What Are the Simple Rewards of Owning a Pet?

August 22, 2016
Pexels

Pexels

According to statistics from the ASPCA, “70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States.” What is it about man’s best friend or a cat that captures the heart of many Americans?

 

“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” George Eliot

The Benefits of Pets

  • Comfort
  • Companionship
  • Unconditional love
  • Protection

 

After my mother’s death, I bought a Boston Terrier puppy. The times I needed comfort, I could rely on my dog to give me a slurp across the face. Her eyes seem to light up when I return from an errand. She jumps and whines as if she is saying “I love you, love you love you.” She rests beside me in my recliner and is always eager to play ball.

When my mother was in Hospice, she especially enjoyed visits from the pet therapy dog.  Mother delighted in petting the dog and talking to her. A friend’s mom lives in assisted living with two cats. She thrives because of her pets.

Dogs offer protection. According to one study, intimidating and/or yapping dogs offer protection from burglars.

Pets teach children responsibility if they participate in the dog’s care. Children learn to respect animals instead of fearing them.

 

The Downside of Owning Pets

  • Expense
  • Training
  • Environment

When buying a dog it’s important to consider the cost of vaccinations and preventative care. Vet bills can add up quickly.

Since I’d owned a Boston Terrier before, I knew some of the basics about the breed. They are lively, playful and a bit stubborn. Obedience training is recommended. My puppy completed 2 sets of classes, and to this day I’ve never had regrets.

If you live in an apartment, you probably need to consider a small dog, since larger dogs need space to romp and play.

 

Do the homework if buying a pet.

  • investigate health record
  • buy from a reliable breeder
  • consider your living environment

 

Unfortunately, I didn’t research my puppy’s history and soon discovered she had a multitude of skin issues. Of course, when I made the discovery, I was already attached to the pup. No way would I demand my money back.

 

It’s a good idea to check your lease before buying a pet. One of the big reasons people are forced to give pets up for adoption is, restrictions in a lease.

 

 

 “Good people take good care of their animals, but the wicked know only how to be cruel.” Proverbs 12:10 (ERV)

 

The beginning of Genesis, reminds us that God created the animals, and man has dominion over them. Pets are loyal and trusting. They are of great value to us in giving companionship and unconditional love. Do you own a pet? What benefits have you received as a pet owner? Any funny stories you’d like to share?

 

 

What Is Awesome Courage When Facing A Goliath?

August 15, 2016
Unsplash

Unsplash

Most of us have had some type of challenge in our lives where the odds seemed insurmountable.

Situations such as a cancer diagnosis or death of a loved one, require an abundance of courage. Conflicts with family, friends, and others call for bravery. What is your definition of courage?

There is an incident in the Old Testament that will help clarify the meaning.

Facing A Threat

Israel was at war with the Philistines. The Philistine army had a champion. But the terrified Israeli army had no one willing to face the warrior.

The Enemy

The Israelites had good reason to fear the giant. Goliath stood 6 cubits and a span. According to the Expanded Bible, his height measured 9 feet 4 inches. The armor worn by this hulk weighed 125 pounds. The wooded part of his spear was the size of a beam.

The Israelites must have been quaking in their sandals!

Goliath in his big booming voice dared the Israeli army to send a warrior to fight. He taunted them with the fact that if he won, they would become slaves.

The Unlikely Champion

David a young shepherd happened to be in the Israeli camp, delivering food to his brothers. While David visited, Goliath shouted his challenge as he had for the last 40 days. David couldn’t believe the giant taunted God’s army.

The soldiers told David the king offered a great reward to anyone who would kill the giant. David’s older brother overheard the conversation. He scolded him for leaving the sheep. He accused David of being prideful and wicked in heart.

No brotherly love there.

David refused to be put off by his brother’s rebuke. King Saul summoned David who offered to battle the giant. The king discouraged David because of his youth and lack of experience in battle. But David convinced the king.

The king agreed and offered his own armor.  David refused. He needed his own equipment, a sling shot and few smooth stones.

On the battlefield, Goliath taunted David.

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Samuel 17: 45 

With one stone, David slew Goliath.

How did David possess such courage? He was loyal to God and trusted Him.

To have courage, you have to develop these 4 characteristics.

  • strength
  • confidence
  • integrity
  • good judgement

 

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” Eleanor Roosevelt

What do you think makes up courage? Are you currently experiencing a situation that requires courage?

Do You Know The 5 Fundamentals of Team Work?

August 8, 2016
Unsplash

Unsplash

The start of a new school year is just around the corner.  It’s a time of new beginning. Schools, churches and sports programs need adult volunteers. They are important to the team.

What does it mean to be a team player?

An example of team work is the movie The Great Escape.

Based on a true story, the film takes place during WWII. The setting is an escape proof German prison camp. Many of the prisoners were officers from Allied countries. Through team work, they were able to tunnel their way out of the camp. Each team member had a job to do. Some tailored civilian clothes, while others worked as guards, diggers, and spies. Still others copied papers to guarantee the freedom of each escapee.

 

Requirements of Team Work

Participation

All members worked with diligence in their role to meet a mutual goal. They had to show up. If one person failed, it caused delays for the project.

Dedication

Each person’s job was important.  For example, the old man forging the papers could not have burrowed through the tunnel.  But he devoted his talent to his work.

Perseverance

At one point, a tunnel digger played by Charles Bronson threatened to quit. Fear beset him in the close confines of the tunnel. The team rallied to give him the encouragement to continue.

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NASB

 

Achievement /Accuracy

The tunnel required good construction from the inside. Accuracy was important to allow for escape a safe distance from the fence. The dirt from the tunnel had to be distributed unnoticed within the confines of the camp. They used a brilliant method to accomplish the task.

Communication

When the guards were present, the POW’s used signals and other cues to keep the team informed.

A Successful Team

The movie illustrates the value of team work in gaining freedom. Even though the work was strenuous and dangerous, the team was motivated.  Each member was vital to the success.

When you volunteer your time to be a part of a team, your contribution is valued. Not only by the gift of your time, but in the work involved. The busy fall season is nearly here. Are you ready to give yourself to projects requiring team work?