“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all.”
Isaiah 53:6 NLT

Lessons learned from Sandy, our Golden Retriever

What Do Sheep, Dogs, and People Have In Common?

On January 30, 2018, we were forced to put Sandy, our beloved Golden Retriever, into permanent naptime. I know he was “just a dog” – but he was still one of God’s creatures, one He allowed us to care for and love for 14 years. He was like a quirky family member for sure, but one who was loved by all of us. It hurts. At this writing, it’s been six weeks, but we’re still grieving. We miss him and his sweet presence every single day.

Sandy was a joy, but sometimes he would drive us crazy! He was sweet to a fault, beautiful with soft blond, curly hair, and had the friendliest face ever! We never knew a dog could show so many different facial expressions! In any given situation, we’d see expressions of joy, anger, affection, and humor.  Sometimes he seemed to be making fun of us! When angry, he’d get a square nose look.  When embarrassed, he’d turn his face away. We called him Mr. Personality Plus.


He was the most obedient dog we ever had. But there were two propensities he had that always got him in trouble! One was to grab something in his mouth when excited. His preference was dirty underwear, one of our shoes, my purse, – or his bed – which he would shred to pieces! These propensities would get him in trouble every time, even though he knew it was wrong. He just couldn’t help himself.

All those traits are now only memories in our hearts. One of my favorites is a scene from 2010.

One day, as I opened the door to let him inside, all I could see was a cloud of white polyester fiber floating in the air all around him. He was covered with it – which he loved by the way! His bed lay shredded like a heap of snow, all around his body. At the sound of my voice, his square nose look appeared.  Then the embarrassed turn-his-head-away look emerged.  He knew it was wrong, but he’d done it anyway – again.

“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinfulnature.

I want to do what is right, but I can’t.” Romans 7:18

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on Him
    the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:6 NLT

So, what do sheep, dogs, and people have in common? We are all in the same boat, no matter what our inclinations for doing wrong are. Left alone, we can’t control them because they are inherent to our DNA, passed down from the fall of mankind.  That’s why Jesus came to earth. He came to teach us, to love us, and to rescue us from the penalty that was ours to pay.  So, He paid that penalty for us.  After we turn to Him in faith and repentance, He will give us the power needed to overcome those propensities. That’s real LOVE people. Jesus said this in John 15:13:

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

He did just that.  I pray you will thank Him today by asking His forgiveness. Here’s how:



Feeding the Spirit and Starving the Flesh Part 2

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41

The second part of this verse shows us our true nature without the saving power of Jesus inside of us. Our flesh is drawn to feels good now without thought of consequences of our actions. Doing what feels good to us in the moment to please the flesh will only make it harder to ignore it in the long run.

Have you every fed a stray cat? What happens once you feed the cat just one time? In my experience the cat keeps coming back and even seems to tell a few of his friends!

Our flesh is like that stray cat, keeping feeding it and instead of going away it will come back consistently and grow louder.

That is why it is so important to we are praying in the spirit to withstand these temptations.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18

Praying in the spirit is our strongest defense against all of the temptations of this world. Whenever we feel tempted we can know that all of the power we need to withstand this temptation is already inside of us.

Despite how we feel in the moment we are never forced to sin, we always have a choice.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Be comforted dear friends that just as Satan has crafted “traps” to trick us, God has given us His strength to overcome them!

In Him,


Photo Credit: image created via wordswag

Feeding the Spirit and Starving the Flesh Part 1

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41 NIV

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

When I come across this verse, I immediately relate it to this verse:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

If a lion is roaming around looking for his next prey, it makes sense that we are told to “watch and pray” to avoid “falling into the trap”.

Falling into temptation is a matter of watching where you step, and not giving into temptation is a matter of keeping your guard up through prayer.

We all have certain weaknesses or vices that are easy for us to fall into. Every temptation we come against has been handcrafted to draw us away from God.

What is most tempting to you probably is different than what is most tempting to me because we all have different “lusts” of this world that entice us.

For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16

All of these “lusts of the world” are not things that we happen across, they are what we are bombarded with everyday.

How do we fight against temptation?

Well in our own strength and ability, these temptations that surround us will always overcome us, but through the power of God inside of us we can withstand these temptations.

In Him,




Photo Credit: image created via wordswag