Who Does Your Dog See You As?


Personality Shining Through

This is my dog: Karlie. The happiest, most genuinely affectionate dog I’ve ever met, and that’s definitely not a biased opinion. She has not a mean bone in her body and the only time she barks is when you tell her to. Now, I was walking around the house the other night, deeply trying to figure out what topic to write about and here comes ole Karlie. Hopping herself onto the couch and laying herself next to me, begging to be pet. It really got me thinking.. How does your dog actually see you?

As for most people, we put a lot of thought into how people see us, what people think of us, and how can we improve our outward image. I believe it’s common and natural to care about what others think of us, but it often truly gets the best of us, and that’s exactly what we were hoping to show: The Best of Us. If given time for that subconscious thought to become a conscious habit, we will begin to measure our self worth by other’s opinions. I don’t believe that’s how it should be, we should not think like that. Our self worth should be of utmost importance. If you ever begin to see yourself in this thought process, ask yourself some questions. How much importance to they have in my life, and Should their opinion matter? I think this thought process is motivated by our semi-selfish means, and myself am guilty of having selfish habits. It is a natural trait all living beings have. But instead of looking for approval of others, just imagine what your dog thinks of you. Most dogs have genuine love for their companions. They do not care about how you look, they don’t judge, and they don’t reject your attention (unlike cats). We often reject their attention when we have no reason not to. I am guilty of that one, and it’s another exhibit of a selfish trait.

You are your dog’s favorite companion, brother, and friend.

Now imagine if we felt that way about ourselves. I think we would be truly happy people, and would begin to shed that happiness to others around us. I also believe that we should spend a lot of time in our lives slightly undoing all the natural not-so-good humanistic qualities we all have (ie. Selfishness). If we removed selfishness and judgement, we ourselves could potentially see ourselves like our dog see’s us as. We would be truly happy people. We cannot determine our self worth by the mistakes and sins we commit. We do not need to look at what we’ve done wrong in life, but what we’ve done correctly. This Perspective on things is a stepping stone to feeling joy. True joy is unlike happiness. Joy is more inward, and seeing yourself as how your dog see’s you is a great way to experience true joy. Another one of those traits I believe make it all worth it In the End. So how do you see yourself?


‘The New Normal’ – Moore Tornado Relief Effort

Natural disasters are a well, naturally occurring thing; taking place on every hemisphere, in every square mile, and in every country. It is inevitable. Storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. are going to hit wherever you may live. Causing particularly large damage to homes and businesses and unforeseen financial costs. Mass amounts of grief are felt by the survivors of these disasters, and I particularly saw that grief today working with Convoy of Hope in the Moore/El Rino area here in the state of Oklahoma where numerous EF4 and 5 tornadoes struck just a few weeks ago. Initially, I saw the aftermath of these storms through the media and was sympathetic but yet I felt that I couldn’t help personally with the relief effort. Thankfully, my absolutely amazing mentor and pastor Jerrod Murr with help of his colleagues found a relief group and diligently asked the youth like myself if we wanted to participate and I graciously accepted. I knew what I was expecting, but the magnitude of what I witnessed and learned in that trip was as usual: astronomical.


Getting to the site wasn’t a difficult task. It was quick and to the point. We received entertainment from a few games, the trip of roughly two hours felt like a mere thirty minutes. We met up with a partnering church and made our way to the aftermath site. Shock and awe followed. Receiving t-shirts and immediately heading out; we collectively picked up masses of strung out insulation, particle board, and the particularly heart wrenching personal items. Progressing quick as there is much strength in numbers. The amount of personal items were slim, but a few stuck out in particular. Coloring pages were strewn out for yards, each color sloppily inside the lines just as the usual child struggles to keep their hand steady, personal photos sparingly embedded in grass or dirt, clothes, toys, a scrapbook page, a tattered bible, and much more. Personal belongings exposed to outside conditions. As if life was abruptly stopped by this massive twister, there’s no preparation like in hurricanes. These are sadly unforeseen forces of destruction.

The mood was clouds of understanding and responsiveness. Hearing the touching stories of the survivors opens your eyes and can really give you a glimpse of how they’re feeling. One woman spoke to a group of us and said that when the tornado hit, her family and neighboring families squished into one storm shelter and as the tornado struck, they sang Amazing Grace in unison and as loud as they could. As even in the scariest of times, they kept faith. This absolutely touched me in more ways than one. Emotions were high as the father from one family had to step away for a brief period as he stated, “Couldn’t stand to watch what [he] worked so hard for be tossed to the curb.” I couldn’t imagine. I spoke briefly with the wife and shared a few of my Katrina survival stories and she thanked me many times over for speaking with her. She connected with me on a level as I understood how it felt also having my house destroyed eight years earlier. Younger women of the youth sat down with a child of the family and spoke with him on how he felt on the entire situation, comforting as well as they could. The homes were sparingly destroyed as if the tornado chose which one it was going to hit. Bare foundations were next to still standing homes. Steps and porches led to nowhere. Exposed attics with visible belongings. A particular house in which was weathered badly, but yet a new American flag waved out front, displaying hope and patriotism as these survivors acclimate to ‘The New Normal’ as one man put it. Work dislodged showers of dust that of course mingled with the sweat and rain that had clung to the skin. Eventually the rain made it harder to continue and we had to stop. I would’ve continued but the day was done.

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As a volunteer to such disasters, there are many lessons and enlightening realizations that can be learned. You make many new friends as the day progresses, laughing and going along, it enlightens the mood. This is so enjoyable. Joyfully giving is my absolute favorite thing to do, it not only improves your outlook on things, but it also improves the outlook on others. Everything has either a direct or indirect connection with another and smiling and making light of a particularly awful situation indirectly affects the mood of the survivors in a positive way. Every story counts, as each one no matter how big or small paints a larger picture of what truly happened there. That’s nothing the media can even compete with. Unfortunately, disasters such as this one will happen again, and again, and again; however, I will be right there ready to assist in any way I possibly can and at all costs. Sharing God’s love with everyone is truly an extraordinary thing. It not only brings you closer, but it brings others as well. Showing that nothing, even a destructive tornado, can put a dent in the love that humanity has for one another, and for me. Missions is absolutely a cause that I will never lose devotion to and that is absolutely a pursuit worth it In the End.

From Lemons to Lemonade: Tackling ‘Impossible’ Circumstances


Every person falls, and we hopelessly end up in seemingly difficult situations in which we regret and find impossible to escape from, and in these situations, we find that they mold us into who we are. Yet we shouldn’t never regret those predicaments. We also should not use that time in which we are given unwisely. This main idea is derived from one of my favorite quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien and it states,

We all live to see such times caused by others, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

This quote means many things to me, and it simply means that when we are in difficult situations, decide to take that time and do good. As human beings, we tend to notice negative things more often. They seem to flood our lives, and we tend to begin to ask ourselves when will it ever let up, but the truth is it will never let up while you continue to dwell on it.

The truth is, none of us are ‘immune’ or incapable of being confronted with bad predicaments. However, we do have the opportunity to learn and deal with it properly. Since we are incapable of avoiding these circumstances, it is imperative that we learn how to turn them into positive situations.

Use simple strategies, like never losing control. Maintain control over the situation by over thinking it. Many people tend to not analyze every option and in turn end up with unpredictable outcomes, maintain control by over thinking. Over thinking is not a bad thing.

Learn from the situations.Bad situations always have causes as to why they happened. Most also tend to have ways in which they could’ve been avoided. This information is valuable information to ensure not to do it again.

Maintain a positive attitude.. A positive attitude prevents panic and anxiety when confronted with the problem. Good outlooks focus time and energy into planning and managing to overcome the issue.

Laissez Faire that jazz! During the times in life when bad situations happen, they’re truly out of our control, and there’s nothing you can do to reverse the damage caused. You must remain calm at let things take their course. Do not become depressed and do not give up.

Turn your attention to other things. This one is most important, as external happiness is directly controlled by internal happiness. All of us have been given a period if time in which to live, and in that span of time God has given to us, make it count. Don’t spend glorified amounts of time on the Internet, or on the Xbox, or staring blindly at the television screen. Time is a precious commodity and drifting through life is a waste. There are purposes and directions we need to take, we have been called unto this planet to help others who have also been called. We are to help other people. We are to care about other God and your peers more than you care about yourself. Love and do not expect love in return. Do admirable things and don’t expect a reward. Invest in missions. Do charitable work. Thank someone for what they’ve done. We are to love one another and lift one another up regardless of past circumstances. If done correctly, it will be returned, it will be rewarded. Maybe not in this life, but in the more glorious one to follow. This path, this ‘guide’ to living is what makes life worth it In the End.