Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Master's Table

Dallas and Maddy inseparable
I think I have two great dogs.  One may be one of the best dogs in the world. The other does exactly what she is supposed to do.  Dallas, our forty-five pound Slick Haired Border Collie. Yeah, I know, you are saying “what kind of dog”?  Dallas is a rescue dog that Landall got in while in college and we ended up with.  She was a puppy and he didn’t have the time or space to keep her from chewing up his life belongings.  For years the vets would categorize her as a Lab mix.  I couldn’t argue except that I knew she did not have a lab head, could not stand the water and wanted to constantly herd me and Debbie into the same room.  But, what did I know.  Finally one vet said she may have something else in her but not much, she is a Slick Haired Border Collie.  He told us to look it up on the net and sure enough, if she had papers we would be showing her!  Here is what a Slick Haired Border looks like.

Our other dog is a Biewer Yorkie (sounds like beaver and is a full blood Yorkie that has been bred to have white in their coat) given to us by a friend.  She is a sweet dog with all the idiosyncrasies of a small dog.  But, when she curls up in your lap she melts your heart.

Ok, why am I talking about my dogs?  Because, they are very important to me and Debbie.  And, because while watching them at dinner tonight they reminded me of an important lesson.  Both of them eat dry dog food but have been known to accept a handout from the table.  They don’t bark at you, and they would never (well, never say never) take food off the table themselves.  But they will sit next to your chair and stare at you with longing eyes.  Dallas will even put her chin in your lap and the longer you ignore her the heavier she will let her head get.  They usually win.

The lesson I got from this was that even though they might not get anything they have learned if they wait patiently the chances of them receiving something from the “master’s table” is pretty good.  And they will wait, and wait and wait and be rewarded.

Daily we sit at the Master’s table.  Do we expect to be blessed?  Do we wait patiently until that prize is offered to us for our patience? Or, do we get discouraged and walk away from  the table.  In fact we have it better than Dallas and Maddy.  We do not have to wait on the floor but have a seat at the table.  God’s banquet is not just about some tomorrow, like the Kingdom of God it is here and now.  The poet of the Song of Solomon in 2:4 says "He brought me to the banquet house,and his banner over me was love.”   

Do you realize the banner of love that has been spread over you?  We can choose to enjoy the present banquet, or we can choose to ignore it and find every reason to be discouraged and bitter.  The choice is yours, you have the invitation.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Let It Rain!

I laughed this morning, joking about being confused.  I thought I had moved to Michigan and not Oregon or Washington State which are known for their rain.  I do not believe I have ever seen so much water fall from the sky as I have seen this spring.  When I think of the rain I think of a couple of verses.  One that reminds me that God is the giver of rain.  Job stated that “God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘be a mighty downpour.’ So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labor” (Job 37:5-7 NIV)

I know the beauty that we see here everyday is due to the rain we endure today.  Coming from a barren Texas Panhandle where the very lakes I grew up skiing on are now dry or drying up I appreciate the rain.  It brings blessings unspeakable.

Also making it easy to endure is the fact that we have come closer to family.  That is really the reason we moved here; Landall and his wonderful wife Jill who have given us one the great joys in our lives in the blessing of Hudson our grandson.  So let it rain and keep the rivers, lakes and ponds full.  Let it rain and keep the country pretty and green with plenty of future adventures that Pawpaw and Hudson can find.  Yep, let it rain because I am being truly blessed. 

Oh, the other verse about rain… Proverbs 27:15.  You look it up!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Honk, Honk and Honk Again

Some things that used to make me mad, finally just started irritating me and now many of those things actually amuse me.  One of them is cars and horns.  I understand the horn was added to the vehicle as a warning devise but it just doesn’t seem like a good defensive devise.  Watch in a convenient store or shopping center parking lot sometime and you will see people start backing out without seeing a car coming (no judgment here, there are blind spots, distractions and sometimes just blindness).  The car in the right-of way often will just stop and lay on the horn as if the use of that two pound device all by itself is going to stop the backing car.  Three lanes on a highway and a vehicle tries to change lanes not seeing that the lane they desire is already taken.  The car in danger glares and hoooooooonks as the only action of defense instead of immediately changing lanes that is empty beside them.

Yesterday I was traveling down Mack, west of I74, hoping to intersect with Gratiot.  The Tigers had just finished an afternoon game and thousands of fans were adding to the normal rush hour congestion on Interstate 75 and 64 so I was taking a detour.  There was one car in front of me and we were coming to a red light.  I saw the Semi-Truck that we were going to intersect with and felt he was going to turn left and would need extra room since both of the streets were only two lane.  I stopped to where the truck would  have plenty of room but the driver in front of me didn’t and pulled up passed the white line (something that hasn’t yet become an amusement) and stopped as the light had turned red.

The truck made the turn but had to get up on the curb to do it.  As the twenty feet of Semi passed her and the forty foot of trailer tried to follow it was clear that the car in front of me was in trouble.  Remember I have stopped with what was probably fifty or so feet between us.  As the rear wheels of the trailer got closer and closer to the car the horn started to do everything it could to stop that semi-trailer from climbing up the hood of the car.  The truck driver stopped, backed up, pulled forward and repeated the process until the trailer would pass by the car within a foot or so. 

When I was a boy and worked with the men I learned quickly that when I was in an alley and calves were coming down it was much smarter for me to move than to yell.  If I took a defensive action by crawling through the bars or even climbing up the bars, which was more fun, I avoided the disaster of being run over.  I could stand there and yell until I couldn’t yell anymore and I would probably have been trampled.

Life is like that sometime, well maybe, no probably many times life is like that.  There may be some things in our life that are dangers to us but instead of putting the car in reverse and backing up or changing lanes we set our jaws and lay on the horn of life and expect things to change.  After all this was our lane, our right-of-way and we are not going to give up what was ours and change no matter what the end result might be.  The priestly writer of Hebrews encourages us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. . . “ (Hebrews 12:1)

Just like I had given the car in front of me plenty of room to back up and avoid the danger of getting run over God always gives us another direction and the ability to throw those things off that which hinders us from being the people He wants us to be.  But, we have to do it.  May each of us find the strength to do that and continue to run our race.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The New Squeeze-Chute

Well this is a new addition to my prior blog the “SqueezeChute” which can be found at  For some reason I cannot access it to post new blogs.  It could be because my last submission was in March 2010.  OK, I am not much on blogging which is a lot like journaling and I am not a great journaler.  But, I want to be and realize that it is a great way to work my thoughts out.  So, I will try again.  If you are interested in what I say about my life, my family, my thoughts or my theology please leave comments.  I will enjoy reading them.  But if you are reading my blog to correct grammar or rules then you need to find another place to prove your English prowess.

Since I have to create a new blog I have decided to keep the same name; or at least in structure.  I do this because it helps remind me of my heritage and upbringing in the Panhandle of Texas.  Helping working cowboys work cattle by driving them to holding pens so they could be vaccinated, de-horned, branded and “cut.”  These cattle would be driven down an alley wide enough for one-at-a-time and then put in a chute that would squeeze them to hold them still (well relatively still) which allowed the cowboys to work their art.  There is no question that the squeeze-chute was not fun for the cattle as it pinched them in.  It was probably even a little bit scary but it was for a purpose.  When they were released they would have received the medicines they needed for another year of happy grazing on green grass.

I also keep the name because in many ways we face squeeze-chutes at different times in our lives.  James 1 says that we will face trials but those trials will ultimately lead to strength.  That doesn't mean that everything that happens to us is of divine origin.  In fact many of the things that happen to us are of our creation.  I agree with the statement that “all things happen for a reason”, but sometimes and I might add a lot of times, the reason is a bad decision we made.  But there are those times that we will face trials that are of divine origin and like the squeeze-chute of my childhood it will be uncomfortable and maybe even frightening but when we are passed through we will better be able to enjoy the green pastures where we lay.

I hope you enjoy and maybe even get challenged to think through some things in the future submissions of this blog.