Tag Archives: peace

Blessed CHRISTmas!

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Hello friends and followers ūüôā

It’s Christmas tomorrow, and I’m so thankful at this¬†time for the birth of the only Saviour ‚Äď Jesus Christ the¬†Son of God. Although perhaps only a few of you reading this actually¬†know and love the¬†Lord,¬†I hope none of¬†you will let¬†the true meaning of Christmas¬†get swept away by the¬†ridiculous hype that the world has made of it.

This Christmas, I hope you will realise that that baby whose birthday we celebrate tomorrow¬†can only¬†bring us joy, hope and peace at Christmas because He also grew up to face the cross at Easter.¬†His birth¬†was only the beginning¬†of the promise ‚Ästand there’s really no use celebrating it if you haven’t also¬†trusted in His¬†work on the cross.¬†Jesus was sent into this world, not to bring us candy and gifts when we’ve been good, but to stand in our place to take the full wrath of the Most High God for all the times we haven’t been good!

And yet… in His kind providence and common grace, the Lord does also grant us the other side of Christmas as we’ve come to know it: the rest as the year draws to a close, the chance to see friends and family, the opportunity to travel away from home, the fun of sharing gifts with those we love¬†and the¬†time to enjoy¬†delicious meals together.

All of these things, while they have nothing to do with the biblical reason for Christmas, are still good gifts in and of themselves.¬†By grace we have the freedom to enjoy them ‚Äď with moderation and gratitude, of course. This common grace extends even to those who reject Christ as the only way to reach a holy God. He’s good to them too, even when they don’t acknowledge it.

So¬†tomorrow I look forward to both aspects of the special day. I am eager to celebrate and worship with my church family, knowing that ‘Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief’ (1 Tim 1:15). And I am also¬†keen to spend time with friends and family, enjoying special meals, sharing gifts and thanking God for¬†placing these people in my life.

I wish you the same ūüôā

Christmas 2013

Zest

Rest in peace faithful Flea

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Yesterday¬†we had our old Flea put to sleep ūüė¶ Ninja and I couldn’t bear it anymore to see her struggling so much; the smallest movement became a flailing effort to our arthritic old ratty. We felt we’d done everything we could,¬†and there comes a point where treatment becomes more stressful for a pet than a peaceful passing would be.

Baby Flea in Ninja's pocket

Baby Flea in Ninja’s pocket

Afterwards we took her to my parents’ garden, to bury her near the spots where Muesli, Scribble and Coffee were laid to rest. Of all the options available to pet owners for saying goodbye to their furry friends ‚Äď be it cremation, burial or leaving the body with the vet ‚Äď I’ve always felt that burial provides the most honour and closure.

Young Flea in a basket

Young Flea in a basket

Looking back on her 60-odd rat years, I can see how this fancy rat lived up to her proper name, Faith. First, when she was tiny, Ninja named her because she seemed to need a good dose of faith to venture out into the world. Later when she became comfortable roaming around our home we called her Leap of Faith, because she was never afraid to cover great distances in one bound… just like a small black¬†flea, of course ūüôā

Old Flea in the same basket

Old Flea in the same basket

Much later, after her tumour removal and the loss of her sister, she continued to live up to her real name, fighting bravely to heal after such an invasive op. And finally, just before her second birthday as she began ageing rapidly, her faithful little personality still led her to wake us up every morning for breakfast, even if she could only just drag her tired legs around.

Flea enjoying sweet papaya

Flea enjoying sweet papaya

Another thing that I loved about Flea was that she always seemed ‚Äď if one can say this of a rat ‚Äď grateful for the smallest thing. Towards the end when I had to pre-chew all her meals and wipe her face with a cloth because she could no longer groom herself, she would always brux and boggle happily in thanks afterwards. Ninja and I got to have many very sweet moments with the old lady as she cuddled with¬†and slept by us for long periods.

Faith ~ 25 Aug 2011 to 11 Sept 2013

Faith ~ 25 Aug 2011 to 11 Sept 2013

Rest in peace our sweet old Flea. You were the softest ratty I’ve ever kissed and I loved your beautiful fluffy and colourful¬†coat. You showed us the very best side of girl ratties and left us with so many funny and heartwarming memories.

I’d like to share with you a poem that was given to us by the vet yesterday (it’s marked as anonymous so I don’t know who to attribute it to). It was a blessing to me and I hope it’ll bring comfort to you if you’ve also had to make that tough decision to say goodbye to a furbaby. (But I warn you, keep the tissues handy!)

If it should be…

If it should be that I grow frail and weak

And pain should keep me from my sleep

Then you must do what must be done

For me, the last battle can’t be won

You will be sad ‚Äď I understand

Don’t let your grief then stay

For this day, more than all the rest

Your love and friendship stands the test

We’ve had so many happy years

What is to come can hold no fears

You’d not want me to suffer, so

When the time comes, please let me go

We’ve been so close, we two

Through these years

Don’t let your heart

Hold any tears

Take me where my needs they’ll tend

Only stay with me until the end

Hold me firm and speak to me

Until my eyes no longer see

I know in time you too will see

It is a kindness you do to me

Although my tail its last has waved

From pain and suffering I’ve been saved

Don’t grieve that it should be you

Who has to decide this thing to do