Life, family, business

Leave a comment

Dogs and God, and Us

I share my home with three dogs, two cats, a conure parrot, and of course, my dear husband.  The dogs are so much fun, and can be a challenge as well.

Kelly is an 11 year old Setter that we brought home almost two years ago when her owner was in a terrible car accident and would be in the hospital for half a year.  Bo is our purebred yellow lab puppy, almost 7 months old, that we purchased, because we were denied adopting since Kelly was never spayed.  And Jersey is a 6 month old puppy we got about 3 weeks ago, from a friend who couldn’t keep her, and she is the new kid on the block.  All three are house dogs, although Kelly lived outdoors for the 9 years before she came home with us.

There is always plenty of food for our dogs.  No one ever goes hungry. We monitor them as they eat to make sure that they each get their own food.  One day I noticed Jersey was hesitant to come to her food bowl.  I moved it to the other side of the room, and she proceeded to eat.  Kelly gave her a growl and started toward her.  Jersey ran to the living room.  I told Kelly, “No.  Its Jersey’s food.  You are not allowed to take away what you didn’t give.”  I brought Kelly back to her dish, and coaxed Jersey back to hers.  I stood by Jersey while she ate, and for the next few days to make sure this didn’t happen again. (I always talk to my pets as though they are humans who understand everything I say.)

But as I stood by Jersey, I thought about what I said.  You are not allowed to take away what you didn’t give.”  For some reason, it really struck me.  I thought about humanity, and how so many people are trying to do this all the time.

Why are people trying to take away things from others that they did not give them?  If I look at the teachings of the Bible, I see that oppression is a recurring theme in the things that God tells us NOT to do.

God tells us over and over again that oppression is wrong.

Psalm 9:9   “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”

Proverbs 14:31  “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”

Zechariah 7:10  “Do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”

Jeremiah 5:25-29  “ Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you. For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait.  They set a trap; they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper,  and they do not defend the rights of the needy.  ‘Shall I not punish them for these things?’ declares the Lord, ‘and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?’”

Whoa!  That last one!  It makes me think of religion and politics, and how these evil men, these wicked souls, have turned so many away from the words of Jesus.  How many so called Christians do you know who have been lured into this deceit?  By reading the red letters in the Bible; you know, the words of Jesus; we can see that much of American “Christianity” is not Christian at all.  It is no longer following the words of Jesus.  This American Christianity does not follow Jesus at all.  Instead, it operates on fear.  It’s trying to make us afraid.  It wants you be afraid of anyone who is not like you.  It wants you to be afraid that someone is going to steal your money and your privilege, and all the other treasures you have hoarded here on earth.

But God tells us to not fear over 80 times in the Bible.  Fear is the tool of evil.  If your religion is all about fear, then it is not following God.  If your church tells you to fear everything, then it does not preach the words of God.  Inciting fear in God’s people is how many so called religious leaders try to control and exploit their followers.  By doing this, they have become rich.  Look around! How many mega-million preachers are there?  Everyone of them should be ashamed.

But they are not allowed to take away what they didn’t give.  When God gives us rules and guidelines, who are these people to try to convince us that they know better than God?  They try to take away our faith, our hope, and our promise from God that He will take care of us, that He will prosper us and give us hope, and a future.  He also has a stern warning for those people in Matthew 25:41-46:  “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,  I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’  Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’  Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

So, who are you going to fear?  Man?  Our rich politicians who are following their own made-up religion centered around money?  Or God?  You see, God made you.  God is one who gave you everything.  And He who gives, can also take away.  For naked you came from your mother’s womb, and naked you shall return.  The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.


Thank you to Bible Gateway for the Bible verses I cut and pasted, all in ESV.


Leave a comment

Goals for 2017

What are goals?  What’s the difference between a goal and a resolution?

A goal is something you’re working toward, something you want.  But a resolution can be any kind of change you plan on implementing in your life.  I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I’m not very good at resolutions.  I did make one last year, and I think I did pretty well.  My resolution was to stop procrastinating my book work, and have it caught up all the time.  I slipped a bit at the end of the year, but for the most part, I feel I did well.  I have made it a habit to get it done, and that makes all the difference.  Changing your habits is how you change your life.

But this year, I felt I needed goals.  I want something to work towards, something to give me the motivation to work hard, to be all I can be.  I sat with my journal, and really couldn’t come up with much.  In fact, it made me more frustrated the longer I pondered.  Here’s what I ended up writing:

What are goals anyway?  Is it just a wishlist of things to get done? A master plan for life? What if I don’t know what my goals are yet? What if I enjoy living life by the seat of my pants?

I don’t know what this life will bring-what this year will bring. How do I set goals in a place with no certainty? How does one set goals in a game with no rules?

If my goals are simply the ways I hope to change myself for the better, then aren’t they actually aspirations?

Can I choose the goal of having such a great life that I don’t need any goals? Can I trust the God of the Universe enough to stay motivated without having any said goals other than to just be myself?

I think that’s my true goal, to just be myself.  No more worrying about the opinions of other people, because truly, they don’t matter.  No more worrying about if what I said was taken the wrong way, or not understood correctly.  No more worrying about hurting other people’s feelings, especially when they aren’t worried about hurting mine.  Perhaps worrying is the thing I need to get rid of.  All right, so I’ll be my true self, and stop worrying.  There.  Its set.  Happy 2017!

1 Comment


Sunday started out as a beautiful day. The temperature rose into the 50’s, there was a very light breeze, and it was a beautiful spring day. (Don’t forget, I live in North Dakota.)  I started out by cleaning my chicken coop of the soiled straw.  I shoveled it up, and made numerous trips to the garden to dump it.  My husband started a bonfire to burn some old pallet boards.  The chickens ran around the yard, pecking and scratching at the dirt, and eating all the seeds they could find.

After the coop was cleaned out, I put in fresh straw for the ladies, and they pecked and scratched at that too.  I found my pair of loppers and started cutting and pruning the dead wood from my privet hedge, and cutting it down to a manageable 6 feet tall from the 9 or 10 it had grown to last fall. The dead wood went in the fire. I cut down my raspberry stalks and burned them up too.   My husband grilled some elk sausage and elk steaks over the fire for us and our son.  And it was good.


Then, the wind started to pick up in the afternoon.  The wind continued into the night, and we knew the storm was coming.  The air felt shifted.  It felt heavy.  The next morning I went to work in the heavy, hard wind, and then the rain started. I wasn’t just any rain, but freezing rain.  It stuck to the windows, and where it hit, it froze immediately.  I could see the tiny grains of ice in the drops.  And then it stopped.  I put ice melt in front of the door.  Within a couple hours it all melted.  Then the next round started. This time it was graupel.  ( http://www.fsavalanche.org/encyclopedia/graupel.htm)  It coated the roads and the parking lot.  The corn husks and dried up leaves whipped across the parking lot.  When I went outside, the frozen pellets stung my face and then I realized the temperature had dropped quite a bit.  The wind rattled the windows and shook the walls.  All sorts of things flew by the window, and it was foreboding.

Once home, I sat and read for awhile. My husband, home from work an hour early because the interstates had closed at 3:30, was working in the garage putting the new tires on the golf cart. (Yes, we are optimists.) He came in and exclaimed that he couldn’t see our neighbor’s house behind us.  I looked out the window, and sure enough, behind the chicken coop was a white sheet, hiding the next house about a block away.  The snow continues into the night, reducing visibilities and making the roads very hard to travel.  It was dangerous.

In just 28 hours my backyard turned from a happy spring day, into a blizzard. Luckily, it only dumped 4 inches of snow on us, far short of the earlier prediction of 12 to 18. For this I was grateful, but still, I had to wonder if Mother Nature was playing an April Fool’s trick on us.  We went from the green grass starting to peak through the brown dead grass from last fall, to white snow.  We went from bonfire to snow bank in a very short time.  And it was discouraging.

Sometimes life is a lot like the weather.  Everything is going great, then something changes and a blizzard shows up, right in the middle of your nice spring day.  Things are going great, and then, in the blink of an eye, it all goes downhill.  Its so easy to give up hope when we perceive that bad things are happening to us.  Its easy to give in to depression and sadness, and think that things will never get back to normal.  But in reality, they always seem to work out for the best as long as we expect it to.

And it will.

I know that this is a temporary set back for the weather turning to warm summer days.  It will happen. It always does.  And as much as I rolled my eyes about this storm, the snow brings nitrogen to the soil, and moisture, which the crops, and the flowers, and the grasses, and the vegetables all need in the spring.  It may be uncomfortable for a short time, but in the long run, this makes things better.  It was adventageous.

Many times in our lives, its the hard things that define who we are.  Its the uncomfortable things that make us grow, and learn,  and live.  The next time you feel that you are in a downward spiral, stop fretting.  Open your parachute and rest easy, knowing that it will make you stronger.  Perhaps you will learn an important lesson that will benefit you in life. Perhaps you will meet someone who will become a best friend, or a significant other, or a beloved spouse. Perhaps you will gain life experiences that will help you write a book, start a business, or become a better person.

Life can only get you down if you let it. Because life is good.

Have you ever had an experience where you learned something good from a hurtful experience? I’d love to hear about it.