31 December 2018

Stuff that has made a real-life difference

I've been thinking a lot about this. I know I've written on some of it before, but for what it's worth, here are some things have had a hugely positive impact on our lives:

* Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University. First introduced to me by my good friend, Pr. Randy Asburry. It's astounding how simple it is, and how good it feels to be fiscally disciplined (and out of debt!). And if you really want to up the game, there's Mr. Money Mustache. 

* Treasury. It's been out for 10 years - and these days it seems like it's been around forever. Cin and I like to start the day at the kitchen table with buttered coffee (with cinnamon) in hand and the Treasury of Daily Prayer. How unthinkable to start the day without the Word, the wisdom of the ages, the song of the church, and prayer to God!

* Bodyweight exercises. Brad Wood's the fellow who first shared his routine on this with me. I've adapted it to myself, but it's so simple and I can do it quite literally anywhere. I've been known to sneak in a few pushups at the car dealership (waiting on some work to get done), at the airport, and of course in my living room. I've settled down to norm of 200 pushups Monday through Saturday (Sunday is rest day), and then two other days a week throwing in different stuff (pullups, dips, situps, kettlebells). I know that as I head down the stretch toward 60 I'm stronger than I was heading down the stretch to 50 and certainly at any time prior.

* Walking. It's not exercise. It is movement, of course, but it's mostly just head clearing. I love walking alone and I love walking with Cindi. Either way is great, silent or chatting. But walking is just my preferred way to move around.

* Standing. That is, at work! I love my standing desk. I go home each day quite refreshed, much better than when I SAT all day and came home exhausted. I know, it makes no sense to me either. But there you have it. 

* Konmari. This simple and beautiful method of evaluating your stuff is beyond par. We ended up keeping very little, but what we kept is all stuff that does indeed spark joy at every turn. Love it.

* Carnivory. That was our huge discovery this year. We both feel so much better on just meat, eggs, cheese, and fish. And the body composition difference is pronounced and fun. January is World Carnivore Month; why not give it a try and see how YOUR body reacts to a month of nothing but nourishing meat?

* Digital Minimalism. Think iPhone, iPad (for writing and such) and HomePod for music. 

* Audible and Podcasts. My commute has become my university classroom and library. I listen and learn and ponder. By the way, it was a Joe Rogan podcast with Jordan Peterson that got me to give carnivory a try! And I got to know Peterson by listening to his book 12 Rules.

* Mindfulness. Check out the free app from Oak for this. I find that nothing prepares me to meet the day with calm and clarity like a bit of time breathing and decluttering the mind. The freedom to act and not merely react and to aid you in refusing to allow the urgent but ultimately unimportant to push out the non-urgent but important things of life.

* Stoicism. Things in your control; things not in your control. A binary gift for learning what to concern yourself about and how to free the mind from useless preoccupations. Also cold (think Wim Hoff); in general Monday to Saturday, the shower ends on cold for as long as I can take it. 

What about for you? Have you found stuff that has made a lasting difference for the good in your life? What was it?

30 December 2018

The Sunday in the Octave

Our pastor's son experienced an accident yesterday that necessitated some emergency treatment and even as I write he's back at the hospital and preparing for a second surgical procedure on his mouth. Keep Elijah in your prayers, please.

I filled in for pastor at the early liturgy, and served as deacon to pastor at the second (our second pastor, Pr. Gleason, is serving a vacancy at a neighboring parish). I thought as I prayed my way through the liturgy what an utter blessing to worship in this place, where the old liturgy remains in its sturdy strength and the gospel joy permeates the whole of our worship.

Before the liturgy began I gathered in the Narthex with the acolytes and prepared for the opening hymn. Above the doors stands the passage from Genesis 28: “This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven." How utterly true. We entered to the strains of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” The traditional introit for the Sunday in the octave was transferred to Midnight Mass for us on Christmas from Lutheran Worship onward. Makes sense, of course, given the words, but I miss it on this Sunday, where it was at least an option in TLH. Still, Psalm 93 made a fine Introit with its focus on God's house. 

Another change is the new collect for the day. I miss the crisp and quintessentially unsentimental old collect: “Almighty and everlasting God, direct our actions according to Thy good pleasure, that in the name of Thy beloved Son, we may be made to abound in good works; through the same...” This is rather faithful to the Latin (though the Latin is a tad starker: that we may merit to abound in good works). The new collect reflects the unity between creation and redemption, confessing that as God has wonderfully created us, He has even more wondrously restored human nature through the incarnation.

Isaiah 11 and the words of love from Psalm 45 in the Gradual and then onto the Epistle (I always remember the summary of the rector's homily on the same in The Nine Tailors by Sayers) from Galatians four with its great confession: “But in the fullness of time...” The Alleluia with more from Psalm 93 and the contrast between the Lord’s majesty and the humble appearance of the babe in the Holy Virgin’s arms. The beautiful Gospel from Luke 2, the Presentation and the witness of Sts. Simeon and Anna to the child. 

And why does the genuflection during the Creed always touch so deeply during this time of the year? It can never be perfunctory when we think of kneeling before the Child. Onto “Let All together Praise Our God,” which Dr. Stephenson has forever ruined for me by pointing out the anaemic translation of stanza 4 in LSB. No, it's not His realm, His glory and His name He gives auf Deutsch, but the luminous Godhead that he has come to bestow upon us. Awesome. “God became man that man might become god” as the Fathers are all wont to confess.

A visit with Simeon, Mary, Joseph, and Anna and how the Child prepares us one and all to depart in peace. “Create in Me” and then the offering gathered, the table prepared. The intercessions for the church, her pastors, the government and the nations, those in afflictions, all those gathered together for that service, the honoring of the saints who have gone before (especially the Virgin Mother, St. Joseph, St. Simeon and St. Anna) and the prayer for the worthy reception of the the miracle about to unfold before us in the most holy Eucharist.

The lines of chant whose tune is so ancient, untouched through these long centuries: The Lord be with you...Lift up your hearts... Let us give thanks to the Lord our God... And the preface for Christmastide, the invitation to marvel at how through the Word made flesh God would draw our hearts to love that which is not seen, the Father. Joining with angels and archangels in adoration as the endless cry rings out: Holy, holy, holy...blessed is He that cometh...

The solemn time of consecration: the Our Father with its joyous Doxology and then the very Words of Christ that give to us, deliver to us, exactly what He promises. His body, given for you. His blood shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins. Peace and then adoration of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

The partaking of the Most Holy amid the raucous singing of hymns: St. Germanus' “A Great and Mighty Wonder,” shades of Good King Wenceslas in “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child” and then the shepherds’ joy in “Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising.” We have seen, tasted, touched the very body and blood of the Son of God, hidden beneath the form of the mean earthly elements, and so with Simeon we are bold to pray Nunc Dimittis. A final thanksgiving to the Father for the gift of His Son and prayer to be governed always by His Spirit. Salutation, Benedicamus, and Benediction. And when your heart is so full you wonder if it could possibly hold anymore, along comes Luther's incomparable “In Peace and Joy I Now Depart.”

We leave knowing we could die. Right now, we could die and it would be just fine. We've been given in Christ a life that is stronger than any death we will ever face, a forgiveness greater than all the sin of the world, a place, a home, made heirs, joint-heirs, and so in Him and with Him and by Him we can cry: Abba, Father! And we know He will say to us: “Welcome home, child. Welcome home at last.”

25 December 2018

And then

There is the Divine Service on Christmas Day, technically the third Mass, though we sing only the first and the last...

From the merry song of the handbells as prelude to the solemn reading of the Kalends, from the joyful "O Come, All Ye Faithful" (with Wilcox descant on trumpet and with sopranos) to relishing the Gloria in Excelsis (being a bit more awake than last night),

from the wonderful ancient and terse collect of the day (though somewhere along the line, the "new" got lost from "birth") to the choir's joyful Psallite Unigenito (delightful macaronic piece by Praetorius - we sang the original with Latin and German),

from the Gospel from John 1 to the kneeling at the incarnatus est of the Nicene, from Luther's incomparable "We Praise You, Jesus, At Your Birth" to Pastor's preaching us the comfort of that Light that no darkness of our sin or death was able to extinguish,

from Es Ist Ein Ros to the intercessions that sweep up in love the concerns and joys of all and present them in Christ to the Father,

from the solemn chanting of Our Father and the Testament of Christ to the gift of the Savior's body and blood once again touching us, forgiving us, loving us, transforming us;

from the ringing and singing of Of the Father's Love to the joyous and triumphant dance with which we waltz our way to the Kingdom: "Now Sing We Now Rejoice!" and Bach's prelude on the same as the postlude

From start to finish, from Alpha to Omega, it was all the joy of Jesus.

His incarnation for us the incontrovertible testimony of the Father's eternal and unfathomable love for the race of men.

Thank you to Pastor, to Kantor, to the many musicians, to the singers, to all who brought us such joyful gifts.

Words cannot describe the blessing of being able to worship in an Orthodox Lutheran parish, devoted to our church's rich musical and liturgical heritage and joyfully determined to hear nothing but the preaching of God's pure Word, where every song and sermon invites us to doxology: Glory to you, Lord Jesus, our new born king!


A pleasantly full church for Evening Prayer and the children's Christmas service... Pastor in his cope, seated amid singing angels (one of them Lydia!) and shepherds... Violins, viola, cello, tambourine, timpani, organ, saxophone, bells, choir... Young folks telling the story in the ancient words... Es ist ein Ros and Stille Nacht as the old walls smiled to hear the old language again ring out... Solemn Midnight Divine Service, the first Mass of Christmas Day... Trumpet and organ and strings: "Joy to the World!"..."When all was still and it was midnight"... Welcoming back the Gloria in Excelsis, absent since Advent began... Verbum caro factum est; Habitavit in nobis, alleluia, so softly and gently from the choir... Venite's call as the Alleluia Verse, summoning us to worship and bow down before the Lord, now in the manger... "In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus"... Olivia soloing the angel's message in "From Heaven Above" and the choir softly singing "Ah, dearest Jesus"... Pastor's homily God...born...of Mary...for you...to take away your sin...manger and cross...meets you here in His same body an blood...God's love for you... "Still, still, still" with strings and choir... The solemn consecration as Bethlehem touches down in Hamel and we join the angels to worship the newborn King and the shepherds to welcome Him... David's "O Holy Night"...Gerhardt's "All My Heart" as I knelt beside David and Cindi and received the miracle of divine love upon my tongue and into my heart... Candles and darkness... "Stille nacht" and the organ disappearing to let us almost whisper the words together in awe: "Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth..."

23 December 2018

Vesper Thoughts

Today as the sun was setting I was feeling nostalgic. I pulled out my old TLH and prayed Vespers, using the appointed Psalm for this Sunday and the Gospel reading and, of course, the antiphon for Magnificat "O Emmanuel." Our parish has used Evening Prayer almost exclusively for a number of years, and it is easy to understand why. It is a very beautiful liturgy and accessible. But there are days when I just miss plain old Vespers. In American liturgies the opening versicle from Matins was also stuck onto Vespers (not exactly sure how that came to be; I don't think any of the old Church Orders did that), but aside from that, Vespers is pretty much untouched from the way that Western Christians gathered to pray it for centuries. It has always had a soft spot in the pious hearts of God's people wherever it has been used. Opening Versicle(s) and Gloria Patri, Psalm(s), Lection, Responsory, possible sermon, Office Hymn, Versicle from Psalm 141 (or proper to the day), Magnificat with its antiphon, and the closing prayers (also simplicity itself: Kyrie, Our Father, Salutation, Collects, Benedicamus, or the Suffrages in place of the foregoing, particularly in penitential seasons). Again, American Lutheran liturgy added to the end as the beginning: a Benediction (the Apostolic). Vespers was just a wonderful way to welcome the evening lights and to do so with all the cleanness, directness, and simplicity of Western liturgy that I think the more ornate borrowing from the Oriental churches can't quite pull off. Not that Evening Prayer isn't beautiful and a gift; it is. Still, maybe it's just Christmas and remembering, but I do miss my old friend: Vespers.

15 December 2018

The latest in our weird food journey

So, if you go back far enough, I was enamored of Laurel's Kitchen and happy to eat vegetarian. We loved making our own bread, even bought our own wheat to grind. And we got fat and fatter. It was pretty unpleasant. I remember looking at pics from 2000 (the year I turned 40) and the size of my gut was ginormous. My face was fat. I had no shortage of chins.

We discovered low-carbing and happily embraced that. Both Cindi and I lost a ton of weight. Got fit, felt great. But we kept tweaking the diet to bring back old favorites. We put Splenda in everything and mastered the art of low carb breads. And guess what? Yup, the weight crept back up.

Then we found Paleo and pursued it with gusto. Good initial returns and then stalls. No more Splenda, of course, but honey and maple syrup took its place. Muffins and various creative uses of tapioca as "flour" and other such. Weight loss stalls.

But the weird thing to me wasn't the increasing weight. It was more that I kept having stomach issues. I had had intestinal surgery right when I was first born (have a butt-ugly scar that runs down the middle of my tummy and throws the navel off-center in a way that drives this symmetry lover crazy), and I'd just always assumed stomach issues were just the way life would be for me.

Back in the summer, late July, heard the strangest few podcasts on Joe Rogan with Dr. Peterson and Dr. Baker. Carnivore? Really? Sounded bizarre beyond belief. But, you know, I wondered. I talked to Cindi about it and we took the plunge. Went against absolutely everything we'd ever heard anywhere. Kids concerned that we're wrecking our health.

It's been five months and...wow. Body transformation like I've never seen despite working out for a long time. I'm not doing all that much. Just body weight exercises. And yet, I look in the mirror in surprise every morning. That's ME? I still deal with a bit of loose skin (I think at my heaviest, when I wasn't weighing, I was about 200 on a very small frame and I'm, well, old). But, but, but: are those really my obliques? Unbelievable.

Stomach issues? What stomach issues??? I was firmly convinced MEAT was difficult to digest, veggies were easy and good for you. I had noticed when I ate broccoli that it didn't agree with me, but surely it was worth it to get all that nutrition, right? Wrong! Meat turns out to be the easiest thing to digest in all the world. No more fear of "accidents" (oh, yeah, that was a constant in the years before). Next to no gas, even. Seriously! Bad breath, which I had always blamed on the ridiculous amount of coffee I drank, took a decided change toward neutral. Weird, weird, weird.

Sleep? Off the charts. And this is what's most exciting: for Cindi too. Cindi has struggled to get a good night's sleep for years and years. Now, it is not unusual for us both to enjoy peaceful full night of rest. We check our sleep app in the a.m. and it regularly tells us: 100%.

Hunger? We're just usually not. Not for long stretches of time. My usual in the workweek is to enjoy some buttered coffee in the a.m. (cause we both love that) with prayers and then I'll eat a hardboiled egg post-workout, about 1 p.m. Dinner is usually over by six. So I generally just eat in a five hour window, leaving the remaining 19 hours of each day free for other activities. No "crashes" during the day because our blood sugar is just always stable.

Cravings? Oh, you mean like when you see some sweet sitting there or smell it? This is the weirdest part of all. You don't care. You don't want it. It doesn't affect you. My kids have told me: "Dad, you have a will of iron." I don't, but they think I do. But Cindi's sweet tooth has always been her downfall. But SHE has no cravings either. None. We enjoyed a fun evening with friends last night who had some sweet concoction at the end. Zero temptation. And when folks say: "Oh, but I'm sorry you can't have any" our usual response is: "we can, but we don't want any. Seriously. You enjoy!"

But, but, but...what do you eat? Stuff we really enjoy: Hamburgers and steaks, salmon, shrimp and scallops and crab, bacon (lots and lots of bacon) and sausages and eggs of every variety, roast beef and some summer sausage (we avoid the kind with corn syrup), occasionally lamb, cheeses of all kinds. No fruits. No veggies. No nuts. No organ meats (we really found we didn't like them). We will still indulge in the occasional glass of red wine, and we drink prodigious amounts of coffee (so far, without any bad effect), and we drink water (including sparkling water).

Lauren's given it a whirl and she's lost quite a bit, as has Cindi. My own weight has stabilized at around 143 to 145. Tons of energy (like I needed more of that, I know). It's simplified cooking and cleanup beyond belief. Meat's easy to prep, cook and clean up. Our latest weirdness but I suspect we just might have landed in the way we'll be eating for years to come.

P.S. We also bought an airfryer and found that THIS is how you make hardcooked eggs. They peel perfectly without exception.

11 December 2018

When you’ve hunted for years and years

...and the internet enables you to find the answer! Actually, the library would have too, but one has to GO there and know where to look.

I've long been fascinated by a quote that Chemnitz attributed to Chrysostom about the Sacred Scriptures:

When you shall see the wicked heresy, which is the army of the Antichrist, standing in the holy places of the church, then let those who are in Judea head for the mountains, that is, those who are Christians should head for the Scriptures. For the true Judea is Christendom, and the mountains are the Scriptures of the prophets and apostles, as it is written, 'Her foundations are in the holy mountains.' But why should all Christians at this time head for the Scriptures? Because in this period in which heresy has taken possession of the churches there can be no proof of true Christianity nor any other refuge for Christians who want to know the truth of the faith except the divine Scriptures. Earlier we showed in many ways which is the church of Christ, and which heathenism. But now there is for those who want to know which is the true church of Christ no way to know it except only through the Scriptures. Why? Because heresy has everything just like the church. How, then, will any who wants to know which is the true church of Christ know it in the midst of this great confusion resulting from this similarity, except only through the Scriptures? 

This is called Homily 49. It actually comes from an interesting work. It was known as Opus Imperfectum, A Commentary on Matthew. You can read it in PG 56 (p. 748, 749) in Google Books. Chemnitz does reproduce the work pretty faithfully. In the middle ages, it was indeed attributed to Chrysostom, and Aquinas thought highly of the work. He once remarked that he'd rather have the rest of this commentary (it's Imperfectum because it has massive parts AWOL), than be the mayor of Paris (well, who would want to be the mayor of Paris these days? Kyrie eleison!!!). Pope Nicholas I (d. 867) thought it was from Chrysostom's hand. It was Erasmus who demonstrated that this was NOT written by Chrysostom. Oden notes that there's an odd interplay between the figurative and the literal in the work, and some slight Arianizing tendencies (sometimes these passages were expunged - I doubt Thomas ever saw them). 

But finally, mystery solved. If CPH wants to footnote the passage accurately in Examen, it has a reference!

P.S. What clued me in was hunting in President Harrison’s splendid library in Chemnitz’ Harmony of the Gospels and finding this page:

06 December 2018

You know

It's going to be a most joyous Christmas when we get to sing Praetorius' Psallite:

Psallite, unigenito
Christo Dei Filio, Christo Dei Filio,
Redemptori Domino, puerulo, jacenti in praesepio.

Ein kleines Kindelein liegt in dem Krippelein;
Alle liebe Engelein dienen dem Kindelein, und singen ihm fein,

Psallite, unigenito
Christo Dei Filio, Christo Dei Filio,
Redemptori Domino, puerulo, jacenti in praesepio.  

Beatus Vir

What’s lost when you start "fixing" the Scriptures to avoid "offending"? Maybe Jesus?

Consider this example:

From the version of the Psalter used in the latest American Book of Common Prayer and borrowed by Lutheran Book of Worship and used in For All the Saints, Psalm 1 begins: "Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked." This in place of the classic Beatus Vir: "Blessed is the man who..." 

Happy??? Images of the Be Happy Attitudes by Schaller! This happyizing loses the connection to the promise to Abraham: "and in your Seed all the families of the earth will be blessed." And even worse, the plural loses the reference to Christ. For there is only ONE man who is so blessed. Augustine begins his enarration on the first psalm with the observation:

Blessed is the man that has not gone away in the counsel of the ungodly Psalm 1:1. This is to be understood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord Man.

The Doctor of Grace nails it. But the version attentive to modern sensitivies simply misses the boat, or rather, the Christ, which is far worse.

04 December 2018

Awaiting a Golden Tail

"Be  comforted, little dog, in the resurrection you too shall have a golden tail"—Martin Luther

Stuart brought her to us, though his daughter Lydia had picked her out. It was the year that Bekah entered seventh grade. No question she was the runt of the litter. Her ears were always ginormous. "Will she ever grow into those ears?" we all wondered. We gave her the name Lucy. As the years went on, I joked more than once that it was clearly short for Lucifer!

A beagle of dimunitive size, and for much of her life, strikingly black like a beagle pup. My dad had always favored beagles (being a good country boy) and so had I. She was our second. But raised with our two indoor cats, Pumpkin and Katie, she developed oddly feline habits. She liked to perch up high and mastered the art of doing so in some rather precarious positions. She could balance on the back of a narrow topped chair if it gave her a nice view out the window. She also tried repeatedly to imitate the cats in jumping off high places. She never landed so gracefully and finally this caused her some real trouble. More on that in a minute.

I remember writing at my laptop, with her buddy Pumpkin the cat curling his tail around my keyboard and Lucy as a puppy in a cat carrier on my desk beside me, happily snoozing away.

She was stubborn, but not stupid. We never had to teach her to play fetch. She did it from the start. She loved to chase after a ball and bring it back...just out of your reach before she headed off again. David worked with her to teach her all manner of tricks. She learned to beg, to lay, to sit, and impressively to dance (a nice twirl). Oh, she'd do anything for food. She was a hound, after all. If David was her trainer, she was Bekah's baby from the get go. Slept with her. Loved on her. Just wanted always to be with her. 

I'll never forget the one Christmas we put her Christmas present down on the floor and had the video out and told her it was hers. She had a blast. She attacked it and pulled off the ribbons and ran around the room with the paper and finally enjoyed the gift inside. I don't even remember what it was. Just remember being shocked at how a dog opened a Christmas present with evident joy and celebration. Go figure.

Then there was “the evil thing” - the vacuum cleaner! It lived in the hall closet, but whenever it made its loud appearance, she’d attack it just to make sure we were safe. And we used to sometimes just say: “eeeeeeeeevil thing” and she take off baying down the hall, ready to pounce as soon as the door were opened!

Rabbits! The first time she saw a rabbit as I walked with her on a leash. That walk was over. I had to pick her up and carry her, because all she had on her mind was howling after that bunny. We could see her age in the way she stopped noticing them in our yard. 

But if she loved to chase rabbits, her real obsession was...FOOD! We kept her on a pretty strict diet and she retained her beautiful shape well into old age. Her naughty antics? Food. The day David took a bite out of a pizza and set the whole pizza pie on the floor before running to the bathroom. That tiny hounddog ate every bit of that pizza but that slice he had. She lay in her crate basically motionless for days! Or the Christmas when the chocolate pie that sat on the edge of the buffet proved too great a temptation and she ate a nice chunk out of it from the chair next to the buffet before we jailed her in crate for the rest of the day. Or the day that David brought in a nice pecan pie and left it on the floor of the garage as he was getting some more stuff in and, well, she found it. David and floors. You might be noticing a pattern. Lucy sure did! 

But nothing was safe. She'd hop up into a chair and jump onto the table in a flash. Just like a cat. And she knew it was wrong. She's hear you coming and plunge directly to the floor. More than one trip to the vet over the damage she did her back. Until the time she really screwed it up. We thought she'd paralyzed it for good. Lauren was tending her and let her out and then noticed that she couldn't use her back legs. It got worse as the day went on. On the trip to the vet that day with Bekah I thought for sure we were putting her down. I was crying along the way and trying to prep Bekah for the inevitable.

But if Lucy was stubborn, she was no match for Bekah! The doctor though she'd had a stroke or something to compromise her spinal cord. But when he stuck a needle between the nails of her back feet, she twitched. He thought, there was a slight possibility she might regain some use of her two back legs. That was all Bekah needed to hear. I was not allowed to put her down. So I came home with a dog that couldn't walk. We used a sling under backsides and her front feet cheerfully went wherever she wanted to go. This went on for days and we even contemplating purchasing a doggie scooter of sorts. 

Lo and behold, as the days went on, she began to compensate in a very odd way. She hunched her back and her legs stiffly started to go roughly in the direction her brain was telling them. She was never the same again, but she was finally even able to run, sort of, and she seemed as bloody cheerful as ever. 

Her potty habits were always iffy. I remember clear as a day the time she climbed on Bekah's back as Bekah stretched out on the living room floor and just let loose. Number 1 only, thank heavens. Marking her territory? Who knows!  I think it was the classic case that she was never potty trained; we were trained to toss her out the door at regular intervals and she usually obliged. But as she grew so very old, she became truly incontinent and we resorted to diapers. Yes, our dog wore diapers. And we washed and changed them. And I thought nearly every day how I was just ready for that dog to go await the resurrection!!!

I had tried to bribe pastor to say at Bekah's wedding: "Who gives this woman and her dog to be married to this man?" He even turned down a bottle of scotch. Sigh. Andy was amazing though. He welcomed the dog into their new home and for the last months of her life, Lucy lived with Andy and Bekah. Bekah's big dream was for her to die at home and not be put down. To die surrounded with love. When we dog-sat her over thanksgiving, we strongly suspected that the end was in sight. She had lost so much weight and she only ate now and again. And the week after Thanksgiving, 15 years after she had first come into our lives, she finally breathed her last.

Devastating for Bekah and Andy, and yet, the end (as it so often does) makes it so that you were glad her suffering was finally over. By the time she died, she was nearly blind, deaf, and finally had lost all the zing that made her fun and infuriating while we got share her life. She just wandered kind of lost the last couple weeks. 

So be comforted, little dog. I can't wait to see you dance around your girl at the day of the resurrection when you'll show us that you now remember all those old tricks and can do even better ones! “Behold, I make all things new.” All things. Till then, little one!