The Purpose of a Dog

according to a 4-year-old

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker.

The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for good news.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for their four-yearold son Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion.

We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.” Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life, like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The four-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

  Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.  Author Unknown

“And a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6).

Four Guidelines for Modest Dress

1 Timothy 2:8–10

If you have trouble getting into it, it is probably not modest.

If you have to be careful when you sit down or bend over, it is probably not modest.

If people look at any other part of your body before looking at your face, it is probably not modest.

If you can see your most private body parts under the fabric, it is not modest. Michael Hyatt (submitted by Ralph Harman)

The Road Leading to a Knothole

Most everyone has come to a place in life where confusion and loss of direction set in. It usually occurs while you are in your twenties, but it can occur at any time for many different reasons.

The situation resembles that of the lost traveler in the heart of the Ozark Mountains. He inquired of a native, “Am I on the road to Kansas City?” “Well,” the mountain man said, “Not exactly, Bud. This road just moseys along for a piece, then it turns into a hog trail, then a squirrel track, and finally runs up a scrub pine tree and ends in a knothole.”

  Maybe you have been down that path; perhaps you feel like you are on that path right now. But you don’t have to be. We need to be walking in the “old paths” (Jeremiah 6:16) and in the “narrow way” of Christ so not to end up in that knothole of destruction—the path that leads to nowhere.

Friends, “Make level the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established” (Proverbs 4:26), “walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice” (Proverbs 8:20), and “a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for the redeemed: the wayfaring men, yea fools, shall not err therein” (Isaiah 35:8). —Tom Moore


James 4:7

  • When you carry a Bible . . . the devil gets a headache.
  • When you open it . . . he collapses.
  • When he sees you reading it . . . he faints.
  • When he sees you living it . . . he flees.

A Look at Acts

As for its plan, this book of the Acts is in two parts, the first part running to the end of chapter 12, and the second part running from chapter 13 to the end.

In the first part, Jerusalem is the center. In the second part, Antioch is the center. In the first part, Peter is the prominent figure. In the second part, Paul is the prominent figure. In the first part, there is a reaching-out movement from Jerusalem through Judaea to Samaria. In the second part, there is a reaching-out movement from Antioch through the empire to Rome.

In the first part, we are restricted to Palestine, where teaching is done first to the Jews of the homeland and then to Jews and Gentiles alike. In the second part, we are conducted through the empire, where teaching is done first to the Jews of the Dispersion, and then to Jews and Gentiles alike. The first part ends with the general rejection of the Word by the Jews of the homeland. The second part ends with the general rejection of the Word by the Jews of the Dispersion. The first part ends with the imprisonment of Peter. The second part ends with the imprisonment of Paul.

There are parallels between Peter in the first part and Paul in the second that seem to be more than merely coincidental.

Peter Paul
First Sermon (Acts 2) First Sermon (Acts 13)
Lame man healed (3) Lame man healed (14)
Simon the sorcerer (8) Elymas the sorcerer (13)
Influence of shadow (5) Influence of handkerchief (19)
Laying on of hands (8)  Laying on of hands (19)
Peter worshipped (10) Paul worshipped (14)
Tabitha raised (9) Eutychus raised (20)
Peter imprisoned (12) Paul imprisoned (28)

With these two parts thus standing out sharply, we see indeed how the book of the Acts is planned in accord with the key verse, chapter 1:8. Let us mark it well—in the first part of the Acts (1–12), we have “Jerusalem, Judaea, and Samaria”; in the second part (13–28) we have “the uttermost part of the earth.” It may be helpful to the eye to set down the facts as follows:

The Acts of the Apostles

Key theme: Into all the world

Key Verse: Acts 1:8

From Explore the Book, J. Sidlow Baxter

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