Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Golden Shovel

Hello Friends.

If you could have been with me last Tuesday you would have seen a Goose doing the happy dance.  Why so happy?  As a few of you guessed from my photo clue in my last post we have broken ground on our new homeless shelter, yes complete with a pet area!!  Many thanks to so many of you who sent in green papers to help fund the pet area.  And guess what????  I was invited to the ground breaking.  Not only was I invited to attend but I was honored to also be asked to be one of the "important people" to lend a paw in breaking the ground.  Seriously I was.  I know you are thinking, "Oh Goose your MOM was the one asked to do that."  That is true butt I got my very own invitation.  So lets get to some pictures shall we.

There were lots and lots of people there.  They braved the bad weather, 15-20 mile an hour winds with gust of 40+.  Dirt and sand was blowing everywhere!  MOM had sand in her hair, eyes, ears, nose, EVERYWHERE. 

This is Pamela Atkinson.  If you know anything about homelessness then you know this beautiful lady.  She is the BIGGEST advocate for the homeless.  She is wonderful and spoke some incredibly inspiring words.  Besides Pamela, there were government type of people who spoke too.  MOM wishes she had a video of when each person spoke and when everyone clapped, I barked.  Hey I had to keep my paws on the ground so I did not blow away.

These are the three clergy type of people who represented the three founding churches who started St. Anne's all those years ago as a simple soup kitchen to feed the hungry.  Rev. Claudia  from The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, David Thomas from Elim Lutheran Church and Father Ken from St. Joseph's Catholic Church.  And while St. Anne's is no longer a faith based organization these three churches do so much to help St. Anne's help those in need.  Check out the shoulders of Father Ken.  That is the dirt and sand building up on his shoulders because of all the wind blowing about (and he was inside the tent, imagine how much sand my MOM and I, and others, got who where standing on the outside of the tent.)

I really wanted to take a ride on this big digging machine.

It helped provide a little bit of shelter for me from the wind.  OH, and do you see I wore my very best tie to this ground breaking.

That's my friend Rich giving me a drink from his water bottle.  Rich works at St. Anne's as the security guy.  Check out his hair blowing in the wind.  hahahha. 

Here I am ready to break the ground of the new facility which will be know as Lantern House.

These are the "important people" ready to break ground.  You may have noticed that my MOM must not have gotten the memo about what to wear.  I mean look everyone is in dressy clothes, even me, I wore a nice tie.  In MOM's defense she had just finished cooking lunch at the shelter and rushed over to the new site for the ground breaking.  BUTT I will say this: My MOM's shirt says it all about how we feel and what we see in this new facility.

And it has begun!  WOOOOOO HOOOOO!

You might ask, "Why the serious look Goose?"  Well you see my friends I know this is a very important moment, a sacred moment.  This is where lives will be helped and changed for both people and pets. 

For people like Lucy and her Boxer, Blue, who are sleeping on the floor in the lobby at St. Anne's because all the beds in the woman's dorm are full.  (Lucy and Blue have a place of their very own now).

This here is what the new shelter will look like.  Pretty awesome huh?

Here is the blue print of the entire shelter, complete with the pet area.

I even got to save a stick while I was at the ground breaking.
Thank you friends for all your support though prayers, money, and well wishes.  In about 10 months I hope to give you a tour of the new place.  We still have about 1.5 million to raise so we have all the funds we need for the shelter to be complete. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easy Gift

Hello Friends.

Feels like I have been gone for a long while.  This past Sunday my MOM's laptop was in a critical state.  She thought it was a goner.  But she took it to the computer hospital and it was touch and go for days, butt the fine computer surgeons pulled it through.  A lot has happened during the week.

One of the exciting things has to do with this above photo.  I'll tell you more about that in the next few days.
For today I want to share with you something I received in the mail of Friday.
LOOK!  I got a package from my buddy and brother Easy.
Can't wait to see what is inside.  He always sends me the best stuffs.
Wooooooo Hoooooo!!  He sent me some yummy yummy treats.  And would you look at this beautiful collar.  WOW. 
I LOVE it Easy.  Is there such a thing as too handsome?  Hey Easy, you are right I CAN yodel while I am wearing it.  Good call brother. 
Could it possibly look even better outdoors.  Yes, yes I think it can.  Thank you Easy and your mom for the great Easter gift.  You know I am going to wear it around town, climbing mountains, at Bert's place (oh he is going to be jelly with envy), I may even sleep in it.  It's velvety softness feels so good.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What if it is True

Hello Friends.
I've got a little Easter message for you.  The photos are from my churches Easter Egg Hunt.  Oh those little peeps sure had a GREAT time.

One six-year old girl had as her “first pet” a horned toad. A horned toad is a prickly, pointy reptile creature, like a frog with a hard, scaly dry skin. Still this small creature was her pet, and so she faithfully fed it, gave it water, and kept it safe in its cage. Then one day the horned toad managed to escape. For days the family looked for him (admittedly Mom and Dad probably had a different drive for finding the reptile than did their daughter).

First all the kids did crafts.
Weeks later poor “Toady” was discovered inside a box, under a bed. He was dead. At least he looked dead. But the little girl knew that some reptiles hibernated for long periods, and she thought that perhaps Toady was just in a deep sleep. So she poured some water on the little horned toad’s body. Immediately the body reacted by moving, curling up, its tail twisted. It had life again.

MOM and her kids hid over 2000 eggs
But the first reaction of the little girl to a toad come to life was not rejoicing, but screaming in horror and dropping the box.

It's one thing to hope for a life come back to life. It is another thing to accept that there actually may be an indestructible spirit that can overcome death, that resurrection may be real.

The hunt is on.
Most of us are caught somewhere between wanting to believe in the power of resurrection and the stupefying strangeness of a life that might transcend death. As biological beings we instinctively recognize the “end signs” of physical death. Yet our spiritual selves still wait for the next act. We cannot accept the finality of biological end. And yet confronting that “something more” still terrifies us.

We both want and fear “forever.” The first reaction of all who witnessed the empty tomb was terror. No one rejoiced. All those first responders were frightened and bewildered. They wanted to know “What is going on?” “Where is Jesus’ body?” “What has happened here?” In none of the gospel resurrection texts is there a reaction of joy and happiness and faith when the tomb is opened and revealed to be empty. In every instance the first human reaction is grief and despair. The first responders to the tomb expected to offer their sorrow and sadness at Jesus’ tomb. Not one person expected to respond with joy and faith at the sight of an empty space. Despite all of Jesus’ messages to his disciples, they were totally unprepared for what they encountered on Easter morning.

For those who follow Jesus 21 centuries later the question is no less “in your face.” The ultimate challenge that confronts us on Easter is this: “What if it’s true?”

Trust me the Easter baskets where OVERFLOWING
What if the God of the universe loves each and every one of us? What if that love walked among us in the person of Jesus?  What if that love embraced the ultimate sacrifice of death for our sake?  What if that love was able to transcend the finality and power of death and live again to live forever?  What if that love continues to live and walk among us today, two thousand years after that death-melting resurrection?  What if it is ALL TRUE?

How sweet is she
But you say “Prove It!” Show me the “proof” that it’s true! How do you “prove” if it’s true?

The Bible is not a book where the truth is in the science, but truth is in the story. And while the resurrection is a fact narrative, not just a faith narrative – the Son of God DID shake off those grave clothes, the stone DID roll away the facts of “He’s Alive!” must be taken in faith. The truth is this: it’s a leap of faith either way.

My favorite little peep, "L".  Yep he got a bucket full.
So I ask again: What if it’s true?  What if Jesus did rise from the dead?  What if Jesus did make eternal life possible for each and every one of us because of what he did on the cross?  What if “God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life?”  What if it is ALL TRUE?

The most astounding, transforming truth of Easter is this: if Jesus broke the power of death, it's a power that still continues today. He is ALIVE! And that means, everything has changed. What if it’s true? Everything has changed!

Easter Sunday is when we “refresh” our spiritual memory and reconnect to our most basic spiritual connection — our faith that Jesus Christ defeated death, rose from the dead, and demonstrated that divine power and love and beauty can never be held captive by the grip of suffering and death. Easter is the time when we renew our confession of faith in something that defies logic. In “online” language, it's the time when we hit our spiritual “refresh” icon, bringing our daily lives back into sync with our spiritual commitments.

That’s why the highest point in Handel’s “Messiah” is a direct quote from Job 19:25, the confession of a man who suffered greatly on earth and yet knew in his soul that there was “something more.” Job knew that God’s love, that God’s promises, were real. His spirit knew that “it was true.” In his moment of deepest despair and darkness Job could still find the fragment of faith within himself that could confess, “I know that my Redeemer lives.”

My crazy MOM and one of the coolest little peeps I know, Xandar.
Have you ever been to the Coliseum in Rome? If you have you would see concealed beneath it a labyrinth of passages and cells, lifts and ramps, storerooms and concealed traps through which beasts, prisoners, gladiators and stagehands were deployed to engineer the pageants above, including palm trees and mounds of sand.  Exploring this underworld is a very different experience from watching the spectacles in the arena above.

On a tour of the Coliseum an English botanist saw a flower he had never seen in Italy before. Puzzled, he started to look closely at the other flowers growing between the flagstones in the old arena and the cracks in the stone seats of the terraces. The flowers weren't native to Rome, or even to Italy. The bemused botanist left the Coliseum to go and look at the patches of grass nearby under the Arch of Titus, over the Capitoline Hill and in the stadium. He couldn't find a trace of these exotic flowers at all. When he took the flowers back to his Cambridge laboratory, he found that they had come from precise, verifiable places: Libya and Tunisia mostly. The only feasible explanation he could come up with was that the flowers had grown from seeds that had lodged in the coats of lions brought from Africa to eat Roman prisoners in the Colosseum 2,000 years before.

At my church instead of filling the sanctuary with Lilies, we fill reusable bags with enough food to feed a family of 4 for 5 days.  We give these bags to St. Anne's Homeless Shelter and they give them out to those in need.
The seeds fell off the lions as they tore into the Christians in the arena. The lions are long gone. The suffering is over. But those seeds are still bearing fruit, bearing witness to the power of life to win out over death.

“I know . . . I KNOW . . . I KNOW . .that my Redeemer lives.”  He lives in us and He lives among us.  That’s the proof. The proof is not a point. The proof is a person. Let’s go prove it by the way we live, care, love, give.


OH P.S.-  I almost forgot.  I know I put this up last year, butt my MOM just giggles every time when she sees it.  So here it is again;

Have you ever wondered how the bunny became apart of Easter?

Hahhahhahha.  And there goes my MOM laughing and smiling her head off.  I admit I snickered too.  That Jesus is one cool dude.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I LOVE that one word

Hello Friends.

See if you can guess what one word gets me moving.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Set Life Free

Hello Friends.

Boy did I work my tail off on Saturday.  Whewwww.  Butt it is so going to be worth all the effort.  I spent part of my day helping my MOM (and others) get our garden ready for planting.  Let me tell you it is true many hands make the work easier.  Add in four paws and it's a breeze.  That made me think... You know who was the original gardener?  I believe it was (and is) God and Jesus.  I know JC talk about gardening in Matthew 13:1-23.  So as I helped out tilling, weeding, burning the ditch and all those things that need to take place before a single seed goes into the ground I talked to MOM about gardening and how I see it.  Come along with me as we prepare the garden.

[Clearing out the dead of Winter]
Dedicated gardeners have anticipated this season since December and January when the seed catalogs started to arrive. There are the perennial garden catalogs, the start-from-seed catalogs, and the organic-everything catalogs.  Ever notice the pictures in these plant and seed catalogs? They're astounding.  Huge veggies, amazing fruits.

[Tilling in organic stuffs]
Then there's the lure of more exotic fruits and veggies that promise bumper crops, perfect nutrition, healthy plants and beautiful colors .

[That's my pal Walter hauling off the weeds]
No matter how splashy or no-nonsense the seed catalogs that arrive in the middle of the cold, dark winter months, all of them are exercises in faith.  It's the gardener's "green hope." And it takes a lot of faith, a lot of green hope, to believe that the lush, fruit-producing plant you've read about is contained in the tiny dry packet of seeds you hold in your hand once the catalog fills your seed order.

[Good job MOM, only 50 more passes]
Some seeds are so tiny it's like sowing dust mites. Some flower seeds look like they have the wherewithal to produce something – nasturtiums have a kind of earthy, gnarly look to them.  How could anything as hardy and takeover as chamomile or lavender spring from such microscopic beginnings?

[Ditch patrol.]
But the truth is: all it takes is good soil, warm sun, refreshing water, time... and these dry, puny seeds burst forth with life.  Gardeners put their hopes in dead-looking seeds. Gardeners invest sweat equity in nurturing and cultivating specks of dust. Gardeners put up with weeds, insects, evil-sounding rusts and smuts, and weather that's too cold, too hot, too dry, or too wet.

[Right behind you MOM.  Let me know if ya need a break.  My paws are ready for digging.]
Why?  Because gardeners get addicted to setting life free.  Gardening is the world's oldest profession for a reason. (See Genesis 1 and 2.) Gardeners can't make seeds. Gardeners can't control the weather. Gardeners can't tell which seeds are viable and which are duds. But gardeners can assist in creation's birthing process, gardeners can midwife beauty, and gardeners can guide and nurture the life that lurks within seeds into springing forth in bloom.

[Hey Justin, you are doing a great job! I wonder if anyone brought hotdogs for roasting.]
Gardeners can participate in setting life free. There's all this life around us, lying dormant, waiting for release. There's a force greater than me, greater than you, greater than all of us put together. This life-force is all around you, waiting to be released. Untapped life is just waiting for its gardeners.  God is the Original Gardener – releasing life onto this bluegreen earth. Is it any wonder that God then created Adam and Eve to be gardeners so they could continue the life-releasing cycle?

[Hey MOM we GOTTA get one of these flame throwing thingys.]
In Matthew 13:1-23 Jesus reveals that he's also a gardener – a sower casting seeds of his word across the face of the land. Even as God turned a barren planet into a Garden of Eden, Jesus started his cultivation efforts on the hardest clay, the driest desert, the starkest wilderness, and created a new Garden of Eden – a landscape of salvation and redemption for all creation.

[That's my friend Kristin.  She helps a brother dog out by giving me some cool water.  Working in the garden makes dog mighty thirsty.]
In that parable of the sower, Jesus describes the realities that face all who carry on cultivation efforts of their own. We can sow. But whether the seed germinates, grows to maturity, produces fruit, and results in a harvest – all that is dependent upon the quality of the ground it falls upon, on the receptivity of the soil.

In Jesus' first example, the seed falls upon the hardened path. The rich word, filled with promise of new life, never even gets into the soil. It lies neglected on the path, and is quickly eaten up by hungry birds. The beaten path is not a very fertile place. It's worn smooth and hard by countless feet. For the Word of Life to germinate, it needs the fertile soil that lies deep and rich off the well-trodden trail, away from the trials and temptations of the common path.

[For some reason I want marshmallows.]
Shallow, rocky soil and thorn-infested ground allow the seeds to germinate. But they don't offer enough depth, water retention or root room for the fledgling plants to do much more than sprout out and then wither away. Gardeners don't garden just to get seeds to sprout. The whole point of gardening is to end up with a harvest. The fruits, the veggies, the bursting blooms of colorful flowers – these are the reasons gardeners sow in the first place.  Jesus, the sower in the parable, likewise sows to reap.
[JENNI quick put out that hot spot!  I think I would have made a great fire truck dog.]
Only those seeds that find their way into deep fertile soil, only those seeds whose roots spread out and stalks grow tall towards the sun, will enjoy a harvest, a yield beyond the original amount of seed first sown.  Getting the seed into the ground is the hardest part of farming.  But seed-sowers know there's a lot more necessary if any looked-for-harvest is ever to be expected.
[Good job MOM.  We're almost done, then we can kick back and relax for a bit.]
Part of the wonderment of sowing seeds, of setting life free, is its beautiful mystery. The final amount harvested is ultimately out of the hands of the sower. Our task it to sow. God's task is to reap. We cannot compare our harvests or our results with others and claim for ourselves more or less success.  But there must be fruit to feed a hungry world. And in a marvelous circularity of spirituality, the ultimate in fruit-bearing is seed-sowing.
[This is the fruit of our labor for the day.  Time spent together in God's glorious and beautiful world.]
Nobel-Prize winning Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore says this, "A leaf becomes a flower when it loves. A flower becomes a fruit when it worships. The words of the hymn, Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee say it best: "Hearts Unfold Like Flowers Before Thee."  I say, "Set life free.  Sow some seeds.  And in so doing, bear much fruit.