How My Dog Taught Me Blind Faith and Trust in Jesus!

How My Dog Taught Me Blind Faith and Trust in Jesus!

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Oh that we would hunger to be filled with the Word of God; for there is no greater armor, no greater strength, no greater assurance that He is with us, and in us, when we go forth in battle equipped and nourished by His instruction and determined to stand firm on His promises.

C.S. Lewis

Let me ask you a question, are you allowing God to lead you, or are you leading yourself, hoping God will bless your path?

It can be challenging to follow the Lord. It’s not as clear-cut as some things, but more abstract. At times it can even feel like a guessing game! That’s where faith comes into play!

Faith without works is dead (James 2:26).

I’m not sure about you, but sometimes I have no idea if I am doing what or going where the Father wants me to do or go! All I can do is pray, get counsel, discern, and step out in faith. I hope for the best, trusting God to reroute me if I have stepped out of His will for my life.

Yet, so many things can get in your way. Like fear, doubt, uncertainty, or feeling uncomfortable walking down a path God has directed you to walk. Let’s be real! The brain is not fond of the unknown or new experiences, especially when it leverages your fears.

Today, I want to share with you what a weird, late-night adventure taught me about blind faith and following Christ!

On January 10th, 2021, my husband, two dogs, and I were at our beach house. We love our beach house. All of us! We are big outdoors people, and I am a big water person, so you can find us at the beach quite often! January 10th is special for me for a few reasons. One, it’s the day Moo came into my life, and this particular anniversary marked a decade for Moo and me. The second reason is it’s the day before I married my best friend, Austin. Now, I have a really awesome husband who entertains my antics and adventures with Moo-Moo. Since Moo and I had been together for a decade, we made the day more about Moo and me.

Let me set things up a little for you. Our beach house is in a community, where there is an island in the middle that holds a few homes, the community pool, and the clubhouse. Daisy, my oldest dog, has to be walked quite a bit. I don’t talk much about Daisy because she’s like a cat and would rather be alone unless she can go on a walk. Now, Daisy is 15-years old and struggles with her sight and hearing. (Praise the Father that He is restoring her sight and hearing). For the most part, Daisy, a 7-pound Maltipoo is bed rested unless she’s on a leash.

Every day, we walk the dogs around that island, which forks off into a neighborhood at the beach. All in all, it’s about a 2.5-mile walk. Now sometimes, when we are heading back to the beach house, we will cross the beach road and walk on the beach home, as we are right on the beach road. Moo loves the beach, and Daisy loves the wind. However, the sand is not always dog friendly to the dogs that have hair versus fur. Our dogs have hair! That’s why we don’t always walk on the beach.

Now at night, we also walk the dogs just around the island because we try to walk Daisy as much as she wants. I couldn’t imagine not having 2 of my senses and being bedridden, so I try to do all I can for her to have a great life.

Here is where the lesson started:

It was about 8:45 pm when Austin and I took Moo-Moo and Daisy out on a walk. We planned to walk the island a few times and head home. I was in my PJs and slippers. The walk went as always until we got to the fork, where our morning walk breaks off into the neighborhood. Suddenly, Moo, first looking at me to read my face, starts pulling me down the path that goes to the neighborhood. I submitted out of curiosity, being obsessed with my dog, and it was our 10th anniversary. I figured maybe he needed to go number 2. We got halfway down the street in that neighborhood and had bypassed all his typical spots where he does his business. This is entirely out of the norm for him. In 10-years, he’s never done something like this.

I told Austin, “maybe Moo is taking us on a Lassie moment, and we are going to save someone!” Austin, too, was curious but didn’t think it was going to be a Lassie moment. 🤣 We talked back and forth about where Moo was taking us, figuring that maybe he wanted to go to the beach. You see, it had been a few weeks since he had gone on the beach.

I was fulling submitting to him and going where he wanted to go, in my slippers. We must do the same when submitting to Jesus. I chose to follow Moo. I chose to lay down my life for Moo (John 13:38) – to put aside my plans for that evening and follow Moo to where he wanted me to go. Jesus says in Matthew 16:24:

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Here Jesus plainly states what is involved in being his disciple: denial of self, crossing bearing, and following Him. When Jesus says we must deny ourselves, He means we must yield to His control so entirely that self has no rights whatsoever. I did this with Moo. I put down my will. Now, please don’t take this out of context. I know Moo is not Jesus. I am merely trying to make the parallel here. To make the abstract of following Jesus a bit more tactile.

Now, to pick up the cross means the willingness to endure shame, suffering, and persecution for Jesus’ sake. And to follow Jesus means to live as He lived.

I chose to do all of this at a very inconvenient time for me. Wearing slippers is not ideal when walking a 2.5-mile walk. I never once guided Moo forward. He had complete control. I only tried to turn Moo around, but he would have none of it. He put his little breaks on and crouched to the ground.

Here is a quick fun fact about Moo! He can get out of anything. He’s jumped 4 feet fences and climbed fences. He knows how to escape his crate and harnesses. We have gone through about 14-harnesses and have only found two that he can’t get out of, but I don’t put it past him. With that being said, I am always mindful when trying to turn him around. I kept trying to get him to go back to our place, but NOPE he wouldn’t! So we continued…

Here we were, Daisy, Austin, and I following and submitting ourselves to a 10-lb dog at 9 pm, in our PJs, with no flashlight or supplies. That’s when it hit me. This is what following Chris is like! It’s a choice. You have to make the choice to do it, but you also have to learn. If I was walking a dog that was not my own, I promise you I wouldn’t have done this. Essentially, you have to create a relationship with Christ to follow Him. It’s a good thing God works outside of Newton’s time.

On the walk, we didn’t have any light but the ambient light around us. Since I was with my husband, I was not too worried about what could happen. However, it’s important to note I can be a cautious person. But, as I took one step forward in the dark, I thought about what Psalm 119:105 says, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I couldn’t see far in the darkness, but the Father illuminated every step I took. We could only focus on taking one step at a time. That’s what God wants you to do too. To trust Him. To let Him establish your steps (Proverbs 16:9). God’s Word is a lamp to your feet, but you have to know His Word. Make the choice today to commit to learning about who Jesus is!

We know that Moo would not take us into danger, just like we know we can trust the Father to protect us (2 Thess. 3:3). We know that Moo is a loving and hilarious spirit, so most likely, we were going to laugh our butts off once we got this unknown destination (Proverbs 3:5-6). I think it’s similar to our walk with Jesus. We know Jesus’ character. We know that Christ is the light of the world, and when we follow Him, we do not walk in darkness but will have the light of life (John 8:12). We know His character is only goodness and love.

Since we were following Moo to a destination only, he knew it reminded me of what Jeremiah 29:11 says.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

You don’t know precisely what God has in store for you. Still, you do know that His plans for your life are not to hurt you but to give you hope, which I think sometimes involves laughter or intense moments of joy, and a future. Since we know this, it’s easier to trust Him! The Father always wants to teach you more about Him and His kingdom. The question is, are you going to abide in Him and do what He asks you to do when He asks you to do it? Or are you going to put your will and desires ahead of the Lord’s?

Anyways, we kept walking, fully submitting to Moo. Never did I once dictate his next step except when I was trying to get him to turn around to go back home. Moo ended up walking us the exact path we walk to go to the beach. Immediately we started laughing because we couldn’t believe Moo knew the exact path to go to the beach, and we could see him doing this on his own too. I wasn’t excited to walk on the beach in my slippers, but because I love him so much, I did.

I never thought I would find myself walking with my husband and dogs on the beach in my slippers at 9 pm. If I’m honest, never did I want to walk on the beach in my slippers either.

My point is this. Submitting to Jesus is a choice. As Austin and I had consciously spoken about how we would follow Moo and see where he took us, you have to have the same curiosity and love. But it isn’t easy to trust or follow someone when you don’t know their character. That is why it is essential to read your Bible and do more than a 15-minute devotional every day. You must get to know Jesus’ righteousness.

John 10:27 says,

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

When you spend time with Jesus, and I mean more than 15 min a day, you learn who Jesus is, what He sounds like, and how he operates. Understanding this helps you to identify and discern when the Godhead is speaking to you or the devil. When you know his voice, and he knows you, it’s easier to follow him.

How can you better follow Christ? Is God trying to take you somewhere that you are refusing to go?

Prayer: Father God, thank you for all you have done in my life. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for your grace and redemption when I mess up. I see that I don’t always submit to you. I see that my will gets in the way. Father, I ask you to help me to submit myself to you fully. Please help me to discern when I am going my way versus your way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Fruit of Love

The Fruit of Love

(Understanding God’s Love Series)

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Enkrateia [self-control] is that great quality which comes to a man when Christ is in his heart, that quality which makes him able to live and to walk in the world, and yet to keep his garments unspotted from the world.

William Barclay

Last week, we talked about what love is. Now, I want to talk to you about what happens to you when you love the way God wants us to love.

Godly love brings light, life, and longevity. Why? Well, love is God (1 John 4:8), and therefore real love has God as the motive! When you become a born-again believer and make God’s love your “why,” something magical begins to unfold inside you. The best part of it all is that the transformation results from you being in a relationship with God. How does this happen? Through the teaching, guidance, and comforter of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27; John 14:26).

The Holy Spirit begins to bless and transform your life with something extraordinary. It is this Spirit who begins to produce the fruit of God’s love inside of you, and when God’s perfect fruit shows up in your life, your life gets better! What is this fruit, you ask?

It’s the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Personally, I appreciate how the Amplified version translates this scripture:

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Have you ever stopped and focused on the word fruit in Paul’s writing of the fruit of the Spirit? He could have used other words like “works of the Spirit” or “the Spirit’s gifts,” but he chose the fruit of the Spirit. It makes sense, too, primarily when you focus on the word “fruit.” Paul was conveying the meaning of a full harvest of virtues by using the word “fruit.” Additionally, the fruit of the Spirit is singular, meaning each believer is to have ALL nine.

Fruit is a byproduct of planting and nurturing a seed. Remember, God’s fruit is perfect, flawless, and satisfying.

The Spirit produces the fruit, but it’s your job to get in touch with the Holy Spirit. It takes time for fruit to grow, so please be patient with yourself and do not ignore this opportunity to produce a great harvest inside of you. It will take your effort, focus, and attention. Christian character is the result of Christ living in you (Galatians 2:20), but you are given free will, so please use that will to nurture that Spirit to grow deeper in Christ.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the result of God’s presence inside of you! It’s a result of His company, plus your participation in the relationship. Your willingness to have this relationship with God is how the Holy Spirit reshapes your character to be more like Christ. This produces some fantastic fruit inside of you!

That is a powerful statement! You must choose and give God permission to come and dwell inside of you (John 14:23). Still, you must also nurture, protect, and participate in your relationship with Him so His presence will stay and grow. Perhaps that is why Proverbs says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23).

As disciples of Christ, we want the fruit of the Spirit to always flow from our hearts.

Take a second and envision your body as a Bed and Breakfast for guests to stay in—a very nice, sophisticated, mature, but homey inn. If you do not acknowledge your guests’ presence and tend to his/her needs, they will leave, and most people won’t give you a second chance after the fact. If everyone leaves, you are out of a job!

Thankfully, God is extremely merciful and forgiving, so He is the best kind of guest, but He is a gentleman. He will not stay where He is not welcome because of His love for you, not for His love for Himself. You must take time to tend and care for your guests. Now God is the best kind of guest you could ever have. Why? Because He gives more than He receives. You could say He is the ideal guest.

He asks this of you: To love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37), to love others as He (Jesus) has loved you (John 13:34), and to spend time with Him (James 4:8). When you do this and seek first His Kingdom in all things (Matthew 6:33), He will help you renew your mind (Romans 12:2) and remold your character, which will transform you into time with your permission and effort, a better you that is more like Christ.

I promise you will like this version of you so much better. When you begin to see the fruit grow, you will be even more encouraged by this new freedom. You will start to walk out of bondage – into freedom.


Here you have an invitation from a guest who wants to stay with you and help you do ALL of the heavy lifting.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

What is the benefit of having the fruit of the Spirit?

First, let me describe what it is like when we do not have the fruit or Spirit or are not eating it:

  • Sexual immorality, Impurity (Galatians 5:19)
  • Lust (Colossians 3:5)
  • Hatred, Jealousy, Discord, Anger, Selfish Ambition, Dissension, Idolatry, Witchcraft (Galatians 5:20)
  • Arrogance (2 Corinthians 12:20)
  • Envy, Drunkenness, Wild Living (Galatians 5:21)
  • Murder, Lying (Revelations 22:12-16)
  • Cheating (1 Corinthians 6:8)
  • Adultery, Greed, Stealing (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

I don’t know about you, but when I lived outside of God’s fruit and experienced the above, my life was miserable. I wanted to believe it was not, and I thought if I just did more and depended more on myself, I’d be happier, but that was a lie. What I was yearning for only God could give me. His freedom and ways restore me and give me life (Job 10:12).

You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my Spirit (Job 10:12)

Doesn’t the above list honor the words Jesus spoke in John 10:10?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I am so grateful that God sent His Son to teach us how to live. When you abide in Him, you start to reap the benefits. When you live God’s way, and for God, the following becomes your normal:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience (Longsuffering)
  • Kindness (Gentleness)
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness (Faith)
  • Gentleness (Meekness)
  • Self-control (Self-discipline, sound mind, temperance)

Living for God is what will satisfy your hunger and, by default, give you more joy, love, and everything you may have tried to find by walking the world’s way of life. This transformation that Paul talks about in Galatians just happens by nurturing your relationship with Christ.

One day you will all of a sudden not be irritated by something that once annoyed you. You will start to be made perfect by accepting God’s perfect love. Things will fall off of you, which in turn will help you like yourself more. As you like yourself and see yourself as God sees you, it is easier to love others.

Next week, I will break down the fruit of the Spirit. Until then, ask the Holy Spirit which fruit are you struggling with? Once the Spirit reveals which area you are weak in, ask the Spirit to help you grow. Ask the Spirit what you need to start doing to grow this harvest inside of you. 

Prayer: Father God, thank You for thinking ahead and providing Your children with this amazing fruit. I see I don’t always operate in this fruit, but I want to. Please help me to grow and feed this fruit and not the fruit of the devil. Holy Spirit help me to see when I am failing to operate in the spirit. Thank You, Father, for everything You are doing in my life. I only want to live Your way, help me to do as You would have me do in all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

What is Love?

What is Love?

(Understanding God’s Love Series)

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

The role for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.

— C.S. Lewis

What is Love?

Have you ever asked yourself what love is? It might sound like an obvious answer, but true love may be different than you might expect. 

Is your definition of love one that is worldly or godly? The world defines “love” differently than God does. One is conditional, and the other is unconditional. God’s love is unconditional and perfect (1 John 4:18). Therefore, God wants you to love unconditionally, and as He loves.

When you ask yourself, ‘What is love?’ You have to look to the Father.

We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him (1 John 4:16 AMP)

John tells you that God is love. If God equals love, then love equals God. Does that make sense? 1 John 4:8 says, whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Love is a byproduct of having a deep relationship with God. I believe it is impossible to have a deep and committed relationship with the Father and not know how to love because the Holy Spirit changes you to be more like Christ. When you become more like Christ, you become more capable of love.

We all are capable of love because we were made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), but to showcase and shine unconditional love intentionally results from knowing (participating in a relationship with) God.

For you to love unconditionally and righteously, you must know God. To know God means you have a relationship with Him. It means you believe and know you belong with Him. It means you have faith in His character.

Since God is love, everything God thinks, speaks, and does are examples of how He shows His love for you. Perhaps that is why James reminds us that everything good comes from above (James 1:17).

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 breaks down what love is:

 

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever ( NLT).

1 Corinthians 13:7 states a mighty truth. God never gives up, loses faith, but He is always hopeful and positive, and He holds on to you in every circumstance. Since God does that for you, you are to do that for others. Please understand God has boundaries, and I am not encouraging you to be walked over, disrespected, or abused. You can love people from afar too in those extreme situations. But, overall, we are to behave as 1 Corinthians so clearly states.

Love is strong. Love can absorb and withstand all loveless behavior. How many times have you operated with fear or a loveless behavior? Yet God still poured out His love for you!

Everyone stumbles. Everyone is struggling with something because problems are a part of this fallen world. Jesus tells you to first get the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s (or sister’s) eye (Matthew 7:5). The reason being is you will have more compassion, kindness, understanding, and grace for your sibling in Christ, who is stumbling. It’s easy to act prideful when one sees another stumble. Still, the only fruit that comes out with pride is self-righteousness – something God detests. At the end of the day, sin is sin. Jesus reminds us that we are not better or more deserving of love than another.

Love is not tit for tat, but self-sacrificing (John 15:13). Love always thinks the best case scenario of someone. Love holds on to the faith or belief that a person’s word is truth and that one will do what he or she says. Love is honest and truthful. Love trusts. Love holds on to optimism and positivity.

Christ commands us to love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12), then showing love is a choice. If we do not respond in love, we are sinning. Perhaps this shows you the tremendous importance of renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) to always love (Mark 12:30-31).

Always loving might be easier than you think. Neuroscience informs us that we are wired for love, and love is a human’s default mode. Ironically, fear is a learned behavior. Such findings making sense when you think about it. If God is love and you are made in God’s image (His love), then love is your foundation. You are hardwired to love, which is why operating from love feels so good! 🥰 If humans were created to hate and participate with fear, it would feel better than it does. Being mean, cruel, inconsiderate, rude, judgmental, and other forms of fear do not feel good at all. In fact, it increases cortisol in the body, and too much cortisol equates to toxic stress and is damaging.

If fear or hate felt good, it would benefit your body, but it does the opposite. It destroys you. When you operate out of love, you allow yourself to start to unlearn negative and toxic mindsets, and doesn’t God’s light expose the darkness (Ephesians 5:13)?

Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, melts away negative and toxic thoughts. This hormone can help rewire your brain, creating new nontoxic connections—thoughts impact brain chemistry, which influences the body’s 75-100 trillion cells at quantum speed. 

In short, allowing the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to work inside of you can help you erase fear. When we respond in love, endorphins and serotonin are also released, making you feel unstoppable and filled with light. 

When we feel great like this, you know what happens? You start to be more authentic -more in alignment with how God designed you to be- your brain begins to detox, while motivation and wisdom increase.

You are to have the same mindset as Christ (Philippians 2:5). But attitudes reflect the core of how you are choosing to spend your time thinking and feeling. Your attitude gives insight into your spiritual maturity.

In answering the question, what is love?
Love is God. God is love. Love is your default mode. Love is your spirit shining through. Love is renewing your mind and character to be more like Christ. Love is shown by actively listening, helping, encouraging, giving, comforting, creating, sacrificing, and meeting others’ needs. Love allows the light inside of you to shine outwardly to help people feel like they belong and are enough. How God shows you love is how you are to show others love.

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)

In closing, I cannot talk about God’s love without talking about belonging. Love helps someone feel they belong, and every human craves belonging and connection.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

The verses above remind the reader of the power relationships has in one’s life. God created us to be in relationship with Him and others because love is meant to be shared. It is easy to be short with people you don’t like or be exclusive when you are around new people. However, God wants you to show grace, mercy, compassion, and kindness to all. It doesn’t matter if they deserve it because, quite frankly, you don’t always deserve it either. The next time you are at a social gathering and see someone alone, reach out and talk with them. Connect with them. Help everyone you come in contact with, understand they belong in the body of Christ.

I promise you if you could do a better job at loving as God loves, many of your life’s problems would go away. Love is the answer to everything because God is the answer to everything. So when you don’t know what to do – Love💕.

What can you start doing to show more of God’s love to yourself and others?  

Prayer: Father God, wow, thank You for loving me unconditionally. I want to love as You love. Help me to love the way You love. Show me what is blocking me from loving people the way You ask Your children to love. Daddy, I want to give You all of me and live only for You, but I know I fall short. I know without You I am nothing. I surrender everything to You. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for helping me see everyone as You see them. In Jesus’ name, Amen!