Archive for March, 2011

My Dog Died

The wedding was beautiful. The flowers, gorgeous. The decorations, stunning. The bride, radiant. I was exhausted.

I’d finished five bouquets for the attendants, seven table arrangements, eight pew holders, and I’d decorated fourteen tables. After dinner I was ready to go home.

When I arrived, my mom’s caregiver mentioned that my dog wouldn’t come in from outside. That was strange. He was not an outside dog. I found my twelve-year-old standard poodle barely standing by our fence. We coaxed him in, but I knew something was wrong.

It was the weekend, so I spoke with an emergency veterinary to describe the symptoms.

“It sounds like a twisted stomach.” I thought as much. What should I do?

“Only surgery will help. Or it might be too late.”

“What if I just want to leave him home and make him comfortable?”

“Better to bring him in and get him checked. The best thing would be to put him down.”

My 20-year-old-son, Micah loaded him into the car. I gathered my purse. As we pulled into the animal hospital, a man slightly older than me exited, tears creasing his face.

They took Esau into a back room while we waited in an exam room. Decisions had to be made, money needed to be paid. Micah put his arm around me while I sobbed. My sleeve got full, so I crossed the room and grabbed a handful of tissues.

I remembered when Micah and I first saw Esau. He was a creamy white, fluffy thing that followed Micah everywhere. It was Micah’s eight-year-old birthday present. Now he would be with me when Esau died. I touched Micah’s hand.

Four years ago, I put down my black standard poodle Jacob. I sobbed then, too. Because of working full time, caregiving for my handicapped parents, parenting two teens and trying to keep my home together and my marriage good, I hadn’t paid much attention to my dogs. His death was a turning point for me.

I took more time with my double-amputee-father and was kinder to him. He died eight months later.

I wondered how long my 90-year-old mother would be with us. She loved Esau more than me. I cried harder at the thought of telling her.

They brought Esau to us and we said our good-byes. We petted him and I whispered in his ear that he was a faithful friend, a good dog, and we’d miss him. And then he died.

It overwhelmed me. But it doesn’t overwhelm God. Death and life are all from Him. He gives. He takes away. But His blessings are indescribable.

I sang about Him in worship on Sunday, and I was encouraged. He is the One who gives me hope. He is the One Who died and rose and conquered death for me.


I think I’ll wait to get another puppy. But I will.

A Passion for Christ

“I’ll tell you how to be a witness for Christ! You need to be filled with the Spirit!” Mike Schadt’s voice rose with passion and conviction as he spoke. Except for a smattering of ‘Amens,’ the room was pin-drop-silent.

He read the 23rd Psalm according to couch potatoes. ‘The TV is my shepherd, I shall not want…’ Many squirmed. It’s hard to be in the world but not of it. I struggle with it everyday. He continued.

The congregation listened as Mike described how a man from Honduras became a follower of Christ. Once a voo-doo-witch doctor, he planned to execute the missionaries from SOS Ministries. When he tried, he couldn’t. The man realized that his god, Satan was no match for the One True God. The Great I Am.

The new convert lives in a mud hut, and asks God each day to keep him safe from those who would now assassinate him because he now serves The Living God.

Mike took us to the book of Acts, where time after time, Luke describes someone as being ‘filled with the spirit.’ I listened with a gut-wrenching, stomach-twisting desire to be like that. But how?

Of course, it starts with prayer. The desire. That is all the Lord needs. He knows that we are but dust. He gives us strength. He gives us wisdom. He gives us courage. He gives us opportunity. He even gives us His Words so we don’t mess it all up.

Our job is to listen and to obey. Kind of hard to hear him with the TV blaring, the microwave beeping, and the phone ringing.

At the end of his message, he asked if any would stand and show that they are committed to living a sold-out-life to Christ. Without hesitation, I stood. My husband did, too. I’m glad he did but I didn’t care if he did. I don’t know what others did around me. That was between them and God. I just knew that burning desire to make a difference. To share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

My heart’s desire is to be a light for Christ. My flesh wants to live for self. It’s a good thing that God knows we are just dust. He can do a lot with dust—take Adam and Eve, for instance.

So this pile of dust is thanking the Lord for men like Mike Schadt. God puts people like him to speak forth His Word to dusty people like you and like me.

I’m glad.

Monday’s Musings on Tuesday—Worship

Viewing the sea of faces, I smiled. All ages were represented, all income groups. Some had their eyes closed, some raised their hands, others beamed.

You may not have the experience of a participating in a worship team, so trust me, it’s a privilege. Not because I get to stand on the platform and sing to our Lord, not so people notice me. No, the highlight for me is you. The people of the congregation lifting their voices, faces, hands, and hearts to the One True God.

Sometimes, when I’m on the platform, I imagine what heaven will be like. All believers of all ages of all worship styles as one worshiping The One. What language will it be? What music style? Will there be an orchestra? Or a praise band, or harps. Maybe on different nights. I hope so. I may not know the specifics, but I know this—it will be heaven!

I don’t understand all of what worship is while I’m here on this earth, but I do know that it is based on God’s Word and saturated in The Spirit. It’s the only time that I feel complete joy—amazing peace.

About once a week, I take time to get alone with God. To worship Him. I walk in the park, or on the beach. I turn off my iphone and ipod. I show up with God and basically say I’m here to listen. Sure, I do plenty of Bible study during the week, and lots of prayer, but during that time, I try to hear from the God of the universe who I know wants to communicate with me. With you.

Otherwise, why send His Son?

Take time to worship and pray and study and listen this week. It will be the highlight of your week. And if you want to bless me, I’m scheduled on the worship team for March 20th, in the evening service. We can worship together.