Friday, February 18, 2011


Nature is wonderful. All around us we see how the wonders of life interact with one another in the most incredible ways. February is often called the in between month in the mist of winter.
January is always the coldest and the harshest in the winter. We often see the worse the old man of winter tends to throw our way.
From late December until late March to early April we feel it the longest. January catching the most of it. March catches the wrath of a reluctant child not wanting to give up it's hold on freedom. March winds bring in it's own share of bad stuff to remind us that we should not be to quick to give up our winter coats just yet. More may still be lurking in the shadows of uncertainty.
February though is set to tease us with it's passiveness. The one month often forgotten between the fury of January and the wrath of March. Winter lingers through February teasing us with it's cold freezing temps while tempting us with it's brief relief of spring winds blowing the waves of new life across the lands.
This month has been a full taste of just how February teases us with it's in betweens. For the week we have felt the pleasant welcome of a relaxed winter. Tempting us with it's fifty degree temps in the daytime. Melting the snows of January's fury. Nature comes to life reeling in it's warmth taking advantage of this short lived reprieve.
Flocks of migrating geese fly to new feeding grounds along the river. Corn fields cut low enough to leave enough of it's harvest behind for the birds to fatten themselves for the migration across the land.
A large flock of turkey's lay in a field of prairie grass basking in the cool of the day. Under the comfort of a tall tree barren of it's leaves for the winter's sleep. The protection of the trees let's them enjoy the prairie grass bed for a time providing them needed rest and food in abundance around them.
Deer know the times well. When a herd of white tail bucks can leisurely graze in corn field in the late dusk of the day. Without fear from they're most dangerous predator to it's existence lingers ever watchful of their movements. To see them run jumping over fences in it's desperate attempt to flee to the protection of the stand of evergreen trees a meir one hundred yards.
February has the rare chance to bring forth one of natures most treasured of all joys. The chance emergence of new life. February doesn't often see new life come forth. With the cold winds lasting long into March.
Today brings forth that rare moment of joy to a new mother cat bring forth her first liter of kittens. Still very much a kitten herself the mother born of the natural instincts follow through as she goes on with the process.
While in a distant part of the state the cycle of life completes itself. With one life being born another is ending. There is no suffering with this death, no regrets. One is able to say goodbye. A beloved brother with family gathered to witness the final moments.
Life begins for one, young mother tending her young ever so tenderly. Another leaves with peace and surrender. Life indeed is so precious. Birds, deer, cats, people. Just a small group of inhabitants that join together in a most unusual way to embrace the season. Of love that is best known for February.
God brings life upon this world. Not always in loud shouts of hoopla. He doesn't always end life with cruelty. The joy and wonder of life is indeed unexpected and joyful. But it does promise to be memorable.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Apollo" Big Surprise

This is a short story I worked on awhile back but never finished. So I thought today I would finish it.

Apollo's Big Surprise
Anise Cassell

One of Apollo's favorite games is to pounce and nip when he would go on his afternoon walk with his best friends. Hootie the toy rat terrier had been his best friend since he first came to live on the family's farm when he was a pup. Collies need lots of open space to run. Most afternoons he would go for walks with his mistress and the older dachshund Cocoa and Hootie.
They would always walk in the fields behind the family's house keeping them away from roads and traffic. Apollo would run ahead of the others with Hootie not far behind. The two loved exploring as much open grass as they could. Apollo would double back and pounce on Hootie nip her behind the ears. Hootie would growl back at the over sized collie to send him on his way.
Their play made the walks enjoyable for the mistress. Cocoa let the collie know right from the start that she would not put up with nipping games. Once a mother the dachshund could promptly let the young pup know she meant business.
Apollo learned then not to cross the old girl. For his size he could easily rebel and start a real fight. The walks meant to much to him to give his mistress reason not to take them with her. He loved his mistress. He loved his time with Hootie just as much.
This walk was different. Cocoa always wondered off by herself exploring new smells in the furthest places from the others. Apollo newer intruded upon her spots. But something attracted him to this one. Cocoa suddenly started digging intently at the spot eager to dig up whatever was hidding from her.
Apollo smelled something in the earth that aroused his interest. He was not a digger. He rather leave the digging to others who were more apt to it. Coca's digging made Apollo join her search. Most times he would stand and wait for the prise to come jumping out at them. He would be the first to claim it. That always angered Cocoa. For which she would promptly nip him just to show him she would not stand for him snatching her fought for prize.
Apollo rolled his head back running away from her with the prize so she could not get it back. He would end up having to fight Hootie for the prize. She could always take it from him. Once it was dropped Hootie would snatch it up fast and run away before he could catch her.
The prize this time had a very different smell. Not like any he had uncovered in recent days. Apollo was eager to claim it this time. Whatever was hiding in the side of the hill Apollo's nose would dig it out. Dachshund's nose were much more finely tuned. Dachshund could uncover foxes in their holes for special hunts and badgers for which they get they're names.
Neither of those animals had ever been found on the farm. On occasion the badgers have been seen far from the farm making it's way across corn fields. But none so close to the family home. Skunks were far more common in these parts as are raccoons.
Apollo never failed to go to his mistress when she called him. This time he was to engrossed in his digging the hear her call. Hootie joined them. The small rat terrier eagerly joined in opposite Cocoa. She didn't like Hootie. So Hootie kept her distance.
"Polly what are you looking for big buy?"
Apollo felt the mistress hand gently pull him back. She knelt on one knee beside him to get a look at the hole they were digging. It was deep now. The dirt they were throwing back behind them had uncovered a tunnel. The digging had made it collapse under the pressure.
A mother field mouse jumped out at the dogs suddenly caring one baby in her jaws. She quickly dashed into the cover of tall grass stalks slipping away from the home wreckers before the dogs saw her. Apollo wanted to pursue her but the hold his mistress had held him fast.
He licked her cheek. The time for their walk was over. Apollo didn't mind. He had the best day ever. A field mouse escaped wasn't the disappointment it should have been. Sharing a dig with the old dog Cocoa and Hootie not only a surprise but to him it was his happiest moment in a dogs life.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

John 3:16

Today I listened to a couple of stories on the verse John 3:16. This was my very first bible verse I ever memorized when I was a child. It's one of those verses that on the surface just seem like just a line in the bible. But if you look closer at it you'll see it's more than that.
The first story I heard was of a little homeless boy selling newspapers on the street to survive. The night was getting cold and the boy went to a policeman to ask where he could sleep to be safe and warm. The officer pointed to a house and told him to go there and tell the woman who answered that John 3:16 sent him.
He did and the woman welcomed the boy in, gave him a warm place to sit before giving him a meal, a bath and a warm comfortable bed to sleep in. At the end of the piece the boy wondered what John 3:16 meant. He was grateful that it had provided for him all the things he needed.
When the woman try ed to explain to him what it meant, she couldn't.
The verse is the summation of the bible. The story is the verse in action.
God sent his only son willingly, freely, as the sacrificial lamb. He lived on Earth with us humans for such a short time. Living a mans live. Not a God man's life. But a human man's life. He gave up his divinity to put on humanity so show us that a life with God is very real. He was a teacher, a son, a man, who one day became our greatest spiritual leader the world has ever received.
He came as a baby one cold night, born in a stable, to the very lowest ones, who needed him most. The ones best able to accept him as he was.
Yes was a king, but that was not his mission. He didn't come to claim anything. He chose willingly, freely, to do exactly what he came to Earth to do. To fulfill the Holy Scriptures so we could stand before The Father free from the sins that have been with us since the time of Adam and Eve.
When we give to those in need we are doing what Jesus did when he was here. Living what he taught us. Humbling ourselves to help those in need. It's a blessing for us to put Jesus teachings to work. God blesses all those who give unreservedly, without thought of self.
When we really look at John 3:16 we will see the great sacrifice both God and HIS ONLY SON, planing, in advance, for this very fall that man had so long ago. That left it's crimson stain upon all people, Jesus choose, willingly, unreservedly, sacrificing himself, to pay the ultimate price to save a fallen race from the penalty or consequences of that sin.
Upon that rugged old cross Jesus paid the debt for all. Once. One time FOR ALL TIME.
Kindness is the total opposite of hate. Kindness shown is kindness returned.
The little boy saw it in action. He felt a full tummy, a warm bath he had never had before, and warm, clean bed inside a nice safe home with people who cared. That taste often is what it takes to help people to see just how good the Lord truly is.
When the verse is written out we can see a message hidden in those words.

For God so lo V ed
that He g A ve
His on L y
b E gotten
so N
tha T
who so ever w I ll
shall N ot
p E rish

VALENTINE. The symbol we use today to show love for one another.
This verse tells the sum total of the bible story itself. The GREATEST LOVE the world has ever known came to SEEK AND TO SAVE A LOST WORLD from their own sins. And RETURN them to God from which WE ALL came from.