Tear to Open


The package said, “Easy Open” — I tend to disagree.

Either I am woefully incompetent or it just isn’t all that easy. After failing to pull the tab with my arthritic fingers or rip it open with my teeth, I resorted to more drastic measures — a jackhammer and lightsaber later, I got it. Continue reading



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The command was clear and firm… and it appeared to be just about killing her…

But she listened.  Perhaps it was a combination of her loyalty, her desire to please her master, and the fact that she ultimately knew that he would be faithful.  Even so, staying was nearly impossible.

She tried at first to contain her whimpers,  just barely murmuring them under her breath.  But the longer the wait, the louder they became.  And soon, she was wailing.  The white tip of her tail frantically swept the floor as her eyes darted back and forth between the rawhide that lay just a foot out of her reach and the master who had given the command.

Feeling more tortured with each passing second, she began to bob up and down like a buoy on the waves.  Yet, she stayed.  Not knowing why and seeing no purpose for the wait, she remained obedient…  Until finally, she heard him say, “Good girl.  Go get your bone.”

Teaching her to stay is different from teaching her to roll over.  It’s not some cutesy trick. It doesn’t win the affections of the crowd or even earn an additional reward.  The reward is already at hand, right under her nose.  All staying does is prolong the time before she can have it.

To an onlooker it may seem like a cruel and pointless taunt. But in reality, it’s a pivotal part of the owner/dog relationship.

Her submission reveals the depth of her trust for her master.  For in that moment, she has to choose between obeying the command, or satisfying her desire. A decision that will expose where her heart lies.  But she knows that he is good. He has loved her, cared for her, provided every need, and so it is his will she chooses above her own.

But it goes deeper than that.  As the dog learns to trust her master, she finds reward in being in his presence.  And the master sees her as faithful.

By choosing to stay even though the bone is within reach and there’d be time to snatch it before he could stop her, he knows she can be trusted on a journey.  These are the dogs who walk side by side with their owners, not under restraint, but as companions.  Such dogs earn the freedom to venture out and explore the world unleashed… happy to return at the sound of their master’s voice.

When God keeps us in a holding pattern, it’s easy to feel like a dog.  We whimper and wail.  We pant and beg.  We are anxious, humiliated, unable to comprehend. The wait is agonizing. Yet it is here that our trust is challenged and our relationship defined.

We say God is good.  We know He has loved us, cared for us, and provided our every need.  And in this moment we expose how much we really believe that.  Here all pretense is broken down as we discover both our true selves and who God really is.

So the question is this: While you wait on the Lord, are you fixating on the bone or the Master?

Photo credit: maclauren70 via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Guest post written by my daughter Cherie Garza


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  • The “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621.
  • The observance of a “national day of prayer, humiliation, and thanksgiving” was celebrated collectively after a proclamation by President George Washington in 1789.
  • Thanksgiving Day became a federal holiday in 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

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Beyond the Deluge


It’s probably just me, but I don’t recall seeing the sunshine while coping with the worst of my grief. Days seemed chronically cold and dreary, the air was almost too thick to breath. I couldn’t seem to focus on anything that wasn’t held in my hand. Nights were long and restless, interrupted by the reoccurring nightmares that made the thought of returning to my pillow truly unappealing. Continue reading

Just Like Me


With less than a handful of people in the dealership waiting room, I had high hopes for a swift and uneventful service experience. I plopped down in a seat directly across from a young trendy looking guy with a huge beard, wearing one of those slouch beanie hats, and flaunting a tee-shirt that read:

“Fact — the four letter word atheists swear by.” Continue reading