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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Checking In

 Good morning! It's been a busy couple of days. Monday, I was doing some biblical research about a few questions that I had. As usual, one thing leads to another and I got lost in the Good Book for hours! Then I picked up Nicolae and became engrossed in that. Reading until the end so that I could start the next in the series, Soul Harvest. Put a good book in front of me, and I can lose a whole day.

Yesterday, hubs was off work. So we made it a vet day. Woodrow (our Aussie) was due for a heartworm check. We took him in so they could get a swab, then waited the 20 minutes for the results (negative) and to purchase his & Pedro's monthly pills. A quick FYI - Trifexis. It prevents heartworm, and a host of others. Also works as a flea control. (AMAZINGLY so!) It's expensive-ish, but if you have dogs, so worth it.

We dropped Woodrow at home, then went out and had a nice lunch at Ocean's Buffet. We hadn't been out to eat there in ages, so that was really nice. A weird thing - since getting my gallbladder removed, my taste in food has changed. Some things that I used to like, just don't sound good anymore. And I have become addicted to salad! Everyday I prepare this big bowl of super-salad magnificence and feel like I've won the jackpot. LOL! Lettuce, shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, onions strips, shredded cheese..... it's so yummy!

ANYway. After lunch we went back home to pick up Bindi (toy Aussie) & Bear (mini Aussie) for their appointments. We got them around Christmas from a questionable situation and wanted to make sure that they have whatever vaccinations they needed just in case puppy shots weren't given. Bindi is a regular little lady and quite well behaved. She laid by our feet in the waiting room and was content. Bear is more of a goofy kid. He paced. He jumped in the chair beside us, then climbed on our laps. Then back in the floor again. He has ADHD I think. He barked at every person that walked in the door - not in a mean way, more as a greeting.

Finally we were called to the back. The tech stopped us at the scale in the hallway. Bindi stood and was weighed. Bear didn't want on the scale, then when we put him on it, he flopped around like a drunken goose. She finally got a weight on him, thank goodness, and we went to our room. The tech and her assistant "ooed and ahhed" over the pups for a good 10 minutes. Saying what beauties they are.

Both stood for their exams and did well with the injections. No jumping around or yelping. Bear has an itchy spot on his rump where the hair is thin. They lead him down the hall to go take a skin scrape, just to make sure it isn't an allergy of some kind. Within seconds of him being led off down the hall, he comes galloping back, nudges open the door while at full speed and crashes into my legs. "Hi, Mom! They tried to dognap me, but I escaped." The sheepish looking tech came in seconds later, leash and collar in hand. Apparently he slipped out. LOL

Take two - tighter collar, back down the hall. Within seconds, I see the tech carrying him past us, in search of her assistant. Bear wanted to come back to us so badly, that he wouldn't stand still for her long enough to get a skin sample. Someone had to hold him. When it was over, they just let him go, and he came galloping down the hall like the big goofball he is, and ran into my arms.

Two hours and a few hundred later, both kids have their vaccinations up to date, physical exams and pills for the month. Bindi is still being polite and calm. Bear is READY TO GET OUTTA THERE. He led me to the front door and insisted we exit, even while hubs was still paying. Then he led me to the car where we just had to get in. Meanwhile, Bindi is coming along with us, content with whatever.

It was quite a day. LOL

Back home, I curled up in my recliner to relax and read a bit. That's when this verse hit me -

"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son." ~John 3:18
It just doesn't get much simpler than that, does it?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Trying

Yesterday, I was caught off-guard by a friend of mine asking questions about faith. I hadn't seen the conversation coming and was unprepared. I answered her questions as best I could. Hoping to provide information and comfort. I don't have a bunch of Bible verses memorized, nor can I easily name off where certain issues are addressed. But I said a quick prayer for guidance, then responded to the best of my ability.

One thing that came up, was her family member's comments about "being a good person". While that is a wonderful thing - it's not THE thing. As noted.....
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." ~Ephesians 2:8-9
We can be the kindest, gentlest, most caring & dedicated to helping others. But that isn't what saves us (spiritually speaking). We are saved by grace. By Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Nothing we do can guarantee us a spot in Heaven.
"He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." ~Acts 16:30-31
That's it? In a nutshell. We accept the gift offered to us.... we believe that Jesus is the son of God, sent to Earth to live and die in order to save us. We admit that we are sinners and ask His forgiveness. 'Good works' are a wonderful thing. We should desire to do good and help others. But that is not the way into Heaven. We don't have to "earn" our place there.

She said that she felt a little better after talking with me. I don't know if I was able to provide the information that she was looking for, or even offer much comfort.... but I tried. And encouraged her to speak to a pastor who would be much more knowledgeable about the Bible. Someone who could swiftly point out where the answers are to her questions.

I felt grateful that God had used me to share some of His Word with her. And I hope that I didn't let Him down.

Happy Sunday, all! Remember what's truly important today - and it isn't the Super Bowl! LOL



Saturday, February 6, 2016

Late Post

This morning, I went out to the wildlife rehab center where I volunteer. I really enjoy helping out there. The animals are well taken care, the place is spotless and every animal that can be released back into the wild, is. From week to week, I never know 'who' I will find waiting for me when I go in. Deer, turkey, racoon, opossum, squirrels, herons, bluebirds, hawks, owls.... whatever is in need of help. Despite the large population and general craziness of trying to get everything done in a timely manner, it truly is relaxing. Being around the animals feeds a part of my soul that nothing else can.

I work with the wildlife, but there are also hundreds of domestic animals who live there. All rescues from abuse, neglect or owners no longer able to care for them. Horses, donkeys, goats, emu, ducks, geese, pigs, parrots, ferrets, dogs, cats, guinea pigs.... the list goes on. Everywhere you look. It's an animal lover's paradise.

Volunteering brings a lot of satisfaction & joy. I would urge everyone to find something that you are passionate about, and give your time. Even if it's only one day a week. It can help out so much and makes you feel good about yourself. There is nothing quite like doing for others, and expecting nothing in return. Take your children to volunteer. Start them young so they will know the importance of helping out.

Back home, it started to rain. I was going to fill bird feeders. I was going to start some laundry. But instead, I grabbed a bite to eat. After having lunch, I finished an online Bible study that I'd been taking part in. I missed the video conference, but was able to check in via messages. There is another one starting soon, but I'm not sure if I will take part in it. Right now, I'm all involved in rereading the Left Behind series. Which I really, really like - this is my 4th reading of them! LOL I can't say enough good things about the Left Behind books. The movie doesn't even come close.

Tomorrow is Superbowl Sunday - for those of you who care. I don't. Hubs really doesn't too much either. He makes this fabulous nacho cheese dip just because it's tradition. Otherwise, it will pass pretty much like any other Sunday. Doing some laundry and just hanging around the house. If you're celebrating - enjoy!






Friday, February 5, 2016

Love, Love, Love. Love Is All You Need


It's a bright, crisp morning. 39 degrees! Brr. After sitting out the makings for chili for tonight's supper, I curled up in my chair with a soft, fuzzy throw and a chihuahua. I read from Proverbs and then flipped to Corinthians. One of the most well-known and a personal favorite...

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." I Cor. 13:4-7
 Wow. That's the kind of love that we are to aspire to. Pretty impressive. The bar is set awfully high, and I don't know about you - but I fall short far too often. I get tangled up somewhere around the "self-seeking" and trip over the "always trusts". *sigh* Next thing I know, I've fallen on my face. Again. But I get up and dust myself off. If we were truly capable of perfection - we wouldn't be here walking the Earth still.

Does anyone else have trouble with the whole love thing? Love thy neighbor and all? I mean, it's so easy to love those we already care about. But the dirty, drug-using homeless guy on the corner? The obnoxious relative who is always trying to tear you down with words? The neighbor lady who gossips about absolutely everyone and is constantly making up lies? I have a tough time with those, not gonna lie.

The freaky part? Those are the kind of people that Jesus sought out to spend time with when he was on the Earth. He came to help sinners. Once I was able to stop and think about it in that light.... it became a bit easier to stop turning up my nose at them. Not that I plan to start having them over for supper. But if there was something worthy inside those people that Jesus saw.... who the heck am I to decide they don't have worth??

Some days, I really fail at this Christian thing. I just know God is up there shaking His head at me, probably wondering exactly how many times that I can mess up. But the good news is: He forgives me. He knows that the only one perfect is His son.

Happy Friday to all of you! I hope that you have a nice weekend. Food for thought - what if it was God looking out from the eyes of that person that you look down on/are angry with? Would you treat him or her differently?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to My Blog......

I got sidetracked by postings on Facebook. Ever have that happen? Yeah, I thought so. *smile* There was a discussion going on that I didn't so much take part in, as follow along with the comments. We can learn a lot by holding our mouth (or fingers, in this case) and listening to (reading) what others have to say. I used to be quick to respond to people, but I'm getting much better at taking a breath and thinking before replying now. I get more from interactions that way.

Happy Thursday to all of you! My house smells amazing this morning. Hubs made his locally-famous Blue Devils to take in to work today. They are deviled eggs made with crab meat. YUM! And spiced with your choice of Old Bay or smoked paprika seasoning. He had 40 halves and said they lasted about 15 minutes. LOL He seriously needs to open a cafe.

Do any of you have a fishtank? (hey, the blog title SAYS random thoughts haha) We originally got this one for Grandad's room/the man cave. The lively gurgling sounds of the bubbler is so relaxing! Sometimes I sit in there and just watch the fish. Which is the point, right? But it truly is serene. I'm glad that he got much enjoyment from it, and now we are as well.

From today's reading....
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."  
~Proverbs 4:23


We really do have to keep a close watch on our hearts. (with a nod to Johnny Cash) What we carry in there is what rules our lives. How we treat others. How we react to situations. Our beliefs. Every little thing that makes us "us". We need to guard our hearts against things that go against who we are and want to be. It's far too easy for evil, doubts and fears to sneak in.

With political correctness running amok and everyone worrying about offending everyone.... people have stopped being as vocal about what they believe. Those who need to speak up are being silenced by the loud voices of those who just like to hear themselves talk. The ones who latch on to the latest and greatest new idea and tout it for all they're worth. Only to move on to the next big thing when it comes along.

The Word of God has stayed the same for thousands of years. People change. Society changes. Some say His Word is archaic. No longer applies to "modern times". I cringe inside when I hear that falsehood being spread. God's Word applies always and forever. People might try to poo-poo certain parts of His teachings because they don't go along with the life that person is/or wants to lead. But the Word hasn't changed. People's respect for it has.

It's sad what is being forced upon us in the name of "tolerance". Guard your hearts.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Trusting

From this morning's reading....
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding~Proverbs 3:5
One of my favorites, yet possibly the most difficult for me as well. Like everyone else, I want to make sense of the world and my part in it. When something happens, I want to be able to understand the whys. To reason it out into a logical explanation and be able to say, "Aha. Got it." Unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way. It can be extremely difficult to accept that there is a reason for an event to occur and something good to come from it. Especially if it was painful. Fortunately, it is possible.

Life is all about attitude! "Bad" things happen, but we are in control of how we react. We can focus on sadness - or we can be thankful for what we had. We can wallow in self pity - or use the experiences to become stronger. We can become bitter - or we can see the need to be a kinder person.
There is always a choice.

The farther that I get on my spiritual journey, the easier it becomes to "trust in the Lord with all your heart". To stop being so hung up on needing to understand every little thing. Reality is: I have no idea what's going on half the time! LOL Humans are a complex breed. I don't presume to "get" why others behave as they do. The important thing for any of us, is to worry about our own behavior. We are the only ones that we have control over anyway.....

*sipping my hazelnut tinged coffee*

There are 101 things that I need to get accomplished today. Sitting on my tush, nibbling honeybuns and getting my caffeine fix aren't any of them. But sometimes - we deserve it. Pamper ourselves in some small way. A few blessed moments of down time, before the rest of the world starts making demands on us.

I hope that all of you make the time for a few moments to yourselves today. To breathe in deeply and just be thankful for all the people & things in your life. We really are fortunate, moreso than many. And yet often, we are far less grateful.....


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Groundhog Day

The songbirds are in full symphony here. I have the windows thrown open, to take advantage of the cool morning air, and the birds are providing wonderful serenades. Elsewhere, people are concerned with that chubby groundhog and whether he sees his shadow. Desperate to determine if there will be 6 more weeks of winter. I sure don't miss the snow & cold up north....

The past couple of days have been fairly quiet around here. My "bad" knee has been causing me some grief. To the point of waking me from a sound sleep. I ice it, use a wrap and take anti-inflammatories as needed. At some point, I might need to see an ortho about it. Not yet. For now, I am dealing because I'm afraid that yet another surgery would be scheduled. I have RA. I know that my joints will likely wear out sooner than other people's. (not to mention my organs) But for now, I will go as long as I can. {Don't tell my doctor} :)

Part of this morning's reading was from Proverbs 2. A good deal of it focuses on wisdom. Learning what we need to know. 2:10 points out that "wisdom enters your heart and is pleasant to your soul". I like that! In today's world, it is often hard to find things that are pleasant to the soul. But knowledge; of what is right and good - that is pleasant indeed. We don't have to question or be concerned with others opinions..... we know.

It's funny, I didn't like school. The rigid structured-ness of it. But I love to learn. I read almost non-stop. Watch educational programs. Have a million questions for people who are more knowledgeable on certain subjects. I really think school systems need to accept that there are people who learn differently than others. That the rigidness is not always the best route to take, as a means to an end. But, that is another blog post altogether......

The wildlife rehab that I volunteer at has recently had some bats brought in. Yes, bats. Like opossums, these tiny creatures often get a bad rap and are so misunderstood. Not only do they keep the (annoying) insect population in check, some of them help pollinate and even plant new trees (seed "droppings"). They generally avoid people & aren't often seen as they are nocturnal. But the good they do in the world is unimaginable! Be kind to them when your paths cross.

I'm off to the store. I hope the groundhog doesn't let you down. Have a great Tuesday!