Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Happy Birthday Rebekah! and a dog week

Mariska's friends (she's in the front, middle)
November 18, 2015
And just like that, it's Wednesday again.

We take a dear friend Mariska to lunch. She's moving back to the Netherlands - and friends come from her charity organization, her book club, and her walking group (where I met her.)

We celebrate the birthday of a wonderful daughter-in-love Rebekah last week. These milestones are covered with a phone call and remind us just how far away we are from family. She's dear to us and we wish her a lovely year ahead.

W and Gypsy
In addition to regular appointments, we've begun new routines. Late last Wednesday, friends dropped off Mariska's dog. We've thought about security for our house for a while. And a dog seemed a possible solution.

Because Mariska is moving back to Europe her retriever/sheepdog mix needs a new home. We agreed to give Kaoki a week's trial.

He didn't come when we called his name so we changed his name to Gypsy. That worked better. W and I are strict. We started with a walk on Thursday morning. And training carried on from there. Dog treats work miracles with a smart canine!

The dog pulled me off my feet the second morning (=scraped elbows but no holes in my trousers). He was trying to attack a pack of dogs who were walking on leash across the street. He's still restless around other dogs but improving; apparently he stayed for a few weeks at a home with two guard dogs (Rottweilers) who weren't happy to have another male in the yard. He's wary of all strange dogs. He leaves cats, chickens and horses (encountered each morning) alone.

A quick walk around the yard yields these beauties
After the first night of constant barking, it began to get better. W took Gypsy on the weekly hike through the hills on Saturday and did just fine. We've put a harness and packs on the dog to give him the idea of working.

By yesterday, we decided that Gypsy should stay with us. What he's taught me so far:
Meet Gypsy

  • Kindness when you're young lays a good foundation for life. Kaoki was a beloved pet, well-cared for by Mariska. So he enjoys people and defends his family.
  • Determination shows up in the body. I don't let go of the leash even when I'm on the ground. Who knew?!
  • Sometimes changing your name makes you change your attitude. Made me think about how God calls us his children when we accept his love through Christ - and thereafter we hear him call our name and respond to him in a new way.
  • Exercise at 6am is over-rated, even if necessary. I'm burning more calories than I have in months, getting up early to walk the dog. It's time with W though - and well worth it.
  • God is full of surprises - and they can even show up as a security dog with a big bark and wagging tale.
Father and daughter across the table from my camera
Trying a Taiwanese dessert, Kirsten's favorite
Kirsten cooks for her parents. Oh yum.
In regular meetings, we've studied scripture, visited, and deepened relationships. We continue to work on visa issues and would appreciate prayers for those. We also look forward to Friday when American friends come for a visit.

Read more:
*Moses said, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 11:26-28 ESV

*I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them. Ezekiel 37:26 ESV

*(Jesus said:) You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16 NIV

*Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 ESV

*In Jesus Christ every one of God’s promises is a “Yes.” For this reason it is through him that we say the “Amen,” to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Holy God, you keep your promises and we entrust our lives to you. Help us to share your love and grace as you have shared it with us. To you all glory on earth and heaven be given!

Jesus, you have shown us what it means to live as God intends. May our lives show your love, mercy, and compassion to all those we meet as we seek to be your disciples. Amen.

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