White Dog - Black Dog

"I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD" (Psalm 116:17).

A new day to homeschool waits in front of you, but already your restless mind is walking you through the countless problems and chores left over from yesterday. You feel the negativity crawling up your back like an impending viral cold. Once again, you face the choice of feeding the white dog of hopeful expectations and thankfulness or the black dog of despair and complaining. Which dog will you choose to feed with your thoughts?

To feed the white dog of thankfulness is really a choice each of us makes. After all, doesn't everyone have issues to deal with in life? Maybe the issues involve wayward children, a lack of finances, hurt feelings, or the loss of a loved one. Whatever the problem, God asks us to continue to look to Him and express a heart of thankfulness. "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

There were ten lepers in Luke 17:13 who needed healing and cried out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" Yet, why was there only one who came back to thank Christ when He healed them of their dreaded disease? Apparently nine of them hadn't yet learned the lesson of feeding the white dog of thankfulness. Selfishly, they went on their way enjoying their good fortune. However, one leper understood like Job that it was God who gives us everything we have: "The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21b).

How about you? Which dog is barking at you the loudest today? Will you choose to feed the white dog with thankful thoughts for your children, home, and other blessings, or will you feed the black dog with your thoughts of frustration, failure, and anxieties over what you do not have? Both dogs want to grow stronger in your life. Which will you feed?

Jesus, forgive me when I feed the black dog of my sinful and selfish nature that says, "Life isn't fair!" Forgive me for whining like a puppy and help me to express a heart full of thankfulness in praise to You today. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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TAMEKA G 11/22/2008 08:48:37

Blessings everyone, I read this mornings blog and I am very bothered by the comparsion between the White dog and Black dog. It has seem to me that color association with something good and hope and promise has always been attached to white while anger and frustrartion and things considered unpure are attached to black. This is the typical example given to our children today. Color association , I guess I'm a little shocked that people still present this form of educating emotion and anger to colors .White is white it is not better or purer that black .Also Black is black it should not be used in a way we should channel our thoughts and frustration.People be mindful color is everywhere and we don't want our family if freinds looking at things and have a negative response just based off a color of things sorrounding use. Blessings in your daily task!!!!

SHANNON W 11/22/2008 15:23:28

It is the devotionals like this one that really bug me. Perhaps the editors should keep in mind that there are families with very sick, and/or very handicapped children reading these, and they most assuredly DO have reasons to ... "whine like little puppies" and feel as if life is not fair. Not everyone has had a life fairly free of serious, on-going, no-solutions-available problems, and some people actually find it difficult to find things to be truly thankful for on a daily basis. I would also like to add that if your biggest problem is taking umbrage with the age-old colour assignments of white=good and black=bad is enough to have your knickers in a wad, you should consider yourself quite fortunate. .

CARL V 11/24/2008 06:52:04

A couple thoughts. Tameka - "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). Shannon - "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy...Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise" (James 5:11,13).

ROSHENA P 12/03/2008 00:17:05

I am inclined to agree with Tameka. As an African-American homeschooling mom, that enjoys these devotions, I must say that I too was offended. God created all colors and it is us his creations that are associating these colors with emotions not Him. Carl - God is light not white and maybe you should consider using a prism to breakdown a beam of "white" light and there discover the beauty of all the colors of His rainbow.

CARL V 12/03/2008 08:08:21

Roshena - I appreciated your comment about all the colors that are revealed when a white light is shone through a prism. I think that's a powerful point. Ultimately though, I think we need to get back to the theme this devotional is trying to make, which is a challenge for all of us to live a life of purity before Christ. Though we cannot reach that perfect level of purity here on Earth, praise God that our sins have been made as white as snow, and one day people of all colors will be dressed in white! "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool" (Isaiah 1:18). "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands" (Revelation 7:9).

BROOK L 11/22/2009 07:04:23

This is a great reminder...my youngest is sick right now and I need to keep her home from church to heal. Don't want to share the coughing yuckies with other children...Even though I've been up with her a lot these past 3 nights I will choose to be thankful....I have to live with myself and I want to like me. Tameka, That was a good point about the black and white...I guess so many of us are oblivious to the pain that can be caused by using colors (that are also used for people in our world) to compare good and bad. I can see how a child might take that into their world of dealing with people of different colors. God Bless...

Larry T 11/22/2009 10:59:11

I recently had a heart cath. I didn't have to have any stints. Thank you Lord, I'm good except a couple trouble spots. Being treated with meds. I find myself feeding the black dog when I should be feeding the white dog. Thank you for this contrast. It has put things into perspective for me. Thank you, Nina

TREINA R 11/22/2009 13:54:27

How come the black dog is bad and the white dog is good? Maybe I'm being sensitive (aren't all minorities :) )but you could have used a better analogy to describe goodness and evil. The point you were trying to make was good, but next be more aware of the way that you present your ideas.

KIM A 11/22/2009 15:38:18

I understand the analogy between the two dogs-what about having a new nature, what side of the cross are you living? The one where you keep bringing your sins to the cross. What happens on the other side the resurrection side? We enter His gates with thanksgiving not for the negative situations, but for Him, that He is with us during the trial. The question then becomes what would you have me to do in this situation? How can we glorify God during our greatest difficulties? With being thankful for Him. Kim

SHERI C 11/23/2009 18:48:22

I took the meaning of "white" as spiritual light and "black" as spiritual darkness. Are we feeding (serving) the spirit of Jesus inside us or the the darkness that's always trying to enter us? Perhaps the title could have read "Feeding the Spiritual Light or Darkness", but it may have been too long and less understandable. Anyhow, this was a needed message for me; I appreciated it.

LISA L 11/22/2010 06:30:15

Thank you for this devotion... It is so easy for us to feed our fleshly or dark "black" side and does take a concentrated effort to feed the positive. It saddens me that so many of us get hung up on the color issue...when you are in Christ you should not be so easily offended. It is accepted across cultures that "black" usually represents dark and "white" light. What color is it at night ? Ask your child they'll say black...when u see people wrapped up in satanic events or gangs what color to the wear? Black, and I promise you it's not to represent the African American culture... It's to represent darkness. My encouragement to all is to KNOW who you are in the Lord, red, yellow, black, or white.

FRANCES B 11/22/2010 06:37:34

The devotional spoke to me directly. I sat in church yesterday crying because my marriage isn't what it should be and I felt sorry for myself. The words of Job touched my heart and I was inspired by his courageous faith in the face of terrible circumstances. Mine pale in comparison. I knew there would be issue with the choice of words, but the problem is with the WORLD, not the biblical teaching. Satan is at the center of the whole concept of there being multiple races. In fact, It is true that the darkest person on the planet is a very dark shade of BROWN and the very palest person on earth is a very light shade of BROWN. We are all one race, one people, one family. Even genetics trace back to one pair of people. How about if we simply choose to stop calling each other black and white. I am "toast", perhaps you are "brown rice" maybe you are "sand" or brown mustard, or grand canyon, or chestnut, or mahogony, or there are a million descriptions of brown that we could use. It's up to us to change our small sphere of influence. Remember our brother and sister hood. We are all one. We are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve and therefore brothers and sisters in God our Father...our creator.

MELINDA F 11/22/2010 06:46:04

Although I am caucasian, the area I grew up and live in still struggles with racial tension and I understood why some posters were not in favor of this color analogy. Scripture is clear about sin and purity and we cannot alter God's word. However, I hope that other readers who do not live in areas where some people take the color comparison and apply it to skin realize that this is still a painful issue for our brothers and sisters who are of darker skin colors. I teach my kids the truth of Scripture, but I am careful to help them understand this is about heart, not skin.

TERESA G 11/22/2010 06:57:32

Step back and take a look at what was written. Nothing at all made me think about "race" issues when I read the devotional. It never crossed my mind until I read the first "comment". Take it for what it is and not what is read into it. God is so good! In good times and bad. Sunshine = light. Storm = dark. Smile = light. Frown = dark. Gosh, even when our kids are nice and clean, ready for church we associate that with light. Yet when they get themselves dirty and have to be changed before we leave, we associate that with dark. Clean = light. Dirt = dark. It's just the way this place we call home is created. And who created the earth? How does the song go? "Red or yellow, black or white. We are precious in His sight." Contrast comparisons. That's all it is. Nothing more. CHOOSE to be happy in ALL things! Great message for me also.

CINDY B 11/22/2010 07:30:47

It truly saddens me that a wonderful devotional has to result in a race issue. Why is this necessary? CHOOSE to be happy. I thought it was a great devotional until I started reading all the comments. Which is something I normally do not do and probably will not after today. What a shame.

TAMMY O 11/22/2010 07:53:07

That's what I say, you cannot say anything anymore, come on . That is what is wrong with this world today, Christians act like Christians and quit complaining if you are a Christian.

KRISTA C 11/22/2010 07:57:49

You know, I was brought up on the story of the white and black dogs, never did it ever enter my mind that we were in anyway discriminating against any creed, The message is what we are after not the polotics!!!! It really upsets me that people get so bent out of shape over something that was meant for good... whether that be black or white should not matter... Only what we do for God matters...

Regina S 11/22/2010 08:35:28

France B., I just wanted you to know that I am lifting you up in prayer right now. I agree wth your post. I don't know anyone who is truly "white" or "black" in color. We all came from the same place. We were created by the same God. He is the one who designed us to have different shades of skin color. The Bible uses colors to represent different things quite frequently. If we are Christians it shouldn't offend us when the Bible says things like, "Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalms 51:7 We are the ones who have assigned colors to represent how people look. Could the writer of this article have used different metaphors, other than white or black dogs? Certainly. But, I was not offended when I read this devotion. Instead, I was convicted of all the times that I whine and complain about the trials of life. The point the writer was trying to make is that we can choose to be thankful in the midst of life's storms. Is it easy? No way! But we have to remember, we have a God who loves us, and promises to never leave or forsake us. And we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God. He has given us everything we have, and He deserves our gratitude, even when it's not fair. So what if someone uses a color to represent something. Colors do not define who we are. When we get to heaven, we will see how much time we wasted being upset over trivial things. We need to ask ourselves, was this devotion really worth being upset about? God Bless!

HEATHER B 11/22/2010 10:44:14

Where, in the Bible, does it say that any reason is excuse to whine and grumble? As followers of Christ, we are called to be thankful at all times and joyful in all circumstances. From my own experience, I admit that your faith and your attitude is tested when your newborn has cranial surgery or when you are having biopsies to check for cancer. It is difficult because we see with human eyes rather than God's eternal perspective. Yet, we can always be thankful for God's unchanging love, Christ's ultimate gift. Satan is pleased when allow our thankfulness toward our Creator and Savior to change based on our earthly circumstances. We must allow the Holy Spirit to give us the peace and grace that surpasses the understanding of our feeble earthly minds so that we might reflect His light and love for others to see. We must remember our purpose, which is to honor and glorify Him.

DAWN D 11/22/2010 13:11:27

Great devotional! I was not offended, and was appreciative for the reminder of being thankful since that is what the message was about! Offense is a choice. How sad and selfish of you who were offended. It had nothing to do with racial differences. My goodness, if you look for the negative in things you WILL surely find it. Look for the good, you might find yourself smiling more.

VICKIE P 11/22/2010 19:47:55

This is the very first devotional that I have read and just happened upon these comments by accident. I was very saddend that the moral of the lesson was turned into a racial issue. I am a new Christian and I do not know what to even think about these posts on here. I am very sorry that this is the one I chose to read and I doubt that I will ever read another one. Please be mindful what you post on here...I do not think that anyone who is a Christian wants to be a stumbling block for someone who is new to the faith.

FRANCES B 11/23/2010 05:31:42

Vickie P, The really wonderful thing about being a Christian is that we are not expected to be perfect. Our failures are exactly the point. None of us will ever be "good" at following Jesus. We humans are always messing it up. It's keeping your faith even when you mess up that pleases God. So open your heart and forgive us for disheartening you. Know that God is perfect and He has you in the palm of His mighty hand.

ARIANA J 11/23/2010 07:05:13

And yet, are we the body not a family together? If you know a brother is offended by your actions should you not go to him and make amends? I have a feeling lots of posters criticizing our black sisters are white, and not aware that there is still pain from only 50 years ago when things were much different racially. Fellow white sisters, please view someone's pain as an opportunity to bless or heal a person rather than judge them for it. I will pray that just one of you will think through the points our black sisters are making. The problem is bigger than we know. Our sisters were not attacking anyone, just pointing out that color analogies still cause pain in our culture, which has used the word "color" to hurt. Yet, in response they were attacked by some of you. I appreciate the points AOP made with the scripture references however, I think in an effort to be the Church to each other, AOP should be cautious and careful to handle subscribers and fellow believers concerns sensitively. I am white and did not read the black/white issue as our sisters did. Yet, I was saddened and protective of our sisters who were just pointing out that the issue is still painful for them. I also recommend AOP find another analogy. The point to choose thankfulness over bitterness is a very important point. With such a rich history of world writing that we homeschoolers are challenging our families to grapple, I'm sure that even the few people commenting here could think of other light/darkness descriptions for the dogs, rather than the "color" terms which are so obviously painful. And we can all pray together for Jesus to reconcile us to one another, and redeem even simple words that our culture and history uses to attack each other.

DAYNA B 11/27/2010 11:39:53

In response to Tameka. Quit playing the race card this is getting old. There have always been color associations with mood and symbolism. Blue is a calming color, red an energizing color. White is a symbol of purity and goodness and white contains all the colors of the visible spectrum. Black contains no other colors in the visible spectrum and is therefore associated with a lack of goodness and evil and darkness which also symbolizes Satan or the adversary. People need to quit playing the race card as a way to make up for something they lack in their lives. Maybe it's self-esteem, maybe it is ignorance. Realistically none of us are truly white or black but some shade in between depending on the melanin content in the skin. I think this whole white-black thing is just a way to stir up conflict between people regardless of the color tone of their skin. Some darker skinned people are looked down upon by other dark-skinned people because their shade of brown is too dark. Look at the scientific facts which have been revealed to us by God, rather than using emotionally-charged language to make yourselves feel better.

VALERIE R 11/22/2011 03:31:07

People really have to stop inferring that every reference to black and white has something to do with racial bias. The majority of white Americans in this country today do not even have ANCESTORS who owned a slave and are pretty bone tired of being treated with contempt as though they had and would today. From the results of our latest Presidential election, we clearly do not harbor any feelings of hate to the black community, or any racial group, for that matter. It is totally unfair to go around punishing every white person forevermore, for what was suffered by your ancestors. I'm Irish, do a little reading about the HUNDREDS of years of slavery suffered by my people. Suffering, mans inhumanity to man and reasons to complain and feel victimized are common to the human experience, always have been and till Christs return, ALWAYS will be. I don't look at a white crayon and say 'oh, this is good' and then look at the black crayon and say 'oh, this is bad'. That is ridiculous. Please stop censoring every thought and take at face value what was being said, which was GOOD. As for the comment about being more sensitive to certain peoples suffering i.e. special needs children. How do YOU know that the person who wrote this article doesn't themselves have a child with special needs? Or dying of cancer? Or any other of the tragedies and sufferings that accompany life? THAT was insensitive. Just because their recommendations are not to wallow in self pity, but to praise God in every circumstance as he IS the solution for all and gives us the grace to endure WHATEVER we face. And for that we NEED to be Thankful. "Every negative event contains within it the seed of an equal or greater benefit"....Napoleon Hill

APRIL R 11/22/2011 06:14:57

Good grief! This was a great devotional. Racism won't end until people quit making it an issue. Several people have jumped on this and made it one. This devotion had NOTHING to do with race! IMO the only people being racist are the ones that have made it an issue. As for me, I am going to go feed the "white dog" today. Amen!

TERRI LEE S 11/22/2011 06:15:35

"You can't please everyone, so ya just got to please youself" People, these are free inspirational thoughts. I don't always agree with all of them such as when the Sabbath is referred to on Sunday rather than from sundown Friday night until sunsdown Saturday, but that does not make me want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. God bless you all and may you all have a great homeschooling day today and Thanksgiving Day on Thursday.

HEATHER F 11/22/2011 06:28:30

If we try, even a little, we can find negative in anything! I think the devotional had nothing to do with skin color and more to do with being thankful! Let's not seek to discourage one another.

CATHERINE R 11/22/2011 08:07:05

I was astonished to read the comments above regarding race. The "white dog" symbolizes thankfulness, the "black dog" symbolizes selfishness. They could have just as easily been "good"dog", "bad dog", "pink dog", "purple dog". I am Caucasion. My children are Black and Latino. It never occurred to me that this devotion was about race. Before reading the comments, I had decided in my heart to "feed the white dog" (be thankful) more and "feed the black dog (my selfishness) less. I never once thought it referred to my children. Satan has made us hyper-sensitive to race, Jesus, our Lord, has not. He embraces us all.

TAMMY T 11/22/2011 13:23:45

Good day my sisters and brothers in Christ. I usually am so uplifted by the daily devotionals here. Today I am greatly saddened, and deeply moved to tears. I wept for about half an hour. Just seeing the title of today's devotional, I knew that this had the potential to cause division. I also knew that I would have to table some of my very personal issues with white being synonymous with light and goodness and black and darkness, and evil. I chose to see the devotional for what it is. As I read the devotional, I could, and do agree with EVERYTHING in it. My sadness came when I read the comments and realized that with all of the "godliness" that we have now a days there is still no compassion or understanding for what others may have gone through and things that are still today a very personal and hurtful thing to deal with. Arianna J is right. It's not a direct knock against any one of our sisters in Christ, but it is a very personal hurt that you may never understand. That does not mean that you cannot have compassion at least. Just look at the ratings of the comments. No one had a problem with the truth, just the way in which it was presented. However, those who spoke up, have negative ratings. Those who said get a life or get over it, got positive ratings. So basically, we're "Amen-ing" the white is right philosophy without even considering the possibility that a hurt may still exist. When someone does say they are hurt by it, they are met not with compassion but with reprimands. If you have never had to question why God chose to create some people black (dark, dirty, sinful, selfish) and others white (pure, clean, thankful), you will not and cannot understand the very deep pain (and perhaps misplaced shame) that is associated with it. As I learned about my history, I questioned that if God hated darkness so much why would He create an entire race of people that are so often associated with it? How could He allow such atrocities to happen to this race of people? Did it amuse Him that my grandfather (who was not a slave) had his throat slit and was left for dead by white (good, clean and intelligent) people simply because he was black (ignorant, dirty, bad) and walked on the wrong side of the street? Did God not love us (whom He created) just as much as He loved the white people (whom He created as well)? We constantly associate black with ignorance and evil, and white with good, clean and holy. There is no need to dig deep for it. It is there. For your race of people to continually be associated with all that is dark and evil and ignorant can be a source of pain and confusion that goes deeper than you can imagine. Just because you may not have personally experienced it does not mean that it is a very real thing that many confront from time to time. God created us all. No one has a say about the color they are when they are born into the world. How could a good and just (white, light, holy) God find it right to allow white people to trample the bad, dirty, black people that he created? He made us, we did not make ourselves. Yet He saw fit to ALLOW these things to happen not to just a couple of people, but to an entire race of people. What was He trying to prove? I truly grappled with this as a child, a teen and now an adult and I still do not have an answer for it. I grew to understand that in this life, I will never understand God fully. I just have to trust that He knows what He is doing in His infinite wisdom. All things will be revealed in the fullness of time. Honestly, it is NOT something that I sit around droning on about on a daily basis. Who has time for that? But when it rears its ugly head (like it did in today's comments) it makes me realize that with all of the wisdom that we have gained about one another, there is still very little compassion for the walk that some of us have gone through. You may never have to confront it for yourself. But when you look in the mirror and realize that in this life things will be different for you just because of the color that God (in His infinite wisdom) chose to create you, and all others can say is, "we're over it, you should be too." It makes me question the possibility of a true brotherhood in Christ. So yes, it still hurts sometimes. And it is a very real pain. I am not trying to convince you that HOW I feel is right or wrong. I am trying to explain to you WHY I feel that way. God's word teaches us to speak the truth in love. And while I do feel that the truth was presented, love is NOT in many of the responses. He also teaches us to have compassion for one another. Perhaps it is true that I should not be so "easily" offended. The offense is not taken by today's lesson but by the responses which so grossly lack compassion. How false of you to call yourself my brother or sister when you are not moved by the things that HURT me, your sister. If you are truly my brothers and sisters in Christ, then perhaps compassion is a lesson that can best be taught by our Father.

BARBARA S 11/22/2011 13:55:47

I grew up in the west and at the age of 40 we moved to deep Alabama. I was terribly shocked to see the things that went on there. Yes, it is true, racism is still alive and well and it makes me sad. That said, even though I am caucasian, I look in the mirror and I wonder why God made me the way he did. I believe I was about 10 or so the first time someone informed me that I did not "make the cut" in the looks department. She informed me that my freckles were flaws and that my whole face was flawed. That hurt runs deep too. I remember telling my daughter that every night while she was sleeping I painted on her freckles so she would be so beautiful. I also happen to be blonde, so naturally I am stupid and to top it off I am fat so naturally that makes me lazy. It is truly sad that we live in a world where we are judged by the way we look but this world is colored with sin. I am sorry that offense was taken but I must tell you...when I look in the mirror, I do not see a white woman who is pure and clean because of the color of my skin, my only purity and all of the good in me only comes from Jesus and today, right now, I will choose to feed the dog of thankfulness.

OLIVIA C 11/22/2011 13:57:39

As a minority home schooling family, I agree that I am so very, very tired of everything "black" being negative and "white" being good and holy. My 7-year old son who has dark brown skin the other day said "Why did God make me dirty?" When I asked him why he thought he was dirty, he said "because other people always call dark, black things dirty and I am dark and black, so I must be dirty." Those who do not understand how this devotional could be considered offensive will probably never "get it". In spite of the fact that some people will never get it, I still think that those of us who are offended by such analogies should and need to continue to speak up. Speaking up about how such comparisons can hurt others is not about attacking anyone. It is about the speaking the honest truth that is involved in the words we use to communicate with each other and the meanings of those words. Take from it what you will.

Jody F 11/22/2011 14:03:58

It's very hard to deal with my children's childish responses to each other as we go through our home school day, but to read it in the devotionals is a bit over whelming. I don't often have time to read these daily, wish that I hadn't today. The devotional was uplifting; the negative comments were not. I do believe that if I continue to read these devotionals (which I always find uplifting even if they don't pertain directly to me), that I will omit reading the comments.

ELIZABETH C 11/22/2011 20:06:51

Love your neighbor as you love yourself. I am deeply saddened that this devotional caused my sisters in Christ to feel hurt, to feel the sting of unacceptance. Although I get the devotional for its scriptural significance, I don't think that anywhere in the Bible God ever tells us that the color of our SKIN makes us dark/bad or light/good. He counsels us on the color of our heart. And frankly, making stabs at someone's pain, no matter how it makes us feel to hear them voice it, makes you the one with the DARK HEART, my friends. Skin color does not make a person close to God. But by golly, HEART color sure does tell the whole story. Love to each of you, and take a moment to lift eachother up in prayer. After all, aren't we all here trying to do the same thing? Get our daily uplift, fill that cup up with understanding and holiness of God's word, and to be in fellowship with other like-minded people of faith who homeschool (or are involved in homeschooling in some fashion). Treat others as you would like to be treated. And watch those words. Love. Love. Love. To each of you!!!

BEATRICE R 11/27/2011 17:53:10

I am African-American. We constantly see this inaccurate portrayal of colors, everywhere. It represents insensitivity and to me a lack of "enlightenment" in this devotional, though not a deliberate attempt to offend. My heart went out to those who were offended because of the reference to color and to those offended because their burdens are so heavy, they find it difficult to see the light. There are issues of greater significance for many. Too, it does not mean that this issue should have "not" been addressed. It had to be addressed in order to offer correction. I pray a special prayer of blessing, healing and grace for all those with sick children or sick loved ones. I bless you with peace, love, faith, encouragement, happiness in the name of Jesus Christ, by the grace and love of God.

ARETHA S 11/22/2012 05:19:07

I have been reading these devotionals for a while and I have never been offended and I prayerfully look to the greater message. I am disappointed more than offended. I am a Black American. In my experience the African American community as a whole does not blame White Americans for slavery. I think part of the hurt comes from the body of Christ response to African American even today, most of our churches are still segregated in 2012. I can think of several recent disappointments that I recently endured . I am sure that is impacting the filter that I perceive this devotional. To those who believe that with voting for a brown president means racism is gone. I am a 41 and in the past few months I have encountered more racism than my previous 40 years combined. Just because something has been done in the past doesn\'t mean it is appropriate to continue to do so. I feel more sad that believers are accusing others of playing \"race card\" I do understand that it may be hard for some to understand why this is hurtful but prayerfully look at it from others side . This recent political process in my humble opinion brought out some of the worst characteristics in Americans and I saw responses from Believers that truly shocked and saddened me personally. In case you are wondering did not vote for our support the president. I try my best to be respectful of others experiences and deal with them accordingly. Sorry to inject politics into this but I believe that with recent events that is playing a role why it is touching a nerve.. I wish we could have an honest dialogue about race today in the church. I get the greater message but I think it could have been presented without offending anyone. Thank you for the devotionals . Excuse typos typing on my phone.

SHANNON H 11/22/2012 07:04:51

It seems that there have been several devotions that have been \"offensive\" to some lately. As Christians, when we are offended, it does not entitle us to log on here and complain. If we feel this way we are to take it to the lord. Crumbling and complaining are not honoring Him instead most often reveal struggles and sin within our own heart that we need God to help us through. Hopefully we can keep all of these devotions in a positive light.

CHARLOTTE R 11/22/2012 08:08:40

If AOP ever decides to stop these devotionals because of the negative comments, I hope they will consider removing the comments before stopping the devotional all together. THANK YOU AOP FOR THE DAILY DEVOTIONALS!

CARRIE K 11/22/2012 08:17:14

To Aretha and our black sisters: Yes, there has been a lot of spewing forth of hateful speech lately, but I want to encourage you. I firmly believe that \"noise\" you hear is from a few fools. They don\'t represent me, nor the majority. Although fools are the loudest, it remains that honest discourse is necessary for healing not only injury but frustration. I never, never mean to offend my acquaintances of a different ethnicity; however, I find that I can hardly get beyond the acquaintance to cultivate real friendship for fear of saying something wrong. I think that\'s what happened in this devotional today. The person who wrote it could not look through the monitor to see the color of your face, and edit their monologue accordingly. Would you want them too? All the author can assume is that you are a Christian, homeschooling parent. If you chose to leave this site because you were accidentally offended, then you continue segregation, you continue the pent up frustration, you prolong the healing process. Try to \"give no offense, and take no offense\". It goes both ways.

KATHY S 11/22/2012 09:23:12

Well, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I really don\'t think that this devotional was intended to hurt anyones feelings. And as far as those who really believe that white is the favored or superior race, think again. I live in a neighborhood that is predominatley \"mexican\" or \"hispanic\" and \"African American\". There are good and bad people in all of the races. Now, I could sit here and complain of how my very \"white\" handicap son was abused horribly by \"African American\" and \"Hispanic kids\" when he attended \"Public School\". And no one cared! The \"African American\" Superintendant did nothing. The \"White\" Principal did nothing. Mettings were had and no resolution, I guess I was supposed to leave my innocent son there until he got beaten to death. But then I could Also tell you that he has 3 Best Friends, One \"white\" one \"African American\" and one \"Hispanic.\" I will also add that my son excluding his close friends that he trusts in all ethnicities, is scared to death now to even go into a restaurant and sit next to an African American family, yes you herad it right, I started out raising my son to not ver be predjudice and to love everyone, he did, then he got Beatings and abuse his for being a tall hadicap white boy. So, you know what, I think we are the minority now. I think everyone has become too sensitive since the President became the Presisdent. You know why I wasn\'t for our President in the Election round 1? Because he said on T.V. that \"he would never want his daughters to be burdended if they were pregnant, that Abortion was o.k. then\". He being wealthy and powerful, couldn\'t hep his daughters if they were pregnant???Abortion the only option??? I don\'t think so. As Christians, I was taught Abortion is not the way. And, If you have had one and asked for forgivness, God has washed you back \"White as snow\". I\'m sorry, I don\'t intend to be hurtful to anyone. I\'m angry because of how my son was treatde and how the School district responded.

SANDY M 11/22/2012 12:49:58

My Grandmother was a Cherokee Indiana woman who truly loved the Lord. She taught me this same lesson as a child and used \"good wolf\" and \"bad wolf\". It is a spiritual lesson and not at all a racial one. This devotion is just trying to point out the light of Christ within each of us, as opposed to the darkness of our fleshly nature. I would never have dreamed it to mean anything else....and I am NOT white. I also have a good and bad wolf that I can feed daily. I try and make the good choice. Happy Thanksgiving...and thank you AOP for your spiritual devotions. God bless all who enter here.

SANDI S 11/22/2012 17:24:53

Like everyone else, I too have been disappointed in these comments - but not for the reasons others have expressed. I\'m disappointed at the lack of Scriptural wisdom being applied to this very complex issue. Here are some that seem particularly applicable. For those who were offended: A man\'s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? I Corin 6:7 For those who argued with the offended: Carry each other\'s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galations 6:2 in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3 These truths apply universally to all of us, no matter which side of an issue we may be on. Here\'s another one that sums up gloriously what our lives and conversation should aspire to: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 If we live according to God\'s Word, there will be no offense and none taken.

SANDI S 11/22/2012 17:35:11

To Shannon (commenter #2) It appears your offense to this devotional was not because of the race implications but because you are not living a fairy-tale life in which it is easy to give thanks. Dear one, if Christ is your Savior, you have more to be thankful for than the richest and healthiest person alive! Even just a quick glance at the book of Acts and the epistles will set your heart on fire for the blessings you have in Christ - start with Ephesians chapter 3 and see what you already have and what you have in store for you! It will make your life here seem as nothing in comparison, no matter how bad it is. PS - my first husband left me for someone else; I was a single mom for years living below the poverty line, but God was faithful to me in every way that was important! Now I am no longer living below the poverty line, but I have been diagnosed with cancer - and God is still faithful!

L F 11/23/2012 00:46:58

RE: BLACK DOG vs WHITE DOG: I understand Ms Tamika G\'s comment. Unless your level of cultural sensitivity is tweaked by GOD and you\'ve \"walked in my moccasins\" in America, you can not understand her comment. Hence the need for educators to study culture and diversity in their quest to educate and share the unconditional love of CHRIST.

L F 11/23/2012 01:13:09

In America, we taught our kids to believe the opposite about \"colours\" and did it so well that even their friends of different ethnicities would say [just to name a few] \"black cats are not bad luck\" AND the \"stormy clouds are not black, they are gray\" in colour. Teaching cultural sensitivities start in the home...and even the Church has to try to walk in a sister or brother in Christ moccasins.

L F 11/23/2012 01:17:14

I\'ve heard this same story told using the \"good wolf\" and \"bad wolf\" as characters and the moral of the story was \"which ever wolf you feed more will be the stronger one\" in your life.

LAVERNE P 11/23/2012 07:10:08

I wish the author would have used the \"good wolf\" and the \"bad wolf\" instead of what was used. The way the white dog and black dog were compared can be viewed as racially insensitive. which is very unfortunate. We all should be mindful that God has no respect of person. It seems that some people who are born in the category of being pure don\'t find this post as offensive. As a person of color, I do find that this blog could have been written in a way that was more inclusive. If you truly look at a white dog or a black dog, there is really no difference in behavior. They are both dogs. The only difference is the color of their coats. It should be the same with people. We are all people just wearing different color skin. We should never use color as a mean of determining one\'s behavior. However, it was a good lesson of staying positive in any circumstance. l.p.

JUDY B 11/23/2012 17:13:30

I have a special needs daughter and it is a challenge everyday to home school her. However, I praise God because He is good. He came down from His throne and died a cruel death for me. I am thankful for His love and that He is so crazy in love with me and you that He has released us from the bondage of sin. Thank you for this devotion and for reminding us of how GREAT and AWESOME our Lord is!

Trisha Eisner 11/27/2013 14:49:02

How did this go from being a simple, honest devotional to turning into a ridiculous platform for some 'Christians' to air their racial and political whining and crying?? This is so incredibly sad and stupid. Thanks so much to all you people who have to make everything about race. GET OVER YOURSELVES. If you couldn't grasp the concept that the white dog and black dog were referring to spiritual conditions rather than RACE, then I'm sorry but you are the ones with the problem, not the person who wrote this, and not the people who took this the way it was meant instead of placing racial meanings in something where there clearly were NONE. Those of you whining and having tantrums are the ones who are making it about race, not anyone else. So here's an idea - STOP IT!!! Act like the Christians you claim to be and GROW UP ALREADY. Stop making everything about the color of your skin!! Thanks for taking a perfectly meaningful and thoughtful devotional and turning it into a 3 ring circus so you can have a platform to complain. It's SHAMEFUL and PATHETIC.

Jessica OHagan 11/26/2014 14:20:29

God did not create color for them to be turned into something they are not, hate. Colors, animals, and many other things are, in His Word, used as symbolism in Scripture. If people make them racist, then it is the responsibility of that person, not the author. Symbolism is woven in so many things in so many ways. People need to stop creating racism. In FULL reality people that are African American are really brown not black, as we as a created human race are all some form of the shade brown! The author of this devotion has done a great job, used relatable items to help us see that our situation could be worse, and that we should consider it joy. Just as James tells us in his first chapter, "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." Also we are to do everything, and when GOd says everything... He means everything... without complaining and arguing. Complaining can definitely be a form of whining! So stop whining, feed that white dog and give God praise in all circumstances, no matter what they are!!! For God is good and He is good all the time!!!

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