Christian based commentaries and observations.

Quote of Note


At the end of a nation:
The people say, "all religions are the same"
The Atheists say, " all religions are wrong"
The politicians say, "all religions are equally useful".

Who is Jesus

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Quote of Note from Feb 2010

Signs and Wonders

"What then do you do for a sign that we may see and believe you?" (John 6:20)

"But I said to you, you have seen me, and yet do not believe" (John 6:36)

What is the point of a sign if it does not inspire belief? That is to say, what is the point of a sign if it does not instill faith as opposed to fear, belief and hope rather than dread or simple wonder? In this sense, the signs of Christ himself intend to bring us further into the unique life of Christ. Thus we need not become fixated with the signs themselves, failing to see the forest through the trees. Seeking after the signs of God's presence among us and God's purpose for our lives, we must not miss Jesus in the process. He is both sign and sustenance, wonder and life itself.

Margaret Manning RZIM

Lessons from a Puppy



A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Prov. 12:10

So, we are finally empty-Nestor's, or at least we were for about a year. Like a lot of people in this economy we had one move back. There is a full apartment in the basement so its like he is not even here, except for the extra vehicle in the driveway. Well, a couple of years ago we had to put down our old dog full of unconditional love. For a while we survived on seeing a grand-puppy. She moved out with the daughter last spring. (grand puppies are the coolest. You get to play with them and give them back when you're done with them, before the work begins!) She doesn't come over much any more so we were ripe and set up for big eyed puppy face replacement!
Our old dog (Marley) was a chocolate colored Newfoundland. My wife began an online search for a similar, but male, puppy. After settling on a breeder, There followed months of plying me to agree to have a baby (puppy of course). After many more months he was whelped. We regularly visited the breeders website for the new weakly pictures. Eight more weeks, and hearts aflutter, we finally went and picked up our little "Grizz". He looks like a little bear with paws just about as big. His daddy was 165lbs.

Lesson #1: birth defects and life defects

It seems that our puppy was a liver shunt. That means that there is a blood vessel that allows the blood to bypass his liver. The result is that proteins turn to ammonia (a neurological toxin) in his blood stream and cause all kinds of problems. He will walk weakly around blind with his head down and "bull" into and over things. He didn't want to eat. My wife "the feeder of all living things" put all kinds of irresistible things on his food. This made things worse.
A trip to the vet found the problem. A special diet began that has the problem under control ( he can see again and is playful) until it can be determined if he can be fixed. (that would mean the devious blood vessel could be seen on a ultrasound and easily operated on. Beyond that the cost options are insane. Diet alone won't solve the problem his liver cannot grow and his days are numbered.
So begin the lessons...It occurred to me that some people have a "love shunt". That is that love is allowed to bypass their heart. It turns into toxic selfishness and self-worship. They walk around blind with ever weakening souls. It is a birth defect that all of us are born with discipline and teaching are the temporary survival diet, but it takes the Master Physician to cure the defect and allow the heart and soul to grow.

Lesson #2: Prayer

So like a good Christian father, after learning his child is sick, I take it to the Lord in prayer. I am reminding God that our household, fruit of our labor, and animals will be blessed...
"Excuse me Mark, Is that earnest prayer I hear"? "For a dog"?!! came a not so small voice. "When was the last time you prayed for your perishing neighbors, co-workers, and family members with that much effort"?
Hmmmm!? Umm?! Well!?

Lesson #3: convenience of disposal

Now it is not going to be cheap to fix this dog. It involves surgery and a few days stay in a puppy hospital. Reason tells you put the dog down and go back to the breeder for a replacement! Oh, if it were that easy! Yet that is what millions of people do to humans each year. They make the rationalization and claim to be eliminating these people in a "safe", "painless", and "humane" way. Yeah right, have you ever read/heard the discription of Partial Birth Abortion? And many are arguing for Post Birth Abortion now!
Abortion and euthanasia are really matters of convenience! An irresponsibility played out for the saving of a few dollars, pride, or unpleasantness.
Yes, in this case I can say that this animal is not a human, but isn't that the rational that the abortionists and euthanisors are using; that there is no God and we are just evloved animals! In addition some of them want to genetically cleanse humanity, the way horses are shot before the lame ones can breed, and pass on their weakness. Those who push these options in the human realm are loudly arguing that belief in God is a brain malfunction that needs to be eliminated from humanity.
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Prov. 12:10
The future Christian Holocaust is beginning to take shape.
Unbelievably as I contemplate this option this puppy's personality makes an abrupt change. Seemingly over night he went from a biting, nipping, peeing, pooping little imp, to a tail wagging happy you are home, tug-of-war, kissing snuggling, I want to go out, bundle of fun and unconditional love that his breed is known for!! How is that these creatures have such different personalities and seeming six sense if they have no soul?
ECC 3:18 I also thought, "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?"

Lesson # 4: Putting him down

As, I am arguing with myself about putting him into the truck for the ride to the Vet, and permanent night night,I hear the small voice come up again.
" If you think it is hard putting down a dog, you have known, and loved, for a few weeks, imagine killing your perfect Son whom you have loved since before anything was"! Now do you know how much I loved you"?

That brings up another question: "Why then..."?
At the Vet the options and costs are discussed. I am thinking put him down. I am also thinking about how the priests were required to eat of that which they sacrificed. That is how the priests (Canah) of Baal became to be know as cannibals (canah baal). Can I have my puppy, sacrificed for convenience on a PETA bread sandwich please!!
I say, "put him down", and the Vet asks for a couple of days to see if his colleagues can put together a financially agreeable "rescue" operation. I bring him home. He his riding quietly in the front passenger seat with his chin on the arm rest console, just looking up at me. I am thinking about the "why".

Lesson # 5: Why God?

Why did you let this happen, God? There were 8 puppies in that litter. You did let it happen. You know when a sparrow falls. "Yes I know"! A: For your faith which (the scriptures flash though my mind)...stronger in a adversity...Just a little while more and...
I am reminded of a story I once heard during a sermon. I was a Jr.high youth then but I never forgot the story.
A young pastor and his wife are about to have a baby. There is a troubled birth during which the mother knocked out and delivered by C-section. When she awakens the husband is called to her side. She asks him how the baby is because no-one will/can give her any information. All eyes are on this father/pastor to see what he will say to her. His reply, "God has blessed us with a beautiful mongoloid child"! His reply is heard and repeated throughout the hospital wing. The result is that several nurses and doctors attend Church and some are saved the next Sunday. God's love and the pastors faith displayed through the adverse birth set many free from the "why God" negative "blame God" mentality. And of course there is nothing like the simple love, joy and faith that is displayed by these special children.

. ...a few days later

The first discovery of Grizz's liver shunt was confirmed by an ultrasound image. Another appointment is made with a radiologist. This one is going to be "free" because a radiologist teacher is going to do some training, and Grizz will be one of the examples.
Bad news! The radiologist confirms the shunt, but now it seems he has overturned the exterior shunt finding and has diagnosed and "interior Shunt"! That little bit of information just doubled the cost and seriously reduced the number of qualified surgeons. Again I say to the Vet, "he's got to go permanent night night"!
Again the Vet asks for some "rescue" time.
On the way home I think about the story of the "young rich man" that asked Jesus what he had to do to inherent eternal life. (interesting he knew that Jesus would have this answer/ability.) He was told to go sell all he had and give to the poor. Most people interpret this passage that the young man did not have the riches, the riches had the young man.
I think it is so true how the things we have actually have us! Grizz just a dog but he owns much more of me that I think is right. I remember a book that I read back in early High School. I think it was titled, "Love is Learning to Let Go". I think the book was written to stop teens from committing suicide over breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend. (can I say "puppy love" LOL). The gist of the book was that as we grow we have to deal with losing things that we love. It may be a pet, then grandparent, lover, parent etc, until finally we are faced with the hardest thing in life to let go of - Us. When faced with death we have to come to terms with losing the thing that we love the most - our life!
How much easier it is if we have given up our life and died to Christ before our final day comes. It takes years of faith built up into trusting our spirit into the hands of God, and exhaling our final breath. How much better to die with the hope of receiving life eternal, as promised. All of these love losing experiences are meant to bring us up to that day.


More Why?

There must yet be a purpose in all of this that has yet to be discovered/realized/reaped. This whole thing is not just a matter of chance. I must live it out and look for God's planned blessing.

I make the decision that I will not put Grizz down until it is a matter of humanly ending suffering. The Vets say he is unlikely to live past 10 months. He is not suffering right now. Special diet has him acting like a normal happy playful puppy Perhaps he will live on and on confounding the Vets who finally look inside again only to find that God has done what could not be done.
For now God has blessed us with a beautiful, happy, playful,highly intelligent, loving, liver shunted puppy named Grizz.