Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rottweilers, Love and God

From my friend, Stephanie Schatz – all the dogs noted in her note are Rottweilers …

Stephanie writes:

Thanks for taking the time to explain and reassure me that God has a special place for all his creation. Personally I also believe that God created a special companion animal just for man … sorry kitties.   

Historically there has been no other animal on earth that has worked for man in so many capacities, comforted, showed extraordinary forgiveness, and even forfeited their life for their human. As the saying goes … the only love you can buy is a dog.

The moment this came clearest for me was when I was volunteering with "Mallory," Bryce's predecessor, at Ronald McDonald House. We were there to entertain the healthy siblings of the children being treated at the hospital. 

We were on the patio where Mallory was very engaged in tug of rope against 3 determined little boys. The automatic double doors opened and a quadriplegic girl appeared in what looked like a space age wheelchair that she could operate with one finger.   Mallory dropped the rope and ran to greet her and lick that one hand operating the chair. I was amazed!  

Then she ran back got the rope and took it to the girl and my heart sunk, until Mallory draped the rope over the girl's hand, sat in place with the rope in her mouth moved her head slowly from side to side, added a playful growl and "pretended" to played tug with this little girl on her level.  

I was no longer amazed … I was in awe as I realized that I was witnessing something divine ... something that came from a higher level than dogs supposedly have access to.    

I never taught Mallory this 'behavior' and we we're never in a situation like this before or after. This wasn't a circus trick it was an independent act on her part of love and compassion and we know that those traits are Godly.  

I'm certain Mallory is in a special place and I'm 100% sure that we will be together again one day. It means a lot to know that I am not theologically alone in my views.

And BTW … if Mallory had not passed exactly when she did I would not have Chad, and if Chad had not gotten sick ... I would not have Bryce. Coincidence? I don't think so. Can't wait to see who God has lined up for me next!!  

My thanks to Stephanie for this remarkable story. We’d all do well to pay a little more attention the animals around us. They have hearts, too, and love.

And Stephanie’s right – there is no other species who has befriended humankind as have dogs. Simply because we feed them? No. They know that we need them!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January 30, 2011 - Prayers of the People

Eternal God, always good, always faithful, always hopeful, always true …
We lift our praises to you.
Grateful for our lives.
Because it’s good to be here.
To be alive in Christ, to know Christ, to serve him to the best of our ability.
To join with him in building a better world.
To let the light shine.
To give peace a chance.
To heal the wounds of the soul.
To challenge the idolatries of religion and its love of temples.
To challenge the ideologies of nationalism and its love of power.
To speak the truth of the gospel.
To walk with Christ.
To take his yoke upon us and learn from him.
Your ways, O God, the ways of the kingdom.

We pray today for our schools.
For our city council.
For our mayor.
And our governor.

We pray for our state.
We pray for our legislators and our judges.

We thank you for our natural resources.
The high Sierras and their stored vistas …
The crashing surf of the Pacific …

We pray for the women and men who farm … who raise and harvest our lettuce and radishes and dates and tomatoes and avocados and oranges and cucumbers and carrots.

We pray, O God, that we will have your eyes …
To see your world as you do.
To look upon one another with grace.
To bestow dignity upon the least of these …
To speak words of hope and encouragement …
To lift up and never put down.
To speak the truth in love, LORD, because, we’ve learned the hard way, a thousand times over, where there is no love, there is no truth either.

Bless us we pray in the remains of the day.
Watch over our loved ones and guide our steps.

Rest your Spirit upon Pastor Cathy Chisholm as she makes her move from Texas to California, to become our pastor. Bless her family and friends, and fill her with your joy.
We are ready, LORD.
We are eager.
We are yours.

In the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven …