Today was a very hot day. Sweltering heat. If we humans are really complaining about it, I could only imagine what the thick coated furry friends are saying these days.

We live in a small house and much as we would like to, we cannot let our Black labrador stay inside most of the time. He has a small house built for him – but when the temperature is really high like what we had today, we would usually allow him inside OR, as the vet told me, let him cool off in his tub full of water.

Enjoying the water

Enjoying the water

Sgt Beans was given to me as a birthday present almost 3 years ago. I grew up having dogs around the house so I thought it was almost a no brainer. Growing up, our 6 mongrels were relatively easy to take care of. But when we got Beans, my wife and I had to learn ( I think I did most of the learning) a lot of things so we could really understand the dog’s nature and its needs.

Profile of a contentedly wet Labrador

Profile of a contentedly wet Labrador

I had never seen a gentler disposition and spirit. I always tell my wife that we should have gotten a labrador early on in our marriage. We have taken him to your youth camps ( along with our 2 other dogs) and Beans would become a friendly – receptionist by day, but once we closed the door and bid him goodnight outside our small cottage, he becomes a faithful guardian.

Of course there are no bad days with a labrador. Everyday is a good day to play, to walk or to swim. Amazing how he loves to fetch – but the tennis ball is really a labrador’s bestfriend.

The look of contentment

I just closed his house door for the night so he could sleep peacefully. A neighbor initially thought that it was cruel to put the dog in his house for the night. But dogs also need a place where it could be comfortable and where they could safely sleep at night.

It has been 3 years since Sgt Beans came into our lives. We look forward to having him for more years of awesome friendship and unsurpassed loyalty.

Love is in the eyes

Exactly 22 years ago, at 4PM, I underwent the baptismal ceremony. Ptr. Romeo Pusta, our pastor in WCG Marikina then, baptized me in his bath tub in their house in Provident Village.

It has been 22 years. What an amazing journey that started eversince i got to know Jesus Christ when my mother taught us how to pray for even the smallest of things. Of my mother reading to us the Bible stories on friday nights then my brother would play the piano and we would gather to sing the hymns. All of these activities were not wasted, but rather connecting paths that would eventually lead to my knowing Him. I surrendered to Him when I was a senior in highschool when a gracious English teacher named Mila Concepcion shared the gospel with me. I remember crying at the initial realization of God’s love for me. I did not know that at that time, a good friend in highschool who became a christian the year before, had prayed for my salvation.

Thank you Lord for this day. Thank you for the Church. Thank you for the people you surrounded me with to share with me the depth of your love. Thank you for the faith of my Mom, who in the earliest of my years demonstrated a life that stubbornly held on to her faith in you despite the many trials growing up.

Thank you Lord for being my God. Teach me to surrender this life daily. Cause me to render worthless the things that may seem significant but only take away my focus from you.

Cause me to live by, through and in faith and not by my sight.

It has been 22 years. It seems long but in reality it is just a blip of a second from your eternal perspective.

The journey has been really profound and thank you for allowing us to know where it will end.

Philippians 1: 6, thank you for your faithfulness to complete it.

I picked her up yesterday. If I could only tell her the trouble my wife and I went through to make the arrangements! We have 3 dogs (labrador, mini-pin and a mongrel) so whenever we would need to go on trips, it would take a lot of planning so that the dogs would all be taken care of in our absence. We have already nailed it to an art form, as a matter of fact….

The black lab named Beans and the mongrel named Toepy stayed at home while Peanut was taken to a friend who also used to have a mini-pin (which died early this year….). We arranged for Joseph, my nephew to house sit and dog-sit for us in our absence. Leaving a 15-year old young man house- sit is another blog in itself….

Anyways, yesterday, after dropping by at the office to sign some papers, I took Joseph home. Then I went back to the office to wait for an officemate who took care of Peanut over the weekend. She was telling me during the drive to her condo unit that Peanut hardly played with them. She displayed some moments of playfulness after she was wiped off with a moist towel. I told her that my wife would usually play with her right after Peanut’s bath.

When she opened the door, Peanut scurried away and rounded the table. I squatted down and called her name. She did not eagerly come but made her way slowly to my hand. Once she smelled me and heard my voice and recognized me, she went (as my young people, back in the day would say,) BALLISTIC! She was all over me. Jumping and asking to be carried. Once I carried her, she was still all over me… she could not contain herself…

My friend and her sister was really amused to see this going on. It is as if our Peanut came alive! I carried her to the car where she patiently waited for us to leave. She could hardly wait to come home. It took awhile for her to find her most comfortable spot.

After an hour of driving, we finally reached our village. She woke up and sensed the familiar location. And once she was home, she displayed the same BALLISTIC behaviors, especially when she saw my wife. Mini-pins are notoriously known as a one-person dog. And to her, the most important person is my wife. I think I come in second.

While Peanut was asleep on our way home, these thoughts came to my mind:

Wouldn’t it be funny and stupid, if Peanut acted to gather all her materials and showed them to me to tell me how much they are worth?

And wouldn’t it be foolish for her to say “hey, dont forget my blankie, my toys, my things… as I carried her to the car?

When she saw me – her happiness was simply un-bridled. She was the happiest mini-pin at the moment. She could care less for her bed, her blankie, her toys…. they were all nothing. What mattered to her was that I was there… and she was coming with me no matter what.

I guess it would also look stupid if I acted differently should my Lord and Master come to pick me up. It would look foolish for me to show him all the toys I had gathered in my lifetime. To show him all the places i visited and all the important things I had achieve in this lifetime. It would be very foolish of me to get more excited about the things and the place where I was left for awhile than the arrival of my Master.

I pray that I would also be in a state of un-bridled joy every time I encounter Jesus. That He will be the only one I would care for at that moment. That all things would be dwarfed into nothingness as I could hardly wait to go where He is.

I pray that I will be very excited to be in His heavenly presence than to stay here on earth where I was left off for awhile… Peanut, no matter how comfortable the place where we left her off, knew that she does not belong there.

I pray that I will always remember that lesson. No matter how comfortable it gets here… I belong to where He is. That I will never forget where and to whom I belong…