My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Archive for April, 2010

The Rescuer…

Imagine one nice spring day being on a boat. You are enjoying your day. It’s a nice warm day and the breeze off the water is cool on your face. You have decided to take the boat out on your own just to have some time to think and enjoy some alone time.

As you are going down the river you suddenly hear a sound. It is the sound of people yelling for help. As you look around you finally see a bunch of people in the middle of the river. Their boat has obviously capsized and sank and they are treading water. Even though the day is warm, the water is still really cold. You realize that unless you start saving people, some might not make it.

You have a really small boat but you pull along side the first group and start helping people on. The people are starting to be so cold they can barely work their limbs. It takes a long time to get people in the boat. Also, some of the people fight each other to get on. There are a few that are so frightened; they even are fighting you as you are trying to save them.

Finally, you get a whole load, as many as the boat can safely carry, and you speed down the river and put them on shore. You hurry back to the next group in the water and start trying to rescue them. You do this three or four times, as quickly as you can. In the end you are able to save about half of those in the water.

The news that night sings your praises and calls you a hero. Without your intervention, all 60 people would have died. However, because you chose to become involved 32 are alive that otherwise would have been lost.

It makes sense that they would call you hero, doesn’t it?

If so, then why don’t we call our God a hero? Why do people not see it’s the same?

There we all are in our natural state. We are drowning in our sin. And don’t be mistaken…we WILL drown in our sin and die to eternal Hell. There is nothing we can do to help ourselves. Actually, we are so far gone at that point that we don’t even want help. We think we are fine. We can help ourselves. Everything will be alright…but that’s not true.

And here comes God. He plucks some out of that swamp of sin and death and saves them. Psalm 25:15 – “Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.”

Oh, and we fight Him. We shake our fist at Him. We say it’s not Him that saved us. We say it’s not fair that He didn’t save everyone. We rage against our very Creator and we don’t call Him a hero. We definitely don’t deserve to be saved.
As it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Romans 3:10-18

Why did He choose who He chose? We don’t know, but God sure knows. God has a plan and His plan will be carried out. We should praise Him for His mercy and grace at choosing to save even one of us.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8

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Digging in the Dirt…

I’ve never been someone you could consider a gardener. I never aspired to be one either. I didn’t like working in the yard and frankly didn’t really know how to garden. Every now and then I would get out the planters and buy some flowers and plant them; but that was pretty rare. I do have to say I’m a “Powerball Plower” on FarmTown on Facebook but somehow I don’t think that counts.

This past weekend all that changed. I had been pondering planting a garden for awhile. The thought of fresh vegetables has been calling me for several years. Bud’s parents have been growing veggies in their garden for several years and sharing the overflow with us. I have come to learn that nothing tastes quite as good as freshly grown produce.

Saturday I got up early and took Bella with me to Home Depot to purchase some plants. We got lots of veggies and some fruits too: several different kinds peppers, tomatoes, onions, herbs, watermelon, carrots, celery, etc. I don’t know a thing about this so I probably got some things that shouldn’t be planted now. However, I took the shotgun approach and just got some of everything. I also had some seeds that I used too. We even got a Topsy-Turvy planter for strawberries and one for peppers.

Bella and I spent hours digging in the dirt, planting, watering, etc. It was a blast. Bella eventually went inside to sleep (jet-lag). I continued “playing in the dirt.” There was something so basically satisfying in planting. Just pushing the seeds down in the rich dirt makes me feel good.

I can’t wait to see how excited I will be when the seeds start coming up. It all is a miracle…the beginning from a small seed, growing into a big plant that produces something to eat.

I will take some pictures soon and I plan to keep everyone posted. I don’t know how much of my plants will come up, but I am still glad I am now officially a “gardener.”

Buster you will be missed…

On Valentine’s Day, we had to have our beloved beagle, Buster, put to sleep. He was 13 years old and had been part of our life for so long, we couldn’t imagine our lives without him there. It’s now been almost 2 months and I finally feel like I can tell a little bit about what made Buster so special to us.

Buster was our third beagle and my children’s third dog. We initially had a little male beagle named Bubba. Then we got a girlfriend for Bubba named Dixie. Bubba was inbred (though we didn’t know it) and we ended up having to have him put to sleep because of genetic problems.

After Bubba died, both Bella and Joey wanted another dog. We looked through the Bulletin Board and found some beagles that were ready. They were way out in the country. So, we started the trek to go find another sweet boy doggie. We took Dixie along so she could help pick. For some reason, that was very important to Bella and Joey.

We had already decided on the name of Buster by the time we got there, after seeing a sign with that on it along the way.

We got to the place and got out of the car. We went around the corner to where the man selling the puppies indicated and there was a big yard with a lot of puppies and some adult dogs as well.

We immediately noticed this one puppy. He was the tubbiest little thing I had ever seen. We soon found out why…Buster was not only eating dog food, but was still nursing as well. He was so fat that his belly almost dragged on the ground. He also was really dark compared to the two beagles we had previously had. He was mostly black with brown and white thrown in. I always thought he looked like a burnt little cookie.

Well, it was love at first sight. We immediately decided he was our Buster. Dixie seemed to like him too, although I think she would much rather us to have brought home Buster’s daddy, she seemed quite taken with him.

Buster was a funny dog. He would actually smile when you rubbed him; so much so that his mouth would almost go up to the corners of his eyes. He loved to have his back scratched and his ears scratched. He was also a pretty easy going doggie until he got old and grumpy.

Buster loved Bella most of all. He got to where he was miserable when she would go on her mission trips. He wouldn’t eat and would just mope. He was also grumpy and growled at the other dogs more often as he aged.

But Buster was happy the day he died. He went out into the yard and lay in the sun and just smiled. We knew it was time for him to go…it was very clear that it was the end. We all loved on him and I know until he took his last breath he knew how much he was loved.