July 17, 2010

Oreo and his many lives.

Here is a picture of Oreo in his younger days.

About 2 1/2 years ago I wrote this post as we welcomed our first and only Hamster into the Marcelain house. A picture of him in his FIRST of many cages.

Then a while later I wrote this about our little Circus Hamster.

Then the third post titled, Oreo, the Naughty Hamster. He was sneaking out of his cage and chewing up my shower curtain.

Lastly, I wrote this about Oreo's hero...Jack. Jack still champions Oreo's cause.

Here we are today and Oreo is closer to his third birthday than his second. He has been living the life of a hamster, eating, sleeping, nesting, scratching and always trying to set himself free from his cage. However, I have come to the conclusion that Oreo likes his house, he just wants his freedom too. In the past he sneaks out of his cage, but he finds his way back in with his cheeks chubby and full of materials to make his bed softer.

The cage I have named the Fortress has been thwarted by the not so young and verile Oreo, it took him over a year but by golly he has found a way out. Unfortunately we don't know exactly how he is escaping. I see myself taping all the closures and tubes in place before our detective work is finished. Last night I was walking down the hallway and who do I see wandering right in front of me....Oreo. I am not a fan of picking up Oreo with my bare hands so at 10:30 at night I start calling out to Oreo's master and commander, Jack. I decided I didn't have time to wait for Jack to wake up to grab the creature so I quickly got the excercise ball from the boys room and as obediently as hamsterly possible Oreo marched himself right into his exercise ball and was ready to roll....literally. By this time the entire house was awake and we all blankly stared at Oreo's cage which sits about 3 feet off the ground on Jack's dresser not seeing anywhere that could have been a way out. Because Oreo's house is a fortress we do not have a lot of clear plastic to see him through, he likes to burrow under a walkway where we always just assume he is sleeping.

Today the boys were cleaning their room and found a stash of Snicker's dog food. Oreo had been travelling to and fro during his wanderings all the way out to the kitchen where we keep Snicker's food bowl and collecting his own portion, carrying it in his cheeks for safe keeping. There were about 20 pieces of dog food in Oreo's secret stash. Oreo has been full of surprises, he was lucky to have arrived safely back in the Fortress without our Dachshund Snickers taking a bite out of crime. Oreo is on his umpteenth life....that makes Jack happy.

As you can see in these pictures...Oreo is not the spry contrasty black and white hamster any more. He is losing his fur and going a little gray. But don't let that fool you...he's still got the ability to break out of his house, steal dog food in stealth mode and live the high life. Long live Oreo the king of the hamsters.

July 08, 2010

The Blue Parakeet

I just finished reading "The Blue Parakeet" by Scot McKnight. I wrote a little blurb on facebook before I turned to the first page, I commented that I was ready to have my toe's stepped on. The subtitle of this book is "Rethinking How You Read The Bible." There were several areas that have stuck in my craw. (is that a bad word?, o.k. I just looked it up to be sure {stick in one's craw, to cause considerable or abiding resentment; rankle: She said I was pompous, and that really stuck in my craw.} per dictionary.com)

One of the first things that jumped off the page to me was the fact that we, myself included, can read through a passage of scripture and thoroughly accept one point and completely disregard the next. The disregarding I don't think comes as a blatant disregard, but scripture being read through tradition. The author writes about using the Great Tradition as being very helpful when trying to understand scripture. Great Tradition from my understanding are all those who have gone on before us and their learnings. The Great Tradition however does not mean "tradition." He writes of the destructive nature of tradition, we can see examples of this through our churches today, but in scripture we can see many examples of how the Pharisee's created rules to protect the rules. The Blue Parakeet is the scriptures that we disregard, or are not comfortable with and we wish we could just put them back in the cage where we don't have to deal with them. I love the story of how the author came up with "The Blue Parakeet" analogy.

I could say more about this book, but I don't know if I could say it well enough for it not to be polarizing. So if you want to have your toes stepped on and rethink how you read the Bible then you will have to read the book too!

I would say that this book has definitely given me some great insight and I am so glad I read it.

July 07, 2010

Washed By The Water.

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water
.....lyrics from Need to Breathe, Washed by the Water.

Over the last several months I have become even more aware of the power of sin. We all have experienced it, I have for sure. But the sin that has wrung my heart over and over these last couple of months was not mine. Satan had his way with one of my most favorite people in the world. I continue to relearn over and over that no one is beyond mistakes; no one is above the reach of the lures of hell. No one but Christ Himself. But sometimes we as humans put someone up on a pedestal because they shine the light of God's love so clearly and so powerfully we just think they wont be tricked. It is those precious souls that walk the earth that Satan will relentlessly pursue at their most fragile and weary times. As we all face our mistakes and choices we have made there must be a time of reconciliation, reconciliation with family and friends, but most importantly reconciliation with God. Reconciliation with God allows all the other reconciliations to take place with authenticity and humility.

I witnessed a baptism this weekend that was amazingly full of the Spirit. The Spirit was thick during worship before the baptism, through the prayers, and certainly during the baptism of a new sister in Christ. As I was watching and singing and rejoicing tears fell. I couldn't help but think about the young woman who was lifted from the waters of baptism clean and pure and then think of the person who had been drawn in by the darkness and they both were covered by the faithful grace of the Father. Both redeemed souls.

When I was 13yrs. old I chose Christ as my Savior and chose to follow Him, my dad baptized me in our swimming pool. I can remember the feeling as he lifted me from the water, I was a new creation and I thought that I would never leave nor forsake Jesus. I was wrong. I was very wrong. But God knew that and adopted me into His family anyway. He was faithful through my thick and thin. He was always waiting for me to return whispering His love into my heart at every turn. The last couple of months were a heart-wrenching reminder of just how much sin can affect so much. The tears at the baptism this weekend were not sad tears, they weren't tears of rejoicing.... they were tears of humility, of gratitude, I had eyes to see the darkness of sin and the washing of the Living Water that continually covers our sin, that transforms us, that walks with us the journey of our life. We that have hearts for God are not perfect, we make mistakes, we break our own hearts and those around us, but we are given new mercies every morning. We are given grace at every turn.... I look forward to the day when Christ calls me home and I can do nothing but fall and kiss His feet for sacrificing Himself for my sin and the sin of those I love. His Light will guide us Home.