"When they allow a talk show host to play them like a two-dollar banjo, they demonstrate what kind of backbone they'll bring to the job later on, if we elect them. After they get elected will they continue to allow Jeff Crank to put a nickel in them and wind them up every Saturday morning?"

Barry Noreen, former columnist, Colorado Springs Gazette

Sunday, February 12, 2012


“A Celebration of Daisy (1998-2012)”
by John Alexander MadisonFebruary12, 2012

Cheryl just told me about the loss of your precious Daisy dog. My heart goes out to you as I have great empathy. I know that she left you with a basketful of beautiful, loving memories. I have attached something I was inspired to write in the middle of the night after the death of our beloved Sam. I hope it gives you some comfort.
Much love, Michael

“About Sam Dog”

On Monday, our dearly beloved Brittany spaniel, Sam (alias: Sambo Samborinni the Wonder Dog), left this world. As many of you know, Sam developed cancer over a year ago. On the advice of our vet, we fought and, with your prayers and God's grace, Sam lived another year in excellent health, beating the odds by more than double the estimates.

Three weeks ago, a host of new complications set in and, as our compassionate vet had encouraged us to fight, he now encouraged us to allow Sam to leave with dignity.

To all of you who prayed for Sam, God answered all of our prayers. The past year with Sam overflowed with love. And, knowing that we were on borrowed time, each day with him was extra precious.

I have heard that pets do not go to Heaven. I think the Bible may say something about that. I'm not sure. However, I am sure that a God who creates companions and companionships as we had in Sam (and as many of you have or have known with your own pets) is a God who has a plan for them as well as for us. On this issue, His grace is sufficient. I need no other answer.

What's most important is what God wants to share with us through glorious creatures like Sam. Here is what God and Sam have laid on my heart:

Sam embodied what Christ came to teach us silly, hard-hearted humans. Sam did not care how much money I made, nor how I dressed. Nor did he care about the car we drove or where we lived. Once, I showed him my stock portfolio. He sniffed it, sensed it was not edible, and smiled at my "misguided-ness."

Sam lived to love us (and others) and to be loved. Having a relationship with Cheryl and me was the only thing that mattered. Even food came in second place. Like Christ is trying to teach us, Sam would always forgive us for being human. No matter what wrong we did, he was eager to forget. He could only see the best in us.

Sam must have read the "Sermon on the Mount" and taken it all in. He did not worry about anything, what to eat, what to wear. He found great delight in taking a walk and chasing a cheap rubber ball. He had no fear of the future. He knew with great conviction that his Master would take care of him. He loved us with all of his heart, all of his mind and, I have to believe, all of his soul. No different than what God asks of us.

Please honor Sam today by honoring what he has shown you about God's love and how he wants you to treat others. Like Sam, our days are numbered. Let's waste them no more!

EPILOGUE

On behalf of Sam, Daisy, Scrappy, Sparky, Jake, Molly and Bear and all our beloved pets, thank you Michael.

After a successful career as a world-renowned fashion photographer Michael Belk began pursuing an idea be believes God put in his heart.

The idea was to produce a collection of fine art photographs that would depict messages of Jesus and show His relevance in our modern world. The idea became a project and in 2008 Michael put his fashion photography on hold to begin work on Journeys with the Messiah. The project, which was first published in late 2009 consists of 33 images and the “parable-like” messages they depict. It has received accolades from around the world, including Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries in Atlanta.

The images can be viewed on the Journeys with the Messiah website (TheJourneysProject.com)

The images are also available in signed and numbered limited-edition fine art reproductions, a beautiful book, a DVD and more. Michael travels to churches and other venues to present the images in an exciting audio-visual presentation.

Michael can be contacted at design@michaelbelk.com


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