March 29, 2007

Happy Friday Everyone! It's a time for New Beginnings!

There's no doubt, Spring has sprung! Spring is a reminder of New Beginnings. It's a time to celebrate God's gift to us—the trees, flowers, grass and the newborn babes-fur babies too, of course! It's a celebration of new life. Let's look even deeper. This springtime celebration is far more than new leaves on a tree or flowers blooming in your garden—it's deeper. It's about a new heart! It's about starting over. It's about second chances. You see, it all begins in the heart. It's the season of a new life in Jesus Christ.
On Easter morning, as you wake up, give thanks to God for another day; for good health. Give Him thanks for the family He's blessed you with and for the pets He's allowed for you to love and care for here on earth. But, most of all, give Him thanks for giving you new life. When Jesus was crucified, He went to the cross for YOU and for me. He went to the cross, so that we could live forever in Heaven. He died and rose on the third day. He's ALIVE! He lives and He loves YOU so much, more than words can describe. Jesus is about second chances and new beginnings. He's about forgiveness and unconditional love. He loves YOU so much that He suffered on a cross to provide us a way to Heaven. So, when you and I leave this earth due to death, we will live forever somewhere—for eternity. So choose life today; choose to be forgiven of your sins. Repent and ask Jesus to come live inside of your heart, forever! By doing so, you will be forgiven and when you die, you will go straight to Heaven where you will spend eternity next to the ONE (Jesus) who gave you life. Plus, you will get to see your beloved pet who will be there too, because animals do go to Heaven. What a blessing to be able to see your pet again. Jesus is the way to Heaven; the ONLY way!
Pray the following prayer with all of your heart and give your life to Jesus today.
Prayer of Salvation:
Lord Jesus, I ask for you to forgive me of my sins today. I need you in my life and I acknowledge that you are Lord and Savior of my life, and that you died on the cross for me, so that I may live in Heaven forever. Forgive me of my sinful ways and come live in me from now on. Show me and guide me each and every day. In your name Jesus , I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer from your heart and truly believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and Savior of your life, you have been saved and will spend eternity in Heaven. Rejoice! It's a time to celebrate your new life in Christ. I celebrate with you as you begin your new life in Jesus Christ today and always. Now, begin your new life by seeking a good, Bible-based church where you can grow and meet other Christians; and begin to read your Bible daily, so you can grow in the Word of God. And, begin a prayerful life by praying everyday. Did you know that simply talking to God is prayer. When you open your heart to God and tell him your deepest concerns, dreams, worries, joys, ANYTHING—you are praying to God, who hears you. Call on Him daily and begin an intimate-personal relationship with the Lord today.
I will be praying too. Amen.
Happy Easter! Happy Resurrection Day! Happy New Beginnings!

March 12, 2007

Founder of Pet Loss Support Group Helps Others

Julie Wiley, a San Antonio native, has more than 15-years of experience in communications. She started her career in Broadcast Journalism in Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley. She has held positions in public relations and marketing, and currently serves as a communicator for a San Antonio hospital. A graduate of The Great News Network of Evangelists, Wiley teaches The Way of The Master evangelism course and serves as a facilitator for a local pet loss grief support group. She and her husband, Jim, attend Community Bible Church. She has a B.A. in Communications from Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State University. Wiley also studied psychology during her studies at SWT. Her love for people and pets is her greatest passion. She has served as a small group counselor in several summer camp events. She and her husband organized the SAPPY Pet Loss/Grief Support Group of San Antonio in 2003, after they lost their 14-year-old Chihuahua Sappy to bladder cancer. For more information about the support group meetings, call (210) 216-0920.

March 10, 2007

Sappy Pet Loss Support Group to Gather Once a Month

After lots of prayer and thought, we've decided to start gathering once a month, instead of once a week. The SAPPY Pet Loss/Grief Support Group of San Antonio, has faithfully been meeting for more than three years. Since 2003, the group has helped grieving pet parents during their time of loss.

We strongly believe in this support group, which is why we will continue to provide support each month. There's definitely a need for this type of support group in our city and we feel very blessed to be the pioneers of such a unique support group in our city. We've met a lot of wonderful pet parents through this support group and we will continue to serve our community by remaining faithful to the call. Our new schedule and location is below.
SAPPY Pet Loss Group gatherings will now meet once a month, on the 4th Tuesday of each month.

SAPPY Pet Loss Support Group Gatherings Schedule 2007

April 24

May 22

June 26

July 24

August 28

September 25

October 23

November 27

*December 25
(Christmas Day: Will gather at 10:30 a.m.)
Come and share the wonderful memories of your faithful animal companion during the SAPPY Pet Loss Support Group meetings. It's a place where you will feel welcome, comforted and supported. Hope to see you there! Be a friend. Bring a friend. Make a friend.

EMERGENCIES: If you need to meet before the group gathers, please contact Julie to set a special time to meet with her. She will be more than happy to make herself available to you.

For more information about the group gatherings, contact Julie at (210) 216-0920.

March 3, 2007

What Does the Bible Say About Animal Abuse?

Excerpt taken from Bible Answers.
Does God hear the cries of those who do not communicate in human language? Does His heart respond to the fearful mewing of a motherless kitten or the exhaustion of a donkey staggering under a load far too heavy for it? Does He care about the animals that are bred in cramped quarters and exploited for profit?
God was so interested in the welfare of the animal kingdom that He created, that He even commanded Noah, in the time of judgement on the earth, to make the ark big enough to hold two of every kind of animal that existed. The Bible actually has much to say in regard to animal abuse. In the beginning, God created the earth and all the creatures on it to be under the authority of humanity. He entrusted these beautiful elements of His creation to our care (Genesis 1:26). Our sinful nature causes us to abuse these things, sometimes without even realizing it. Yet, God expects the Christian, above all others, to be sensitive to all of His creation, knowing that exploiting or abusing it shows a disrespect for God Himself. Abuse of anything that God made is not the character of God, but rather of the Evil One. Domestic Animals: "A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel" (Proverbs 12:10). Throughout the Bible, God shows how He expects us to care for our animals in practical ways. In the Law of the Israelites, for example, one of the purposes of the Sabbath year of rest for the land, was to let the land lie fallow--and so that the poor as well as livestock and wild animals could eat from it (Exodus 23:11 and Leviticus 25:7). The Sabbath day itself was not only for humans to rest. God also commanded us to give our animals rest on the same day. (Exodus 20:10). He also commanded the Israelites to help both their friends and enemies when their ox or donkey had fallen over, or was carrying a burden too heavy for it to bear (Exodus 23:5 and Deuteronomy 22:4). In addition, livestock were also allowed to eat as they worked (Deuteronomy 25:4). Finally, God says to us in Proverbs 27:23: "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds." Part of the reason that God anointed young David to be king over Israel, was that he was a good shepherd and could be trusted with the sheep under his care, even risking his life for them when they were attacked by lions or bears (1 Samuel 17:34). God knew that if David had this sort of heart for his sheep, he would be a faithful shepherd over an even greater treasure--the people of Israel. Wild Animals--His eye is on the sparrow: In addition to domesticated animals, God also watches over wild animals and commands us to do the same. In Deuteronomy 22:6-7, God promises a long life to those who will watch over wild birds. If we rape the land or the creatures in it, what will sustain us in the future? He allows for the taking of eggs, but commands that we release the mother bird to continue living in the wild and reproducing as He intended. In Job 38:41, God says that He hears the cries of newborn ravens crying to Him for food. Jesus went on to say that God supplies food for the wild birds and that not one of them falls to the ground without Him knowing it (Matthew 6:26, 10:29). These small, but kind and practical commands written throughout the Bible give us good insight into how God expects us to treat animals. Surely we will have to answer to Him for any abuse that we have committed against them. God created animals for us to love and to learn from. In them, we see our own dependance upon God illustrated in their dependance upon us. We can also see elements of our foolishness manifested in them (who has not seen a crowing rooster and laughed at the comic caricature of ourselves crowing to all the world in our foolish pride?) In addition, God also tells us to learn from their wisdom:
"Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest" (Proverbs 6:6-8). (Job 12:7-10 KJV) "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind." Although worship of animals as deities is strictly forbidden in Scripture, we are to respect them as a part of God's creation. Some believe that because only humans were created in God's image, they alone are worthy of respect and care. Yet, the Bible tells us that even the angels were not created in God's image, yet we are to respect them! We are to respect all of God's created order, not to worship facets of it, but to see in it the same call that we ourselves have, which is to glorify God. All of God's creation was made with the ability and the power to glorify Him, each in different ways.

In this, animals, as well as humans, share a common element with the rest of creation. Perhaps the words from these Psalms say it best of all (emphasis added):
Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him from the heights above. Praise him all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon, praise him all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. He set them in place forever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightening and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth young men and maidens, old men and children.Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens (Psalm 148: 1-13). Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6).