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Faith

Blog, Faith, Family, Marriage, pets, prayer

Lessons from stray cats

“There are few things more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.”–Tay Hohoff

Me & Natalya our cat

Me & Natalya our cat

Do you love or hate cats? Usually it’s one or the other; it’s hard to be neutral concerning cats. Recently when I asked a friend at church to pray for a hard situation concerning a cat, he said, “Okay, pray for me to have more compassion for cats. I don’t like them and I’m allergic to them.” LOL. I have another friend who is highly allergic to them and sneezes terribly, even from their furs’ dander on our carpet.

Other complaints about cats are that they scratch and ruin furniture, they can spray the carpet with urine, and worse of all –they don’t obey, like dogs do when trained!

My sweet kitty Natalya

My sweet kitty Natalya

That’s one of the reasons I actually like cats. They are independent with a mind of their own (like me!). 

Natalya my cat

Natalya my cat

My husband Ray and I have never had stray cats before. But at this house in Butler, Missouri, which we bought several years ago, we’ve had several stray cats coming around here. I’ve been feeding them since spring 2022. (It has gotten expensive, too!)

Heather seeing our cat Natalya the first time

Heather seeing our cat Natalya the first time

 

Our granddaughters Violet & Annabelle seeing Natalya the 1st time

Our granddaughters Violet & Annabelle seeing Natalya the 1st time

They’re all male cats. Some come more often than others to eat. I asked Ray to help me name them. They are:

Silas, a male tabby/mix breed (a vet said possibly Maine Coon because of his bushy tail; another vet said possibly Siamese mix), who I took inside our home this year and he’s now our second (inside only) cat. We got him neutered and his vaccinations, because he was doing the male mating call and yowling day and night. He was trying to mate with my female cat Natalya, even though she was fixed! He can still be aggressive at times with her and me, but he’s a sweet kitty. Ray also wanted him neutered so he wouldn’t spray our furniture and carpet with urine, as non-neutered males often do.

Silas

Silas

Nicodemus, a male. unneutered tabby mix cat with a bushy tail, who Ray and I think is Silas’ brother. However, Silas hisses at him when he sees him through the front screen door or the sunroom screens, and twice he has escaped out the door and chased him into the neighbor’s yard. (I’m thankful that Silas came back, so he must like it here! Or at least, the daily food and love!)

I think Nicodemus is beautiful and so sweet, and I want to keep him. But I know Silas would fight him and possibly hurt him. Plus, I don’t know if he has the contagious cat virus FIV or cat leukemia FLV. I wouldn’t want to possibly expose my cats to it. So he is one of our outdoor kitties right now. He comes every day, sometimes several times a day!

I’ve been worrying over him and Marmalade (the male, non-neutered orange tabby stray cat) with cold winter coming, so Ray and I bought a feral cat shelter for them. A vet recommended this kind. He said NOT to put straw or hay in a cat shelter, as it can get wet and then mildew and it can also draw pests.

Marmalade

Marmalade

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Blog, Faith, Family, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, worship/praise/music

When you’re looking for a new church home

Image: Edward Cisneros @ Unsplash

Image: Edward Cisneros @ Unsplash

My husband Ray and I have been looking for a new church home for years. I’m excited about the new church that we’ve been attending, Hope City Church of Harrisonville, Missouri. Why? We’re among the 1/3 of people who used to attend church, but now stay away specifically because they “lost trust in God, the church, or Christians.” (According to a 2019 “Unchurched Report” by Billy Graham Center Institute and Lifeway Research, You Found Me, Rich Richardson, p. 47)

Image: Julian Florez at Unsplash

Image: Julian Florez at Unsplash

It’s a startling and scary fact that the number of youth (Americans ages 18-29) who have no religious affiliation has nearly quadrupled in the last 30 years, and 59% of millennials raised in a church have dropped out.

There are several reasons that Ray and I and our children were wounded that I won’t go into here, but we’ve had to walk through a LOT of forgiveness. Unfortunately, there are many people in the same boat. My hope is that this new church will be a safe haven for us of God’s agape (unconditional) love, truth, and forgiveness; that we can make new friends; and that we’ll be able to serve in the Body of Christ and use our spiritual gifts, talents, and skills for God’s glory there. 

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Blog, Business, Faith, Family, Fitness, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Speaking, Spiritual Gifts, Stress, Travel

Are you making 2nd quarter goals? Hope, health, & happiness.

Image source: Katie Harp @ Unsplash

Image source: Katie Harp @ Unsplash

Yesterday I met with our CPA to file our 2022 taxes. So. Not. Fun!

My husband Ray and I now owe even more taxes than the year before. I’m looking to Jehovah Jireh our Provider. 

God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice to God instead of his beloved, precious son Isaac. God told Abraham to kill Isaac to test Abraham’s faith in Him. When God saw that Abraham was going to obey, not even withholding from God his son who he waited years into his old age to have and who he greatly loved, God stopped Abraham.

“Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.” (Genesis 22:13, NKJV)

I’m also praying for a payment plan with the IRS to pay the taxes that we owe. Now that we’re into the second quarter of 2023, I’m making other goals as well. Are you?

To summarize them, my new goals are hope, health, and happiness. 

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