Posts Tagged ‘Wiener Dog’

The World of the Wiener, Pt. 4

Posted: February 24, 2011 in Inspirational
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Okay, contrary to any heretofore claims by yours truly, Boomer isn’t perfect. In fact, he has a serious problem (well, as serious as you can take a problem that involves a dog shaped like an empty toilet paper tube with legs). His problem is that he has a tendency to fixate. Now, when I say tendency, understand the understatement involved… sort of like saying San Antonio has a tendency to be humid. For instance, if you begin to play fetch with him, he totally fixates on that activity, to the exclusion of being conscious of anything else happening on the planet, earth. When you are ready to stop, you can try to ignore him but he’ll come drop the toy on your foot and whine; next, you can place it on a countertop that he can’t reach. In answer to this, he will jump up over and over whining and barking at the counter. You may also attempt to hide it. This, too, avails little, as he will walk around the room whining and sniffing the air to ascertain where his toy has gone. No matter what other activity or treat I wish to give him at this point, he is totally fixated on the one thing. Sometimes, I just want him to sit with me and allow me to pet him and enjoy his company. Alas, he is totally in one-track mode. In fact, the only way to break this obsession is to hide the object in a different room until he forgets it. Luckily, while his body is long, his memory is short.

Here again, I see a picture of myself (and I suspect many of you, too). I have a tendency to obsess, don’t you? Whether it is a good thing or a bad one, the result is similar. Perhaps God may show me a vision of something He wants to do in my future and at that moment I become fixated on the dream of what is to come. I have seen this often in the lives of young men and women who are called to some area of ministry. Once they get a glimpse of where they are headed, they suddenly lose their willingness to stay in their place and remain faithful as they are learning the lessons that will serve them well in the future. We are also prone to begin to cherish the ministry more than the presence of God. Just like me, God may want to hold us and enjoy us for a while; and just like Boomer, we can only think of chasing that rubber bone. Destiny can be a powerful obsession. So can religion. At one point, Jesus tells the Pharisees, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” (Matthew 23:23 – NKJV). In other words, He is saying, you get all the religious rituals and requirements right, but you miss the main point. In some respects it was the same thing He told Martha when she complained of all the work that needed to be done while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet. He said, “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41,42 – NIV)

Bad things can be equally powerful in their ability to consume us. Whether it is financial worries, health problems, family issues, or any number of other things, we can fixate on those things just as easily… with even more damaging consequences. Jesus chides His disciples throughout His time on earth to not worry, and questions where their faith has gone. I think I can easily slip into the trap of totally ignoring a loving, doting Heavenly Father’s presence as I focus all my attention on those unpaid bills or that unfavorable doctor’s report. Sometimes, it seems God is forced to do the same thing I have to do with Boomer – hide the object of his obsession until he forgets about it. Unfortunately, my memory is much longer than Boomer’s, so this is not the best option for me. I do see it happen in our lives, though, as those dreams we have of a great destiny seem to vanish into mid-air. I think this was the test God was giving Abraham when He asked him to sacrifice Isaac. That was God’s promise of Abraham’s destiny of being a great nation. God’s question was, do you love me more than the promise I gave you? Abraham passed the test with flying colors. How about us?

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The World of the Wiener, Pt. 2

Posted: February 24, 2011 in Inspirational
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The moral of this story is: dogs understand worship, cats don’t. The word used for worship throughout most of the New Testament is the Greek word proskuneo. It carries the meaning to bow or prostrate oneself. However, it has another definition: to kiss the hand in the way a dog licks the hand of the master. For nearly all of my life I have lived in homes with cats (my mom had serious cat issues), while I have owned dogs for a good bit of my life, as well. This might not give me any title or initials after my name, but it does give me quite a history of observation of both species. When I enter my house, my dachshund, Boomer meets me at the door 100 times out of 100. When I leave the house, he stands at the door gazing sadly at me with puppy dog eyes (what other kind would you expect?). In reality, it doesn’t matter if I have been gone 10 minutes or two weeks, he is equally glad to see me.

On the other hand, one of my cats meets me at the door 7 times out of 100, and all 7 times it is a safe bet that either the food or water dish is empty. While I am in the house, I have constant attention and devotion from Boomer, the cats…not so much. I am slightly less interesting to them than a nap on a sunny spot, a string to chase, or a hair ball to upchuck… UNLESS THE FOOD DISH IS EMPTY!  When I walk over to my dog, he gives me a perfect picture of proskuneo every time: he will hunker down, tail wagging vigorously, and lick my hand.

Now before we judge the cats too harshly, let’s look at ourselves for a sec. Aren’t our prayer and worship lives a bit like them sometimes? I’m pretty independent, charting my own course, everything under control – don’t give God all that much attention UNTIL THE FOOD DISH IS EMPTY!!! It is then that I pray, then that I tell God how great He is, then that I hunker down and kiss His hand.

Look at a couple of the great worshipers in the Bible. Moses spent 40 consecutive days in God’s presence at one point. At other times, he was so transformed by time in God’s presence that his face glowed. In fact, at one point, God tells him leave me alone so my anger can blaze against the Israelites” How about David? He said, “zeal for Your house has consumed me” He’s the guy who set up an open tabernacle with no veil and ordered 24/7 worship for over 30 years. He wrote Psalm 23 which ends with the statement: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” No wonder God said about Moses “with others I speak in dreams and visions, but with Moses face to face,” and called David a man after God’s own heart. These were the two guys in the Old Testament that carried the three-fold anointing that Jesus later carried of priest, prophet, and king. So next time you begin to worship the Lord, picture Boomer, hunkered down, with his tail wagging all the way up to his neck.

The Storm

A couple of years ago, when our wiener-dog Boomer was just a puppy, I was home one afternoon during a thunderstorm. I heard Boomer in his room whining and realized he was afraid of the thunder he was hearing. I went in and picked him up and took him out on our screened porch with me to help him get over his fear. At first he sat in my lap, pressed up against me, and whimpered. After a bit, he got quiet, then he got down out of my lap. However, he stayed right under my chair, at first. Gradually, he began to venture over to the screen and watch the rain and the lightening. Soon he was perfectly fine as the storm continued. Never again have I heard him whine during a storm. I had a God moment while this was happening and thought about the way He helps us learn to pass through storms. As I held Boomer in that storm, these words King David wrote came to my mind:

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
until the danger passes by.

I cry out to God Most High,
to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
disgracing those who hound me.
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.  (Psalm 57:1-3)

David wrote these words during a storm in his life. He was on the run from King Saul, who was trying to kill him; and he was hiding in a cave. You might be fighting through a storm right now, and you might feel like the disciples did when Jesus was asleep during their storm… “Jesus, don’t you care that we are going to perish?” Let me assure you, He does care; and you’re not going to perish. He needed disciples that learned to weather storms so that they could carry on after He ascended back to Heaven. Think of Peter and John in Acts 4 as they stood before the High Priest and Sadducees and boldly spoke about Jesus fearlessly. Today, he needs followers like you and me to learn to weather storms; so if you are in a doozie right now, learn to hide under His mighty wings and stay the course.

Scott Krippayne wrote a beautiful song a few years ago called, “Sometimes He Calms the Storm.” I’ll leave you with his  lyrics:

(Verse 1)

All who sail the sea of faith   Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark    And gentle winds grow strong

Suddenly fear is like white water    Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing   That our Lord is in control

(Chorus)

Sometimes He calms the storm     With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea     But it doesn’t mean He will

Sometimes He holds us close    And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm   And other times He calms His child

(Verse 2)

He has a reason for each trial     That we pass through in life
And though we’re shaken    We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down    On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always     Be a quiet peaceful place