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Category: Relationships

Puppy Love

Topic: Commitment                                                                                             Printer Friendly
Source: “I get rid of dogs as soon as they stop being cute puppies” by Shona Sibary, DAILY MAIL, Published: 16:30 EST, 27 August 2015
Link to Source: Click here to view source
Author: Illustration Exchange

ILLUSTRATION

Shoan Sibary has confessed to the DAILY MAIL, “I get rid of dogs as soon as they stop being cute puppies.”

Indeed, she has given away four dogs in four years.

puppy

 

 

 

 

She writes:

I’m a serial dogamist. In the early stages of the relationship I’m head over heels. I attend all the puppy classes. I don’t even begrudge picking up dog poo.

There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my new canine companion. But the moment things get complicated and they develop a problem, I don’t covet a dog-free existence like any other sane person might. Instead, I start wondering if there is another, more suitable dog out there.

Maybe one that is less bouncy, less barky, less inclined to moult everywhere. And so the new search begins and I cannot rest until I have found a replacement puppy to lie adoringly at my feet.

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Seeing Ourselves In 2 Dimensions

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Topic: Self-image
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:12; James 1:19
Source: “Why selfies and mirrors can make you feel weird,” by Starre Vartan, posted MOTHER NATURE NETWORK, 11/6/14
Author: Illustration Exchange

“It’s almost impossible to know what you truly look like … and cameras and mirrors don’t help,” reports Starre Vartan for the Mother Nature Network. Everything from lens distortion to camera angles, the asymmetry of our facial features, and the variability and “flip-flop” effect of mirrors all combine to keep our true self-image a bit of a mystery. And the one factor that is sure to keep us in the dark is the fact the we can only ever see ourselves in 2 dimensions (as reflections or captured images) rather than in 3-D as other see us.

Application:

It’s strange to think that everyone can see us as we are, except us! And we’re not just left in the dark about our true physical appearance; we seem to be at a similar disadvantage when it comes to our emotional and spiritual state, as well. We have such distorted perceptions of who we truly are in our heart of hearts. Ego, pride, arrogance, and even shame, guilt, and despair can all serve to distort our self-image.

Looking into the mirror of the Word of God helps to make the image clearer. Even so, these images are still mere reflections, distorted by our own human limitations. We will not see ourselves as we truly are–in 3D–until we stand in the very presence of God. Then we will be know even as we are fully known.

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Additional Application:

One of the advantages of marriage is that we are blessed with a life partner who is able to see us as we are, in 3D. But even this doesn’t help us, should we refuse to humbly receive the truth our spouse attempts to speak into our lives.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

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The Anti-Loneliness Cafe

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Topic: Loneliness
Scripture: Revelation 3:20
Source: “Japan’s ‘anti-loneliness’ cafe goes viral” by Frances Cha, published CNN,Thu May 15, 2014
Author: Illustration Exchange

Hate to dine alone? Many people do. No worries. If you don’t have a date for dinner, you can now dine with a Moomin.

Wait, a what?!

Moomins, are a family of white, anime, hippo-like characters created by Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson. They’ve been around for decades, and have increased in popularity around the world, especially in anime-obsessed Japan, where Moomin House Cafes are catering to the solitary diner.

In a nod to the growing isolation of Japan’s workaholic labor force, giant, plush-toy Moomins are brought to the tables of solo diners in an effort to spare them the “awkward perils” of dining alone.

The original Moomin cafe opened in 2001, but pictures of diners “enjoying” the company of Moomins have recently gone viral, creating a huge surge in the cafe’s popularity. There are now three locations, with more on the horizon, if their “anti-loneliness” concept proves to be more than a passing fad.

Click here to see a diner with her Moomin companion.

Application:

Yes, Moomins are cute, but it seems a stretch to suggest they can quell the “awkward perils” of loneliness.

The truth is, even real people aren’t able to satisfy our need to be perfectly loved and fully accepted. For that we must seek the companionship of the only person who is actually capable of meeting these deeper, spiritual needs. To every lonely heart, Jesus says, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Revelation 3:20, NLT).

A Moomin might fill an empty seat, but only Jesus can fill an empty heart. Open your heart to Him and you will never have to fear the “awkward perils” of loneliness again!

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Cleaning Fairy Arrested for Unsolicited Housework

Printer Friendly Topic: Manipulation
Author: Kim Palmer, Reuters
Scripture: Revelation 3:20
Source: “‘Cleaning fairy’ arrested after shovelling snow without permission” By Kim Palmer, Reuters , published on Yahoo News, Thu, Jan 24, 2013
Contributor: Illustration Exchange

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – The Ohio woman dubbed “the cleaning fairy” by local media because she broke into a home and cleaned it without permission, was arrested on Tuesday after police found her shoveling snow from a driveway without the owner’s consent, police said.

Police in Elyria, a city 30 miles southwest of Cleveland, arrested Susan Warren, 53, on an outstanding warrant stemming from the separate incident last year where she entered a suburban Cleveland home, did some light cleaning and left a note charging the owner $75. …

According to Sherry Bush, the owner of the home, she called Warren to question if she had cleaned the wrong home by mistake and was told by Warren that there was no mistake, that she “does this all the time” and thought she was doing Bush a favor.

It would seem that both the homeowners and the police found the unsolicited cleanings much more an intrusion than a “favor.”

Application:

No one considers it a “favor” when someone forces something, even a good thing, on them. Rather than gratitude, it will only lead to resentment.

There is no better “favor” than the salvation that God offers to the world as an absolutely free gift. Nevertheless, God isn’t in the business of forcing favors we don’t want. Rather, His offer is as gracious as the gift itself.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

Note: An alternative application would be to use this story as a picture of the co-dependent person who offers help beyond the boundaries of what’s appropriate.

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A Day In The Life Of A Pastor

Printer Friendly Topic: Salvation
Author: Mitchell Dillon
Scripture: John 14:6
Source: Illustration Exchange

One of the essential responsibilities of the pastor is to visit the sick. This past week I set out for the ICU to visit a man who was recovering from complications brought about by a recent heart attack. I arrived at the front desk of the ward only to be told by the nurse that he was upstairs for tests and wouldn’t be down for a while, but that his daughter was in the room waiting for him to return. So I went in and introduced myself to her as the pastor of a church where her mother and father occasionally visit with friends.

She was thrilled to meet me and so appreciative that I would come to visit her dad. We hugged and I assured her that there where a lot of people praying for her father. As we waited together we began to talked about the weather, grandchildren, how the Miami Heat were playing. We were having a great time getting to know each other.

Finally, I asked her about the special therapy I knew they had planned for her father. “My father isn’t receiving that treatment,” she said, tilting her head slightly and staring curiously at me .

“Oh, umm,” I stumbled, “I was pretty sure that’s what I was told.”

Then she asked, “What was the last name of the man you came to visit today?” Yikes! The receptionist had given me the room number of another man with the same first name as the man I was actually there to visit! Can you say AWKWARD! As I slinked out the door I profusely apologized for the misunderstanding.

Application:

What is so interesting to me about this little mishap is how it points out the significance of a shared relationship. We had connected over what we thought was a common relationship. Once that relationship was removed, the connection went with it. Isn’t that exactly what Jesus was warning us of when He said, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Remove a relationship with Jesus and you lose any connection with the Father.

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