The Mighty Wonder Buck rides again! And again! And…

picmonkey dogThe Mighty Wonder Buck (A.K.A. The MWB, or Buckley) loves it when I have the car keys in my hand and head out the door; hopes springs eternal in that big black hairy chest of my dog-pound mutt.  A car ride could mean a number of things: to our small town community compost (with all kinds of smells to explore!), to the local farm and home store, or even splashing and swimming at the nearby lake (him, not me, but invariably yours truly gets wet.)

No matter what I’m doing, he’s just good company, and depending on the activity, sometimes he comes home exhausted but tongue-hanging-out-the-mouth happy.  If you’re a dog-lover like Bob and I both are, you know the look.

 

And you would also know that there is nothing unusual about talking to your canine buddy.  Even singing to him.  I mean, he doesn’t know or care if you can sing or not.  So when I came out of Walmart one day to pack my groceries into the car, there was the MWB, cute as ever with his big black head looking at me.

I had parked in isolation in the back lot with all the windows down so Buck had plenty of air and shade, which also meant the car was right up next to the outdoor garden center, enclosed only by a big fence. 

A fact which had slipped my mind.

And as I merrily talked and sang to my furry friend (an original composition, mind you, just for the dog,), I happened to turn and catch a glimpse of a man looking at me as he perused the various and sundry greenery. 

There are times it is unfortunate that so many people know me in this town…

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light…”

Okay, I know that’s not the kind of “peculiar” God is talking about here.  Unfortunately, I have plenty of unholy peculiarities for Him to work on, (that have nothing to do with singing to my dog in public.)

I am convinced, however, that part of this “so great a salvation” that we are given is powerfully intended to make us nonetheless strange in the eyes of our contemporaries, for the very reason of getting their attention and putting that focus on God.  There are so many practical examples of this, in the way we interact, entertain, spend money and time, even (most of all)—how we think.

boneHere’s one bone to chew one:

WordPress has all these great tips and courses on improving your blog site and increasing your readership—that is terrific and and who doesn’t want to do that, right?! I know I do.  Logically, it makes sense that the more people read your stuff, the more people can be helped by what you write. 

But here’s the real meat.  As a Christian, my goal isn’t just to reach a whole bunch of people, but to reach the people God wants me to reach.  That doesn’t preclude my due diligence, but it also doesn’t mean I mark my success by my stats either.  (I mean, Hitler also reached lots of people, just sayin’.)

Which is a “peculiar” way to regard success in our culture, even in our church culture.  Big flashy sound stages with matching budgets; not that those are bad at all, but they aren’t the goal, nor are they a sign of success…at all.  In God’s culture, where the peculiar people “live and move and have their being”, success is measured by obedience, not outcomes.

gentleman-148407_1280And that will definitely turn heads, more than singing to your dog!

I Peter 2:9 King James Version (KJV)  Public Domain

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In other words…

Buck

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Can you hear me?

dog

 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,                                                   for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
                 for I give myself to you.

Psalm 143:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved

 

Life in the Recycled Bin

I love recycled things.  Most of my clothing is secondhand in some way.  Of course, when you have an inseam of 35”, it’s a little tough to find things at the mall like “normal” people do anyway.  That, plus the fact that frugality of budget is something I grew up with, so I turn to others’ castoffs to find my own brand of style. 

Here is my secondhand dog. IMG_20150220_160039564 His name is Buckley, the Mighty  Wonder Buck for short.  We found him at the local pound not long after he had been picked up and deposited there by the police.  He has nosed his way into our home and hearts.

This is a project from the Hobby Club that I’m a part of. IMG_20150222_071947978 Living in a small town, I do not have easy access to some of the different “ingredients” for the projects, so—that’s right.  Let’s find what I have and make it work!  (Or at least try it…!)  My NYC artist daughter made this cup as one of her first pottery projects in college.  Its newly recycled life is as a scented candle.

Quilting goes way back.  It’s a fine American artwork borne of necessity.  Why waste fabric if it could be turned into something useful for the family?  These two quilts have significance to me.  One is called the Crown of Thorns, quiltand the other is the Flying Goose pattern (my husband’s nickname is Goose.  Goes waaaayyy back.)IMG_20150131_120625791

I also have enjoyed making old-fashioned grandma booties.  Every scrap of yarn is recycled in some way.  Sometimes the yarn is “just leftovers”, sometimes it is unraveled from other projects that have been deemed damaged goods, excess baggage, or just no longer useful.  But they’re warm and fuzzy, like a nice hug for your feet. IMG_20150222_145722424_HDR

It’s all just a reminder that  this is exactly what Jesus does for us—taking what is otherwise damaged and despised, and turning it into something fabulous and functional.  So next time you feel your life is unraveling, trust it to the Master’s capable and creative hands!

And you might just get your socks blessed off!