And the Liebster Award Goes To...

The Criteria: The Liebster Blog Award is meant to showcase bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. This is all done in the spirit of pay-it-forward and to recognize your peers in the blogging world.

The Rules: You must mention and link to the person who awarded you the Liebster and mention other blogs with fewer than 200 followers you think worthy of the Liebster (Give preferably 5 mentions/awards if possible).

As per the policy of the Liebster Award, it is now my turn to pay it forward to fellow bloggers.  I have chosen these recipients because their work has touched me in one way or another.  So (Drum roll please), the Liebster Award goes to.
    1. Debra Johnson of Out of the Shadows (of Abuse) – for her willingness and courage to share her story, so that others should know that they are not alone.
    2. Lauretta Holt of The Plumbline - A daily study of the Word of God. Simple, life-transforming tools to help you grow in Christ.
    3. Therese LeanPersonal Health Coach and Goal Setting Maven – for the wonderful inspiration she is to others through her work and by sharing her weight loss journey.
    4. UPDATE - ADDED DEC. 6, 2011 - One recipient has requested not to be given the award; as their blog is only for the purposes of witnessing to others, and they do not want publicity.  As such their name, blog link and tags have been removed.  ~Carley

    My many thanks go to Brenda Wood of Heartfelt Devotions – Thoughts for Common Sense Living for giving me this award.  I appreciate it and I am so very honored by it.  Thank you.

    The Master’s Voice

    ~~ John 10:27 (NIV84) ~~   My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

    by Carley Cooper

    Photo by Carley
    There is so very much that we can learn from the love of a dog.  There’s an old saying that I have heard many times that says “Until one has loved a dog part of the heart remains unopened”.  As anyone who has ever loved a dog will tell you, this is so very true. 

    ~Author Unknown 

    Dogs just seem to take in stride
    the passing of each day,
    content to let the hours pass
    whatever comes their way.

    They seem to know a secret
    which offers peach of mind
    a secret dogs just seem to know
    and humans seldom find.

    They lead an unassuming life
    and know their masters voice
    a simple touch of their masters hand
    will cause them to rejoice.

    They listen for his footsteps
    and wait beside the door
    content to let the world go by
    to serve him evermore.

    And when they’re taken from us
    the pain is hard to bear
    but happy memories linger on
    to keep them ever near.

    • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
    • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
    • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
    • When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
    • Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
    • Take naps and stretch before rising.
    • Run, romp and play daily.
    • Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
    • Be loyal.
    • Never pretend to be something you're not.
    • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
    • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
    • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
    • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
    • On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
    • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
    • No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout... run right back and make friends.
    • Bond with your pack.
    • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

    • The dog is not allowed in the house.
    • OK, the dog is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.
    • The dog is allowed in all rooms, but has to stay off the furniture.
    • The dog can get on the old furniture only.
    • Fine, the dog is allowed on all the furniture, but is not allowed to sleep with the humans on the bed.
    • OK, the dog is allowed on the bed, but only by invitation.
    • The dog can sleep on the bed whenever he wants, but not under the covers.
    • The dog can sleep under the covers by invitation only.
    • The dog can sleep under the covers every night.
    • Humans must ask permission to sleep under the covers with the dog.

    Are you waiting for your Master's voice?  Do you wait for Him at the door?  Do you love others the way your dog loves you?

    ~~ Dear God ~~    Thank You for all creatures that You have placed on this earth with us.  Thank You, especially, for dogs.  Wagging tails, puppy kisses, and the unconditional love that You gave to dogs help me to see You in them every day.  Please change my heart to become as loyal, loving, forgiving, and non-judgemental as that of my dogs!  In Jesus name, AMEN.

    Here is another blog I wrote about how much we can learn from our beloved K9 babies.  If we take our cues from dogs, we could get so much closer to God.  It is called “All Dogs Go to Heaven”.

    I dedicate the poem above to all the dogs I have loved; Casey, Brandy, Shadow, Chipper, Pipocas, Molly, Gertie, Cracker, Taco