A Happy Ending

I heard a story about on old stray dog today that I wanted to share with you. This old dog was hanging around these folks home in the country. He wasn’t friendly at all, but rather nervous and shy. The man said that he figured the dog had been abused and it was obvious it was neglected. The woman was scared of the dog though and wanted it gone. Somehow they decided to shoot it to be rid of it, a choice I completely disagreed with.

Anyway, they baited the poor old fellow with some food and while it was eating took a shot at him, which missed. I guess the dog must’ve been starving because he was only slightly alarmed, stopping to look around a moment, and then going back to the food. A second shot rang out and also missed, which sent the dog running for his life. A third and final shot also missed its mark before the dog disappeared over the hill.

The next day the lady when the lady came home from work that old dog was back. But today he sheepishly greeted her at her car. Timidly the lady touched the dog who then wagged his tail. This was probably the first affection the old dog had received in a long while and it was from the hand that tried to kill him only a few hours before. Happily the dog is still around, being fed and petted on a regular basis now.

The man asked me what I thought about the dog and I said “Well, I think you ought to have tried making friends and feeding him before shooting at him”.

I wondered how many times we have done similar things to people we come into contact with in our lives? Jesus said that the way we treat others is how we treat Him; in our actions we show just how close our fellowship with God really is, not so much as in our words.

How did you treat the last “old dog” that you came across?

Where is Petey?

Late last summer we found a lost dog: he was a Shih Tzu pup, maybe four months or less old. To make a long story short, we ended up rescuing him and he’s now a part of the family.

Today Petey, the name we gave him partly because our grandson says is so cutely, escaped (again) from our fenced in yard. Overall he’s a great dog, other than this need to escape and roam. But I digress … Petey belongs to Connor; just ask him and he will tell you “Petey my dog”. Today’s escape came at a bad time: I was watching Connor alone and couldn’t go after the spunky, quick, and agile pup. And Connor worried his little self (he’s almost three) half to death over Petey being gone. He looked out the door, the window and yelled “Pete! Come here!” more times than I can count. His distress pushed his nap time back by about two hours, and I thought he was going to cry himself off to sleep over worrying over that dog! Thankfully Connor finally drifted off to sleep with minimal shedding of tears.

About five minutes after he fell asleep I hear Pete-dini at the front door; the UPS man across the street had inadvertently scared the little critter home. Connor and Petey are both still napping now but I look for a happy reunion in an hour or so.

This all got me thinking about the lost folks in our lives. What if we were so concerned over their relationship, or lack thereof, with Jesus that we could do nothing but fret and worry, shed tears and and cry out for them? I am made to believe we would see many would made restless by the Spirit and convicted of their sins. And that we would see lost sheep seeking desperately after the Savior.

God’s Word teaches we need to have child like faith. Maybe we need to seek after some child like zeal and angst for those we love and know are lost, too.

Dog vs Deer: The Winner?

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

You probably remember the incident last fall when Jack, our dog, ran away and fell into a swimming pool, nearly drowning. Of all the ways for a dog to die I thought that one was about the least expected way for it to happen; in case you don’t remember he didn’t die and other than being cold and exhausted was fine. Well, Jack has just about out done himself and my imagination.

On Saturday morning Billie and I were having a cup of coffee on the back deck. Our two dogs, Gypsy and Jack, were playing in the yard. Suddenly we heard a ruckus in the yard adjacent to our’s; a young deer was stuck between the fence and some vines growing the neighbor’s yard. The deer managed to escape the tangle and jump into our yard, where the chase was on!

After all the excitement died down (Gypsy chased it into the fence, three times it bounced off, and out of the yard while Jack ran for cover with “mom and dad”) we realized Jack had been stomped by the deer; he was sporting a nasty scrape, the hair literally cut from his side. He was, and is, very sore but no worse for the wear thankfully. So, I have to admit that a dog being stomped to death in his own fenced in yard would definitely top the list for odd ways for an animal to meet his demise.

Just in the blink of and eye Jack was almost dead (again). There is no difference in how fast he could take his last breath and how quickly our earthly end could come.

God’s Word warns us to be ready to leave at any moment; we aren’t guaranteed one more breath. Think about it…

The Wise Old Dog

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

As most of you know, we have two dogs: Jack, the “prodigal” that ran away not too long ago and Gypsy, the older, wiser of the “fur kids”. Gypsy is as near perfect a dog as you could want; she minds well, doesn’t bother anything she’s not supposed to, loves kids (and everyone else for that matter). I mean she is really almost perfect: except for grooming-related matters. She will run and hide, for hours, at the first hint of a bath, sight of a brush or nail clippers. And she knows where I keep the grooming tools, and hides when I begin to get them. So I have to change my tactics: place the brush and clippers in new spots every other time I use them, close off escape routes before I do go after the brush or clippers. It’s a never ending battle, it really is.

Our adversary does the same kind of thing. He will change up his tactics to try to catch us off guard. Just when things seem go be going along smoothly, he will hit you from the blind side with or by some thing or means you never saw coming. And the closer you walk with the Lord, the more productive you are for Him, the more attacks you can expect. Make no mistake about it: we are in a spiritual war. But through Christ the victory is already certain. All we have go do is keep on fighting the battles, following our spiritual General. Now that’s something to get excited about, isn’t it? It ought to be!

Lost Dog

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

This afternoon one of our dogs went missing, after someone opened the gate on our fence, for several hours. I looked for him as best I could but my physical limitations and being sick really limited what I do as far as searching goes. After two hours of driving the neighborhood, walking as much as I could and hollering for the dog I was exhausted. I came home and began to pray at that point.

I knew that what I was asking, for God to deliver Jack home safely, was just a raindrop in the ocean compared to His power. After all, my God spoke the universe into existence, created all things and has moved mightily in my own life; this prayer was a pittance to Him compared to many that He has already answered.

Time drug on slowly. An hour later my wife came home and began to search the neighborhood. As she searched I moved inside the house to continue to pray. Another hour or more passed and I realized something: My flesh was warring against my spirit. My head kept trying to say it was hopeless, it had been too long, Jack wasn’t coming home. But my faith kept saying trust in God. It was a very real battle and I can’t really explain to you how it felt to know it was going on as it was.

Thank God after over four hours of being gone a neighbor several homes away, who I don’t know, brought a still-damp Jack home. He had fallen into her pool and had been treading water for God only knows how long. She said she went out to put chemicals in her pool and found him, got him out, dried him off and brought him to his address on the tags. She added she’d never have seen him if it weren’t for adding this chemicals and she hadn’t planned to do it today but for some reason did. I told her the reason was that she was used to answer my prayer.

I said all that to say this: Even though we are redeemed through the blood of Christ we are still going to have fights with our flesh. Though we are not of the flesh any longer we are still in the flesh. And as long as we live in this fleshly body we will have to fight against it, for it is still part of a fallen creation. So don’t let the battles drag you down; that’s what the devil would love. No, instead rejoice! The war is already won and as long as we keep up the fight one day we’ll experience the total victory!

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A Lost Dog

As many of you know, we have been watching a little dog the past few days. To make a long story short, he was abandoned in our neighborhood and “found” us. He was tired, hungry, and all alone. We took him in, fed him, and cleaned him up and are looking for a new home for him. His nickname is now Esau, as he he very furry and red.

As I looked at the little guy and wondered what he had been through the past week or so I thought of how in a very mild way he parallels us in our walk of Faith.

At one time we were all alone, with no one. At some point we all had a hunger that couldn’t be satisfied. And at some point we were adopted into a new family as children of God. The kindness, love and mercy He has shown to each of us is really beyond what our finite minds can comprehend. Well, it is for mine at least.

How can we not praise Him, thank Him and do whatever He calls upon us to, through the strength imparted to us through Christ Jesus, every chance we get?

Romans 8:14-17
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

A Lesson Learned

This evening we came home from visiting some relatives to an odd experience: It was the first time Morkie wasn’t there, at the top of the stairs, waiting to greet me. It was a sad and kind of somber thing realizing that he never would be at the top of those stairs, waiting for me to rub his head, again.

In a way only God can do, He has made this sad event much more meaningful to me. Mork went so fast and unexpectedly that is has really brought the thought of one’s mortality to the front of my thoughts. Any person I know could go like that; be here one evening and then be gone the next afternoon. The biggest difference? I know Morkie isn’t in Hell but some of the dearest people in my life would be if they went tonight.

I praise God for easing my sorrows. And I thank and praise Him that I see a greater lesson in this sad event: I must be vigilant in seeking to save that which is lost.

I ask you to remember me in your prayers that I will always keep this lesson fresh and in the front of my mind. That I will proclaim the Gospel Truth whenever He gives me opportunity to.