About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












Links




Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TEACHING LIKE JESUS TAUGHT

Welcome to you who are visiting me after having read my devotional on today’s Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today.

I don’t know about you, but I found the responsibility of parenting my sons to be one of the most joyful, yet most overwhelming tasks I ever undertook!

Not being much of a homemaker, I worked for ten years after I married and before my first child was born.

Taking on the new career of parenting, I believed my new job description simply included feeding, cleaning, entertaining, you know, providing the basics. It didn’t take me very long to realize my role as a mother also included not only the physical, but the emotional and spiritual as well.

I realized it was up to me to model love, selflessness, and teach the most important lessons my sons would ever learn: lessons in spiritual devotion.

How’s a mother to make sure her children grasp an understanding of God and step into a relationship with Jesus Christ?

Guess what? My task was not as daunting as one might think it would be! With lots of prayer, a little knowledge of God’s Word, and a desire to listen to the Holy Spirit I began to feel my Father gently prod me to introduce my sons to Him.

My time spent with God each day lead me to teach my sons the way Jesus taught His disciples. Remember, when He walked along through the fields or into the forests, He pointed to the birds and the flowers teaching about God’s provision. He pointed to sheep, describing the perfect shepherd.

So, as my little boys and I experienced each day I learned to point to nature, showing them God’s handiwork and miracles. As they grew, discussions about God were as common as conversations about family, friends, and food.

Then one day our family made a choice many families make. We decided to add a dog to the family portrait. Taking a trip to the local animal shelter, we found a little dog and brought him home.

While bathing him and cleaning him I felt such a strong presence of the Holy Spirit, I stopped to understand the significance of the moment.

“Tell Benjamin this is what happens at baptism.”

Benjamin is my then-11-year-old, son.

The “this” was the fact that we had chosen a filthy-as-rags puppy to become part of our family and we were in the midst of washing away his past. We removed the dirt from his prior life as a stray, disobedient, wandering-around-lost creature.

So I looked at Benjamin, pointed to the dog, and began to teach, just like Jesus taught.

“Consider the dog,” I said. “He was once a lost puppy, dirty, disobedient, resulting in a life of captivity. He ended up in the pound. Death was his certain destiny. But you found him. You reached out to him. You touched him. You called to him asking him to follow you, and he obeyed. Now he is free. He has a new life and a future with a master who loves him.”

As I shared this happy story, my son completely understood what Jesus had done for him.

All we like sheep have gone astray, just like our new little dog had wandered away.

Jesus chose us, we didn’t choose Him.

Jesus reaches out to each one of us and invites us to follow Him.

He says, “Come.”

When we obediently follow we soon learn we each have a Master who loves us, protects us, and provides for us. Jesus is the Master who is preparing a perfect place so we can live with Him forever.

Since our little dog came to live with us, we have learned many lessons, lessons in spiritual devotion, lessons illustrating for us what it looks like depend on Jesus for our every need.

I began to write down all the similarities between the life of our new family pet and every child’s journey to the heart of God and discuss these similarities with my family. Soon it wasn’t long before I realized I had a story to tell. A story similar to the ones Jesus told.

Consider the dog…

I realized God wanted me to put the story into a book, and then a DVD for children. Today, my doggie and I travel to churches and preschools where we tell our story, perform tricks, and sign books. ( Yes! My little dog autographs his story.)

What a delight to see the faces of children when they realize obedience isn’t something adults force upon you for no good reason. Obedience is God calling you to step into a journey with Him and the Master. Obedience leads to joy, success, confidence, and purpose. Obedience leads to a relationship that changes our life forever.

In the case of our little dog, obedience took him
From a life of desperation to a life of liberty,
From a life of wandering around lost to a life of secure direction
from a life of rejection, abuse, and neglectto a life of aCceptance, protection, and care…
From the life of a caged animal in a Pound to the life of an adored puppy in the Palace (compared to an animal shelter, that is!)

FROM THE POUND TO THE PALACE

And that is exactly the title of the DVD I created and produced for children – a story telling my furry friend’s tale, a story explaining to every child who will listen…

“Do you know you have a master too? His name is Jesus…”

Benjamin named his dog, Air because he could jump up in the air and catch balls. Air has his own blog. IF you would like to visit Air and let your children leave comments you can log onto www.fromthepoundtothepalace.blogspot.com
and “talk” with Air. He will be happy to respond to your comments. See you at Air Dog Blog!

7 comments:

Vern ~ Inspired said...

Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you added this!
I love dogs and enjoyed your beautiful message!

On Purpose said...

Van, this is such a great and amazing story. I am standing amazed today at just how cool our God is. He uses every detail of our lives to show us just how big He is and how much He loves us. We just have to be willing to see Him.

May you and Air be blessed today for blessing us!

Anonymous said...

I long to be able to "teach" about Jesus the way you do but never seem to be able to catch a situation and make the connection for my kids. Thanks for giving me an analogy I can use!

Laura said...

I love this story, Van! Being a parent is the biggest joy, and the biggest heartache!, I've ever experienced. Sometimes, if feels like I'm still in the pound! But you are so right, once I realize what God has done for me, I'm back in the Palace again!
Love to you, dear friend.

MrsProverbs31 said...

Van, that is so sweet. Thank you for answering so many of my questions through this blog. I often wonder how in the world am I ever going to teach my children with so limited resources (by my mind). God bless you and your ministry.

Starr said...

What an awesome illustration! As an animal lover, I can relate greatly. So will my child. We have three animals we have "adopted" and he will "get" it when I explain it that way!
Love your blog.
Blessings,
Starr

Laura said...

Van,
I have been trying to add your blog to my list of the ones I follow on my dashboard, but everytime I try it tells me it can't find the RSS feed for your blog. I"m frustrated. Oh, well, just wanted you to know that you are on my list, even if it doesn't show!!