Saturday, July 12, 2008
We are sad to inform you that our dog Kahlúa passed away Thurday evening. Thank you for your prayers and support during this time.
You were the best dog in the world. You lived with and cared for us for 11 years. Thank you for making our lives better and happier.
Rest in great peace -
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I picked up a copy of Neil Cole's Organic Church at one Emergent Pittsburgh event along the way and it jumped out to me on my over-full bookshelf this week. So far, I'm really pleased with his non- ABC, 123 way of getting to the heart of living and sharing a life and faith in community as the body of Christ.
So many times, I feel we (as the church) become so introspective that we forget that Jesus called and challenged his disciples to ..."go into the whole world..." and not hide away in our respective sanctuary corners waiting for the world to come to us. So if we are claiming to be Jesus disciples, and his 'church' we should be more than ready and willing to be actively "going into" the world around us.
Here are some basic questions to get this conversation started in regards to who the church is and whom it really belongs to.
1. Ask yourself: "Who is Jesus to me?"
Your reply reflects your perspective, personality and characteristics that define your church.
" Church begins with Jesus: who He is and what He has done." (pg 6 Organic Church) If we can't answer this question, we can have all the resources in the world - but the 'church' will fail; because Jesus is original identity of the church. You can't have 'church' without knowing and following Jesus' example. Guess what kids: Jesus lived out his faith - in the world!
2. Is the church on defense or offense?
" Jesus said that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His church... Gates are not a threat; they're defensive, and the gates Jesus was talking about aren't the pearly ones - they're the gates of hell! The church is to be on offense, not defense." (pg. 11 Organic Church) When the church sits behind it's gate and watches the world while within its safety zone, it deprives the world of the light needed to saturate, illuminate and touch the darkest corners. We need to come out of hiding and meet God where he's already working and moving. We need to follow Jesus example and get out into the marketplace to shed some light.
3. The church, according to Jesus is to be:
Built by Jesus
Owned by Jesus
Meant to be growing
Will face opposition
and the church that Jesus builds will be unstoppable.
(Chapter 1 - Organic Church)
When I read the introduction to this book, there was a warning. The ideas expressed in it had the potential to change, challenge and cause the reader to see their calling as a part of Christ's church to shift. The reader needs to be prepared that the church should and will change lives, if the motive is to point to Jesus and encourage others to follow the uncharted territory of organic ministry.
The world is tired of the church trying to coerce people into becoming happy-clappy-just-like-us-already-at church clones. The world needs to witness a church more interested loving others more than themselves, including others in the journey towards God and participating in following Jesus in every day life - not just Sundays.
The church is to be a light in the darkness. Have you ever noticed how much light a tiny lightning bug can cast on a balmy summer night? We are to be salt. We are to be light. We need to be reminded that "It is much more fun to be a light in the darkness than to be light in the light."(Pg. 15 Organic Church)
Get your flashlights ready church - it's time we all went camping.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Saint Francis of Assisi
-- The Patron Saint of Animals
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Kahlúa is our 15 year old dog that we adopted from the Humane Society when she was four. She joined our family and has been with us for eleven years so far. This morning we found her laying on the carpet in the dining room and was unable to get up and go outside. After letting her rest for a few hours, I gave her some bread to eat and she got up. She was wobbly so I scooped her up and took her outside to go to the bathroom. She managed to remain standing for a few minutes, but was back down quickly. Her back legs did not want to support her even though she was trying to walk. By this point, she had begin to cry so I called the vet and they said to bring her in for an evaluation.
My kids and I tearfully wrapped her up in a blanket and drove to the vet. It seemed as if we were sitting in the waiting room forever. The vet told me that her heart, eye function, and lungs were great - also taking into consideration her age of 15! The problem seemed to be FCE - firocartilanginous embolism: which is most easily described as a stroke within the spinal column. While this is an unusual condition, it is more common in large breed dogs. (For more detailed info, see excerpt below.)
So now we are playing a waiting game. We brought her home and she was prescribed steroids to reduce swelling in the spine and increase her mobility. She has a 50/50 chance of regaining her mobility. While I know this illness in my dog is not as serious as other situations in the world, she does matter to me. So please pray for her recovery and our wisdom in the next few days.
Lamont and her crew
Spinal cord fibrocartilaginous embolization is caused by a small fragment of intervertebral disc material entering the spinal cord’s vascular system via the tissues attached to the intervertebral disc (see illustration below). Embolization is the sudden blocking of an artery by a clot of foreign material (an embolus). The tiny fragment of intervertebral disc material (embolus) results in varying degrees of damage depending on the portion of the cord supplied by the embolized blood vessel. Thus, the clinical signs are variable.
Fibrocartilaginous embolization of the spinal cord is the functional equivalent of a stroke to the spinal cord rather than to the brain. The events are acute, nonprogressive, and occur without any prior signs or warnings. Because emboli can occur in any portion of the cord, clinical signs can involve the rear limbs, all four limbs, one side of the body, or only one limb. The syndrome is not painful but can result in paralysis. After the initial spinal cord shock subsides, one side of the body frequently remains worse or is slower to show improvement.
In general, if deep pain perception is intact to the paralyzed limb(s), recovery will begin in two to three weeks with most clinical function restored by four months. In most cases, once the diagnosis and degree of clinical damage is ascertained, an accurate prognosis can be made.
Information from Southern California Vet. Referral Group