Saturday, August 16, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
Tilla came into my life at the beginning of living and teaching in Nassau, The Bahamas, in October of 2009 after a mugging incident had taken place in my own yard. I was told that “potcakes” (a Bahamian mix breed named for the crusty cake of rice that forms at the bottom of a pot of rice) were wonderful guard dogs, fiercely loyal to their yards, and exactly what I needed to protect me from further incidents. Thus, after years of being a “cat” lady I found myself the owner of Tilla - about 10 months old, beautiful, but very unsocialized by “American” standards of pet ownership.
Over the next weeks and months this animal and I forged ahead in learning about love and relationships while I continued to learn about the ways and culture of this beautiful island country I was calling home. She learned to be touched, to take treats from my hand, to sit, lay down, walk on a leash, receive belly rubs, and, after about 8 months, finally set foot inside the house for the first time. As she learned about being a pet, I learned the amazingness of unconditional love that I had heard about from dog owners all my life. Her fierce devotion to me and those I loved became apparent as she would dutiful bark her head off at any suspicious cars or people in or around our yard. She would lie in the driveway in the evenings or night waiting to get me safely inside the house, where she would lick my toes and stretch herself out on the cool tile to snore away until morning.
After five years of amazing island life, Tilla and I have journeyed to the USA together this past May via a chartered flight to Ft Lauderdale, a stay at doggie day care in Disney World, a long van ride with Uncle Terry to Mississippi, a summer stay at Granny and Pop’s house in Starkville this summer, a visit to our cousins in Knoxville, TN, and, not quite two weeks ago, to our new home in southwest Virginia. Tilla has been a champ – civilized, loving and still fiercely protective of any potential threat around me or our family.
Last Monday, Tilla went missing from our yard in Virginia. I am fairly certain she was stolen out of our yard, as I’m hearing more and more incidents of “dog”napping for ransom money occurring in this region. I’m convinced this is what has happened. I’m amazed at the far reaching kindness that has been bestowed upon me this week as friends and strangers are rallying on the search for Tilla.
As I guest write for my cousin Leanna, I want to share the biggest lesson I have learned from Tilla and that is the Power of Love. As she was given the chance, her doggie heart grew and gave huge amounts of Love in the best ways she knew how. I know God loves the furry people, and I know He places them in our lives to serve as Angels to protect, love, and serve us where so often humans can fail. Perhaps you, too, have experienced the unconditional love of on of God's most precious creatures and man's best friend. If so, please join me in praying Prayers for this Potcake, that she find her way safely home.
NOTE: Tilla received her name from the piece of accompanying music performed by C Force (I’m playing piano) and composed by Bahamian colleague Christian Justilien. It’s written in a style of Bahamian music called “goombay.” Tilla knows it’s her theme song and it fits her personality perfectly.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
Sunday, August 10, 2014
2 Samuel 11:1
King David was one of the most amazing men who ever lived. He was handsome and strong. Although he was a fierce warrior, he wrote some of the most beautiful poetry ever written. He also made one big mess of his life when he sinned with Bathsheba.
How could someone described as a man after God’s own heart wind up in such a dreadful series of events? The answer lies in the last five words of verse 1.
“But David stayed at Jerusalem.”
When he should have been taking care of business, he was taking it easy, and he became an easy prey for temptation. It might have seemed as if he was making a prudent choice by sending others to fight. After all, he was Israel’s beloved king and had to be protected at all costs. He found, however, that the safest place for a warrior is not relaxing on the rooftop. The safest place for a warrior is in the midst of the battle – the midst of God’s battle.
Are you weary? Do you feel as if you’d rather “relax on the rooftop” than wade into the heat of spiritual warfare? Don’t give up and don’t despair. The safest place you can be is right where God has called you to be. There is no doubt that most of us will experience battles and difficulties in our Christian walk. There will undoubtedly be times when we feel like turning aside from the struggle. When discouragement threatens, remember we are not fighting alone. As David faced Goliath, he spoke the truth that sustained him in all his battles. “The battle is the Lord’s.” (1 Samuel 17:47)
Our job is to engage in armed battle with the only weapon we need – the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, but remember, this battle we are fighting belongs to Him. Our Lord is able to handle every difficulty we face, including every tremendous struggle we encounter, so take heart. Regardless of how fierce the fighting, the battle belongs to the Lord, and He is able to deliver.
photo from Wikipedia
Kathy McKinsey wrote a beautiful article for Friday Night with Friends, New Beginning. If you haven't read it yet, you can click here. You can read more by Kathy at her blog. Our next Friday Night with Friends guest blog will post at 6 pm this Friday night. You don't want to miss it!
In case you missed one of the past week's posts, here are the links: Starting Over: It's Not as Easy as It Seems, Behavior That Demonstrates Belief, Answered Prayer: The Bulletproof Vest, Bringing Good from Tragedy: Wives of Warriors Make a Difference, Friday Night with Friends: New Beginning, The Temperament Test and Married Oneness, Leaving a Legacy: Choices That Last for Generations, and Jumping to Conclusions: The Terrorists That Were Not.