Animal Edition *Weekend Open Thread*

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Well, it has been another insane week. These levels of vitriol, animosity, and downright hatred that have infested our politics, education, and entertainment are just bad for the soul, if you ask me. Rather than focusing on so much negativity, some happiness and joy are in order.

What better way to have some joy than with an Animal Edition post?

Okay, I admit that this first story, while about the NFL’s Bears and Eagles, is more of a symbolic one than real animals (well, except the humans who are playing). But hey – it’s a good story, and a good reminder of keeping our priorities straight.

Many of you may have heard about the match-up between the Bears and Eagles, one that came down to a field goal attempt. The ball hit the uprights. The Bears lost by 1 point. The kicker, Cody Parkey,  was upset at letting his team down, but it was how he dealt with that disappointment that I want to highlight. From Faithwire:

The most astonishing moment, however, came in the immediate moments following Parkey’s heartbreaking miss. Looking to the ground in despair, the kicker was comforted by a teammate, before raising himself and pointing to the sky to give thanks to God. It was a wonderful show of faith and devotion in a moment that was must have felt sickeningly unfair.

As he was hounded by reporters for details over what went wrong in those heart-stopping moments, Parkey responded with maturity and grace.

“I let the team down,” Parkey said, “I have to own it, I have to be a man.”

“I feel terrible,” he said of the miss. “But I will continue to put things in perspective and put my best foot forward.” (Click here to read the rest.)

What a great response from this young man. He didn’t blame anyone else, he accepted responsibility, and he still thanked God.

That is why Dan Andros of Faithwire told his sons to be like Cody Parkey – his reaction and responses post-loss. From Faithwire:

But it’s in these times of pain, loss, sorrow, sadness, disappointment, that we have the opportunity to learn and grow the most. No parent likes to see their child in pain, but if we neglect to prepare our children for the inevitable struggles they will face someday, we’re not doing our job as parents. If pain is one of the only certainties in this life, the only difference is how we respond to it. I want my kids to know what to do when life hits them with a punishing left hook, and so I’m always looking for small examples I can show them along the way.

Cody Parkey is a great example. When the world comes crumbling down, knowing where to seek refuge is critical. Seeking it in worldly places will lead to further despair. We see this when people turn to the bottle or drugs in times of sorrow, only to spiral further out of control. It’s false comfort, a false refuge. Seems like a good idea, but ultimately fails.

Immediately after the kick impossibly ricocheted off the left upright and then the crossbar, my kids (who were cheering for the Eagles) reacted with shock and compassion. My concerned 9-year-old asked me if Parkey would still have a job and be able to provide for his family. Of course, Parkey is making plenty of money – his family will have food on the table for quite some time – but I mention it because I found it interesting that they seemed to know this was not an ordinary situation and things would be very difficult for Parkey. When something grabs the kids attention, it’s always a great opportunity to turn that into a teaching opportunity.

I have to say, what a great child the 9 year old is. That his first thought was concern for the kicker, for his livelihood, and for his family, even though he was rooting for the other team. Seriously, his parents must be very proud of him that this was his immediate reaction. Seems to me they have already been teaching him how to be a good, kind, decent person. Good on them.

Andros continues with another observation about Parkey:

Later, cameras caught Parkey joining the prayer huddle at the center of the field that happens after nearly all NFL games.

[…]

It’s moments like this – not the actual game – where the men are really separated from the boys. We hear that phrase a lot – worldly application of it usually evokes a machismo that glorifies those who rise to the occasion and win the game. I believe God views it quite differently. I believe the true measure of a man is when he’s at his lowest and darkest hour. When all hope seems lost, when there’s nothing else left – that is when you see what someone is really made of.

I’m in the business of teaching my boys to be men, not to merely win a game. And last night we saw Cody Parkey in a very emotional, low moment. And we saw he is one of the guys who is made of the right stuff.

“The sun will rise tomorrow,” he said during a poised session with reporters after the game in which he expressed his disappointment in himself for his part in letting the game slip away. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Indeed, the sun came up every day since that missed field goal, be it a bad kick or a tipped ball. There are winners and losers in every competition, but it is how people respond to those losses that says the most about them.

I agree with Andros: Parkey is a good role model for the Andros family and many others. Good on him.

Now to a story about another man and his encounter with an alpaca. This  comes from Inspire More:

Twitter use Alexandria Neonakis (also known as @Beavs) recently posted a conversation she had with her dad. Her dad was in Peru on a trip, and he stopped to meet some alpacas while he was there. No one was prepared for the level of excitement that followed. Alexandria posted the following texts from Dad to Twitter with the caption, “My dad is in Peru and having a meltdown over alpacas”:

alpaca

Along with the adorable text messages above, Alexandria’s dad included a picture with his new alpaca friend… and it’s the most joyful thing you’ll see all day:

screenshot-1600
Twitter

(Click here to read the rest.)

The joy on this man’s face is infectious. What a wonderful opportunity for him, a true blessing it seems judging by the huge smile on his face.

This next video just cracked me up. This dog is definitely not joyous, and he is letting his owner know. Check it out (h/t Lauren):

Isn’t that hilarious??

This last one is just as cute as it can be with these little kids playing on a horse (from Faithtap via Lauren):

“So cute” sums it up perfectly! Adorable! I love how the horse doesn’t move at all for the longest time. And those little kids bouncing around are so joyful.

That’s it for me.

This is the Weekend Open Thread.

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22 Responses to “Animal Edition *Weekend Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    I am, as who isn’t, a sucker for any baby animal and baby goats bouncing and bounding in sheer joy is one that always puts a smile on my face. And what a patient horse!

    The whining dogs are so cute. Hard to be strict disciplinarian when you are laughing while saying no. Nice try though.

    Nice palette cleansing post Amy. They are so welcome to give us a respite from the crazy and increasingly ugly world of politics.

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

  3. Re-Farmer Says:

    Alpacas are the best! Beautiful creatures, sweet tempered (unlike their llama cousins!), with glorious wool. Alpaca yarn is the best!

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I love alpacas! They are adorable and from all accounts their wool is marvelous.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I love them, too. We have some llamas that live down the street from us. A major highlight on our way to see our horse is going by the llamas. So, so CUTE!!!!

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        And that whole alpaca video is wonderful. Dang, I want one – or four!! Ten!!

      • Re-Farmer Says:

        A friend of mine found herself with llamas. They never really got friendly with her, and not a day went by without her getting her head spit on! Lol

        Before we moved, I was able to take part in a tour of a small yarn company. They had their own herd of alpacas. They came right over to the fence to check out the strange humans. So sweet!

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          LOL abt your friend – yeah, that wouldn’t be a fun thing to have happen!

          Sweet abt the alpacas, though. They just look so sweet and cuddly. I want to pet one!

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    It’s worth the time to listen to the glorious sound of Ravel’s Bolero which I admit I adore. The shoppers seem to like it too.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I love this!!! It is fantastic, Marge! Thanks for this!!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Glad you liked it. It is one of my favorite pieces and the first time I’ve seen it by a “flash-mob”. I’ve played it 3 times all ready and Lou is giving me “that” look.

        He doesn’t care for it as much – says it’s too repetitive. I tell him it is not – you have to listen for the nuances. I don’t think I got through because he walked away muttering something about – “nuances my skinny old…” He’s a great mutterer.

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    Gallup: Conservatives Still Outnumber Liberals in USA

    A new survey shows that, in America, conservatives outnumber liberals 35% to 26% — another 35% of Americans define themselves as moderates.

    In the survey, Gallup asked, “How would you describe your political views — very conservative, conservative, moderate, liberal or very liberal?”

    Thirty-five percent of the adults surveyed said they were “very conservative/conservative.” Twenty-six percent said they were “liberal/very liberal.” Thirty-five percent said they were “moderate.”

    This shows that conservatives outnumber liberals in America by at least 9 percentage points.

    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/gallup-conservatives-still-outnumber-liberals-usa

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Very interesting, Marge. You would never know it from the way the media acts…

      And if the media actually reported real news instead of pushing their ideology, I bet there would be more conservatives (like those kids at American University who were SHOCKED when they learned that it was actually their Dem Faves who spoke out against illegal aliens and wanted to build a wall).

  7. kenoshamarge Says:

    Guess what it’s doing in my little corner of Wisconsin – go on, guess.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Um, I’m going to guess not balmy and sunny?? 😀

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Right you are. However we lucked out and although we got some snow we didn’t get much snow. The roads are clear and that’s always good.

        Elsewhere was not so lucky. We kept hearing about Virginia getting hammered – did it get as far as where you are in SC?

  8. kenoshamarge Says:

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