Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Life and death, Choose one or the other

2/23/10 Tuesday
We certainly got snow. It looks like about four or five inches. It’s hard to tell because it is a light snow that blows about easily so in some areas the ground is nearly bare and in others there are drifts well over a foot deep. I went out at four this morning and covered up Ben and Gretchen, our outside dogs. There are some out there who are amused by how we spoil our dogs and will tell us that dogs are tough and shouldn’t be coddled like this but we don’t care what others think. Our dogs are our companions and do not judge us or develop low opinions but love us unconditionally. So we love back and demonstrate it through actions. Gretchen’s paw got infected, probably from a thorn or piece of glass that had imbedded itself and abscessed. She’s doing well now after we took her to the vet but for a while we had two three legged dogs outside. Ben will never get the use of his back leg back but gets around pretty good now.

With the snow everything is shut down so Cherie doesn’t have to go to work. There was a funeral scheduled at the church she works at for today so she wondered “Do they cancel funerals” as we watched the list of school and business closings on television. I don’t know but suspect that a funeral is hard to cancel so probably will go on. Makes me think a bit about what would have happened had I not come back to life after being declared dead at the accident in November 2001. I suspect that I would have been buried in a paupers grave with no one attending as there was no money, no insurance, no one in the state who knew me, and I had no friends who would have been able to make the journey to Oklahoma. Perhaps my brother or sister would have come but it’s doubtful my father would. “What a morbid thing to think about” some might say at reading this but it brings out even more the miracle my life is becoming. Today I am confident there would be many who would attend my funeral. Today I am surrounded by those who care and love me. How blessed I am and what a mighty work God has done and is doing in our life as things destroyed are being restored.

One of the most powerful (at least for me) scriptures is found in Deuteronomy chapter 30 where it says “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

This area of the bible goes into great depth explaining what is pleasing to God and what He finds to be detestable. The big emphasis is to not get drawn or lured away into the habits and lifestyles of the people and nations that surrounded the Israelites in the land they were taking over after Moses led them out of Egypt. I understand the truth of this intimately now after experiencing it firsthand. It was a slow process involving small compromise after compromise, doing what I knew God wasn’t happy with but justifying it in my mind, confident in God’s grace and forgiveness but not understanding God’s judgment at all. The end result? I died long before the accident physically killed me, was dead in my spirit and for a while would talk the Christian talk but my heart was far from Him. It was a deadly path. There is a proverb that says “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of that way is death”. How my heart breaks as I see a nation full of churches that have incorporated compromise in their message, as I see so many who stand on the edge of a cliff blithely unaware of the danger they are in. But there is a reason this is on my heart and it is one of the reasons I am alive today. So I must obey what my spirit tells me.

Time to take Carman kitty to the vet so got to go.
Carman apparently pulled a muscle or tore a ligament so that’s why he can’t jump and limps. That really came to my attention when he, in trying to get to his favorite spot on the office chair as I worked, did so by climbing up my legs using his claws instead of doing in a single leap. Plus Carman kitty is getting old, I think about fourteen years, so has arthritis too.

The drive to the vet was nasty. I figured getting on the interstate instead of taking the service road would be best, thinking all the traffic would help clear it. Just the opposite was true. All the traffic had pressed the snow into an ice pack, which was full of holes. In Ohio the highways would have been plowed and salted and consequently clear and mostly dry. “We’re not in Ohio anymore” a voice tells me with touches of a scene from the Wizard of Oz. No, I’m not hearing voices, just being a story teller, so don’t worry.

Dr. Law, our vet (We highly recommend her if you need a vet) rightly thought we were nuts driving in this weather to bring Carman. In fact Cherie let me know that too and tried to convince me to turn around and reschedule before we were a half mile away from the house. But I tend to be a stubborn old fart and really don’t let fear or common sense keep me from accomplishing a goal. But having some ding bat in a little car fly past us at a high rate of speed did make me nervous, as did the semi pulling one of those double trailer set ups. So we were happy to get off the highway and when we came home stayed on the service road.

At the vets I took lots of pictures. We were surprised to find the peacocks way up in the trees. These peacocks are a fixture in the neighborhood and we’ve seen them many times before but were not aware that they are able to fly. Evidently they had belonged to someone who lived there or had been dumped off, I can’t remember the story right now, but everyone on the street looks after them now. So here’s some pictures of them.

When I opened the garage door to get some tools I was surprised, and not real happy, to see that the wind had driven a lot of snow under the one inch space that had been left because I didn’t close the door all the way when I was battening everything down in preparation for the storm. Fortunately I don’t think there is anything that will be damaged by it.

I called Alan and told him to not bother to come in and work. He was glad to hear that as he had no desire to drive in this stuff. Alan has had some real bad experiences in the short time he’s been out of prison. He has some money from savings and investments made before he went to prison and inheritance from his dad’s recent death so was able to purchase a car. He found a 1998 Honda in the paper and I took him to the guys house so he could pay for it. The guy was a fast talker and when I heard him tell Alan that he should always check the fluids and that a freeze plug leaked it sent up red flags. Come to find out, when Alan had test drove it the guy only let him drive it around the neighborhood, giving some lame excuse for that. Well, the car doesn’t have a fifth gear that works and quickly overheated. It gets him to work and around town but there’s no question he got ripped off and paid twice what it’s worth on top of that. Alan is my brother in Christ and we will do as much as we can for him, confident that God brought him to us for that purpose. I am grateful every time we are able to help someone out and I’m starting to recognize that many times it’s the hand of God that brings things together for us to do so.

It’s good that we have the snow, not so much for the ever appreciated moisture but because it frees up time I need to spend on preparing material for the USDA and NRCS guys. Plus I need to write the congressman too.

So enough said, time to get to work. Enjoy the pictures.

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