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No greater love: 911 Tribute

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Tonight Buddy and I give tribute to the brave police and fire officers, magnificent men and women, who gave their own lives on 911 to save others in NYC at the Twin Towers.

Some stats I pulled off the Internet:

Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343
Number of NYPD officers: 23
Number of Port Authority police officers: 37

Total: 403 lives, not including those who later died of complications

Also, Flight 93, the brave souls who decided to fight to regain control of the plane, rather than allow it to fly into a building and kill others. 40 souls who were not terrorists left this earth that day.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”–Jesus, John 15:13

May their memories be blessed.

When praying about what to post, I felt compelled to stand for our public officials who risk or give their lives every day for the benefit of mostly strangers. There is no greater love than to give one’s life.

Rather than sit down this Sunday during the national anthem, I ask you to stand tall and salute our brave Americans: those who serve nationally, and overseas, to protect and to serve.

And let’s not forget that God Himself shed His blood on the cross for payment of our sins because we could never be holy enough to earn His forgiveness: His plan, His willing sacrifice to suffer horrendous torment on our behalf to enter into relationship with us. Because He loves us flawed, proud and often selfish people. He gives His life by the power of the Holy Spirit to us if we’re willing to be humble enough to admit our inadequacy to meet His holy standards. After all, Heaven is His house and He gets to set the rules on who gets to enter in the front door.

God bless our police, our fire officials and those serving in our military.

We can stand on 911 because they willingly lay down their lives for us.

Truly, they are some of the best America has to offer.

God bless you. I appreciate your time.

 

Loved Just Because: Ephesians 2:8-9

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Buddy is a rescue from Silky Terrier rescue. I greatly loved my prior Silky terrier Buster and so looked for another Silky. I met his foster mom at a dog fair and purchased this cloth hutch (photo), treats, and a fitted coat for him (special material for wet, warm or cool conditions).

When I first met Buddy, he was sitting in his cage on a cart with other Silkys in their cages. I had no attachment to him; he was just a stranger to me. But I said to Buddy, “I don’t have any feelings for you now, but I will learn to love you.”

And then all he did was fight me like a bucking bronco all the way to the car, yanking at his leash in sheer terror of going home with me. He wanted to stay with his foster mom (a Silky breeder with a real heart for the spunky terriers) because she rescued him from an abusive situation. I was horrified.

Eventually he stopped running away from my home. (More later on that.)

But the point is, I didn’t rescue Buddy because I’d heard he was such a great dog. And Buddy didn’t earn his rescue by the foster mom. I rescued Buddy because I wanted the companionship of a Silky terrier and Buddy was the first dog I’d seen on the rescue site up for adoption in Washington State for more than a year I’d been searching for one.

Buddy didn’t do anything to earn his rescue from a bad situation. Some women just decided to love him.

Same with God. He doesn’t save us from our sin and self-destructive behavior because we’re so wonderful. Jesus died to pay for our sin because God wants to fellowship with us. God hates sin and must punish it, but He loves us and came up with a plan to punish our sin on Jesus instead and come into relationship with us. All we have to do is acknowledge we’ve sinned against Him (aren’t perfect), need His forgiveness, acknowledge Christ paid our sin debt, and ask Him to come into our lives. (He does this by giving us the Holy Spirit to indwell us and guide us.)

We don’t earn His forgiveness. We can never be good enough to earn His forgiveness.

It’s freely given to us by just asking Him for it.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God; not as result of works, so that no one may boast.”–Ephesians 2:8-9

“God, Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus…”–2 Timothy 1:8 (Both quotes as NASB.)

If you don’t believe, ask Him to help you. He will because He loves you and wants to be in a loving relationship with you. Faith is a gift He gives you.

Buddy didn’t ask me to save him. But he’s my best pal now. By his overjoyed greeting when I return home, I’m sure Buddy would agree that he’s very glad that I chose him.

You’ll be glad too. I sure am.

 

 

 

Seeking the Lost: Luke 19:10

Buddyat River

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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