Archive | July 2016

Watching My Path: Psalm 142:1-3

 

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Buddy and I recently went to Ocean Shores, Washington State. It was fun to watch him find his own way from the beach along the various paths through the dense brush back to the hotel area. I tried not to guide him but, holding onto the leash, allowed him to find his own way.

Sometimes it seems like we’re just wandering through life all alone and no one cares enough to walk with us. But the invisible Lord is watching over us at all times. If we’re a child of God, (the Holy Spirit dwelling within us), then we can be certain that when we call out to Him, He hears us.

“I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk…” NASB

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Wandering: Hebrews 10:23b-25

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Buddy gets a daily walk. In our neighborhood is a small pond, habitat of ducks, crows and on occasion a blue heron. Every Spring the large flock of ducks scatter to other areas while a few stay and begin families. This year one mother duck had 7 eggs but four were destroyed somehow. Three ducklings survived to hatch.

When walking Buddy around the pond, I checked on the three survivors. Two ducklings always stuck closely together while the third wandered alone, circling around the pond. I feared greatly for this adventurous duckling, because occasionally bald eagles would perch in the limbs of the cedar trees in the small park above. Last year a family member intervened to prevent an eagle from carrying off a small duck.

Just as I feared, one day the third duckling was gone. I never saw her again. The other two, nearly grown now, still stick closely together and rarely are out of the mother duck’s watchful eyes.

I feel sad every time I walk past the pond because I think about that little duckling who didn’t survive, who may have been carried off by an eagle or raccoon or some other carnivore.

Because she would not stick close to her family.

“He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” NASB

There are some Christians who don’t believe they need to attend a church; they can go it alone. But we not only need the encouragement of other Christians, but our brothers and sisters prevent us from straying away and getting “eaten up” by a world system that is hostile to our faith. It’s also easier to engage in good deeds as a group. For instance, the Protestant churches in our area rotate, taking turns providing fresh (usually homemade) food for the homeless in a Catholic Services program that provides shelter and training to help them get back onto their feet. That way, the burden does not fall onto just one group of people. Most churches, such as ours, also has a benevolence fund to assist Christians in need.

We need each other. Try not to get eaten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking the Lost: Luke 19:10

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I’ve many experiences with Buddy, my Silky terrier and best pal for almost six years, but I’d like to make another comment about his great escape.

After Buddy had climbed out of our backyard due to fear of fireworks, I spent hours searching for him, finally giving up at 12:30AM when I was too exhausted to keep looking. I tried to place him into God’s hands, but couldn’t sleep, as I was near the front door and was subconsciously listening for him to return and scratch at the door to ask to come in. The next morning I got up at four AM and spent an hour before work searching for him before driving to work.

I was not going to give up till Buddy was found.

Because I loved him.

Same as the Lord Jesus. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Because, for some unfathomable reason, this fabulously intelligent, powerful, wise and kind God loves us.

Fortunately, a dog-loving couple in another neighborhood across a fairly busy street had discovered Buddy in their backyard that evening and gave him a safe haven. A local dog rescue site on Facebook was able to connect me to them the following day. (Thank you, Facebook.)

Because Jesus loves us, He came down to seek us. He was not content to remain in Heaven and leave us wandering like lost sheep, because we are unable to find Him on our own. “All of us are like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.”  Isaiah 53:6b (NASB)

“So [Jesus] told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing….I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:3-7 (NASB)

Indeed, I greatly rejoiced to see Buddy excitedly greet me at the front door after work. (My family had picked him up earlier that afternoon.)

Fortunately, God does not grow weary and stop looking. He’s waiting for you to open your heart to Him, if you haven’t started your journey with Him yet.

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Please forgive me if I haven’t followed you back yet, because I’m having trouble scrolling the stats page to read your link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wayward Thoughts: Philippians 4:8

I KNOW I’m supposed to trust God and guard my thoughts. But Buddy had run off the night before and was still missing. I went to work to try to keep busy, to avoid fretting at home and thinking too much. I’d spent hours the night before and an hour before work looking for Buddy. My family was looking for him that morning and I’d put in word at the local QFC, coffee shop, gas station and Starbucks about Buddy. Neighbors were looking for Buddy. I’d posted on Facebook and had put together a game plan on calling all the local vets and the dog chip registry. I activated my prayer network. Even my pastor was praying.

I’d done all I could. So what was I doing?

Fretting!

I foolishly CHOSE to focus my thoughts on my friend who lived in an area similar to mine, suburban yet adjacent to a heavily wooded area. One morning he had opened the backdoor to let his cats into his home and found one hiding under a bush and another being munched on in the jaws of a coyote.

Buddy is only 20 pounds. There’s no way he could defend himself against a coyote, possum or raccoon. Maybe not even an angry rooster! And he was car stupid. I’ve seen squirrels in our neighborhood looking both ways before crossing the street. Not Buddy.

So, although I sensed the Holy Spirit within me was trying to calm me down and reassure me that all was OK, I insisted on picturing Buddy being munched on by a coyote.

Really being positive, wasn’t I?

We’re admonished in God’s Word: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”(NASB)

My thoughts already flunked the first command: I didn’t know the truth about Buddy’s status. And whether I was thinking positive thoughts, “Buddy was rescued and I’ll be reunited with him soon,” or “Buddy is terrified and being munched on,” it wouldn’t change the outcome.

Only whether I had a stomach ache and stressed out or not.

And, more later, Buddy is back with me, snuggled at the end of my bed at night where he belongs.

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Do Not Fear: Isaiah 41:10

Buddy is hiding in the bathtub because the neighborhood sounds like it’s under attack this Fourth of July. Some of the blasts have made me jump out of my chair. Buddy escaped our backyard and ran off Thursday night for the first time. I mobilized prayer support and a cousin I’d met this Winter reposted my Facebook notice that Buddy was missing to a neighborhood rescue site that I had never heard of before. Her skilled use of social media led us the following afternoon to the dog-loving couple who had found him in their backyard that night.

After an anxious night of nearly no sleep, I’m thankful Buddy was kept safe. It reminds me of Isaiah 41:10 (NASB version):

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God, I WILL strengthen you, I SURELY I WILL help you, SURELY I WILL uphold you with my righteous right hand.

If you are born-again, you can be assured that whatever situation you’re going through, God will help you through it. Sometimes Jesus delivers us, sometimes He strengthens us to get through it, and many times, He gives me an idea or wisdom on how to solve the dilemma. After twenty-six years of being a Christian, I’ve found He usually works through the natural world and processes.

But certainly HE DID keep Buddy safe when the SUV skidded to a stop to avoid hitting him Thursday night. I was too far away, walking down a nearby street, to get to that location before he’d run off someplace. To me, that was a miracle.

God bless you. This is my first post. I hope that I will be enable to encourage you to keep seeking the Lord and not lose heart. Life can be discouraging, I know.

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