Love Is Golden

Barkley Christmas2009-8210

As we travel through life what an awesome privilege it is to be able to experience both receiving and giving love. It’s what we are meant for–receiving love–giving love. If we are fortunate Barkley enough, we learn to excel at both and one day discover our love relationships not only come through other people, but often times, from the most unexpected places–such as a love relationship with a loyal and faithful pet. Indeed, the greatest loves of our lives can come from these most unexpected places!

I found love from a most unexpected place through a Golden Retriever, named “Sam.” Sam entered my life during a particularly dark and difficult time, yet she was able to reach inside my inner world and connect with me like no other. She taught me things no person could teach me. She reached places no person could reach. It was as if she instinctively knew me and what I needed. Knowing Sam convinced me that God created dogs for a specific purpose and reason. God used Sam to open wide the chambers of my heart and allow my broken heart to begin healing and experiencing unconditional love.

Sound crazy? Probably not so much if you’ve known and experienced the healing love of a great dog. There is not quite anything like this magnificent and marvelous kind of love.

As you think about the healing I received through my dog, Sam, consider the attributes of God, and His nature that He sends us through the creation of His furry friends, and what He might be wanting to reveal to us through them:

  • Love
  • Grace
  • Mercy
  • Faithful
  • Friend
  • Forgiving
  • Trusting
  • Trust
  • Unconditional
  • Loyal
  • Devotion
  • Joy
  • Gentle
  • Patient
  • Kind

Can’t you see it… can’t you catch a glimpse of God’s nature and His love? I can!

Animals, along with all of creation, reveal something about the character, nature and attributes of God. I believe animals hold a special place within all of creation and that maybe, just maybe, we do not begin to fully know nor understand all that God has planned for us unless we include all of His creation!

Certainly, our animals can become a critical part of our stories as we journey towards healing and wholeness. They will teach us things about ourselves if we are willing to listen and learn. And yes, they teach us about God’s great love and passion for us. And yes, God can work through something as pure and simple as a dog. If we learn nothing else from our faithful and furry friends, we should learn to receive the kind of love, where nothing is expected in return–through them we can learn to soak in the fact that we are simply loved!

God bless you and may you see Him through all He has created–even through the unconditional and forgiving love of a dog!


On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2012, my daughter, son-in-love, granddaughter and grandson unexpectedly and painfully had to say goodbye to their Golden Retriever, Barkley.

Barkley, sweet boy, this post, Love Is Golden, is in honor and memory of you. There are many things about you that I will remember, but mostly, it’s your kind and gentle spirit and your unconditional love that I will miss the most. You eagerly awaited to be loved by us, while you gently loved us, always figuring out how to get your head rubbed! You tried your best to convince us that you were trying to love on us, but, in reality you were getting your own love “fix!” 

Then, of course, there was your great love affair with food–especially chicken–lots and lots of chicken! You displayed great patience as you sat by our side and waited until you got your share of chicken. Turkey was a favorite, too! How I remember the time you waited so patiently, as you stole the Thanksgiving turkey right off the kitchen counter, claiming it as your very own!

It seems like yesterday you came to us, and in nine short years your time here is over. You leave us with many memories and thoughts to ponder as we lovingly grieve the loss of you. You became part of us–you will always be remembered–you will always be missed. You, Barkley, were a good boy, a faithful and loyal friend.

I will forever remember you and Sam as being best friends–tell Sam, I send my love!Sam & Barkley


Your love was golden!

May 5, 2003 ~ December 24, 2012


Your love was golden!

May 21, 1997 – November 29, 2007 

Sweet girl, everyday, I miss you!

20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Roman 1:20

FYI: Should you be interested in learning more about what God says about animals as part of His creation, and what we might expect at the loss of our most-loved and treasured four-legged friends, then I invite you to read more in Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven,”Chapters 39 & 40.

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Trials To Joy

A new year brings with it a new beginning and a fresh start. That’s how it feels for me as I leave the old year behind and settle into the new. Somehow, it makes me stop and reflect on what was and what is to come. Personally, I’m excited about moving forward to see what the new year will bring.

As I settle in, I bring with me those experiences that I have learned from–the ones that stretched me in some fashion, shape or form. Somehow, these are the experiences that seem to catch my attention and teach me the most about myself and God.

Recently, I was reading through Romans when Romans 5:1-5 caught my attention. This is where the apostle Paul tells us we can continue to rejoice even when we’re experiencing problems or trials. Now, that’s not necessarily an easy thing to do. My first reaction at the sign of trouble is to immediately scream and default to fear! I always manage to find my balance, but, first I seem to enjoy hanging out in fear.

Eventually, I grab ahold of the truth, and as truth promises to do peace and freedom come. Yet, according to Paul, we can rejoice during these problems and trials. Slowly but surely, I am discovering that all things I go through on this earth will teach me and refine me in some way. Paul tells us our problems and trials help us develop endurance, endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

Paul clearly intends for us to understand, that through Christ, our problems and trials can make us better people and should not make us angry, bitter people. Realizing this we can actually find reasons to praise God and even experience joy in the midst of our most painful moments.

Thank goodness life is a balance of incredible joy mixed in with times of suffering. Both will build us up, build our faith, and if we are paying attention and watching, we will see God in all things. We will know His presence and experience His perfect peace, both of which ultimately lead to incredible joy.

As you continue moving forward into this new year my hope and prayer for you is that you will live out life expecting great things, experiencing great joy and knowing without a doubt how dearly God loves you.Girl Field of Yellow Flowers

May God richly bless you as He turns your trials to joy!


Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.  We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:1-5

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.  Philippians 4:6-7

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalms 16:11

You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence. Psalms 21:6

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