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                           *** PORTIONS ***

Re: Confused Dog

"And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He is revealed, we 
may have confidence and not be separated from Him in shame at His 
coming." (1Jn2:28)

Since my life otherwise is not all that physically taxing, I have 
developed a regimen of daily walks; to keep the heart in health, and 
whatnot. During these walks there are various animals along the way 
Squawking crows, chirping sparrows, hopping squirrels. At one house a 
cat will regularly come out to greet me, meowing, which I stoop to pet; 
and it then gets in front of me under-foot, almost to keep me from 
continuing on my way. But for the most part, there are -dogs-. There's 
the little dachshund with its ferocious bark, but when you get down and 
let it get a little sniff, and pet it, it's tame as a pussy-cat. That 
other dog, when it suddenly realizes I'm walking by, wakes up and barks, 
and then looks up towards the house...See? I'm doing my job...I'm 
barking at him. The little sheltie whose vocal chords have been clipped, 
so it always sounds like it's sneezing.

But the dog that is the most curious is the one that lives on the 
opposite corner of the block from where I live. I get up to the 
cross-street and turn the corner and: Aaahooooo, bark bark bark! And it 
will bark at me all the way down that block as I walk towards it, and 
turn the next corner in front of its house.

I first learned of this dog when I would ride by on the bike on my way 
home. It would be along the fence, and 'race' me to the corner of his 
yard. If I walked by on the other side of the street, it would pace back 
and forth, panting, wagging its tail... like it wanted to be 'friendly'. 
So, one day I decided to walk on its side of the street, and go up to 
the fence to 'engage' it in conversation. Mistake! Bark! Bark! Bark! 
Bark! Ever since then, it barks at me...-WHEN- it is home 'alone'. It is 
a proper "watch dog".

But...when its mistress is home, he comes up to the fence, pacing back 
and forth anxiously, 'whining' ...like dogs do when they are eager to be 
friendly, and would like to be petted and romp around.

However, the other day a very interesting thing happened. (And here we 
finally get to the whole point of this Portion) I had just rounded the 
corner, headed towards him, and he had gone into his Aaaahoooo, bark, 
bark, bark routine. And I was in my "talk-back-to-him" routine. However, 
by now he's so used to me, he doesn't bother getting up to pace next to 
the fence to bark at me...he stays lying down on the back step of the 
house, somewhat laying his head backward lazily over his body, eyes 
rolled up sleepily, barking at me. He's going through the 'motions' of 
being a watch dog.

But this particular day, as I got to the fence, his mistress was driving 
home, pulls up to the gate, to get out and unlock the gate to drive in. 

As she is driving up, the dog now suddenly gets up from his "lazy" mode 
on the back step and starts pacing the fence where I am, not happily 
greeting her, but barking at me. -BUT- ALSO... in-amongst the barks, is 
that 'whine' of friendliness. Can't make up its mind. Confused: Am I 
supposed to bark now? Or should I be friendly? And I must say, I got 
quite a chuckle out of it all. The poor dog was seriously befuddled as 
to what his proper protocol was supposed to be for that moment. Bark - 
Bark - Whine - Bark - Bark - Whine - Bark - Bark!

Now...we can look at this dog and see typical 'normal' dog-like 
behavior. But this "confused" state made me think of when our Lord 
returns. The dog was a good "watch-dog" sometimes. But at other times it 
was being "friendly" to the 'stranger' outside the fence. And when its 
mistress -WAS-RETURNING-, it didn't know quite 'how' to behave... 
because it had been living a double-standard.

Well... I expect you know where we are going with this, don't you. Going 
back to the opening Scripture, when we "abide" in Christ, how is our 
behavior characterized? Is it in the world, or are we behaving like the 
"new creations" that we are? (2Cor5:17) Are we laying aside the 
entanglements of sin that "so persistently harass us" and "looking unto 
Jesus"? (Heb12:1-2)  Or are we immersed in "carousings and drunkenness.. 
cohabitation and licentiousness.. strife and envy"? (Rom13:13)

What would happen if you were "in bed" with somebody other than your 
spouse at the moment Jesus came?  You were enjoying that lap dance at 
the night club? You were in the middle of cheating somebody and plotting 
against them? You were lying through-your-teeth about something? You 
were... (fill-in-the-blank)?  And Jesus comes, calling His Church up to 
Himself? Will you be 'barking' or 'whining'?  Or will you not quite know 
'what' to do...because you will know that you've just been caught with 

Uhhh...Hello Jesus...uhhh...I...sputter...I was...uhhh...I don't suppose 
this is looking very good right about now, huh...uhhh...it's not really 
what it looks like....rrrr...sputter...let me just shut my mouth and 
hang my head here. Is there a corner where I can hide?

Jesus said, "...there is nothing covered that will not be uncovered, nor 
hidden that will not be known.  Therefore whatever you have spoken in 
the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear 
in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops." (Lk12:1-3)

The way to avoid this embarrassing scenario is to keep a pure life. 
Remember, when Christ appears, the dead-in-Christ are going to rise from 
the dead, and the ones remaining alive at that moment will be receiving 
new incorruptible bodies (1Th4:16-17, 1Cor15:51-54) that are "like Him, 
for we shall see Him as He is." John says about the anticipation of this 

"And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is 
pure." (1Jn3:2-3)