Saturday, December 4, 2010

No More Homeless Pets

This is my adorable puppy Jessie. I’m almost as excited to be back in Georgia with my parents and siblings as I am to be with my dog.

I’ve always been an animal lover. (I used to cry when my dog Seki couldn’t be inside when we had holiday dinners.) So when I read this article in The Daily Universe today, I felt excited. Brad and I decided we want to help out a different organization each year. Preferably throughout the year. I realize Christmas time is the time when nonprofits get flooded with volunteers. We are starting now but hope to continue serving our organization of choice throughout the year.

Today and tomorrow, an organization called No More Homeless Pets in Utah is sponsoring an event where people can adopt animals to give them homes for Christmas.

According to The Daily Universe article, more than 30,000 pets die each year in homeless shelters. There are not enough people or funding to care for these animals. That’s where you and I come in. We can help these sweet, furry animals by donating blankets, dog or cat food, toys, leashes and more. You can give a few hours of your time to play and interact with the animals to make their lives happier and healthier. Brad and I are going to take some treats and food over to a local shelter on Monday.

For those of you who are planning on adding a pet to your family soon, you should consider visiting a shelter to find your new family member. Our first puppy Seki had been abused before we got him. My family saved him from his previous life and gave him love and a family. My sister-in-law Sarah and her family have a cute little dog, Toby, who was also abused before they owned him. Now he has kids to play tug of war with and a family who takes care of him.

Think of the good you can do by saving an animal’s life and giving it a home.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

CHRISTmas Time

Painting: "The Lord is My Shepherd" - Simon Dewey

This year I have been thinking a lot about how to make Christmas more meaningful and Christ-centered. In addition to WWJE (What Would Jesus Eat?), our fun, themed Christmas dinner, I want to do more.

As a child, there was a time when I thought "X-mas" was a swear word. (I think I wrote it on a card once and my parents didn't like it too much.) Although technically not a swear word, it is my least favorite abbreviation. My parents taught me that Jesus was the real reason we celebrated Christmas and that to cut his name out of the holiday wasn't right.

I thought about this as I was picking up a few supplies at a craft store last night. As I looked through the Christmas stash, I noticed that the whole wall display of ornaments included dozens of snowmen, reindeer and miniature Santas. There was also one that said "Merry X-mas." I searched through all of them, looking for one that represented the purpose of Christmas. With the exception of one (maybe two) angel ornaments, the rest were sparkly secular-themed decorations. Don't misunderstand - I'm a huge fan of the fat, jolly man and the magic he brings to Christmas. But let's not forget the real magic that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ brings-eternal life and salvation!

Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite Christmas songs. Listening to the beautiful musical arrangement and words that express the happiness and gratitude I feel toward my Savior made me teary-eyed on my drive to work.

"Mary Did You Know?" - Mark Lowry

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.