Our Fox, Rabbit, Cat, Rabbit with Grammy, Erin and Friend – 1995

Some Things Don’t Go Together

Our household has never gone a minute without our pets.  The most interesting one was our Fox named Pepper.  Like all our rescues our hearts were filled with making their lives and ours better than nature could provide.  But, sometimes things didn’t always go as we thought they would.  In this memory-filled time, we found Some Things Don’t Go Together.

Some foolish friends with hearts like ours had adopted a baby wild red fox from a wildlife sanctuary.  They had not planned on getting pregnant and that their little home in the suburbs could not handle him as he got older.   When we got the call to rescue them and take over the cutest pet ever we could not resist.  We thought once he grew up we’d make him a part indoor part outdoor pet.  He was litter box trained and smart as a fox.

He was amazingly friendly and was like lap cat.  Here he is with my daughter and a friend, both eight years old. (note the red chair)

 

He got along with everyone, it seemed.  Here is Pepper eating out of his dish on my late Mother-in-law’s lap.

We had plenty of room for him, we thought.  This red chair was in a large partially finished play room.  We delivered a litter of 11 labrador puppies in this room.  Here’s one of them on the infamous red chair. (this was a few years later).  Plus we lived in a home in the woods, we figured he could be let out to play and he’d come back.  We tried that once.  He was gone for a day. We worried something in the wild got him.  But he came back the next day looking for food and we trapped him in the garage.  Pet returned.

He began to grow larger and needed more energy released.  So during the day when we could keep an eye on him, and not be kept awake (remember foxes are mostly nocturnal) he was in the play room.  At night he was in the basement.  One problem we found in the basement was while he used the litter box, he needed to mark his territory.  The odor of raw fox pee is, well, you don’t want to know.  He was becoming a regular member of the family, as friendly as can be, almost like a cat, but way smarter and he’d actually come to you when you called his name.  A few times he landed on my side of the bed.He got along with our other pets, the dogs, the cat, and even the rabbit, Parsley. Parsley was kept in the basement in a cage when someone was not playing with her.  Here she is on the same red chair the others shared.

 

 

Everyone in the household got along well.  It seemed like all things did go together!  Harmony to the fullest. 

But one day when I was playing with him on my lap, no pictures of me with the fox, (darn), out of nowhere his sharp teeth took a nibble on the middle of my hand.  Man did that hurt.  His need for exercise was getting needier he was bouncing off the walls.  Literally, I mean.  He would run from one end of the room, jump up the side of the wall, and sprint to the other side and do it again.  I only discovered this one night in the playroom when I was wakened and watched him in action.  The bite, the smell, the noise, and the fact he was an outdoor animal was becoming more obvious.  He was about 6 months old when we adopted him, and he was now a year old.

As we left him in the basement more and the Ohio winter was setting in it was getting harder to air things out.  The marking was getting to this Dad who had the job of finding the spots and trying to clean them.  It was becoming too much.

Then it happened one night.  I came down to the basement and the rabbit was missing from her cage.   I thought oh no, she escaped.  But the cage door was clasped and closed.  I looked all around the basement wondering where she could be hiding.

At some stage of my writing, I usually tell people in my stories I covered the regular details and then mention to hit the red button for the part two spiritual portion of the story.  Do that in a minute!  It is a bit about bunnies (hint Easter bunnies)  But for the squeamish, hit the button now and move on.  Try not to glance at the rest of the story….

Sorry for the details, all I found of Parsley was a rabbit’s foot in the corner.  No blood, no fur, everything gone.  Pepper had a snack and felt no guilt.

The decision was made to let Pepper out the door and see if he’d come back regularly, as clearly, he needed some time in the real fox world.  We sadly said our goodbyes wondering but hoping we’d see him regularly as we let him out the door.  We remember him hesitating,  as we opened the door and let him into the woods he had so longed to go out and play in.  We watched Pepper sniff around this new world.  He hung around our yard an hour or so before bravely stepping into the woods that must have looked like a forest to him.  We prayed and hoped our friend would come home again often for visits and to leave a few marks telling others this is his home.

Then he seemed to look back and say ‘thank you, family,’  as he sprinted off into the deep.   Sadly he was never to be seen again.  At least as far as we know.  We did see some red foxes, but at the call of Pepper, Pepper!, they did not come running to greet us and jump in our laps or ask for a treat.  We try hard to believe he was off into the wild, found a hot-looking fox, had a family of his own, and lived happily ever after.

We do know though for sure after our fun time with our fox named Pepper that although he was a part of our hearts forever that – Some Things Don’t Go Together.

Please don’t go away yet! Hit that red button for more. If this is your first time visiting Average Joe’s Portico, every post is written in two parts. You have just read the portion challenging the mind, body, and soul.  In The Portico, I seek to tap into your spiritual side, but only IF YOU DARE.  Tap the Red Line Below to read the Part 2 Spiritual side of the story.  (For an explanation of my madness – read the ‘Do You Dare’ Tab)

If You Dare, Click to Enter Into Joe's Portico (To See Part II of This Story)

Today is Easter Sunday. Oh What a Happy and Glorious time to celebrate The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.   One thing that goes so well together with celebrating a glorious time is worshipping with music.  A brand new song with lots of jumping around was released called Oh Happy Day!     Click on the underlined title and turn your headset or stereo up full blast and celebrate!

Worshipping God is a tremendous uplifting time especially when you know you are looking at the One who had victory over the death we all fear and loathe.  If Jesus had not risen from the dead His death and shedding of His blood would be without power and we, as Paul said, would be people most pitied to live a life for Christ were it not true.  But it is so! 

Can you imagine a celebration of music being so together that it brought on the fullest presence of the Holy God and it caused everyone to be so joyous and overwhelmed that they couldn’t stand doing it anymore.  Well it happened after Solomon built the temple (where Solomon’s Portico is of which I have borrowed the name) when they had the first worship service.  2 Chronicles 5:12-14 described the scene:

And the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers—were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. 13 The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words:

“He is good!    His faithful love endures forever!

At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. 14 The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God.

Now that is a powerful service.  It was a reality of God’s goodness and enduring love for all of eternity, and of eternal life for all who give their lives to Him.  That is worth celebrating is it not?

 Not for anything else either.  Not chocolate bunnies, painted hard-boiled eggs, Easter egg hunts, or bouncy houses for the kids!  I am not one of those that refuses to not celebrate Christmas because it has a pagan background, as some say Easter does as well.  I was going to provide links about all the things that don’t go together with the blood, death, and resurrection of Christ.  If you need that, go Google it, there is plenty written on the subject along with explanations of how the churches mixed in together those rituals into the faith of Christianity. They’ll even tell you what the bunnies, eggs, and even how ham for dinner was used in a nefarious way.

Instead, let us focus on the important aspect, whether you attended a church with a bouncy house for the kids to jump off the walls like our pet fox did, or not.

I leave you with a long chapter written by the long blog writer (er Bible writer) the Apostle Paul. Chapter 15 of  1 Corinthians is titled ‘The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.’  Some people in those days said there was no such thing as a person being resurrected, to which Paul said if there is no resurrection from the dead then everything I have ever preached is useless, as is our faith.  It is important!  Tied together with the death of Christ on the Cross (Read about its absolute importance in a previous story titled Six Reasons Good Friday Was More than Good ) it is everything key about the Good news of Jesus Christ, The Gospel.

Read it straight from the whole of 1 Corinthians 15 appropriately in the New LIVING Translation:

The Resurrection of Christ

” Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.

10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. 20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) 28 Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.

29 If the dead will not be raised, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again?

30 And why should we ourselves risk our lives hour by hour? 31 For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you. 32 And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those people of Ephesus—if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” 33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” 36 What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. 37 And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. 38 Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. 39 Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.

40 There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.

42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.

45 The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. 46 What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48 Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like[i] the heavenly man.

50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.

51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

    “Death is swallowed up in victory.
55  O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Some Things Don’t Go Together, but absolutely, the Blood of Christ and His death and resurrection from the dead, Do Go Together.

Should you have any questions on this important topic I welcome either your public questions, comments, or personal emails as well.  I’ll even talk to you in person if you so desire, just ask in an email to set up a time.   Happy Resurrection Day! 

P.S. – I hate popup ads, sign-up requests, book/conference promos, and requests for donations everywhere don’t you?   But, getting the word out about new posts for a 100% free-to-you website is a tough task on social media.  If you would like to be notified about new posts and occasional insiders only heart-pours, pop me a quick email at JoesPortico@gmail.com, and I’ll add you to my mailing list.   And please make a comment if you have one, we all love interaction and opinions from readers and I don’t claim to be an expert on anything.

 

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