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John 12:46 - This Scripture Picture is provided courtesy of Amazing Facts.  Visit us at www.amazingfacts.org

Monday, January 05 2015
The Empty Lap

The Empty Lap

Quite often I'm written to by people that admit to visiting the website frequently for one, or two years before they are finally able to get a puppy. Perhaps they lived in an apartment that would not allow dogs.  Perhaps they had a job that required travel from home. Or sometimes it was purely financial...they just couldn't afford to get one.  Occasionally they related they had been taking time to mourn the loss of a long-loved family pet.  Sometimes they are simply a young person living at home where the parent says no to a dog.

Now these people are consumed by a feeling of longing for something they don't have.  They want a puppy to hold and love.  They have an empty place in their life.  They feel this yearning and try to fill it with another puppy, thinking, if I can only have a dog as my companion I will be happy. 

Those that can, acquire their new puppy.  What a joy! It most certainly did add to their happiness. But what happens when the new wears off? Or the puppy is lost? Or the dog grows old and passes on?

And what about the others that are still on hold, unable to get their puppy? What happens while they wait?

'Baby Hungry' defined by Urban Dictionary:  An idiom most commonly used in America - used almost exclusively by women, to express an overwhelming desire to have children and become a mother.

'Puppy Hungry' defined by Queen Elizabeth Pocket Breeds:  The longing to feel a puppy's adoring love, to pick up its pudgy squirming body, and to get its excited wet kisses on your face; having the belief, as one searching for its soul-mate, that this special puppy will take your loneliness away. 

Only Puppy Love

I was thirteen when my family moved from the country into a rental house in town.  A few months later mother decided we needed to send my dog to my uncle. She said it was no life being chained to a doghouse.  Now Able had been my best friend for the last two years. Together we had shared experiences, and grown closer than Mom ever knew.  What she thought were just a walks to the park, with Able trotting tamely leashed at my side, actually turned into wild escapades of shared adventure. 

On reaching the park, we'd head past the swingsets, veering off the mown grass, following a leafy trail we'd found into the forest.  The path dipped out of sight to a small creek. We'd leap rock to rock, and once across, I'd snap the leash off Able's collar and away we'd go.

Able was a beagle, and his nose was down and his tail was up.  I lived through his dog eyes, reveled in the forest floor in a way only a dog could show me.  Life was glorious when Able and I panted down deer trails and chased the scent of rabbits. We scrambled over massive rocks taller than two story buildings.  We'd reach the flat top and sit there together, taking in that height, looking down at black water filled quarry holes, looking up at buzzards often circling close.  That was our spring, summer, and fall.

Back at the house by winter I was too busy.  School had started.  My walks to the park became infrequent.  It was too cold, so I didn't go out to walk with Able, and my mother would not consider letting him inside.  I couldn't argue with her, it's no life being chained to a doghouse.  So he was taken away.  I would not have another dog for six years.  And I missed him. 

An Empty Heart

Do you find in your life an endless replacing of what was lost?  What happens if we can't get another dog soon enough to fill the empty place and stanch the hurt when we lose our pet?  Or if you were one of the unlucky ones, who have never gotten their dog to begin with, you are still waiting, and longing.  Its painful to want for something.  And we live in a world that doesn't want to wait. We might put the wrong thing in its place.

Some people fall into destructive habits, they take up smoking, drinking, and substances simply because they are lonely and unfulfilled. Some people are coping with pain and illness living on multiple prescription medications, some that may have adverse reactions in and of themselves. Others are suffering through divorce or living separated from a loved one during war, or agonizing the pain of death of a spouse or child. Sometimes we eat the wrong things and this leads to obesity, low energy, increasing sickness. We might make excuse for one bad choice saying it was better than having done another.  Its our way of coping and we learn to rationalize. We could become promiscuous and on a whim establish relationships that don't last because we crave connection.  You don't even have to leave your livingroom to do this as the television and computer are filled with sex.  Living life only to try to find bits of happiness in the wrong things will come back to haunt you.  Your future ability to make right choices will be affected. These bad habits will bring you down. And do you have children?  What do you have to guide them if you are lost in yourself?

What gives us the most pain and torment in life is a broken relationship...whether from death, separation, or misunderstanding.  It is the deepest torment we can endure.  A dog is the most responsive of all the animals.  The most likely to share your emotions and cuddle with you and feel sad with you.  But the love of a dog can't give you advice and hope in the uncertain future. 

Letting God In

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and send His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.  By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and He in God.  And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.  We love Him because He first loved us." I John 4:7-19 NKJV

A Friend in Me

When I was fourteen, like many teenagers, I was lonely and insecure and unhappy.  I found a Good News New Testament and read it, even carrying it to school.  Religion was popular then, it was the Jesus Movement.  But I searched for myself and found Jesus was the way and it changed my life.  I remember with some amazement looking at my reflection in the mirror in the school lavatory and seeing a happy, inviting person looking back.  Normally shy, I felt like bursting with joy I was so full of love and confidence.  I quietly became a new person.  My teachers noticed. I was able to contribute to class discussion. My grades improved. That summer I began candystriping at the hospital.  I worked more hours than anyone had ever volunteered.  The patients noticed.  They encouraged me that I should be a nurse, which I later became.  I found happiness in those years I did not have a dog by helping others and studying hard in school.  And all the while I had a relationship with Jesus that filled me up, renewed me, and gave me the confidence to be better than I would have been. Because Jesus went with me.

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither see Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." John 14:12-17 NKJV

So, is getting a dog the answer?  One might help. A dog does encourage a person to live a healthier way.  It instinctively knows what you both need when it asks to go out for a walk.  Once in the sun, your spirits lift.  And inside the house when it lays its head on your arm, you feel loved. 

But is this kind of creature comfort enough? While emotional support therapy dogs do help ease our suffering, they can't fill the deepest longing of the heart.  We were made to be social beings by the same Creator that gave us the devoted dog.  We were made to have a connection with our Maker. We will always feel that longing -- that empty space -- needing to be filled until we reconnect to Jesus.

Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." John 14:23 NKJV

Posted by: AT 10:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 02 2015
Inertia

Definition of "inertia": the tendency to do nothing.

"I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.  But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."  2Timothy 4:1-5 NKJV

Yesterday was January 1st, 2015.  A day for resolutions.  Yet, for the first time in my life I hadn't made one. 

It wasn't that I was downhearted.  I was fully resolved to push on and keep my family together.

It wasn't that I was ungrateful.  I was happy, and gave God the credit for having gotten me through another year.

It was that I was being quiet.

Unmoving.

You see the closer I got to the flame the more I was convinced I had to reflect it.

Jesus taught, "You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV

 Have you felt it before? 

It builds up slowly until you are so uncomfortable in your own skin that you have to do something.

And every thing you read and hear on television seems to have a double meaning. 

I knew it wasn't a coincidence this New Year's Day when three sermons in a row on 3ABN Broadcasting were all on the same subject. [And one was recorded earlier.] They all entreated to repeat the message.  

This was exactly NOT what I had been willing to do my whole life!  Fifty years of hanging back, too shy, too embarrassed.  Letting someone else go.  I was too used to being comfortable and safe.  I couldn't make a sound.

But this day something was different.

One preacher used a word to describe it.  Impelled.

Definition of "impelled":  driven or urged forward.

I tried the word out softly aloud myself.  Enunciated the syllables slowly and the word felt exactly right.  It was what had happened to me.  And as soon as it was thought, I knew there was no turning back, I was committed. 

I have to tell others.

_________________________

Some hours later, it was the next day.  I sat again with my husband in my livingroom becoming absorbed in a documentary on television.  Then the dogs barked.  And barked some more. Finally I was aroused to awareness. There was a strange smell in the air. 

And I knew I had to go right then! I was out of my chair in a flash heading downstairs. 

I saw thick black smoke already blanketed across the ceiling.  It was coming from the downstairs kitchen.  I hurried to go into it to face the unknown. 

Then it occurred to me... I must warn everyone in the household so they could be safe.... and come to help me too.

 I opened my mouth, what else could I yell,

"Fire!"

At the alarm, my son and his wife ran sleepily from their bedroom each to exclaim their shock and unawares.   My bewildered husband was soon there, demanding what was happening.

I was already in the kitchen by then, suffocating the flames, and adding a dowse of cold water, but it felt good to feel their support a few steps behind me.

Without hesitation, when the situation became desperate I called out to save my family from the fire.

Impelled to action,  I found my voice.

__________________________________ 

"Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth--to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people--saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.

And another angel followed, saying Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If anyone worship the beast and his image, and received his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation.  He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.

Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:6-12 NKJV

This proclamation is about to happen. There are signs to warn us if we will only arouse to its imminence...

I must to alert more to safety. I can't keep this to myself. 

So I start here, with you, dear reader, because I have to begin somewhere.  And as you see this you can be sure the Holy Spirit has led you here.  The three angels message may sound cryptic and mystical in its description of a beast and its image.  But there is truth in the word of God and everyone needs to read their Bible to find out what events are about to happen.

I'm going to share what I've learned while there's time.  Its of utmost importance.

Posted by: RVM AT 10:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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