Monday, December 22, 2014

Christ within us; the meaning of Christmas

This was copied from another blog, "Spiritual Sundays"; it is listed on the right sidebar.


by Albert W. Beaven
The real Christmas experience for anyone is the turning on of the light within, which comes from the spirit of the indwelling Christ. It is still his incoming that makes the difference between a darkened inn and a glorious stable.

Before we go on with our Christmas preparation, let us ask ourselves whether the real Christmas has come to us, whether what we are going through is just a form, a bartering of gifts, a forced holiday, or whether we have a real experience that makes Christmas a joy and not a bore. Christ taken in and then given out, that makes it a genuine Christmas for us and for others; for "God shined in our hearts" that the light might be passed on.

All about us are those who wait for our coming: lonely people, discouraged people, heart-sick people with little love and joy. Christmas opens our eyes and challenges us to let our light shine outside our own little circle and give cheer where it is needed most.

Friday, December 5, 2014



Woody was not included in my "eulogy" post about Spite.
Spite had already reached his senior years when Woody joined our family in 2011. He was a fuzzy kitten who had been apparently abandoned in our yard. Spite was curious and polite from the first. I don't remember that he ever growled or hissed at Woody.

Treat time!

Woody, however, even as young as he was (four months, according to the vet's estimate), was determined to establish himself as the dominant cat. I put two bowls of cat food down, and whichever one Spite was eating from was the very one that Woody would decide was his! Spite often would graciously concede and move to the other bowl; sometimes he would leave, deciding he had eaten enough.

Beginning to eat

Woody, being young and still kittenish, wanted to play, but Spite wasn't interested. Sometimes Woody got rough. He grew fast and soon was larger and stronger than Spite, and Spite was a little afraid of him, I think. He began spending more time outside, where Woody wouldn't go (he is really a scaredy-cat in many ways). As Woody matured, the two cats became companionable, but never close friends. That's why I didn't include Woody in my last post.

Uneasy peace

Not only did Woody grow larger, he also grew "fluffier" - first his tail. Suddenly, almost overnight, it began looking like a bottle brush! I said to him, "Woody! Where did you get that tail!?" It looked like a squirrel's tail! He has tufts of hair on the tips of his ears and between his toes, and a fluffy "mane" around his cheeks. His back is smooth and soft, and his belly is fluffy. I looked up "Maine Coon cat" on Wikipedia, and he fits the physical description to a T. I'm sure he must be part Maine Coon, though; if he were full blooded he wouldn't have been a stray in our back yard. Someone would have been looking for him with a hefty reward, and no one was. There were no signs, no ads, and no notices at the vet's office.

Woody is a sweet cat, but very shy. He hides when anyone comes to visit, and he won't go out, except right around the back patio when we are outside with him. He'll sit in our laps in the evening when we are watching TV or reading. In the morning after breakfast he nearly always enjoys "coffee time" with my husband, sitting in his lap while he has his second cup.

Coffee time with Woody

We have been worried about him this week. He hasn't eaten since Saturday noon. I don't think it's grief over Spite's passing, and I don't think it's from being left alone for a day and two half days over Thanksgiving. He did eat while we were gone. I took him to the vet yesterday. I think it's a hairball; he tried to cough it up twice without success. She (the vet) thinks it gastritis or pancreatitis and gave him a shot for nausea and some pills to relax his digestive tract. So far he's still not eating; I'll have to take him back to the vet.

UPDATE Sunday, Dec. 7 - Woody started eating a little bit Saturday. I'm glad he's starting slowly, to give his system time to adjust. He still seems to be feeling all right, relaxed, affectionate, and purring.