Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
So I'm leaving the Vet's office (veterinarian) when a pickup pulls in next to me with a dog box in the back. Not generally noteworthy in my neck of the woods, but this was different. Out of the portholes in the box were the heads of some very handsome hounds. Not just hounds, but Black and Tans.  I sprang from my car and asked the very nice lady who was exiting her pickup (I could have exercised a little more tact, as in my excitement, i may have startled her) : "Are those legit Black and Tan hounds I see there?"   "They sure are" she assured me. We continued some small talk, but in earnest, it was more like Charlie Brown in a classroom scene, as both her words and mine dimmed into a fog while my mind raced violently back to my childhood. I have never experienced this so dramatically before. It was near an out of body experience in the which I was suddenly eight years old again. I was with my Dad and some of his friends, running a bear in northern California. We had been in hot pursuit of the hounds for hours. This was a real "runnin bear". finally, he treed and as we left the rigs, Dad gave me the rifle to carry.  Now I don't know when a boy becomes a man. There are lots of metrics for judging this. Is it an event? Is it a process? I don't know. But on that day, at that time, you couldn't convince me I wasn't. A long steep hike later, we approach the tree. The bear seemed content to hover and observe in a false sense of safety while the dogs circled and barked in a frenzy. They had chewed most of the bark off the tree by now, and their faces were a mixture of saliva, blood from biting the tree, and ecstasy found only in doing what you were created to do and the reassurance from your proud owner.  This scenario played out countless times during my childhood. I have some not so good memories of my Dad, but time with him and those hounds had a more profound and positive effect than I had ever realized. They were my responsibility to feed and water. I was closer to them than my Dad was.  Then like a shovel hitting me in the face, I was brought back to the present. The trigger was another lady walking her dog to her car, and one of these beautiful hounds let out a longer than average bark.  You will either understand this or you won't, but the sound was more beautiful to me than music. I began to weep openly and had to excuse myself for fear the nice owner of the hounds would think my cheese had slid off my cracker.  I pulled away (a whole fifty yards) and stopped to have a good long cry. My Dad died in 03, and just occasionally I'll see something I wish I could share with him. But on this day, I wanted to hold him; to thank him. Ok, The Spiritual Switch.  I wonder if I - on my very best day am able to please my Heavenly Father like those hounds strove to please their owner. Is that on my radar? Is it where I seek my fulfillment?
Happy Father's Day. 















Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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