Loving Where You Live

Dunoon 10 pm

We live in Dunoon, Scotland. I love it. It’s beautiful and interesting—but the people make the difference. They are great.

Our rough collie Savannah just turned nine months old. For the past two months, she has battled constant diarrhea and wouldn’t eat. When her diarrhea started occurring every fifteen minutes, I called our local vet practice, Bute & Cowal Vets. Dr. Catriona MacIntyre got up out of bed and met us there at 3:00 a.m., sweeping aside apologies for interrupting her sleep. Savannah was no better on Saturday, so Catriona performed surgery, removing tissue for biopsies. When Savannah was worse on Monday, Catriona sent her to Glasgow to an emergency animal hospital. When Savannah started discharging blood and quickly fouled three diapers in a row, Catriona ran back and forth from her surgery to the taxi cab bringing towels, wet wipes, a huge roll of paper towels. By the time we arrived in Glasgow with Savannah, Catriona was already on the phone to them asking if Savannah had arrived yet and how she was doing.

sav in ditch

For the next three days, Savannah was in the hospital and Catriona called the hospital regularly to check on her. Moreover, when I called Clyde Taxi to schedule a trip home—the dispatcher and the driver who had taken us immediately asked how Savannah was doing.

We got back home to find FB messages and posts asking about Savannah, many from our New Life Christian Fellowship friends, many from FB friends, and some from complete strangers who had seen Savannah’s pictures on FB and who had been praying for her.

Dunoon is a great place to live. Wherever you live is a great place to live. In spite of negative and false news – so is this world. Love it, treasure it, be thankful for it. Neither this world – nor any of us – will last forever. But isn’t it good to know that wherever you live is a great place to be?

“And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:17

cross St. John


My Running Coach is a Dog

DSCF5476      With Alan in the ministry, we’re a low budget family. Kindhearted folks in our church realized that when poor Little Red got smashed by a Glasgow Taxi and couldn’t be repaired. In an amazing, touching, and heartwarming gesture, they gave us a car. It has half the mileage that Little Red had and it’s simply awesome in every way. We are truly blessed. We call Red’s replacement “The Jesus Car,” because Jesus provided it.

Low budget or not, exercise is vital for good health. So I insist on keeping my running coach. She’s simply awesome and amazing. She doesn’t work for peanuts, but she can be bribed with treats. My running coach is our dog.

I didn’t want to run today. It was one of those rare Scottish days of sunshine and warmer than usual temperatures. Our garden had a surplus of dandelions. I love the cheerful yellow flowers that God plants everywhere. Our neighbors don’t. To keep peace, the dandelions must go. After a day of crawling around on my hands and knees pulling up the nearly impossible to uproot “weeds,” I didn’t want to go running. I’d had enough exercise.

Along came my running coach. “Woof, WOOF,” right into my face. Loosely translated, that meant: “get off your computer and go running. You need the exercise. I’ll supervise.” So we ran. As we ran, I began to feel guilty.

This is the weekend that the United States celebrates Memorial Day. Son Luke Parker is in the U.S. Marine Corps and has given up more than anyone other than God will ever know to serve his country. He and others like him have joined the military and fought for the freedom that allows me to sit at this computer and write. My freedom has been purchased with their blood, tears, heartbreaks, lives. With all the sacrifices they make on a daily basis, how could I possibly think I was “too tired” or had “worked too hard” to run? My sacrifice compares to theirs like dandelion fluff to an oak tree.

Thank you, U.S. Troops. God Bless and Keep You. May your sacrifice be rewarded with the attainment of every dream you cherish and every goal you set. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. May Jesus be your constant Guide, Protector, Healer.

And if any of you need a good running coach, I can recommend one. She’s relentless – and affordable. If you don’t mind four paws and long strands of dog hair sticking to the carpet, she’s perfect!