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Last week during CoB Annual Conference, I noticed a woman walking around the Convention Center with a service-dog-in-training as her constant companion. I chuckled several times when I saw the dog holding its own leash in its mouth as it obediently stayed with the trainer. Since I am not a delegate, I would sit and listen to the business sessions, drawing in my Bible journal. One day I needed to charge my phone, so I found an outlet just outside the entrance to the hall where the business session was held, sat on the floor with my art supplies, and listened to the very long motion-amendment-amendment-to-the-amendment process. Suddenly, I was gently “attacked” by the service-dog-in-training, who, apparently, could not resist the opportunity to climb into my lap and cover my face with happy kisses! I knew not to love on him (much as I wanted to) because he did need to learn what was appropriate behavior for a service dog! So, I just held his head in my hand and asked, “Are you behaving right now?”  And his trainer, who was pulling on his leash to get him back by her side, said, “Not right now he isn’t!” They walked away, I wiped my face, and went back to listening and drawing. That was the funniest and most surprising thing that happened to me the whole week! And every time I remember it, I laugh.

Today, my Peanuts desk calendar showed Lucy in the outfield, once again missing a fly ball. She carried it back to the pitcher’s mound and handed it to Charlie Brown, saying, “Sorry I missed that one, manager…I was hoping I’d catch it…” then as she walked back to the outfield she said, “Hope got in my eyes.”

Every day you have a choice; focus your attention on the negative, the divisive, the disheartening, the anger and fear, or choose to do as the Apostle Paul urges; “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Let’s be followers of Jesus who laugh at surprises and let hope get in our eyes.

I’m praying for you,

Pastor Deb