Friday, September 27, 2013

I Can't Stop

Checotah, Oklahoma
By Shiloh the Shepherd's Sheepdog


We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. Romans 7:14-17

I know what is right. I want to do the right thing. Why don’t I do it? I try and can be good for a little while, but something builds up inside and suddenly, I’m doing what I don’t want to be doing. I can’t stop.

I Ruin Our Walks

Take our lovely walks outside. Mommy says, “Look at me. Walk with me.” At first, I walk with her. With each step, it gets harder. Finally, when I think Mommy isn’t watching, I snap and bolt as fast and hard as I can. I’ve jerked the leash out of Mommy’s hands. Usually she hangs on, which means I jerk Mommy. I jerked the leash when she was stepping down out of the camper and now her back hurts. She tried using a short leash and wrapping it around her hand. Her hand is swollen and has a red welt around it. Once, I’ve even made her bleed. When I run, I know what is coming. If Mommy holds onto the leash, when the leash runs out, that nasty collar is going to grab my neck. It hurts – really hurts. I don’t like the pain but I do it anyway. Oh – and I’ve chewed through one leash and have started chewing through another one. Mommy says she can’t afford to keep buying leashes.

I Fight the Collar

I kept slipping out of a regular collar so Mommy bought a harness collar. Not only could I get out of that harness, I chewed through it. Mommy bought a harness that clips to the leash and collar. When each metal clips clangs into place, I feel like I’m being put in shackles. It is my own fault. Why do I keep doing these things?

I Am a Bad Houseguest

We visited our new friend, Ruth. I loved her. When we got inside her house, Mommy let me go free. I know how to act in a house so why did I keep chewing things up, eating her plants, and chasing the cat?  I even knew what was coming. Mommy finally had to use the leash inside. Neither of us liked that. When she heated up her milk at night, I jerked her and the hot milk burned her. Isn’t that terrible?  I love Mommy.

I Bark Too Much

I’m supposed to help Mommy tell people about Jesus. I want to help and yet, when they walk up, all I seem to be able to do is bark. I’m a really good barker so they can’t hear Mommy talk.

Is something wrong with me?  I do the things I don’t want to do. I hurt Mommy and me. I long to be good. I agree with Mommy about what is good which makes me feel even worse when I do the wrong thing.

I got a little hope when we went to the dog park. Mommy let me go free and when she called, I came back every time. It felt good. Also, I’ve learned to potty outside. Don’t you think those are good signs? Is there hope for me?

The amazing thing is that Mommy still loves me no matter what I do. She scolds me when I do the wrong thing but she loves me anyway. She lets me sleep with her and cuddles with me when we wake up. She kisses me and buries her face in my mane. When I mind, she gives me yummy treats. When I get dirty, she washes me. She picks burrs out of my fur and checks me for vermin. She feeds me and gives me water. Now that I think about it, I love Mommy even when she scolds me.

Maybe if Mommy keeps teaching me, I will eventually be able to do what I really want to do – to delight my mommy. If you have any suggestions for me, tell my mommy, Cheryle and she’ll tell me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Side of the Story

By Shiloh the Shepherd’s Sheltie
 See How Dirty I Got!

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20

First, I have to tattle. Mommy is making me write this story. I think she hopes that I will have some kind of spiritual “aha moment” and realize how wrong it was. Well, I knew it was wrong when I did it. I chose to do it anyway. Also, I want to be honest with you. It might not be right but I will do it again at the very next chance.

I do hope that this story might help some of you. My mommy is a “Worried Mommy.” I am the cause of that worry. Maybe some of you are “Worried Mommies” too. If I share my story and why I did what I did, it might help you to understand the children you are worried about.

Even though I just admitted that I did something bad on purpose, let me assure you Mommy is a good mommy. She loves dogs and knows how to train us. She has done her best. I understand what she wants me to do. The problem is, like people, dogs have free will too. I know what mommy wants me to do. I even know why. It is just that I want I want so much, I ignore her

Are you wondering what I did? I scared Mommy to death, caused her to miss church, made her so mad that she threatened to leave me at the campground, embarrassed her because she had to chase me in her pajamas, and caused her to have to clean the camper, herself, and me. Mommy would never leave me. I knew she would always be waiting for me with open arms.

She told me to “wait” and opened the camper door just wide enough to step outside. I bolted. I heard her call my name but I saw the woods, mountains, and stream. There were birds in the trees and berries to eat. I felt free. It had been raining and I’d been cooped up in a tiny camper. This was my moment and I deliberately ignored my mommy’s wail. I did feel bad about scaring her but it was too much fun to stop.

The water in the stream felt cold on my shoulders but tasted so good that I couldn’t stop drinking. Why does Mommy pay money for my water when I could drink something this wonderful? Mommy screamed as I ate berries. Didn’t she know that they were delicious?

I am bred to run up and down hills chasing sheep. It seemed crazy to waste these wonderful mountains and woods.  I was vaguely aware of things sticking to and onto me as I ran through the thick bushes but the sheer joy of racing free made the pain worth it.

Mommy got my treats and yelled, “Treats Shiloh.” Nothing was as big a treat as running up and down those stairs and teasing Mommy by hiding behind the chairs in the campground amphitheater. Occasionally, she’d throw a treat hoping I’d get distracted. I wasn’t fooled by her tricks.

She yelled things like, “Sit Shiloh!” “Here!” “Wait!” Yea, right. I knew what was going to happen if I listened to that.

I knew Mommy was desperate when she resorted to lying. “Shiloh, Daddy’s here! He has Rascal.” Sorry Mommy. I was with you when you took Rascal to the Doggy Hotel and know that daddy is on a ship in the ocean. If he can run free in an ocean, why can’t I run free in West Virginia?

I was worried that Mommy kept chasing me up and down mountains and amphitheater stairs so every few minutes, I ran back and got about 10 feet from her before running again. She accused me of taunting her, which wasn’t fair. I wanted to let her know I was OK so she would stop running.

I will admit that running through the barbed wire fence and into the warehouse parking lot wasn’t one of my better ideas. That barbed wire hurt.

I might still be free if that silly beagle hadn’t tricked me by barking to call me over. It was a total set up. I ran over to play with him and Mommy snuck up behind and grabbed me.

Mommy hugged me and scolded me all at the same time. I was muddy and covered in sticky stuff so she got muddy and covered in sticky stuff. I suddenly realized how much the thorns hurt. I was cold. Mommy tried to clean me up with a towel and water but it was hopeless. My fur had never been dirty before and I didn’t like it. Mommy had missed the 9:45 church but she dumped me in the camper and ran to the shower to get dressed for the next service. I sat there alone thinking about what I did and wondering if my romp had been worth it. I got the answer a few minutes later when Mommy opened the camper door just a tiny bit. I took off and started the fun all over again.

Mommy is mad but technically, I was still doing my job as a evange-dog. I heard Mommy stopping to talk about Jesus with the people who were helping her try to catch me. Does it really matter how I help her give the Gospel as long as I help? Without me running away, she would never have met those people.

My fun lasted an hour and a half. I played an hour before the beagle tricked me. I played thirty more minutes the second time, decided I was done, and used my free will to come home. Mommy has spent the last two days picking things out of my fur, the camper, her hair, and her pajamas. She bought special antibacterial soap and a dog brush and comb and bathed me in a hotel bathtub. 

I know Mommy is scared every time she opens the camper door. She is worried that I’ll get lost, that a car will hit me, an animal will eat me, or that I’ll eat poison berries and die. I suppose those things could happen but they didn’t so if I get the chance, I will run again. I watch that door when she goes in or out.

If you are a "Worried Mommy" too, maybe your child is like me. Maybe he or she just likes being free too much. I love my mommy. Mommy has taught me that we are only truly free in Christ but trust me, it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like I’m free when I’m running wild. It feels like I’m trapped when I’m doing what Mommy says to do. Mommy says that I’ll enjoy life more when I learn to follow directions and live right but until I figure that out for myself, I’ll just keep running free and scaring my wonderful Mommy to death.

If your child is scaring you, it probably isn’t because you did anything wrong. It isn’t personal and doesn’t mean your child doesn’t love you. It just means that doing what we want feels really good, even when it is causing us pain. I know you are probably hoping that the pain of running free will teach us a lesson but once you’ve tasted that kind of sheer freedom to living without rules, it takes a lot pain make us stop. I know it sounds dumb but it is the truth.

If you are a “Worried Mommy,” there are things you can do. You can pray. If you are really brave, ask God to do whatever it takes for us to get on the right track. Keep loving us. Stop the lectures because they don’t help and you already taught us those lessons anyway. Quite feeling like you are a bad mommy. You taught us right. If we truly come home, welcome us back with love.

If you are a “Worried Mommy” and want to talk about the child that is scaring you to death, my mommy has lots of experience with that and will be happy to talk to you. Email Cheryle
Pray for Mommy while I am growing up. I can’t promise to always do the right thing but I’ll tell you the truth about what I’m doing and learning.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Preparing For God’s Work

Written in State College, Pennsylvania
By Shiloh the Shepherd’s Sheepdog

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. --Ephesians 4:10-13 (NIV)

Hi. Mommy wants me to introduce myself so I will. I’m Shiloh the Shepherd’s Sheepdog. I was born on March 4, 2013. My mommy is an evangelist and she helps prepare God’s people to evangelize. God was preparing me to help Mommy even before she had to say goodbye to my big sister, Belle the Missionary Dog, on March 15, 2013. I moved in with my new Mommy and Daddy on April 29, 2013. I have big shoes to fill but Mommy assures me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Mommy is working hard to teach me what to do. I don’t like the words “sit,” “no,” and “drop it” but I understand them. Mommy says that if I wouldn’t run off with everything, she wouldn’t have to say, “drop it.” She says “no” when I drag Rascal the Cat around by his tail. She has no idea how much fun that is. She tells me to “sit” when strangers walk up to us but so far, I haven’t been able to do that.

Apparently, people on Facebook helped Mommy pick my name. Shiloh means “The Gift.” The Shepherd in my name refers to Jesus. I think my entire name means that I’m a gift meant to serve Jesus. Mommy says that if she hadn’t already picked my name, she would be calling me “Sassy.” Okay, I’ll admit it. When she tells me what to do, I like to talk back. I guess I’m still being “prepared” for my work.

I think I’m going to like my job because I love traveling. I’ve already driven from Pennsylvania to Florida and back twice. It was fun. My first missionary journey begins in July 15, 2013. Mommy says that campers are small and my most important job in the beginning is to remember to potty outside. Mommy needs to remember that I’m still a puppy and have to be walked more often than my big sister Belle. If we work together on this, I think I can reach that goal.

Mommy also says I have to stop barking at strangers, sit, and let them pet me. We need to share Jesus with strangers. That is really hard because I’m a sheep dog. I’m built to protect. Mommy keeps reminding me that she isn’t a sheep. Maybe if she would introduce me to a real sheep, I would understand the difference.
The only writing I’ve done so far is Tweeting but Mommy encouraged me to write this. She says I’m supposed to write what I see, learn, and think. That seems easy enough. I see Mommy working hard to train me for our journey. I’ve learned that I have to lot to learn to prepare for this special calling. I think I am blessed to be Shiloh the Shepherd’s Sheepdog. You can follow my journey at

Monday, April 8, 2013

My Mommy Is a Duck

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

"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "Tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matt 14:28-30 NIV

Daddy is an eagle and Mommy is a duck. Daddy loves eagles. They're all over his desk and hanging on his walls. He used to write a column called “The Eagles Nest.” He talks about soaring and soars through his life. He never gets lost. He doesn't lose anything and he can open a cereal box just the right way. Things are easy for Daddy.

Mommy wishes she were an eagle. Mommy doesn't always like it when Daddy tries to help her. He won’t let her open cereal boxes because if she does, they won't close back. He goes along behind her closing things and if she gives directions, he takes the map and checks it for himself.

Things were extra bad in Washington. Mommy was tired and woried because I was sick. She was working long hours and I was too sick to help her. In fact, she spent a lot of extra time cleaning up after me. When Mommy gets tired, she forgets things like closing cabinets, drawers, or zipping her purse. What that means is that when she drives, our van, Halleluiah, throws things at me. It also means that things fall out of her purse. That drives Daddy crazy.

Cheryle,” he said. “Zip your purse.”

Who do you think tells me to zip my purse when you aren’t here?”

“I don’t know, but zip your purse.”

A few minutes later, Daddy said, “Did you close that cabinet?”

“Bob,” Mommy said as she closed the cabinet. “Leave me alone.”

“But I’m just trying to help,” he said. “Remember that service is my spiritual gift. What am I supposed to do when I notice things?” Poor Daddy. I think she hurt his feelings.

“When you remind me about everything, I feel bad,” Mommy said.

Poor Mommy. Everything Daddy said was right. Her purse was open and so was the cabinet.

I think Mommy and Daddy are both smart. They both can empty the holding tanks on Halleluiah but I have to admit that when Daddy does it, it looks easier. It makes me tired to watch Mommy do it but she gets it done. Mommy gets lost but always finds her way back. She says she doesn’t have a sense of direction but it seems like it is backwards. Daddy goes somewhere once and never forgets how to get back. Maybe Mommy wishes she were more like Daddy.

I think Mommy is fine the way she is. I just think she is a duck married to an eagle. She waddles through life, having fun, looking calm, but always paddling under the water. Ducks can fly too but it looks harder. When Mommy quacks, people quack back and some even follow her. Personally, I like ducks a lot. I love Mommy. I don’t even get mad when she leaves cabinets open and things fall on me. If she would just accept the fact that she is a duck, I don’t think she’d mind letting the eagle help.

It doesn't matter if they waddle or soar, when Mommy and Daddy keep their eyes on Jesus, they both walk on water. When God gives them a job, He makes them able to get it done. Mommy and Daddy work hard to say yes to God and they help each other say yes to Him. They also love each other and both love me. Mommy is the wind beneath Daddy’s wings and Daddy is the mud beneath Mommy’s webbed feet.


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 Gail Golden at 904 316-5462.

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 as a traveling missionary, send your tax deductible contribution to Pocket Full of Change Ministries, POB 51205, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32240.

© Pocket Full of Change Ministries

Monday, March 25, 2013

Let Me Run My Race

By Belle Touchton
The Missionary Dog

Mommy - Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Cor 9:24-27 NIV

The Bible says I’m supposed to beat my body, make it be my slave, and keep running my race. I admit that I got sick for the third time but that is no reason to fire me from my job. This last time was the worst and apparently the most expensive. I scared Mommy and Daddy but these things happen. It doesn’t mean Mommy should stop taking me on trips. If Mommy can take risks to serve God, I can take risks to serve God and Mommy. My “race” is to be Mommy’s missionary dog. I encourage people to talk to her and I keep her company. I like my job and want to keep it. Read 1 Corinthian 9:24-27 and please don’t let my getting sick disqualify me for my prize.

I got sick on Monday. Daddy was to fly in on Tuesday and Mommy and I were excited until I got sick. By Tuesday morning, Mommy was frantically calling vets. She finally got an appointment for late Tuesday. Poor Mommy and Daddy hadn’t seen each other for a month and when Daddy landed, he had to catch a cab to come to the animal hospital. If I hadn’t been so sick, I’d have felt terrible. When Daddy arrived, I was too sick and Mommy too worried to give him any attention.

Three hours, $700, and many shots later, we left the hospital. The doctor said I was very sick. I hope they didn’t spend $700 to find that out because I already knew that.

I’m really glad Daddy was here. He spent his week with me giving me 13 pills a day. Why won’t he give me my regular food? Mommy and Daddy make me eat this terrible food the vet gave us. I don’t mean to whine but that vet wasn’t much of a cook. Daddy tried to trick me and hide my pills in that yucky food but I knew they were there. I only ate them because Daddy looked so miserable. He doesn’t like touching that food so you can you imagine how I felt eating it. I’m starting to feel better but I’m still too sore from all those shots to run or jump. I also don’t understand why they couldn’t put all of the medicine in one needle.

So yes – I have been sick three times and two of them were serious. And yes, it was expensive but I do volunteer my time for these mission trips. It’s not like they are paying me or anything and I’m usually pretty hearty so I don’t think they should complain. Besides, these illnesses were related so I might not ever get sick on a mission trip again.

People keep talking about sending me home and I’m hurt and insulted. I think I earn my keep and am worth having along. If I go home, who will Mommy cuddle with? Who will walk trails with her or remind her when it’s time to wash dishes? She needs me to stand in the front seat to find animals for her. I certainly don’t think Mommy is going to sit, speak, or turn circles to draw crowds and she hates my treats. Part of my race is to stand in the back of Halleluiah while Mommy is backing up and bark if she gets too close to something. If I go home, who will do that? I want to keep running the race God told me to run.

Mommy explained that people love me and are worried about me. She doesn’t want to take risks with me but other missionaries take their children into places much more dangerous than the United States. If Mommy can take risks, so can I. I’m putting my foot down. I’m staying with Mommy and Halleluiah so I can finish my race. Would somebody tell my mommy for me?


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 Gail Golden at 904 316-5462.

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 as a traveling missionary, send your tax deductible contribution to Pocket Full of Change Ministries, POB 51205, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32240.

© Pocket Full of Change Ministries