Finding Rest for Your Soul

A bench to give restMany years ago I built a pair of English Garden Benches to go in a therapy garden at a church.  When I delivered them they spoke of having plaques made and attached that quoted Matthew 11:28 “Come unto Me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”  I don’t know if that was ever done, but it seemed like a nice idea.

A comfy bench can give rest for the body, but how do we find rest for a weary soul?  The rest of the passage quoted above holds the key.  Let’s look at that today.

Continue reading Finding Rest for Your Soul

Angel Steele:
Notes on a foster dog

Angel transferred here from another foster home because she was not getting over her fears and is badly stressed out which affects her behavior.

Last updated: Jan 17, 2018

Base Info:

  • Date Arrived: January 13, 2018
  • Breed: Beagle/Shepherd mix
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: 8 Months
  • Weight: approx. 55 pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Good
  • Temperament: Timid with people.  Stressed.

History

Continue reading Angel Steele:
Notes on a foster dog

Grace and Marcie On Your Tail

There was a woman who had a son named Timmy.  When Timmy was in kindergarten she would walk him to school, a few blocks away.

Halfway through the year Timmy said, “You don’t need to walk me to the door, Mom, I’m a big boy now.  You wait here on the sidewalk and I’ll go up on my own.”  So she’d wait on the sidewalk and watch till her son got inside.

The following year her son said, “Mom, when I start first grade, I want to walk to school on my own.  I’m a big boy now, you don’t need to walk me to school.”  She agreed, but was worried about leaving him on his own so young.

She had a friend who lived two doors down who was going to be walking her daughter to Kindergarten that year and the woman asked her friend if they would time their walks to and from school to allow Timmy to get out front by a half block or so and just sort of keep an eye on him without letting him know they were keeping an eye on him.  Her friend said she would. Continue reading Grace and Marcie On Your Tail

Mystery Steele:
Notes on a foster dog

Mystery is a chocolate lab, husky mix, but she is definitely a Husky in build and personality.  If you like the quirky, independent personality of this breed, you’ll love Mystery.
Last updated: January 17, 2018

Base Info:

  • Arrived here: January 11th, 2018
  • Breed: Chocolate Husky
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: Approx 2 years
  • Weight: Approx 60 pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: unknown
  • General Health: Good.  Other than being in need of a good brushing, her fur, skin and teeth look to be in good shape.  I see no sign of injury or disease.
  • Temperament: Fair: she’s doing great with me, but has been unfriendly toward the dogs.  She’s been stressed by life in a shelter.  See notes below.

History

Continue reading Mystery Steele:
Notes on a foster dog

The Tax Reform Bill:
What It Really Says

For some time now I’ve been seeing some folks gnashing their teeth and tearing hair over this tax reform bill that just passed.  All manner of apocalyptic scenarios are being painted.  There are three issues that I see lamented most often.

Charitable Giving

One is charitable giving.  Some (even some news outlets) are saying that charitable giving is no longer income tax deductible, so people will stop giving.  First off I think that concept is just silly: people don’t give to charities solely to avoid paying taxes on that money.  But, getting that deduction is a nice perk for being generous.  Curious about what the real deal is, I started searching for credible reports on what the new tax bill says about charitable giving. Continue reading The Tax Reform Bill:
What It Really Says

How to Be Happy:
According to Jesus

When people are asked what would make them happy, many think of things that involve possessions, wealth, fame, or power.  To some, these things bring a fleeting sort of happiness.  But pursuit of these things always becomes just that: a pursuit, an on-going chase.  A little makes you want more.  Then more. And more. This is not happiness.

happyIn Matthew chapter 5, Jesus tells his disciples the simple formula for being happy.  Let’s take a look at verses 5 through 10.  Jesus begins each verse with “Blessed are” (actually the “are”s were added later by translators, originally Jesus said, “Blessed, the meek”, “Blessed, the merciful”) and so on.  The word translated as “blessed” is the Greek word, makarios, which means “supremely blesst, fortunate, well-off”.  It is closely related to another form, “makarizo” which indicates large in size or length. He is not talking about being a little blessed, but being hugely, supremely blessed! Continue reading How to Be Happy:
According to Jesus

The Power of the Dark Roast

I got up this cold, cold morning and found that while we still had water flowing, the internet was not. So I went over to my workshop intending to take a hair dryer to the router, melt the blockage, and get the electron flow moving again. But it turned out that there was nothing wrong with modem or router: our LAN is working perfectly, it’s just that my laptop does not feel like being conversational this morning.

So I settled into my chair, set my mug of hot, black coffee in its place next to the laptop and began working on a local writing task.  The scent of this invigorating elixir was, apparently, enough to change the laptop’s mind, for after a few moments of typing, it went “bing!” alerting me that new e-mail had arrived.

Coffee is great stuff, isn’t it?

The Rolling Browns

Power outageDespite being right next to TVA, the nation’s largest government owned supplier of electricity, our region has been experiencing rolling brown-outs and even power losses because of the cold in areas where too many people are using too much power all at once.  Primarily this effects that “everyone is getting ready for work” time slot.  The power utilities have asked us (us as in everyone, not just Marie and I) to be mindful of our power consumption between 6:00 am and 9:00 am until we get through this extra-cold spell.

We (Marie and I, this time) are doing our part: Continue reading The Rolling Browns

Callie Jefferson:
Notes On a Foster Dog

Callie has been through a rough time but is as sweet as can be.  Abandoned by her original family, rescued by a kind-hearted soul, then brought to the Humane Society of Jefferson County (HSJC), Callie quickly became a staff favorite.  Testing positive for heartworms can be a death sentence for a shelter dog: treatment is expensive and requires a calm environment and close supervision, which are not available in most shelters.   But this was not to be the case for Callie: the shelter staff made magic happen for her.

Last updated: 01/18/2018 Continue reading Callie Jefferson:
Notes On a Foster Dog