This past week started off with a scary incident. Our 13+ year old Pekingese, Tuxedo (dog on left in picture above), woke us up on Monday by dragging himself across our wood floor in our bedroom...he couldn't walk or even stand up. We started rubbing him down, and his body didn't respond in its normal way, and he wasn't making any of his normal sounds. However, he didn't seem to be laboring in his breathing. We called the vet, and then decided just to observe him for a while. We figured he had a stroke or was having a seizure, as his eyes and head were a little jerky. We were afraid we were witnessing the end of his life.
Within a couple of hours I took him outside, and he was able to stand and walk around a bit. As the day went on he returned to his normal self. That was an answer to prayer! We know he is probably drawing close to the end of his time, but we are grateful for every day we have with him. He's been such a good dog. Seems like he's been with us for a long time. He was our "empty nest syndrome" answer. Sons moved out, and puppy moved in. He has brought us so much joy. What a faithful companion!!
Tuesday night we took another couple with us and drove into Kalamazoo for a "Christmas in Kalamazoo" concert with male chorus, brass, and bell ringers. It was an excellent concert, and it was right across from Bronson park which was all lit up with Christmas trees and lights and decorations...beautiful. To make the night even more "Christmasy", we were in the midst of a heavy snowfall, and our drive in was like taking a sleigh ride while it was snowing. Very nice way to usher in the season!
We've been nurturing a young kitten that was deserted on our porch by its Mommy. With some milk, some canned cat food, and a set up of pens and chairs with blankets, it seems to be doing well. It tried to interact with the older cats, who shunned the kitten at first, but now they seem to be accepting him, and let him sleep with them. He's a smart little kitten, knowing how to take his time and work his way in to be accepted. We are calling him SnickerDoodle.
Paul was out of town all day Thursday in meetings, and then had to go back to our state District office in Grand Ledge again on Friday afternoon. I went with him, and he set me up on his computer in an office there so I could work on a data input project while he was in his three hour meeting. Afterwards we "double-dated" with his boss and his wife. What a nice evening with them. We went to a restaurant in Lansing.
Saturday I did something I've wanted to do ever since we moved here. I went with a couple of friends into downtown Kalamazoo to shop. They've made their downtown into an outdoor mall with unique shops...no chain stores. We ate lunch on the mall also. It was an enjoyable day, but there weren't that many stores I would care to go back to. Most of them were too expensive. We hit the dollar store and resale shop in the way home...more our budget!!
This morning for morning worship we visited Westwood Church of God in northwest Kalamazoo. It was a very friendly church. We had lunch at Cracker Barrel, did some shopping, picked up a friend at the airport who needed a ride home, and then napped until time to head out to Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene for their Christmas musical, "Mary, Did You Know?" Lovely musical...some of my favorite songs. Another evening of welcoming the spirit of Christmas. This coming week we have a Gaither concert to attend...that should be very good!!
For anyone who has been reading my blog this year, you have been reading the One Year Bible along with me. Each day in my daily readings I have a passage from the Old Testament, a passage from the New Testament, some verses from Psalms and a verse or two from Proverbs. I highlight those verses that speak to me directly, and then I write them in this blog on a weekly (almost) basis. I am down to the last month, and just about to start into the minor prophets and Revelation. By the end of this month we (you and I) will have read through the entire Bible in 2011. I already have a new devotional book for 2012 that will take me into scripture in a whole new way...a look at 365 Greek Word studies to sharpen my understanding of God's Word. I'm looking forward to continuing to study God's Word on a daily basis, but in a different light.
So, on to my verses from this past week:
- ...a man is a slave to whatever controls him. (2:20)
- But don't forget this, dear friends, that a day or a thousand years from now is like tomorrow to the Lord. He isn't really being slow about his promised return, even though it sometimes seems that way. But he is waiting, for the good reason that he is not willing that any should perish, and he is giving more time for sinners to repent. (3:8-9)
- But we are looking forward to God's promise of new heavens and a new earth afterwards, where there will be only goodness.
- Dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen and for him to come, try hard to live without sinning; and be at peace with everyone so that he will be pleased with you when he returns. (3:13-14)
- But if we are living in the light of God's presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin. (1:7)
- How can we be sure that we belong to him? By looking within ourselves; are we really trying to do what he wants us to?
- Someone may say, "I am a Christian, I am on my way to heaven, I belong to Christ." But if he doesn't do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar. But those who do what Christ tells them to will learn to love God more and more. That is the way to know whether or not you are a Christian. Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did. (2:3-6)
- ...as we obey this commandment, to love one another, the darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in. (2:8)
- Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, right now, and we can't even imagine what it is going to be like later on. But we do know this, that when he comes we will be like him, as a result of seeing him as he really is. And everyone who really believes this will try to stay pure because Christ is pure.(3:2-3)
- Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions. Then we will know for sure, by our actions, that we are on God's side, and our consciences will be clear, even when we stand before the Lord. (3:18-19)
- And this is what God says we must do: Believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another. Those who do what God says---they are living with God and he with them. We know this is true because the Holy Spirit he has given us tell us so. (3:23-24)
- Dear Friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better. But if a person isn't loving and kind, it shows that he doesn't know God---for God is love." (4:7-8)
- Dear Friends, since God loved us as much as that (by sending his only Son into this wicked world to bring us to eternal life through his death), we surely ought to love each other too. For though we have never yet seen God, when we love each other God lives in us and his love within us grows even stronger. And he has put his own Holy Spirit into our hearts as a proof to us that we are living with him and he with us.(4:11-13)
- God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him. And as we live with Christ, our love grows more perfect and complete; so we will not be ashamed and embarrassed at the day of judgment, but can face him with confidence and joy, because he loves us and we love him too. (4:16-18)
- Jehovah himself is caring for you! He is your defender. He protects you day and night. He keeps you from all evil, and preserves your life. He keeps his eye upon you as you come and go, and always guards you. (121:5-8)
The Word for You Today
1. Before you can move ahead:
- some of our past ways must discontinue
- we must give up our doubts (low self esteem, fears, anxieties, critics)