Sometimes, the things we go through or the mistakes we make can be used to help other people who are going through the same problems or struggles. So, today, I’m going to get a little personal about something I recently did and something I went through.

I disobeyed God.

It’s a terrible fact in life, that we all sin. Sometimes, sin is accidental or beyond our control and other times, we willingly give into it because we want our sin more than we want God. The other day I found this book called The Jackal by JR Ward and if you don’t know her, she’s a good author and super famous, but her books are paranormal, erotic, romance. I read a lot of the books in her Black Dagger Brotherhood Series when I was in high school but then God convicted me of reading something like that with sex in it, so I stopped and haven’t read it since. She came out with a new book called The Jackal and I started it without even thinking it. Now, I’ve always skipped reading the sex scenes. It’s easier than movies because with movies, you still have to fast-forward, but a book, you can just… skip the pages and not read them. But this one had so much cussing; it threw out f-bomb after f-bomb and even used God’s name in vain multiple times. So, I felt convicted about reading it, but I wanted to know what happened in the story. I don’t want other people to make the same mistake I did, so I’m not going to talk about what the book was; but there were several mysteries revolving the main guy’s past and whether the main girl would succeed in her goal or not. I felt like I needed to know what happened.

So, yesterday morning before my Bible study I prayed to God about it. I said, “Father God, if you don’t want me reading this book, please convict me of it so hard that I can’t read it—that I literally won’t be able to read it.” I wanted a confirmation from Him because I was confused and unsure what to do.

Then, I opened my Bible. I’ve been reading through the gospel of Matthew one chapter at a time, so I read Matthew chapter 18.

When I got down to verse eight, I was dumbfounded.

“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.”

Needless to say, that was as direct as direct could get. It felt like God was hitting me over the head with a frying pan and yet, it was still gentle. I felt His love and gentle correction as I read it and I was thankful and grateful that not only did He take the time to speak to me directly, using His Word, but to correct and gently discipline me and to guide me on what I should do next.

Cast the book away. Stop reading it.

It was right there in writing; what God was asking of me.

This is when the conflict started. Every part of me wanted to continue reading it. I felt I needed to know what happened to the characters. I justified myself by saying, “I don’t like the cussing and I don’t like the sex. I’m not reading it for that. I’m skipping the sex scenes. I’m reading it for the good plotline.” Or, I tried to come up with ideas, like, “I’ll take a sharpie and mark through all the cuss words.” I was so upset, because on the one hand, I had a book with a really intense, suspenseful plotline and I wanted to know what happened next, but on the other, God had told me directly what He wanted me to do and I didn’t want to disobey or just ignore Him.

The heart is willing but the flesh is weak. So very weak, in my case.

Then, I thought of a bright idea. I figured, I could just look up a detailed spoiler review or a detailed summary of the story, so I could read what happened and find out what I wanted to know without reading the book or the bad stuff in it. So, I googled off and on all day yesterday and couldn’t find one. Apparently, the book was too new. I thought for sure, God would provide one so that I didn’t have to read the book. But sometimes, God allows us to go through temptation because if He just took it away all the time, we would never grow. Sometimes, we have to just grow up and make the choice to do the right thing.

That isn’t what I did.

I even messaged my sister in law whom I knew liked the series—the one who started me at it when I was in high school—to see if she had read it and if she could tell me about it, but she hadn’t read it yet. So, I was back to square one.

Fast-forward to last night and I didn’t even try to resist. I got giddy and excited and said, I’m just gonna read it quickly, get through it, and never do this again.

So, I read the book and finished it in a few hours.

The answers I wanted were there—a big twist I saw coming, with another smaller twist at the end I didn’t see. I found out about the main guy’s backstory and why he was there and the idea was a bit repetitive and not as creative as I hoped. I guess, in my head, I wanted this big, epic creative idea that I could just fall in love with and use in my own stories but in a more creative and clean way, tweak it with other ideas and boom, have a new epic story but that isn’t what happened.

I read the book, enjoyed it while I read it, skipped the bad scenes, and now its over. Literally, I started re-reading one of my own books right after I finished and I got more enjoyment from it. My mood changed and shifts, a new book comes and it’s over. It was temporarily pleasure—choosing what I wanted over what God wanted and what did it get me? What did I gain?

It caused me to read bad words, to mentally take God’s name in vain as I read over the lines where the characters blasphemed God. It caused me to want to go back and read that series and catch up on what I missed.

But now, I have another decision to make. Myself and my fleshly desires or God. The last time I chose myself, it wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it was going to be and the pleasure didn’t last.

I disobeyed my Father in heaven and disappointed Him and myself.

Now, I’ve made a decision to stay away from JR Ward and her books, as well as any other paranormal erotic romance novels. I won’t even read the book blurbs/synopsis because if I do that, if the book sounds good, I’m going to want to read it. If I start reading it, I won’t stop. So, I have to cut off the perverbial hand and cast it away from me. Better to be maimed and go without paranormal erotic romance than to have that sin in my life.

Now, it isn’t easy. I’m not just gonna sit here and tell you guys that I’m such a fantastic person because I’m doing the right thing, so yay me. Nope. It isn’t easy at all. My desire is to read the series, to know about the characters, to take the plotlines and weave them into my own stories in a clean way, but I can’t. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But by reading that, when I know God told me directly not to, I am going against the One who gave me life—both on earth, and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Do I really want to dishonor everything Jesus went through for me, for a few hours of happiness that ended as soon as I read the last page?

No.

It isn’t worth it.

I hope that the mistake I made can help some of you struggling with the same issue or even the same generic problem. Maybe it isn’t erotic romance novels. Maybe your sin is something else. Maybe you hate your sin and you want it gone, but there’s a part of you that can’t stop or doesn’t want to stop. Maybe you justify it and don’t even see it as wrong. Maybe you don’t want to face it. Because facing it means that you have to deal with it and get rid of it, or be against God and you don’t want to put yourself in that position. No matter where you’re at in life and what you’re struggling with, take it from someone who knows from experience, whatever is tempting you will not give you as much pleasure as you’re thinking. Even if it does and it feels wonderful and you have fun while you’re doing it… it will not last. In a few hours, or days, or maybe even weeks or months, it will be over and you’ll forget all about it and move on to something else.

If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it away from you. Whatever causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it away. Get rid of it before it consumes you. Don’t be a slave to sin, to your own earthly, fleshly desires like I have been before. Be a servant to a holy God who loves you so much that He died so that you could be saved and set free from those very sins.

Black Lives Matter isn’t just an organization with its own personal goals. It’s a slogan taken up by a lot of Americans today and if you say, “Well, All Lives Matter” then you’re considered either ignorant, or an idiot, or both.

Even modern-day Christians agree. They say not to use the Bible to say that Jesus loves all people because we all know that He does, but they say you can’t use a theological fact to deal with a social issue in America.

Here is what one article had to say:

“When the Las Vegas shooting happened, people changed their profile, ‘Stand with Vegas.’ Nobody said, ‘Well what about the people that got shot in my city!’

Have you ever seen someone counter a ‘breast cancer’ post with ‘what about colon cancer?’

But for some reason, if someone says ‘Black lives matter’ it turns into all-inclusive ‘all lives matter.’

The difference with Black Lives Matter is that it forces some to admit an uncomfortable truth. While all lives should matter, black lives have been disregarded time and time again.”

Black people were slaves in America. That’s a horrible fact of history and it’s deeply sad. Guess what? So were Native Americans and we even stole their land. They were here first.

Want to know something else? Every single country in the world has had slavery at one point in history or another. It’s sad, terrible, and we all know it’s wrong. And it’s terrible that black lives are “disregarded.”

But there are plenty more people and groups that are being disregarded. One of these groups has over 200,000 more lives at threat when compared to black people whose lives are under threat by police shootings.

So, let’s look at the real numbers, then.

4,136 Christians are killed for their faith.

2,625 Christians are detained without trial.

1,266 churches are attacked.

There were 242 white people shot by police in 2020.

There were 123 total reported black people shot by police in 2020.

There were 80 Hispanics shot by police in 2020.

Now, out of these, 2.8 times more black people died from their gunshot wounds versus the white people who survived.

So far, in 2020, 28,915,338 babies have been aborted and this number goes up by 1 every single second.

According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.

Just to put this in perspective a little bit…

Everyone knows the Holocaust is one of the worst nightmares in history. Over six million Jews and 5 million people from of races were murdered between 1933 and 1945.

So, if you compare Jewish victims which was one of the most horrifying events ever to happen in history—at 6 million of them dying…

With the fact that over 28 million babies have been aborted IN THIS YEAR ALONE…

That is absolutely horrifying.

But then, add in that over 4,000 Christians are killed for their faith every year. So, 242 white people shot by police seems a bit small, doesn’t it? What about the 123 black people shot by police?

Tell me… how many people killed does it take to start a movement? How many people killed does it take to justify destroying monuments, robbing stores, violently protesting, and committing more crimes?

123?

How about 28 MILLION?

So, you see… Whenever someone says Black Lives Matter, I don’t say “All Lives Matter” because I’m a jerk, or an ignorant idiot, like the memes say.

I say it because all lives do matter, but the Black Lives Matter movement claim they’re focusing on black lives because they’re the ones being targeted. They’re the ones struggling right now. They’re the ones needing help.

I’m not denying that they do.

But who needs help more, statistically?

123 people?

242?

4,000?

Or 28 million?

At least black lives have a voice. They have adults, men, women, old, young… PEOPLE that are old enough to speak for themselves, to shout out and say something, to try to get the world to wake up—even if they do it with the wrong tactics.

Yet, these 28 million babies being aborted?

They’re in the womb. They’re growing. Maturing. At 3 weeks, they have heartbeats. They can’t speak yet. They have no voice. No one to speak for them, to defend them. To cry out for justice for them.

Black lives matter.

All lives matter.

Babies and infants matter.

When you start defining people by a slogan, or using one to try to claim who needs help more, all you’re really doing is focusing on who you want to help while somewhere out in the world, you’re ignoring a group of people who needs your help. Whether it’s persecuted Christians still dying for their faith, white people getting shot by police that you never hear about, or 28 million babies being torn apart in their mothers’ wombs.

Somewhere, someone out there needs help. It isn’t always about black people. It isn’t always about white people. It isn’t always about one race over another. It’s about the people who are in danger, the ones under threat. Yes, black people are shot by police and killed more often than other races and that’s horrible.

But what horrifies me more is that 28 million infants are murdered every day and no one bats an eye. In fact, most people are okay with it. “They’re not babies yet” or “it’s the mother’s choice.”

No, it isn’t. That’s a life inside you. A person. It’s a real, live breathing human being with a heartbeat at three weeks old. THREE WEEKS. That’s before most women even find out they’re pregnant.

How many of you know some of the main reasons why God allowed Israel to wipe out the evil nations that came before them? It was because they sacrificed children to their gods, like Baal and Dagon. How many babies do you think they sacrificed to their idols?

But we don’t really need to know that, do we?

Because we know how many babies our culture sacrifices to the idols of selfishness, greed, personal happiness, and comfort.

28 million.

Babies matter.

And they’re the real ones in danger right now.

As Christians, God calls us to share the gospel with the world. These days, it’s easy to get caught up in our own lives: our jobs, our families, our friends, our goals, and the things we want to do. We often get intimidated by other people or afraid to share our faith with others, for fear of rejection, or being made fun of. We keep silent, so that we can fit in. But that isn’t what God asks of us.

Imagine that you had a best friend and this person had done so much for you. They had been there through all the most difficult parts of your life. You may even be thinking of someone right now. But, when you went out with friends or family, you would never talk about them. In fact, you would be afraid to mention this best friend.

That isn’t a very loving thing to do, is it?

I’ve dealt with this problem so much. Why is it that I love God and yet, I am absolutely terrified to bring Him up in conversation? Why can I gush about Star Wars or the latest movie that just came out, with a total stranger at a checkout, but can’t gush about the Bible or what God just taught me?

It’s time we stop letting fear rule us. It’s time we stop trying to fit in with the world. Because guess what? If we keep trying to fit in with the world, eventually, we will conform to this world. The Bible says we are supposed to be in the world but not of the world.

I have prayed to God to help me be bolder, to speak out.

You may be thinking, “Hey, wait, I’m not a missionary or an evangelist! That’s someone else’s job, right?” God calls us all in areas of our lives where He has given us abilities to serve. Your purpose in life is:

  1. To worship and serve God
  2. To serve God’s church – the Body of Christ
  3. To spread the Gospel

God has given you the passions, gifts, talents, and even experience needed to complete the tasks He wants you to do while you’re here on earth. Spread the gospel where God has you.

An example is for me. I realized, I’m at home a lot and don’t have the chance to talk to a lot of people face-to-face. But I am online a lot and as an author, I have been working to build my social media. Not only do I try to share as much about God on my social media platforms, but now, I’ve been trying to chat and message people more often about God and spread the Gospel to whomever I can.

Pray to God to help you be bold about your faith. Don’t keep the gift of salvation to yourself. Doing that is the same as if we have the cure to cancer, but don’t tell anyone who is sick what the cure is and how to get it. That’s insane and selfish!

Salvation through Jesus Christ is the cure to sin. Share it with everyone because one day, you and the person you could have talked to will be dead. What if they end up in Hell because you were too afraid to speak out?

Most people don’t know that worshipping God isn’t just about music. In fact, we are supposed to worship God with our lives—our very existence. But, how can you do that without music or a song of some type?

There’s nothing wrong with worshipping God in music. Sometimes the words or lyrics help us to feel God’s presence and let his Holy Spirit move in us and in our church. But anything that you do can be an act of worship to God and it should be.

How does this work, you may ask?

Well, by doing whatever it is you’re doing for God. Not for yourself.

See, the thing is with worship is that so often we try to make it about ourselves. We sing praises to God, lift our hands, sing, and get into the music, so the music can move us. So that the Holy Spirit can fill us, so we can have a personal experience with God. That’s fine, but that’s also worshipping for the wrong reasons.

What is worship, then?

Real worship is about doing it for God. It’s about praising and loving him, and showing him how much we love him. Whatever you do to worship needs to be for God and not for yourself.

Literally, anything that you do—except for sin—can be for God. You can wash the dishes for God’s glory or help your parents for God. You can spend time with friends for God, or write for God’s glory or browse Pinterest for God’s glory. As long as you’re doing whatever it is to please God, to make him happy, then it’s an act of worship.

But, hold on… why would God be happy with me, washing the dishes or browsing Pinterest?

Because God actually enjoys watching us live our lives. Think about it for a moment. He created you to be you. Not to be something inauthentic, not to let him in your church life, and then go home and do chores and get on Pinterest and leave him out of it. If you love writing or reading or getting on Pinterest or a million other things, those are your hobbies because God created you to have those hobbies. What makes you happy—as long as it isn’t sin—makes God happy. He created you and wants to see you being you. That honors him, in a way, because you’re honoring who He created you to be. Especially if you do His purpose for your life, whatever that may be.

So, include God in all that you do. Do it for God’s glory and spend some time with Him. Today, I challenge you to try worshiping God without music today.

Worshipping God is about more than singing and being in church. Yes, you can and should worship God when you’re saying, raising your hands, praying, reading your Bible, going to church, speaking with and being with other Believers, but we all should worship God with our lives. Everything that you do in life can be an act of worship to God.

You can:

Wash the dishes

Do laundry

Read a book

Spend time with family

Take photos

Paint a picture

Play a game

Play with your pets

Play board games with your family

Visit with other people

Hang out with friends

Write

Anything that you do in life can be an act of worship to God. As long as it isn’t sin and if you’re doing it for God’s glory. So many of us—most of us, actually—do things for ourselves and our own personal enjoyment. When we sing, we do it for ourselves or social media. When we play games, it’s so that we can have fun. When we hang out with people, it’s for our own enjoyment. Sometimes, when we go to church, it’s to socialize with people or because of tradition. When we do chores, it’s because we have to. When we work, it’s for money. Everything we do in life is for our own enjoyment.

But let me tell you a profound truth in life, one that’s hard for a lot of people to have to face: enjoying life is POINTLESS without God.

Think about it.

Without God, we’re all going to live and die one day. One day, we will no longer exist. So, everything that you enjoy now, is temporary. Eventually, that game will bore you. You’ll finish the book and get over the excitement of it. You’ll stop hanging out with your friends and go home. Eventually, everything in life comes to an end and there is no permanent happiness outside of God.

But doing things for God to enjoy—that will never end.

You may be confused or asking, “What do you mean, doing things God will enjoy?”

No, you don’t have to only go to church, or only read your Bible, or only pray for God to enjoy it. Yes, those things are important—the most important things you can do in life to mature yourself, grow as a Believer, and have a close relationship with God.

But folks, God made you. He designed you exactly as he wants you to be. He knew your strengths, your weaknesses, and carefully picked out each and every one of your flaws with meticulous and deep thought. He enjoys watching us play and dance and read and laugh. He invented all of those things!

Nothing on earth was created without God. Even things made by human hands, if you think about it. Without God’s inspiration given to them, they never would have made or built it on their own. You have the things in your life that you have because of God, whether they’re the physical objects, your family and friends, or your personality traits and hobbies.

Read a book so that God can enjoy watching you.

Play with your family and friends so God can laugh with you.

Dance so that God can smile while he watches you.

Do chores to bring God glory.

Everything that you do in life, do it for God. Not yourself.

Today is the day America celebrates when it won its freedom and independence. Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays—other than Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Halloween. Back in the 1770s, the early colonists fought for their freedom. They rose in bravery and courage against tyranny, and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be America as we know it today. Everyone in the United States knows the history extensively. Today, when we watch and/or fire off fireworks, BBQ, spend time with friends and family to celebrate, for us, it’s about having a good time. Few people probably think about the freedom that they’re truly blessed with. A lot of us take our freedoms for granted and how truly blessed we are as a country. But think about how drastically important freedom and equality is in America today. Everyone wants to be equal. Over the years, countless men and women have fought so that we could be free and we should and do our best to honor and celebrate them.

But what about celebrating the Savior who gave us true freedom?

Most people refuse to even acknowledge Jesus Christ as God, or even admit His existence, but we have been given the true gift of freedom from, by, and through Him.

True freedom always comes with a price—sacrifices have always been a part of gaining and keeping it.

Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a perfect, sinless life. He gave His life and made the ultimate sacrifice for our ultimate freedom. Then, He died and rose again and now, if we put our trust in Him, believe in Him and what He’s done for us, and repent of our sins, we can be free from sin and free from the chains of death and have true liberty with Him through the salvation He gives us.

This Independence Day, remember not only your freedom as an American, but the freedom and eternal life given to you through Jesus Christ.

In honor of Shifter’s first anniversary coming up in just a few days—on July 1st—I wanted to talk about one of the important Christian themes in the book.

In it, the Alpha of the Dragon shapeshifting clan, Sirath, wants to burn villages and slaughter all the humans. Beroan is a dragon shifter, and he knows how wrong this is. He wants to find a way to stop it, but the first step he must take is doing the right thing. No longer will he go when Sirath commands him to fly with the other dragons and burn the villages. He defies Sirath and doing so leads he and his family to shame and even danger.

As a result, he’s forced to betray his family for the sake of the right thing.

Doing the right thing can be so very hard sometimes. It’s even worse if you’re the only one willing to do the right thing. If your friends and maybe even your family chooses not to do the right thing, your willingness and desire to do the right thing even when no one else will, could falter.

When the world seems to stand against you, know that God is on your side. You are not and never will be alone. Once, David stood up against a giant. He was only a boy. But Goliath was massive and vicious. He literally had the entire Israelite army full of trained soldiers shaking in their boots. None of them were willing to trust God and fight Goliath. So, a little shepherd boy named David had the faith to stand up to Goliath and fight him. He trusted that God would give him victory and God did.

More than that, later, David went on to become king of Israel and God led him to many, many more victories because of David’s faith.

Beroan had to do the same with Sirath. Some dragons believed in and followed him. Others didn’t, but none of them were willing to stand up to him. Beroan was. He was willing to do the right thing.

Are you?

Our world may not consist of having to fight a giant in a battle, or a dragon in one for that matter. But the giants and dragons in our world take on a different appearance and meaning. Maybe you’re the only one willing to pray at lunch at school. Or maybe you’re the only one willing to witness to someone on the street, or willing to not give in and cuss. Maybe your friends or family want to watch a movie you know is wrong, but you are afraid to face the giant and stand up to it to do the right thing.

Whatever your giant or dragon is, you may be absolutely terrified to face it. Maybe it isn’t even the dragon or giant that scares you; maybe its being willing to face your friends and family who aren’t doing the right thing. Like Beroan, you need the strength to do what’s right, no matter who’s against you. Like David, you need the courage to face a giant that everyone is terrified of.

You can only find the strength and courage you need through Jesus Christ.

If you face the giant and dragon in your life, with God by your side, you can’t lose.

Order Shifter now!

Once, the rainbow was a symbol of God’s promise to mankind. A promise that, despite how wicked we became, He would never again flood the earth as He did in Noah’s time. It was a promise of the things to come—of Jesus Christ that He sent years later to save us from our sins. A promise of eternal life with Him.

These days, the rainbow is a flag for LGBTQ pride. To them, it’s a symbol of equality for all people, a reminder to be confident in who they are, as they are. No matter the gender they feel they are, no matter the person—man or woman—that they’re in love with.

The rainbow has been taken from a symbol of God’s promises and hope, and turned into a symbol that says “be prideful of your sins.”

Who are we, really? We are each human beings, with many different personalities and traits. At our core, though, most people would assume they’re a good person. This, in reality, couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, we have all lied. Many of us have stolen something, even small and insignificant. We have looked at someone with lust, which the Bible says is committing adultery in our hearts. And we have likely used God’s name as a cuss word at some point. And that’s just four out of the Ten Commandments that we’ve broken. Four of God’s laws that we’ve failed to keep.

At our core, we are all sinners, all unworthy of a perfect, righteous, and holy Creator like God. Who we are is sinful, selfish, and flawed. So you see, don’t be prideful in confident in who you are. Because at your core, you are just like the rest of us; flawed and sinful. Imperfect and unworthy of God and undeserving of His love. None of us deserve eternal life with Him. In fact, because of our sin, we deserve Hell. We deserve the death sentence.

But God loves us so much, He sent Jesus to save us. So that all our lies, everything we’ve stolen, every time we have lusted, and used God’s name as a cuss word, yes, we built up God’s wrath by doing all of those sinful, evil things, but because of Jesus Christ, because of God’s great love for us, we can be forgiven. All we have to do is seek Jesus, ask Him for forgiveness, and turn from our sin.

Without God, we are nothing; just flawed beings that can never and will never be perfect.

But in and through Christ, we are all beautiful and whole and precious. You are complete and loved unconditionally. You were formed in your mother’s womb with the upmost tenderness and care. You are loved and worthy of God’s love. In and through Christ, you can do all things.

So, don’t be prideful in yourself. Be confident in who you are in Christ, because of Christ, with Christ, and through Christ.

He is the one who makes everything and everyone worthwhile.  

Today, let’s take back the real and true meaning of the rainbow. The next time you see all the beautiful colors together, think instead of God’s promise to take care of you, of His wonderful mercy, great love, and His gift of salvation through Christ. Let the rainbow mean something different to you—not pride and confidence in a flawed being, but hope in the perfect, sinless God who created and saved you from your sins.

Have you ever stopped to think about how creative God is? I think about it a lot, especially being an author. I think about some of the world or race building I do and how, typically, all the ideas for our books, movies, TV shows, comics, etc., all come from somewhere. Even the first sci-fi movie drew inspiration from other things. It’s virtually impossible for us to just invent an idea from nothing. Even if it “randomly comes to our mind” in our most creative moments, subconsciously, your mind grabbed the idea from something else you had seen that was similar.

Yet, God created the entire universe and all of it was of his own invention. He didn’t draw inspiration from anything else because He invented inspiration. Think about that for a moment. It kind of blows my mind a bit.

One of the most amazing creations that God made, other than humans, earth, and the universe itself, I believe, is animals. Some of them are adorable and fuzzy, some can be dangerous and territorial, others are slimy and gross, or weird and icky… Yet they’re all still a part of God’s creation.

Once, His creation was perfect. Then sin entered and boom, things aren’t quite as they should be. But when you see animals, I sometimes see in them good traits that come from God. Like how playful a puppy is.

Have you ever thought about God laughing and smiling? Or thought of him as playful?

Seems odd, doesn’t it? Don’t we always depict God as serious—absolutely no smiles, just like a stern king? He is The King of kings, but I do believe he laughs. He invented laughter and joy just as much as he invented inspiration, or even you and me.

God is playful and full of joy and laughter. So are puppies and today’s blog post is all about puppies.

Here are ten puppy types that make the best pets.

  1. Labrador Retrievers

Labs are some of the friendliest dog breeds out there. They’re very trainable, which is some of the reason why they’re one of the most popular dog breeds today. They also do a handful of tricks and neat things that make them super fun to be around. They have an eagerness to please others and are very good with children and other dogs.

  • Golden Retrievers

One of the best traits about Golden Retrievers is that they are super patient. This means that they’re one of the best breeds with children. They’re affectionate and obedient, so if this is a dog breed you’ll get, it’s likely you and your family will fall in love with them.

  • Beagle

Beagles are extremely happy dogs. They’re short and have coats that are super low maintenance, which is a huge plus for some people. They are great with families and are very energetic, but are super friendly with others. They are very vocal dogs, but are trainable.

  • Border Collie

These dogs are mainly known for being herding dogs. They’re extremely loyal and affectionate, which makes them easy to fall in love with. They’re also perfect for active families because they’re high energy and love being outside and need things to do every day. Their devotion to their owners is what makes them the perfect human companion.

  • Irish Setter

Their coats are an absolutely beautiful shade of red and I love the way they’re bodies are shaped. Appearances aside, they’re super playful and they actually love being around people and children. Their playful nature makes them a great companion for kids. They’ll greet new people who come into your home and they’re super trainable and are the perfect match for high energy children who could use a pet to keep up with them.

  • Newfoundland

Newfoundlands are actually considered to be the most intelligent dog breed in the world. They adore children and can actually be very protective over them—this must be why they chose a Newfundland as Nana in Peter Pan, ironically enough, to be the children’s nanny. It’s a bit accurate, actually. They are one of the few dog breeds to actually want to obey their masters and do tasks for them and actually work for them. It’s why they make some of the best pets to have.  

  • Vizsla

Vizslas are very obedient to their masters, which is why they’re some of the best breeds that aren’t well known, actually. They are high-energy, which makes them a suitable match for people who are very active and want a companion to be able to keep up with them—let’s face it; exercise isn’t for every human, or for every dog breed, either. Their coat is short, which is fortunate, because it means that their fur is very low maintenance.  

  • Poodle

Poodles may not be at the top of everyone’s lists for dogs to get, but they actually are very smart dogs and super gentle. This means that they’re good for kids and are actually perfect with people who have allergies. They don’t often get bored or anything, and are smart and playful. They’re a perfect dog for families and the best part is that you can get them in two sizes—Standard and Miniature—so that you can find the poodle that’s right for where you live at.

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

King Charles Spaniels (not to be confused with Cocker Spaniels) are a lap dog breed, which makes them one of the best dogs for humans to have. They love staying right by their owners side and will play with you all day long. When they’re tired, they’ll lounge around with you, so there’s no better dog breed to have as your best friend. All they want is to be loved by you.

  1. Bulldog

Bulldogs might surprise some people but they’re another great breed to be companions to kids. They actually aren’t picky as to where they are—whether its in the city or the country—so they can adjust to both. Some dog breeds are better off in one or the other, but not bulldogs. They fit in anywhere, which is one of the many traits that make them great pets. They don’t bark a lot, which is another huge bonus.

Some of you may read this article and wonder, what does dog breeds have to do with Christianity or being a fangirl and nerd? I nerd out about dogs and animals all the time, so you may just be seeing more animal based articles on here more often. But I also love to think about how God created animals and dogs, specifically, he made to be a best friend to humans. They’re loveable and adorable for a reason.

God is our very best friend but there’s nothing wrong with having a dog companion by your side too.

Micah chapter six is a chapter in which God is pleading with Israel. They had sinned against Him and their punishment was coming, but He had given them plenty of warnings and even more chances to turn back to Him, to repent of their sin. Yet, they chose not to. They continued to sin, to worship other gods, even sacrifice children, just like other nations all around them.

This chapter of Micah is a plead for them to turn back to Him. In it, God shows us what is good. He says to “do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.”

Let’s take an in-depth look at this, shall we?

To “do justly” is to act with justice.

Mercy actually means love.

And humble is actually the same Hebrew word used in Exodus when the Israelites were captured by Egypt and they implored Pharaoh to let them go and humble himself before God. His heart was hardened, so this word humble implies a softening of our hearts, to submit before God. On Google, the definition of humble is “not proud or arrogant,” and “thinking of one’s self ill-deserving or unworthy.” We are sinners who are unworthy of God’s love and yet He has freely given it to us anyway.

When all put together, then this particular verse in Micah chapter six is a lot like 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8 which talks about love and how it doesn’t boast and isn’t prideful or arrogant.

We are to show kindness and love to others, to submit ourselves before God, to soften our hearts to Him, and to love with the same love that He has for us.

Are you submitting to God today? Am I? Take a moment to reflect in your life to see which areas you need to submit to God—which areas you need to ask Him to help you soften your heart in.