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I wish I was a dog.

I was having one of those whiny, gripey woe-is-me moments, thinking life was unfair, and then I realized that dogs have many advantages.  They get fed on a regular basis, and sometimes get scraps from the table.  They get to go for walks with their owner.  And even at the end of their lives, they aren’t worried, because they trust their owner. Wonderful.

Then I started to count my blessings.  I do have ready food, and choose when I want to eat.  I don’t get scraps from the table – I have a seat at the table.  Dogs lying around most of the day is overrated – ask anybody who has spent quantity time in the hospital.

And then, as He does, God moved my thoughts into the spiritual realm.  That table that I have a seat at – it could be anything from David’s “Thou preparest a table before me, in the presence of my enemies” to Revelation’s marriage supper of the Lamb.  Going for walks with my owner – well, the great theologian Merle Haggard put it like this:

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The son of God discloses

And he walks with me and he talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

The leash that dogs wear?  Jesus said “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light”.  All through my life, and at the moment of my death, and for all eternity, the Holy Spirit is there, comforting and guiding.

And all this is because although I am a creation of God, like dogs are, I am much more than that.  I am made in His image.  And because I have accepted the gift of salvation, I am a child of God.

So, my life, as it exists right now, even with burdens and cares, is much, much better than a dog’s life.  “This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”.  And why rejoice?  Because of God’s love for us, expressed through Christ and His sacrifice.  Jesus was willingly obedient, by choice, by love, to die for my sins and yours, to ensure that the end of our lives would not be the end of our life with God.  Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, as we celebrate communion with wafer and juice representing Christ’s body and blood, I thank You for the indescribable gift of salvation.  Your ways are not our ways.  Like Job, I sometimes need to put my hand over my mouth.  I know You love us, and You have plans to give us hope and a future, plans established in time immemorial.  Help me to seek Your will here and now, not wish for something not in Your plan.  In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

In my library, where I do a lot of my reading of physical books, I keep three reading streams. Fiction, non-fiction, and “spiritual”.

Fiction encompasses mysteries, science fiction, cozies, anything that is made up.

Non-fiction includes a lot of history, science explainers, and trivia.

Spiritual has included an in-depth analysis of the book of Revelation from four perspectives, Christian biographies, and conservative archeology. I recently tossed a book that tried to redefine King David as the ringleader of a small group of tribesmen – that’s not the way I read my Bible.

As I finish a book from my reading streams, I replace it with a similar one. A day or two ago I finished up Indianapolis, a sad story with a happy ending. I replaced it with Homestead, the story of a failing mill town near Pittsburgh.

Today I completed The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, hardback, at about 700 pages. All the stories and novels, with fascinating explanations of the language, the locations, and the exact dates the fictional events must have happened on. A hefty hardback, coming in at four pounds. As enjoyable as it was, I wasn’t sad to reach the end and move on to the next book.

Which is The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, volume 2, at 800 pages.

Woe is me.

Nobody wants them. From Exodus 32, verses 7 and 11:

7 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.

11 But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

Almost a game of Hot Potato. God, as He does, came out the winner – and also accepted the Israelites back. He is good, at many levels.

Ohio crossed one million cases of Covid-19 on. Monday.

I had it right after Christmas.

That makes me one in a million!

At Meijer yesterday, I wasn’t impressed at how well my fellow shoppers followed instructions – they got both sides 100% wrong.

They redeemed themselves by keeping the pattern up once it was started.

Good job. Silver star for you.

I was on LinkedIn this morning and saw this from a random company:

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

I don’t think it’s right to discriminate by hiding Christmas behind “holiday” and then blithely assume everyone uses the same calendar.

And yes, appealing to an external, shared sense of “right” assumes that such a thing exists. Which it does. And that’s why I’m celebrating Christmas, the birth of Jesus the Christ, instead of an amorphous “holiday”.

Sunday night. Watching the taped last race of the season. I have noticed a couple words that I very rarely hear outside the F1 broadcasts.

Monegasque – a native of Monaco.

Penultimate – next-to-last.

ESPN is carrying the Sky Sports feed from England, which may influence the novelty of the verbiage. Very much enjoy the reporting team, and greatly appreciate Mothers sponsoring the commercial-free shows.

And yes, I know that tape isn’t involved in the delay of a show via YouTube TV. Similarly, ESPN isn’t broadcast – it’s a cable channel. And it isn’t even cable-only, since we get it streamed. *sigh*

The mess of a debate has been sticking with me. Again, both Trump and Biden showed less respect for the office they attain to (or hold) than is proper.

But Biden calling Trump a “clown” is bothersome. I think he would have been better to follow the example of Job, from the Old Testament. Job had been afflicted greatly by the time this interaction takes place.

Job had already been through a rough day. His livestock, servants, and all his children had been killed – one day. Later on, Satan has given him boils – skin infections – from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. Ouch!

Then his helpful wife offers him some advice. “Are you still holding on to your principles? Curse God and die!”. Wow – with friends like that, who needs enemies?

But Job doesn’t take his frustration out on her. He gently says “You are talking like a foolish woman”. Not “You are a foolish woman”. He notes the similarity and leaves it there.

Biden would do well to spend more time in the Bible. Just sayin’ . . .

Chris Wallace, who managed to keep two unruly children – well, not under control, but headed in the right direction.

Trump had trouble controlling his impulses – no major surprise. He was more steamroller than tank – kept rolling, but (to me) not a lot of offensive blows.

Biden goofed major when he called Trump a clown. Regardless of the truth of the statement, that’s childish, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see that showing up in an attack ad. Biden generally seemed to be reactive. His talking to the camera and lowering his voice worked (again, to me) about as well as Obama’s beer sit-down. Theoretically wonderful, practically awkward.

Surprised me that both sides used the term “Obamacare”.

I predict more civility next time. I hope handlers on both sides will sit their guy down and rub their noses in video of tonight. If this is how the next leader of the USA acts, when they know they are being televised and analyzed…

That would be the fall of man, in the Garden of Eden. Not the seasonal change a few days away.

Mosquitoes are meat eaters – well, blood-suckers. Leviticus 17:11 says “For the life of the flesh is in the blood”. In Genesis 1:29-30, God is speaking to Adam and Eve. “And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.”

We are left with two choices, from my perspective. Either the mosquitoes were sap-suckers, or they didn’t exist then.

Not an argument in favor of evolution. Things change over time, yes. Things die out – the dodo for one, and I don’t know of any current creature that fits the description of Leviathan. And as cute as a Shiba Inu doge is, I really doubt that there was one (or two) in the Garden.

I don’t find mosquitoes specifically mentioned in the curse when Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden. I also don’t see mention of the Blue Screen Of Death that can plague computer work, nor do I see those little yapping ankle-biting dogs that are surely a physical part of the curse, if not part of the spiritual side.

If I were to venture a guess, I’d say that hummingbirds were part of the sinless, pre-Fall garden, and mosquitoes came after the banishment. Pure speculation, and I can be convinced otherwise. I also don’t consider it a test of fellowship (if anyone has thought about it and has an opinion).

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