Category Archives: animals

Oh Look! It’s a…

Good morning, friends! It’s Friday!

(cue the OLD Rebecca Black song – the remake is vulgar and sick).

Like I said in a previous post, I am not writing as much due to a lot of other responsibilities and the deadline I’m facing for my degree. However, as I was waking up this morning a thought crossed my mind that I thought I would share with you.

But be warned: this may trigger somebody.


Humans and Animals

I am not an atheist nor an evolutionist. On the other hand, I am keenly aware that many, many are. And what I have heard from so many of them is that humans are no different than any other animal. Am I wrong? Is that not what they say?

Now, to a certain degree I would agree with them. And I would hope that they would have a good explanation for things like altruistic love, self-awareness, higher purpose, and the fact that 99.9% of us don’t eat our young.

But there is something more basic that we all do, creationist and atheist alike… We check our puppies and kittens the same way. Keep reading.

Puppies and Kittens

It doesn’t have to be just dogs and cats; it could be a whole zoo full of critters. The point I am going to make is that whatever it is, when we first pick them up, we almost always ask a basic, fundamental question: Is it a boy or a girl?

Photo by bill emrich on Pexels.com

Granted, the way you check chickens and snakes might be different, but when it comes to most animals, especially little dogs and kittens, you pick them up, lift their tail or look at their belly, and search for a puppy pencil (penis).

If you don’t see anything protruding, you say, “It’s a little girl!” If you see a lipstick case, you say, “Oh, look! It’s a boy!

Modern Puppies and Kittens

The problem we are having now is that any time we pick up the little yard animals to check if they are boys or girls (male or female), we are running the risk of being sued by the kennel.

You see, even though you pick up a puppy and may immediately see the lid off the lipstick, assuming that puppy is a boy is an act of violence – you are attacking it with your pronouns. Fact is, regardless the genitalia, we have no way of knowing how that puppy or kitten identifies. We must wait until it squats or hikes its leg before we fill out its papers.

Further complicating things, there’s the issue of breeding. How many times have we simply assumed that putting a “male” and “female” whatever into a box would result in a litter of look-a-likes? Fact is, many of those times we did this with our German Shepherds and didn’t get a “match,” the problem might have been an offended, pronoun-assaulted hound with unrecognized identity issues!

Animals, or Not?

So, that brings me back full circle to the Creationist/Atheist comment. Are we animals, or not? If so, if we are no different from the rest of the cast of “Lion King,” singing “The Circle of Life” as we accept our fate as feline food, then why all the confusion? Why not just call it when you see it?

Personally, I think we are more than simply animals, just as I believe we were created in the image of God, similar in many ways, but distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom.

It’s just that either way – made in God’s image as male and female or nothing more than bipedal, hunting/gathering apes – there’s little basis for kennel to be co-ed.

Those are my thoughts for this Friday. Have a great weekend!

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Filed under animals, Culture Wars, General Observations, nature, politics

Hitting the Brakes

Lots of Deer

If there is one thing about living down here in middle Georgia, it is the abundance of deer. Rumor has it, if you’ve never destroyed at least one vehicle by hitting a deer, then you’re probably in cahoots with them.

No joke, on any given evening there are so many deer out nibbling road-side grass and conversing with each other across the street that it’s nearly impossible to travel a quarter-mile without seeing several.

To give you just one example, last night I was driving home from a neighboring town and saw (there could have been more) 13 deer on an 8-mile stretch of road. I saw probably double that amount on the previous twenty. That’s a LOT of deer!

Locked Down for Deer

All this talk about deer leads no leads me to the story I want to tell you about last night’s trip home.

Like I said, last night there were a lot of four-legged bumper bashers getting reacquainted in the moonlight. Because of this, I was very careful to maintain a slower speed – even slower than the speed limit – in order to give me a longer reaction time.

All of a sudden I saw a family of 4 or 5 (it could have been a club, a harem, or a dance crew…I don’t know) standing and facing each other from both sides of the two-lane road. Then, after a quick glance at me, then back at his/her crew, then back at me the dear decided that the best time to cross the road was right at the very moment I was passing him.

Incidentally, cats do the same thing. They wait until the very last second to cross the street right in front of you. Why do they do that? Why can’t they just wait till we pass? Why does it have to be RIGHT THEN?? It’s like for some reason they think they will never have another chance ever again – EVER!

“Now! Do it NOW, Puss!” cries a flea-bitten rat chaser from across the road. Puss sees the bright lights approaching and realizes he’s already on his 8th life – he can’t die on this side of the road, not tonight! There’s more life to be lived and lost on the other side with Kitten, Mitten, and Tabbytha. So, terrified and desperate, with all the speed he can muster Puss bounds across the street to meet up with his friends and lovers.

But I was no dummy, I tell you! I could tell what Bambi was about to do, so I applied pressure to my brake peddle. Then, just as I expected, he waited until almost the last second to jump in front of me!

I stood on my brake peddle and the 2-ton 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis’ anti-lock brakes did their job flawlessly.

And everything in my front and rear seats, including everything UNDER my seats, came to the front floor of my car.

That’s when I made a surprising discovery! I found my lost coffee mug!

Sudden Blessings

What’s the moral of the story? It’s pretty simple, really.

Sometimes it takes a sudden, unplanned, emergency-slamming-on-of-the-brakes kind of stop to help us find things we thought were lost forever. 

I’m thankful I didn’t hit that stupid deer. But I’m also thankful that I now have my favorite mug back on my desk and doing its job.

All it took was hitting the brakes for just a moment, slowing down, and re-evaluating the circumstances, such as was this trip really necessary?

Have a great day, guys! Be safe. Stay faithful.
Anthony

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Filed under animals, Humor, Life Lessons

Where Are You Resting?

Sometimes God uses the smallest things to remind us of His caring love, provision, and strength. 

As I look at this recent picture of my little George when he wasn’t feeling well, I can’t help but notice how at rest he is. Look at how little, yet how trusting. Just a tiny little guy, but he knows where he is loved, safe, and taken care of.

In reality, how much bigger is God than us? How much more capable is He than me when it comes to protecting, providing, and comforting? Why is it I run around the yard in a panic like a little dog with no home?

Trust – the word so often missing in our relationship with our heavenly Father. But with trust (and unconditional love) comes a readiness to lay our head on God’s strong arm. There we will find rest.

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

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Filed under animals, Faith, God

Father’s Day, Wednesday (and maybe a bonus)

I Just Don’t Feel Like Wri

Honestly, I just don’t feel like writing. I couldn’t even finish the header! I don’t know what’s come over me.

One possibility is that COVID-19 has thrown schedules to the wind. Because of that I’m not in the office for longer periods as often.

So, with only a laptop or my phone (which I’m on right now), it’s a lot of work to clean off my reading and drawing/painting table to set up my computer. Maybe I’m just spoiled. Or lazy.

Anyway, to compensate a little, I wanted to share some more videos from this past week.

More Videos

Sunday was Father’s Day. The first video is of me preaching live on Facebook. The sermon is “How to be a God-like Dad.” I edited it for YouTube.

The Sunday evening video shows me in my office talking about Acts 11 and primarily Barnabas. This was a personally convicting lesson. I need to be more of a Barnabas.

On Wednesday I continued with our study of Nehemiah. I had a great time! Call it preaching 😉

Oh, today is George’s birthday! He’s 1 year old (7 in dog years)!

Getting ready to ride! Yes, I’m exercising 🙂

 

Let me know your thoughts 🙂

God bless you guys!

 

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Filed under animals, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bible Study, Parenting, Preaching

Bunny Essentials?

 

Whilst shopping for dietary essentials like food, my attention was caught by what appeared to be a section dedicated to Easter items.

There I saw bunny ears, colored plastic eggs, stuffed bunnies, a few fuzzy rabbits, and a sign or two that read, “Bunny Crossing Hopping.” But what I did not expect to see was what has now become an “essential” in Easter bunny must-haves…

A crossbow.

Why? Seriously, why?

I know, none of this has anything to do with the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but even from a pagan perspective, why?

Essential? What part of bunny hopping and Easter egg hunts does a weapon play? Instead of “pin the tail on the donkey,” are we now teaching our biblically illiterate toddlers how to hurl a missile downrange?

What must needs be shot? IF the crossbow with two (count them, 2) arrows is essential, what is it that must be shot with a crossbow arrow and nothing else? I mean, the arrows are “essential,” or are they not? A shotgun with two (count them, 2) cartridges wouldn’t suffice?

Well, let’s be logical about this . . . If I were to go purchase some shotgun shells for hunting, odds are there would be some ducks printed on the box, if, of course, they were meant for duck hunting. If I were to go buy a deer rifle, and the company selling it wanted me to know it was great for the job, I might expect to see a deer somewhere in the packaging.

What do we see on the package of the “essential” crossbow and two (count’em, 2) arrows? The supposed Easter Bunny and a chicken.

Since when was it a thing to shoot the Easter Bunny??? And, more than that, who hunts chicken? You keep ’em in pens and wring their scrawny necks or just buy them already nugget-shaped.

Next thing we’ll be seeing are bear traps being sold as “Christmas Essentials.” I mean, there’s nothing more necessary to a wonderful Noel than catching that sneaky Chris Kringle coming down the chimney, right?

Oh, what fun!

I guess if you’re gonna have something resurrecting from the dead it’s ESSENTIAL you kill it first.

Got it. It all makes sense, now!

He was pierced for our transgressions with the bolt from a crossbow, then placed in a colored egg with some chocolate and jelly beans. 

I knew the “essential” truth of Easter was in there somewhere. Yep. 

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Filed under animals, Easter, General Observations

Less Labels; More Grace (Are You A Racist?)

First, a Dog Story

George and I in Walmart. He’s the world’s best conversation starter 😉

I have the sweetest, cutest, snuggliest, smartest, dog in the world. His name is George.

Before George came into my life, I had in mind the type of dog I wanted, and it wasn’t a big one; I wanted a Chorkie. I thought that’s what I got when I drove 2 hours into South Carolina to purchase him. At least that’s what I was told.

But this morning I was curious and did a little research. From what it appears, despite what the papers said, George looks a whole lot more like a long hair Chihuahua than a little boy dog who had a Yorkie daddy.  I think I was deceived.

So, through the course of conversation, one of our daughters asked me, “Are you OK with that?” With words of consolation, she then texted, “He has Yorkie coloring.” I replied, “Well, it’s not like I’m going to return him for a refund.”

Seriously, I have had this dog since August and have watched him grow, watched him learn, and felt my heart swell with affection. Do I get rid of him now because he might be a different breed than what I originally thought? Do I keep him because he might be the right color?

No! I love George! He’s part of our family.

Preference vs Prejudice

Folks, we show preferences all the time, and not only when it comes to selecting a particular dog bread we feel best meets our needs and desires. Preference is not a dirty word, nor a crime.

For example, I knew in advance of getting George that I did not want a German shepherd. I like German shepherds, but there’s no way I could keep one where we live – it would destroy the refinished hardwood floors! My preference was for a small, loyal, thinks-he’s-bigger-than-he-is little buddy, one that could meet me at the door without chewing it off the hinges.

Now, had I been offered a long-haired Chihuahua, I would have said “no.” Because of their typical “yappy” nature, their incessant shivering, and the whole “legally blond” thing, I preferred something more like a Yorkie (but Chorkies cost less). However, my prejudice (a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience) against owning a long hair Chihuahua proved unfounded. He is nothing like what I thought a long hair Chihuahua would be like.

“Breedism” and Racism

A pit bull bears it's teeth in this photo taken in New York City. A similar animal attacked a Michigan couple Sunday night, leaving them hospitalized with severe injuries.Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images

Credit: WHIO TV

But there are dogs I do not like – never have, never will. I do not like Dobermans, Rottweilers, or pit bulls. Actually, I can’t stand pit bulls. Frankly, I wouldn’t get too upset if you told me the whole breed had become extinct.

Honestly, not all pit bulls are bad dogs; some are very sweet. But in my personal opinion, none can be trusted and each one is a potential killer waiting to snap. You could, quite literally, call me a “breedist.” I think any other dog breed is better, despite any statistic or evidence to the contrary.

Racists and breedists are very much alike: Both hold prejudiced opinions of entire groups; they believe one group is inherently better than another; and no amount of logic or evidence can change their opinions.

Let’s look at some examples of what could be considered racist or breedist statements:

  • Never leave your pit bull alone with your child, not unless you want your child to die.
  • Never let your white daughter date a black boy, not unless you want her to get raped.
  • All dogs may go to heaven, but let one of those Rottweilers come in my yard and I’ll send it there.
  • Yes, God made all men in His image and Jesus died so all men could be saved, but if you bring in those black kids, don’t be surprised when things wind up missing.
  • See that big Doberman with the studded collar? He’s probably mean as the devil.
  • See that colored boy in the hoodie? He’s probably up to no good.

But now let’s look at some examples of what is NOT racism or breedism:

  • Ms. Brown was bit by a friend’s German shepherd several years ago. So bad was the bite that she required stitches to close the wound. Now, anytime she sees a German shepherd, a cold chill runs down her spine as she fights the urge to panic.
  • While at the counter paying for gas, a young African-American male in a blue hoodie stormed through the door and hit Mr. Jones with a bat, then robbed the store clerk before shooting him. Now, anytime Mr. Jones is approached by a black man in a hoodie he feels threatened.
  • The neighbor’s dog, a brindle-colored bull dog mix, often comes to our front door begging to come in and play with George. He’s a sweet dog, and he means no harm, but he doesn’t belong to us – he’s not our dog – and it won’t be two minutes before he “marks his territory” on our furniture. So, we say, “No!”, you can’t come in!
  • We should require better security at our nation’s borders so that people from other homes don’t waltz in through our front door like it was their own. We like invited guests, not assuming ones.

I’m tired of everybody throwing around the word “racist” when racism is rarely at play. For example, I’m NOT a breedist because I wanted a small dog more than a big dog (even though I was originally prejudiced against long hair Chihuahuas).

Also, because I pastor a church that’s attended by white people, I’m no more a racist than the pastor down the road who leads a black congregation. Where and how we prefer to worship should not be a necessary indicator of anything.

For the record, I do not believe I’m superior to anyone for any reason, including my skin color, my nationality, my sex, or my faith. I’m not a racist.

Who’s to Blame?

Yet when it comes to the fears or misconceptions we may have of each other, it might be a good idea to determine where all those prejudices are getting their start! Who promotes the stereotypes? Maybe it used to be where we grew up, but America is much more diverse and cross-cultured than it was back in the 1860’s and 1960’s.

Who regularly portrays negative images to sell a product? How many movies have you seen with cuddly pit bulls or Dobermans?How many Hollywood films have you seen where an innocent victim is attacked in a dark alley by three white guys wearing pastel-colored Izod’s? Many of the stereotypes that perpetuate prejudice are actually fueled by the same Hollywood studios that preach to us about bigotry and racism.

Check out this report: “What Hollywood movies do to perpetuate racial stereotypes.”

There’s always going to be the one who thinks himself superior to others, whether consciously or subconsciously, and much of that is going to be due to ignorance, not hate. For example, many early European missionaries to Africa felt their race was inherently superior to the “descendants of Cain,” yet they lovingly gave their lives to reach them with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

But much of what is labeled as “racism” today is, I believe, a manufactured commodity of the media culture; they create the fear, keep people ignorant, and feed off the perpetual misconceptions. The rest is nothing more than name-calling in order to shame, silence, or intimidate one’s political or social opponent.

Racism is wrong. Racism is a sin! But calling something a sin that’s not, in order to bring about a desired response by shaming people into fitting your personal template, whatever that may be, is nothing less than manipulative, tyrannical, cultural legalism.

So, why don’t we forgo all the name-calling and honestly get to the root issues that generate fear, distrust, and division. I’ve got a strong feeling most of us care more about each other than the other knows.

Less labels; more Grace.

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Filed under animals, Culture Wars, grace, legalism

Having Fun With George

I posted the following video on YouTube and Facebook, but I just had to share it with you guys.

George is my little buddy 🙂

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Filed under animals, Humor

Whadaya Do When Your Monkey Has the Hiccups? (and other song suggestions)

Have you ever had a song that you couldn’t get out of your head? Sometimes they’re so bad you’d think Myley Cyrus had written them just to give you bad dreams.

Then there are those strange, twisted, dementedly sick videos from Billie Eilish. Good grief! I don’t advise watching them, not unless you want to stain your brain.

What’s a person supposed to do when they listen to or watch something perverted or sick that determines to repeat over and over in your mind? How do you get rid of it?

The first thing you can do – and this is the most preferred option – is listen to some good Christian music that uplifts the name of Jesus as it lifts you out of the mire of Myley’s musings. I recommend the following (with links provided):

OR, if you’re really desperate, you can watch this video and listen to this song I wrote and recorded. Listen to it a couple of times, then sing along. It will drown out any memory of the typical soul-polluting garbage on the radio.

If you keep repeating it in your head, over and over, it might even drown out the “Baby Shark” nightmares.

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Filed under animals, Humor, Monday Monkey, music

What’s Your Pet’s Name and Why?

What is your dog’s name? 

For some reason, I’m feeling like there’s the possibility of something profound in this question. I don’t know why. Prohound? I don’t know.

Anyway, if you have a canine member of your family, what did you name it, and why?

My dog has several names, and there’s a legitimate reason for each.

  • George Boogidee Baker
    • George, because he’s named after the first dog I had when I first moved out of my parent’s house. That George was named after the name the Abominable Snow Man gave both Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck: “I will love him and hug him and pet him…” etc.
    • Boogidee, because he needed a middle name, and that’s something I called him in the mornings when I woke him up. It just came to me.
    • Baker, because he’s part of the family.
  • Dark Paw
    • That’s his Native American name. You know, since I have Cherokee heritage.
    • He has one dark paw.
  • R.R. 
    • Pronounced Aaarrr Aaarrr.
    • This is his Pirate name.
    • Came from when my wife said he looked like a racing rat when he was sleeping next to me.
    • We also have a deacon whose name is L.H., so having an RR around kinda fits.

OK, I don’t want to be prejudiced, even though I prefer dogs over iguanas. But if you have another kind of inferior pet, you can get in on this discussion, too.

Pet names for your spouse or significant other doesn’t count.

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Filed under animals

Christmas Canine Cuteness

I had already purchased Christmas cards when the idea was suggested that we make cards with photos of George and me.

It wasn’t a bad idea, necessarily, but I do have a wife, so wouldn’t it be a good idea to include her, too?

So, since I already had the cards (sorta), and since my wife has been out of town and unable to have her picture made with me, I decided to take pictures of George and make copies to insert inside the Christmas cards I’m mailing out.

George is like a wind-up toy that never winds down. Yet, when I put him up on the table and wrapped him in electric Christmas lights, he sat there perfectly calm and still. I was shocked … see what I did there 😉

Anyway, here are a few photos I took with my iPhone, including one with me in the jacket I wore last Sunday night for our Christmas concert. Don’t envy me; that’s a sin.

A perfect little gentleman 🙂

Someone has a little attitude.

He’s either singing “Oh, Howly Night,” laughing at my attempts to make him smile, or screaming, “I don’t want to be a media hound!”

Buddies 🙂

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Filed under animals, Christmas, Humor