Tag Archives: Christians

Guide Dog Tales Vol. 22

 

GUIDE DOG TALES VOL. 22

By Carolyn Dale Newell

You know that feeling you get when your face is about to meet the ground? Thankfully, I regained my balance quickly. Whose bright idea was it to plant trees in the middle of a sidewalk? Even sighted people trip over these sections where underground roots push up the concrete.

A guide dog doesn’t view small lifts like this as a step. We have walked through there countless times, but this would be the last time. Not the last time we walk it, but the last time it may cause me to fall.

I used my clicker and treats to teach Iva to stop at this point. We practiced several times before heading on with our leisurely walk around our little downtown. I try to provide Iva with a variety of routes.

We rested on a bench taking a water break. As I stood up, I told Iva our plan was to go to the Mexican restaurant for lunch with my husband. When we reached the corner, Iva did not go to the curb as usual, instead, she turned right, the direction of our destination. I was shocked because we have only walked there once before.

As we strolled along, Iva came to an abrupt stop, and she went no farther. Something partially blocked the sidewalk, but why wouldn’t she go around it? I reached out and discovered a piece of fence wire across our path. Undoubtedly, this was a construction site. We were forced to find a new route, and it included crossing a busy intersection without a traffic light.

Our patience rewarded us with a lull in traffic, allowing us to rush to the other side. Iva began pulling hard, not because she has a fondness for Mexican cuisine. Iva remembered the dog treat she devoured from the Amish Cupboard, next to the Mexican restaurant. When I instructed Iva to turn left, she momentarily hesitated as if to say, “No, this way, Mom! Remember we went this way before.”

After lunch, Iva chomped down her well-deserved bone.

We had safely encountered our first obstacle as a guide dog team. Knowing we can handle them is rewarding.

Life is filled with obstacles, Not the physical ones, but the difficult ones, like: diseases, addiction, depression, grief, finances, and heartache. We come face-to-face with them, giving us cause for despair.

We take the obstruction to God, but many times, He refuses to move it. Sometimes, God protects us using a blockade. If I had moved that fencing to get around it, we would have been hurt.

Christians forget God has our best interest in mind. Sometimes, a roadblock may be our safety net. We should rejoice in these detours of life, giving God thanks for being our shield.

Next, we allow God to guide us. Iva and I found a new route to the restaurant. This path was not easy because it involved a difficult crossing. We did it, and we will do it on our journey of life.

Perhaps you find yourself standing before a barricade today. Friend, our heavenly Father has a plan for you, and it may differ from your plan. Father knows best, so follow His lead. You may journey unchartered territory. Navigation may be difficult, but God is right by your side. He never leaves His children. He shows us the way, and we walk in it.

Lift up your chin. This side trip has benefits, although you may never know what God protects you from. Now you clinch the rewarding knowledge that obstacles don’t stop you. They just turn you around.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Separated or Isolated

 

SEPARATED OR ISOLATED

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:17a NKJV

Do you feel cut off from your family because of your faith? Do co-workers ridicule you because you are a Christian? Do you feel alone in a room of so-called saints?

Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, felt the same way. Jacob’s favoritism angered Joseph’s siblings. They hated Joseph and the coat of many colors Jacob made for him.

His brothers labeled Joseph as a tattletale. He reported honestly concerning his brothers and the flocks to Jacob, adding more fuel to their fire.

Joseph was a dreamer, and his interpretation of dreams were correct. In the first dream, they were binding sheaves. Joseph’s sheaf arose while his brothers’ sheaves bowed down around it. In the next dream, the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed down to him symbolizing his brothers plus his parents would bow down to him. This infuriated his brothers. Jacob rebuked Joseph, but kept the interpretation in his thoughts.

Jacob sent Joseph to Shechem to check on his brothers and flocks. When Joseph arrived, a man told him his brothers had departed for Dothan. They conspired to murder Joseph as they watched him coming towards them. Reuben suggested they throw him in a pit. His plan was to rescue Joseph. Before Reuben could return for Joseph, his brothers put another plan into action. They spotted some Ishmaelites traveling in their direction. Now the young men plotted to make some money off of Joseph. They pulled him from the pit, and they sold him to the Ishmaelites. Soaking Joseph’s beloved coat in blood, they fabricated a story that led Jacob to believe Joseph was dead.

Joseph’s story is one of providence. God moved Joseph to Egypt where he was falsely accused and imprisoned until Pharaoh needed someone to interpret his dreams. Then Joseph became second in command to Pharaoh, and yes, his family came and bowed down to him.

Joseph was righteous. God gifted him with the wisdom to explain dreams. God had special plans for Joseph, but his life was one of rejection, betrayal, and discouragement.

Except for his father, Joseph lacked the love of his family. He was abhorred for his holiness and his calling. Even in Egypt, his circumstances failed to resemble the dreams God gave him until many years had passed

Christian, we are called to come out from among the unbelieving world. A world that hated Joseph. A world that hated Jesus, and a world that hates us.

Our families and acquaintances may label us as fanatics and holy rollers. As we draw closer to Christ, even other Christians will shun us.

Christians who speak the gospel truth are isolated because many just want a feel-good message.

Friend, you may empathize with Joseph, sharing in the loneliness that surrounds those who are unashamed of the gospel. We were told to come out from among them and be separate, but we never thought we would be isolated. God has placed you where He wants you for this time. Not everyone will accept you, but God has called you for a special purpose, just like Joseph. Try not to let them get to you. That is what Satan wants. God calls out God pleasers, not people pleasers. Noah, Moses, Elijah, and Daniel were singled out, as many Christian servants are today. Enjoy those who celebrate you, ignoring those who tolerate you.

Lord Jesus, help us deal with the loneliness and ridicule we often face as Christians. Wrap us in Your love and keep us from feeling the need to be accepted by everyone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Genesis 37.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Avoiding people is not always possible. We can choose to let the words and actions of others affect us, but we can also choose to ignore it.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.