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Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Abe, a river and Cheetos

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

Swimming in the river.

I seem to find myself swimming in the river behind my house a lot lately, almost everyday. Actually, I do more standing in the river than swimming; standing with a bag of Cheetos Cheese Puffs in my hand.

Abe, my dog, does not like water.

Abe, my dog loves Cheetos Cheese Puffs.

Abe is a Bassidor Retriever. A name I gave him when I first saw him at the rescue shelter nine years ago. Abe is half Bassett Hound, half Golden Retriever and half something else.

One of the best things that I love about being a theologian is, I don't have to worry about math.

Normally, Abe stays well away from water, I guess the Golden half is outdone by the Bassett half. If I get into the river with a bag of Cheetos, all bets are off. No sooner do I get into the river and Abe is right there next to me, paddling his big Bassett feet, waiting for a Cheese puff. Laurie goes down river about 20-yards with a handful of puffs and Abe swims back and forth, eating cheese puffs.

It is actually quite fun.

I like to watch Abe swim. He is really good at it.

Abe likes his cheese puff / swim game.

When I come home from the YMCA, Abe meets me at the door all excited. He leads me to the pantry (right where the puffs are), barks until I get the bag of puffs out. He takes me to the bedroom, where my swimming suit is. He waits for me to put on my river shoes. Then he runs to the river, waiting for his puffs.

I get in the river, and swim time is on.

It has been fun watching Abe get over his fear of water. I do not know, but it seems something must have happened when he was a pup to cause this fear.

The water is cold and clear in the river behind our house. I can see Abe paddling when he swims. His stroke is not anxious, or hurried, it is a slow, powerful stroke. He actually likes to let the current take him, only stroking occasionally. He is relaxed.

As I stood in the river yesterday, watching Abe, my thoughts turned to Christ. How He can take us to places, confront us with our fears, show us that with Him we can overcome these things that inhibit us and truly live a fearless life.

I am reminded of something Jesus said:

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27 ESV)

Father, thank you for your love. Thank you for loving me. Thank you being right there with me during the scary times. Thank you for getting into the water first to show me it is ok saying, "Come on in, the water is just fine." Thank you for being gentle when I doubt You. When I respond, "I don't know if I can do this." Thank you for encouraging and empowering me when I am weak and think it is impossible. I love you. Amen


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