Obedience: a Tribute to Trance

For the Whole Earth is the Lord’s and Everything that is in it. ( Psalm 24:1, Psalm 50:12, 1 Corinthians 10:26)

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Trance is a dog.  In Genesis , I see God designed the first dog.  The first of Trance’s kind, God made out of the ground. (Genesis 2:19). That was a long time ago. . . that was the beginning of time.  In the beginning of time God created All things for HIS GLORY. 

Nowadays, in these times, no one much says “made for His glory”. It is far removed from our texts and tweets and tags and toungue . So, now today, when I talk about Trance, folks say “He is just a dog”.

Sometimes, lots of times, I have used the same identification  of another’s dog. “Geeze, it’s just a dog”, I whine when they express affections toward their dog.

Words suddenly put on an honor however when folks start showing pictures of their dogs. Suddenly, Our vocabulary dresses up with compliments when we see the dog.  We say“ah, how cute, what an adorable face, wow what  a pooch, ” We say lots of great words avoiding the few true words which resound from heaven  ” that’s a creature of God’s glory”

Since Adam named the animals, God has given us freedom to name all things. Like the first day in the garden , “Trance” was named by his owners the first day they met him. Squatting in the Denver gravel floor of a shelter pen,  My daughter and son-in-law had great dreams for their “dog” as they gave him his name. Their dog would go whereever the “Trance” Giant Bicycle could go. Surely, Names are from God for us to give but, the purpose of all things belongs to God.

              Obedience Believes

When Trance was first “adopted” , he stood eager before his new mother and father.  His eyes would fix on their face. Any twitch, any movement , he would follow. He did not flinch when kennel keepers moved around him . He was on mission.

His new owners said “I think he will be easy to train”, Trance watched them look at one another in agreement without blinking. He was a picture of obedience.

Obedience is a listening, a looking , a following a voice.  Trance had the look of obedience. His ears erect, His eyes fixed , his feet ready to follow a command.  When I saw him look at his parents, I thought how I was created to look at my Father in heaven. My ears erect for the Holy spirit, My eyes fixed on the face of Jesus, and my feet ready to follow the command of my Father.

My stance , my posture before my Maker was not like Trance.

I said his name , “Trance”. He quickly glanced at me and turned back to his new parents. It was as if he was preaching “Do you not know (old woman) that if you continually surrender yourself to (just) anyone to do their will, you are a slave to those who you obey, whether that be to Sin, which will ruin you or to obedience which leads to righteousness and LIFE?” Romans 6:16 AMP

It was as if Trance was barking. “Im not listening to you or to other dogs or to  that kennel guard, I’m listening to the one who can set me free!!”

Obedience Retrieves

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“He only likes to do one thing” my daughter would say. “he never quits, we have to make him lie down”.

Trance’s father threw the first ball for him.  It was a yellow tennis ball. It was held in his masters hand high above Trance.  Trance bent both neck and hip to look to the height of the ball.  The ball was the mission yet to be executed.  Trance knew if he did not look at his masters hand and the angle , time and velocity of the execution of the ball , he might not serve his master rightly with retrieval.  Trance is a skilled retriever.

The first ball was tossed but a few feet.  Subsequent balls were thrown farther and farther.  In parking lots and prarries, across fields and woods,up mountains , down valleys, over puddles , into streams, on fences and rails and up into trees, Trance completes mission upon mission.  And if , on occassion, a ball is lost, a mission failed, he returns ready for another chance.

From Denver, to Ashville, to my own backyard, Trance has taught me . How many times had I looked up in worship to hear a call , an assignment in the hand of my Lord for me, and not gone after it.  And yet, when I had gone and returned, what joy and readiness I had for yet another assignment.  But then, there were the times I had gone and it all seemed lost. What of these failures to please my master?. Was not Trance exhorting me , return, return, there is yet another one where that came from.

Was he not quoting Paul who ran with every command to “go” from the Lord? “Old woman , I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do : forgetting what lies behind (in the woods or stream) I strain forward to what lies ahead and so should you old woman press on tward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phillipians 3:12-13)

Obedience Lies Down

“So you have to make him lie down?” I asked my daughter

“yep, pretty much.  Sometimes I fall asleep throwing the ball first”

Trance relentless pusuit to please his master haunted me.  I often thought of missionaries and martyrs when I thought of Trance. Their focus to the mission yet their forgetfulness to the things of the world, like sleep and food  ,humbled me. It seemed to be the ultimate fullfillment of God’s call for our obedience to Him.  It seemed to be a beautiful picture of a life lived for His glory.

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One day Trance was given a different mission . He was not to run , not to chase, not to retrieve.  He was to carry on his neck the wedding rings of his parents.  He was their “ring bearer”.  It was an unfamiliar mission, but like an obedient servant he listened, he “heeled”, he approached the outdoor altar to present the rings.  Children were thrilled, adults laughed, the parents were proud.  The Father of all Creation rejoiced. Trance was part of a picture of Jesus and His church.

Three months later, yesterday afternoon, Trance looked at his Master, he was ready to obey yet again but there was a delay, a turn, there was a car.  In moments Trance lay in my daughters arms lifeless.  ” I held him but I could look and see he was going . . .” He was going to where there is no more need for obedience. He was going to lie down.

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” Revelation 5:13

Amen and Thank you God for Trance and all that was given to us through him!!

 

 

 

The Four Most Powerful Words for the Pastor

“Brethren Pray for Us”

Pastor Paul writes his church in Thessalonica .

2 Thessalonians 5:25

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Perhaps, through our lives together as a church, the greatest appreciation we can give to God and Pastor is hearts that ponder and submit to the power of this verse. I ask you to enter into God’s word and see how He might have you pray as we journey through our next year with Him. As we pray,there are two certain results of our obedience: Satan will be irritated and interrupted in his scheming and God will be glorified as His Kingdom is manifest. We have nothing to lose and very much to gain.

“And now Lord, with our hearts bare in humble gratitude before you, encourage our pastor with our appreciation towards him and our thankfulness to You for him. And arise, O Holy Spirit, have our Pastor enter Your rest and let him be always clothed with Jesus’s very precious salvation. And let us, your servants and saints, continually rejoice in your goodness toward him and us! We pray, Lord God, turn your face brightly to your anointed one, Pastor Chris , drenching him with your ever fresh oil. And from this great abundance of your love, give him exceedingly and abundantly all the wisdom and discernment and love that he asks of you. Then from these very precious gifts, produce words to boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel with increasing tenacity and zeal. This we ask , that Jesus may shine brightly through Greenville as your very light: casting all darkness to the depth of hell and bringing forth your kingdom. Amen.”

We join heaven’s chorus and Jesus intercession, as we celebrate Pastor’s Appreciation praying without ceasing.

References:

  • 2 Chronicles 6:41-42
  • 2 Corinthians 4:1-5
  • 2 Corinthians 2:2-5
  • Psalm 92:10
  • Acts 10:38
  • Isaiah 61:1
  • Exodus 30:31
  • Thessalonians 5:17

Written not with ink

Last Sunday the handpainted sign for my church was released. It was released from God through hands that cut the wood and hands that painted the logo. The sign announcing my church unfolded like a big wooden card on the walkway outside. Like a greeting card from heaven it speaks to me . It is if there is Logos (the word) in the logo. The design contains a cross. It is a purple cross and in each quadrant of the cross is a half moon shape opening outward from each corner. Inside each half moon shape is a circle or dot. It is like the expression of a face blooming from each corner of the cross.

The logo has a beautiful joy about it. It comes into my mind as a reflection of all that is written of the Love of God. Each expression bursting from the corner of the cross sings of how Jesus owns our every expression, our every emotion . The author of all joy , of all love, purifies our every passion beneath the Cross.

I see the Purple cross, the great Passion of God in the life of Jesus ,as it captivates and holds me, drawing all shame and bitterness and regret from my soul. But ,He does not leave this soul empty. Instead from the cross, Red He pours His blood bought passion into my soul that I may love. Yellow He pours every jealous promise to pursue my soul that I may proclaim His jealousy. Green He pours His truth into my soul that I may grow in Grace and Knowledge of Him. Blue He pours His rushing waters over my soul that I may praise “all my fountains are in Him”.

The sign outside my church is an emblem of the Heart of Jesus. It calls me to celebrate when I enter and it calls me to remember when I leave. But greater is the call to pray that this sign will be a greeting card to many. I pray the sign to be a card of Love, a card that says “welcome back” to the wanderer, a card that says “happy birthday” to the babes born again, a card that says “Just married ” to the Bridegroom (Jesus) as He looks upon us . . . His Bride.

2 Corinthians 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. Image