My wife Barb and I never seem to be satisfied when it comes to finding a church that will fit our needs as well as will allow us to be used for their needs. We’ve been searching for about two years, many churches of many flavors. If I had to describe myself, I’d say that I’m a Bapticostal. I like the fundamentalism of a Baptist church but I like the Ruach Ha Kodesh way of a Pentecostal church. I believe that praise and worship should be reverent and that the church should always be in the Word of Yahweh, but, at the same time I believe that the Church Incorporate should be free in the gifts of the Ruach. I’m totally against all of the angel’s feathers, diamonds and gold dust, and the spiritual laughter and barking like dogs in church, so I tend to avoid the Charismatic circles. Oh, and if there’s drums playing during worship, you won’t see me there for long, but that’s another story.
So, Barb and I found a wonderful little church about thirty miles from home. I had forgotten my motto that good churches are never close to home. The first week there we were welcomed like family and have been treated like family ever since. The pastor, his wife and the elders are all humble and they all love Jews and Israel. Today, I was floored because I could have sworn that the pastor had been reading my blog posts because his sermon was so in line with my values and such that it is almost, shall I say “spooky?” No, it’s not an esoteric sort of spooky, but uncanny in many ways. It further proves to me that Yahweh will confirm where a person’s supposed to fellowship one way or another. We have to be sensitive to exactly which way He is showing us.
About a year and a half ago, we were in PetSmart when they were having the “dog show” where they allow people to adopt dogs. Our little girl, Davi, who was our baby Yorkie had died because someone had stepped on her and broke some of her vertebrae. We loved that little puppy. Davi was a companion for our other tiny Yorkie Adie and we knew that we didn’t want Adie to be alone. So, off we went to PetSmart. We looked around and saw a dog that we saw there the week before. He was a mix of Cairne Terrier and Yahweh knows what else.
We took an immediate love toward this dog, whose name was Chester. We were bound and determined to change that name, and we did. He became Buddie, simply because he would be a buddy to our other dog and he took a liking to me so he was my buddy too. Barbara was a bit concerned because the week before we saw him scrapping with another dog over a bowl of food, and he looked like he had anger issues. We took him anyway, figuring that Yahweh would work things out.
The lady told us that Buddie came from down in California, from a Kill Shelter near Los Angeles. Their agency rescues dogs like Buddie and brings them to Oregon for adoption. Well, Buddie turned out to be awesome. He only urinated twice in the house, to mark his territory but quickly learned to go outside. You know, they say that dogs aren’t beings that are able to comprehend things, but Buddie, I am convinced, knew that he was in a Kill Shelter and that he was rescued. We sometimes call him Buddie Love because he just loves to snuggle and whenever we’re home he has to lay with one of us and he would lick us to death if we allowed it. I can tell that Buddie knows that we rescued him from death, that he knew that he was marked for death, and he sees us sort of as saviors. Other people have said this about dogs that have been rescued; that they know and are grateful.
So, like I said above, Yahweh gives you ways to know that you’re in the right place of fellowship. The way that He shows me is he starts to talk to me a lot during a service. For instance, I’m 55 years old and at this age you start to wonder how much longer you’ll be on this earth and how long you’ll be effective while you’re here. You start to wonder how much longer you’ll get to help raise up your grandchildren and how long you’ll be there for the children. And, you wonder if there is anyone whom you can pass down your legacy. Having no natural children of my own, this means that it will either be a nephew or a grandson or granddaughter. I know I’m supposed to pass mine on, and I’m waiting for Yahweh to show me which one. So, while at fellowship yesterday I clearly heard Yahweh tell me, “David, you have absolutely no idea the things that I still have to do through you.” That was very encouraging, for sure. You see, many years ago Yahweh showed me how I would exit this world, but of course he never said when. Seeing Islam encroaching on our nation and society has made me wonder if it might be in the next five or ten years.
The best thing however, and how he brought me to tears in fellowship (during worship) was when we were singing songs about our adoption by Yahweh. All of a sudden I flashed on Buddie, and how he had to know that he was marked for death. Then, one day a merciful soul plucked him from that death mill and brought him to Oregon. He was still an orphan with many other dogs that were rescued from the same fate. Then, that one day occurred when we met Buddie, fell in love with him and brought him home. Then I flashed on how Buddie is always happy when we come home from work and/or school. How he hears our car(s) and waits in my recliner until he can see me. Then he jumps off the chair and claws at the door until we open it. Then he starts to jump up and down, like a circus dog, begging to be picked up and loved. You know, even during times when I have to scold him, he bows his head a little, but his tail is always wagging. He knows what he did was wrong, but he knows that we will always love him no matter what he does. Buddie always follows me around and when I’m in the recliner he will always come up to rest with me and the other dogs. I look at Buddie a lot, and I wonder how anyone could want to turn him over to a kill mill to have his life snuffed out. I wonder about people who can do such things to healthy animals who want to offer love to their people. Those people to me are like this world and it’s god, who seek to kill and destroy those who love Yahweh and Yahweh’s creation. This makes me want to hold him and love him all the more, and it causes me to want to grasp Yahweh by the feet and never let go.
Okay, so then I flashed on how all of us, all humans, have a death sentence on our heads. I think about how Yeshua died so that he could pluck anyone who wants to come to Him from that death sentence. He reaches down into this world and plucks us from that death mill that is the imminent faith of all people. Then he loves us with an unconditional love, which causes us to want to love him back. If we could only see what our fate was, we could appreciate Yeshua so much more. Like Buddie, we would lay there all day while Yahweh doesn’t seem present and we would look forward with baited breath for His return. Our constant thought should be about pleasing the one who rescued us from sin and death, and the one who will still love us if we tear up the couch, eat our food when we’re not looking and even when we get into scraps with our fellow’s. And, like Buddie, when we’re experiencing the chastisement of Yahweh our tails should be wagging because we know that the reason He is disciplining us is because he loves us so much that He wants us to get it right and to be more Holy.
Yes, there are many ways that Yahweh talks to us, through His Creation, through circumstances and through even our dogs. And, if we love our dogs with such a love, imagine the love that He has for us, seeing that we are so much more precious than dogs to him. So I would encourage everyone to crave for time with Yeshua like Buddie craves his time with me and my wife. Be happy all the time knowing that no matter how dark the times may be, our owner is coming home. Let’s look forward to that time and stand in His recliner with fervent expectation. Let’s run to the door to greet Him in times of fellowship and love with Him. Let’s love His correction, because even though we tear up the couches, pillows and stuffed animals in our lives, He still loves us and wants us to learn to love Him more and to behave correctly.
If I can learn a lesson like I have from a little dog, imagine the lessons we can learn if we would just stop whining, and we would just shut-up and listen.