Thursday, December 26, 2013

The State of Political and Religious Affiliations

Is anyone sick to death of the name calling and the blame game? It gathers speed each and every day and it almost makes my head swim. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day the family sat around and talked about different "religions" and political parties. Frankly I think the various religions, for the most part, are more a hinderance than an actual help. We all have preconceived notions of what each might possibly mean and when I tell people I am now a southern Baptist rattlesnakes and loony tunes light up their eyes and I quickly explain I don't really believe in all the hoopla over "what religion are we." I grew up without any affiliation at all. And I was fine. And becoming a Baptist with my husband didn't make me believe one iota different. When our youngest son was married he was married in the Catholic church. Now the precious deacon who performed the ceremony is one of the most awesome men I have ever heard speak. Half of the church, for the most part, were Catholic and the other half were Baptists or non-denominational. And Deacon Ray nailed it. We were so blessed by the service and it was then I knew for sure that we all are not that different at all. It was beautiful and I will never sit at another wedding that was as fine as the sweet Deacon performed. There are three inescapable "rules" for me: Jesus was born of a virgin, He went to the cross to die for OUR sins, every single one of us deserve the death He died. For us. He was buried and 3 days later He rose from the dead. And you know what? All we have to do is believe those 3 little things and ask Him to come into our hearts, forgive our sins and Believe in Him. Different religions do things a bit differently and certainly tag on some extras that I don't agree with but that shouldn't matter at all. Believe. He was born. He died for us. He rose again and is preparing a place for us to go someday. And He lives in our hearts and should guide our lives. That is where my downfall begins. WWJD? FROG? Yeppers, I'm really bad at that. A lot of the time. Too much. But let's not muck it all up with Catholic, Church of Christ, Baptist, Methodist......Believe as we are told to do in the Bible. Believe and you will be saved. Lose the labels. We have a huge war to fight against the darkness of this earth. We have a choice to make. There are religions that we will have to fight because they believe Christians should be killed. And the moderate ones of those religions never speak out. Christmas Day was a new blood bath for Christians living in the middle east. Because they believe. And they died for their Savior. Which we should all be willing to do. God bless them. I am so proud of them and am heart broken that they were killed for our Savior. As a child I never believed anything like that would happen in America but it has, it is and it will. Choose this day whom you will serve......Rise up Christian Soldiers.

I am going to have to make this a two parter I guess. It occurred to me today while I was in the shower (GREAT thinking place) all the recent political name calling and party blaming needs to be closely examined. My belief is when the Republicans blame the Democrats and when the Democrats blame the Republicans, etc. they are laying the blame right at our doorstep. At our feet. Because we, as the voters, put these people into office from nationally right on down to our very own backyard. They are saying WE are stupid, stubborn, arsonists, terrorists, people with bombs strapped to our chests. In blaming the "party" they are blaming the "voters".  More tomorrow. Or the next day. I don't like having that at my feet. I am offended by it. I want someone to go to bat for us. The ACLU? Doubtful.....what a shame.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to The Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor.
Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content except for one small thing: they miss someone very special, someone who was left behind.

They all run and play together but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly, he breaks from the group, flying over the green grass faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in a joyous reunion, never to be parted again.

The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into those trusting eyes, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart. Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together.

Save an athlete......adopt a greyhound.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

If we knew........

that one day would be the last time. For someone. For someplace. For you. What would we do differently? And would it ever make a difference in our lives or the lives of our loved ones and others? I think perhaps we think it would make a difference in a desperate attempt to understand the whys and to salve the hurt. Or the first time would also be the last. I think we would linger try to draw as much from the moment as we possibly could. To savor it. To hang on to that one last time. If we knew.

Yesterday we lost a beloved member of our small little family. Our beautiful, perfect Challenger Reveille (Chucky). Our third greyhound rescue. He was so sweet, so even tempered, so loving. He was a mama's boy the foster parents said. And he was. We bonded immediately. I was still trying to recover from the loss of our first rescue Holly Rae who had cancer and we had to let her go 3 months before. In that space of time we also adopted a sweet, elderly little lady Emma Rose. Emma was broken when she came to us and we tried unsuccessfully to help her come back. She didn't. But she was safe, loved, spoiled rotten and she got along well with her new brother Chucky. Unless he wanted to cuddle. No cuddling. We lost her after only 11 months to cancer. At age 11. Same as Holly. And now same as Chucky. Eleven has been a dreaded number for me. I suffered at the thought for well over a year. I told myself I was trying to prepare myself for the inevitable. It didn't. So we lost our Chucky. 8-17-2002 ~~ !2-7-2013. Our love. Our joy. Our laughter. Our constant companion. Our baby boy.

We know when we rescue or adopt or whatever that we are letting into our lives the potential for great sadness. And so many have lost pets that were their family members. I always tell them that the years of joy we have with that animal is worth the pain at the end. And I'm telling myself that over and over. I don't feel the joy. I just wish as he went out the back door to the yard and I had known. And held him close and told him goodbye. It is just surreal. I am reminded of a book I read years ago. "The Thornbirds". And how the best comes at only the cost of great pain. We bring our babies into our homes and know the countdown begins at that moment to find that thorn. And we do it again and again because the joy does make the pain worthwhile. And it is a beautiful song.

“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to outcarol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain… Or so says the legend.” 

― Colleen McCulloughThe Thorn Birds