In Between Sundays

Bella and the Dachshund

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Jo and I have two little dogs.  They’re both about a year-and-a-half old.  “Bella” is a Yorkie/Bichon mix and “Addie” is our piebald-colored dachshund.  We got them within weeks of one another after our other two pet dogs died last year.  That wasn’t a particularly happy time in our house.

Little dogs rock!  Before you laugh out-loud you have to know it’s just what we old people do.  We buy little dogs to entertain us and fill the empty spaces that were created when our kids grew up and went away to college.  That’s also why you see pampered little dogs riding around in cars wearing red sweaters and blinged-out collars.  I am speaking truth to you.  

I gotta admit, no matter what is happening in the world or what kind of day I’m having, Bella and Addie always are standing at the back door, jumping up and down, smiling, tails wagging and THRILLED to see Jo and I.  (Hmmm, now that I think about it, our dogs have always been more excited to see us than our kids were on any given day. 

Last week when I was standing in front of the mirror getting ready for work, I was reminded of an old prayer.  It goes like this: “Lord, help me be the man my dogs think I really am.”  As I stood in front of the mirror looking at myself I was reminded of this simple fact:  there two common views we all have of ourselves.  One is the soul I want to be, and the other is the soul I truly am.

So, you see no matter how much I long to always be the quick-witted, intelligent guy; or, the patient, gentle, loving, and kind person – God knows who I really am.  God knows the condition of my soul . . . and is still crazy in love with me.  Jeremiah 31:3 says, “…I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”  My prayer continues to be, “Lord, by Your power and strength alone, help me be the man my dogs think I really am.”

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Calvin & the Christmas Star

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A couple of weeks ago that special day on our office calendar rolled around again.  It’s called “Christmas Decorating Day.”  Believe me, I’m a fan of good environments that reflect great values, but putting up Christmas decorations?  C’mon.  (Eye roll) Can I be honest?  I tried to come down with the flu on that day! In fact, three years ago on “Christmas Decorating Day” I had a detached retina and had to have emergency eye surgery.  To this day some of the staff STILL believe I faked the surgery to get out of decorating!!  U n r e a l.

So now you know, Christmas decorations don’t flip my switch.  But, there’s one thing that blesses my heart:  the innocence and wonder of children at Christmas time. 

Ryan and Aubrey Knight’s youngest son, Calvin, was helping us decorate the church.  We’d just finished putting up the big tree in the main lobby.  Calvin, with his little fingers, pointed upward to the top of the tree and said, “Where’s the star?”  (As you read this, the cool thing about Calvin is he still talks with that cute, boyish lisp; read it again.)  I asked, “What are you talking about Calvin?”  He repeated the question and pointed again, “Where’s the star?  Every Christmas tree needs a star.”

Great truth, Calvin.  “Every Christmas tree needs a star.”  As we walk through these days of December – whether we’re standing in lines at Silver Dollar City, sitting in traffic on E. Sunshine, buying presents or balancing bank accounts – let’s make certain Jesus is the “star” and hero of our homes, our hearts, our relationships, our worship.  

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