I’d taught elementary children for years and I still occasionally am asked to speak at a chapel for these little ones.
Not too long ago, I spoke and I took a mighty big visual aide with me.
Sophie is our large Bernese Mt. Dog. She’s large, but gentle. She is mostly black with tan colored legs and white around her paws.
Her face forever looks like a puppy. She has a white stripe coming down her face and the white markings around her nose. She opens her mouth wide, and I’m pretty sure she is smiling!


As Sophie and I entered the chapel,

the kids were so excited. I told them a lot about my relationship with Sophie. We’ve had her since she was just 6 weeks old. She is often my shadow. If I’m doing laundry, she is there. If I’m cooking, she is there. If I’m making beds, she is there. When I work in the yard, she is there.

Sophie loves yogurt and most things that are on my dinner plate! I’ve never really loved an animal before, but I can honestly say that I love this large, but gentle dog Sophie. She even snuggles next to me in my bed. We have a nice backyard with a fence around it and Sophie can go outside anytime she desires to sit by the tree or to run around. When she comes in I always give her a treat.

I told the children in the chapel that if Sophie decided to run away she would no longer be within the boundaries of my home and yard. I would still love Sophie and I would look for her and pray that she would find her way home. I would not be able however to feed her or give her water or cuddle her. If she doesn’t remain with me she can’t receive the blessings and care I can give her.

It’s the same with us. God loves us so much. We do need however to stay within the boundaries He has set in order to remain in Him and receive His blessings. His love never stops, but He longs for us to come to Him and to remain in Him and with Him.

John 15:4

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

(The idea for this chapel came from a teaching I once heard by Kelly Minter)

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