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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Maltese Inherits $12 Million

When I first saw the photo of Leona Helmsley’s Maltese, Trouble, I thought I was looking at my Maltese, Molly. The two appear to be canine twins, but the comparison ends with their appearance. Trouble inherited $12 million. Molly . . . well, that’s a different story. Molly has enriched my life, but I can’t give her anything but love and an occasional freeze-dried liver treat. She seems to be content with that, and I am sure Trouble could get by comfortably on far less than $12 million.
My beneficiaries will not gain a windfall when I transition from this life to the next, but I hope they will feel richer for having shared life with me. If I can leave them a legacy of solid Christian character and memories of good times and laughter, I believe they will feel rich.
And just for the record, while my health is good, I’m going to keep on spoiling my dogs, Molly and Rosie. I think they can look forward to many more strolls in the park, naps at my feet, “good dogs” affirmations, and delectable liver treats.
P.S. My book, Meditations for Dog Lovers, offers fun glimpses of my relationship with my two dogs.

Here’s a sample chapter:

Unconditional Love

I have to be honest with you. I sometimes feel sorry for Molly because Gloria and I are age-challenged. We are what society calls, “seniors.” I’m not fond of the designation, but I can live with it, especially if Gloria and I visit a restaurant that offers a senior discount. However, our senior status means our children are adults. So there are no kids living with us. If Molly wants to play, she’s stuck with two owners who can get down on the floor but take a painfully slow time to get up.

I don’t think Molly understands the human aging process. If she does, she has never come right out and barked, “You guys are old and slow.” She just accepts us—yes, even loves us—as we are.

When I leave home, Molly follows me to the door and gives me that long look that says, “I’ll miss you.” When I return, she greets me. She wags her tail, barks, and jumps around my feet. I don’t have a dog language translator, but I’m sure she is saying, “I’m glad you’re home.” If that isn’t doggy love, what is?

Yes, sometimes I feel sorry for Molly, and I wish she had kids to play with, but she doesn’t seem to fret. She offers unconditional love and shows that is real.

Good Dogma
Have you met people who wonder how God can love them? I have. Some have low self-esteem. Some lug a load of guilt around in an unrelenting conscience. Some think God is too busy to care about them. His time is taken up with important matters like making the world go round, keeping the stars lit, managing angels, and restraining powerful evildoers from blowing up the world. Others believe God’s love is limited to those who have gone to church since they were toddlers. A few are serving time in prison. How could God possibly love felons?

Well, there is good news. God loves everyone without exception. He loves you and me just as we are. He knows all about our weaknesses, our failures, our blemishes, our imperfections, and our sins. He even knows about our baldness or our big nose or our warts or our freaky big toes, yet He loves us. That’s unconditional love, and it’s a treasure!

Now, here’s an amazing phenomenon. Once we recognize that God loves us unconditionally and we believe on His Son as our Savior, He places His love in our hearts so we can love Him and His commandments (Romans 5:5). The apostle John understood this fact. He wrote, “We love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19).

A Bible Treat
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man. Though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die, but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7, 8).

—From Meditations for Dog Lovers, by Jim Dyet (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN) © 2005

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1 comment:

Carol Wilson said...

Adorable dog. Our neighbors have a Maltese--equally cute. I'm glad you get to keep preaching and writing.