Monday, May 24, 2010

Two In the Bush

By Belle Touchton – The Missionary Dog
Mommy - Cheryle M. Touchton - The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. Prov 14:15 NIV

Mommy lost Tom Tom in the bushes. She tried to lose me in the same place. I think my Mommy needs to give more thought to her steps. It was all because of a hotel. Would someone please explain to me why Mommy sometimes stays in hotels when we have wonderful Halleluiah. We always have the most trouble at hotels.

It’s really Daddy’s fault. He had a conference in Jacksonville and his company paid for his hotel. Mommy and I decided to meet him there and do our missionary work while Daddy went to the conference. Mommy reminded Daddy that his company could also pay for a campground but Daddy said he didn’t want to put on a suit in a campground. Mommy does it so why can’t Daddy?

It was dark when we got to the hotel. Daddy wasn’t supposed to arrive for 2 more hours. Mommy started unloading. Since we don’t have room for suitcases, when we stay in hotels, we make a lot of trips in and out. When it’s dark, Mommy takes me with her back and forth.

Mommy parked at the edge of the parking lot right next to a tiny curb and lots and lots of bushes. When I jumped out, I landed in the bushes. Mommy carefully stepped onto the tiny curb and rescued me.

Mommy looked for a luggage cart but the hotel couldn’t find one. We started making trips. Mommy carefully balanced books, clothes, groceries, and other stuff as we gingerly stepped on and off the curb to walk behind Halleluiah to the parking lot. Ever since someone stole our GPS, Mommy carries Tom Tom inside at hotels. Mommy got Tom Tom, her novel, the last bag of groceries, her phone, bottle of water, and me. I got out first and stumbled again into the bushes. Mommy stumbled with me but caught herself just before she fell. She rescued me for the second time and we walked to the hotel.

Suddenly Mommy said, “Where is Tom Tom?”

I looked and sure enough, Tom Tom was gone. Mommy began retracing our steps. When we got back to Halleluiah, she looked in those dark bushes. No Tom Tom. She got the flashlight and just as she looked in the bushes again, the sprinkler turned on.

“Oh no,” she said. “Tom Tom’s going to be ruined.” She began frantically reaching inside the bushes with her hands. Doesn’t my mommy know Florida has spiders and that spiders love bushes?

After about 20 minutes of reaching and searching, a wet mommy pulled out a wet Tom Tom. She dried both of them off and thank goodness Tom Tom still worked.

Trusting God is good but I think Mommy needs a better process for going in and out of hotels. Better yet, maybe we could just stop going to hotels.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mommy Needs a Keeper

By Belle Touchton – The Missionary Dog
Mommy - Cheryle M. Touchton - The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut 31:6 NIV

Mommy was worried. She kept looking at the gas gauge and using Tom Tom to search for gas stations. When we got near St. Louis, Missouri Mommy pulled off the freeway.

“Thank goodness, Belle. They have a gas station.“

I looked around and didn’t like what I saw. I started barking. Mommy pulled alongside some Government project houses that looked like the ones in Jacksonville Beach that Daddy warns Mommy not to drive by. I didn’t feel safe. Mommy turned into the one tiny gas station. I counted ten cars and 6 pumps. Mommy had to wait behind 2 cars to get gas.

Young men wearing colorful shirts and gold chains around their neck walked everywhere. I ran from one end of Halleluiah to the other trying to make sure everyone knew I was in here protecting Mommy. I looked across the street trying to find our way out and saw three men playing with a basketball on the ramp back onto the freeway. There was no basketball hoop. Why were they playing there? We waited and everyone stared. No one smiled and nobody looked or dressed like my Mommy.

Hush Belle,” Mommy said. “That’s not nice.”

Yea, right. I thought. Like I’m really going to hush. Doesn’t she know she needs me to protect her?

I couldn’t believe it when finally Mommy pulled up to the gas pump and got out of Halleluiah. She was hemmed in between 2 cars. How were we going to make a quick getaway? The gas station was so small, I wondered how Mommy was going to get Halleluiah turned around to get out. I kept right on running back and forth barking.

I ran to the window where Mommy was pumping gas just in time to hear a man ask, “So, what’s a pocket full of quarters?” This man’s pants were hanging low around his skinny hips and when he opened his mouth to talk, his 1 bottom tooth was sticking straight out. His only 2 top teeth were rotten. I didn’t think Mommy should be talking to him but you know my mommy.

“I’m a Christian missionary and writer,” Mommy told him. “I talk to people about Jesus. Pocket Full of Quarters is the name of my first book. If you have a pocket full of quarters, you are prepared. It represents being prepared for life and eternity. Are you a Christian?”

“I’m working on it,” the man laughed, showing those snaggly teeth again.

“That’s one thing you don’t have to work on,” Mommy said. “You either are or you aren’t. It’s easy to be a Christian. All you have to do is believe in Jesus, confess your mistakes, and ask Him to be your Savior. Do you believe in Jesus?”

“Yes,” Mr. Toothless said.

About that time, a very big man wearing very big gold chains and a long black shirt walked up.

What are you doing?” he snapped at the man with the missing teeth.

“I… I…I was just asking her about Pocket Full of Quarters,” Mr. Toothless stammered.

The Big Man crossed his arms across his big chest. He glared at Mommy.

Oh no, I thought. He’s trying to intimidate my Mommy. That doesn’t usually work.”

“We are talking about Jesus,” Mommy said to the big man as she stopped pumping gas, stood up straight, and looked him straight in the eye. “He says he is working on being a Christian and I explained that it is easy to be a Christian and that he didn’t need to work on it.”

“Hurry up,” The Big Man said to Mr. Toothless. Mommy and Mr. Toothless went back to pumping gas but kept talking. Mommy finished first and walked to Halleluiah.

Thank goodness. Hurry Mommy, I barked, knowing she understood me. The car in front of us has left. We could get out now. The Big Man is still glaring at you.

Mommy needs a keeper. Instead of driving off, she got one of her tracts, walked back to Mr. Toothless and The Big Man and handed it to Mr. Toothless. She glared right back at The Big Man who had folded his arms across his chest again and then turned to Mr. Toothless. “This will tell you how to become a Christian. You don’t have to work on it. Please read it.”

“Thanks,” Mr. Toothless said as he put it in his pocket.

Mommy got in the car and did a “3 point turn” to get out of the gas station. The Big Man never stopped glaring. As we pulled onto the freeway, the basketball players stopped playing and stared at us. I just kept barking. It was the middle of the day. Didn’t any of these men have jobs?

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 or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.

This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at Donate

Copyright: Pocket Full of Change Ministries

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Just Doing My Job

By Belle Touchton – The Missionary Dog
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 or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.

This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at Donate

Copyright: Pocket Full of Change Ministries

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Got a Report Card

By Belle Touchton – The Missionary Dog
Mommy - Cheryle M. Touchton - The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Mic 7:7 NIV

Who ever heard of a Doggy Vacation Report Card? And what is a doggy vacation anyway? Mommy left me at Doggy Daycare for 7 days. Doggy Day Care is better than a kennel. I get to play with other dogs but I’m still without my mommy. Why would they call it a vacation? My vacations are with Mommy.

When Mommy got my 7 Doggy Vacation Report Cards, she read every word to Daddy over the phone.

“She got an excellent every day,” Mommy bragged.

What did she think I would get?

“On April 26, she played well with others!”

What else was there to do?

“She was the teacher’s pet!”

Aren’t I always?

“They say she is pretty.”

Is mommy just figuring that out?

“On April 27, she ran laps!”

No, that yappy dog ran laps. I chased him hoping to make him be quiet.

“She barks for attention,” Mommy said, sounding worried. “They said she was a bark-o-holic on Wednesday.”

Hello, I can’t talk. I have to bark.

“They said she was working on her tan on the 29th.”

Give me a break. I have hair.

“She likes snuggling.”

But I’d rather be snuggling with mommy.

Mommy picked me up on Monday. I could tell Daddy had been there. I could smell him. Why didn’t he come see me? I missed my Mommy but I guess I should stop whining. If I had to go somewhere, the Doggy Day Care was the best place I could go. 7 days felt like forever but Mommy finally came home. I did my best until she came back. I don’t know why Mommy left me but I trust her.

Sometimes I think I trust Mommy more than humans trust God. Don’t they know that God is always taking care of them? Don’t they know that even when they have to wait on God, He is working to make all things work out for them? I wonder if they get excellents on their report card while they wait.

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 or call at 904 614-3585.

This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at Donate

Copyright: Pocket Full of Change Ministries