Tag Archives: guide dog

Guide Dog Tale: Are You Following God’s Road Map

Are You Following God’s Road Map

By Carolyn Dale Newell

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

What was this in front of us? Not an uncommon question for a blind person, but the sidewalk appeared to end and stepping stones led the way into darkness. I never passed this on the way down. I checked my location using my iPhone, and Siri informed me that I was still on Parkway. I sought for someone to help me figure out exactly where I was, but the crowds had thinned out.

I retraced my steps until I found a helpful couple who assured me I was on Parkway, and they flagged down a police officer.

He informed me that the sidewalk ended and the stepping stones led into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

No, I didn’t! Yes, I had walked by every destination, including my hotel. All those times Iva paused, she was trying to say, “Stop here Mom.”

I didn’t follow my guide dog’s cues. Obstacles preoccupied my thoughts. Like the one blocking the sidewalk on our way to the candy store. It was impassable without the assistance of a kind pedestrian. He had even accompanied us to the store since it was on his route.

Another passerby helped us locate a trashcan and bid us a blessed day. Afterward, I was elated about the ways God was watching over us. Maybe a bit over-confident.

I enjoyed the breeze as Iva sped up the sidewalk. Each time she stopped, I checked for a barrier. No obstruction, so we continued on. Right past our usual stops and hotel. Right to the national forest.

But that’s what we do in life. Obstacles clutter our minds. We get caught up in our journey, and we fail to acknowledge God’s signals. The same way I neglected Iva’s cues.

God says, “Stop! Tell this person about Jesus. Share the gospel.”

We keep moving forward. Then another time, He tells us to stop. This person needs to hear the gospel. Then another time, God encourages us to share the love of Jesus with someone.

We keep going until we are abruptly stopped. The end of my walk was at the city limits of Gatlinburg. God’s roadblock can be something serious enough to get our attention.

When God saved us, He could have carried us into heaven immediately. He left us here for one purpose. The Great Commission: to spread the gospel. That is the duty of every Christian. Not just preachers, evangelists, speakers, and writers. No, that job is to be filled by each Christian.

Are you traveling merrily through life like Iva and I did in Gatlinburg, or are you stopping to share Jesus with those you meet on your way?

 

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

 

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Guide Dog Tale: Enemy Resistance

 

ENEMY RESISTANCE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

James 4:7 NKJV

When people speak to me (or any visually impaired person), I either respond cheerfully because I recognize the voice, Or I sound hesitant because I am uncertain whose voice it is. Discerning the voice of God isn’t easy. Many years passed after God saved me before I recognized His voice, in particular that still small voice.

But when Satan speaks, we usually hear him loud and clear. He vocalizes the fears and concerns we are fighting to overcome. He appeals to the old man, our flesh. In order to adhear to the correct voice, we need to follow the advice of James.

Submit to God. Obey God. Listen to God. A week prior to my Gatlinburg trip, I distinctly heard from the Lord. Empty myself. Fill up on God, and then begin writing. I bubbled with excitement about what God had in store for me on my writing retreat.

But when we arrived at the hotel, I began drowning in despair. The desk clerk alerted us to the park rangers who were tranquilizing the bears there. What? Iva and I had a bear encounter last year, but we were trusting God for our safety.

“Don’t go outside alone, especially with the dog.”

In horror, I gasped, “I am staying here alone. My husband is returning home.”

I unpacked as I debated on going home with my husband and forfeiting my time with God.

We went to get groceries, but I chose to wait in the car with Iva. In a dark parking lot, I found verses about fear and protection on my phone. While my hubby shopped, I spoke verse after verse over myself. Peace began to chase panic away. I called a friend who prayed Scripture over me.

When hubby opened the car door, I heard a tree frog. That was God’s exclamation point. The song of one tree frog had comforted me my first night at guide dog school in New York. Now, it consoled me here, especially when I heard some outside my mountain hotel room.

Speaking the Word of God and the Lord’s encouragement, I resisted the devil. If I had left, I would have defied God rather than being submissive.

For ten days, bears roamed, but we avoided them. God surrounded us with an army of angels.

Can you distinguish the voice of God? Which voice do you listen to? The voice of faith or the voice of fear. The voice of peace or the voice of panic.

As you pray, lean in to learn the voice of God. Intimacy with God resists intimidation from Satan. Then the enemy will flee.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.