Skippy makes himself at home on the sofa.

Our Faithful Friend Skippy

Unusual silence and emptiness filled our home for several  months after our youngest son moved out, and went to live with his father before heading to Arizona for college.

My oldest son had gone to a college in Seattle, and we were trying to adjust to an empty nest. My husband, Steve, and I missed the companionship of the boys.

My husband Steve, a disabled veteran, spent most of his day at home alone. Though the computer and television filled part of his day, Steve desperately desired a friend to keep him company. The silence seemed to depress him in a large way.

During the day, I worked for a company doing developmental therapy for handicapped adults to help meet our financial obligations.

My husband and I discussed some different options to help reduce the impact of those quiet hours that he spent at home. We considered adopting an older child but questioned whether or not the stress of parenting would increase his number of seizures. Also, our financial situation didn’t really allow us enough freedom to support another family member. Yet Steve and I prayed that God would help us find the right solution to this problem.

One day at work I mentioned our little dilemma to some of my coworkers. Little did I know that another coworker named Wendy overheard the conversation.

Wendy trained ‘Dogs for the Deaf’ and happened to have too many dogs in her home. She wanted to place Skippy in a home. The ‘Dogs for the Deaf’ program had rescued Skippy and trained him. However, Skippy was too timid to jump up on his master’s lap when the doorbell rang. Also, Skippy did not get along with children. Wendy suggested that he may have been abused by a toddler or small child, and children made him extremely skittish.

As I ended my conversation with my coworkers, Wendy came over and introduced herself to me. She told me that she was a trainer for ‘Dogs for the Deaf’ and that she heard me talking about possibly wanting a dog. Then she told me the story of Skippy. Since my husband and I have felt–in times past–like outcasts, we felt compassion for this dog, Skippy. The more Wendy told me about Skippy, the more I believed God was answering our prayers about our ’empty nest syndrome.’

After speaking to my husband, we agreed to bring Skippy to our house for a few visits so we could get to know each other. We finally decided to adopt Skippy and bring him into our home.

God gave us love for Skippy and Skippy filled that void in our lives. We loved him and he loved us too! He followed us everywhere, not wanting his people out of his sight. When I was home, everywhere I went, I felt Skippy’s cold nose touching the back of my legs as I walked and I had to be careful not to step on him.

Skippy also figured out that I don’t hear very well. This faithful dog used his training to listen at the door when I was home alone and make sure I knew if someone was walking past our house or coming to the door. He knew his training had a purpose and that purpose is to protect Steve and me. One time Skippy barked like crazy and I had Steve check out the situation. We had a huge dog out front of our house trying to get in the garbage dumpster.

Skippy was a faithful companion to my husband during his quiet days at home. Steve teased Skippy and played games with him, and Skippy always caught Steve when he was sneaking something from the refrigerator.

Skippy loved to play ball and to ride in the car. Even if we went only a block or two down the road, Skippy got so excited about going for a ride that he bounced around the living room and beat all of us to door. He would rather sit in the car than be at home alone, even in freezing weather.

Our faithful friend, Skippy, was a gift from God. He filled the empty nest with lots of fun and joy.  Skippy truly was our faithful companion and friend!

A few years ago–at 12 human years of age–Skippy suddenly started having seizures. We called the veterinarian and eventually took Skippy in to the office. We are not sure what caused the seizures and they began to appear one right after another. The vet said it could be a brain tumor or poisoning. She gave Skippy medication to stop the seizures and did blood work on him. The blood test revealed that Skippy was a diabetic. We had no idea.

Since Skippy was 12 years old and had lived a long life, we could see sticking him in his body every day to test his blood and give him shots. The diabetic and seizure medicine was also too expensive for us to purchase on our limited income. We finally came to the conclusion it would best for all of us if we had him put down. Steve held Skippy and I stood next to him as the veterinarian administered the shot. It made us both sad but we knew it was the best thing to do.

Skippy was indeed our faithful companion and friend!



Our New Dog, Roxy.


A few years after Skippy was put down, we got another dog named Roxy. She has brought a lot of joy into our home. I am thankful we have the companionship and love that Roxy gives us. I know she appreciates us too because, like Skippy, she sticks close by us all the time and watches out the window in our living room. She is faithful to warn us when people and animals pass by. Oh, how she barks when the neighbor’s cat walks by!

Steve and I enjoy going on short drives out through forested areas, looking for animals. We usually take Roxy with us. On the times she went along, she was looking out the windows and saw several animals. Whenever she sees an animal, she takes her paws and beats them on the glass car windows as if to say, “Mom, Let me out! I want to go so I can run and play with them.”

Roxy loves watching all the animals! It doesn’t matter if she sees another dog or cow or horse or deer, she wants to go and play with them. Of course, we don’t let her out of the car because she would probably chase them and run off.

As I was driving around a “loop” road just outside of town at dusk, we happened upon about three or four deer. As Steve and I were admiring the beauty of these graceful creatures, Roxy suddenly started barking like crazy. I looked in my mirror to see what was going on, and Roxy was sitting on the top of the back seat in our car. I also notice, in the mirror, that another deer had crossed the road behind our car, and Roxy wanted everyone to know it was there!

Some of our physical health issues have caused decreased mobility in our bodies. When Steve and I need a break, we generally go for a drive. Periodically we go one one of our favorite “loop” drives. God has blessed up by allowing us to see up to about 12 deer at once. Roxy loves watching them run around in the fields and meadows. It doesn’t matter whether its a deer or cow or horse or dog or turkey, Roxy wants to befriend them all! We get such a joy out of seeing her so excited when she sees the other animals! She is truly a blessing from God! 

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How Media Can Influence Us

How Media Can Influence Us

In this world of instant gratification, Satan and his allies have devised powerful, action-packed media such as compact disks, dvds, computer games and programs, radio and television programs, learning, music, podcasts, sounds, videos and a wide variety of materials to learn about anything a person desires to learn. They use these tools to attract people, stir up their interests and/or temptations and to draw them into evil belief systems and thinking patterns. They feed people lies about multitudes of topics and use media to attract audiences to need or want some new product. Media can stir up such strong desires in people that they drop what they are doing to run to the store to purchase the advertised product or donate money to the causes they hear or see in advertisements.

Our society’s selfish “instant gratification” and “status quo” attitudes contribute to some of our societies’ illness. These attitudes stem from pride, a sinful heart that says, “What I want is more important than anyone or anything else. I am the best and/or most important person here, the only one that matters.” The person with this heart attitude has little patience and tolerance toward anyone else and will not settle for anything less than what they want when they want it. It doesn’t matter if someone else gets hurts trying to do the best they can to fulfill their personal desire.

Many media programs and/or products promote following the life-patterns of Satan’s world agenda. They glamorize and promote perverted lusts, unnatural desires and relationships, and any other perverted, sinful evil they can conjure up. They use their powerful influence and tools to promote greed, selfishness, destruction of families, individuals, marriages, and nations.

Some media broadcasters and products promote the idea that “the pasture is greener and better anywhere but home.” They try to encourage or entice people to look for relationships outside of their marriages because most marriages take commitment and the couple goes through difficult times. Yet those who promote this idea of “the pasture is greener and better anywhere but home” fail to let people know that every relationship goes through difficult times, and being alone—because of a fear of commitment—is not fulfilling either.

Another lie that is promoted by media and advertisers is the idea that “we have to be beautiful, handsome, skinny or wealthy or we are worthless.” Why do they have to send that lie out to the public? They use beautiful or handsome people on all of the product advertisements, giving the public the idea that if they don’t fit the mold, they are worthless. This is a big lie!

In God’s eyes, we are all beautiful and He loves every one of us. God sent Jesus, His one and only begotten Son, to pay the penalty for our sins so we might have eternal life. God offers this gift to each individual, if they will only accept it. If God places such a high value on people, who are we to go against Him? Each person was created in the image of God to bring Him glory and pleasure on earth. We are accepted as we are: without tons of makeup, with our extra pounds and our weaknesses. We all have been given gifts by God and those who may not be so handsome and beautiful on the outside probably have the most beautiful hearts—humble, loving, and giving to God and others. Yet many people spend huge amounts of money to try to fit into this perfect person mold, even when it’s impossible. Also, many people become depressed and discouraged and some even commit suicide because they try so hard to fit in with the crowd and cannot be as perfect as the false illusion society has created for them to try to attain.

Some people stir up racial tensions and destroy friendships among people of different races. They promote their fanatical beliefs and use them as wedges, even to the point of creating wars within nations—all to promote their own selfish agendas. They don’t care how many people die as long as they get what they want. And worst of all are those who say they really care but do everything they possibly can to destroy our nation and its citizens!

 We have seen this in action as the leaders of our country and the news media who do everything possible to try to destroy our freedoms, our blessings, and even our people—all so they can promote their own communist agenda and take the money away from the citizens who have worked hard to earn it. We have also seen it in those who came up with Covid virus and tried to use it to control the numbers of people living on earth (for population control) or as a biological warfare tool.

Media, a powerful influence, can be used for both good and evil. Yet, how often do we see an exciting game or television program that excites people so much that they immediately want to go ask or tell someone about Jesus? How often do we see programs that teach our children about Jesus or even provide clean entertainment? What about the games we have installed on our home computers or the game machines we purchase to entertain our youth?

Not long ago I went shopping at a local department store looking for a game for my grandson’s Xbox game machine. As I began to look through the game choices, all I saw was games that were filled with dark spiritual forces. There was nothing that could encourage my grandson to desire good behavior or entertain him without a bunch of killing, dragons, dungeons, magic or witchcraft. I finally settled on a car racing game but I’m not sure that was even a good influence. My grandson is only a few years away from getting his driver’s license and I don’t want him to think racing the car is a fun, entertaining pastime. He needs to understand the seriousness of driving and realize you or someone else can really get hurt by goofing off while you’re driving.

As God’s children, we should be able to use these tools provided for us to create more educational and clean entertainment, games, movies, teaching materials, reading materials, and a variety of other media to help spread the Gospel and equip/train up the body of Christ. We should be able to create Bible lessons and programs which hold peoples’ interest and create excitement for the things of God. With the Holy Spirit living in us, we should have a more alluring, more powerful presentation than the one the world creates to promote the things of darkness. The eternal gifts God gives us are much greater than the temporary things this world has to offer.

So why don’t we put as much effort, money and time–as the world does into promoting their products and viewpoints–into praying and promoting the things of God? After all, we have the greatest things to offer—true and lasting things—like Jesus, forgiveness, joy, love, peace, and all of the wonderful blessings and promises God has bestowed upon us.

In Matthew 28:18-20 NIV scripture says, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Though there are some media available to help with this mandate, we could still create and have more products available for helping us disciple and share God’s word with others.

If all of God’s children would make an effort to share the testimonies of what God has done in their lives, whether through audio or video, the witness of God would be so strong and God would be glorified all across the world. With the internet and the powerful podcast and video capabilities, these testimonies could be promoted worldwide. Even countries that deny Jesus Christ could not stop the influx of the message of the gospel. The evidence would be so overwhelming that more people would believe that Jesus is alive and real. Though some people, even in spite of the powerful evidence will not accept Jesus Christ, they would not be able to say that they never heard of or knew about Him. Even if they said Jesus Christ does not exist, that would not make it so.

In conclusion, I believe it’s time for God’s people to step up to the plate and make the truth known. We need to confront these evil spiritual lies and weapons so the people can come to know the truth—Jesus Christ. The people need to know there is a God who loves them and cares for them more than any human ever could. The people also need to know that those who bring this great spiritual destruction upon us will have to stand before Almighty God and give an account for their actions, whether they believe in Him now or not. Refusing to believe that God exists and is real doesn’t make it true! God will deal with them in His perfect timing.

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