Tag Archives: dogs

Could Carl Be Possessed?

I used to think that Carl could be demon possessed. I couldn’t trust him and wasn’t sure if we would growl or nip at me. The months that followed his tail removal surgery were difficult for all of us. We didn’t know if Carl would grow out of his distrust for us and we had to even question if we should keep him. InkedIMG_1328_LI

The months have now turned into years and other than a couple of occasions when he has been awakened by a nightmare, Carl has become a gentle little boy. We even commented the other day about how sweet and obedient he has become.

Being demon possessed has been a controversial topic since the beginning of time. Since it is mentioned many times in the Bible, I must believe that it is a real condition that plagued people, particularly before the innovation of modern medicine.

Mary Magdalene was one of these individuals that was stated to be demon possessed. And not just by one demon but by seven! Just the thought of the torment she must have lived through is incomprehensible. Today, she would probably be homeless, distrusted by her family, and living on the streets.

We don’t know the time or day that Jesus healed her but we know from Luke 8:2 that He drew seven demons from her. But it isn’t so much the fact that she was cleansed from the demons that is so amazing but what she did with her life after she was healed.

This woman is mentioned several times throughout the life and death of Jesus. She apparently turned her life around and not only hung out with Jesus but also helped finance his ministry. She was so grateful for what He had done that she devoted the rest of her life sharing the Gospel and how He had changed not only her physical life but also her eternal life.

Luke 7:41-43 states, “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.”

Mary Magdalene had been forgiven much.  She knew there was nothing about her that deserved the loving kindness that Jesus extended to her. And in response, she spent the rest of her life sharing what her savior had done for her.

I have a lot to learn from this woman.

As for Carl, he has been reaching up and literally yanking on my shirt with his teeth. I am not sure what he wants but his annoying persistence is making it difficult to write.  Maybe I am wrong about the demon being totally gone.  It just comes out less often. Got to go.  Carl won’t stop pulling at my arm.

 

Can Angels Sing?

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Carl is not an angel.  Far from it.  Every day, my little fawn colored bully does something annoying that initiates a reprimand.  He wants to please but his desire for attention can out way any good intention.

Just yesterday, he jumped up and nipped my knee which wasn’t pleasant in the least.  Even though he didn’t mean harm, Carl can appear more like a little demon than an angel. But don’t get me wrong, I love this little guy and wouldn’t trade him for anything.

Since I have had a tendency to compare others to an angel, I thought I would do a little Biblical research on what an angel is and isn’t. And what I found was shocking!

I know we all have a tendency to think of angels as these little fairy like females flying around protecting their assigned humans as we go about our business. And whenever they aren’t doing their heavenly duties, they get together for a little singing practice of the Halleluiah chorus.

Okay here is the first fact that may surprise you.  There is never a mention of an angel being a female.  The only three names of angels mentioned in the Bible are Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer. And if angels are referred to without a name, a masculine pronoun is used.

Another fact that may also shatter your thoughts about these spiritual beings is that if you ever encounter them, you would never think of them as cute.  They are far from it.  Every time an angel appears to someone in the Bible, the first thing the human does is fall to the ground in fear.

But the one fact that I learned just the other day is that angels don’t sing. Many think of angels singing around Christmas time because of the verse in Luke 2: 13.  Many of us just scan right past the verse, thinking that it states, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and singing.”

The only problem with this is that it doesn’t say “singing”. It says, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying.”

The angels were saying, not singing. Which means that humans are the only ones given the ability to sing as a way to worship God, not angels. When we get to heaven, we will be worshipping God through singing, and what a beautiful sound it will be. Yes, we will all be able to sing on key and make a joyful sound to the Lord.

But until we get to heaven, Carl attempts to sing and I can tell you, it is NOT a pleasant experience for any of us. Just take a listen.

Carl’s attempt to sing. Bless his heart!

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Glamping with Carl

Glamping with Carl has its own unique challenges.  Our little camper found its way to Fairy Stone State Park in Virginia. This cool park is known for stones that can be found only in a couple of places in the world. The hilly incline and tall oaks surrounded us during our stay. Temperatures were unusually cold and the winds were gusting up to 50 miles per hour. IMG_3423

The cold temperatures and blustery winds didn’t stop Carl from enjoying his one on one time with his human companions. The little bully cherished the walks through the woods as he scoped out squirrels, raccoons, and other canine species. Once spotted, the ego centered bully would go crazy until he was pulled away from eye shot. IMG_3422

But it was the sleeping arrangement that was the most challenging for us humans. Instead of sleeping on his own chair at home, Carl found a spot right between the two of us and planted his little body for the duration of the night. No matter how hard we pushed him to go down to the bottom of the bed, Carl didn’t budge.

How often do we refuse to budge when we have planted ourselves in a certain situation that we just don’t want to move from? Even when we are being encouraged to move, we refuse to dislodge ourselves from our position.

It could be a bad relationship, a job that isn’t going anywhere, or a dream that has no potential of becoming a reality.  No matter the nudging, we stay planted in the hope that something could change.

So when do we really know it’s time to move on?  How much pecking at a situation do we need to do before we need to start pursuing other options?

Every situation is different which makes answering this life question so difficult. I can personally tell you that there have been jobs that I left too late, dreams that I wouldn’t let go of, and relationships that shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens_ a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time

Even the Bible tells us there is a time for everything under the sun but it never tells us specifically when that time is. This leads us back to our initial question without a clear answer.

When do we reap and when do we sow?  When do we embrace and when do we push away? We may never actually know but one thing we can be assured of, if we do the things we do to glorify God, He will create good from it.

As for Carl, he didn’t budge while we were camping but once we got home, he knew that he was destined to be sleeping back in his chair.  No one had to tell him.  He just knew.

The Power of a Voice

Carl has been screeching for some reason for the last couple of minutes. It may be that he wants my attention or that he wants to be fed.  But for whatever reason, his familiar voice can be clearly heard by everyone in proximity of our home.

Everyone who lives close to us, knows this voice.  Whenever he pitches up, I am sure they say, “That has to be Carl.”

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We all have a distinct voice if you think about it. Each of us have a different sound that comes out when we speak. Some of us can be identified as soon as we open our mouths, while others may not be as easily recognized.

Joe, my deceased father-in-law, has one of those distinct voices that could be clearly identified, even after two years of his departure from this earth.  So when my sister-in-law placed her phone up to my ear and let me hear a message from the past, I knew without a doubt that it was him.

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It was after listening to him ramble about the need for toothpaste and how if he didn’t get it,  he would have to retreat to soap, that I began to laugh at the memories of his final days. I was surprised at the inward feelings that arose from hearing his familiar voice. Emotions spurred by the events that took place between he and I.  Some fond and some downright draining.

I was startled by the uprising of sentiment from hearing his voice. Startled that after so many months that my heart still hurt for this man that was such an important part of my life.

But if I was emotionally stirred when hearing my father-in-law’s voice, I can’t imagine how the disciples must have felt when they heard the voice of Jesus, days after he had died on the cross.

The voice that they had heard on the mountainside as He preached the words to the multitudes.  The voice that they knew when He reached out to the lepers and spoke the words, “ I am willing, be clean.” Matthew 8:3.

His disciples must have also been moved  when He looked deep into their eyes and pulled off a piece of bread from the loaf and stated, “Take, eat, this is my body.” Matthew 26:26.

But as moving as all of these times were,  it must have been when they heard his voice after the resurrection that consumed them with emotion.  A heart throbbing emotion that would take them to their knees and place a motivation in their hearts to follow Him into eternity.

It is this voice that I want to hear one day.  The voice the disciples heard so many years ago. The voice that Paul heard on the road to Damascus. But most important to us, the voice that will say when we see Him in heaven, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Carl’s screeching voice has penetrated through my thoughts and has brought me back to the here and now. And as painstaking as it is to hear, I can’t help but smile and thank God for this little dog’s voice along with the  voices of the past, present and future.

 

Carl’s Vacation

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Carl”s Vacation

Carl went on vacation last week.  After the episode with his sister bulldog, it was determined that the two dogs needed to be separated. So Carl went down to the coast for a couple of days of sun and relaxation.

As we drove him down to his getaway, we were kind of sad to see him go. We knew his needs would be met but it was still upsetting to think he would be away for the week.

Each night, we would get an update on how he was doing and if he seemed upset to be away from home. And every night we were told that he was doing well, walking to the water, working on his tan, but mostly enjoying being the center of attention.

Being the center of attention is what everyone craves. Deep down we want to be recognized for accomplishing a major undertaking, winning a prize, or just being first. If only the recognition could truly satisfy us. But it never really does.  Once I finish one endeavor, I am ready to begin another with the hopes that I will find the same brief satisfaction.

So if being the center of attention doesn’t bring the satisfaction that we seek, what does?  I have heard that the kingdom of God is an upside kingdom. The world screams at us that it is important to be famous and rich in order to be happy.

The upside kingdom of God tells us something totally different. Instead of having the spotlight on us, we need to intentionally take it off ourselves and place it on God. Jesus states in Matthew 16:25, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

Interesting concept.  Instead of trying to make life about us as the main character, we should give God the lead role. Then and only then will we find a sense of satisfaction that we all yearn for.

Carl came home from his time away two days ago. It is hard to tell if he would rather be with us or back in his holiday setting. Either way, just like all of us, it really isn’t where we are but who we think we are.

 

 

Taking a Ride with God

 

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I know that some of you are wondering why in the world Bee is riding in a buggy.  Well first of all, she is my baby (ba-Bee). Second, if you look closely, her snout is pressed close to her face which doesn’t give her the airway that her brother Carl has.

Lately, we have noticed that Bee, my French Bull dog, has difficulty walking the three miles that doesn’t impact Carl in the slightest. So when my husband saw a doggy stroller online for only $25.00, we thought we would give it a try.

I wish I could tell you that the first ride in the stroller went without a hitch, but I can’t. Bee couldn’t understand why she had to ride, even though she was winded.  In the first five minutes, she lunged out of the stroller and thankfully landed a couple of feet in front of the buggy.

Just like Bee, there are times that we can’t understand why our ride through life has changed up. We want to walk like we always have but God wants us to take a ride. I am sure Moses felt this way when he met up with God. For most of his adult life, Moses worked for his father-in-law as a shepherd. He was minding his own business when God turned his world upside down.

I am sure Moses didn’t see life beyond the fields that he lived in as he shepherded his flock. But God had other plans for Moses and his insecure self. Moses tried to tell God that he wasn’t the man for the job but God knew better. Instead of walking his usual walk, God had him on the ride of his life. Exodus 3

Have you ever had a time in your life that you went from walking to taking a ride with God?  Were you eager to ride or did you react like Bee and jump out of the vehicle?

Carl also took a ride at the end of the walk. He also wasn’t crazy about being confined and it was clear he only wanted to get out and strut beside his sister. We aren’t giving up on our purchase. So if you are driving down the road and see us pushing a carriage, please come over to say hello to our ba-Bee.

 

On Hands and Knees

This time I had to defend Carl in the incident that occurred in the depths of the night. I had an idea by Bee’s behavior that there would be an episode but I was just too tired to get out of bed to deal with it. I wish I had at least tried to stop what was about to occur but as we all know hind sight is best.IMG_2804

Bee was ready for the altercation with her brother and there was nothing I could do as the two bullies charged at each other. Thankfully, this exchange was over almost as quickly as it began. Something had caused the dogs to separate and make their way back to their beds. As I turned on the light and saw the mess, I realized why they had retreated.

This altercation was nothing compared to the one that Jesus caused when He entered the temple right before his crucifixion. “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” Matthew 21: 12-13.

I am sure Jesus didn’t make any friends on this day. Coming into the most important building in the city and turning over tables of the money-changers had to turn some heads. How could one man be so bold as to confront these men that were making money for Caiaphas, the high priest?

Because Jesus knew that selling sacrifices for extremely high prices to the people that were coming to make a sacrifice was wrong and angered God. Given that Jesus came to implement God’s plan on earth, He didn’t have an option but to address this wickedness in God’s sight.

So right before the eyes of everyone in the temple, Jesus knocked over tables and called them robbers.

This incident challenges me to be willing to do God’s will even when it isn’t popular with the general public. I just hope that I will consider what is meaningful to God the next time I see a situation that doesn’t please Him.

As for the mess that lay in front of me, I knew I had to deal with it as quickly as possible.  The short incident between my dogs had ended because of a glass of water that had been knocked off my bed side table. Apparently the water had startled the dogs and caused them to pull away and withdraw to the safety of their beds.

Once I turned the light on and looked in the direction of my pooches, I had to smile at how innocent they appeared. It was hard to stay mad at them, even if they woke me from my sleep and caused me to be on my hands and knees cleaning up their mess.IMG_2372