6-24-2018 A Faithful Friend

FROM THE PASTOR

JUNE 24, 2018

 

Growing up my youngest brother was given a blue-tick hound puppy for his birthday. We named him Freckles after his spots. For some reason the dog never took to my brother, and he ended up being my dog. The phrase “stuck to me like glue” describes our relationship perfectly. Everywhere I went, he went. And did that dog love to hunt! As a teenager I easily shot several hundred rabbits over him. Nothing seemed to dampen his enthusiasm for the chase.

 

He was also a roamer. We lived in the country and never penned him up so he had the run of the neighborhood. Ironically, it wasn’t too long after he left the puppy stage that we began to identify numerous other puppies around with his exact markings. Can you imagine that? Yet as much as I loved that dog and can remember the good times, he also remains one of my deepest regrets and carries a life lesson that has stuck with me all these years.

 

Like so many, as the teen years passed and early adulthood came into bloom my interests and daily habits changed. I still cared for Freckles, but the hunting slowed as work came into play and our time together became less and less. He also got older and slower and we soon had to pen him for his own good. It wasn’t too long and he became an afterthought.

 

Even though he would have been close to 15 when I bought my first home, I took him with me. I built him a comfortable pen behind the house to stay in while I worked and brought him in at night. Unfortunately, as time went on I traveled more and he became more isolated all the time. As I look back I can still see the sadness on his face when I had to leave him. Even in his old age he was still ready for the hunt. All I had to do was give him the opportunity.

 

I can still remember the day I walked around the corner of the house and saw him laying outside his house. I knew immediately he had passed. I also knew that even though he had been more than faithful all those years I had let him pass all alone. For that I have carried a burden all these years. It so easy to get caught up in the “things” that seem important that we miss the “real” important things. Our time with God is one of them.

 

If anyone understands how hard it is to spend those moments, I do. It’s often so challenging to spend those few quiet moments with God. To just relax, open God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit the opportunity to speak to you among all the other influences of the world can be tough. But what do we miss by isolating God to a corner of our life? What does God desire to bless us with or encourage through that we lose out on because our daily habits or seeming priorities dictate our lives? What can we possibly gain by making Him an afterthought? Scripture is clear as we are reminded…

 

Philippians 4:8 (NASB)
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

 

It’s too late for me to correct the lost time I missed with an old faithful friend but it’s never too late to renew a one on one relationship with our Lord…

 

…dwell on these things.

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry

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