Anyone that knows me has to know I have two dogs. I love my dogs, they are amazing creatures and loyal friends. They are funny and fun, crazy and at times they can be very frustrating, but they are always there for me.

Birthday love 3


My female Rottweiler’s name is Ava and my male is named Boomer. They both came from a wonderful kennel out in California. Not litter mates but kennel mates two years apart. Bred for disposition, beautifully encompassing the AKC standard of a “Rottie,” they are an incredibly misunderstood breed. They are great family members and very friendly dogs. Ava has attained her Canine God Citizen Certificate and Therapy Dog would be next, she also pulls a cart for exercise and fun. My grandchildren love to ride in the cart up and down the street. Boomer, the big goober, is one good left turn from completing all the requirements for the “CGC” certificate. He is young and that’s another topic we can learn about, but later.

Ava Carting

I can learn a lot about God from my dogs.

Through the years I have learned a lot about God through my relationship to dogs. Like the time I was trying to process hearing the voice of God. Like a puppy, we run to our master and we are excited to be near him in worship, prayer time, but we don’t really have a clue what he is saying or what he means. Then over the years of being in his presence, we come to an understanding: his voice, his unction, and his gesture. You can talk to a grown dog of yours and based upon your gestures he will respond. Based upon your voice inflections the dog will or won’t respond. Based upon volume your dog will or won’t respond. Our relationship to God is like that. The more we get to know him, the more the little nuances of his person communicate his intention to us. The easier it is to understand the voice we have been seeking. As a puppy, not so much.

When I am trying to understand obedience.


Ava likes to chase a red rubber ring, Boomer on the other hand only chases Ava. Boomer will chase a green tennis ball, but Ava will only chase Boomer after he gets to it. Eventually they both will bring me their individual toy with the other in tow. The nonsense starts when they go racing to the bottom of the hill full tilt and then smell a rabbit, or have to pee or what ever and then they forget where the toy went. They are dogs, I throw the ball, and they fetch it, that’s how it works. It all falls apart when they don’t listen. When they won’t bring me the ball or the ring. I do that to God sometimes too. He sends me to do something and I get distracted by the world, fame, importance, and material possessions, really I am as susceptible as anyone else to the things of this world. I get distracted and forget what he sent me to do or fail to remember where I put God’s ball. Then one time Boomer went after the ball, got half way back and remembered he had to pee again. So he dropped the ball, which rolled down hill and he promptly peed on the ball. Well I can assure you he wasn’t going to do his job with a soiled ball in his mouth. How many times have I peed on God’s ball and then complained to God?

If they aren’t going to be obedient then the party is over

Dogs are pack animals and they need to be family members. They understand the concept of hierarchy but they will fight for position. They can learn quickly where they fit and what their role is, but if they aren’t going to engage, then the party is over. They will thrive when they are encouraged and praised and feel a deep sense of accomplishment. The very first time I put Ava in a harness and hooked her up to the cart it terrified her. That thing behind her was rattling and bouncing and following real close. But once she realized that I put it there and it was a good thing she pulled it famously. When we were all done ( 20 minutes worth) I praised her lavishly and she was beaming. She did it. She was so proud! That obedience, even when I don’t understand the new thing God is doing, that’s the party! Disobedience means the party is over. We need to understand that with God obedience is not an option. He expects us to bring back the ball. He expects us to pull the cart. He expects us to do our part and when we do, life is in rhythm.


God is the master; he isn’t yielding his throne to anyone else. God and God alone. So, what is it that God is asking of you? Did you drop the rubber ring? Did the world distract you? Did you pee on God’s ball? You are not too old, too young, too short, too tall, too male, too female, to be in the game with God. I want to encourage you to reengage.


Man what a day this week is turning out to be.

The truck is in the shop so my wife and I have been carpooling. It’s amazing how much we do not do together that I wasn’t aware of. She doesn’t go to the City council Meetings with me. She didn’t use to go to the coffee shop with me on Wednesday mornings because I go so early. And she certainly doesn’t go to Indianapolis with me when I go to get Ava. Thankfully my son in law was available and has a truck. Also good because my dog doesn’t fit in my wife’s Miata and even more so when I also am in the car with my wife. So, a 7-hour trip later and my Ava is home from the kennel, a little worse for the wear but she will heal.

What about you, how has your week been going?

At church a couple weeks ago the message was about SOARing. 2015 is for SOARing. But in order to SOAR there has to be some flapping. You certainly don’t get to fly let alone SOAR if you aren’t willing to flap.

Flapping isn’t for sissies,


it’s hard and frankly we don’t like it. Trucks break, people let you down, money has to be spent, relationships are strained, jobs are lost, and marriages end, children struggle and you have to keep flapping if you want to SOAR. Frankly sometimes we don’t want to flap do we? We just want to lie down and scream and yell and ask God if he has a clue. Even as a pastor sometimes I just have to walk around and ask God, loudly and vehemently but respectfully, if he is aware of what the heck is going on!

We don’t like to be inconvenienced as a humanity. We have a drive-through for hamburgers, for medicines, for tobacco, for snow cones, for alcohol; shoot we even have drive through for our donuts now. We just don’t have time to flap do we? And yet, that is where strength comes from, from the struggle.

I have a friend that used to have a bazillion ostriches, maybe not quite that many, I could be off by a kazillion. He had a lot of big awkward birds that laid “community omelet sized” eggs. Inside that egg at one time, was what was considered a very expensive baby ostrich. Sometimes they had a hard time hatching. I asked him if it didn’t make sense to him, to help the little guy out. I mean, can someone help a fella’ out, literally, of his shell? My friend told me that the struggle of the little ostrich to hatch, to peck his way out, was crucial to his existence. He told me that in the breaking free process was the conditioning that would allow the ostrich to strengthen and stand, to move around, to live.

God designed that ostrich. He designed it to struggle to hatch so that when it did, it could live. Our struggles are important to our survival whether we know it or not. When I stop whining and get to the flapping part. When I know that the flapping is important to the SOARing process, then the flapping isn’t as evil as I thought. Maybe, I think, SOARing will be a little bit easier and more glorious, because God was with me in the flapping; teaching me, watching over me and even shaping me, to be all I can be so that I can live.

Go ahead, thank God for the flapping, ask him to help you flap better, but FLAP.