Sure, Jesus Had a Pet

DISCLAIMER:  The following may be offensive to some – no disrespect is intended.  This is just a blog, don’t get riled up about it.

I know…I tell you I’m back and then I disappear again.  This seems to be the year of the ADD blogger.  Not that I haven’t been busy with other projects, mind you.

I’m on a quest to understand my religion (Christianity).  Sometimes it’s good to shake things up a bit.  That’s when insights occur, at least in my life.  So, I’ve been studying the life of Jesus in a feeble attempt to know Him better.  Churches spend a lot of time on what we should do and hammer into us that Jesus was the Son of God, human and divine.  He had a soft spot in his heart for the poor and oppressed, the widows, children, etc.  We’ve all heard it over and over.  We have artistic renderings of a fairly white man with longish hair and a scruffy beard, wearing robes and sandals.  He’s always very clean. The pictures don’t look much like a middle eastern man, but what do I know about art?

I have my own picture and I don’t mean to be sacrilegious here or disrespectful in any way.  I’m just trying to get my head around what Yeshua (Jesus) was like.  There are few, if any, records of his childhood up until about 12 or so.  And then we have the story of Jesus being lost from his folks and turning up in a temple discussing life with the Rabbis.  Okay.  I know when I was 12 I was still playing with dolls, but then, I wasn’t divine either.  Oh, I had a tiara, but, oh nevermind.

After much reading on first century second Temple Jews, their culture and life, I’ve come to some conclusions myself on Jesus’ early years.  I think he was like any other kid who just wandered around in the village or community hanging out with his buds.  He probably got dirty playing some type of stick ball and Mary would yell at Him to get back into the house and wash up for supper. I wondered if she used the phrase, “Oh for Heaven’s sake, Jesus!”  Probably not.  I imagine Him with a squeaky voice prior to puberty and then that silly little wispy mustache that guys are so proud of as they mature.  We know He had lots of facial hair…it’s in all the pictures shown in Sunday School.

The bible never talks about pets.  That bothers me somewhat.  These people worked hard; they had no tv or video games for entertainment.  Oh, once a month or so the Romans might toss somebody in a lion pit and everyone would cheer, eat hot dogs and then go home.  But daily entertainment was slim.  I think they had to have had a pet or two along the way.  Maybe some families had a fish, maybe an Egyptian family transferring in brought a cat with them.  Why not have some dogs running around?

I’m thinking even Jesus as a kid had a dog of his own.  There just aren’t any stories in the bible about a boy and his dog.  I think the church fathers got together as they were discussing canon and said, “Absolutely not!  No stories about Jesus’ dog – it makes Him too human.”  The true story is they were afraid people wouldn’t understand or maybe get some of the stories twisted.  You see, Jesus did have a dog, a nasty cur He named Demon.  Demon had a bladder issue and frequently other families in the village (remember they didn’t have glass windows in their homes) would hear Jesus trying to deal with his dog’s problem by yelling “OUT, Demon, OUT!”  You know how stories are passed down through the generations.

Or maybe not…sigh…


The Sprirituality of Chicken Pot Pies

It was Halloween.  Devoted Spouse and I had a busy day plus the trick-or-treaters would be at our house at 6pm (those little kids are always on time!)

Must fix something quick for dinner!  I know — a microwaved chicken pot pie (actually the ones by Marie Callendar are good, if a bit salty).

Hmmm, let’s do our reading for class while chowing down on the pot pie.  Brilliant!

I got my dinner…a glass of milk…sat at the kitchen table and opened my book by Foster on Celebration of Discipline (about the Spiritual Disciplines). Into my mouth goes the first fork full of chicken and veggies; nom nommy.  I turn to the next chapter in my reading and which Spiritual Discipline do you think is the next to study?  Oh yeah…Fasting.

I closed the book and finished off my pot pie…sigh…

Sunday Worship and Praise

The picture above is a Byzantine mosaic of Christ which comes from an 11th century monastery outside Athens known as Daphni Monastery – to read more about it visit the site I’ve noted under the picture – it’s quite interesting.

As I continue on in my biblical studies I find I’m fascinated by the historical aspect of Christianity; the people of the time; how they learned about Jesus and what they did with that information.  I’m currently studying the early parts of Christianity and the New Testament — how we got the Gospels; who wrote what and how the stories made their way around various parts of the world and into the Bible that we know today.  It makes me want to go “walk” the Bible and see the places where Jesus taught and performed miracles.

I’ve been reading alot about the disciples and I’m fascinated with their stories – these were simple men that Jesus chose for specific reasons to do specific tasks and spread his message.  Jesus knew each one of them had a purpose to fulfill for Him.

I asked myself,  had I been a lowly fisherman sitting in my boat one day pulling in my nets and wondering how these few meager fish would feed my family and some man came along and said to me “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men ” (Matthew 4:19 NIV) …would I drop everything and do just that?  Follow him?   At one point a “teacher of the law” wished to follow Jesus  and actually said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”  Such instantaneous devotion  – how I wish I could have been at these places to be an eyewitness, but how would I have reacted?  I sometimes think I would have reacted as it states again in Matthew 8:21-22, “Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”  That’s powerful stuff — would I have dropped everything, not looking back and followed Him?  Or would I have said, but first let me go home and make sure the dog has food and leave a note for my husband?

I don’t know that I would have had what it took to be a true disciple of Christ – I don’t know if I could have suffered through the persecutions the early Christians did as they never went back on or denied their faith in Jesus.  I’ve read the early church history and I would urge you to do some reading on early Christianity, too.  Would you have allowed a Roman to pull you limb from limb as you refused to worship the Emperor, and refuse to deny that Jesus was Lord?  That was faith and it’s something I strive for every day as I wake up and pray,

  • “Heavenly Father thank you for granting me another day.  Please let me be a blessing to someone all for Your glory and let me do no harm Lord.  And may I always seek your guidance first because it is Your will not mine.  Be my guide today and every day — You control my life, not me.”

Total submission… following without question  – I want to be that disciple.  Do you?

Here’s a video of Josh Groban and the African Children’s Choir singing You Raise Me Up.  Enjoy – and remember God loves you, is always with you, and will never leave you!

Sunday Worship and Praise

Michelangelo's Pieta which I was fortunate to see in person

Michelangelo's Pieta which I was fortunate to see in person

I like to celebrate Sunday as God’s day and thought I might blog about God things here from time to time on Sundays.  After all I’m studying Theology – I might as well talk about it.  Don’t expect anything earth shattering.  I’m no preacher – I’m simply a humble believer – I’ve seen His wonders and can’t imagine a life without the constant presence of Jesus.  He has been right by my side throughout my 8 months of recovery from my injury and I am so blessed each and every day that I simply cannot find the words to express the joy of His love.

Today I want to share with you one of my favorite Christian songs – this one we often sing at my church, The Vineyard.  Enjoy the pictures while Chris Tomlin sings How Great is Our God.  I hope you, too, celebrate this day God has graciously given you – praise Him and thank Him for all your blessings.  You have no idea how great His love for you is – it is infinite – we are ALL his children.

In Over My Head But in a Good Way

These days I seem to be suffering from a disease I call, “Hey, I Can Do That.” This condition can strike at a moment’s notice and applies to many aspects of my daily life. Someone asks a favor and I reply with something like, “Sure, I’ll do that.” I hear about a social function and quickly note outloud to anyone listening, “Sure I can be there.” Or, I see a new design on HGTV and I get this idea in my head, “Hey, I could do that.” Whatever it is, whoever wants it…90% of the time I’m onboard. It’s exhausting.

My latest affliction took several years to manifest itself. It sneaked up on me and got ahold of me like velcro. I tried to unstick it, but someone greater than I has other ideas. I am about to embark on a new academic journey. I am to be a student once again. Apparently, the heart-rending, hair-pulling-out, stress-filled 6 years it took me to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree wasn’t enough; I feel the calling to add to my educational resume with a Master’s degree. Oh boy. I didn’t see this one coming.

When I graduated in 2006, at the ripe age of 50-something; I swore I was done with school. I had proven that I could get a degree on my own – I did it – it’s over – press on. But in my life I have found that when I am definitely done with something, well, I’m not done at all. The past few years I have spent becoming more active in my church, more active in my spiritual life, and this journey apparently is just beginning. You know the old saying, Be Careful What You Wish For? In my case, it’s Be Careful What You Pray For. I have prayed very innocently and somewhat naively to “know more” and I certainly received an answer. If you want to know more, you must learn more. Silly me.

So, not to belabor this posting…I have enrolled at a Seminary and will be working on a graduate program in Theological Studies. Fortunately, most of this program can be done online with a few courses I will have to go to the University to take. I can do this. However, if anyone reading is of the praying persuasion, prayers for me will be appreciated. No, I’m not giving up this silly blog – I can’t function without laughing on a daily basis and will strive to keep sharing silly stuff with you.

That’s it – just felt like sharing this. Tomorrow I’ll try and give ya’ll something a little more humorous.

A God Moment

My friend Teri Ann and I are greeters at church.  During our pre-greeting bible study Sunday morning, I was downing a cup of hazelnut coffee and wishing I had a piece of gum to get rid of that funky coffee taste prior to saying howdy to folks.  We walked into the sanctuary and started getting bulletins together.  I was still tasting funky, and I thought she might have some gum.  I turned around and at the same time the words “Do you have any gum?” left my mouth, Teri Ann reached in her purse, took out her hairbrush to fix her hair, and what should fly out at me from the brush?  A piece of Trident gum.  I just caught it and said, “Thanks, Lord.”  Then we both became hysterical with the giggles — can’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.  And such timing.  I love God moments.