We become ‘new creatures in Christ’ when we accept Jesus as Lord…but we have some habits ingrained in our soul that need some work on our part. This mini-book, Soul Training in the Barn, aims at training the soul with Godly habits.
Christian living is not passive. This is a short, Scripture packed, Spirit-soaked mini-guide to walking out the new life we receive. It contains a Bible Study that focuses on three main concepts:
The supplemental pages focus on “Being a Disciple” through personal discipline. Relationships with others, Bible Study, Serving and Prayer are different in God’s view than the world view. The closing pages are practical tips to get you moving in your new life.
Attendees and staff at the Adult Day Care in Chester, SC welcomed the message of pets as partners who help us gain understanding of great truths from God today! The Velveteen Rabbit, a book written in 1922 presents a beautiful message of ‘becoming real’ through the bumps and bruises of life. Combining snippets from the book with truths in the Word, the love of God was celebrated around the room. Sharing stories of hard times that revealed the faithfulness of God, we celebrated together Christ’s example of embracing rejection with unconditional love.
The weather–and not yet fully trained pets–hindered the presence of real-life animals…but not the participation of animals. Many shared stories of their own beloved pets and a bag of stuffed bunnies (donated by Christ Central Ministries) stayed to offer bunny love to any in need. The reality that pets help bring the words we know in our heads to loving feelings in our hearts was loud and clear.
Heartsong Pets is on the calendar for a devotion in late August. If you would like to know more about participating, let me know! Miss Pat has agreed to play, “It is Well With My Soul” next time.
Therapy Dog training classes continue. We are tentatively scheduled for this Sunday at 3 pm.
The foundation of obedience is trust. In our first session of Heartsong Pet Dog Training, we built on this truth:
Obedience to the call of God requires that we trust Him more than we trust ourselves.
In that first session, we covered basic obedience training concepts:
- Responding to name – a call to Attention
- Exercising impulse control – a call for restraint
- Accepting “No.”
- Sit – a default position while waiting for further instruction
We built on our foundation with the truth of an ‘old saying:’
The life of faith is well described as a
‘long obedience in one direction.’
Session two on our way to Pet Therapy Teams brought us to these points of obedience:
- Responding to their name when competing interests ‘called’. The walk of faith increases in difficulty when things we really like compete for God’s attention. Obedience overcomes the temptation–and response to the name happens!
- Moving from an ATTENTION command to a CORRECTION command, we practiced “Leave it.” This is an exercise to teach making good choices. Leave it is practiced with things that are enticing…obedience calls to a higher choice.
- OUCH! Dogs really do not know we are not one of them. They are made for biting and chewing upon. We are not. Dramatic exclamations of pain help them learn to stop behaviors that harm us. They want to please; we have to help them understand–just like God does for us.
- Stay or Wait. Do you not hate waiting?! Stay is taught in a two-step process. First, we ask our pet to stay while we are with them–just moving a few feet away. Then, we move farther out. God does the same. In the early stages of our faith-walk, we need constant assurance and blessings to keep us going. As we grow in obedience, we may be called to endure some times of waiting. Distractions are a key factor in this…anything that draws the focus of our pet will require us to move closer to the pet. That’s a pretty good faith recommendation too. The busier we are, the more we need face time with Jesus!
- Come! Taught in much the same way as Stay!, the distance and distractions work in relationship. Come is not the same as Name Response. With Name, we want attention–but perhaps not running to us. Name is to elicit a stop and look; come means ‘draw near.’
I’d love to hear how your training–and trusting–is growing!
Today at 3 PM, Last Straw Dog Training will provide the first in a series of dog obedience classes at our house. Any are welcome, but there is an underlying goal to this venture.
1 Corinthians 15:46 sums it up well for me:
The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the answer to all of life’s dilemmas, but we are often blind as to how that can be. We believe that pets are great instructors who can reveal truths in powerful ways!
The natural life is our ground for learning about Jesus. Pets reach hearts when people cannot. The tangible results of pet interaction for those with hurting hearts is well documented. Children are drawn to pets; old people as well. From family pets to therapy dogs to service animals, the potential of well-trained pets is phenomenal.
For those willing to invest themselves in partnering with their pets (to learn and share natural/spiritual truths) there are even greater rewards. The natural (our minds, our bodies) must meld knowledge and discipline. That is our responsibility. The spirit work is all the Lord’s. The natural life training will benefit anyone willing to exercise themselves to do it. The spiritual potential will be enjoyed by any willing to receive it.
Participation in actual therapy visits is not a requirement for attending the training. The cost is $25 per pet. For more information on how we see animals partnering to teach us, visit Heartsong Pets.