May 27, 2012

Best Puppy Training Tips

Our new puppy was driving us a little bit nuts with all her biting, nipping, accidents, etc., but we got some great tips from our vet just in time :)  A few of the best tips that worked for us are: 

1- give her frozen raw baby carrots (helps numb the gums and eases the trial of teething)

2- freeze all of the puppy toys (will do likewise for the teething, and really helps settle down the puppy because she's found something soothing)

3- let the puppy sleep in the master bedroom (in her crate) to ease her transitional stress.  This will mean getting up with her several times a night until she reaches the age of about 9 or 10 weeks.  After that, you will have to continue getting up with her once a night until her bladder matures enough so that she can hold her pee all night. 

4- when you do let her out, make sure that it's directly outside (you probably don't have time to doddle) and then directly back inside and back to bed so that she knows that it was not a fun trip, but merely a necessary one.  You will have to take her outside and then wait, and wait some more if necessary, until she pees, then bring her inside right away and reward her with lots of love.

5- be consistent with all training; make sure she knows that you don't want her peeing in the house (puppies do aim to please, but they're not sure at first exactly what will please you), and make sure to reward her when she does pee outside

Hope some of these tips are helpful to you and your little fur baby!

How to Build a Cheap Fence

I wish I had known about this sooner!  You can build a beautiful, cheap, wood fence by buying pre-assembled 4' x 8' (or other assemblies) sections of spruce picket fence (that's a large and sturdy picket style fence).  Cost per section is about $20.  **I even found pressure-treated pre-fab fence sections for about $22 today when I went back to the lumber store to buy one more section (on sale around mid - end of May).
All you do is buy cedar, or other wood, posts (cost about $20 each), sink them in the ground several feet, and then attach the pre-assembled sections of picket fence between them.  We just finished fencing in our pool this way for a total cost of about $260. 
Much easier and cheaper than any other option I've found. 
There are more expensive pre-assembled types of fencing that you can buy such as shadow-box style and many more, but the picket was definitely the cheapest.

May 15, 2012

Is Feng Shui Anti-Christianity?

I found a great article that really helped clear something up for me.  I've found myself wondering lately, 'Is Feng Shui anti-Christianity?'

The following is an excerpt from The Christian Research Journal found at

**Please note that the original article is much longer, and has a lot more in-depth info than I've posted here.  It also has a long list of research sources.  I've simply posted the short answer, if you will, to my question without posting most of the arguments for the conclusion.

Is the increasingly popular decorating philosophy called feng shui just another way to bring beauty to your home or office? Behind the seemingly harmless facade of intricate and detailed decorating advice is a spiritual belief system based on the concepts of a universal force called chi, the opposing but complementary yin and yang, and the interaction of the five elements — earth, water, fire, metal, and wood. Feng shui is a system in which one uses tools of divination and complex formulas and calculations to determine how to control the flow of chi outside or inside a home or office. Harmony, balance, and peace are achieved mainly through the proper placement of objects in one’s physical environment. Feng shui uses occult practices to identify lucky and unlucky areas of a home and to determine how to keep bad chi at bay while attracting good chi. Adherents of feng shui believe invisible, magical forces are tamed through occult forms of divination. Its worldview is antithetical to the biblical worldview of a supernatural, sovereign, personal God.

The worldview behind feng shui is at odds with the belief in a sovereign God. There is no force called luck in the Christian worldview. To believe in luck is to believe one is favored or not favored by benevolent and/or malevolent forces or gods (which, biblically, do not exist), rather than trusting the sovereign God who “causes all things to work together for good…to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28 nasb).
Principles of the I Ching, a divinatory tool, are used in feng shui. Feng shui itself is a form of divination based on Taoist philosophy. Divination, however, is strongly forbidden in Deuteronomy 18:10–12 and other passages such as 2 Kings 17:17; 21:6; and Acts 16:16–18 (some translations may use the term “soothsaying” instead of “divination”).
Feng shui operates entirely on the principles of chi and balancing yin and yang energies. To accept chi, one must ignore the personal Christian God and instead trust an impersonal force, but there is no biblical evidence for an impersonal life force permeating the universe. To seek harmony through a balance of yin and yang energies, moreover, is at odds with trusting Christ, and with the peace we have through Christ. It is entirely inconsistent with Christianity to believe that harmony and balance result from the manipulation and channeling of nonphysical forces or energies, or that such can be done by means of the proper placement of physical objects. Such techniques, in fact, belong to the world of sorcery.
Nonbiblical, New Age ideas are also found in some feng shui recommendations. One author, for example, gives instructions for meeting “the Spirit of your home,” which could be a person, an animal, a voice, or a mere presence.71 One can also chant the Hindu sacred sound of “Om” and visualize its symbol in order to implant the symbol’s energy into the atmosphere.72 Another practitioner recommends clearing the space in your home through a ritual involving physical cleaning, a purification ceremony, invoking positive energy, and preserving the clean energy through the placement of a quartz crystal.73
Some feng shui advice can result in beautiful surroundings, but one can design a pleasing environment with- out using feng shui at all. One need only rely on common sense, personal likes and dislikes, and artistic sensibilities.
Consider what feng shui expert Lillian Too said about her visit to a Buddhist monastery in Nepal: “Below us is the sprawling valley that makes up the ‘bright hall’, where auspicious and favourable chi settles and accumulates before making its way up the meandering road to the monastery.”74 If this monastery is without the light of Christ, however, what good is the “favorable chi”? Christians have something much better to offer the world than a method for manipulating supposed impersonal forces to bring harmony and peace. They have a personal Savior, Jesus Christ, who gives a perfect and permanent peace totally unlike anything that can be offered or found in this world (John 14:27).