A Peanut Gallery Update

I can’t call my little Peanut my little kitten anymore.

She officially weighs 10 pounds at 10 months old.

She’s not so little anymore.

Since that fateful gotcha day, she’s been nothing but loving and sweet and affectionate. She’s the poster child for tortie cats. Or should I say, the poster kitten.

I suppose I’ll always remember June 30, 2017 as the day she picked me at the Williamson County Animal Shelter, nine days after my Lucy crossed the rainbow bridge.

I had another kitten ready to take home. He was in the crate and all that was left was to sign the papers and be on my way.

Then I turned around and saw a tiny paw stretched out, reaching toward me. I heard this piteous little mew and saw Peanut. I went over to her cage and reached my fingers through the cage to pet her. Immediately, she started purring and the rest is history.

The other cat probably ended up getting just as good of a home with someone else, and I got picked by a cat.

God does work in mysterious ways, even at animal shelters in the middle of June.

 

Another Excerpt from Narnia

But how could it be true, sir?” said Peter.

“Why do you say that?” asked the Professor.

“Well, for one thing,” said Peter, “if it was real why doesn’t everyone find this country every time they go to the wardrobe? I mean, there was nothing there when we looked; even Lucy didn’t pretend there was.”

“What has that to do with it?” said the Professor.

“Well, sir, if things are real, they’re there all the time.”

“Are they?” said the Professor; and Peter did not know quite what to say.

“But there was no time,” said Susan. “Lucy had had no time to have gone anywhere, even if there was such a place. She came running after us the very moment we were out of the room. It was less than a minute, and she pretended to have been away for hours.”

“That is the very thing that makes her story so likely to be true,” said the Professor. “If there really is a door in this house that leads to some other world (and I should warn you that this is a very strange house, and even I know very little about it)—if, I say, she had got into another world, I should not be at all surprised to find that the other world had a separate time of its own; so that however long you stayed there it would never take up any of our time. On the other hand, I don’t think many girls of her age would invent that idea for themselves. If she had been pretending, she would have hidden for a reasonable time before coming out and telling her story.”

“But do you really mean, sir,” said Peter, “that there could be other worlds—all over the place, just round the corner—like that?”

“Nothing is more probable,” said the Professor, taking off his spectacles and beginning to polish them, while he muttered to himself, “I wonder what they do teach them at these schools.”

“But what are we to do?” said Susan. She felt that the conversation was beginning to get off the point.

“My dear young lady,” said the Professor, suddenly looking up with a very sharp expression at both of them, “there is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which is well worth trying.”

“What’s that?” said Susan.

“We might all try minding our own business,” said he. And that was the end of that conversation.

From The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

My Cat Is Older (and Probably Smarter) than Your Honor Student and Other Thoughts


For those who are new to me and my blog posts, I have an elderly feline. Her name is Lucy and she’s 17. I realized while I was volunteering yet again for the Youth Evangelism Conference a couple of weekends ago that my cat is probably older than most of the students who were in attendance there. She may or may not also be smarter.

Think about it. She doesn’t have to get up at a ridiculously early hour to go off to work. She doesn’t run around like a headless chicken in order to feel productive. She does what she wants when she feels like it. At this point, that consists of mostly napping with the occasional snack and poop thrown in to keep things interesting.

I confess that I’m a bit jealous sometimes. I wish she could go to my job and I could stay home and do some napping. After all, she’s old enough to drive, right?

I refuse to engage in the debate about whether cats are better than dogs or visa versa. I like both. Right now, I have a cat and I love the fact that she’s super low-maintenance, as well as the world’s best lap cat. I also love dog sitting and hanging out with all manner of pups.

I think life’s better with pets. Unless you’re deathly allergic, I highly recommend one. They’re great companions and their love isn’t based on your looks or money or personality or anything other than you exist. Plus, it keeps you humble when you realize they love sniffing their own butts just as much as you.

So go get a pet if you don’t have one. Take care of it. Don’t abandon it when it gets old and less cute. If you’re going to have a dog perpetually chained up in the backyard 24/7, don’t get one. You’d be better off with a lawn ornament. But that’s definitely another topic for another blog post on another day.

 

Another Narnia Moment

For those tired of all the politics and misinformation being bandied about and passing as news, I bring you a Narnia moment from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. You’re welcome.

“‘Ooh!” said Susan, ‘I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.’

‘That you will, dearie, and no mistake,’ said Mrs. Beaver; ‘if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.’

‘Then he isn’t safe?’ said Lucy.

‘Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver; ‘don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you’ (C. S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe).

 

A Narnia Moment Brought to You By WordPress

I’m sharing one of my favorite Narnia moments with you from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

“‘They say Aslan is on the move—perhaps has already landed.’

And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning— either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer” (C. S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe).

 

Further Up and Further In

It’s time once again for a little snippet of Narnia, in case you were weary of all the fear-mongering and misinformation (on both sides) that passes for news these days.

“‘Peter,” said Lucy, ‘where is this, do you suppose?’ . . . “If you ask me,” said Edmund, ‘it’s like somewhere in the Narnian world. Look at those mountains ahead—and the big ice-mountains beyond them. Surely they’re rather like the mountains we used to see from Narnia, the ones up Westward beyond the Waterfall?’. . .

‘And yet they’re not like,’ said Lucy. ‘They’re different. They have more colors on them and they look further away than I remembered and they’re more . . . more . . . oh, I don’t know . . .’

‘More like the real thing,’ said the Lord Digory softly. . . .

‘But how can it be?’ said Peter. ‘For Aslan told us older ones that we should never return to Narnia, and here we are.’

‘Yes,” said Eustace. ‘And we saw it all destroyed and the sun put out.’

‘And it’s all so different,’ said Lucy.

‘The Eagle is right,’ said the Lord Digory. ‘Listen, Peter. When Aslan said you could never go back to Narnia, he meant the Narnia you were thinking of. But that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia which has always been here and always will be here: just as our own world, England and all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan’s real world. You need not mourn over Narnia, Lucy. All of the old Narnia that mattered, all the dear creatures, have been drawn into the real Narnia through the Door. And of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream.’ His voice stirred everyone like a trumpet as he spoke these words: but when he added under his breath ‘It’s all in Plato, all in Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at these schools!’ the older ones laughed. It was so exactly like the sort of thing they had heard him say long ago in that other world where his beard was grey instead of golden. He knew why they were laughing and joined in the laugh himself. But very quickly they all became grave again: for, as you know, there is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious. It is too good to waste on jokes. . . .

It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried:

‘I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!'” (C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle).

Your Narnia Fix

Here’s a sample out of my favorite of all the Narnia books. You may have a different book that you prefer, but this one is the one I love to read the most when I make my yearly visit to The Chronicles of Narnia.

Enjoy.

“‘And where are we heading for?’ asked Edmund.

‘Well,” said Caspian, ‘that’s rather a long story. Perhaps you remember that when I was a child my usurping uncle Miraz got rid of seven friends of my father’s (who might have taken my part) by sending them off to explore the unknown Eastern Seas beyond the Lone Islands.’

‘Yes,” said Lucy, ‘and none of them ever came back.’

‘Right. Well, on my coronation day, with Aslan’s approval, I swore an oath that, if once I established peace in Narnia, I would sail east myself for a year and a day to find my father’s friends or to learn of their deaths and avenge them if I could. . . . That is my main intention. But Reepicheep here has an even higher hope.’

Everyone’s eyes turned to the Mouse.

‘As high as my spirit,’ it said. ‘Though perhaps as small as my stature. Why should we not come to the very eastern end of the world? And what might we find there? I expect to find Aslan’s own country. It is always from the east, across the sea, that the great Lion comes to us.’

‘I say, that is an idea,’ said Edmund in an awed voice.

‘But do you think,” said Lucy, “Aslan’s country would be that sort of country—I mean, the sort you could ever sail to?’

‘I do not know, Madam,” said Reepicheep. “But there is this. When I was in my cradle, a wood woman, a Dryad, spoke this verse over me:

Where sky and water meet,

Where the waves grow sweet,

Doubt not, Reepicheep,

To find all you seek,

There is the utter East.

“I do not know what it means. But the spell of it has been on me all my life.’

From The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

Aslan Is on the Move

“They say Aslan is on the move—perhaps has already landed.”

And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning— either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.

From The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

Aslan is on the move.

 

Enjoying the Ride

I confess. I do like to go back and reread books and rematch movies. Sometimes, the second time is better than the first.

I can get caught up in the storyline and in wondering how it will all turn out. The next time, I already know how it ends, so I can relax a bit and enjoy the scenery a bit more.

I have another confession to make. I’ve read the last page in this Great Story and I already know how it ends. Jesus wins.

Knowing that, I can enjoy the journey more. I can look around and see the beauty in my life and actually be present in the moments as they occur.

There’s great peace in knowing that victory is the ultimate destiny for those who love God and belong to Him. I still love the idea that as believers, we fight not for victory but rather from it. Just as obedience doesn’t mean that God will love us more but that knowing fully the love of God can spur us to greater obedience out of gratitude than any sense of duty or obligation could ever incur.

At present, my story may not look anything like I hoped it would. It may not seem like it’s headed for a positive outcome. But what I read trumps what I can see with my eyes. God has told me how my story ends and even though I don’t fully know what it looks like, I do know it’s far better than any ending I could have devised on my own. It will be the perfect storybook ending.

I love the part in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader where Lucy reads the beautiful story and even though she tried her best to remember, soon forgets it all. Aslan later promises that He will be telling her story all the time to remind her.

The gospel is Jesus telling us our story and how it ends so that we don’t forget, so that we can be reminded when it feels like the present chapter can’t get any darker and that it will never get better.

Don’t give up on the Story. Trust the Storyteller to end it as only He knows how.

The end.

 

Listening to Your Fears Again

“‘Hush!’ said the other four, for now Aslan had stopped and turned and stood facing them, looking so majestic that they felt as glad as anyone can who feels afraid, and as afraid as anyone can who feels glad. The boys strode forward: Lucy made way for them: Susan and the Dwarf shrank back.

‘Oh, Aslan,’ said King Peter, dropping on one knee and raising the Lion’s heavy paw to his face, ‘I’m so glad. And I’m so sorry. I’ve been leading them wrong ever since we started and especially yesterday morning.’

‘My dear son,’ said Aslan. Then he turned and welcomed Edmund. ‘Well done,” were his words. Then, after an awful pause, the deep voice said, ‘Susan.’ Susan made no answer but the others thought she was crying. ‘You have listened to fears, child,’ said Aslan. ‘Come, let me breathe on you. Forget them. Are you brave again?’

‘A little, Aslan,’ said Susan” (C. S. Lewis, Prince Caspian).

Everyone has fears.  Everyone.

Your fears may tell you that you’re not good enough– and never will be.

Your fears may tell you that people would never want to get to know the real you– and if they did, they wouldn’t like it.

Your fears may tell you that you can never change– and that it’s too late to try anyhow.

Everyone has different kinds of fears, but they all have one thing in common. All that fear is based on a lie. As a pastor once said, FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.

Fear leaves out Christ. Fear doesn’t add God into the equation. Fear says that it is totally and completely up to you and that you’re not adequate to the challenge.

That’s partially true. You by yourself are not adequate for the challenge. But the God in you is. And He hasn’t left you to face your fears alone. He has provided a way out and a way through.

Let your fears lead you to the faith that leads you to worship, remembering that God has been faithful in the past and will not fail to do so in the future.