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love pet

Rest in peace, sweet Winston

Since the fall of 1991, when my fiancée-now-wife and I got a black kitten with lottery winnings, there has not been a night in our home without a pet in it. Until now.

Since early 1992—with the exception of an approximately one-month window—when we purchased a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy from a local breeder, there has not been a night in our home without a dog in it. Until now.

Winston, our sweet Corgi

Today we said good-bye to our sweet Winston. The slow kidney failure that had plagued him for nearly a year finally caught up, and it was time to let him go.

This one hits our family a little differently than the other two dogs we’ve had. With our first, Linus, it was just me and my wife, no kids, and we were quite devastated when his time with us was cut short from a tumor on his stomach. Our rebound dog, a Shar-Pei/Pit bull/couple-of-other-breeds mutt, Clancy, was equally sweet, and very protective of our firstborn when we brought him home from the hospital. But Winston was the first dog who truly had his boy. And our oldest was the first of us to truly have his dog.

A boy and his dog

Winston joined our family when our oldest was four. A friend who fostered dogs for the local humane society, and lived in the same neighborhood as us, knew of our love of Corgis from Linus. She called us one day to say, “I have a Corgi at my house.” She was informed we’d be over shortly. The first day was our meeting Winston; the name was one given to him by the humane society, and we liked it so we kept it. The second day was Winston meeting Clancy on neutral ground there in the neighborhood. That went well enough that the next day Winston spent the night at our house to see how he’d get along with the two cats and the general goings-on of our household. That was a Friday, and Saturday was going to be his first day of availability to be adopted from the humane society. They were having a big event at our local pet store. Winston did not make an appearance.

I will not forget the look on the humane society volunteer’s face when we told her we were there to adopt a dog, she asked which one, we told her, and she got confused that we didn’t have a dog with us. “Where is he?” she asked.

“At our house,” I replied with a smile. And then she got the above story, we got paperwork to fill out, the humane society got a check, and we had a second dog in the house.

When it was time for this ultimate decision to be made for Winston, there were many tears from all the humans in the household, but especially from our oldest. In my wife’s words, he and Winston were “two peas in a pod”. Bad day at school? Go lie down with Winston for some puppy therapy. Bad game on the ice? Go lie down with Winston for some puppy therapy. Mad at your parents because you’re a teenager who’s trying to figure out who he is and you’re bumping up against the boundaries of authority? Go lie down with Winston for some puppy therapy.

A boy and his dog. A dog and his boy.

I was with Linus and Clancy each when their time came, and there was no hesitation on my part that I would do the same for Winston. I left the decision on whether he wanted to be there as well to my oldest. There was no hesitation on his part, either.

Winston rode in his boy’s lap on the drive from our house to the vet’s office. He stuck his nose out the window a few times to sniff the air. He got lots of love and was talked to constantly.

Last ride together

It took both of us to gingerly get him down from his perch on his boy’s lap to the ground. He had developed arthritis in his left back leg on top of all the internal turmoil he was enduring. He had to be helped over the curb from the parking lot to the grass surrounding the office. But he spent his last moments before being led inside by a tech sniffing the ground, exploring a relatively unknown space, and dutifully doing his business and making his mark.

When the moment came, there were many tears from me and my son. There was also a new pain and sadness to consider, one I hadn’t experienced with our other two dogs: the pain a parent feels seeing such sadness of loss from his child. Sadly, I know this will not be the last time for that, but such is life.

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We thanked God for bringing Winston into our home. We thanked Him for the love that poured forth between this sweet little, teddy-bear puppy and the humans he shared an abode with. We offered our hope to Him that we be reunited some day.

Until that day, I will miss you, sweet Winston. I love you.

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God love Tumblr

Beautiful Feet: Let’s Be Real. Really.

Beautiful Feet: Let’s Be Real. Really.

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links love Tumblr

Whispers in my ear

Whispers in my ear

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God love

Hope

Max Lucado:

We are not much different than burdened travelers, are we? We roll in the mud of self-pity in the very shadow of the cross. We piously ask for his will and then have the audacity to pout if everything doesn’t go our way. If we would just remember the heavenly body that awaits us, we’d stop complaining that he hasn’t healed this earthly one.

Our problem is not so much that God doesn’t give us what we hope for as it is that we don’t know the right thing for which to hope. (You may want to read that sentence again.)

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love music video

Dancing in the Minefields

Andrew Peterson’s latest single. Great song.

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God love

Knowing who we are

Andrew Farley, The Naked Gospel:

Sometimes we see ourselves as sinners in the loving arms of a God who is pretending not to see us as we really are. In our minds, maybe God is wearing a pair of “Jesus glasses” that hides our true state from his vision. We find it difficult to grasp the idea that God calls us righteous because we actually are righteous. It feels more humble to believe that we’re filthy worms awaiting a future change into beautiful butterflies.

Jesus stated it best. He said that our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees in order to enter the kingdom (Matthew 5:20). So if we Christians don’t claim to possess perfect righteousness, we’re lowering God’s standard. We’re watering down the gospel. We insinuate that Jesus can unite himself with sin. And we insult the perfection of God.

Only perfection will do. This is precisely why God had to make us perfectly righteous in our human spirits through our own death, burial, and resurrection. With its apparent humility, this filthy worm theology appeals to the flesh. But God certainly doesn’t condone our wallowing in poor self-image.

The risen Christ doesn’t join himself to filthy worms. The Holy Spirit doesn’t dwell in dirty sinners. Christ only unites himself with those who are like him in spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn’t reside in someone who remains even 1 percent flawed by sin.

But we’ve been perfectly cleansed. And we’ve been made perfectly righteous at our core through spiritual surgery. This is the only way we can enjoy even a moment of relationship with Jesus Christ.
I have often used the same analogy Farley mentions above, of God looking at us through “Jesus-colored glasses,” and I realize I may have been incomplete in my explanation in the past.
Not to be repetitive with Farley’s own elaboration, but my meaning has always been that when God sees a believer, he sees perfection, as when he sees Jesus. As when he sees himself.
This is who we are, fellow Christians. We have no need to add to it. It’s impossible for us to do so. There is no magic checklist we can look at to see how our perfecting is going. At the same time it is ongoing, it’s also already done. Why can we not accept that? What are we afraid of?
Knowing who we are, righteous before a perfect and holy God, should fill us with hope. A hope we should be passing on to our fellow man.
Know who you are. Be who you are. Not to lord it over others, as the Church has too often been wont to do for years, but to show God’s love to the world. He has chosen to work through us, and we should joyfully allow Him to do so.

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God love read

Thank you, Lord, for books

Randy Alcorn:

No offense to ebooks and Kindle, which have their place, but there’s no substitute for a book that has an actual history, that takes up space on a shelf, that has been somewhere, strapped to the back of a bike, that was being read in a British boys’ school library while Lewis was still teaching at Oxford.

Thank you, Lord, for books. Not just the words, but actual physical books you can hold in your hand and touch and smell, and ponder where they have been and what lives they may have touched.

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armed forces liberty love quote that's life

Every day a memorial day

Tony Woodlief:

It’s a good thing, I believe, to remember the dead — especially in a culture that trivializes death. We shunt it aside to the fantastic realms of video games and movies, and call it by other names when we do it to old people and unborn infants, and all of this is a way, I think, of grasping life in the wrong way, in a way that reveals the underlying belief, for many of us, that our lives are about our gratification.

That’s such a big word for an experience that is so very small. Gratification is as far removed from joy as hunger is from a great feast, and yet we forsake the latter in pursuit of the former because joy, like a feast, requires sacrifice.

So it’s a good thing to remember those who gave their lives in sacrifice for others. Think on them, and if you like you can light a candle or mutter a prayer, a prayer that you and I and the rest of the world will, if only for a slender day, give ourselves over to loving someone other than ourselves, which means the great sacrifice of setting down our hurts and lusts and grievances and entitlements, all of which are chains with heavy anchors, but which we gather to us like treasures. But today, if only for today, what say we lay them down?

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baseball love parenting photo that's life

Our ballplayer

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This spring, Davis started playing baseball. At the six and under level (6U), it’s coach-pitch. He did pretty well, and we saw improvements in his fielding from that first practice to the last game this past Saturday (May 22d). Hitting wise, he did awesome, going seven for eight in the first half of the season. He hit a slump, but rebounded for the last two games.

To see more photos, including a couple from the game, check out the rest of the set.

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love parenting photo that's life

Hanging out

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From back in March. While I was getting myself ready, the boys watched Sesame Street in Mom and Dad’s room.