scripture came up talking about obedience and forgiveness. I know that we are to forgive those we have things against, and that Jesus said in his prayer example, that we should forgive so that we can be forgiven.

2 Corinthians 2:9-11 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. 

So often I have made so many excuses about forgiving people that have hurt me, and in particular one situation where I blamed someone for changing my whole life that I’d had planned out. It took me a long time to realize that even if I didn’t FEEL like forgiving them, like in this verse, I HAD to forgive them to be obedient to God. 

It had become a habit after so many years to go over the bad things whenever the name came up in my head/heart, and I had to make it a HABIT to NOT go over the bad things, but to pray to God for help to forgive, and to pray for God’s Blessings on them, knowing only He can heal my hurting heart.

This scripture goes on to say to me that God forgives them AS I forgive them, and then it goes on further and says that it is for OUR OWN SAKES that He has forgiven them, because Satan can take advantage of us through our anger… at least that is what I believe this is talking about. 

At the time, I prayed and prayed for what I wanted to happen, but it didn't.  It wasn't that God didn't listen or answer my prayers, it was that He knew best and said, "No." In other situations, He has said "Wait."

As to that other situation, over the years, that person and I have again become friends, AND God has shown me that HE had a different plan for my life, for I wouldn’t have met and married Mike or had my wonderful kids and grandkids if things had gone according to MY plan… 
(Pic. from 1995)

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Good Scripture Passage to Keep in Mind...

While working on my Proverbs Bible Study, I remembered these scripture verses that I have hanging up on my wall.

They are said so well in the Amplified Bible, and I try to keep them in mind as I go about my daily living…

Ephesians 4:29-32 (Amplified Bible)

29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it. 

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God's own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).

31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).

32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

Lord, keep these thoughts close to my mind as I walk the daily path that You have chosen for me…

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday’s Show and Tail… J. R., Our Cat-dog

It’s time "Tuesday’s Show & Tail" time again! Angela, over at West Virginia Treasures, has been hosting this special time for several months, and it is always a lot of fun to see all the interesting posts of the people who join in! This is the 37th week that Angela has hosted this meme to share about past or present pets, animal friends we’ve known, or interesting stories about animals. If you’d like to join, here is the link to the Guidelines.

Today, I thought I’d do a quick few notes on our old cat, J.R. We got him for my son, Manuel, who wanted to name him Manuel… he wanted to name EVERYTHING Manuel. I talked him into naming the kitten, Manuel Jr., which got shortened to J. R.

J.R. was raised with dogs and thought he was a dog, I think. He even used to drool a lot when he was petted and would start to purr. He was a really sweet cat, probably because he was neutered very early, so he never learned to wander. In fact, that’s probably why he lasted into old age around here when most of our cats didn’t with the coyote problem we have. (In this picture you can see most of the "Crucified Christ" on the cross marking he had on his side... all but the head.)

He would follow us out if we went on a walk, but if we got toward the edges of our property, he would start to meow… like he was telling us that “It’s NOT safe out here!” “We NEED to stop and go BACK!” “YOU ARE BEING STUPID!” It would get louder and louder until we were back on our property and safe.

He was one of OC’s best friends from the time she was a little puppy! He seemed to think the pups (her and her brother) were his own babies and would snuggle them. When they would get too rambunctious, and run up to him and almost knock him over, he would sit up and bat them on their ears with both paws… bat, bat, bat… but with his claws sheathed so he never hurt them. He and OC would clean each others faces for years until he passed away…

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday’s Show and Tail… My Shadow

It’s time to share another "Tuesday’s Show & Tail." Angela, over at West Virginia Treasures, has been hosting this special time for several months, and it is always a lot of fun to see all the interesting posts of the people who join in! This is the 36th week that Angela has hosted this meme to share about past or present pets, animal friends we’ve known, or interesting stories about animals. If you’d like to join, here is the link to the Guidelines.

Today… if I can get through it… I want to share about my old Shadow. He was a very special dog (but so many have been) that we got originally for my son, Mick. We first saw Shadow at an old Safeway Grocery store in March of 1990. He was in a shopping cart with a BUNCH more brothers and sisters. He was the skinniest of the bunch, and looked like he was mostly head (as do most animals who are starving) I couldn’t take all of them home, but decided we would try to save him as he was in the worst shape of them all.

He was part Border Collie and probably had some German Shepherd and/or Queensland Healer in him. He was TOTALLY smart, and learned very quickly. Of course, with good food and a lot of love, he grew into a very handsome, healthy dog and, since we moved out here a few months after we got him (one of the reasons that I knew we COULD get him) he and Mick had lots of room to roam. Mick lived on, and for horses, and they spent many hours riding the hills around here for miles with Mick’s brothers.

One day, when Shadow was a year or so old, I heard what sounded like a horrible struggle outside about 6 a.m.. It sounded like someone was being strangled. I jumped out of bed and ran outside (without my glasses), tripped in a hole and crawled to where the two dogs were struggling. Our other German Shepherd, Midnight, and Shadow had been playing when she got her jaw tangled in his choke collar and it somehow twisted around her jaw she couldn’t let go and it had tightened down on his neck and was strangling him while threatening to break her jaw.

I was yelling to try to wake one of the kids and praying desperately when suddenly one of the links broke! ( a TOTAL miracle as those were heavy, welded links) Midnight ran dripping blood from her mouth, and Shadow lay on his side, not breathing, his tongue blue, and he had already soiled himself. I gave him CPR ( I worked with little special ed. children, so had been taught how) Within a minute, he started to breath again, and we laid there, side by side, me petting him, crying and thanking God, and him gasping until he got his breath back.

His neck was cut and swelled up quite badly for several days, and Midnight had lost one of her front molars, but they both survived. From that time on, if Mick wasn’t home, and after he graduated and left home in 1996, Shadow was literally, in my shadow, until he got to the point where he could no longer walk and started to be in pain, at the age of 17. I took him to the vet and was with him as he went to the “Rainbow Bridge.” Mick drove out and buried him in our front yard, under the trees in his favorite spot.

Besides her Mama Mist, Shadow was OC’s favorite, and she followed him around and looked up to him totally. He was great with everyone and with other dogs, too, once he was told they were "ok." The only thing he feared was gunshots. I remember one day, the neighbors were practicing shooting out in their side pasture, and I heard a bang at the front door. I looked up and there was Shadow hanging from the flyscreen that’s on the upper half of the screen door. He reminded me of those old Garfields that used to have the suction cups on the feet that you could hang on windows… poor baby.

I wrote a poem about/for him the evening we buried him:

Goodbye My Shadow
3/90 to 7/9/05

That silver muzzle is no longer here
To nuzzle my hand as I shed my tears.

Old friend I will miss you so
As through this life I continue to go.

I remember your big head at six weeks old
Attached to that tiny body of bones.

We took you home and fed you up
And you became a sturdy pup.

And then when you were one or two
I shared the breath of life with you.

You’ve been my Shadow from that day to this
And you’re loving presence I greatly miss.

Today I freed you from your pain
I hope that my loss is your gain.

I looked to throw you a treat tonight
But no trusting eyes greeted my sight.

Later I reached to scratch your old ears
Then couldn’t hold back the flowing tears.

I know you’re in a better place
And smiling again with your doggy face.

By Linda Brock © 7/9/05

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Proverbs 12: 10 The Treatment of Your Animals Shows What’s Inside…

I do another blog that is a Bible Study from the book of Proverbs, and today’s verse is one that is just so close to my heart that I wanted to share it here as well. I don’t think very many of you follow both blogs, so hopefully this won’t be a re-run for you.

Today’s verse talks about the way people treat their animals as being a way to judge their character. I find this interesting because we see more and more animal abuse and neglect as the incidence of other forms of crime, abuse and neglect rise.

Proverbs 12: 10 (NKJV)

10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal,
But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

righteous: Morally upright; without guilt or sin Upright: Adhering strictly to moral principles

regards: 1. To give heed; pay attention 2. To take into account; consider. 3. Obsolete: To take care of.
         Synonyms: regard, esteem, admiration, respect
These nouns refer to a feeling based on perception of and approval for the worth of a person or thing

mercies: 1. Compassionate treatment 2. A disposition to be kind and forgiving  3. Alleviation of distress; relief 4. humane and kind, sympathetic, or forgiving treatment of or disposition toward others

wicked: 1. Evil by nature and in practice 2. Highly offensive; obnoxious

cruel: predisposed to inflict violence, pain, or hardship, or to find satisfaction in the suffering of others

By using the definitions of the main words of the Bible Text, we see that people that are morally upright, or adhere strictly to moral principles, will pay attention to the care of their animals. They feel that there is worth in living things, and that they have feelings and need love.

By contrast, those people that are evil by nature and in practice, and that are predisposed to inflict violence, pain, or hardship, or to find satisfaction in the suffering of others, just don’t seem to have the capacity within themselves to give humane and kind, sympathetic or compassionate treatment even to their animals.

This is SO SAD! I feel that one of the main ways to change people is to change their hearts, and only love, and in particular, the Love of God and His forgiveness in lives, will do that. When we ask Jesus into our lives to wash us from the sins we’ve repented of, and to become the LORD and Savior in our lives, then HE will change us from within, and when He comes again, Romans 8:21-23 tells us:

Romans 8: 21 – 23 (NKJV)
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.