D.O.G. – Depend on God

My devotion time was led by Hyzer this morning…our 18 oz. grand-dog who spent the night. Opening my prayer time with a plea for God to speak and untangle the chaos in my heart and mind, I immediately heard the waking whines of Hyzer. And here’s what I heard from my Father.

Want to hear from me? Listen for the whimpers of need.

Meet that need.

Show them how to get the ‘trash’ out and put the nasty stuff where it belongs.

Move around, get some exercise.

Explore with joy.

Learn something new.

Share your food.

Chew on the word.

Search for jewels.

And when you do those things, you will be with me…watching me work, for that is what I do for you.

 

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Dove Notes – Intro

A single mention of anything in Scripture ought to be paid attention to.  But when there are multiple mentions of any one thing, it seems to me God has something important in mind!  It piques my interest.

Scripture mentions doves over thirty times.  Often the context gives great honor to the dove.  The most well-known mention being in the baptism of Jesus, which links the Holy Spirit with the symbolism of the dove.

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Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

 

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.  Luke 3:22

In Song of Solomon, the great book on the love of God, both the lover and the beloved are said to have eyes like the dove.  Jesus sent His disciples out with the admonition to be as wise as serpents but gentle as doves.  Noah sent a dove out to learn if the ground was ready for dwelling.  Doves were a common sacrifice in Temple worship.  For more details on the Scriptural mentions of doves, Biblical Archaeology offers an in-depth look at the symbolism of doves.

Interactive learning helps me  The dove as symbolic of the Spirit of God intrigued me; so, I purchased some doves to learn from them.  It’s been a delight and I wanted to share some of their lessons.  Over the next few weeks, I will share a dove note to enjoy!  May it bless you and tune your ears to the Holy Spirit!

To not miss out on Dove Notes & learning from the animals, “Follow the Blog” or fill in the form below.

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Determined!

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.”  Proverbs 4:25

Do you ever struggle to ‘stay the course’ when you have begun a project?  I do!  Our bulldog, Barnabas fulfilled his role as “Encourager” this week as he set his mind to a task.  After receiving a new ‘toy’ – a tractor tire – he set his mind on finding a way to bring the toy into the house.  Enjoy this little slideshow and think on Barnabas when you are finding a project daunting!

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While stubborness is as witchcraft according to Scripture, learning to ‘fix our face as flint’ as Jesus did is necessary in the Christian life.  Our great and glorious God is worth every effort!  As Nehemiah admonished those rebuilding the temple, ‘Think on our God, great & glorious and fight for your families and your homes.’

Be determined to do all God puts on your heart!

Can Horses Help us Find the Path of Life?

Horses have been used by mankind for centuries:  they have been trained and employed in myriad ways. Horses provide travelers aid, power farmers’ plows, help soldiers fight, carry burdens and manage herds.  Parents employ horses to teach children responsibility while building  physical and relational skills.  Of course, millions simply use horses for pleasure and enjoyment.  Currently, researchers are exploring the utilization of horses for academic and psychological therapy.

With all of those great roles for horses, one assignment surpasses them all:  helping establish or restore human beings to relationship with their Creator.

The God of the Bible is a relational God.  He created humanity because He loved…and love cannot be fulfilled outside of relationships.

Horses, being herd animals are naturals at relationships.  We humans crave connection, but the fall of humanity from connection to God (Genesis 3) impairs every relationship. Often we are blind to the things we do in the context of relationships.  Horses reflect what we do not see or feel in ourselves.

Perhaps more importantly, horses and humans share a common desire–a desire a horse understands more than a human.  Our craving for connection that arises from our broken relationship with God clouds are thinking.  It was at the fall that fear, shame and hiding entered the world.  Through that darkness, we pursue relationships.  A horse, on the other hand, pursues relationships exactly for the reasons we crave connection:  security.

When Adam & Eve chose to walk the path God had forbidden, they lost their security.  They also lost the identity God had given them; they chose to create their own.  Without their God-given identity, they had to craft their own significance as well.  Those two losses–security and significance–continue to plague humanity.  Connecting with a horse requires understanding that need from the equine view…which opens eyes to our own needs.

Even people who do not like horses, often want to ‘pet their nose’ and look with awe at their power and strength.  Horses, though, aren’t longing for our friendship or worship.  They want a leader they can trust.  As we engage with a horse to understand its needs, we begin to see our own needs–and the magnificent, costly way God has met every need for us.

Anxiety is the number one mental health issue facing Americans today–Christians included.  Join Heartsong Ministries in changing this – click the picture below and visit the Facebook Page for more information!

Finding the Answer to Anxiety

January 28, 2018 – 3:30 – 5:00 PM

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Soul Training in the Barn

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 BarnSoul Training cover, 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:

  • Willingness
  • Respect
  • Obedience

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.

Soul Training in the Barn PDF

Jesus made the way for us to restored relationship with God. We can never work our way to heaven. But there is work to be done in the Christian life…we have been given EVERYTHING we need for victorious living. Soul Training is about learning how to use all that we have. This Bible Study guides you through scriptures that outline the glorious privileges we have as children of God!

$1.99

If you cannot afford the suggested donation, please fill out the contact form below and indicate the specific resource you would like to have.

Heartsong Pets: Devotion Debut

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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.

Heartsong Pets – Building Trust

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
  • Resting 148789_117501068313177_1646713_n
  • 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!

Heartsong Pets – Dog Training

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.