Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Countenances and Encounters

"I always think of Howard Summers when I see Gregory Peck," I was startled to read on Facebook. My brother Johnny had shared a picture of our late sister juxtaposed with a photo of his daughter, and remarked at the resemblance. My comment was that my daughter favored her, too, but that our daughters didn't look alike. Then he surprised me by the comment.

I had just told Howard the other day that he looked like Gregory Peck! I noticed that in the movie, "To Kill a Mockingbird." Looking over their glasses, wearing summer suits and both with a handsome head of black hair, they presented a striking similarity! I just didn't know anyone else noticed it!

Speaking of glasses, my husband may not have to wear them much longer! He is already seeing so much better since his eye surgery that he can't wait to have it done on the other eye! Then I won't have anyone to blame but myself for overlooking things around here!

A couple of days ago I was mulling over supper ideas and started to pull a box of macaroni and cheese from the cabinet. It was lying down with the blue box end toward me. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my missing Crest Whitestrips in my hand! Howard said he might have put them there when he put away other items last week from the bag I'd left on the table. Thankfully, they weren't thrown away after all, and I'll have something to smile about yet!

Another Facebook post was from my niece who said her daughter was smiling with goose bumps when she told her what had happened the night before. She had been trying to tune in praise and worship music on her radio to go to sleep by, which was her habit. Despite all her efforts, she couldn't get anything on the radio, so she lay down and tried to go to sleep. Suddenly she heard beautiful, soft, worship music, the most beautiful she had ever heard, as if from heaven! She checked, and her radio wasn't even plugged in! The beautiful song with amazing words played twice!

When I read this, it sounded familiar, and I remembered something I had read in the Guideposts that just came. A woman who had problems with anxiety could not relax on a vacation trip she was taking with her family. She wished she were home where she would feel safe. They decided to pull off at a McDonald's for a break, and suddenly she heard the most beautiful music coming from a grassy area beyond the drive-thru. A church choir was there in their purple robes giving a concert! Peace immediately filled her and she sensed a calm as she let the familiar words of the hymns wash over her.

God can show up at the most unexpected times, confirming His presence and His awareness of us. And whether my husband wears glasses or looks like a movie star or not, I can see Jesus in him, and that's with or without my glasses!

Monday, July 29, 2013

In Harmony

"Look at that beautiful dog!" I exclaimed to my husband. We were in Walmart today, and I was startled to see a calmly alert, gorgeous creature standing dutifully by the shopping cart of a mother with 3 young children. When I noticed his harness, I knew he was a service dog, obviously for the 6-or7-year-old boy walking behind, who may have been autistic.

"Is he a service dog?" I asked as I admired the regal golden retriever whose well-groomed coat fairly glowed from care and attention.

"Yes," she said, and Howard, turning to look inquired "Is he trained?"

A darling little bespectacled girl of about four who was hanging on the end of the shopping cart looked at him through her glasses and announced imperiously, "We wouldn't have brought him in here if he wasn't trained!"

I was struck with the sense of calm the dog seemed to impart to the boy. How wonderful that animals can be used to help people in their unique capacity for loyalty and sensitivity!

Earlier this morning, Howard had come in from his walk telling me about an elderly lady he had met at Cann Gardens. "She was walking past the gazebo where I was sitting, and I called out that God had given us a beautiful day," he said. The lady stopped and carried on a conversation with him from the sidewalk. Turns out she lives next to a church across the street from the park and shared that her husband was on a mission trip and was due in today. It's amazing what a chance encounter can reveal about someone's life.

A knock on the door awhile ago sent me to look through the curtain to see our neighbor standing there. When I opened the door, he said, "Your truck lights are on." Howard rushed out to see if the battery had gone dead, but thankfully, the truck started. I reflected how wonderful it is that there are good people all around us, and God even provides animals to enrich our lives as well! He is a marvelous Creator!

Still Under Construction

Recently I thought my smile needed a little brightening, so I splurged and bought a kit of whitening strips. Laying my purchases on the dining room table and pulling out the little blue box, I intended to use the kit first thing in the morning. The afternoon passed, and I saw the blue kit each time I passed through the dining room. The next morning, it was not there!

"Did you move the blue box from the table?" I asked my husband, after checking the bathroom. He said he had not moved it. But after a fruitless search, I couldn't help thinking my neatnik husband threw it away when he was discarding the plastic bag.

Well, the trash had not been emptied, so I ruffled through it, then he took it outside and examined every scrap. I still have not found my purchase a week later.

Last night was the Sunday Night Sing at our church, and I went to get a paper with words I had composed to lengthen a short song we wanted to sing. I had run on to the sheet numerous times during the past month either in the desk drawer or in a letter holder on the desk top, but now I could not find it. Of course, I must assume it got thrown away!

We had stopped by our son's house Saturday, finding them at home on a relaxed morning lounging with their kids in their comfortable living room. The kids had changed their rooms around, and I asked to see them. The first thing I noticed was their bureaus. Sheets of paper with the words, "Socks," "Shirts," "Pajamas" etc., printed on them were attached to the drawers. Evidently, the girls were getting practical lessons in organizing.

I realize God wants us to be organized, since His creation is organized so beautifully. One degree of variation could send us into chaos. Which is what I experience around here if I'm not on top of things, and organizing is not my strength!

God even organizes experiences for our benefit. When I got to church yesterday, I saw a member sitting in front of us I hadn't seen for some time, one of those otherwise sweet people who always brings out my worst! The song leader began a song, and I remembered when I had first heard it--the last time this lady was here months ago! God had used it to make me think then and again now! The words were, "Jesus on the inside, working on the outside, Oh what a change in my life!"

Well, we are taking her to lunch on Thursday, so that is a positive step. Now to work on my organizational skillls!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Moment of Truth

This was the last straw! A huge tree had split apart, falling and crushing the chicken coop! The two remaining hens were looking puzzled and bedraggled with barely enough room to move near the chicken-wire door. The other three occupants were missing, but a pile of feathers near the exit told the story. Howard resignedly opened their enclosure and set them free. He said the only time he wants to return to the farm is to go fishing!

I felt for him, but the only thing I could think of was, free at last! Free of the daily trek to feed and water, collect the eggs and watch for snakes. I felt he was overdoing anyway, sometimes carrying pails of water, then having his arm ache afterward. "But it's therapy for me!" he would protest.

It's hard to see a dream die (even a dream of a chicken farm), but sometimes it's too hard to keep it alive. But it was fun while it lasted, you might say. Nurturing chicks into robust birds, raising the beautiful and mysterious guineas, enjoying the jumbo farm-fresh eggs.

There is a saying that goes, "When God closes a door, He opens a window." A follow-up on that says, "Until He does, I'll be happy in the hallway." At our Bible study the other night, the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 was mentioned: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Some translations say he has plans for us, to give us a hope and a future.

Well, while we're waiting in the hallway, we are looking forward to visiting family in Texas in a couple of weeks. Howard's cataract surgery went so well, there should be no reason we can't go, since the doctor okay'd it. Hopefully we will leave a couple of days after his check up.

We enjoyed an estate sale today, chatting with our kids, and lunching at a 50's style restaurant. Listening to the juke box and seeing classic car photos on the wall, Howard remarked that the best music and the prettiest cars were from that era. Maybe that's because that's when we grew up! At any rate, God was with us then as he is with us now, and we can't wait to see what new plans he has for us!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Perspectives

"Look, there's the Drummond Ranch," I pointed out to our son Greg who was driving us across the rolling country terrain to Howard's eye surgery appointment in Bartlesville this morning. "That's where Ree Drummond lives," I explained about "The Pioneer Woman" who has a cooking show on the Food Network.

The herds of cattle scattered across the vast pastures caused Howard to remark, "My dad used to break horses. Mom said he would get tossed off, brush himself off and get on again." He was full of stories and remembrances this morning. The long drive and chance to visit with our busy son, not to mention the pensive mood the coming procedure induced, seemed to pull them out of him.

Howard soon had the nurses and attendants wrapped around his little finger as he chatted non-stop with them. When we were allowed to go in to his curtained cubicle just before the surgery, he obviously had learned their histories, church affiliations and family relationships, his sedative making him a little hyper, I think.

Greg and I were soon ushered back into the waiting room, where I noticed an electronic chart on the wall with blocks of numbers and symbols. I found that it was a progress chart with the status of each patient at any given moment. I wasn't sure what the symbols meant until I found the legend on a plasticized sheet on a table. A picture of opened scissors meant he was in surgery, closed scissors meant they had finished, an open door meant he was back in his room, and so on.

In no time at all, they came out and told us we could go back. I knew it would be relativly quick, but I was amazed to see my husband sitting in the chair as alert as anything, as if nothing had happened. It was only when he stood up I saw he was a little wobbly.

We had an hour or two to fill before we headed back to the doctor's office for post-op in another building, so we asked about a place to get lunch. We were directed to a quaint restaurant in a brick building downtown with some of the tables outside. The temperature was mild, and with the big umbrellas over the table, it felt like New Orleans or Kemah in Texas.

What a delightful lunch! Howard was ecstatic that the cataract surgery had gone so quickly and smoothly, despite his qualms of the past few days, and an almost party mood prevailed. After a delicious meal and warm conversation, we dawdled over a fantastic dessert: Bread pudding topped with a scoop of ice cream, covered in a wonderful pecan sauce all swimming in a pool of melted butter!

A quick tour of the charming city in the spiffy comfort of Greg's new car past a Frank Lloyd Wright "sky-scraper" and a view of the Frank Phillips home and other interesting architecture and sights ended with our going back for the post-op. A good report all around sent us home on a grateful note, with the patient all talked out and dozing under his dark glasses. What a great icon that would have made!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Storm Shelter

Why am I so hot? I wondered when I woke up during the night. Then I realized the power was off in the still, dark house with no air coming from the air conditioner. Our sleep had been punctuated throughout the night with jarring thunder and brilliant flashes of lightning.

Maybe I would be cooler at the other end of the bed, I thought, taking my pillow and moving. I must have slept, for I was awakened sometime later with a cool breeze in my face. The power had come back on and the air conditioner was working!

I was reminded of the storm during my daily Bible reading this morning in Psalm 18. David was writing in figurative language of God's delivering power to him in his distresses. Verse 9 says, "He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. (13)The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. (14) Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them."

My husband said to me at breakfast before I sat down to read, "I need you to bring up the bank for me on the computer; I couldn't pull it up." Oh, no! We had gone through this yesterday when the bank had changed the procedure for online banking for security reasons. An assistant had walked us through it, now it wasn't working!

This time a man patiently worked through the process with me. My frustrations surfaced at one point and I said, "Why are they changing everything?" When he answered,"The government," I blurted, "I hate the government." Well, I hadn't meant to say that; it just slipped out.

Later, in the New Testament portion of my Bible reading in Romans 7:14, I read about Paul saying how what he didn't want to do, he did, and what he wanted to do, he didn't do, speaking about the carnality of man. He concludes in verses 24,25, by calling himself wretched and questioning who will deliver him from the body of sin and death? He answers himself by saying, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

He is always the Answer, His Holy Spirit bringing refreshing like a cool breeze on a sultry night.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


"Is your movie over?" I asked my young grandaughters, Kate and Beth. They were spending the night and had brought a Dr. Seuss video to watch. Apparently, it wasn't the full-length screen version and lasted only 20 minutes.

They jumped up from the sofa with a look that said, "Now what can we do?" I thought of the collection of the Walton DVD series we have and took one out. They looked at the pictures of the TV family on the cover with fascination and questions. They seemed completely unfamiliar with the story, so I named the characters and put in a disc.

Their eyes were glued to the screen the whole time! They loved the old-fashioned depictions of family life back then. They laughed and squealed at the adventures of the kids, their innocent teen-crushes and their crotchety loveable grandparents, and the dramatic storylines with happy, moral endings.

"Can we watch another one?" they pleaded, then when that one was over they said they wanted to watch one every time they came to my house. I had no idea they would like something non-animated and minus the non-stop action and frenzy of most kids' entertainment today.

With all the high-tech development now and the modern conveniences we have we forget about the simpler, less-hurried and conservative time of yesterday. The other day I was changing bed linens preparing for expected company, and with some in the wash, I was missing a fitted sheet for my bed. I decided to use a flat sheet, knowing I would find it rumpled and loose the next day. Imagine my surprise when it stayed smoothly in place (and I'm no expert in tucking sheets) the whole week! I can hardly remember when we didn't have fitted sheets!

It reminded me of something I read about Jackie Kennedy once. Growing up, she was highly influenced by a frugal relative (aunt, I think) who taught her how to make a bed. She learned to put the bottom (flat) sheet in the laundry, replace it with the top sheet, and put a fresh sheet on the top only. This cycle saved on laundry costs. (I also read that her lavish shopping trips while in the White House were actually her way of getting cash--she would re-sell the racks of duplicate shirts, shoes, and other items she charged to her husband!)

King David spared no expense in providing things for building the temple. He scoured the country for the finest materials, using a wealth of gold, silver, bronze, iron and precious stones and gems, besides cedar and hewn stone. The people gave of their treasures to contribute to the house of God. He says in I Chronicles 29:14, "But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee."

God owns it all, and as good stewards, it is our responsiblity to handle it wisely, not forgetting to render unto God what is God's.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Desires of our Heart

My husband is loving his retirement! This morning before he even got up, he said, "I have to go walk in Cann Gardens today to get some exercise." He knows I can't walk with him due to a sore knee. I noticed he also had his Bible, devotional reader and notepad under his arm when he left, and I know the park has gazebos. "Then I will get some water, and we're out of milk," he said.

Of course, I can read between the lines, because the supermarket where he gets the water also has a Starbucks and a magazine rack nearby. I can see him thoroughly enjoying himself dawdling over a cup of coffee and a guitar or farming magazine without my hurrying him along! Such innocent pleasures.

Maybe he's resting up from last week when he studied non-stop for a sermon as guest preacher at a local church on Sunday. His sermon was an amazing success, although he really didn't get into his topic, instead giving his testimony of surviving armed robberies and of his mother's miraculous healing in the fifties. He was under a strong anointing, and the congregation gave rapt attention.

Anyway, I have plenty to do this morning: Taking advantage of the silence for my own quiet time, doing dishes and laundry, besides getting myself ready for errands later, not to mention my creative side wanting to write this blog!

In reality, I know Howard is experiencing suppressed excitement and marking time until 3:00 o'clock when he and a friend have arranged a plan to go fishing! I just heard him knocking at the screen door I had fastened. "Where's the water?" I asked, and he said he decided to wait for me! We usually do errands together, anyway.

Our summer has been pretty uneventful without our usual trips to see family, due to eye appointments and a scheduled cataract surgery for him next week. Then recuperation time and surgery for the other eye will follow. If all goes well, however, the travel plans I have hatched in my head may come to pass!

In the Lord's timing, our son Mark and his wife Rhonda have just moved to Austin, Texas after several years in North Carolina. They have invited us to come see them, but it's a long drive. However, we can take the train to San Antonio, where Mark said they would meet us. Today son Jamie, from Houston, mentions in a phone call that they will visit his brother in a few weeks. We agreed it would be the perfect opportunity to be there at the same time and extend our visit to go home with Jamie's family! I've been dying to see their new home, as well!

Last night at church, our pastor preached on being surrendered to God's will. He stressed that it is not His will for Christians to be restless and discontent, because He wants us to have peace. I have been very restless with longing to see those of our kids and grandkids who live far away. I gave my restlessness to God in prayer as an act of surrender. Then today, this possibility opens up! Now I am the one with suppressed excitement! Now that's what retirement is all about!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Earth is the Lords, and the Fulness Thereof

"Mom, we're on the way home from the Farmer's Market with some vegetables we'd like to drop by," my daughter-in-law Joanna said over the phone. I was drying my hair, so I said, "Good! Give me 15 minutes," to which she repied, "We're almost to your house right now!"

I met them on the porch where they poured out a bounty of cucumbers, new potatoes, huge sweet onions, corn, and lots of green tomatoes on our wicker table top. "We asked about the prices, and the man said, 'You can just have it all; we're ready to go home!'" Joanna said. Apparently, the morning rush was over and it was getting hot outside.

They divided the spoil with us, so the first night we had new potatoes, fried green tomatoes and corn on the cob to go with the rest of the pond-caught bass in the freezer that I rolled in cornmeal and fried up. It all tasted scrumptious!

Today there was a knock at the door, and I was surprised to see our friend David with a large bag in his hand. "Cindy sent you some vegetables from her garden," he explained. Peering into the bag, I saw beautiful, long ears of fresh-husked corn, plus squash and zucchini. "I don't have a green thumb, but my wife does," her proud husband admitted.

Well, neither do I! But I'm glad Cindy loves to garden, even though it must be hard work, but from her comments about it on Facebook, I can tell it's a labor of love. We had some of the corn with supper tonight.

There is nothing like harvest! My husband has referred many times in sermons to how his father loved harvest time. "Harvest meant payday!" he would exclaim. He told of watching the farmers' parade of trucks go past his dad's store on the way to the grain elevator in Blackwell.

One of Howard's favorite memories is of the increased trade in the store during that time. He paints a vivid word picture of a farm lady jumping out of her car almost before it came to a stop, running into Harry's Market and calling out her order, for she had harvest crews to feed. "Three pounds of barbequed ham!"(An expensive delicacy in the fifties.) Steaks, thick cheese carved from the wheel, chops and all manner of cold cuts were purchased with reckless abandon. The cash register rang merrily all day long to the young boy's fascination.

The Bible speaks about harvest, too, in John 4:35 which says the fields are already white to harvest, speaking of souls in need of salvation. Then, during the Messianic reign when David's kingdom is restored, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed..." Amos 9:13.

There is a sense of urgency in harvest. If crops are to be saved, they must be harvested at the optimum time. Another verse in the Bible says, "The harvest is past, summer has ended, and we are not saved," Jeremiah 8:20. A timely warning to all!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On a Tuesday Morning

So that's where they get the name! I thought, when I saw an ad for Tuesday Morning on television that said their sales always start on Tuesday morning! Since today was Tuesday, I suggested that we go for an outing and drive over to Stillwater. I had been to that store a few times before, but not since last Christmas season until recently.

We poked around the store a bit, finding a couple of bargains I liked amid things marked 60, 70, and 80% off. As we left, I asked the sales clerk, "So what were your big sale items today? I know you have them on Tuesday."

"Well, we used to," she said. "Now our trucks come in on Sunday. Here are the specials," she said, handing me a glossy flier. Who knew?

It was getting near lunchtime by now, so we headed for Chick-Fila where we usually eat when we are in town. As we were finishing up, Howard asked if I would like to share a brownie and went to the counter to order one. I saw a young man taking the vases of flowers from the tables and replacing them with new bouquets. "May I switch out your flowers?" he asked as he reached over me.

"Is it time for the new season already?" I asked, thinking he was replacing them with fall flowers.

"No, we get a new shipment every Tuesday and change them out." he replied.

"You mean they're real?" I exclaimed. I had always thought they were plastic! Wow! Fresh flowers! My stuffy nose had given me no clue! I wanted to tell Howard, but he was taking a long time at the counter. What was keeping him? I wondered.

"They don't serve brownies anymore," he explained when he came back with a chocolate chip cookie. I asked what took so long, and he said he had to wait while they baked it! And it was warm with the chocolate chips gooey from the oven. Apparently flowers weren't the only thing that was fresh! I liked that idea!

In the Bible, the children of Israel gathered fresh manna every morning during their wilderness journey. No leftovers here! Something else that is new every morning is the Lord's mercy. Lamentations 3:23 says, "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (23) They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." And that is true every morning, not just on Tuesdays!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

I turned on my computer the other day and an apparition of haunting beauty in a crumpled artistic drawing of a young child filled the screen. What was this? It floated through my memory in its familiarity, like wisps of a dream I could not quite re-capture. The message beneath it read, "I found this behind a drawer of the built-in cabinets in the hall. I thought it might be one of your children."

It was from the current owner of the house we had lived in for 20 years in Mississippi and from which we had moved some 18 years ago. "It is dated 1971," the note went on, giving the artist's name. It looked remarkably like our son Trevor at age two, with a mop of tousled hair (had it been in color instead of black-and-white I would have had no trouble recognizing it as red) in a play suit that looked like one I remembered that his brother had outgrown.

I wrote back that I would love to have it, for I was having faint recollections of two such sketches, one being of 4-year-old Greg as well. But they had disappeared "like wineskins in the smoke" from my memory and from among my possessions. I gave my address, and the thoughtful lady said she would be glad to send it. What a considerate act of kindness! And so unexpected!

A few days ago my daughter Julie in Tennesee said at the end of a phone conversation, "Oh, we sent you and Dad a love offering. You should get it by tomorrow." What? How nice! When the mail came that afternoon there was her envelope, addressed in pencil in her familiar hand! I turned it over and couldn't believe my eyes. It was not sealed! The thin strip of wax paper film over the glue had not even been removed.

I despaired that there would be anything inside and found a neatly folded sheet of paper. In suspense, I unfolded it to see two $20 bills. She had sent cash in an unsealed envelope! I called her to confirm the amount, and nothing was missing! We must have honest postal workers or God just shielded the oversight from their eyes!

When we had family over for July 4th, my daughter-in-law was taking salad makings from the fridge and I mentioned that it wasn't cooling properly. "Our milk sours and our produce spoils," I said, guiding her to the freshest tomatoes. A couple of days later, our son calls and says, "I ordered you a new refrigerator. It will be here Tuesday." What a wonderful surprise!

We picked it up from Sears in Howard's truck, and our grandson helped us move the old appliance out. He had to leave for a few minutes, and my impatient husband began loading the old refrigerator on the dolley to get it to the garage. I tried to help him, and at last we got it down our sloped yard to the driveway.

We had collapsed to rest when there was a knock at the door. Two shirtless young men stood there. "Do you need help with your refrigerator? We noticed you struggling with it from across the street!" We gladly accepted, and by that time Adam had come back, so with all that youthful strength our new refrigerator was unloaded and soon installed!

Thank God for all the kind, wonderful people in the world!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

To the Rescue

Oh, no! I thought, with my heart sinking. Of the three chickens kept in the cage, I saw only one! "Howard!" I called, "There's only one chicken left! Something has gotten them!"

With a worried look, my husband approached the cage but then didn't seem too alarmed. I saw him take a stick, reach through the chicken wire and tip up an overturned box. Two very flustered chickens staggered out, their feathers ruffled and their combs drooping. "What happened?" I yelled, as they drank thirstily at the water pan.

He said they must have perched on the edge of the thin-board apple crate used as a nesting box, and it flipped over, penning them inside. "How did you know they were in there?" I asked incredulously. He had heard them fluttering and clucking as he walked up. A funny sight they were, too, the usually strutting, proud, black bantum rooster and a white leghorn hen, both looking thoroughly confused and deflated.

I couldn't believe it when, the next day, another one was trapped in the box! I think after freeing that one, Howard just left the box upside down.

Animals are unpredictable. The other night, our son, Greg, brought our lawn mower home from the farm in our truck. Assuming we were at church, they didn't knock, only unloaded and got ready to leave, though I was home and at last realizing they were here waved goodbye to them.

Later, as Howard and I were talking, I became aware that I had been hearing a dog bark for sometime. The steady, staccato barking made me say, "That sounds like Pebbles!" Upon investigating, I saw our son's small terrier with her front paws propped on the screen door demanding to be let in!

She must have gotten out of the family car that followed behind the truck! I hadn't even known she was here! She has stayed with us before when the family was away, so she was familiar with our house and obviously felt at home here. I let her in, and she ran to the kitchen where I poured some water in her bowl that was still here.

I tried to call Greg to tell him she was here, but he had obviously gone to bed. I reached our granddaughter who told her brother to come and get the dog. Greg told me the next day that Adam had come into his room about 11 p.m. saying, "Pebbles is at Mimi and Pa-Pa's house." We all laughed about it and thought it is was very cute that she opted to come in rather than find her way home several blocks away in the dark.

Animals are like people, in that they get themselves into predicaments where they need to be rescued. Jesus called us sheep, and we are apt to go astray or do something foolish at times, but thank God, we have a Savior, one who gives us the water of life and sets our feet on the right path.

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all," Isaiah 53:6. He is our Good Shepherd.