Miss Mulligan

In the spring of 1986, we brought home a long awaited poodle puppy. It was St. Patrick’s Day and because of that and the fact that she was red – we named her Miss Mulligan. I once wrote a paper about Miss Mulligan, the dog that owned our house and allowed us to live there … That tells it all. We had her 14 years and five months. She lies buried across the driveway at our house, guarded by an elegant swan. I miss her to this day. She taught us things we will never forget.

Below is a poem “we” wrote.

A Warm ‘Thank You’ By Miss Mulligan as told to Sharaka.

One hot summer day in an old Montana town.
A kindly old vet, the nicest one around,
Pulled a nasty ol’ tick right outa my head!
“There’l be no charge,” he smiled and said.

My folks were as pleased as they could be,
And we headed back home – my folks and me.
Well, the days slipped by and summer turned to fall.
Years went on but we remembered it all!

Doc Joe knew his cattle and his horses, too.
But one little creature he never knew.
It wasn’t any insect or any kind of bug –
It’s an odd little thing – a Washington slug!

We found a wooden one and sent it on it’s way,
To give him a smile and brighten up his day.
We wanted to thank him one more time
And say, “ God bless you! Friend of mine.”

Alas, we had jes’ waited too long,
And Old Doc Joe had up and gone!
He wasn’t there and no one seemed to know
Just where the kindly old doc did go.

Now he’ll never know how much that I
Thought of him and I’ll never know why
He did such a kind deed for little ol’ me.
We should have sent that slug, you see!

I’ll never forget him ‘til the end of my days!
And I really know now that it always pays
To send a ‘thank you’ right away before
Your friend goes off right out the door!

Make a list of people you would like to thank for some kind favor, or just because you care. Send letters to them and don’t forget to do such acts of kindness in return. You may never know what a blessing you are!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka

Passover – Bedikat Chametz

Removing the Leaven

We are required to remove all leaven (which represents sin) from our homes before Passover begins. There is an old tradition called “Bedikat Chametz” which is done the evening before Passover. The house has been thoroughly cleaned (beginning the day after Purim) and there is no yeast, baking powder, flour or products made with flour in the house. A Jewish friend of mine went so far as to feed her dog outside during this time, not even wanting dog food in the house!

Each Congregation and even each family has their own version of how to accomplish the tradition of Bedikat Chametz. The following is mine which was taught to me by my dear friend, the late Ruth Specter Lascelle, whose grandfather was an Orthodox rabbi in Jerusalem. Ruth loved her Messiah and taught many, many others through her books, her brother’s radio program, Seattle Bible Training School and in speaking engagements throughout the country. I loved listening to her stories. You can find her books through her late brother, Hyman Specter’s “The Rock of Israel” rockofisrael.org website. I have added some of my own thoughts as well as from Eddie Chumney and others.

Now for the ceremony:

Father, in the darkened house, lights a candle and with the children in tow, goes about the house searching for chametz.

Mom has placed 10 crumbs of bread in plain sight somewhere in the house for them to find. When they are found, they are swept onto a wooden spoon with a feather, then dumped into a linen cloth. The cloth is put into a paper bag and left outside the house until morning when it is burned. Father prays that to his knowledge, all chametz has been removed from their house. Any unseen or unknown chametz is declared null and void. Now they are ready for Passover!


Father is the head of the house and the priest of the family. Ephesians 5:23 – ‘For the husband is the head of the wife …”

Mother (woman was made to be a help to her husband. They are to submit to each other in love.) Genesis 2:18 -“ ….it is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper…..”)

Searching for chametz (anything made with leavening). Zephaniah 1:12 “…I will search Jerusalem with lamps (candles)….” The Lord was looking for sin.

Chametz = any grain that can ferment, or flour made from any grain, (typically bread crumbs) is leaven (yeast, Baking Powder, etc. ) symbolizes sin in our lives. Exodus 12:19 – ‘For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses……’

Candle (light) = G-d’s Holy Word which shows us our sin. Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

Feather = the Ruach HaKodesh or Holy Spirit, which shows us truth – teaches us.                                                         I Cor. 2:12 – “…. we have received … the Spirit, who is come from G-d that we might know the things that are freely  given to us by G-d.”

Linen cloth = what Y’shua was wrapped in John 19:40 – “Then took they the body of Y’shua and wound it in strips of linen ….”

Wooden spoon = the tree (or cross) where Y’shua was crucified Deut 21:22

Paper bag = the tomb John 19:41,42 – “…. A new tomb ….so there they laid Y’shua…”

Burning = Y’shua descending to Hades, a place of burning Acts 2:27 – “Because You will not leave My soul in Hades.”

I have found this little ceremony to be very helpful in knowing I have done my best to remove leaven from my house, according to G-d’s commandment and more importantly, that I have prayerfully asked the Lord to show me any sin in my life so that I can repent and rebuke that which is not pleasing to Him.

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka