Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears...Oh My!

A man is found dead on his property and the cages of his exotic animals are all unlocked and opened. The animals have escaped and are running free in a small town while police try to find them. It sounds like a good mysterious, police novel, doesn't it? Sadly, it's a true story. As I turned on the news yesterday morning and heard this news story, I thought for sure someone was making something up or that I was hearing things wrong. Not so...I heard it correctly. In the morning when I heard it, they didn't know or say what happened to the man, just that he was dead. People in town were calling 911 to report seeing a lion and a bear loose from this man's property. Police arrived to see the man on the ground, dead, with some animals around him and other animals roaming. The police were quite familiar with this man, he has had these exotic animals for a while and the authorities were constantly dealing with him about one of them getting loose, or some of the deplorable conditions that the animals were subjected to. He had been to prison a time or two because of these things. The police now had to deal with these wild animals that were loose. There were lions, Bengal tigers, a Siberian tiger, cheetahs, black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, camels, giraffes and monkeys. Over 50 animals had been let out of their cages and were roaming around the streets. The police did try to tranquilize one of the cats, but it went wild and kept running. Sadly they had to just shoot it, it was night time and who knows where it could have ended up, so for their own safety and the safety of the general public it had to be done. The police knew they had a dangerous situation on their hands. It was now night and trying to find and tranquilize these animals at night would have been too difficult. The sheriffs just wanted to keep the public safe. If the tranquilizers didn't take much effect, the animals could have escaped into the night causing danger to the people. So the deputy sheriff had to make a tough decision to have his men "shoot to kill" each of these escaped animals. As I have heard many people share, "this is sad on all levels". First, the state laws could have been changed to keep from allowing this man to have exotic animals, second he should never have been allowed to still have all of these animals if he wasn't caring for them properly, and last this man knew that opening these cages would put a death sentence on these animals that he loved so much. Of course there are those who are quite upset that these animals were killed. As much of an animal lover as I am, I hated seeing that happen to these animals, but I understood why they needed to do this. Yes, I am a real animal fourth grade I had to write a paper about things that I looked forward to being able to do when I was an adult, or something like that. After writing that I really wanted to wear high heels when I got older, I wrote that I really wanted to have a farm with dogs, cats, horses, chickens, cows, and ducks...or something similar to that. I have always so badly wanted to work in a zoo, or even just be allowed to feed some cute little monkey, or tiger cub, or my favorite animal...panda bear. I really hope sometime to enjoy the beluga whale or penguin programs at Mystic Aquarium. You can get in the water with the beluga whales and feed them, or go in a private room and get to see penguins up close, would LOVE that!! Anyway, as much as I love animals, I felt that the police were justified in doing what they did. Human life is more important. Many don't feel that way in today's's OK to kill an unborn child, but considered barbaric to kill animals that pose a danger human life. This is a backward way of thinking. Even Jack Hanna, who I admire because he gets to be around animals all the time and knows so much about them and takes great care of them, even he said that this was what the police had to do. He also said he was going to do as much as he possibly can to ensure that nothing like this happens again. There were still a few animals that were in the house and he is taking those to the Columbus Zoo, where he is the director. Some story...
Lord, help us to value human life. You created man, and gave man dominion over the animals. When we are more upset over animals than innocent children being killed, there is something wrong with that thinking. We of course should desire to care for your creation and the animals you have placed on the earth, and not wrongfully mistreat them for our own means. In the same breath we should desire to care for the children you have created, without mistreating them for our own selfish desires and means.

Monday, October 10, 2011


We have all had those moments...we worked hard, played hard, or were off someplace for a while, and became desperate for some refreshment. We couldn't wait to get that water, or lemonade, or iced tea, for some maybe soda, but water seems to truly be the thirst quencher. Even my dog gets to the point where she is desperate for some water. We have had some unseasonably warm days, Sunday we broke a record by getting up to 85 degrees. Columbus Day was also 85. I took Bella for a little walk and she was pretty hot by the time we got back home, I know she wanted her water, but there was a distraction...the homemaker/companion was there and Bella just wanted very badly to greet her. She doesn't seem very comfortable with Bella, so I held on tightly to Bella, tried to get her to drink her water, but since she wouldn't, I just brought her downstairs with me. She was going to have to wait until this lady left before she could get some water. After the homemaker/companion left, Bella wildly searched the house for her, upon not finding her, she finally went to get her drink. I know she needed it. There are other times when Bella and I are playing with her toys, I will throw them and she races around to go get them. She plays hard, and at some point she will run really hard toward where I threw the toy... and then veer off to her water bowl to guzzle some water instead. That refreshment becoming more important to her than her toys. She sometimes drinks so fast that she starts to choke, crazy girl. Again, I'm sure we can relate to that feeling, times where we have been so thirsty that we are just desperate to get that water.
For Christians I'm sure we can relate to this in a spiritual sense as well. Sometimes we are in those dry desert places spiritually and are in desperate need for refreshment. Do we allow distractions to keep us from it, or do we desire it so much that nothing can stop us from getting that needed refreshment? I have been there lately and have struggled to find enough refreshment to satisfy my overwhelming thirst. Last Saturday I had the opportunity to be refreshed. I had been invited to go to a women's conference. I was hesitant because Saturdays are such necessary days to rest. I wasn't sure my exhausted body could make it through an all day conference. I was getting distracted like Bella had been, with something that I wanted, or thought I needed more than that refreshment. As I was trying to decide, the Lord impressed upon me how much I was saying I was struggling, needing to hear from Him and feel Him, and here was this opportunity, so why not take it...a free ticket to a women's conference with good friends. OK, that was it, I had to go. I told that friend that I would take that ticket and meet her there. I got up early Saturday morning, so I could be at the church by 8. I got there and met up with my friends and got ready for a day that I hoped would meet my need. There were main speakers and workshops to attend. The first workshop on How to Get Over Disappointment was perfect for me. The speaker used the story of the woman at the well to bring out some great points. My heart was truly stirred and I felt some of my thirst dissipating. The second workshop was Fear Not Tomorrow For God is Already There. How could I not go to that one? Just what I needed! This lady definitely spoke from experience as she has dealt with an unfaithful husband, an abusive situation after that, a daughter who has made some poor decisions and a grandchild born with health problems. These ladies shared their hearts with us, and were so real. That is something I have talked about lately, and I think it's so important. I could relate to what they were saying about the struggles, even the struggles to see God at times. This was such a great help so I could grasp what they shared about how they dealt with their problems, and sought God through them. My thirst was being quenched. The last main session was by the lady that did the first workshop, and once again I enjoyed her thoroughly. She has been struggling with some things recently- being broke, losing her house and the office where she worked, losing her dad, needing friends to put money together to help her to even be able to attend his funeral in Ghana, losing a relationship with her siblings- but she shared how she has seen God's hand working through these situations. She soon found out that her father had left two houses to her in his will, along with a company employed by hundreds of people. There are still some things that she has to deal with in those situations, but she has seen the Lord at work. I was truly being blessed. The songs that were sung, the truths that were shared, the fellowship we enjoyed, the stories that were told, were truly filling my cup. By the end of that day, I felt that my cup was overflowing. I'm so thankful that I wasn't like Bella, allowing distractions (for me...sleeping in and relaxing on my Saturday), to keep me from the refreshment that I truly needed. I continue to feel refreshed as I think back to the things learned and shared from that day.
Lord, thank you for refreshment when we are in dry desert places. I know you desire that we be filled and fulfilled in You. Thank you for showing me the importance of not allowing distractions to keep me from the refreshment You have for me. May we keep seeking You in those dry desert places, knowing that only through You will we be truly refreshed.