Is He Dead or Alive?

A brilliant aspect of snow is that animal tracks are magnified. Glancing out the front window after our recent two inches of snowfall, I saw numerous tracks. I investigated a hole under the edge of our porch similar to one we had two years ago.

Time again to set the trap! What will we find this time? Should I bait with meats to attract possums, or vegetables for rabbits? I decided on sardines in oil – more smell.

Evening.

“What’s the dog barking about?” Dan yelled down from his upstairs office.

“Crystal wants to go outside?” I answered, assuming I knew her desire.

I let her out. Wait – she’s running around sniffing and listening.  What’s up with her? First a lot of barking, which is unusual, now her only interest is in going to the front of the house. I am confused.

My brain slowly catches up as I say to her, “Let’s check the trap.”

Crystal helps me check the trap, which indeed has a possum. I think she likes checking the trap because there are lots of smells.

As we came back inside I called up to Dan, inviting him to join us in examining our uninvited tenant. “How did Crystal hear the Possum from inside the house?” we ask ourselves.

We pad out into the cold in stocking feet and pjs. Crystal is fascinated by the possum staring up at us from the cage. Nothing dead about this one! It is 10:30 at night; we are ready for bed. I guess possums don’t play dead at night.

I couldn’t just leave him caged overnight in the cold, even if I did feed him dinner.

So off we went to find a place in the countryside to leave this little critter.

Unlike two previous occupants of that hole, he eagerly ran into the distance.

Maybe in a few days his mate will follow – assuming we again caught one half of a breeding pair – and she will also fall prey to some really good oily sardines.

A Letter From Kohl’s

Today a letter came from Kohl’s, the department store.

I imagine it is in response to the new credit card laws passed by Congress. They are supposed to protect individuals, who have been forced to pay exorbitant interest rates on remaining balances.

Kohl’s said “Now, APR’s will generally vary with the market based on the Prime Rate, but do not go below the stated minimum APR in your Cardmember Agreement.”

This is a fancy way of saying – no firm rate for their consumer card anymore! That is Scary!

The answer is very simple, but not easy to follow. Either do not charge – or pay off what you charge monthly.

Not possible you say? Well, it is if we stop using consumerism as a hobby.

Gone are the days of ‘Shop till you DROP!’ and fast are becoming the days of ‘What is free (or affordable) and fun as well?’

Is our world changing? Maybe. It takes a majority of us to make a change. It won’t happen with a few.

But wait – the new laws from Congress are to help consumers not be enslaved by their credit card debt! Congress is trying to say we can spend more and not pay as much, because of these new wonderful laws.

But – we will still be in debt until we change our habits!

Our Choice to make.


Crystals From God

Sunlight plays on the ice crystals coating my trees from last night’s ice storm. As they sparkle and catch the light I am joyfully entertained by the myriad of colors exuding from their surface.

Dazzling whites, golds, blues, greens, reds – so many colors I can’t name them all. Branches shimmer and sway in the wind, with their ice coatings creating a delight to gaze upon.

How can one ice storm bring so much beauty? As I stand watching I am overwhelmed with a sense of God’s Glory being displayed by a simple ice storm.

Who else could decorate cold barren seemingly lifeless trees, making them seem priceless. I wanted to go pick the diamonds I see sparkling from the trees. I would be rich!

But I am rich, because I know God, the creator of this marvel. I do not need diamonds, or any other kind of gemstone to be rich. I only have to admire the handiwork of God, letting it flow over my soul, healing me.

Jesus tells us that the lilies of the field were clothed better than King Solomon in all his finest. Today my trees were dressed finer than I ever expect to dress.

So I decided to take a walk amongst the beauty. In a stand of river birch, when I stood still, I could hear the clacking of the branches coated with ice. It was like a low tone bell calling. When I moved away from the trees the world was once again silent. As I moved back into the grove I listened to God’s music, cherishing this moment as I was not sure if it would ever happen again to me.

God can be like that. He shows you a part of His creation, and lets you decide to cherish it or pass it by. Today I choose to cherish this amazing beauty.

My prayer is to always be awake to God’s creation as I am today.

Are You In Tune With Your World?

“Theologian Karl Barth is said to have observed that the Christian of today should have a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.” from introduction to: “Paths to Prayer” by Patricia D. Brown

This statement I believe to be true. How can we be relevant to others in our world if we do not know what is happening around us?

As children we consider many adults as: ‘Not being with it’ or ‘Not cool!’ or ‘Whatever!’  As such we do not listen to someone like this, and we disrespect them, because we feel they do not really understand the current paradigm in which we live. They ‘Just don’t get it!’

What did Jesus do? He traveled in both the circles of the poor and the rich. He dined in the homes of both. He talked with both at the temple where he taught. He healed both rich and poor. What about the middle class? I am not sure that there was one in the time of Jesus. There were the haves and have-nots.

When you associate with others, as Jesus did, you begin to understand who they are and what they value. Provided you listen to them and truly care to understand what they say. I believe our Lord did care about others enough to learn what they cared about. I believe Jesus listened to others, as well as taught.

By leaving my comfort zone, staying current with society and learning about others, I can become more compassionate and loving. I think that is what we are called to be as Christians – Caring, Loving, Real and Present individuals to others we meet.

Praying With & For Others

Some of you reading my blog have prayed for me, with me, or I have prayed for you.

Whichever it is I dedicate this verse to you:

The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6: 24-26 NIV

I hope you feel blessed.  I sure do!   🙂

For those who have not prayed for me – Please do so. I am blessed by God Almighty because of all the prayers prayed for me.

For those who want me to pray for you, send me an email with your request – then pray along with me, in truth believing your request will be answered!

Jan@lazodavis.com

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14 NASB

The Earth Is Resting – Are We?

It is snowing once again, yet many people are wondering when Spring will come. They are tired of snow and winter.

Me – I am watching the Earth rest from it’s labors under a blanket of snow. As the snow and rain water the earth, Renewal is taking place. Soon we will have our Spring and it will be grand and glorious! God’s statements in springtime are a wonder to behold.

When do we take time to Renew? To recharge ourselves from the battles we fight which drain our resources?

Or do we?

We expect a car to need gas when the tank is near empty. Why do we expect ourselves to be able to run on empty?

Maybe I am not asking the right question.

Is the right question: How do we refill our tank when we are on empty?

I think it differs for us all, but we do have similarities to Renewal.

  • I believe we must take time to dwell with God in Adoration of God. God Inhabits Praise!
  • Leaving work and exercising the other half of our brain
  • Finding time to spend with a friend chatting, or writing a letter
  • Reading and exercising my brain
  • Exercising my body
  • Sitting quietly in meditation
  • ETC – You get the concept

The key is to have a way to recharge ourselves, because today it is not built into our world. We are expected to Always be on the GO!!! and as such don’t even think we need to recharge, when in simple truth we do.

A Book Report

One could say I like to read. My passion is not limited to any one genre, rather I am very eclectic in my reading material.

Yesterday I finished a book by Mitch Albom called  Have a Little Faith: A True Story ISBN-13: 978-0786868728

It was a very good read! Bizarre premise – Mitch’s Rabbi, from his hometown, asked him to deliver his eulogy. Yet, his Rabbi lived eight more years. This allowed Mitch to spend time with his Rabbi, learning who he was and what his beliefs were.

Imagine spending time with someone who changed your life as a child, yet – now you had to get to know this person enough to give a eulogy. Your childhood fear & respect would be hard to overcome.

Then add to the equation the fact that Mitch had all but left his former beliefs, married out of his faith and now lived a secular life.

It makes for an interesting story.

But that is not all. Mitch has become successful as a writer. He wrote  Tuesdays with Morrie, which became a best seller. Now he has set up a foundation to help those ‘less fortunate’ of Detroit, however he defines the term. And in the process of defining this very term, Mitch meets a Christian Pastor, Henry Covington, former drug addict, of I Am My Brother’s Keeper Ministry.

Can you tell I liked the book? If you get a chance it would be a good, light but thought provoking read.

Love Generated Obedience

Have you ever felt the love of a dog? Have you ever seen that deep devotion in a dog’s eyes when they look up at you? They totally believe you will meet their needs. Their look borders on worship sometimes. You are the center of their world.

What kind of love would we have in our hearts, if we had that same kind of devotion and obedience to God, that a dog has to their master? How much more would we love our ‘neighbor’ if we practiced that same kind of love towards others as God has commanded?

Just an observation, as I watch my dog prance around waiting for her food which I am preparing. She gets so excited each time I feed her. Yet she also trusts I will feed her and take care of her needs.

Do I always trust God will take care of me?

Sometimes Yes, and sometimes No, to be truthful. I need to work on this.

Commitment

Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.  Psalm 37:5  NASB

What an amazing verse from the Bible, the Holy Scriptures.

Yet, I ask myself, (when I am truthful) how often do I do this? How often do I invite God into my decision making?

Truthfully I can say that I ask God more today than ten years ago. We will leave it at that. 🙂

I will also say that when I do bring God into the equation of my efforts, the results are better. And I am much happier with the results. Maybe they also glorify God more when He is involved with me in my work – my path – my ways.

We live in a world where commitment is scarce, and people run, afraid to commit. It is nice to know that we will be rewarded for commitment to God, and it is nothing to be scared about.