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This is the place for quiet meditations and reflections. No debate is permitted, and we ask that the fact that this is a Christian-owned site be respected in that the majority of the spiritual reflections expressed here will be Christian in perspective. We ask that mediations that are blatantly unorthodox or contrary to Christianity not be posted. Respectful interaction and posting by those of other beliefs is permitted. Moderators are given wide discretion and latitude as to the appropriateness of posts in this area.

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Listening to the Spirit

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  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    And when I look at how obedient and subservient Jake is, and how unconditionally he loves and accepts me, I can't help but think he's teaching me how to be a better Christian.
    There are those that think when man first domesticated dogs that it was a large step in civilizing ourselves as we learned how to love those who were not from our immediate group.

    Thank God for dogs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    And when I look at how obedient and subservient Jake is, and how unconditionally he loves and accepts me, I can't help but think he's teaching me how to be a better Christian.
    yeah. they love us and trust us no matter what. Like we are supposed to do the Lord.

    reminds me of the joke: Lock your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car for a day, then open it and see which one will be happy to see you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    yeah. they really get into your heart.

    I always thought that pets are a reminder of how our relationship with animals was supposed to be before sin entered the world. We were to be caretakers of nature. All that changed when Adam and Eve sinned. But pets are still in close relationship with us and we feel how right that is. The way it is supposed to be. The way it will be again one day.
    And when I look at how obedient and subservient Jake is, and how unconditionally he loves and accepts me, I can't help but think he's teaching me how to be a better Christian.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    So sorry - I think this is one of the greatest changes I have undergone in my own being --- 10 years ago, I would have said - "it's just a dog, get another". Jake changed all that.
    yeah. they really get into your heart.

    I always thought that pets are a reminder of how our relationship with animals was supposed to be before sin entered the world. We were to be caretakers of nature. All that changed when Adam and Eve sinned. But pets are still in close relationship with us and we feel how right that is. The way it is supposed to be. The way it will be again one day.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    Well today I made the hard decision to put Taz to sleep. It was very hard but I think I did the right thing. The medication wasn't really working and the last few days he seemed to be having a hard time getting up, his back legs were getting weak and he also seemed to have a hard time eating (he had a growth on his gums that kept growing larger and was interfering with his eating) - with all that and his dementia and blindness, etc, I decided that God would want me to keep him from suffering more and so I took him to the vet. He went peacefully and he even had a good night's sleep last night for once.

    and when I came out of the vet's office it started raining. Maybe that was a sign because I sure was crying.
    So sorry - I think this is one of the greatest changes I have undergone in my own being --- 10 years ago, I would have said - "it's just a dog, get another". Jake changed all that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Adding this to my "front burner" prayer list.
    Well today I made the hard decision to put Taz to sleep. It was very hard but I think I did the right thing. The medication wasn't really working and the last few days he seemed to be having a hard time getting up, his back legs were getting weak and he also seemed to have a hard time eating (he had a growth on his gums that kept growing larger and was interfering with his eating) - with all that and his dementia and blindness, etc, I decided that God would want me to keep him from suffering more and so I took him to the vet. He went peacefully and he even had a good night's sleep last night for once.

    and when I came out of the vet's office it started raining. Maybe that was a sign because I sure was crying.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    So I took Taz to the vet and was praying again for some guidance, telling God I am a blockhead and need something solid, a plan.

    The vet took care of the cyst but said it could be a recurring thing. I talked to her about Taz's actions and my worries. She did some checking and said he definitely has canine dementia. That is kind of like doggie Alzheimer's. It causes him to get lost and stuck in corners and be nervous which is why he paces. She gave me some medicine that she said might help and has pretty great results.

    I don't want my poor dog to suffer and be scared and lost. I am going to give him a month on this medication to see how he does. But if there is no improvement I will make the decision. As much as it will pain me, I will have to accept that the Taz I knew is gone and he is now just suffering and his comfort is more important than anything and I will know what God wants me to do. I feel a bit of peace about this. I am still praying for improvement and more time but whether that happens is up to God.
    Adding this to my "front burner" prayer list.

    Leave a comment:


  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I keep thinking about "how we pray", and how, so often, many people just "do their thing" (if they pray at all) then scoot on to whatever business they have that day.

    There have been phases in my life where I have purposefully not done that.... I have disciplined myself to finish my prayer, then remain quiet and listen. (Psalm 46:10) Then, unfortunately, I get back in my old habits of "pray and stray".

    Yesterday, out of the blue, I heard from Terri. It was so good to hear from her, as she was a part of my youth group many years ago.

    David, a youth intern, and I had been talking about what we could do to better minister spiritually to our youth group. One of the things we came up with (and I don't even remember how or why, but it could have had something to do with Billy Beacham's Spiritual Journal notebook) was an idea to take a list of all our youth, and "pray down the list" for each one of them by name.

    One afternoon, David and I were doing just that, and came to Terri's name. We both just stopped. I asked David what he was feeling, and he said "something is wrong". (Yeah, I know, it's not all about feelings)

    We prayed for her, then I suggested we run by her house to see what's going on.

    She was sitting on the front porch steps, smoking a cigarette. When we got out of the car, I sat down beside her on the steps, and David sat beside her on the other side. Neither of us spoke.

    She said, "I wondered if you'd come". Just like that. Puzzled, I asked, "what does that mean?" Terri was what we used to call a tomboy - a rough gal who didn't like being "ladylike".

    She said, "I've had it - I'm all done - nothing is working right - I miss my dad...." We both just listened (David is a man of very few words, and sometimes I'm wise enough to allow the Holy Spirit to just shut my mouth)

    She started to sob, snuffed the cigarette out, and flicked the butt into the bushes. Then she said, "I just told God that I'm all done, and I was going to smoke one last cigarette and end it all -- my dad's gun is on my bed, and I was headed there next".

    We both hugged her, and David started praying for her. She wept. A lot. We all did.

    Her dad had left years ago, and it was just her and her mother living there, and they weren't speaking. Mom was a Christian, Terri didn't know what she (Terri) was. Mom had talked to me a lot about Terri and how it was just so hard to reach her, and Terri missed her Dad, and just stayed so angry.

    David kept talking to Terri while I asked to use the restroom. I found her bedroom - there was, indeed, a snubnosed .38 on the bed, fully loaded. I emptied the bullets, put the gun in my back pocket, used the restroom, then came back outside and sat back down on the steps. We talked for another 20 minutes or so, then mom came home from work. She was cheerful when she got out of the car, but apparently quickly assessed the situation and saw we were in serious discussion. She said she was going in the house to make us some tea.

    For the next 3 years, Terri was a regular in our youth group. She had already been very close to "too old to be in the group", so she became a sponsor / mentor / encourager.

    We only talked about that incident one time, about 4 years after it happened, and Terri told us she never thanked us for coming, and admitted she didn't know if she could have actually "done it" or not, but was glad that she didn't have to. I don't think her mom ever knew what all went on that day - just that we came by to talk to Terri, and her life changed. I still have the gun.


    So, it makes me think. How many opportunities do we miss by unloading our prayer on the Father, and not waiting around to see if He has anything for us? I'm gonna try to get back to listening.
    Only recently it has finally dawned on me that I shouldn't be praying for what I want but rather asking God what He wants. Now if I can only start putting it to practice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    So I took Taz to the vet and was praying again for some guidance, telling God I am a blockhead and need something solid, a plan.

    The vet took care of the cyst but said it could be a recurring thing. I talked to her about Taz's actions and my worries. She did some checking and said he definitely has canine dementia. That is kind of like doggie Alzheimer's. It causes him to get lost and stuck in corners and be nervous which is why he paces. She gave me some medicine that she said might help and has pretty great results.

    I don't want my poor dog to suffer and be scared and lost. I am going to give him a month on this medication to see how he does. But if there is no improvement I will make the decision. As much as it will pain me, I will have to accept that the Taz I knew is gone and he is now just suffering and his comfort is more important than anything and I will know what God wants me to do. I feel a bit of peace about this. I am still praying for improvement and more time but whether that happens is up to God.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cerebrum123
    replied
    Originally posted by The Remonstrant View Post
    You recount stories well, CP.
    He should write a book. It would probably be a best seller too.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Remonstrant
    replied
    You recount stories well, CP.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    One of my college pastors talked a couple out of a double suicide because he was driving past a stranger's house and was prompted to stop and knock on their door.

    Stopping and listening is often what gets me to deal with unconfessed sin in my life - there's always a reason it feels like my prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, and that's the only way I've found to clear the channel.
    That's why, when I hear people say things like "God, give me an opportunity to witness" or something like that, I think - there are opportunities around us all the time - we just need to be more sensitive to His leading....

    So, yeah, this is a reminder to me, as well... I get busy and forget.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    OK I will try that. Maybe he will speak through the vet when I take him in this weekend for his cyst.
    Funny you should mention that... when my wife was going through breast cancer, I was having some real internal "discussions" about what was going on, and just before surgery, her anesthesiologist came in to go over the checklist and explain the procedure to her. When he was done going through the 'medical' stuff, he looked at me and said, "I know you're a pastor, and you're going to be praying through this, but would you mind terribly if I prayed with you, as well?"

    This great big man (all of 6'4" and 320 lbs) held hands with us and prayed for Mrs CP, and for the Holy Spirit to 'administer calm' and to 'give assurance'.... and managed to "hit all the right notes" in his prayer, and it truly gave me the assurance that no matter what happened, she was in His hands.

    Leave a comment:


  • One Bad Pig
    replied
    One of my college pastors talked a couple out of a double suicide because he was driving past a stranger's house and was prompted to stop and knock on their door.

    Stopping and listening is often what gets me to deal with unconfessed sin in my life - there's always a reason it feels like my prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, and that's the only way I've found to clear the channel.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    OK I will try that. Maybe he will speak through the vet when I take him in this weekend for his cyst.

    Leave a comment:

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