Archives of my weekly Verse and Message can be found at my blog link:
Psalm 46:10a (NIV)
Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 118:24 (NIV)
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Leviticus 19:18 ()
Don’t seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people. Love your neighbor as yourself.
I got a puppy at the end of May, and several of my friends asked me to incorporate “Lena-Belle” in my verse and message since she has brought me such joy.
In the January 11, 2009 of “Parade” in The Birmingham News there was an article written by The on “What Your Pet Can Teach You.” I liked the points, but I have taken a few and edited them to my liking as it relates biblically, and I am using Lena-Belle, my puppy, as the reference point. Check out the following thoughts, and see what Lena-Belle is teaching me!
Live In The Moment
Dogs don’t regret the past or worry about the future. I can attest, because when Lena-Belle has had an accident, she sure isn’t worried about it more than a few seconds after the incident. The animal kingdom isn’t so much concerned about past mistakes. We humans are tempted to dwell on the past.. A mistake is simply an “opportunity” to improve our future. If we are too busy looking in the rear-view mirror, we are liable to happen upon a more serious accident….
Celebrate Each Day
For a dog, every morning is Christmas morning, every walk is the best walk, every meal is the best meal, and every game is the best game. If we want to embrace each day with all the joy and favor God gives us, we must seize the moment and be grateful for each experience…the small things, the ordinary things, the big things, and even the tough things.
Nurture A Balanced Life
Dogs have no trouble doing the balancing act. They eat, they drink, they play, they love, and they sleep. Balance is tricky for humans, especially in our generation. Balance includes taking control of your schedule, relieving pressure with margin, and doing only what you can do. Balance must include recreation as well as relaxation, and maintaining a healty diet. The best way for me to maintain balance is to surrender my schedule each morning to God. Once I give it to Him, somehow He manages to redeem my time and energy. On the days I fail to consult Him, my day gets rushed, stressed, and I end the day dangerously exhausted.
Trust Your Instincts
Animals recognize that what’s really going on in any interaction is beneath the surface. As Christians, we have something more powerful than instinct to get our attention. The small voice” whenever there is a decision to be made or there is a warning in our midst. within us convicts us and leads us in our interactions and tugs us when something “isn’t right.” This gift works well when we listen and are obedient to that “still
Be Direct and Consistent In Communication
Clear and consistent communication builds effective relationships no matter what species. Say what you want, and mean what you say. Let your “yes” be yes and let your “no” be no. Most importantly, speak the truth in love.
Learn to Listen
Lena-Belle listens even though she’s not always obedient. Her ears perk up when I talk to her. She knows when it’s time to eat, when it’s time to play or go for a walk, or when it’s time to go to bed. If she sat around barking all day, she might miss out on something important. Many times we bark about things. If we would just be still and take time to listen to God, we might get a bonus, just like Lena-Belle gets a dog treat when she listens. Lena-Belle crawls in my lap, but she doesn’t try to fix my problems…she listens and looks at me with her sweet eyes. That’s love.
Don’t Hold Grudges
Sometimes I have to leave Lena-Belle in the backyard for hours while I am at work and Connor is at school. Occasionally, a neighbor or family member will come check on her. However, the days she is left alone, she doesn’t have a chip on her shoulder when I get home…she jumps up and down and licks me to pieces like there is no tomorrow. She forgives and totally forgets.
Understand and Live Out Your Purpose
Lena-Belle’s first priority is pleasing her master. She gets selfish sometimes, but when all is said and done, she wants to make me happy. Our purpose should be doing whatever God has called us to do to build the Kingdom, pleasing our Master and fulfilling our God-given purpose. When we find our true purpose, our life develops meaning.
I hope these ideas are helpful as you embrace each day God has given you. It definitely grabbed my attention.
IN THIS WORLD…LET’S FEED ON THE HOLY SPIRIT!
AFTERALL…ISN’T JESUS MAN’S BEST FRIEND?