The Stink of the Skunk

Early morning in March, first light is at hand but the shadowy outline of a furry creature in the distance makes me stop…..then the scent…ewwww!  Sheba, my dog, knows something is making its way up the hill.  She, unlike me, is now eager to trail it.  She starts pulling the leash…As she uncomfortably pulls me up towards the scurrying skunk, I think,”Why, Why??  I am trying to enjoy an early morning hike!”  But the gentle inner voice brings me back to my previous article “The Dog Walker”  and God brings yet another image to mind. The skunk represents sin!  Dogs have no fear of skunks initially, In fact ,they will run right up to a skunk, until the skunk turns and sprays the unsuspecting dog— the “sin” is the horrific oil used by the skunk to protect itself. The smell clings to our skin, our own human efforts to remove the smell just dulls the scent but cannot remove it. Skunks do not want to spray. Its their only defense. A skunk will typically give a warning sign like raising its tail, shaking it as an additional warning.  To a domestic dog, these acts are not warnings but invitations to sniff. The dog is attracted to the skunk!


Tomato juice has been the historical answer to rid the smell, which I find interesting…this red liquid will dull the smell but it clings to us and does not die easily once the oily spray adheres.  “Sin” waves its tail, looks like an invitation but get too close and we are hit with the noxious scent that will cling so thickly to our skin. It leaves its eye-watering scent on the road, in the air…those “dogs” (the inner selfish souls) which have not been trained by their “owner”, with constant focused attention to Him (God,the Ultimate Creator) will race off to sniff and trail the “skunk”.  It is attractive to our inner “dog”. But when we get too close, we will be sprayed and blinded by the sin. It’s the obedience to the master that keeps our souls safe and free from “sin”. No human effort can remove the smell completely. Sin is like an oil which, no matter how much we try to remove it, is impossible, the only red liquid that will cleanse us “white as snow” is Jesus’s blood.  He cleans us up, one side, down the other and inside out. By His blood and confessing our sins, declaring, “Yes, Lord, you are God, be “master” of my life, I give all control to you; only then is the smelly, cloying scent of sin erased.  We are pure and clean.  Then our obedience training begins in earnest.


The Fox in the Henhouse

Last week I walked up my “mountain” (nothing compared to Western US standards) but it was 9 degrees with a wind-chill of 0. It was a clear blue sky and the sun was just coming up and it beckons to me with an urgency I cannot describe. Sunrise outside anywhere is where I hear from God. So I bundled up (it is never too cold, just inappropriate clothing choices, lol.) and started off with my German Shepherd who had been blocking the door and had dragged her leash out of the basket. Walking out of town and climbing to the entrance of the cemetery, the way was paved with snow and patches that had melted down to pavement, the light filtering through the bare trees to create shadows on the snow. As we started up the hill, my dog found something that didn’t immediately strike me as something odd, I thought it was just another pile of exposed leaves.. As I approached, I realized it was a dead fox that had no head left, just the face. (Warning picture to follow). I stared and thought about it….Fox? What are foxes??? “A Fox in the Henhouse” came to mind. “A thief” ….and then I heard it. That inner voice God uses to speak to me.

“I am crushing the head of the Fox that is stealing all my hens! The hens are the mamas that are filled with the eggs (the blessings, the babies!).
The idiom is a warning!

We have put a “Fox” in charge of the “Henhouse.” Meaning someone that will exploit their position!
If we look at the nature of the fox, it is rather telling! Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica and they THRIVE in cities, towns, and rural settings. They are active when the sun goes down, solitary and elusive. They are part of the Canidae family and are related to wolves, jackals, and dogs; however they do not live in packs, they prefer to hunt and sleep alone. A red fox can pinpoint field mice buried deep beneath the snow, using his sensitive hearing and the magnetic field of the North Pole to plot his trajectory. He is accurate 75% of the time!
(See the amazing Discovery video at )

By nature, the fox is sly and tricky. This “fox” has “pounced” on the unsuspecting helpless babies! The “fox” is Governor Cuomo in charge of New York. We have put the “Fox in charge of the Henhouse” here in New York State. We have swallowed the enemy’s lies for too long. Living in fear. Scripture says in Luke: 13:31-35: 

Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem
“At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’  In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.  Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’
Jesus called Herod a “fox”, and that He, Jesus, would have gathered the children together, “as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings”, YET what Herod had done was ORDER the killing of all the newborns up to age 2! Herod, “the fox”, not only “Allowed but Endorsed” the killing of all the baby boys under 2 in order to try and kill baby Jesus! Could what was passed, “allowed and endorsed” by Governor Cuomo be applicable today by changing the name of Herod to Cuomo?

Jesus’ sorrow for New York!
At that time some Congressmen came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Cuomo wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’
“New York, New York, you who kill the innocent babies and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’


Another scripture with reference to foxes:

Nehemiah 4:3, “Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, what they are building – if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!”

The Jews were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. When you have no walls, you have no protection. You have no watchman on the walls sounding the alarm to a call of danger. Cyrus (the ruler of Babylon, who had been used by God to free the Jewish captives) to let the people return to Israel. They were not welcomed by the inhabitants. They were up against ridicule and mockery. Nehemiah enlisted the help of the people to help repair the breaches; he set up families in different spots along the wall. It was a group effort. The battle for the babies is real! The battle is the Lords’. If we keep our eyes focused on Him, seek His face and repent, He will restore our nation. (2 Chronicles 7:14) . He wants our active participation. He does not need us, He wants relationship. It is time to wake up from your slumber, Church! Hear the call!

The Dog Walker

dogwalkerOne of the most beautiful sights to see is a well-trained dog walking alongside its master.  The dog could be ugly, short, missing a leg or it could be very average or it could be beautiful.  The outside package does not matter.  When we see him in his master’s shadow with no leash – happily walking beside his master, attentive to the most subtlest of clues….We all want that relationship!!  It does not matter the breed of dog, we all stop and look. Secretly, everyone of us wishes our dog would do that.  Most of us watch a dog owner being yanked around and pulled everywhichway.  The dog in total control of its owner.  The dog will not listen because it has not been taught obedience.  Some of us will teach our dogs up to a certain point and then say “good enough.”  We know they will obey to a point, looks good to others, is impressive to most, but deep down you know you cannot trust that dog to fully obey. You just got tired of spending time training the dog.  Some owners try to circumvent the training process altogether…..they will buy an invisible fence, use “shock collars” or a pinch collar.  These dogs obey out of fear….fear of punishment if they do not obey.

I believe that this parable is so pertinent to people today.  

The Ultimate Master is God, the “owner” represents people and the “dog” is our inner selfish nature based on feelings or our soul.  There are three types of dog owners….Pre-Christian or those that do not have a knowledge of God, the “church” or professing christians, who proclaim  knowledge of God but are truly limited to Sunday attendance, good deeds or outward “signs” of piety like bumper stickers, logos, and religious adornments. Finally, there are those whose “walk” truly reflect their heart and obedience to following Jesus, laying down their own desires and wants to be obedient to a calling God has on their life.

Hosea 4:6  “My people perish for lack of knowledge…….”

The “pre-christian” is the dog dragging its owner around, it has no knowledge of its Master because they do not know the Truth.  John 14:6  “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”   This dog is in total control, leading its owner wherever it wants; pulling and dragging the owner around town. Leading by its feelings at the moment.

The “Churched” dog owner is the dog that is obedient to a point.  The owner has taken the dog manual (Bible), and pulled out what they need, when they need it, to get the dog (inner selfish soul) trained to a “good enough” point.  They are also the ones that will use shock collars and invisible fences to “force” obedience through pain.  However, what happens is that some dogs will endure a moment of pain to run through the barrier to get what it wants on the other side of the fence.  A moment of pain is worth the reward they see on the other side because their heart is not to be obedient to the Master.  “Churched” dog owners have religion and rules but no relationship with the MASTER.

Finally there are the “Dog Masters”, those that have laid down their agenda, feelings, and wants to read the whole “dog manual” (the Bible), to have a relationship with the Ultimate Master, the Father, God the Creator.  They have given their obedience to the Master through His son’s payment for our sins on the cross. They are walking in freedom that obedience to the Master brings…they walk freely next to Him with No leash, focusing all their attention on His path for them that day.  That is why we all are amazed at the obedient dog to its master.  It is a beautiful relationship that was God’s intent all along.

2 Peter 1:2  “Grace and peace be multiplied in you in the knowledge of God and in Jesus our Lord.”


There comes a time in everyone’s life where they feel that hollowness in the busyness, the everydayness of life…….and we think, “Isn’t there something more I was created to be or do?” For some it happens early on, for me it is now. I turned 50 in December and the nudges I have had keep getting stronger.calling.jpg
Last week, I was talking to a good friend by phone, ( she has been searching for purpose as well,) and I asked her, “What did you want to do in college? What was your major?” Later on, in return, she had asked me about my degree. I began to tell her that when I was growing up, I was extremely shy and frequently played by myself outside. I loved nature and all God’s animals. I did not grow up in the church and so I had no biblical knowledge at that time but I wouldn’t miss an episode of Wild Kingdom. My dream was to save the animals, which did not have a voice. I thought for sure I would be living in Africa with my safari outfit using my love of photography to do what Merle Perkins did….bring back stories about the animals and bring awareness to their plight. So when I arrived at college, I decided to major in zoology, logically that would accomplish my goal. Well, by junior year, that vision dried up as reality surfaced.  I knew my desire did not include being a doctor or vet and that left the research world and constantly looking for grants. All my business friends were on“easy street” with so much time because they did not have all the science labs. So I ended up changing my major to international business with a minor in French (my other love was foreign cultures and travel).

I NOW see God’s hand in every situation. Upon graduation I experienced such regret for my decision because now I would be locked into a cubicle with piped in air and fluorescent lights and no sunshine. (Picture the old time zoos where the animals are caged and pace back and forth. That was me.) See God had put a desire in my heart from birth to be a voice for his creation. Back then I thought it was for the animals, and as I was retelling my journey, I heard God speak to me…..”Same desire, the burden I have given you is for my creation…….the unborn babies that have no voice.” All of the sudden, clarity shined upon my life, God wastes nothing. I may have strayed from the “narrow path”, but He has guided me back when I have detoured. The passage of Cuomo’s baby killing law (I will not grant it its official euphemistic title so as to deceive people that it is anything but that – murder) at the end of January sent me into such states of weeping; the burden is real and I for one am heeding the call. What I did not know was that a month later, a “Day of Mourning” was scheduled for Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the Empire State Plaza convention center in Albany. The event was live-streamed and there were events all over the country. I knew God was calling me to go. And what He said to me that morning was so profound, that it has changed my life forever……

(The book “Calling” is by Jen Tringale and she is an awesome speaker)



petrifiedAnother early morning….dark and cold, my phone says -2° outside. Winter is not leaving easily from New York. Beneath the cold, dark surface lays life….waiting to wake from its slumber. This weekend is Daylight Savings and the clocks will “spring” ahead an hour. So it will once again be dark in morning, “my time” but that is ok, I am finding new peace in getting up in the dark. This morning I lit two candles and watched the light flicker. I thought, “I should have one more. The “Trinity” would be represented – God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But then I looked beside the candles and saw my piece of petrified rock from my travels in Africa. And again I heard the Lord Say, “this is a proper representation of us, Jesus came in the flesh. He is the cornerstone.” In 1 Peter 2:6-7, “For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.'”So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.'”
I love how the Lord uses his creation to create pictures! It reminds me that God is light, the Father and the Holy Spirit are immeasurable, infinite, intangible while the Son, Jesus, was made matter! When you think about it, “What is petrified wood anyway and how does it form?” So the scientist geek in me started my early morning search. Here is what I found: petrified wood is considered a fossil whereby the organic remains have been replaced by minerals in the slow process of being replaced by stone. “Special rare conditions” must be met to facilitate this process. This plant matter gets buried in an environment free from oxygen (anaerobic) which preserves the original structure and appearance of the organic matter. Other conditions must be met as well, regular access to rich mineral water which is in contact with the tissues; inorganic minerals replace the organic structure! The end result is petrified wood, which was organic (decayable matter) but has now been permanently preserved by being replaced by stone. Can you not see?? Jesus came to earth as matter, flesh, organic human form which decays! He was put in a tomb and sealed! Airless and sealed off (anaerobic). His physical matter did not decay! He had access to the “The” rich mineral waters of the Father. John 4:14, “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” There are tons of scripture on “living water”. So much one could extract from this! Jesus was separated from the Father on the cross to take on our sins, but now through His death, He was reunited with the Father and the “rich mineral waters” of the Father were flowing in Him. They were “in contact with His tissues”; The end result was Stone! The cornerstone! The foundation of the church. Even the holes in his hands were preserved! John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
A new meaning to the “BELIEVE” signs in stores everywhere. What do you believe?