Joy in Jesus Ministries, the ministry of Dan & Vonnie Allen, seeks to impart to the world the joy only Jesus can give. This is done by: Mentoring - pastors and pastors wives; Messages - preaching each week; Media - radio/TV/internet spots; Missions - training native pastors and Christian leaders.

1joy noun \'jôi\ – a state of being and confidence, deep within one’s soul, that because God is in control, no matter the circumstances, all is well. This joy can only come from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Therefore, Dan and Vonnie wish you “Joy in Jesus.”


A Dog Leading the Way

Traffic was moving at a crawl up south mountain near Allentown on I78. No, there wasn’t an accident, nor a disabled vehicle or police activity, rather it was a small dog who was running for its life on the road as if he was leading the vehicles.

I’m a dog lover. It all started when I was in 8th grade. I was a grumpy kid with little to no pleasing attributes. It’s obvious why—I was the third of four siblings. This is like, for my churchgoing friends, before singing a hymn the leader announces: “We will now sing hymn number 431, the first, second and last stanzas.” What? What’s wrong with the third stanza? Does the hymn writer know you’ve “canceled” the third? But, being canceled like this was the story of my life up until that point. My older sister, by four years, was the front–runner, the parental experiment. She survived despite the first child try out. My brother, two years after her, was and still is very intelligent. And that meant when there was intelligent conversation, he was engaged. He talked A LOT! Then there was the quintessential baby of the house, three years my junior. She was the apple of my parents’ eye and could do no wrong. That meant me . . . left out. One example: on long trips my older siblings got opposite halves of the second seat and the little princess got the entire back of the station wagon, along with whatever we were carrying if anything. I, on the other hand, was relegated to the floor of the second seat . . . that’s back when it had a rather large bump in the middle. No wonder my back hurts.

This middle child’s syndrome is not unique with me. I haven’t done any recent studies of the kind, but I’m sure it’s a universal fact.

So, my parents wanting to solve my personality problems were counseled by a psychologist to get him a dog. I didn’t learn of this until much later in life, but I see it now. The dog was for everyone in the house, but she and I hit it off. Since then, and after college, a wedding, and along with four kids, we finally got a dog and then more dogs. Cocker Spaniels are the breed I prefer. Perhaps it’s because they have a mopey face like I used to have. 

I didn’t get a really good look at the dog on I78 since I was going in the opposite direction. It was relatively small, a bit larger than a terrier mix. Boy could it run. I do not know what happened to it. I’m hoping someone was able to corral it and eventually get it back to its owner. But even more interesting is — how did the dog get on this section of the road? With a relatively high cement medium blocking the east and west bound lanes and an even higher cement wall on the sides it’s not likely the dog wandered from its house. Perhaps it fell out of a vehicle while catching air from a window. I’m always worried about this — seeing a dog unrestrained hanging out a window. In my mind is the sight of a small dog on I95 down south who must have fallen out of a car and died.

A tip of the hat to the drivers who slowed down so as not to run over the pooch. Another good example of humanity. Generally, humans are pretty good when it comes to things like this. We talk about the sanctity of life, cradle–to–the–grave, and how we need to care for our fellow humans for their entire life. I wholeheartedly agree. The difference might be as to how we define that care. Is it the government’s responsibility, the family and individual’s, a combination of the two, or is the later replaced with the church and charitable organizations? My little article is not meant to address this problem, not enough room. But if you really wanted to know, I would diminish the government’s role (not eliminate it), replacing it with the two c’s and the family/individual. And then I’d change the phrase to: womb–to–the–grave. But that might get this old–timer chased out–of–town on I80.

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