Archive for September, 2008

Stray Bar

The Scale

Pen Stains

Nails

Men at Work

Maniac

Lazy Dog

Kermit

Igloo Contractors

The Dog Store

Difference between the sexes

Croc’s Family Photos

Bessie the cow

Naughty Rabbit

Stare

If you stare at this picture long enough you should be able to see a giraffe. Give it a try.

The Old Man and the Dog

The Old Man and the Dog

by Catherine Moore

“Watch out! You nearly broadsided that car!” My father yelled at me.
“Can’t you do anything right?”
Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn’t prepared for another battle.

“I saw the car, Dad. Please don’t yell at me when I’m driving.” My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil.

What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn’t lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it.  He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn’t do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived.

But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor’s orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad’s troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of t he sympathetic voices that answered. In vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, “I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.” I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home.  All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons: too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world’s aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. “Can you tell me about him?” The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement.

“He’s a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate.  We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we’ve heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow.” He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. “You mean you’re going to kill him?”

“Ma’am,” he said gently, “that’s our policy. We don’t have room for every unclaimed dog.”

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. “I’ll take him,” I said.

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch.

“Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!” I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. “If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don’t want it” Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples.

“You’d better get used to him, Dad. He’s staying!” Dad ignored me. “Did you hear me, Dad?” I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate.

We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.

Dad’s lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw.  Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad’s bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne ‘s cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father’s room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad’s bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad’s peace of mind.

The morning of Dad’s funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. “Be not  forgetful to entertain strangers.”

” I’ve often thanked God for sending that angel,” he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article…

Cheyenne’s unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. . .his calm acceptance and  complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And  suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama & petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly.

Live While You Are Alive.

Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.  Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.

And if you don’t send this to at least 4 people – who cares?

But do share this with someone. Lost time can never be found.

Laminin

This is an email that I received – I’m not sure who it originally came from but I found it very interesting and inspirational.  I hope you will too.

The Glue That Holds Us Together – Laminin — Incredible !

Louie Giglio was preaching about how inconceivably BIG our God is…how He spoke the universe into being…how He breathes stars out of His mouth that are huge raging balls of fire… etc.  etc.  Then He went on to speak of how this star-breathing, universe creating God ALSO knitted our human bodies together with amazing detail and wonder.  At this point I am LOVING it (fascinating from a medical standpoint, you know.) …..and I was remembering how I was constantly amazed during medical school as I learned more and more about God’s handiwork.  I remember so many times thinking….”How can ANYONE deny that a Creator did all of this???”

Louie went on to talk about how we can trust that the God who created all this, also has the power to hold it all together when things seem to be falling apart…how our loving Creator is also our sustainer.

And then I lost my breath — and it wasn’t because I was running my treadmill, either!!!   It was because he started talking about laminin.  I knew about laminin.  Here is how wikipedia describes them :”Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue.” You see….laminins are what hold us together….LITERALLY.  They are cell adhesion molecules.  They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell.  Without them, we would literally fall apart.  And I knew all this already.  But what I didn’t know is what laminin LOOKED LIKE — But now I do, and I have thought about it a thousand times since (already)….

Here is what the structure of laminin looks like….AND THIS IS NOT a “Christian portrayal” of it…..if you look up laminin in any scientific/medical piece of literature, this is what you will see…

Laminin

Laminin

Now tell me that our God is not the coolest!!!   Amazing.   The glue that holds us together….ALL of us….is in the shape of the cross.   Immediately Colossians 1:15-17 comes to mind..

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth , visible and invisible,

whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;

all things were created by him and for him.

He is before all things,

and in him all things HOLD TOGETHER.”

Colossians 1:15-17

I just think that is very, very, very cool..

Thousands of years before the world knew anything about laminin, Paul penned those words.  And now we see that from a very LITERAL standpoint, we are held together…one cell to another….by the cross.

You would never in a quadrillion years convince me that is anything other than the mark of a Creator who knew EXACTLY what laminin “glue” would look like long before Adam even breathed his first breath!!

We praise YOU, Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scars

True or Not – This one has a good message!

Some years ago, on a  hot summer day in South Florida , a little boy decided to go for a swim in  the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool  water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as  he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the  middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His  father, working in the yard, saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could.

Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed  and made a U-turn to swim to his father. It was too late. Just as he reached  his father, the alligator reached him.

From the dock, the father  grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs.  That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much  stronger than the father, but the father was much too passionate to let go.

A farmer happened to drive by, heard his screams, raced from his  truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and  weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely  scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep  scratches where his father’s fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to  hang on to the son he loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed  the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy  lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter,  “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them  because my Dad wouldn’t let go.”

You and I can identify with that  little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of  a painful past Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep  regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go.  In the midst of your struggle, He’s been there holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He  wants to protect you and provide for you in every way But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous  situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled  with peril – and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That’s when  the tug-of-war begins – and if you have the scars of His love on your arms,  be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.

You may share this with those you love. God has blessed you, so  that you can be a blessing to others. You just never know where a person is  in his/her life and what they are going through. Never judge another  person’s scars, because you don’t know how they got them. Also, it is so  important that we are not selfish, to receive the blessings of these  messages, without sharing them with someone else.

Right now, someone  may need to know that God loves them, and that you love them, too – enough NOT to let them go!