National Packrat Day, May 17th

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Revealing to my followers another side of myself: cartooning. I was thrilled last year when I discovered there was a National Packrat Day so that I finally had a use for this cartoon I drew years ago.

I learned that my identify does not rest in my talent. I am not a cartoonist. I am a Christian who does cartooning. First and foremost I am a child of God. But I’m thankful for this talent He has given me as it has provided me with endless hours of amusement and some cheer to others.

Have a ratty day!

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Are You Starving Yourself? Ten Reasons Not To. (Part 2) Matthew 4:4

 

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Buddy is the only dog I’ve ever owned who loves bread. In fact, I’m not sure if he would choose a piece of steak over a piece of bread. I might test him someone soon to see which he would prefer.

God commands us to eat bread, spiritual bread that nourishes our souls:

And Jesus said to Satan, “‘It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'”–Matthew 4:4

Last week I listed five reasons why we should read the Bible, God’s Word. To shorten the posts, I split the list into two blog postings. Below are the remaining five points:

  1. To know right from wrong, we have to study God’s Word. It’s a big book and there is a lot of wisdom in it. If we say we’re Christians but just go about living life based upon what the culture says is right and wrong, and not sifting our decisions and thoughts against what the Bible says, then we’re acting like Adam and Eve, denying what God commands and deciding for ourselves what is right and wrong. We avoid unnecessary harm by obeying God. “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers (Psalm 1:1-3, King David).”
  2. The Scriptures are good for you, mentally and physically. “”Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8, King Solomon).” And, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-19, Jesus).” “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, for blessed are they who keep my ways…Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates,…all who hate me love death (Proverbs 8:36).” “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him (Psalm 2:12).” “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him (Proverbs 30:5).”
  3. So that you can pray with confidence. God promises to answer our prayers if it’s according to His will. How can you know that you’re praying in accordance with God’s will? Know the Scriptures! “Let my cry come before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to your word (Psalm 119:169-170).” And, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him (1 John 5:14, Apostle John).”
  4. Knowing the Bible will protect you from false prophets, false teaching and falsehood. “I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints (Jude 3).” “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; (1 Thessalonians 5:21).”
  5. Lastly, because it’s God speaking to us. We should listen to our Lord and Savior. “But know this first of all that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:20).” If you love someone, you want to get to know them better. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37, Jesus quoting Deuteronomy 6:4).”

I hope you are now convinced of the necessity of daily reading God’s Word. May I suggest starting with reading one book of Proverbs for each day of the month? In other words, Proverbs 1 for the first day of the month, Proverbs 2 for the second day of the month, etc. Read Proverbs 31 on a thirty day month either on day thirty with Proverbs 30 or on the first day of the month with Proverbs 1.

If you miss a day or several, just continue with the program. You will find that these proverbs will begin to sink into your heart and when you face a certain situation, the Holy Spirit will bring the proverb to your mind to guide you. He’s done that for me many times.

God bless you richly as you grow in the knowledge of Him and His Word.

Dawn and Buddy

 

Are You Starving Yourself? Ten Reasons Not to. (Part 1) Matthew 4:4

Bud@MuddBay.WP

Buddy’s most favorite place in the whole world (besides being at my side, or so I delude myself) is the local pet food store, Mud Bay in Maple Valley. He goes wild in the car when he realizes we’re near the shop. The regular employees know Buddy and give him treat samples, but his favorite is Brianna. He loves checking out the bags of dog food, bags of snacks, bins of dog bones and treats. For Buddy, it’s a doggie play palace.

I ask, “Are you starving yourself?” because many people are like Buddy: They enjoy a good, tasty meal of food but are starving themselves spiritually. Their bodies are fit but their souls are hungry.

When Satan tried to tempt Jesus in the desert wilderness after He had fasted for 40 days, Jesus counteracted every temptation with the Word Of God.

In response to the first temptation, Jesus told Satan, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the south of God.'”–Matthew 4:4

Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3.

The first five of ten points:

  1. Jesus emphasized that knowing God’s Word is vitally important. Just like food, we should be reading the Bible every day and praying for God to guide us. We cannot go six days ignoring the Bible and think that just a few hours on Sunday morning is good enough. You wouldn’t starve yourself all week and expect one meal on Sunday morning would get you through the week. (Above quotes.)
  2. Jesus used the Bible to counteract all three of Satan’s temptations. The more of God’s you have memorized, the longer your Sword of the Spirit will be to vanquish your spiritual enemies and temptation. The Word of God is the only offensive weapon listed by Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:17. The other pieces of armor listed are defensive.
  3. Although we live under the New Covenant (New Testament), we still need the lessons of the entire Word of God. Firstly, Jesus and the apostles quoted from the Old Testament. And, secondly, both apostles Paul and Peter instructed Christians to read the Old Testament writings. “…they were written for our instruction (1 Corinthians 10:11, Apostle Paul).” And “…you should remember the words spoken by the holy prophets… (2 Peter 3:2).” Also, “ALL SCRIPTURE (emphasis mine) is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; … (2 Timothy 3:16, Apostle Paul).”
  4. God’s Word helps us to become better people, to be progressively sanctified. We are declared righteous in God’s sight by faith, but in order to be light in the World, we need God’s Word to help us become better people. “…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation (1 Peter 2:2).” Babies frequently yearn for milk, they don’t have it occasionally. It’s their daily diet.
  5. To obey God, we should read God’s Word. Multiple times we’re commanded to know God’s Word and teach it to the next generation. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Joshua).”

The past six months or so God has revealed to me that I have a lot of contentious thoughts. I debate issues with imaginary people in my mind where I can always win the argument. I’m improving in cutting the thoughts off in mid-stride, but this verse came to me this past week and it’s helped a lot to meditate on it:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9, Jesus, Sermon on the Mount).”

When this verse comes to mind, it really helps me break free of my argumentative ruminations. I want to be a peacemaker. The verse speaks to one of my core desires: to encourage and uplift people. I feel happier and have more energy, because I’m not wasting my mental energy on contentious or useless thinking. I can now redirect my thoughts toward more creative and productive thoughts. However, the Holy Spirit would not be bringing this verse to my mind if I didn’t know it from reading or hearing it many times till it sank into my subconscious mind.

I had originally planned only 3 points but came up with 10. I’ll post the other 5 next week so that this post isn’t too long.

May God bless you as you read His Holy Word. Please remember that it is a supernatural book and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance before you start reading.

Thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate your time. Have a great day or evening.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

Happy Easter! John 20:26-31

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“After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here with your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.’

Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and My God!’

Jesus said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have your believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.’

…these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you maybe have life in His name.”

May you experience His divine life today as we celebrate worldwide the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave proving, after His crucifixion, that He is fully man and fully God.

Happy Easter from Dawn and Buddy

God bless you.

***

Bible quotes are from the New American Standard Bible, NASB, on this blog, unless otherwise noted.

 

Where Does A Big Gorilla Sit? Psalm 24:1

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When I pick Buddy up I sometimes say, “It sucks being little, doesn’t it?” Because it doesn’t matter what he is doing, because I’m much larger than he is, I get to pick him up whenever I want to and there’s not much he can do about it. But because I love him, I don’t usually pick him up without a valid reason nor is my motive to do him harm.

My first Christian pastor was a big cowboy sporting a ten gallon hat and a red beard. I would attend church Sunday mornings before my job at the local racetrack. The pastor would preach to the employees on the backstretch, then give a second sermon to the front side employees. There was usually only about 6 to 8 of us, so I really appreciated that he would take the time and effort to speak to such a small congregation. (He later moved to Texas and the services ended. I think his name was John.)

The first time I attended, the pastor asked us, “Where does an 800 pound gorilla sit?”

We all sat there silent and wide-eyed, likely all thinking, “Why is he talking about gorillas?”

With a broad smile he answered, “Anywhere he wants to.”

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 24:1:

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains; The world, and those who dwell in it.”

This truth was stated earlier by Moses in Exodus 9:29: “…the earth is the Lord’s.”

When I pray, it’s comforting to know that God is sovereign: Nothing happens on our planet that He is not aware of, nor can anyone act without His divine permission. I know that “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26b) and that He can answer any prayer request or meet any need that I have.

But there’s another truth that most people don’t want to admit: God through Jesus Christ is the boss. He is in control of human history and ultimately, our own destinies (Psalm 139:16). Most people, including myself, want what we want, when we want it and how we want it. We want God to rescue us now, fix it now, give it now, and change the world and people NOW.

But God sees the future, we don’t. He didn’t ask for our permission to create humanity, the world and all its creatures. When rebuking Job for demanding answers, God reminded Job that He didn’t need anyone’s permission to act nor require anyone’s advice. All of His gifts and help are an act of grace by an all powerful deity Who is working all things according to His will.

As the mightiest ancient ruler proclaimed, Nebuchadnezzar, after being humbled by God for pride and hubris:

“For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand, or say to Him, “What have you done?””–Daniel 4:34-35

Years ago I stopped at the Bozeman Museum on a road trip through Montana and viewed the Hubble Telescope IMAX exhibit. The scope and beauty of the universe is awesome and very humbling. It’s vastness is truly unimaginable.

Our Great God’s power, imagination and intelligence is far beyond the ability of our finite minds to conceive. Pastor John was comparing God to a gorilla that Sunday morning: He does what He wants, when He wants and how He wants to do it. It was His idea to create and design the earth, humankind, animal and plant life and the universe. He didn’t require our permission or input. And He has a plan that He is working to bring human history to a close, as detailed in Revelation, Daniel, Isaiah and scattered throughout other books in the Bible.

So next time you’re tempted to grumble and complain about God’s timing, His will, His actions or His plan for your life, remember that:

He’s the big Gorilla–and you’re the little dog.

***

When Adam and Eve rebelled against His rule and authority, He could’ve wiped out humanity and just let the animals roam the earth. But He created humans in His image to be His friends.

So, instead of destroying us, He devised a plan to send Jesus to die for our sins to bring us back into relationship with Him. You see, a holy God cannot tolerate unholy people. Sin must be punished. He made this plan to redeem us before the first generation of humans was born:

God said to Satan, who tempted Adam and Eve to reject God’s authority:

“Because you have done this…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He (Jesus) shall bruise you (Satan) on the head, and you shall bruise him in the heel.”–Genesis 3:14-15

God took the initiative at the beginning of human history to bring us back into fellowship with Him through faith in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived the perfect life no human could live. Being both perfect man and God, He was able to bear the punishment for the sins of all humanity so that God’s anger at sin could be appeased. Problem is, you have to accept His forgiveness. God wants us to love Him willingly and won’t force His friendship on us. He doesn’t want to be friends with robots. Please ask Him to forgive your sins and make Him the Lord of your life. He loves you and wants to be your best friend.

Getting Wet, Matthew 23:27-28

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When I walked Buddy tonight, I tried to reign him in on his leash to keep him close to me. Not to restrict his movement, but to try to shelter him under my umbrella so that he wouldn’t get wet from the intermittent rain. Being the usual headstrong terrier, he kept resisting me and pulling out from under the protection of the umbrella, with the predictable result.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,…” Jesus lamented in Matthew 23:27-28. “How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!”

God calls to each of us to run to shelter under His protecting umbrella, yet people think God is trying to crimp their lifestyle with His rules of behavior, so they willfully resist Him and go their own way. As a result, they get wet with the eventual unhappiness and consequences of their behavior. Sometimes they even curse God for their circumstances, when all along He was warning them to turn back.

But God is merciful and loving. When you repent of your willful disobedience, He opens His arms wide and pulls you into His loving embrace. He doesn’t reject anyone who comes to Him.

“And the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”–Jesus, John 6:37b

Why not give your heart to Jesus now?

Dear Father, I thank you that Jesus, God In the Flesh, took the punishment for ALL my sin on the Cross. And was resurrected bodily to give me eternal life. Please forgive my sin. I invite the Holy Spirit to live His life through me and to guide me. Thank you for loving me.

Please attend a church service this Easter where Christians love and worship the King as described in the Bible. And let them know that you just recently gave your heart to the Lord so that they can assist you in your new life’s journey.

God bless.

Dawn and Buddy

 

Jesus Vs. The Seattle City Council, Psalm 144:3

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I would be very surprised if Buddy puffed up his chest, strutted about and suddenly declared, “I am TOO WONDERFUL, too good to be subservient to you anymore, Dawn. I don’t have to do anything you want me to do. I’m going my own way. See you later, doofus!”

In fact, we’d all be surprised if any dog acted that way. It would be entirely abnormal for a dog to be contrary and willfully disobedient. We love them so much because they continue to love us unconditionally no matter how badly we act toward them, toward others, or how awful we look at any particular time.

Normally, I try to avoid politics in my blog, but an incident was reported on the local Seattle newscast a few nights ago that upset me terribly.

An middle-aged man, slightly scruffy, was standing in front of a microphone before the Seattle City Council. He asked the members to look at him while he was speaking. They totally ignored him and continued to stare at their electronic devices. He gave up trying to get their attention and walked off in total discouragement. He felt unimportant before his elected officials.

I don’t know what this man was talking about, because the newscaster didn’t specify nor did the film show it. He could have been speaking about something I totally disagree with or don’t care about. However, apparently, he was a citizen of Seattle and had a right to bring his concerns before them. It angered me that this man was treated with such callous disrespect, as if he was just a bug crawling across the floor, totally beneath their notice. I haven’t seen such pride and scorn shown to someone by public officials that I recall. I’d bet if the man was a rich developer, the members of the Seattle City Council would have shown him rapt attention.

Did you ever consider how amazingly humble God is?

“O Lord, what is man, that you take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that you think of him? Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.”–Psalm 144:3

Our great God “counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.”–Psalm 147:4

“The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”–Psalm 24:1

“With God all things are possible.”–Matthew 19:26b

“But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him?”–King Solomon, 2 Chronicles 2:6

“The Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts.”–King David, 1 Chronicles 28:9

God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, yet He encourages His children to make requests of Him:

“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock and it will be opened up to you….How much more will your Father who is in heaven GIVE what is good to those who ask Him!”–Jesus, Matthew 7:7-8,11

“…casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”–Apostle Peter, 1 Peter 5:7

And to those who don’t know Him, He invites them to enter into a love relationship with Him to find inner peace:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”–Jesus, Matthew 11:28-30

No one is beneath the notice of the greatest King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

He loves you.

“…the very hairs on your head are all numbered.”–Jesus, Matthew 10:30

God Almighty acknowledges you and knows you intimately.

***

Jesus knows every sin you’ve ever committed, yet still loves you very much. You cannot hide anything from Him, so why keep trying to? You think you’ve done something that has surprised Him or He’s never seen before during five thousand years of civilization? He knows what you say and do before you say and do it: Psalm 139, and even knows when you stand and sit down. He’s totally omniscient. Yet totally loving.

Yes, life is tough. It sucks some days. “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”–Apostle John, 2 John 1:19 But God pierces the darkness with His love and gives us rest from the worries of this life. He doesn’t promise an easy path, but He walks alongside us and helps us to endure or rescues us.

Every day we have a choice: embrace the darkness or choose to walk through the darkness behind the Great Shepherd Who is lighting the way with His lantern of truth and love.

If you want to accept Him, please pray:

Lord I’ve sinned but You already know that. I want to experience Your great love for me in this hurtful world. Can you please forgive my sin and wash me clean in Your sight? Please give me the gift of the Holy Spirit so that I can begin to walk with You through this tough life and enter into Heaven one day to live with You for eternity.

God bless you from Dawn and Buddy.

***

Sorry to be rather awol with my blog posts this year. I had a very tough Winter and especially the last few weeks. Five of my friends and relatives died, my dad almost died, Buddy was squealing in pain for two weeks and a close family member is undergoing tests for potential cancer. I also had a bad cold but still had to work. I’ll try to be more consistent this year.

My Great Shepherd is holding my hand.

And guarding over me and Buddy.