Wednesday, April 21, 2010


You know, you'd think a girl could at least count on her dog, but this weekend, my dog Kipper surprised me. A lot! He had been acting rather strange all Friday evening. Bridges of Madison County was on tv (do you remember that movie from the 90's with Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood?). I was trying to watch it but ever few minutes, Kipper would get up and look at me, whine and pace. This is very unlike my dog. Normally, he comes and lays by me in the evenings. I scritch him periodically behind the ears and he is peaceful. Finally, I let him out in the yard. It was beautiful weather so I thought an hour out there for him and I could watch the rest of my movie in peace. To be honest, and this is rather embarrassing, I sort of forgot about him out there and got ready for bed. I realized I needed to let him in. He came rather reluctantly which was also unusual. Usually he'd rather be inside with us than outside by himself. It was now after midnight.

About 2 a.m. I hear insistent whining so I let him outside, thinking Kip needed a potty break. I sat down in the chair and promptly fell back to sleep. I didn't wake back up until about 4:30 a.m. I flew outside, feeling guilty for leaving the poor dog outside half the night. Instead of laying by the back door, he was in the corner of the yard. I called him to me and he ignored me. I called him again, more sternly. He started walking, very slowly back to me, glancing over his shoulder to that corner. I put him in his crate and went back to bed. At 6 a.m. he started whining again so I just let him out of his crate, thinking maybe he was too warm or something. Besides, I didn't care; I wanted to go back to sleep already. By 7:30 a.m. the whining and pacing had increased to the point that my husband got up and let him outside.

About an hour later, my husband came and sat on the edge of the bed with a strange look on his face. "Honey, I just took a big rabbit away from Kipper." I sat straight up in bed and screeched, "He killed it?" Turns out, my dog who is the most laid back, non-predatory dog you could possibly imagine, had not only killed but mangled an adult rabbit. No wonder he was antsy all night long. When my husband had taken it away, Kipper had it propped between his paws, licking away, blood on his muzzle and white paws. Later, I had to wash away blood from under his chin.

I know it sounds silly, but I felt sort of stunned by this turn of events. I had always seen my dog as a certain way, and I felt a bit betrayed that he was so different. I couldn't look at him in the same way after he had killed something and apparently enjoyed it. Despite good intentions, I had humanized my dog way more than I had thought. But the truth was, Kipper was just being a dog. Dog's have predator instincts. Granted, I thought Kipper's were pretty dormant, but he was still a dog. And dog's sometimes kill small, fuzzy animals.

I guess it is the same way with people too. We see someone in a certain way and then they do something that shakes that picture we have of them and we feel betrayed. The thing is though, people are human. And humans makes mistakes, make poor choices and sin. God knew that. He knows we are dust and that we are going to mess up. Nothing we do every comes as a surprise to Him. Consequently, when someone shakes your image of them, you can rest in the knowledge that even if it came as a surprise to you, it didn't to God.

~ Blessings, Bronte

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Have you ever been in a situation, been faithful and been trusting God, but so much time passes that you just sort of lose hope, lose focus and sort of wander off? Currently, I am reading through the Bible - yes, it is taking me a while since I keep stopping to do Bible studies at our church - but I just finished up I Samuel which focuses quite a bit on the story of David before he became king. In fact, the book ends with Saul's death.

Well, toward the end of the book, in I Sam. 27:1, I read this verse, "Then David said to himself, "now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand."

David sounds pretty down. Interestingly, if you go back a chapter you see that David once again had the opportunity to kill Saul but chose not to. He chose to leave it up to God to remove the man He had placed in charge. Once again, you see Saul call David "my son" and say how David is a much better man and would end up being the king.

Yet, David had heard it all before. He had heard Saul say how sorry he was; he had heard Saul say that David really was the right person for the job; he had heard Saul call him blessed and his son and that he would no longer try to hurt David anymore. In the past, despite Saul's words, his behavior didn't change. It wasn't long before Saul's jealous rage overroad his moments of lucid sanity. David had lost hope that anything would be different. Saul was in the prime of life and could be expected to live a long time yet. David did not see any light at the end of the long tunnel he had entered, starting when Samuel had annointed him to be the next king.

David thought there was nothing better for him to do than to go to the land of the Philistines - the arch enemy of Israel. They were the very peoples whose champion David killed. It was this victory that made his name known throughout Israel, that brought him into Saul's sites. Yet, David felt there was nothing better for him to do than to go among his enemies. He went in and King Achish gave him Ziklag and David went in and wiped out all the inhabitants, including the women and children. In past chapters, you see David asking God what he should do next. That isn't mentioned once in this following chapter. David was operating on his own - out of fear and desperation and probably exhaustion. You can only run so long, I guess.

Which brings me to the question - who or what is the Saul in your life? Is there a person who keeps apologizing and saying they will change but never do? Is there a person or situation that you have been praying about for a long time and feel God has given you a yes, yet nothing seems to change or get better? Do you ever feel that continuing to be faithful is yielding nothing and you may as well quit trying because there really isn't anything better than this? You wonder if things might be better if you just switched sides.

It's interesting to me that David is the one that penned the words in Psalms 27:13, "I would have despaired unless I saw the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Obviously, David got his hope back. He came out of the land of the Philistines and ruled Israel for many years. In fact, it is only a few chapters later that we see Saul has been killed in battle, opening the way for David to ascend the throne. God did fulfill His promise to David, even when it seemed all hope was lost and things would never be different.

So, whatever you are going through, whatever you are waiting on - keep hoping. God always comes through.

"How blessed is the man who finds help in the God of Jacob; whose hope is in the Lord his God." Psalms 146:5

~ Blessings, Bronte

Sunday, April 4, 2010

HE'S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Passion of the Christ is a wonderful movie; it shows in graphic detail what Christ endured for us. Now I have a confession to make - I've never watched it. When it came out, I encouraged people to go see it, even people who normally don't go to movies. My parents, who are not moviegoers, went. People brought tween kids to see it. I couldn't do it. I have a really hard time dealing with difficult movies like these. After watching The Titanic, I dreamed about it for four nights before finally dreaming a happy ending. Yes, I know - somewhat pathetic isn't it?

Each year at Easter time, I sort of cringe. You see, I have this very active imagination, and when I really start to think and meditate on what Christ went through, it hurts me. It hurts me in a way that is hard to explain, but usually, it makes me weep. Somehow at Easter, the focus is often on the cross. I realize that the the cross is really important. After all, that is where the sacrifice happened; that is where Christ laid down His life for us. Without the cross, there is no salvation.

When I was praying about this, I was telling God even though I am in awe of Christ's sacrifice for me and how important I know it is, I was having such a hard time REALLY thinking about it because His death was so ugly and horrific. I felt that small still voice say in my spirit, "Forgiveness is always messy and sometimes ugly." Isn't that the truth? I mean, if you look back at everyone's favorite book of the Bible, Leviticus (what? you don't enjoy reading it?), you'll see that the sacrifices in the Old Testament were very messy and there was A LOT of blood involved. I had always sort of pictured them as clean and sterile, like an opertating room, but that wasn't the case. The blood was everywhere - on the alter, on the priests, often on the person bringing the sacrifice. It was messy and it was ugly but it was also necessary.

God also reminded me that that isn't the end of the story. We miss the best part if we leave Christ ON the cross. We miss the best part if we focus ONLY on His death and what He went through. The truth is, He rose and He is ALIVE! Oh grave where is your victory? Death where is your sting? Christ not only died for us, but He rose for us. He was victorious FOR US! Does that give you goosebumps too?

A little over three years ago, my Grandmother died. Her last day was not a good one and her death was not easy or pretty. I can still hear the sounds of her labored breathing, see her gaping mouth and sunken cheeks, looking so completely different I did not recognize her when I arrived at the nursing home, walking right by her room. That picture, that memory could haunt me and hurt me still if I didn't know the rest of the story. You see, my Granny loved God. She had Christ in her heart, so her death wasn't the end of the story either. Those few hours where she passed from life to death were just that - a few hours. For three years now, she has been in heaven, drinking in the glory of God the Father; seeing Christ face to face; knowing joy that we can only see a shadow of here on earth. Because of Christ's death AND resurrection, death may be ugly and it may be hard, but it is only temporary. It isn't the end of the story. It's the prologue to the best part of the story - heaven.

He's alive and because of that, we can all know the best truly is yet to come!
~ Blessings, Bronte