Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
What is interesting to me when I get a chance to talk with these rescue people is how passionate they are about the rescue process. The term they use pretty universally for their ultimate goal for these neglected, sometimes abused and often suffering dogs is that they are in search of their "forever home".
I love that term as it explains the contrast between the typical story of the dog's life to date and the opportunity that is included in this package called a 'forever home'.
Just like these dogs-in-need, we are all in need of being rescued. Our story is not unlike some of these dogs. None of these dogs really have the ability to go-it-on-their-own. They are all in need of someone to care for them, to love them and to protect them. In the same way, the Bible says we will never be 'good enough', we all have a need to be rescued. For us, being rescued is being lifted up and out of our human condition and being placed, or rescued, in a new home. A home that is filled with unconditional love by a God that is kind and just and far greater than we are.
Ultimately, all of us will find our forever home. For many of us it will be heaven. Just like these real homes that are available for a number of dogs, heaven is a real place. Unlike what is often portrayed, the Bible doesn't describe heaven as a swing or permanent perch on some cumulus cloud in the sky. The Bible says that Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind, Paul was caught up to the third heaven and the Apostle John saw a door standing open in heaven and a throne and heavenly beings with crowns. Jesus promised before He went to the cross that He would prepare a place for us, a forever home.
For some of us our forever home may not be heaven. While it is unfortunate that all dogs are not rescued, all of us have the opportunity to find the eternal place of kindness and unconditional love. Fortunately for us, the price has been paid, we need only to believe. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Friday, May 04, 2012
Our group consists of seven, sometimes as many as nine men, who have been meeting for the past four months. One of the things we do on a regular basis is find out if there are anything we can pray about and one of the prayers requested a few times was from our friend Bruce who asked that we pray for his son Devin who was recently deployed to Afghanistan.
Before our lesson started this week, Bruce was excited to show us this picture. We had heard that President Obama had flown to Afghanistan and Bruce was earnestly watching CNN to see if he could possibly catch a glimpse of his son in the crowd. To his surprise and delight, Bruce saw his son, Tech Sergeant Devin, standing with the President (Devin is the young man directly to the left of the President in the picture).
It was a great start to our last lesson on leaving a legacy. Tony Dungy said that "everything we do adds an element to the story we leave behind". Bruce (the father) served in the Police Department for 41 years. He has left a legacy of service. His oldest son served in the NYFD. His daughter, Danielle, worked as a 911 operator for the Suffolk County Police Department, and his younger son, Darren also serves in the United States Air Force.
The legacy we leave behind is not about money. It's all about the values, faith, character and integrity. When we have faith, when we know that we are in need of a Savior and we embrace Jesus, we have the opportunity to leave behind the greatest legacy of all.
Coach Dungy is correct; everything we do adds an element to the story we leave behind. What are you leaving behind? If you know Jesus and the Holy Spirit lives in you there is a great hope. The Apostle Paul writes about this legacy in his letter to the Galatians, " But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Gal 5:23)
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