Herald Journal Columns
Nov. 24, 2003 Herald Journal
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Out of the woods when it comes to accidents


It's been quite some time since our little poopetrators have left cigars on the living room floor and I think it's safe to say we're out of the woods.

Of course, I'm speaking of our two daschund puppies. We also have one adult daschund who puts up with everyone else.

At one point, each of our two kids was issuing a daily report card for how the pup was doing, potty training wise.

This was hysterical because our daughter made up the following system:

A+ No accidents

A One accident

A- Two accidents

B+ Three accidents

B Four accidents

B- Five accidents

C+ Six accidents

C Seven accidents

C- Eight accidents

D Nine accidents

F 10 accidents

"You mean to tell me that a dog can go 10 times before he gets an "F" for one day?!" I said.

This system was quickly derailed (and I was the train engineer), but no pup got less than a B+, if I remember right.

They are on supervised release right now, and I'm their probation officer.

God delights in using broken things . . .

"God delights in taking broken and insignificant things, using them toward his purpose."

This is according to respected author and pastor Lance Ketchum of Hutchinson.

Isn't this an interesting idea! There's still hope for me.

This can be found in 1 Corinthians 1:27-29.

"But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God."

Think of it, all of us have a gift that we can give toward God's service.

In fact, some of the most effective Christians are those who refused to accept their obvious limitations (looks or speaking ability and so on) and let God work through them in His supernatural, cool way.

The first step is surrendering your life to God, and then you can find out what your gift is.

Purifying silver

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work.

She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot, then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire.

If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy ­ when I see my image in it."

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