Pink Perfection

Pink Perfection
My Life is Perfect

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Dog, the Sunday School Teacher

Now don't click away from this page, just yet. I know for some of you, the title of the entry may catch you by surprise and disbelief.
"A dog teaches Sunday School? What can your dog teach you about God?"
Hear me out. Actually let me just simply say, Sit and stay.

Throughout the Bible, God gives us commandments that, if obeyed, we have eternal life with Jesus Christ in heaven forever. In today's society, we continue to get busier and busier and forget to take time to do devotions, help the needy, and sometimes even forget to feed our faithful companion. What if we could learn to be a better Christian by listening to someone and learning from them about God's word and then apply it to our own life? We have that. Its called our Sunday School teacher and/or our pastor of our church. But church only happens on a Sunday and sometimes a Wednesday. So what happens to all of the teachings in between the church days? What if you had someone with you all the time that could remind you of what it takes to be a good Christian? If you have a dog, then you have this Christian mentor. Sit, don't speak, and pay attention.

1.) Practice your obedience training everyday.
For a dog to understand and learn a trick, you must practice with them everyday or take them to a respected obedience school who trains them. Like obedience training, we must continue to practice being a Christian. If we slack off a few days/weeks/months, we are not training to be a great Christian, therefore forget some things and seem to feel lost when it comes time to make a decision we think God wants us to make.

2.) Love with enthusiasm and forgiveness.
Each time someone comes through the door, what is the first thing a dog does? Jump up and down with excitment and joy. (And possibly knock you down kissing you while you can not breath.) God's greatest commandment was to love one another and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. I have stepped on my German Sherpard mix's foot a few times and after he yipes, I apologize and he licks my face to tell me its okay and he forgives me. Most of the time, we are not that quick to forgive and sometimes seek revenge to make ourselves feel better. I am not saying we have to go and lick the next person we see on the face, however each time we see someone, show the love of God with a great big smile and a way to show that we love and care for that person deeply. When forgiveness is asked, we should not hold grudges and live in despite, but be quick to forgive and realize we have made mistakes too.

3.) Be loyal to your owner.
God created us and put us in the amazing world that he created and he has a plan for each and everyone of us. When a owner calls their dog, the dog runs up to them in response to the owner calling their name. Granted, not everytime does a dog come running. There are times when the dog has done something wrong and it takes 4 or 5 times to have the dog come over. God is doing the same thing. When he calls you to be a part of his master plan, we need to listen and stand (or rather sit) in front of God and answer his command. Most of us are the dog in trouble who tucks their tail under and wonder if we can hide or pretend we don't hear him. But like a dog owner, God will keep calling you until you come, and sometimes he does yell louder.

4.) Never Pretend to Be Something You Are Not
Try and remember really hard if you have ever had a dog, or your current dog, has ever acted like another animal. Have they ever started hopping and wiggiling their nose like a rabbit? Have they ever gone, "meow" instead of "bark"? Have they ever tried to jump off a tree and fly like a bird? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I definately would like to hear about this dog. In most cases, dogs tend to act like...well dogs! God does not want us to be something we are not. Sometimes it is even considered worse to call ourselves Christians and then live our life the total opposite of how God wants us to.

5.) If there is something you want that is buried deep, dig until you find it.
Many times throughout the Bible, God called on people to go and do some difficult things. God sent the Israelites around the wall of Jericho for seven days! I do not know about you, but I probably would have been really tired after seven straight days of walking, but the Israelites kept walking and at the end, blew the horns and yelled; and sure enough the walls came tumbiling down. A dog knows something is down there and continues to dig not giving up until the mission is done. We know God is there and what we should do and we have to continue digging and being what Christ wants us to be until the very end.

6.) When you are happy - show it from your head to your tail!
God has such amazing love for us and such an amazing plan, it is hard to keep such passion and love silent. There are 152 places in the bible that mention praising Jesus. He wants us to jump up and down and tell the world we are not ashamed of him. He wants us to dance and sing praises to him. What better way to minister to everyone around us just through our own actions?

7.) Enjoy God's creation to the fullest extent.
Many times we see dogs roll around in the grass or stick their heads out of the car window, while their ears flop around. And we all know dogs enjoy all of God's beautiful trees. Sometimes we are so busy and wrapped up in our own lives, that we forget to stop and enjoy a tree. Maybe not in the same way a dog might, but we can enjoy what the trees provide for us. We can enjoy the flowers and the beautiful blue sky.

8.) Enjoy the attention and let people touch you.
The United States is becoming more and more based on individual success when we should become more of a nation as one. You are representing Christ when you accept him in to your heart and live a Christian life. Allow people to come up to you and see you live this Christian life. Allow them to ask you just what makes you so happy and so enjoyable to be around. Share with them and allow them to join on the journey with you to the kingdom of God.

Sometimes I wonder if God created animals to be a teacher to us; if maybe they are nature's teachers for life and Christian living. Maybe next time we should just stick our head out of the window, and enjoy the wind hitting our face and remember who taught us this and who we can thank for giving us our faithful companion.

Thank you God, for dogs.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

God Can Only Scream So Loud

It seems like lately that as I do my devotions at night, I am wondering why I do not have that burning flame inside of me like I used to when I went to church camp or attended a Nazarene Youth Congress. I sit there and ask myself,
"Do I need a better devotional book?"
"Do I need to do my devotions at a different time?"
"Can God hear me?"
Lately I have found out none of those questions are the right one to ask. Recently I walked through a prayer walk at the church that I work at and I was totally amazed. The first section was a video by Rob Bell (author of Velvet Elvis - to which I am currently reading) and you sit down and watch the video. Bell proceeds to talk to you about statistics and information about how our society today has to have noise, then in a way Bell turns off the TV and it comes up to a black screen with white sentences appearing each stating something about silence. To me this was the most powerful part of the labrynth and it was just the first section out of 5. If you want to know more, than you have to talk to Doug Samples or come to Lake O today, but it was then that I realized, nothing was wrong with the devotional book that I was reading. Nothing was wrong about what time I was doing my devotions. God can hear me loud and problem was I could not hear him. God was trying to talk to me through his word, he tries to talk to me through the many activities that happen throughout the day, but I have everything turned up that the noise drowns him out.
Rob Bell stated that we always have to have a radio or TV on a work, in our car, at home, etc. SUV and vans now have DVD players in them. Bell encourages us to turn everything off. Cell phones, radio, tv, computers, etc. to where we are in absolute silence. Nothing is to be heard. Then pray and spend time with God. Now I feel bad because the whole time I am yelling to God, "Are you here"...and he is yelling back "I never left" but because of the noise in between me and God, I never heard him. God can only scream so is I who has to turn the volume down and listen...listen for more yelling God. I am here and I am yours.