Category Archives: God’s creation

15 Unusual Animal Friendships That Will Melt Your Heart

There are some people out there that still believe that animals are just dumb beasts, but the unlikely animal friendships we’ve gathered here will prove that they are capable of feeling love and compassion just like we are.

Naturally, all of these pictures are heart-breakingly adorable, but there’s more to it than that. Why did these animals form their friendships? Some of them, like the lions, dogs and elephants, are known for forming strong social relationships or even networks in the wild. In the absence of their prides or packs, it makes sense that they would seek social relationships outside of their own species. Other more solitary animals may form parent-child relationship with animals that they spend time with or that helped raise them, especially if their own parents are gone.

Whatever the reason may be, unusual friendships like these show that animals may be far more emotionally complex than many of us believe. Maybe these friendships aren’t so unusual after all!

1. Bubbles the African Elephant and Bella the Black Labrador

Image credits: Barry Bland

Despite the extreme difference in size, Bubbles the elephant and Bella the black lab have become great friends. Bubbles was brought to a safari reserve in the U.S. after she was rescued from ivory poachers in Africa, while Bella was left there by a contractor for the park. The two are great to see together, especially when Bella uses Bubbles as a diving board! (read more)

2. Bea the Giraffe and Wilma the Ostrich

Image credits: PA

Bea and Wilma have become great friends during their time together at Busch Gardens in the U.S. The two share a huge 65-acre enclosure, so they aren’t forced to spend time together – they do so willingly.

3. Tinni the Dog and Sniffer the Wild Fox

Image credits: Torgeir Berge

Tinni the dog and Sniffer the wild fox have been the best of friends since they met in the forests of Norway. Torgeir Berge, Tinni’s owner, does what he can to keep up and photograph the pair as they play in the woods. (read more)

4. Torque the Dog and Shrek the Owl

Image credits: Solent News and Photos

Torque adopted Shrek the owl chick when he was just 6 months old himself. Shrek was removed from his mother’s care because handlers were afraid that she might eat him when stressed. He’s doing great now, and the two have become inseparable pals.

5. Fred the Labrador and Dennis the Duckling

Image credits: SWNS

Things were looking grim for Dennis the duckling when his mother had been mauled by a fox. Fred the Labrador and his owner Jeremy, however, found and rescued Dennis. Dennis and Fred have been buddies ever since. Fred apparently has a big heart, because it’s not the first time he’s helped take care of an orphan – he once adopted a baby deer as well.

6. Mabel the Chicken and the Puppies

Image credits: Anita Maric

After being saved from the pot due to a foot injury, Mable found a new wonder when she was moved into her owners’ home – puppies! For some reason, the year-old hen has taken to roosting on the puppies and keeping them warm while their mother prefers the yard. Go figure!

7. Milo the Dog and Bonedigger the Lion

Image credits: Barcroft USA

Milo the tiny dachshund took Bonedigger the lion cub under his wing when it was discovered that the lion was suffering from a metabolic bone disease that left him disabled. Five years later, the 500 pound lion is still the best of buddies with the 11-pound dachshund and his two compatriots, Bullet and Angel.

8. Cat and the Fox

Image credits: imgur.com

Image credits: imgur.com

This curious pair was spotted playing by fishermen on the shore of Lake Van in Turkey. Not much is known beyond the fact that they’re very cute and very playful.

9. Shere Khan, Baloo and Leo

Image credits: Barcroft Media

The tale of Shere Khan the tiger, Baloo the bear and Leo the lion is truly touching. The three of them were rescued together from a drug dealer who had abused them extensively. Baloo even needed surgery to remove a harness that had grown into his skin and caused deformities – the owner had never bothered to adjust it. Because of what they’ve suffered together, the three friends are now inseparable. They are under the care of the Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in the U.S.

10. Mani the Wild Boar Piglet and Candy the Dog

Image credits: spiegel.de

Manni the wild boar piglet was found starving in a field in southwest Germany and brought home by the Dahlhaus family. When he was introduced to their Jack Russell terrier Candy, the two immediately hit it off. Since last we heard, Manni is recovering well and will either stay with his family or move to a wildlife park.

11. Kasi the Cheetah and Mtani the Labrador

Image credits: Busch Gardens Tampa

Kasi and Mtani were raised together at Bush Gardens in the U.S. During their youth, their unusual friendship was a treat to watch. As he grew into adolescence, however, Kasi began drifting away from Mtani and becoming more interested in the female cheetahs in the next pen. While Kasi now spends more time with other cheetahs, the two are still good friends and often visit schools and other places together.

12. Rabbit and Deer

unusual-animal-friendship-9-3

Image credits: Tanja Askani

Spotted by animal photographer Tanja Askani, this unusual deer and rabbit duo looks like right out of Disney’s classic Bambi.

13. Suryia the Orangutan and Roscoe the Blue Tick Hound

Suryia and Roscoe live together at a rare and endangered species reserve in the U.S. While orangutans are endangered, dogs are certainly less so. However, Roscoe has lived with her ever since he followed Suryia and her handlers home. It didn’t look like he had any other home to go to, so he stayed with Suryia, and they’ve been great friends ever since.

14. Kate the Great Dane and Pippin the Deer

Image credits: Isobel Springett

Image credits: Isobel Springett

Pippin the baby deer was adopted by Kate the caring Great Dane. They were great friends while growing up, but as Pippin matured, she moved out into the forest to raise a deer family of her own. She still visits Kate and her owner Isobel, however.

15. Anjana the Chimpanzee and Tiger Cubs

Image credits: Bary Bland

These two white tiger cubs were separated from their mother after her enclosure was flooded during a hurricane. Fortunately, they’ve been adopted by a U.S. animal reserve by Anjana the chimpanzee and their caretaker, China York. Anjana has helped China raise many different orphaned animals, so we’re sure they’re in good hands.

Can you imagine seeing Jesus?

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Image in the shroud of Turin (the birth of photography? )

stephen-sees-jesus-standing-on-the-right-hand-of-god

St. Stephen sees JESUS standing on the right hand of the Father

What would you do?

I’ve often thought I’ll say this or that, but who knows? I might fall down completely undone by the wonder and glory of His presence.


Imagine

 

NY State Assembly approves bill to inject poison into hearts of babies in the womb

For years, the New York state legislature has been embroiled in a battle over a package of bills called the Women’s Equality Act (WEA) that supposedly promotes the interests of women. The 10-point WEA is held up in part because the legislature has resisted the 10th point — a late-term abortion measure, AB 6221, which allows abortionists killing the unborn by shooting poison into their little beating hearts.

NY State AB 6221

Since 2013, abortion advocates have been holding the Women’s Equality Act hostage to this single AB 6221, refusing to break the 10-point bill up. The legislature resisted passing AB 6221 despite strenuous support from the supposedly Catholic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The position of the Catholic Church is and consistently has been that abortion is an “intrinsic evil,” which means it is not subject to negotiation. Being an intrinsic evil, abortion also takes precedence before any of the Church’s other concerns, including the darling of the Left — “social justice.”

On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, in a vote of 94-49 the New York State Assembly approved passage of AB 6221, which will expand third-trimester abortions and allow non-doctors to perform abortions.

Third-trimester abortion is also called late-term abortion — the deliberate murder of babies who are 7 to 9 months old, who feel pain, and who are viable if allowed to live outside their mothers’ wombs.

New York State law currently allows for late-term abortion, i.e., abortion in the third trimester, only when the mother’s life is in danger. AB 6221, sponsored by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, will instead allow abortion on-demand throughout all nine months, i.e., up until the 9th month. The law would be changed to allow abortion for any reason deemed “relevant to the well-being of the patient” including physical, emotional, psychological, and familial factors, and the mother’s age.

Lori Kehoe, New York State Right to Life executive director, said:

“Expanding cruel and brutal third-trimester abortions has long been a goal of the anti-life lobby who never met an abortion they didn’t like. With no regard for the fully developed unborn baby who is violently dismembered, or otherwise killed, the New York State Assembly once again put the abortion lobby above New York State women and their children. We now look once again to the Senate to hold the line in defense of the children which happens to also be in accordance with the will of the rest of the people. It is ridiculous that in 2015, with all the technology at our disposal, we are still arguing whether or not an eight month old baby in the womb deserves protection. It is doubtful that our descendants will look kindly upon this period in our history, when we fought for the right to dismember babies weeks, days and even minutes before birth.

New York State Right to Life will be discussing this and other attacks on members of the human family at their free-to-the-public Lobby for Life Day on April 29 at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

NY Assemblywoman Deborah Glick

New York State Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick represents District 66 in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Her official bio says “Deborah is the first openly lesbian or gay member of the New York State legislature” and that “As an elected official, she has focused on civil rights, reproductive freedom, health care, lesbian and gay rights, the environment, housing, higher education, social justice, animal rights and funding for the arts.”

Clearly, for Glick, “animal rights” do not include the rights of the human unborn, even up to 9 months old.

For her contact information, click here.

H/t LifeNews and FOTM’s CSM.

JesusHoldingBabyClose

See also:

~Éowyn

‘Queering Your Campus’ workshop calls pro-life movement ‘clinic terrorists’

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Campus Reform: Young feminists who recently attended the 11th annual National Young Feminist Leadership Conference (NYFLC) will return to their college campuses with a new rallying cry to combat pro-life “clinic terrorists.”

During the conference, hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation, attendees could participate in a crash course on campus activism titled “Queering Your Campus.” According to NYFLC’s description of the workshop, students were taught how to organize on campus for gender-neutral restrooms and housing and foster “intersectional feminist activism.”

A flyer passed out during the workshop, and later obtained by Campus Reform, encouraged the young activists to “kick off [their] group meetings and amp up [their] next rally” using a variety of short chants including, but not limited to:

“Pro-life, that’s a lie/ You don’t care if women die!”

“Two, four, six, eight/ Separate church and state!”

“77 cents is not okay/We demand equal pay!”

drama

One of the proposed chants described individuals who oppose abortion as “clinic terrorists” and urged young women facing unexpected pregnancies to let young feminists on their campus know:

“Hey, hey! Ho, ho!/ Clinic terrorists have got to go!

“Whatever we wear, Wherever we go, Yes means yes, no means no! Pro-life men have got to go. When you get pregnant, let me know!”

Hey ho, what do you know - a pregnant man!

Hey ho, what do you know – a pregnant man!

In addition to the list of chants, conference-goers could take home stickers proclaiming “I [love] my local abortion provider” and purchase miniature finger puppets of historical female figures including Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, and Sojourner Truth.

Other workshops offered to attendees included “Reinventing Rosie: Reframing the Workforce for Women,” “Sex-positivity: Educate, Empower, Self-Define,” and “Keep Your Religion Off Our Bodies.” Climate change was also addressed with one breakout session titled “Ecofeminism: Activism to Create Climate Justice.”

The conference took place March 21-22 in Washington, D.C. On Monday, attendees took their activism to Capitol Hill for “Congressional Visit Day.”

DCG

Shot 8 times, R&B musician saw his guardian angel

Marcus Stanley

Marcus Stanley

Charlene Aaron reports for CBN News, Dec. 2, 2014, that pianist Marcus Stanley had played for some of the biggest names in the music industry, but his career almost came to a tragic end when he was shot eight times at close range. Thanks to divine intervention, he’s now playing music set to a different tune.

Stanley learned to play the piano with little training — something he calls a gift from above. “I would really hear stuff on the radio and I would play things that I heard other people do. It was all God-given because I hadn’t had the training or anything. It was because I really wanted to play.”

He started out in church but longed for a bigger stage. His big break came after dropping out of high school. “I got discovered just being at a concert and I actually filled in for someone,” Stanley recalled. “The guy was a music director for the group and he gave me a card and told me to call him, so I started touring really at the age of 16 and went around actually about 42 states out of the 50.”

Stanley played for some of the biggest names in the music industry, including R&B singer Chris Brown. He later began traveling with gospel artists such as Donnie McClurkin, but he said he wasn’t interested in the message in their music at that time. “I was not focused on the people,” he explained. “I was not focused on the message. I was not focused on Christ. I was really focused on just making it — being a musician, being a popular musician, and playing for a great artist. Oh yeah, the money, too. That would probably be No. 1 ’cause it was fast money.”

Enjoying success, Stanley lived extravagantly, traveling the country with well-known musicians.

All of that changed the night of April 2, 2004.

“We got in late every night,” Stanely said. “I was actually walking to the store. I realized I didn’t have my wallet and hadn’t reached the store yet, but I turned around and started walking back to go get my wallet and I saw these guys standing on the corner that night and they were watching.”

One of the men then approached him. “When he said, ‘What are you doing out here,’ I said, ‘I’m just chillin,'” Stanely recalled. “He said, ‘Well, you gotta roll out.’ That’s when he pulled out a gun from his jacket. He had a leather jack on and a hoodie and he pulled it out and pointed at me, shot it one time.”

After falling to the ground, Stanley was shot seven more times — up close.

Stanley recounts:

“When I first saw the flash I didn’t know I got shot. I just remember hitting the ground and then when he stood over top of me that’s when I saw an angel get in front of me. And I remember it because I didn’t have time to think about that. It was an instantaneous thing.

It was probably — I mean I’m 6 foot 7 — and the angel was probably like 7-foot something. It was just a transparent figure. I couldn’t tell if it was a male or female. I didn’t see wings or anything like that. I saw it was clear, transparent and it was in front of me.

I knew it was an angel just because the protection. It got into a position like this [arms crossed] in front of me and I remember seeing that.”

Stanley’s assailants stood over Stanley, laughing, thinking they had just killed him. Police later told him that a gang initiation led to his shooting. They caught the men but witnesses wouldn’t testify against them, allowing them to go free.

Still barely alive, Stanley managed to dial 911. By the time paramedics arrived, they offered little hope he would survive.

“I was like ‘God help me. Help me make it,'” Stanley recalled. “I just remember trying to stay awake. I thought that would be the key. It was like a movie. You see that stuff in a movie. You see the light up. You see people see their life flashing before their eyes. It was like that for me except that I started thinking what would happen if I did die. And I was like nobody’s going to know what happened to me.”

At the hospital, Stanley went immediately into surgery where he recalled seeing a familiar face — the face of his angel: “Saw a lot of doctors and nurses kind of standing and I remember looking as I’m getting ready for surgery, I remember looking and seeing the same angel that was on the street and the angel was just kind of like arms crossed… It didn’t do anything or say anything. It was kind of like nodding its head.”

Stanley’s surgeons faced a major challenge while operating. “I had my colon reattached, half my stomach got removed, my spleen got removed completely, half of my pancreas,” Stanley told CBN News. “I had some very intensive surgery. There are certain things about my body that are not the same.”

That meant months in rehab, including learning to walk again. Another major change — nerve damage in his right arm left him without feeling in his hand.

Doctors told Stanley his piano playing days were over. But he proved them wrong, making it back to touring within months. The amazing recovery came with a price, however, as he popped pain killers for relief. Thankful to be alive, his relationship with God was still shallow.

Five years later, he hit rock bottom, struggling with drug addiction and depression. “I got to a point where in desperation I was like, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ And that’s when everything changed for me as far as me pursuing, saying, ‘I need Jesus.’ Took me a long time to get there,” Stanley said.

Today, Stanley travels the world sharing his story. He says his love of music is now part of his life’s mission, which includes talking with youth groups and high school students.

“It’s not really about the music,” he explained. “It’s more about what God’s done in my life and I aim to make him famous at everything I do and to show his glory.”

See also FOTM’s other angelic and miraculous accounts:

~Éowyn

Creation: Opossums help combat Lyme disease

North American opossumThe North American opossum with winter coat (Wikipedia)

The opossum (Didelphimorphia) is the largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, including 103 or more species. Commonly called possums, the word “opossum” is borrowed from the Virginia Algonquian (Powhatan) language and means “white dog” or “white animal”.

Most opossums have a plantigrade stance (feet flat on the ground) and the hind feet have an opposable digit with no claw. Like some monkeys, opossums have prehensile tails.

Female opossums have a pouch, called a marsupium. While the females do have a placenta, it is short-lived, simple in structure, and not fully functional. The young are therefore born at a very early stage and must find their way into the marsupium to hold on to and nurse from a teat.

Female opossums often give birth to very large numbers of young who are weaned between 70 and 125 days, when they detach from the teat and leave the pouch. The opossum lifespan is unusually short for a mammal of its size, usually only two to four years. Senescence is rapid.

When threatened or harmed, opossums will “play possum,” mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. This physiological response is involuntary, rather than a conscious act. The opossum’s lips are drawn back, the teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, the eyes close or half-close, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands. The stiff, curled opossum can be prodded, turned over, and even carried away without reaction, but the animal will typically regain consciousness after a period of between 40 minutes and 4 hours, a process that begins with slight twitching of the ears. In the case of baby opossums, however, the brain does not always react this way at the appropriate moment, and therefore they often fail to “play dead” when threatened.

A baby opossum

A baby opossum

These ungainly-looking animals with sharp teeth are actually quite remarkable.

Opossums have a remarkably robust immune system, and show partial or total immunity to the venom of rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and other pit vipers. Opossums are about eight times less likely to carry rabies than wild dogs; only 1 in 800 opossums is infected with rabies.

Opossums are also mortal enemies of the tick that infects humans with the terrible Lyme disease.

John Ferro writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, March 16, 2015, that opossums dine on ticks “like a vacuum dines on dust”:

The tiny adolescent ticks that carry Lyme disease bacteria are most active during the late spring months, typically May and even as early as April during warmer years.

But whereas these ticks can be found in large numbers on mice, shrews and chipmunks, they are eaten in large numbers by opossum.

Research led by scientists based at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook placed different species into cages, covered them with ticks and waited for the biting arachnids to jump off.

The scientists then counted how many survived.

Opossums can eat or remove as much as 96 percent of the ticks that land on them.

Research also suggests the immune system of opossums is fairly effective at fighting off the disease. […]

Opossums are your friend and mine in the fight against Lyme.

Opossums are usually solitary and nomadic, staying in one area as long as food and water are easily available. As nocturnal animals, they favor dark, secure areas below ground or above. 

The Virginia opossum was once widely hunted and consumed in the United States.

So the next time you see an opossum, be thankful that it’s around, because where there’s opossum, ticks will be scarce!

H/t FOTM’s CSM

~Éowyn

Sunday Devotional: God loves you this much

Jesus loves us this much

John 3:16-21

For God so loved the world
that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world
to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things
hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth
comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

glorious4

Some years ago, I met a nun who teaches at a post-graduate school of a Catholic order. She was deputized to “check me out” because I had proposed to teach a course there.

In our little chat in her office, I described to her my 10-year journey back to God and to the Church — a journey that involved my soul (I realized my sinfulness), my mind (I had to be convinced that God exists — it’s not arrogance; it’s about intellectual conviction), and lastly, my heart.

The last piece that fell into place occurred during Mass. As I, sitting in a back pew, watched the congregation line up to receive His Body and Blood, a thought “came into my head”: God must love me for putting up with me all these years.

When I related that to the nun, she looked incredulous, and I knew then and there that this woman, who became a nun so many years ago and whose academic interests include “queer theology,” neither knew nor felt that God loves her.

How very sad . . . .

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you this glorious joyous Sunday!

~Éowyn