I have Hope

It’s probably come up from time to time that I have issues with depression and bi-polar disorders. It pretty much sucks.

Despite being a guy who prefers peace and quiet, I am pretty involved in stuff around my community. One of those organizations is Peace River Search and Rescue. I’m the Jeep team. My Jeep is useful for getting to places with more speed than a horse and more maneuverability than larger vehicles, such as an ambulance. It provides a platform for removing team members from the field or getting personnel someplace in a hurry. Finally, it’s a way to bring a victim to their loved ones quickly.

PRSAR hooked me with the Jeep, but they really reeled in the family when they convinced my daughter to begin training her dog, Cowgirl, to be a search and rescue dog. Rebekah, Cowgirl, and I have been learning the basics of SAR the past several months, including a lot of dog training. We’ve met some really neat people and amazing dogs.

One day two of those neat people were discussing a dog they weren’t bringing to training. She had been a police dog, working for a sheriffs office her in Florida when her handler committed suicide while they were in the patrol vehicle. The dog was presented to the widow who struggled to provide the care the dog required. Eventually she passed the dog on to the neat people I know, but they couldn’t figure out what to do with her. Well, they talked to me, and then talked to me some more. What she needed was someone who would be around A LOT to give her love and affection and break the trauma of her past and teach her a new way forward.

Jesus has been breaking me free from the trauma of my past and teaching me a new way forward for a while now. Part of that way forward, I’m pretty sure, involves dogs. I love dogs. We have two here. Well, had. Now it’s three.

Sometimes I ask God to give me hope. He answered. Hope is the latest furry addition to our family. I don’t know if she can help me write more or better. I don’t know if she’ll ever perform for the community as a service dog of some sort ever again. I don’t know if she’ll put up with the puppy’s crap from one minute to the next. But I do know I love her. Every time I look at her I’m reminded how tough things have been for her and how she needs to be handled appropriately. Eventually that understanding leads me to remember that lots of people have had stuff happen to them and they need to be treated decently, too. Finally, I remember that just because I’ve had it rough doesn’t mean it will stay that way. I mean, just look at Hope. Things are looking up for her.

Hope

I Am Second’s “Real Stories” reviewed

I Am Second” is an anthology of sorts, the collected stories of people who found their lives falling apart in some way before realizing they were putting the wrong person on the pedestal in their lives. Sometimes they may not have been putting themselves first, but they were certainly not putting the right One first. These people are famous, infamous, and ordinary. Whether the guy next door or a world famous name, each has something in common with you – we are made and loved by the God who made the Universe and all that is in it. When these people woke up to this, life may not have become easier, they might not have become rich and healthy, but they found joy. Maybe you’ve made this decision yourself, already. If so, these tales will remind you of God’s renewing love. If not, the true stories of these real people will introduce you to a new way of looking at things, a way that recognizes you aren’t in charge. These well-told stories are often accompanied by videos at I Am Second’s website, where you can hear them told, more briefly, in their own voices and words. The goal of I Am Second is to bring glory to God by sharing his redeeming love with the world. This books does a fine job of showing how that impacts people. We all have a story to tell and hopefully each will make an impact. These certainly, for the most part, do. My honesty clause: I received this book free from the publisher in return for writing a review, positive or negative. I hope you have found it helpful.