Funny What Resonates

There are some Sundays when I find it very interesting what resonates with the audience from the sermon.  Sunday was one of those days.  As Peter is taking the gospel to the Gentile audience at Cornelius’ house in Acts 10-11, I was talking about the difficulty in the relationship between Jew and Gentile.  I said that Jews would often refer to the Gentiles as “Gentile Dogs.”  I said that dogs were not regarded in the ancient world as they are today.  I said, “We love our dogs.  I love my dog, but that was a term of derision in that culture.”

No fewer than 3 dozen people grabbed onto that and inquired about our dog.  Let me tell you the story.  Scarlett, pictured above, was my Father’s Day present from our kids.  She was a total and complete surprise, and I was shocked when she was given to us. She is a St. Bernard Doodle – and yes,  she has the potential to be a big girl when she reaches adulthood. (Currently 7 months old.)  Our previous dog, Moe, died on March 9 of 2021, and I had steadfastly declared that I was done with dogs.  Must not have been terribly convincing in that assertion.  The kids knew I really missed having a dog, so they took initiative and solved the problem.  I am very grateful, and she is a sweet dog, very intelligent.

Characteristic of her breed, she is very loving.  She wants to be with us.  If we move to another room, she is there. She sticks very close, and welcomes us warmly when we come home. I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that she longs for a relationship with us.

I have observed some things in Scarlett that apply to my relationship with the Lord. More than once I have said to the Lord since Scarlett arrived – “I want to have a relationship with you, Lord, like Scarlett desires with us.”  I want my relationship with the Lord to be one of dependence upon him, like Scarlett is dependent upon us to put food in her bowl. Scarlett overtly expresses her love for me, Diane, the kids and the grandkids.  I want it to be evident to the Lord that I love him and I want to be overt in the expression of my love for Jesus. Just like Scarlett is eager to please, I want to walk with the Lord in obedience. As Scarlett will put her head in our laps and want affection, I want to have closeness and intimacy with my Abba, Father.  Don Moen has written a praise chorus, “I just what to be where you are, dwelling in your presence.” Scarlett demonstrates a desire to be in our presence – and I want the Lord to know I desire to be in his presence.

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.”

                                                                                                Psalm 90:1

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  1. I know exactly what you are feeling and I think God must feel sadness like myself right now. We don’t have our loving, pleasing, obedient dog any longer and the longing for that same unconditional love is nearly overwhelming. Certainly God who created us in his image must long for our love and obedience in the same way, deeply desiring our return to Him as Master and us as His children, totally dependent on Him.
    Jerry and I appreciate you and Diane so very much and we are negligent in relaying that to you.
    This early morning correspondence is not my usual, but the Prednisone for my back has me up !
    We have calls to make to those we are missing at church so we want to be home on the 10 th and follow up on those calls. God continue to bless your family and we will see you in two weeks.
    Love to you both,

  2. Scarlet is a beauty and will bring you much happiness for many years! Agreed…God knew this canine companion He created! He knew we would need a soft head to rub when our minds were full and we needed calm. He knew we’d need a wagging tail greeting us when we stepped in the door after a long hard day! He knew we’d feel safer with another set of eyes and ears watching over us! He knew we’d need a fluffy companion when we were “under the weather” and patiently recuperating. He knew we’d sometimes need a kick in the rear to get out and take a walk…for our own good health. He knew all this and so much more! And, yes, I will love my Heavenly Father even more than I could ever love my earthly buddy….but very thankful for the doggie years!

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