Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Latest News from the Worland church of Christ:

Please remember those who are ill. Dave Axtel's mother fell in the Nursing home, bruised but doing fairly well otherwise. Marie C. is still in the hospital, Ruby with continual health problems. Jeannie – fighting flu. Tink's family struggling to get over the flu as are the Canellas.

Katrina is fighting stomach pain - please keep her and her family in prayer as well.

The church also was asked to pray for Jerry and Peggy's newly conceived grandchild – that all would go well since there was a miscarriage before. Pray for Tyler and Amber – expecting a blessed event as well – think sometime in July is the due date.

Shanda's house was broken in to – and vandalized badly.

Remember our widows: Marie C., Barb, Ruby, and Jacque.

Molzahn's are traveling again – ready to build yet another church building in the SLC area.

Dean has returned home – victorious in his sales meeting for his company, http://www.monalift.com/.

Thanks to Jim and Glenda for opening their home for a New Years Eve celebration.

McGee's are on vacation - in Greece, Rome, Italy. Sarah Blake has gone to Japan to visit with Katie.

WNFM – begins 01/09/08 through February.

Thanks to Jodie for hosting the women's day this Saturday – way to go ladies!

Jeannie asked for prayer this week, as did Nick. A number of souls stood to request Ezekiel 36:26-30 be prayed over them. Let's pray for spiritual victory!

This Sunday is the Ladie's prayer meeting at 4:00pm - at the church building. Monday night is the new ladie's class - 7:00pm at the church building.

Joyce and I are planning to set the dates for the next eight (8) week inter-active "Dynamic Marriages" seminar (His Needs, Her Needs). Please let us know what night of the week would work best for you!

If I've missed anything – please let me know!


Teaching an Old Dog

Years ago, we sort of inherited our dog from one of our kids when they went off to York College (http://www.york.edu/ ) and she was supposed to take the dog back when she graduated. Instead, she obtained her “Mrs” Degree – and her husband only likes big dogs. Sami is small. At his heaviest he weighed in at 12 pounds and had to go on a diet. He may now be back down to his ideal weight of 10 pounds. At nearly 11 years old, he's doing well for his age – about 60 in dog years. Why would I want to teach him something new?

Well, it all comes down to a meeting of minds between the big dog – me – and the little dog – Sami. His primary method of communication is to sit and stare when he wants something. You will be sitting on the couch, minding your own business, and the hackles on the back of your neck begin to rise. You suddenly become aware that for some time the dog has been trying to hold you in his maniacal stare. Your every move provokes a corresponding tilt of his head or shift of his eyes. You are being watched. No, more – you are being WATCHED!

The point is you know that the dog either needs to go outside or needs food. No big deal, you get up and minister to the needs of the little gray/black dog. However, lately the novelty of a staring dog has begun to wane. As a matter of a fact, the delight has begun to pall. Worse, I am determined to introduce a new doggie habit. I want to train Sami to beg by whining when he needs to go outside or needs his food or water refilled - instead of Staring. Am I insane or is he?

Since October, I've been sort of obsessed with training the dog. Curiously this has apparently provided a source of humor for my sweet bride as she observes the struggle. Right now, Sami knows that I require him to whine, but he hates the idea, then we both try to see who can hold out the longest. About half the time I end up letting him outside before he gives me the signal that I've requested. However, when he wants to come back inside, he is required to whine to re-enter the house... the warm house.

He gets this look on his face – you can tell that he wants to rebel. He just sits there, or may even take a few steps backwards. All of this without making a single sound. Maybe after about four times of me partially opening the door to ask Sami if he wants to come in, then saying “OK – Beg Sami... Whine Sami...” he finally is able to enter. Because you see if Sami refuses to beg or whine, then he has to sit outside a few more minutes, until he relents.

So who has the problem here – me or Sami? Am I being totally unreasonable, trying to teach an old dog new habits? Joyce is beginning to give me a hard time about this training attempt. So I set a deadline that if Sami has not learned to whine instead of stare by the end of January, that I will cease and desist trying to teach him. Of course, I've explained to Sami that if he would only whine instead of stare that things would be able to happen when he wants them to – that the sky is the limit on how quickly he can receive a food refill – if he'd only say the right words to me instead of just staring.

Lately I've been thinking - that there may be a spiritual application here. God's requirements for us are pretty small I think. “What does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (NKJV).

Is this really so hard? Maybe so, but it is within our grasp, especially since God has provided a safety net of total forgiveness for Christians. So why do we try to change things up? God lets us know that the joy of the Lord is our strength – yet by our actions it is like we think the whine of the Lord will be our strength. God explains that small sins lead to bigger sins and ultimately to death – yet we live like it's OK to allow sin in our lives. God makes it clear that you cannot serve two masters because you will wind up hating one and loving the other – yet we tend to live like we can cling to God with one hand and grasp the Devil with the other.

Is this the same thing as Sami, knowing what I want him to do, yet doing the wrong thing – out of pure rebellion? I'm wondering if on judgment day, God might have a chat with me about my treatment of Sami during this time of training and instruction. I'd love to know your thoughts on this posting. Have a blessed day!