Lulu The Wonder Dog

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This is Lulu the Wonder Dog! What makes her so wonderful? Let me count the ways!

She is thrilled to see me every time I walk through the door.

She sticks by my side whether I have something to offer or not.

She loves to go to the office and sleep under my desk.

She loves to snuggle and watch a movie.

She really is the most verbal dog I have ever had.

She is trained and more obedient than any of my children.

She sighs as I do my chores and jumps on the couch and naps and waits patiently for me to finish.

She demands attention when I get distracted. She is known for taking my hands off of the computer with the prodding of her head. She also puts a paw on the computer and gets in my face when she needs attention.

She loves Starbucks as much as I do!

Lulu came to me at a transitional time in my life. She was at a critical time in her life. Near death, I bottled fed her, gave her IV’s, and nursed her back to health. She nursed my soul as I came back to life. She asked no tough questions, she simply gazed into my eyes with understanding. I named her after my daughter Casey who when she was little decided she wanted to be called Lulu. Casey was transitioning into adult life after college and I was having a rough time of it. I needed a reminder of a time.

She was the bridge with our family and reconnected us through her love and her persistence. She was the steady constant one, reminding me that she needed me to look outside of myself to her service. She wasn’t perfect. She ate my favorite pair of heels as a puppy. Had no shame either. She sat on my bed with said shoe in her mouth and chowed down. That’s when I learned to close my closet door.

Now she’s all grown up and still the most active dog I’ve ever had. She never stops. She also is the biggest tattletale I’ve ever seen. She’ll wake me up at 2 am just to get me to come and see that my husband is downstairs making queso dip and watching the military channel and he isn’t sharing. She was great at pointing out the kids weren’t following the no food in their rooms rule because she would discover the stashes of empty cereal bowls.

In this picture we’re driving to deliver a meal to a friend. You can see her smiling. She loves people. In our human understanding we say she is a rescue dog. A puppy from the pound. In her heart she doesn’t see it that way. She rescued us and keeps us all together and happy. That’s what makes her a wonder dog!

Giving in the Smallest Way

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Hosea 10:12 Sow righteousness, reap love. It’s time to till the ready earth, it’s time to dig in with God, Until he arrives with righteousness ripe for harvest.

My husband is a pastor. His role is to attend to the things God has given him. In our yard there is a bird feeder that Doug put up  years ago. I tease him each time he fills it. “Helping God out huh?” He smiles and season after season he puts the bird seed in the feeder. The birds are amazing and you can learn a lot from them. They take only their daily bread. They don’t store for the future, they don’t fight over food. They somehow know they’ll each have enough. I watch them as they eat their meal then fly off and another group stops to grab a bite. It’s entertaining and makes me smile. Our dogs surprisingly ignore their chatter, our cat swishes her tale back and forth menacingly from inside the family room window.

Then one day a corn stalk sprouted. Just like that.  A harvest for faithfulness. Because even when giving in the smallest way, there is the law of sowing and reaping. It’s a principle sent from heaven to rest on earth. There is no getting around it. Whatever word or action you speak will return multiplied.

Sow righteousness and love and may your day reap a plentiful harvest of every good and perfect gift from our Lord today!

We’re No Longer First In Obesity

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The latest statistics are out and Mexico is the number one nation for obesity in the world. The USA is second. The change, the newscaster pointed out, was that Mexico’s economy was up.

There is an underlying question though that has plagued me since this statistic came out and that is:

How do we overcome the poverty mindset?

While obesity is often seen as overindulgence, and it is on the surface, it’s sometimes about a sense of lack. Not always, there are some who have health issues but mindset is our topic today. We supersize meals because more is better, we eat from the .99 cent menu because it’s such a deal. Never mind that the food is bad for you, it’s cheap and we can load up, but it’s way too much food.

When I’d come home from the grocery store and the kids would see the cereal boxes. Lauren would grab a bowl of cereal because if not, Charles would consume the whole box and she’d miss out on tasting it. It didn’t matter if she was hungry or not, nor did it matter to Charles that other people may enjoy a bite. They were children and had to be taught to prefer others and that there would be more.

Once we had a fruit giveaway at the store. A local produce vendor had a whole vegetable stand of produce that needed to go and donated it to us. People arrived on the scene and formed a line. We told everyone, one bag per person. This one lady was irate! She wanted four bags. I told her that we had to share because there were many of us. She was livid and yelling at me about her son being in the war. My sarcastic self wanted to answer but instead I told her that the fruit was ripe and that there was really no way she could eat it all before it went bad. None of that mattered, she wanted four bags. She believed I was robbing her of something she was entitled to.

Then there were those in the line who truly lacked but didn’t think from a mindset of lack, “May I take two of these? They are so expensive in the grocery store and I haven’t bought any. You see, my husband has been out of work.” “Ma’am, you may take a bag full of whatever you’d like”, I replied. “Oh no! We couldn’t possibly eat them and I’d hate to waste.” She went about picking one or two of each type of produce.

Poverty mindset. The mindset of never enough. The mindset of lack. The mindset that someone is getting more than me. Can you see the difference?

“Eating healthy is expensive”, is the cry I hear from so many. Really? How much are you worth? How much does it cost to treat a heart attack, diabetes, joint pain, weight reduction surgeries?

Then there is the question of what obesity does to your self esteem. When you go into a fitting room and nothing fits and you come out feeling depressed and defeated? How much does that cost in terms of self worth?

A poverty mindset believes there is not going to be enough, so rather than share, they are going to take. In the mind of poverty, it is an honor to be able to afford to buy 16 hamburgers at .99 cents, so let’s splurge! In a poverty mindset they are continually reminding themselves of what things costs, never valuing quality. It’s gluttony yes, but often it comes from a poverty mindset.

I wish that we could get a revelation of who and whose we are. We are children of a King with whom there is no lack other that what you can’t visualize. Then we’d leave behind the consumer mentality and all of the issues that go along with that and we’d come to realize that health would follow as a natural progression. Health. Body, Mind, and Spirit.

Let’s pray for North America!

The Two Dogs

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A MAN had two dogs: a Hound, trained to assist him in his sports, and a Housedog, taught to watch the house. When he returned home after a good day’s sport, he always gave the Housedog a large share of his spoil. The Hound, feeling much aggrieved at this, reproached his companion, saying, “It is very hard to have all this labor, while you, who do not assist in the chase, luxuriate on the fruits of my exertions.” The Housedog replied, “Do not blame me, my friend, but find fault with the master, who has not taught me to labor, but to depend for subsistence on the labor of others.”

Children are not to be blamed for the faults of their parents.

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop’s Fables (p. 36). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

Parenting Isn’t Weak

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The child was running around the clothing racks at a store, knocking down clothing and running into people. Oblivious mom was saying in a sing song voice that the clerk was going to “get” her child. The child would look over at the clerk and then proceed to run amok.

The teen who is having issues at home walks into church. I smile and greet them, only to hear the mother in a stern voice say, “Now! Tell Pastor Susan what you did and see if you still think it’s no big deal.”

So let me ask you a question: How secure, as a child, would you be to tell the store clerk that you lost your parent in the store and that you’re a little scared?

Then: How secure would you feel as a teen in our church to come and tell me something that was on your heart, if you thought I’d side with your parent?

When did we lose our heart as parents to our children? When did we lose the ability to handle situations ourselves? Why do we have this need to look good at any cost, including the well being of our children?

Creating Sacred Space

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Hebrews 13:4 Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband.

I am a firm believer in a marriage bed. I believe it is sacred space. I am not a big fan of a family bed because I believe that it erodes a small piece of intimacy between a husband and a wife. That being said, I let a little something come between my husband and I. I began to let Lulu the wonder dog, snuggle in our bed before she had to go to her crate. My husband quickly referred to her as “the space between”. I had violated my own rule!

In most homes there is a living space, a dining space, a kitchen, a bathroom, and then there are bedrooms. Can there be one space where a man and a woman find a place of romance, beauty, intimacy and oneness? You share you life with so many in those places that creating a sacred space for just two people seems like a small thing to ask.

With that said, over the next little while in my life, I’m going to spend some time redoing our sacred space. I love our bedding, but I had put our “good stuff” away because I didn’t want Lulu to mess it up. We’re taking back our sacred space! I simply allowed her to jump on the bed and lie at our feet, but she’ll adapt, and we’ll go back to that space being for the two of us.

It’s About ME!

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“She’s got tickets to her own show. But nobody wants to go.” ~ Adam Levine

I love this picture because it shows perfectly what is going on these days. Have you noticed the increase in selfies everywhere? They have to show their makeup, their hairstyle, they have to look longingly at the camera, and every day there has to be a new triumphant picture. There is nothing of a thought process or a growth process, it’s all about ME!! Sure, a great picture of yourself once in a while is great, don’t get me wrong. I love to look at pictures of your vacation, or things you find important, it’s just that you find yourself important each and every day. What is really going on with you? That’s the conversation. What really are you about? That’s what forms our friendship.

“You’re perfect on the outside but nothing at the core.” ~ Adam Levine

Try to form a real friendship and get to the heart of matters and narcissists shut down into comedy or lies. It’s interesting too because the self absorbed narcissist doesn’t even bother to remember the lies.

A new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has accumulated data for the past 47 years from 9 million young adults, reveals that college students are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing. ~ Keith Abloom

Read more:

Gifted in what, is what I’d like to ask? Make up, hair, and clothing of course, but could they compete at a college level, high school level, or elementary school level in education? Probably not as the US is ranked 17th out of 40 developed countries in education, yet we spend the most per child, but that’s a different topic. And to what end? At what point do we stop measuring the exterior and get to what matters? What happens when we do and the house of cards comes falling down?

That’s really the unavoidable end, by the way. False pride can never be sustained. The bubble of narcissism is always at risk of bursting. That’s why young people are higher on drugs than ever, drunker than ever, smoking more, tattooed more, pierced more and having more and more and more sex, earlier and earlier and earlier, raising babies before they can do it well, because it makes them feel special, for a while. They’re doing anything to distract themselves from the fact that they feel empty inside and unworthy. ~ Keith Ablow

And the farther we go down the trail of narcissism, the more blame gets put on the people who are trying to bring some reality to the fake picture of pride. They are labeled jealous, mean, judgmental, haters of the narcissists beauty. In the greek mythology story of Narcissus, where we get the word narcissist, he was a beautiful hunter who was proud and who hated those who loved him because he was only in love with himself. Until one day he looked in a pond and fell in love with his image and there he died staring at himself. There isn’t much of a difference between Narcissus and the narcissists of today. They are dying without realizing that their idol worship has cost them their lives.

It’s funny how you say that you made it on your own when you haven’t worked for anyone your daddy didn’t know. ~ Adam Levine