Mommy - Cheryle M. Touchton - The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, Jer 29:11-14 NIV
Do you wonder what a Missionary Dog does? It is a hard job. I travel with Mommy and help her tell people about Jesus. My job is to look cute, do tricks, and attract people to Mommy so she can share. I also keep Mommy on track. If she does things in the wrong order, I bark. She laughs and does it my way. Ever since she hit the side of the camper at a gas station, I help her drive. I stand in the back when she backs up. I bark if she gets too close to anything. I also keep her company and snuggle with her when she needs it.
It takes Mommy 3 hours to pack up Halleluiah and leave a campground. I do what I can to help but Mommy does most of that work. On our way out, we always stop by the dumpster to throw away our trash. Mommy and I fill up one large trash bag every day. What do humans do with all of that trash?
When Mommy throws away the trash, she leaves my door open. I stand on the seat and guard her. Yesterday, a pretty lady walked up with her trash and smiled at me. When she smiled, her dimples lit up her entire face. I knew I liked her so I let her pet me. Mommy didn’t see her so I barked.
Mommy turned around and said, “Hello.”
“Hi,” she answered. “What’s your dog’s name?”
“She’s Belle the Missionary Dog,” Mommy said. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Jules,” she answered. “What is a Missionary Dog?”
“Belle helps me tell people about Jesus. She blogs our adventures on our website.” Mommy handed Jules a card with a quarter in it. “She’s going to do a children’s television show in Indiana next month and her book will come out soon. Want to see her tricks?”
It was my turn to do my job. Mommy and I ran through all my tricks as Mommy asked Jules, “What about you? Are you a Christian?”
“No,” Jules said sadly. “I’m a former Mormon. Now I’m not anything.”
“Why did you leave the Mormon Church?” Mommy asked.
“The rules seemed silly,” she said. “I knew they couldn’t be right.”
“I met a former Mormon last night who said the same thing,” Mommy said. “You live in Utah. Most of the people around you are probably LDS. Do you know anything about more traditional Christian religions?”
“No,” Jules said. “My son is 2. I’m starting to wonder what to teach him about God. I believe in God and pray to Him. I can’t take my son to a church I don’t believe in so I’ve been thinking about finding out about other religions.”
“Would you like me to tell you a little about traditional Christianity and how to become a Christian?” Mommy asked.
“I would,” Jules said eagerly.
Good job Mommy. I thought. Jules wants to know about Jesus. I knew it right from the start.
Mommy got out a tract called Heart Talk. “The longing you’ve been feeling is Jesus calling to your heart. This book talks about the heart. You’re at the age where you’re probably still trying to figure out who you want to be when you grow up and now you have a husband and a son who need your help as well. It can be a confusing time.”
Jules nodded and leaned over to look at the tract Mommy held.
“The first part is about Hope. Have you read the scriptures very much?”
“No,” Jules said. “I was made to when I was a child and I didn’t understand them.”
“That’s because you didn’t have the Holy Spirit to help you. You needed someone to explain them to you,” Mommy said. “It says here that God has amazing plans for you. The Bible is God speaking to you. That is your hope. God has the most amazing things planned for your life and the life of your son.”
I love Jeremiah 29:11-13.
“The next page is called Believe. To become a Christian, you must believe in Jesus. Have you ever heard the words ‘For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life?’”
“No,” Jules said.
“That message is to you. Jesus died for you. He sacrificed Himself because He loved you. All you have to do is to believe in Him. Jesus is God come to earth in human form. That is a major difference between what Mormons believe and what traditional Christians believe. We believe there is one God in three forms. The Father is the Creator – our Daddy. The Son is the teacher and Savior. God looked at the earth and saw how bad things were going so He came to earth as a baby. When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended back into heaven, He left us the Spirit. The Spirit lives inside of us and is our comforter.
“When you invite Jesus into your life, you get the Holy Spirit. The next section is called Turn. God says that all we have to do to have our sins wiped out is to turn to Him. When we ask for forgiveness and turn to Him, He doesn’t even remember our mistakes. You’re right that it isn’t about following rules. It is about grace. God’s love is free. Becoming a Christian is easy. ”
“The next page is called Call. It is not enough to know about Jesus. You must ask Him to lead your life and be your Lord. Have you ever done that?”
“No,” Jules said as she leaned over and read the page.
“It’s so easy. There is a prayer on the next page.” Mommy showed Jules the prayer.
“First, you agree with God that He has plans for you. You tell him you believe in Him and that He died on the cross but then overcame death a few days later. You ask Him to forgive you and help you be a better person. You invite Him to lead your life. Would you like to do that right now?”
“No,” said Jules, backing up. “I have to think about things. I have to get by myself and study.”
“I can see it in your eyes, Jules,” Mommy said. “You believe this is true. You recognize the truth of what I’ve said.”
Jules nodded and stared at the ground.
Mommy, that’s enough now. Don’t push, I thought.
“Some say yes right away and others have to get alone and think about it. I always invite people to pray with me but I never push. This is all new to you. You are hearing it for the first time. You seem like a private person but I believe you will take this home and pray about it. Trust what you hear God saying. Go to the website read Belle’s stories. I think you would enjoy them,” Mommy said.
I knew she would enjoy them.
“I will,” Jules said. “I’ll go all over your website. I love to learn things online.”
Mommy got in the car and said, “Good job Belle. If you hadn’t barked, I might not have noticed her talking to you.”
“Arf,” I said. Mommy knew what I was saying but in case you didn’t, my answer to her was, Just doing my job. I am, after all, Belle the Missionary Dog.
PS – You can see a picture of Jules by going to the photo gallery and looking under Utah – Moab – KOA. Mommy promised Jules that people would look at her picture and pray for her. Now you get to do your job.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.
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