Saturday, September 3, 2011

Our Faithful Little Friend

I was so touched this week by a photo I saw on the news from one of the Seal Team Six members funeral. It was heartbreaking to see the flag-draped casket and on the floor in front of it, his faithful canine companion.  It was just lying there, sadly keeping watch. It's so sad that our animals feel the same emotions, and to some extent the same depth of emotions that we do, yet they have no words to express them. Their soft whimper, drooping tails and sad eyes are the only way they can convey what they are feeling. This trait of faithfulness to the end is such an amazing characteristc for dogs. We've all heard stories of dogs whose master died, and yet the dog continued to wait in its usual place for him to return; sometimes even to the detriment of their own well being, refusing to leave their watch even to eat or drink. Reports have been made of dogs who became separated from their master and made journeys of unbelievable distances, through many hardships, to find their way home again. Although our Cosmo hasn't done any amazing feats like these, in his own quiet way, he daily shows this trait of faithfulness. I notice it most when I'm just working around the house and he as usual, tries to be just as close to me as he can.  He is usually beside my feet if I'm sitting down on the couch.  Sometimes, if I go upstairs, when I finish my task and come back down, he is stretched out on the bottom step, waiting.....When I go outside and come back in, he is so close to the door I can barely get it opened to come inside. He is patiently waiting for me at the last place he saw me. I think the most poignant thing about this faithfulness is the fact that it is unconditional;we don't do anything to earn that unwavering love and devotion. They are so loyal and loving that they will even lick the hand raised to them in anger or abuse. How can this show of love fail to remind us of the love extended to us all through nail-scarred hands and a thorn-pierced brow?  I am constantly amazed that God loves us so much and wants to reveal Himself and His truths to us so desperately, that He will use anything to accomplish that, including lessons from a small, brown dog.... 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Books I am working on

31 Spiritual Lessons Volume II
31 Spiritual Lessons Study Guide

A Spiritual Lessons Devotional for cyclists (yet to be named)

My Ebook will be available soon!

My ebook is now being processed!  It should be available within just a couple of weeks.
The cost will be $3.95 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, and other places.  I will keep everyone posted!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fall Book Signings

Fall is shaping up to be very exciting for Front Porch Resources and our book "31 Spiritual Lessons I Learned From My Dog".

We will be at the Border's bookstore in Cool Springs (in the Franklin, Tenn. area)to sign copies of the book on Friday, Oct. 10th, from 5:00-8:00 pm. We are very excited about this opportunity. Of course, Cosmo will be along to "pawtograph" each copy. I hope all of our friends will come by and say hello.

Then, the next week, we will traveling to Western North Carolina for a couple of signings. On Friday, Oct. 17th, we will be at The Ivy Corner in Black Mountain, NC for a signing at 10:00 am. The Ivy Corner is located at One Cherry Lane. This store has been our most consistent customer over the past year.

The following day, Saturday, Oct. 18th, we will be at Osondu Booksellers, 184 N. Main St. in Waynesville, NC. This is the day of the BIG Apple Harvest Festival in town. They are expected up to 25,000 visitors that day.

Our book is also in The DogHouse, a dog speciality shop/grooming business. We are very excited to be affliated with them.

Luckily, Cosmo is a great little traveler and really loves meeting people !

More news later
Raylene and Cosmo

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Writing in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Dennis and I just returned from a trip to one of our favorite places on Earth....the Blue Ridge Mountains. We spent a week at Ridgecrest for pastor's camp in Black Mountain, N.C. This was one place where I did a lot of work on the first volume of "31 Spiritual Lessons I Learned From My Dog" a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, our beloved Cosmo couldn't go on this trip with us, but he was never far from our thoughts. I continued work on the second volume of "31 MORE Spiritual Lessons I Learned From My Dog" . It is such a beautiful and inspiring setting to work in and I am pleased with what I accomplished. In some ways, I think I am even more excited to see these lessons in print than I was the first volume.....I think these go a little deeper. I was also able to go by one of my favorite stores in the world, The Ivy Corner on Cherry Street in Black Mountain...they sell my book there, so I delivered their latest order in person! We enjoyed talking to other dog lovers while we were there...stopping the car and parking in order to say hello to two sweet dachshunds from Texas, siblings named Heidi and Hans. We just can't pass up a dachshund. We were very happy to be reunited with Cosmo and I think he was glad to see us too. I grow more thankful everyday that he is part of our lives.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cosmo and the "Big Trip"

Hi Everyone,

We are back in town after a short trip to Gatlinburg, Tn. It has always been a favorite vacation spot for my family, all the way back to my childhood. We also have many great memories of going there with our two sons, Joe and Stephen. This was Cosmo's second trip with us and his first trip to Gatlinburg. One of the lessons in the second book I am working on will deal with his first trip with us. He did pretty well except when he had to wait for us in the room a couple of times. He was a big hit on the streets of Gatlinburg! We went downtown to window shop the first night we were there, and at times, we had a small crowd gathered around us looking at and talking about him...he is so great with people that we feel comfortable with supervision to allow people to interact with and pet him. Every day he wore a different snappy bandana so he was too cute! I was able to share with several people about "our" devotional book "31 Spiritual Lessons I Learned From My Dog". We spent some time today with me signing and Cosmo "pawtographing" some books's a big mess to clean him up, but I think people appreciate his little personal touch! He is such a welcoming, loving little creature....I am so thankful for the gift of Cosmo to our life....he is truly Heaven-sent to us! More later,

Raylene and Cosmo

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Introduction to my Book

Today, I am posting the introduction to my book, "31 Spiritual Lessons I Learned From My Dog." I hope you enjoy it. Don't forget to order your copy at

Thirty-One Spiritual Lessons I Learned From My Dog


It’s not that my husband and I had anything against dogs really, our lifestyle just did not seem to support having a dog.
Like most people our days, and even our evenings seem to be come more jam-packed each week.
I don’t know if you are aware of this fact, but dogs are a lot of work: the walking in all kinds of weather, the training, the grooming, plus the fact that everything has to be on a fairly tight schedule with little room for error. Seeing to all these needs can be very time consuming; it is a never-ending, daily routine of love and effort.
I guess we were rather spoiled after having a cat for the last several years. Now granted, cats are moody and dogs are always ready with affection, but cats are also very low maintenance. Just some food, water, litter box, and they’ll let you know loudly if they want anything else!
Along with all the work, also to be considered is the famous negative puppy behavior; chewing, barking, and accidents everywhere!
So, like I said, nothing personal against dogs, but we just didn’t think it was right for us.
That is, until our son’s girlfriend Anna requested a miniature dachshund puppy for her birthday. Joe so sweetly complied, drove a couple of hours, and paid a couple of hundred dollars to purchase this special gift.
We were doing o.k., firm in our resolve that “We really are more cat people” until we saw that little guy who was the color of a piece of melted chocolate, and who doesn’t love chocolate? Once our eyes met those brown eyes pleading “love me”, we were done for!

Since Anna was in college and needed quiet to study, and since dachshunds are famous for barking, the little guy named Cosmo began to “visit” us on weekends. Eventually, because of changes in both Anna and our son Joe’s living arrangements, neither of them could keep Cosmo, so they began to talk about options for him. They were discussing sending him to Chicago to live with her brother, when we realized we were totally smitten and could not stand to see him shipped up North! Besides, he’s a shivery little dog and he would freeze in the Windy City!
And so, we began our new occupation as fulltime caretakers to this little guy. It was during some of the daily chores I mentioned earlier that I began to see some spiritual parallels developing between our dealings with Cosmo and our Master’s dealings with us. I hope you can see yourself in these as well.