Pickles, Pickleball, and Other Names

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23 NIV

Pickleball has become very popular in today’s sport’s world. It has reportedly 2.8 million players and tournaments and pickleball enthusiasts can be found from the smallest town to exotic locales all over the world.

The Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships are being held now outside of Palm Springs, CA. There is a handmade dog adorning the grounds of the tournament because rumor has it that Pickleball got it’s name from a cockapoo puppy named Pickles. Pickles was known to take the wiffle balls in its mouth and make a run for it.

Pickles’ owners state that the game’s name really came from the sport of rowing because Pickles did not become part of the family till two years after pickleball was given its name. The dog’s owner rowed in college and a mismatched crew boat team was referred to as a “pickle boat”. Whichever story you choose to believe, Pickleball has a large following and is becoming known around the world.

Isaiah 7:14 states, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”. This proclamation was repeated in Matthew by the angel to Joseph in verse 23. In verse 21, the angel tells Joseph to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.

Joseph did what the angel commanded and the name Jesus was given to the new baby. A baby named Jesus truly was Immanuel, God with us. He brought heaven to earth in a most unlikely way. The tiny form of a newborn will save us from our sins and Mary delivered God into our midst.

Unlike Pickleball, we are sure how Jesus got his name. There is no question which story to believe. Isaiah predicted it long before the virgin gave birth. Angels were sent to instruct the parents-to-be on who this child was and what he was to be called and just what his name meant to them and to all people that need delivered from their sins. Choirs of angels sang to announce his holy birth.

Jesus’ name is known and worshipped from the smallest towns to exotic locales all over the world. From lowly shepherds to the wisest kings, his birth was celebrated and to this day, we come from all walks of life to proclaim his birth to a world that needs God with us.

Won’t you celebrate the name above all names this Christmas? Acts 4:12 proclaims, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Worship Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

To help animals click below:



“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3 NIV

Each Sunday, our local newspaper publishes an article called “A Life Remembered”. It takes a look back at the life of someone who has recently died. It serves as a memorial for a person who will always be loved and whose memory will be cherished. I’d like to do that for Mallory Lynn Reid-Lucas who would have celebrated her birthday today. She recently left us broken hearted but will always live on in our hearts.

Mallory was a natural pack leader.

She loved watching TV. It had to be hung high as she didn’t think animals were necessary on television. She has been known to attack and win the fight with other animals appearing on television shows or commercials.

Mallory loved to swim and lounge in the kiddie pools. She always carried her leash in her mouth just as she did when she went on walks.

Mallory loved the snow.

Mallory liked to play. She loved to play ball and tug of war. Toys didn’t usually last too long because Mallory also liked to chew.

Mallory liked to dress up. She willingly came to you for reindeer antlers, Mickey Mouse ears, thundershirts, bandanas, and Halloween outfits. She was glad to oblige your need to dress her up for the holidays.

Mallory was trusted. She was a friend and protector of the family cat. She wagged her tail so the cat could play and let her hang off her face. Eventually, Mallory would take her paw and push her away but not before she’d had her fun. She loved her human sister and that love was returned. She was climbed on, fed, rested on, slept on and rode like a horse.

Mallory got older. She was not always gray. She started out as pure chocolate. Her life remembered started out the day she was dropped on my bed as a puppy. We watched as she learned to negotiate stairs and jumping on furniture. We watched and tugged with her playing with her toys and canine sisters. I woke up with her face on the pillow next to me many times. When our eyes met, she gently licked me.

Now Mallory is not putting her graying face in my lap or waiting for treats. She’s not playing tug or basking in the sun or rolling in the snow. She’s not barking at the television or growing bored with me and climbing the stairs to the spare bedroom where she can enjoy the neighborhood view from a comfy bed. She’s not climbing into the driver’s seat of the car trying to steer. Mallory is also not in pain anymore or panting heavily so that she worries the entire family. She is at peace but she has left a hole in the hearts of all those who knew and loved her.

If someone wrote an article about your life would it be a glowing tribute to a life well lived? Paul wrote to the Philippians in chapter one, verse 13, telling them that he thanked God every time he remembered them. He goes on to say that he prays with joy for them and that they are his partners in the gospel. He states that he believes God will complete the work he started in them. In verse 7, he tells them they are in his heart. He prays that they will grow and be more like Jesus everyday.

Do you work along side Christian friends? Are they thankful for your life and the work that you do? Do they pray for you and help you to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus?

Just like Mallory will always be in the heart of those of us who love her, Paul had the Philippians in his heart. Is your life a life to be remembered? Are you holding others up in prayer and keeping them in your heart? I pray that as you love Jesus and others, that your life will be remembered in the heart of all those you come in contact with each day.

TO HELP ANIMALS CLICK HEREhttps://www.bestfriends.org



“Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.”  Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.  They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.  Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.”  Acts 15:36-40 NIV

Mallory and Seneca are the best of friends.  They get along great except once in awhile, they let something come between them.  That something is usually food, treats, or a new toy.  The disagreement can quickly escalate into a dogfight with two Alpha females demanding their own way.

Paul and Barnabas had been preaching the good news of Jesus everywhere they went.  Paul suggested that they return and check on the new converts in the towns where they had preached.  Barnabas wants to take Mark with them but Paul doesn’t want to because Mark left them and went back to Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 13:13.  In Colossians 4:10, Paul calls Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, so it’s family and Barnabas believes in his cousin.  

The Bible says that they have such a sharp disagreement that the two men part ways.  Barnabas gets with his cousin and heads to Cyprus and Paul travels with Silas to Asia Minor.  God used the split to reach more territory.  

Acts 4:36 states, “Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means son of encouragement).”  Barnabas was an encourager and just as he encouraged John Mark in his ministry, he had done the same for Paul.  He was the one who took up for Saul when the disciples didn’t trust him.  Acts 9:27 tells us, “But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles.  He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.”  

Paul eventually comes to rely on John Mark.  In II Timothy 4:11 he requests, “Only Luke is with me.  Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry”.  Reconciliation has taken place and Paul values Mark as a vital part of his spreading the gospel message.

 Garth Brooks sings the song, “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House”.  One of the lines in it says that sometimes we fight just so we can make up.  I would never recommend that especially in the church but when God is in the midst, he can bring about the most amazing things.  Reconciliation can occur and the gospel message can be spread to the ends of the earth.

Just like our dogs when they fight, the fall out from sharp disagreements among believers is not pretty.  Trust all your relationships, good and bad, to God.  In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:6).

CLICK HERE TO HELP ANIMALS https://www.bestfriends.org


Sometimes we fight just so we can make up


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”. Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

On May 12, 2021, we lost Seneca. She had been fighting a losing battle to liver cancer for over ten months. About six years ago, we lost Buffy and our hearts broke. Bruce had many health issues and was peacefully put to sleep when the time was right. Danni left us on July 27, 2019 after a month long battle with an unknown, mysterious illness. Yesterday, Duke breathed his last after losing the loss of his legs and all we were told was he had three slipped discs.

Death and loss come to each of us. We cry and we cope the best way we know. Hebrews 6:19 -20 states, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek”.

We are not walking alone. We are following Jesus to our eternal home. It is not an unknown place with no one we know. We know Jesus and it is filled with our loved ones. They are called “a great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews. They are our witnesses that heaven is a better place with no pain or crying and where Jesus is the light. Revelation 21:23 tells us, “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is the lamp”.

The song “Dancing in the Sky” asks questions about heaven and tells of our emptiness here without those we love. It talks of a hope that they are dancing in the sky. With Jesus, we can be assured of that fact. Our loved ones are home cheering us on so let us run the race God has set before us until we are all reunited and rejoicing in heaven.

CLICK HERE TO HELP ANIMALS https://www.seniordogsanctuary.com


“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

I took Burt out and hooked his collar to the lead that runs from our house to our neighbors and then went inside to get Lucy. I brought Lucy outside and Burt was standing in the yard where I left him. The only thing different was he was not hooked up to anything. The hook had not latched and he was free as a bird but he didn’t know it. Burt was standing there thinking he was bound in a limited amount of space.

That is the way I act a lot of the time. I’m free in Christ but I walk around thinking I’m restricted by my own limitations. I’m bound by my sin that has been forgiven and forgotten by a loving savior. I display disbelief by my actions and unbelief by my inaction.

John 8:36 states that if the Son has set you free, you will be free indeed. James 1:25 tells us, “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it–not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it–they will be blessed in what they do”.

Jesus paid the price for our freedom. We have been set free. He has instructed us to stand firm and not become burdened by the weight of sin that has been forgiven. Don’t be bound to the law of sin and death but walk in the freedom of Christ’s Holy Spirit.

Don’t waste your freedom standing in one spot. Run free with Jesus and reach the world for his glory.

CLICK HERE TO HELP ANIMALS https://www.noahsark.org


“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed–in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed”. I Corinthians 15:51-52 NIV

Animal euthanasia in the Greek means “good death”. Methods of euthanasia cause minimal pain and are often referred to as “putting to sleep” or “putting an animal down”. Reasons for this procedure are usually incurable and painful diseases. A veterinarian will aid in making the decision as to when euthanasia is best for your pet. It is truly as if the pet is put to sleep and out of their misery unlike their humans who are left behind in mourning.

The Bible refers to death as sleep in many verses. I Kings 2:10 states, “Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David”. In Acts 7:60, Stephen’s death is described, “Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell asleep”.

Our verse today tells us that not everyone will fall asleep in death before Jesus’ return. Some will be eagerly awaiting his return and hear the trumpet call and witness the transformation into heavenly bodies that are imperishable. It truly is a mystery.

Our days are written in His book. Psalm 139:16 says it this way, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”.

We all have an incurable disease called sin. Jesus took on our disease at Calvary and paid the price for us so that we might experience a wonderful transformation. Unless we are alive at the last trumpet call, we will all die the “good death” of falling asleep but in Jesus we will wake to a wonderful transformation and eternal life with our heavenly Father.

CLICK HERE TO HELP ANIMALS https://www.hswcmd.org


For Seneca, my Halloween Parade Partner

Fluffy Butt went home today

She crossed the rainbow bridge

‘Twas the first time I couldn’t follow

But I did until the end

I remember walks a plenty

I followed close behind

Her tail was high while trotting;

left to see the squirrels, and right to chase a bunny

Sometimes we jumped high to reach the sky

When birdies would fly by

She patiently waited while I had crutches

And recently our paces matched as her pace slowed with mine

I followed her quite slowly

But I remember days gone by where we played and chased and ran

We’d howl the husky howl and I would rub her belly

till husky hair was everywhere

How many roofs were climbed?

How many fences jumped?

How many car rides, walks, and parks?

We have done so many things

Now she journeys on alone,

But with her goes my heart

Someday I will follow there

And reach the gates of heaven

Where husky hair lines the streets of gold

I will be greeted with that husky smile;

Her eyes alert and bright, she’ll turn and lead the way

And once again, I will follow as we walk for miles and miles.

I will follow Fluffy Butt once more

Pain will be forgotten as now she runs and plays

But here on earth she’s loved and missed

And will never be forgotten.

CLICK HERE TO HELP ANIMALS https://www.bestfriends.org


“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only son”. John 3:17-18 NIV

Seneca was diagnosed with a liver mass last summer. She had been having trouble with her back legs giving out. She suddenly started vomiting along with diarrhea. At that time, she was given an estimate of four to six months. We immediately tried every supplement available to improve her life and she is now on her tenth month.

Seneca’s diagnosis was much like a death sentence a prisoner receives who is placed on death row. Of course, our precious pup has been loved and adored throughout and has had much more freedom to enjoy her final months than an incarcerated inmate.

Much like a convicted felon awaiting the fulfillment of our sentence, John 3:18 tells us that whoever does not believe in the Son of God is condemned already. The good news is that Jesus has already purchased our pardon. He died in our place and the prison doors swing wide open so we can walk in freedom all the rest of our lives.

I Timothy 1:15 states, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst”. The Son of God came to save us and set us free from condemnation. He bought our pardon and though we will die physically, our spirits are alive in Christ and we will live eternally with our Heavenly Father.

Don’t just sit there on Death Row, ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins. He will set you free. You will be loved and adored by God all the days of your life!



I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. Deuteronomy 30:19 NASB

Our dogs mean everything to us. We choose what food to feed them for their health, weight, and age. We pick the veterinarian they will see and take them to appointments to have the appropriate supplements, medications, and vaccinations. We take them to the beach or the mountains for vacations and assure they get the exercise they need. We are their providers and protectors.

When they become seniors and are ill we take care of them to the best of our ability. Sometimes, we are called upon to make the decision between death and life. If they are suffering and their quality of life is deteriorating, we call the vet and accompany them on their last car ride and let them go peacefully even though our hearts are breaking.

God gave the Israelites the choice between life and death. If they would obey God and love him with their whole hearts, they would have life and blessings. If they didn’t they would have death and curses. Unlike the decision to put your pet to sleep, it seems like a no brainer but every day people are not choosing God and his heart must be breaking.

We try to be our own protector and provider. We can do it ourselves and don’t rely on God to help us with our daily decisions. If we don’t see immediate repercussions, we think we are doing fine on our own.

God tells us to obey. Obey in the small areas and obey in the big areas of life. God is our provider and He is our protector. If we look to him in every situation, we will be blessed. He is our creator and He alone knows what is best for us. He has our good in mind.

John 5:24 states, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life”. Who wouldn’t want to live eternally? Who wouldn’t choose life?

Pass from death to life. Each morning choose to obey God. He is on your side and only wants to bless you. It’s your choice.

CLICK HERE TO HELP ANIMALS https://www.bestfriends.org



“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain”. Psalm 127:1 ESV

Our dogs are not true guard dogs. They like to look out the window and watch. There are a few dogs in the neighborhood that are not favorites so are treated to loud barking signaling annoyance that they are walking by their property. Most of the time, you could come in the house and they wouldn’t lift their heads unless it was to be petted.

A true guard dog or watchdog is trained to guard property against, and watch for, unwanted or unexpected human or animal intruders. Sometimes you find yourself with a guard dog because of the breed characteristics and sometimes your little Chihuahua has the loudest and scariest snarl.

As with dogs, a human watchman keeps guard and a lookout watches for the enemy to approach and is looking with careful observation. We can only do so much in our human strength and ability. The first verse of Psalm 127 states the watchman labors in vain without the Lord’s help.

In I Peter 5:8, we are told to be sober and vigilant because we have an enemy called the devil and he thrives on seeking to devour us. We must be careful to be on guard and aware of our enemies, weaknesses, and temptations. We must also realize that in our own strength we will often fail.

I Corinthians 15:57 states, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I John 2:1 tells us that we have an advocate with the Father- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. We don’t have to worry because Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.

We must be on guard and set lookouts for our protection in this life. We must not worry but know that God is on our side. We need to pray and share our requests and concerns with the living God who himself is our guardian. He is our leader, our creator, our protector, and our friend. “Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). Our watchman is on duty 24/7 and with him you will not labor in vain. The victory is yours!


%d bloggers like this: