Wednesday, October 20, 2010


“Abide in Me” John 15:4….

Her blond hair all askew, my six year old granddaughter crept into our bedroom about four-thirty on a Saturday morning. I sensed that she was up and observed her silhouette before she slipped into the room. She whispered in my ear:

“I need to be with you, Nana.”

Naturally, I opened my arms and she climbed in to ‘be with me’. She soon slipped into slumber once again, all warm and snuggly between Nana and Poppy. Not an unusual scenario, but she hadn’t exactly expressed it so sweetly previously.

“I need to be with you, Lord.” I said as I kept my early morning appointment with the Master this morning. I walked into the study and faced the picture of Fern Beckham’s COMPASSIONATE CHRIST, hanging on the wall. I love the expression on this particular rendering of the face of Jesus. It seems to express a different sentiment for each rendezvous. This morning, He seemed to smile at me, open His arms and welcome me in.

Do you need to be with Him? He senses your presence and eagerly awaits…

Friday, October 8, 2010


Lessons learned at the end of the leash

“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.”
(James 2:1 NIV)

Freckles emerged on our scene as a nine day old pup. She did not meet the requirements of the Great Dane breed’s coloring to be used in reproduction, so we took her in. We reared her on a bottle until she came of age. Fawn, brindle, blue, black, Harlequin, Merle and Mantle describe Great Dane colors. She matched none of these. She mingled between a harlequin and a merle. Thus, the name Freckles. Dennis’ mother never remembered her name and called her Pepper. Freckles, AKA Pepper, thought she was human and manifested many characteristics of the species. Freckles and Oliver became fast friends. I never worried about being alone and rarely did I feel it necessary to lock the door when Dennis happened to be gone. My dogs intimidated most strangers.

We owned a green Volkswagen and often took our dogs to ride along with our boys…Now there’s a picture! Back when Gas Stations attendants filled your car and washed your windshields, we found out just how protective Freckles could be. The station owner, whom we knew well in our small town, stuck his hand in the window to give us our change and our Dane nearly took it off. She shook that little green VW getting to the window. Size does matter when canines come on board small automobiles

Another such incident took place when we hosted a Sunday school party at our house. One fellow decided to make friends with Freckles. Phil said, “I deal with dogs all the time. No problem”. He put one foot inside her pen and she moved her dog house three feet trying to get to him but not to make friends. Great Canines show their devotion in daunting and myriad ways
She loved David and Todd. They straddled her like a pony and played with her but when Dennis rough housed with our boys; Freckles would stand on her back legs and look him in the eye, daring him to hurt them.

Our Freckles however, developed some weird characteristics. She wanted puppies so badly that she thought she was expecting when it wasn’t so; clinical term being Pseudocyesis. So, she adopted a leather belt. She carried it around, cuddled it, and took great care that nothing happened to it. She also adopted one of the boy’s stuffed animals, carrying it around and never so much as breaking a stitch on it. Finally, Freckles did indeed birth three pups, all strange colors. Her Harlequin husband’s features predominated. It was a cold Saturday in February when I sat in the large dog house in our back yard assisting with the delivery. Bless her heart, every contraction that gripped her body, she jumped to her feet, circling, looking for the result. She and I spent some meaningful hours crowded in that dog house.

As time went by we moved into the old parsonage behind Fairview Baptist Church in Greer while Dennis served on staff. We anguished over how to deal with our majestic Great Dane and her fiercely protective attributes. Finally we felt it necessary to find another country home for Freckles where she could roam and not be cooped up in town with a lot of strange people surrounding her. She just wasn’t a people puppy with anyone but her own. Our love for the Great Dane breed remains with us today. To be as big as she grew to be, she never exhibited any rowdy behavior in our home and she spent a lot of time in the house as well as outside. Great describes the majesty of the Dane.

GREAT Lessons:
  • Taking in the unwanted reaps GREAT rewards.
  • Great devotion comes in all sizes, shapes and colors.
  • Great family values rub off on pets and people
  • Great breeding may matter to some
  • Great Love requires a recipient.
  • Great sacrifice is painful