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by linzy bruno  
12/08/2018 / Church Life

NOTE: Intended for Sunday school lesson.

(Discuss character building qualityes of resoursefullness and ingenuity, patience and good attitude, like humor.)

Danny’s mother had several nick names for him because of his great zest for life. ‘He’s always the first one mention the positive side of things,’ she found herself thinking quite often. “Come on Dash, time to get up. We all have to get ready for Church,” she called from the hallway.

Danny sat up in bed and rubbed his eyes, he quickly made his way to the kitchen, with his dog Bull on his heels. He gobbled down his usual double portion of instant oatmeal and ran back upstairs, got dressed and ran back down the stairs to put on his shoes, but stopped and stared at the floor when he arrived at their usual place. “Hmmmm, my shoes aren’t here……..oh yeah! Mom moved them last night when she needed to make room for our Christmas tree. She had to move a lot of stuff around…….” He said out loud to himself. “Oh there they are, right next to my boots…..oh, what’s this? “Bull got his dog food on my shoe! What a slob you are Bull! Then suddenly he felt a giggle come over him: “Well, it’s like Mom said last night: “It’s not so bad being in such close quarters because not having everything perfectly the way we would like builds character and helps us see the comedic side of things, which helps us persevere, which gradually makes us more like Christ.”

“You know,” Danny continued in his one sided conversation, “Ever since I’ve been a teenager, 2 months ago, I’ve really learned to appreciate spiritual growth.”

“Danny-Do,” his mother called again, “Are you ready?” Yes Mom, I just got my shoes on. Danny climbed into the back seat of his dad’s car and started thinking ‘how cool is this! I can use his dog’s sloppiness to write my assignment for English class. ‘I’m so glad I’m in Christian school,’ he continued in his thought, as they pulled into the Church parking lot.

Immediately following the service, Danny ran into his Youth Pastor’s office and waited for him to discuss his idea for his writing assignment. The following day, all the students took turns reading their papers in front of the class. Then Danny read his:

My poem is called “Dog Food On My Shoe,” he began, while most of his classmates giggled. It goes like this:

I got up happily one morning

and to my silly surprise.

I learned a valuable lesson

about Satan’s vicious lies.


“Your future is doomed,

you have no space,

he repeatedly yells in my ear,

but then God gently assures me

a believers life can be filled with cheer!


So I never cry and gripe

when troubles are weighing

 I just look into my dog’s big brown eyes

like they could be saying:

“Don’t waste your time in guile,

a little of my food on your shoe

is surely silly enough,

to make you smile.


The classroom was silent for a moment and then everyone applauded loudly. Then Mrs. Perdell taught the class a few lessons from Danny’s poem and it was fashioned onto the students’ Wall of Fame in the hallway, near the office.

Later that evening, the family remarked on the glory of the Lord they saw that day and how God exalted Danny in the midst of it and Danny’s mother remarked on his clever idea of the dog food representing inconvenience and struggle and then she said, “You know Dashy, we don’t have to pursue glory for ourselves, we strive to exalt and give glory to our Lord and He in turns exalts and glorifies us.”

And everyone said, “AMEN.”

The following Sunday, Danny’s Youth Pastor agreed that his work should be commended and even used the message of his poem in one of his Sermons. Furthermore, the following year, Danny’s father got a raise from his boss and the family moved to a larger house.

 But to this day, Danny still reminds his parents of what God taught them and the marvelous way He blessed them and how it all seemed to be marked by the  extremely simply, yet divinely powerful lesson learned by the displacement of a few pieces of dog food.

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I have been writing for many years. I really got serious when my 3 kids were still quite young, as they inspired me to write children's fiction. I now have 21 Amazon publications. Also, I've just completed a Bible study course. Now I plan to go hard copy with my books, when I get the funds!

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