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Advice from Chaplain Koda

My dog Koda is 95 pounds of furry love. He's great with kids,

other animals, and of course yours' truly. I've taken him along on many chaplain visits to nursing homes and he's a real hit.

In fact, now when I go without him they complain--"Where's your dog." I think I could open the front door, send him in with my name tag on, go get a cup of coffee and they'd be thrilled. So, we've dubbed him, "Chaplain Koda (CK)." And, since chaplains give advice and spiritual encouragement, I'd like to share four life lessons from his eminence, CK:

1. Fun. Why stress about work and business when there are sticks to chase? Give yourself time to have fun. Life's too short--especially in dog years!

2. Forgiveness. My wife Karen recently went out and left Koda in the backyard. She forgot to let him in because he was lounging around in the sun and she assumed he'd come back inside before she left. After a couple hours she returned and he was just as happy to see her as any other time she comes home. Koda is a master of forgiveness and unconditional love.

3. Focus. Koda keeps a simple list of priorities--food, fun (walks with Dad at the top of the list), fraternity (he loves hugs from people of all ages), and flaking out on the floor. That's pretty much it. He's probably say I have too many "balls in the air" and should drop some or toss them for him to chase....:)

4. Faith. Karen is convinced that Koda worships Jesus. Whenever we have worship music on, he lies on his back with his paws in the air--total surrender and adoration. I think that posture of praise sets a pretty good example for us all.

So here's a call to heed CK's advice. I'm going to try to emulate him a bit 'bout you?

To that end,

Pastor Joel

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