Category Archives: Random Musings


Regalo, August 30, 2022

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast … (Proverbs 12:10)

He was an unwanted gift. My sister gave him to my dad because Dad had recently lost his “Tiny” Chihuahua, literally. He had left her inside his unlocked car and someone took her. Dad grieved the loss of his little companion that went everywhere with him and my sister wanted to ease the pain. However, Dad was not ready for a replacement, but he accepted the “gift” because of the giver. He named him “Regalo,” which means “gift” in Spanish.

Dad gets the “Gift,” August 2009

Dad had trouble housebreaking Regalo, and once the pup was big enough, he was put outside for good. At the time, Dad pastored a church in Brady, Texas and he lived in the parsonage next to the church building. He strung a wire between the church building and the parsonage and tethered Regalo to the line so that he could run back and forth between the two. He also built a dog house for shelter and basically forgot about the dog. Oh, he fed and watered him and showed him affection whenever he came outside, but other than that, Regalo was pretty much ignored. I do not mean to make it sound as if Dad mistreated Regalo. Dad loved all kinds of animals. Regalo was fed, watered, sheltered, and taken to the veterinarian for all his shots, and while he was tethered, he did have a lot of space to run. The tether kept him safe from getting ran over by a car – Dad did not have a fenced yard. However, anyone who has dogs understands that they are social animals, and they want to be around their packs. This is what Regalo missed.

Regalo came to us when he was five years old. Here he is just back from his first visit to the groomer on September 9, 2014.

Regalo was born sometime in June 2009, and my sister gave him to my dad when he was about eight weeks old in August 2009. Dad went to be with the Lord on August 27, 2014, and we held his funeral on September 2, 2014. Afterward, us siblings got together to divide up the “inheritance;” Dad did not leave much behind, but Regalo, now five years old, was one of those. He was flea infested and in bad need of a grooming. June wanted to “rescue” him, but I was not so eager. We already had two other dogs, Nacho and Chico, and I did not think we needed a third. My sister also wanted to take him, but she had no place for him at that time. So, we agreed that we would take Regalo and keep him until my sister found a house where she could keep him.

After several hours of bathing with flea shampoo, Regalo came home with us. On the way home, June carried him in her lap. Poor little guy – I say “little” because he only weighed 10 pounds at that time – was so nervous and scared that he peed on June’s lap. “Great!” I thought, “Now we have to worry about housebreaking him.” Along the way, we made a couple of unscheduled stops so that he could “go,” and he did fine the rest of the way home.

Housebreaking was not that hard for Regalo. He only had a couple of “accidents,” but he quickly learned where to do his business. He even learned how to ask to be let out. During his first week with us, we took him to a “dogapalooza” in our neighborhood for shots and a checkup. There we learned that Regalo had heartworm and treatment would cost between $600 and $800. I called my sister with the news and offered an option. I would pay for the treatments and she could reimburse me, or I would pay for the treatments and keep the dog. There was no hesitation. “You keep him,” was her immediate response. The treatments involved two rounds of injections about a month apart and restricted activity. For Regalo, “restricted activity” seemed to be second nature to him. He was one chilled pup.

With his heartworm treatments completed, Regalo got up to a respectable fighting weight of 20 pounds. I don’t know if it was because of the bout with heartworm, but Regalo was a low-energy dog. He would walk until he found a good place to flop and drop for a nap. It was usually in our path of travel, and our approach did not motivate him to move. He was happy to let us step over him. Sometimes he would park himself right under our feet without our knowledge and get his big “Grinch-feet” stepped on. However, that was one lesson he never learned.

After I retired in December 2019, Ragalo was happy just to be near me.

I retired in December 2019. Regalo was now ten years old. He and I grew closer during that time. He would follow me from room to room and whenever I found a good roost, he would flop down beside me. He was content just to be near me. We moved from Garland, Texas to Columbus, Nebraska in April of 2022. Regalo was approaching his 13th birthday. Our new house in Columbus included a basement, something we Texans were not used to. I have a “man cave” down in my basement, and I can spend hours down there. When I would come up, I would find Regalo waiting for me at the top of the stairs. God designed Regalo with stubby legs; getting down the steep stairs scared him, so he was happy to wait for me at the top of the stairs. When I finally figured out what he was doing, I started carrying down his chunky self with me. There he would find a good place to flop and just knowing I was there was all he wanted.

Regalo was unassuming and never demanding. When we would sit for a meal, he would come to the table, but never beg for food, like the other dogs. If we offered, he would take it, but he would never beg. Now at the food dish, that was another thing altogether. He ruled the food dish and he let the other dogs know it. That was the only time he ever expressed any aggression, otherwise, he was very loving to the other dogs – constantly grooming them – and to us. I got lots of kisses from him.

June and I had plans to go down to Texas to take care of some doctors’ visits and other appointments at the end of March. We put Nacho down before we moved to Columbus, so we decided to take Regalo and Chico along with us. However, a couple of weeks before our trip, we noticed Regalo really slowing down, more than usual. He had become incontinent and medications were not helping. We also noticed a couple of episodes of what appeared to be seizures, so we took him off of the meds for incontinence and bought doggie diapers for him. I was really worried about him making the trip. We would be staying with our good friends, Wayne and Linda, who would be keeping our dogs, and I did not want to burden them with Regalo’s geriatric issues.

This was the last picture I took of Regalo just three days before his passing. Even here, one can tell there is little energy left in him.

I remember watching Regalo out in our big backyard. He enjoyed just laying out there and smelling the air. Then we would call him in and he would run to the door with a big smile on his face. He looked like a happy puppy even in his old age. But now, when we put him out to do his business, he did not even have the strength to hike up his leg to pee. He just flopped on his stomach and unloaded his bladder.

Finally, on Saturday, March 25, 2023, I let him out with his diaper. He took a few steps beyond our patio and laid down on the grass. After a while, I called him in and he took just a few steps inside the door and dropped on the floor. He had absolutely no energy. As I looked at him, I prayed, “Lord, please don’t make me put him down. If he needs to go, please just take him.” It was about this time last year that I had to put Nacho down, and even though he was a rather eccentric, weird dog, we loved him and it hurt to put him down. I did not want to go through the same thing with Regalo.

I scratched his head and told him what a good boy he was and went downstairs to finish up whatever it was I was doing – probably writing another blog article. About an hour later, I went back upstairs and Regalo had managed to make it up to the hallway leading to our bedroom although he was facing toward the kitchen. Again, I cradled his head in my hands, scratched his ears, and told him what a good boy he was. I could tell he was not doing well. I returned to my mancave and about an hour later, June came downstairs and said, “Ernie, I think Regalo is gone.” I left what I was doing and went straight to where I had last seen him. I found him motionless facing the direction of our bedroom. There, June kept a doggie bed in her closet and Regalo had claimed it as his personal den. I am sure he was headed for his safe place, but he didn’t make it.

I got down on the floor and put my head on his chest. No heartbeat. No breath. He was gone, just as quietly as was his nature. June got down on the floor with me and we both wept bitterly. Loving him. Stroking him. Wishing that somehow our affection would bring him around, but he was gone. Chico was there too. He was confused. He did not understand our wailing. After much crying, I picked up Regalo and cradled him in my arms holding him close to me, while June called the vet to get advice on what to do. The vet said she was on her way into the office to make rounds on her patients and that we could bring him in and she would take care of the cremation. I drove us to the vet while June held Regalo in her lap one last time. We carried him in to the vet and let her take over from there. That was the last time we would see our sweet boy.

It’s sad to think that this is all that remains of such a sweet and loving companion.

We took our short trip to the Dallas area with our “only child,” Chico. When we returned home, I went to the vet’s office to pick up Regalo’s remains – less than half a pound of ashes in a tightly sealed plastic bag. I wonder what the attendant must have thought when I remarked, “Is that all?” He was all of 20 pounds, fluffy, furry, and full of life, and this was all that remained. When the weather gets nicer, we will scatter his ashes in our big backyard where he loved to lay and sniff the air. And I can still imagine him running toward me when I call, with that big happy smile on his face. Oh! How I miss him!

This is not the first time we’ve gone through this. I remember a little friend we had many years ago. She was one we raised from a pup. She also lived to be 14. We had to put her down, and I remember the tears. As the end of her life neared, I wondered if there was a Doggie Heaven. I don’t know for sure, however, I concluded that it is certainly possible. Animals did not sin and bring the curse of death upon the world. And when God created, death was not part of His “very good” creation. Therefore, it’s very possible that animals do inherit eternal life simply because it was not God’s intention for them to die in the first place. I hope I’m right about that, and when I get to heaven, I hope to see Regalo there and when I call his name, he’ll come running to me with a big smile on his face, and along with him, all the other dogs in my pack. Regalo was a very good boy.

He loved his big backyard. “Did you call, Daddy?” This is how I want to remember him.
I will miss his smile. He was a very good boy.


Filed under Dogs, Random Musings


And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the [little] dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. (Matthew 15:27)

This last week was a sad one for June and me. We had to say goodbye to our 15-year-old, geriatric Chihuahua, Nacho. Nacho, although surprisingly full of energy, was showing his age. He limped, albeit quickly, on his arthritic legs. Sometimes his right shoulder would lock up, and he would cry out in pain, and after a gentle massage from me, he would return to his “normal” self. He was losing his hearing and sight, which made him aggressive toward our other two dogs if they approached him unexpectedly, especially when he was trying to eat. Eating was another problem. By now, he had lost several of his molars, so he had difficulty chewing his kibble.

The last month or so, we noticed that Nacho was losing weight. Nacho was big for a Chihuahua – a lean ten pounds – so he did not have much to lose. We could count the vertebras on his back and his ribs were beginning to show. His weight loss concerned us, so we started feeding him soft canned food, but that did not seem to help. Finally, he started urinating all over the house, even after going out for a pee-pee run. He had never done that before. We concluded this was the beginning of kidney failure for the old guy.

June and I are moving to Nebraska next month. Unlike Texas, Nebraska winters can be brutal. We thought Nacho would not do well in that cold climate, with his skinny, arthritic body. That and the fact that he would be going to an unfamiliar house that he would have to navigate with his poor eyesight. Then there were the bladder control issues. We thought about putting him up for adoption, but who wants a geriatric dog with multiple health issues that could linger for another three years? (Chihuahua’s can live up to 18 years.) Oh, and did I mention that he exhibited signs of dementia? Sometimes he would walk into a room, stop dead in his tracks, and stare as if he forgot why he came into the room.

So, we thought it best to have him put to sleep. I was stuck with the dirty work, and it ripped my heart in two. It was all I could do to maintain my composure and not break out bawling there at the animal shelter. I reserved that for the drive home. June met me when I arrived home, and we embraced and cried all over each other.

It is funny – not funny, ha ha – how an animal can take over such a large part of our hearts. I had a love-hate relationship with Nacho. He was neurotic. He was skittish. He was aloof, almost cat-like, not warm and loving like most dogs. He was loud. Oh! He was oh so loud! But we had our moments. When I would reach out to pick him up, he squirmed away as if I was about to beat him (I never did), but when I finally picked him up, he would lick my face out of obligation (I think). Still, I loved the weirdo.

Nacho loved to sing along when anyone sang. I remember one Fourth of July when June and I were visiting family in Nebraska. We went to the Fourth of July parade in Platte Center, NE, and we took Nacho along with us. Before the parade started, a high school girl stared singing the National Anthem. By the third measure, Nacho was loudly singing right along with her, and I could not shut him up. I was so embarrassed!

When I was growing up, my parents would always sing “Las Mañanitas” on our birthdays. We have kept up the tradition, and when my siblings’ birthdays come around, I call them up and sing “Las Mañanitas” to them. Nacho was always ready to join in. He stopped singing when his hearing dimmed. Even when I held him and sang, he stopped joining in.

He also howled when I called him by his “full” name – Ignacio Panza Con Patas Carrasco. (Panza con patas means “belly with feet.”) It was the funniest thing. I would say his full name, and he would start howling. I do not know why. Did he understand he was being insulted? I don’t know, but when we had guests over, I would always entertain them with Nacho’s antics.


Nacho protesting being called by his full name – Ignacio Panza Con Patas Carrasco!

Nacho came to us when he was about eight weeks old. He was about five inches long – about the length of our TV remote control. He gave us a lot of his love in his own weird way. He had a way of “talking” to us in a way that made himself understood. He was really smart. I will miss him. I am sure that if there is a “Doggie Heaven,” he’ll be there. I miss you, Viejo!J


Filed under Dogs, Random Musings


For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God … But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:10, 16)

My wife, June, and I are in the process of moving exchanging the heat of Texas for the cold of Nebraska. Personally, I do not mind the heat. I am a native Texan, so the heat does not bother me. My wife, on the other hand, is a native Nebraskan and she finds the Texas summers oppressive. Growing up in Texas and living in different parts of this great state, I have experienced the frigid cold winters of the Panhandle to the muggy humidity of San Antonio summers. I have concluded that I prefer the heat to the cold. However, I have survived cold winters – I was much younger then – so I am sure I can acclimate to the Nebraska winters.

We have bought a house where we are moving, but we will not move into it until the spring. I know June is excited about the move. All her family is there and she is looking forward to caring for her aging parents. I am also getting excited about the move to exchange the noise and traffic of the Dallas metroplex for the peace and quiet of a smaller town – with really nice people, I must add.

Our new house is more spacious in square footage, and it comes with a larger yard – more for me to mow – for about the same amount of money that we will get for our current house. An added bonus is the basement that comes with the house that is not included in the total square footage of the house. June says I can have the basement all to myself. There is a lot of space there for books, study, and hobbies.

Even though I have some regret about leaving my beloved State of Texas, I am excited about the move and our new home. Already my mind is whirling with ideas of what we will do to make the new house our home.

As I think on these things, I remember Jesus’ promise of a new home with Him. “In my Father’s [abode] are many [dwelling places]: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3, emphasis mine).

As excited as I am about our new home in Nebraska, I look forward to that new heavenly home with greater anticipation. June and I have seen pictures of our new Nebraska house, and we have been told about it by those who have been inside, but is not the same as seeing it for ourselves. If that is true for an earthly house, imagine the much greater anticipation for our heavenly home! What will it be like? Will there be houses there? If so, how will they be furnished? Perhaps, because of the perfect environment, no protective structures will be needed. We have houses here to protect us from the elements and from those who would harm us. We will not need protection from the elements there and there are no thieves to break in and steal.[1] Will we need beds upon which to sleep? Seeing that our glorified bodies will be like the body of Jesus,[2] will we even require sleep?

The Apostle John gave us a glimpse of that heavenly place,[3] but even his words cannot fully express the glory of our eternal home. We have no pictures of our heavenly home, and those who have been privileged to get a sneak peek cannot adequately describe it. Paul experienced the “third heaven” and, speaking of himself in third person, said this: “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4, emphasis mine).

Abraham experienced something similar, but from an earthly perspective. God called him out of a familiar land to a land unknown to him with the promise that He would make him a great nation.[4] Except for the promised heir, Isaac, Abraham never saw the promise of God fulfilled. Yet the Bible says, “And [Abraham] believed in the LORD; and [He] counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Speaking of Abraham, the writer of the book of Hebrews remarks, “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Abraham had no evidence other than the voice of God. God’s Word was not recorded with pen on scroll for him to study and ponder. He did not have the descriptions from those who had been there. Still, he believed, and God “counted it to him for righteousness.”

We have more evidence than Abraham. We have been given glimpses, although dim, of the greater home that awaits us. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). June and I will be moving to Nebraska pretty soon, but Jesus may call us to move home with Him before then. I prefer the latter.

If you are unsure of where you will spend eternity, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”


[1]  Matthew 6:20

[2]  Philippians 3:21

[3]  Revelation 21-22

[4]  Genesis 12:1-3;3:15-16; 15:4-6, 18


Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Heaven, Random Musings, Rapture, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

What’s Ahead?

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)

We are there -2022! I would wish everyone a happy New Year, however the prospect of that seems remote at best. I do not mean to discourage, but if you believe this year will be better than last year or the year before, I fear you will be sadly disappointed. I would encourage you not to allow the circumstances of the coming year determine the measure of your happiness. Rather, focus on your relationship with the Lord and allow Him to fill your heart with joy. Happiness waxes and wanes with circumstances, but joy endures all circumstances.

I am not a pessimist, but I am keenly aware of what is going on in the world and 2022 does not look promising. Fear of the Wuhan Bug continues to grip our nation and the world even though this new Omicron variant is weaker, albeit more transmissible, than previous varieties. Yet, those who supposedly care about our health, along with the complicit and compliant media, continue to propagate the lie that this thing is killing people. Therefore, they continue to push for more “vaccines,” more boosters, more masks, more social distancing and more isolation. The Biden Administration is illegally pressuring businesses of greater than 100 employees to mandate vaccinations for all of their employees as a requirement of employment. However, members of the Biden Administration and members of Congress are not required to comply with similar mandates. There is also the matter of illegal aliens crossing our southern borders without any vaccination requirements. Something seems strangely wrong with this picture! Then there is the question of the efficacy of these “vaccines.” People fully vaccinated and “boosted” can still catch the bug, so they are still encouraged to mask up and maintain social distances. This issue will not improve and only promises to get worse in 2022.

The bug scare has severely impacted our national economy as well as the global economy. Add to that, the Biden Administration took our nation from energy independence to total energy dependence on countries that hate us. However, the damage done is not enough. Further plans await for more pipeline shutdowns, and coal mine closures. It would appear that all these “mistakes” are the result of stupidity, but there are too many and too targeted at our economy to be accidental. No one is that stupid. There are global entities behind the curtain pulling the levers and running the gears determined to eliminate the United States as a world power.

America is no longer the economic and military super power that it once was. We are diminished in the eyes of the world. Russia, China, and Korea no longer fear the United States and demonstrate it by conducting provocative acts with impunity. Iran is ramping up development of their nuclear arsenal with Israel as their primary target. The Middle East is a boiling caldron ready to explode. The players in the Gog and Magog war prophesied by Ezekiel are moving into place. Israel, standing pretty much alone, makes preparations for all out war. They cry, “Peace, peace!” but there is no peace.  

I said earlier, I am not a pessimist. I see what is going on, and I know it will only get worse. However, I also study the Bible and Jesus clearly told us that these days would come. So, when I see all of this, I am encouraged knowing that Jesus promised that He would come for His own to take us to be with Him. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3, emphasis mine).

So, whatever 2022 brings, we who belong to Him can face it fearlessly knowing that, while we may face some troublesome times, we will not face them alone. Furthermore, we have the promise of His soon return to call us home to be with Him. My concern is for those who do not belong to Him. After He calls us home, these bad times we are facing will pale in comparison to what the next seven years will bring. If you are not of His, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

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Filed under Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Holidays, New Year's Day, Random Musings, Rapture, Second Coming of Christ

It’s Not Even Thanksgiving!

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

This time of year gives rise to one of my pet peeves, and that is the commercialization of Christmas. Often you can find in stores Christmas displays right alongside Halloween displays. The anticipated celebration of Jesus’ birth coexisting with what is arguably a celebration of demonic activity.

By now, all the Halloween decorations are down and you can get great deals on leftover Halloween candy. Christmas decorations dominate the scene now. Television commercials remind us that Christmas is just around the corner. The news media are raising public anxiety over the fear that all our Christmas presents will not arrive on time because they are all on container ships anchored off the California coast. That could very well happen, but so what?

In all the concern over Christmas it appears that everyone has forgotten all about Thanksgiving. What does this say about us as a society? It seems that we focus more on frivolity and materialism than we do on gratitude for the things we already have.

The Bible says much about giving thanks to God for the blessings we have. It also speaks much about frivolity and materialism. It calls these things idolatry. God takes a very dim view of idolatry. Of course, some may say, “Well Christmas is about Jesus.” Is it? Is Jesus the focal point of Christmas or is it more giving and receiving gifts? All the while, we forget to thank God for all the blessings He has already lavished on us.

Why not start celebrating the true gift of Christmas, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by first being thankful to God for all He has already given us and for His special gift of the Baby Jesus. So what if all the Christmas presents remain on container ships anchored off the California coast! The Bible says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, emphasis mine).

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Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Christmas, Current Events, Holidays, Random Musings, Thanksgiving, Theology