My Dad’s Dogs and Faith

My dad had a way with dogs. Dad’s dogs always seemed to be smart and obedient (except maybe for Rusty!) The most notable was Benjy, a Heinz 57 variety of a dog that had long hair in spots and resembled the movie star dog after whom he was named.

 Benjy was almost human and I often referred to him as my little brother. Benjy could understand anything you said; he could sense moods and he could tell you the time of day because he knew when it was snack time and when it was time for everyone to be in bed. He didn’t cross the road or leave my dad’s side unless my dad gave the ok. He knew what toy to get when you called it by name and he was gentle and sweet with my frail mother.  

My uncle once told me that when he left a message on my mom and dad’s answering machine that he always addressed the message to Benjy. He left messages like “Benjy, tell your mom and dad than Uncle Jim called”. The reason he did that was because he believed in my dad’s vision of Benjy and because my mom was mostly deaf and when the phone rang, Benjy always got her attention and would let her know, in his own special way,  that the phone was ringing.

I watched dad over the years with his dogs. They were ordinary dogs, not specifically bred for their abilities or intelligence. They were pretty much mutts that he adopted and just simply loved. He talked to them like they were his sons. He never questioned that they were dogs or that they might not understand… he just believed in them. He believed that they understood everything he said, that they were more than “just a dog” and he believed they could do everything he expected them to do…… and they usually did.  He always complimented them and told everyone how smart they were. He just had an unwavering, simple faith in them.

Reflecting on this memory, I thought……what if…..what… if…. we treated all of those in our sphere of influence; our family, our co-workers, our small groups, and our friends, with the same respect, faith and belief, in not only the visible potential, but also the unseen almost impossible potential that my dad saw in his dogs?  There would be no limit to what they could be!

AND what if….we had that same unwavering faith in the God that created all things and we believed without seeing, that He could do all that He says he can do and that He is who he says he is? Would we dare to pray for the impossible? Would we dare to believe the impossible? If we did…..there would be no limit to what God could do! For in Him,  ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

Receiving God’s Blessing

Why study the Bible?

Leviticus 26:1-13 gives a very good reason; Receiving God’s Blessing!

God promises to bless us with a bounty of more than enough, protection, peace,  His company, family, and our swords will go before us as we chase the enemy!

Here are just two reasons that make studying the Bible important in this passage. There are several, but I will just touch on two.

  • We have to obey God’s commands to receive the blessings (v 3) 
  • Our swords will go before us as we chase the enemy (v 7-8)

In order to obey God’s commands, we have to know what they are. Most of us can recite the Ten Commandments, or at least a couple of them, but God’s instructions are all throughout the Bible, not just in Exodus 20 and Leviticus 26: 1-2. The Old Testament is full of exciting histories that teach us all of God’s ways and The New Testament is full of instructions on how we should conduct ourselves.

And if we want to chase the enemy instead of him chasing us……we not only have to know who the enemy is, we must have a sword that goes before us. Satan and his minions are the enemy (Ephesians 6:12) and the sword is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). The more we study the Bible, the more we can identify the enemy and the sharper our swords become.

When Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan, he defeated him with the Word. Jesus responded to Satan with scripture and Satan fled! Then the angels served him. (Matthew 4:1-11)

So let us open our Bibles and not just read it, but study it; meditate on it and live it!

 Leviticus 26: 1-13 NLT

26 “Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I am the Lord your God. You must keep my Sabbath days of rest and show reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.

“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land.

“I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land. In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword.

“I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. 10 You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest! 11 I will live among you, and I will not despise you. 12 I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high.


In a Time of Rest

This time, while reading the Bible in chronilogical order, I have slowed down the pace to glean as much as I can from it. Last time around I hurried through Numbers and Leviticus (just to say I read it). This time I am reading through with a new attitude……Application of His Word. Who knew I would see so much in the Law and how I could apply it to my life today? LOL. (I think that’s His point in providing it!)

In Levitcus 25:8-22 ( 15 verses) God gives Moses the Law of Jubilee. I am only going to mention one aspect of the wealth of this passasge. The fiftieth year, the Sabbath year of rest for the crops.

In verse 11 God commanded that the Israelites plant no crops or store away any that grow on their own in the year of Jubilee, just like the 7th year of Sabbath. The land was at rest along with the people. But verses 18-22 grabbed me.

God said that if His people would obey his regulations and follow his decrees, then the land would produce enough in the 6th year to last well into the harvest of the 9th year.

So… if we read and study God’s Word, taking in as much as we can, storing it up in our hearts, apply it to our lives and strive to live according to his commands we build faith (storehouse)  during a time of seed time and harvest (good years) THEN…God provides MORE THAN ENOUGH to get us through the “rest” (seasons of lack or trouble) even into the next period of seed time and harvest!

I love God’s Word! But most of all, I love this Wonderful, Magnificent, Holy God that loved me first.

A Holy God

Above all, He is Holy.

The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”

Revelation 4:8 NIV

A Prayer for A Heart After Him

1 Chronicles 4:10

“Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” NKJV

Father, I pray that anything I post represents you. I pray that you direct my words so that I do not mislead anyone from the true meaning and purpose of your written word.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.