Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Marty has another lesson!

Back when my son was considering buying a dog, he researched many different breeds. He settled on a beagle. Everyone we talked to said that was a BIG mistake. Why?

Beagles bark…loudly…a lot.

It’s true. Beagles have a reputation for being a noisy breed. After all, they were bred to be hunters. Look at any painting of a good ol’ English foxhunt and what will you see? A pack of beagles…

Barking…loudly…a lot.

My family is not known for caving in to the crowd’s opinion – so, a beagle is what we bought! We bought Marty…

Who barks…NOT AT ALL!

Yes, you read that right. Marty has channeled Casper the Friendly Ghost. He is a very quiet dog. Remember President Calvin Coolidge? (Not that we’re that old – but you remember the name...) Well, he was known more for what he didn’t say, than for what he did say – earning him the nickname of “Silent Cal.” Marty takes after him, too.

Marty makes more noise when he’s asleep than when he’s awake. He snores…loudly…a lot. He chuffles, and gruffs, and yips, and yelps. But once those little peepers of his are open again – MUTE button.

I remember when we tried to train him to “Speak.” He’s got such a cute little voice, we wanted to hear it once in a while! The training books told us to reward him with a treat as soon as he did a semblance of the desired behavior. Soooo…as soon as Marty moved his lips, we tossed him a treat.

Great idea, right???

Not so much.

Because now when Marty hears the command, “Speak!” – he does this weird little “air bark” thing. His lips move, yes – but it’s not a bark. It’s actually more of a canine version of “Harumph!”

It’s cute, but not as cute as his voice.

One weekend, a couple of months ago, I’m babysitting him. And it’s time for our morning walk. My son had warned me about this weird man and his dog – a giant black poodle. Evidently, one morning, a few weeks prior, this dog got away from his owner and attacked Marty! No one was hurt, but needless to say, there’s no love lost between these two dogs.

So, we’re heading out the driveway. All of a sudden, Marty freezes. Figuring he wasn’t doing his impression of a “pointer,” I look up and see…the dreaded black poodle.


Two sets of “owner eyes” glare at each other. Two sets of “dog eyes” squint at each other. And then, the most amazing thing occurred. I heard the loudest, deepest, scariest, baying sound I have EVER heard in my life…

And it was coming from MARTY!

I jumped. The man jumped. The giant black poodle jumped. Those two took off in the opposite direction quicker than you could say, “Harumph!”

I looked down at Marty, who was once again silent and wagging his tail, and said in total awe, “Good boy!”

This moment reminded me of Jesus.

We often think of Jesus as being meek and mild. Gentle, kind, sweet. Many pictures almost make Him look effeminate. He certainly doesn’t look intimidating.

The Bible calls Him the “Lamb of God.”

A sacrificial lamb, quietly led to the slaughter. As He is accused, He is silent. As He is crucified, He barely speaks.

But oh, my friends, BEHOLD!!

This Lamb is also called the “Lion of the tribe of Judah!”

Jesus is also a roaring, fierce, awesome lion! His Word is piercing, divisive, and convicting. He conquered sin. He defeated death. He is strong, and powerful, and mighty! He opens His mouth, and all of creation bows down.

He carries the thunder of wrath – He sends the lightning of judgment.

Those who know Him need not fear Him. Those who don’t, beware indeed.

He is not someone to be messed with!

Aren’t you glad?!

“Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy…
And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang:

Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the one sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.”

(Revelation 5:5, 13)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. Hi Sharon,

    Lots of food for thought here, thank you for posting. As for beagles when I lived at home, we had a cross beagle, I dont remember him barking that much, but he did eat everything in sight, including chewing at my aunts glasses after knocking them off of her nose. My daughter has a darling little yorkshire terrier, but boy does he make a noise, barks a lot, loud and clear and takes on the bigger dogs when out walking. Thanks for your visit and encouraging true words. hugs Nita.

  2. Marty sounds adorable. We considered a
    beagle but have fallen in love with doxies
    now. This analogy is wonderful today and
    I enjoyed it so much.
    Sweet blessings,

  3. oh Sharon, I SO LOVED this post! I hung onto every word! LOL I love beagles so much... well, I love dogs in general. Except big black poodles! We have an annoying one up the road that chased off the baby wallaby we had the pleasure of living in our backyard for a while. grrrr!

    I loved you analogy in this story too. I just loved it all!

    I have never heard anything so cute re the "speak"! What a clever boy he is...

    Can you put any pictures up of him? Perhaps you did in the past but I can't remember! :D

  4. Our dog Buster was never much of a barker...until we babysat for a lab for several weeks. He barked for the pure joy (his) of barking. Buster thought it was a great idea. Now he barks too. A lot! I'd prefer Marty's choice.

    I am working on new banneres for our church for Christmas using the names of Jesus. Lion and the Lamb. Could we ask for more than this?

  5. Hi Sharon -

    This is LIFE on! Some months ago, the Lord reminded me that JESUS is called a Lamb, and a Lion. He led me to the scriptures in Mark 11:15,16 "And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

    And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple."

    The chapter goes on to state (verse 18) that they sought to destroy JESUS.

    That was JESUS in Lion form. There has been a lot of focus on Him as a Lamb because many do NOT want to deal with the Lion aspect of JESUS. That is because they want to remain in sin...and dislike any reminders that they are against the precepts of GOD.

    The gospel of the kingdom of GOD costs. They wanted to destroy JESUS for proclaiming and defending it!

    I love this Marty piece, too, Sharon. Marty was NOT late or early but precisely on time!

    Towards the end of your piece, I was about ready to put on my marching boots for another mission to conquer - in the mighty name of JESUS! WARRIORS DON'T FAINT - WE PARTICIPATE - NO BENCH WARMERS HERE! CHARGE!!!

    Exodus 15:3 (KJV)
    The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

  6. Go Marty!
    What an incredible juxtaposition we have in Jesus. Meek, humble, gentle, and full of nothing but love as long as he's with his family ... right up until the moment the enemy shows his face. No wonder the demons believe and tremble. We serve a God of POWER, and he is not shy about exerting his authority on behalf of his children.

  7. What a wonderful story and I love the lesson you drew from it. I think we would all benefit in keeping our words to a minimum and focused on things that really matter. Awesome post Sharon!

  8. I love your analogy stories with Marty!! He sounds so cute and entertaining for you all! I am sooo glad that Jesus is the Lion of Judah and fights our battles for us!!


  9. Well, you did it again. Great analogy. Yes, there is no sense to use power - except when you need it. I am sitting here at karate and they were telling the kids not to hit until 1) you said I'm sorry to the bully 2) you tell someone and then 3) you strike. same principle.

    Well we had a beagle for a little while and he was awful - sorry - horrible! Cried from morning to night.

    Love you,

  10. OK, first, I laughed right out loud when Marty Harumphed!!! That is so funny.

    How you brought this all together is just FANTASTIC. I love the way you related it to Jesus and how he speaks very storms into silence. (You didn't say that part, but I added it in my head as I was reading.)

    I love this.
    Lion of Judah is my all time FAVORITE name for Jesus. I love to sing that song "Victory Chant" really loudly in the car and beat my fist in the air when I sing the line, "Hail! Hail! Lion of Judah..."

    (I'm odd that way. Plus, it makes passing cars wave at me.)

    Anyway, I really, really like this post.

    And I like that Marty!

  11. Marty is a winner of a Beagle is all I can say. And I'm so glad you got a great Beagle. We had one years ago and he wasn't from heaven. But that's water under the bridge as we love our sweet mutt, Chip, who loves us right back!

    I am just amazed at how you weave this lessons together, Sharon. They are so substantial--they teach so much. From Marty to Jesus. From being quiet to only speaking when there is something important to say!

    You must be listening well to the Holy Spirit. For He fills you with one great lesson after another.


  12. Nita - Oh yes! Beagles are garbage disposals! I think we had Marty in the ER about 5 times that first year - he ate EVERYTHING! Your daughter's Yorkshire sounds adorable - there's just something about a little dog that sticks up to the big ones that I love! Underdogs, unite! Glad you enjoyed this post!

    Sandy - I'm so glad you enjoyed this. I just love writing about Marty - and the lessons God teaches me through his little beagle life! I grew up with a dachshund for almost 15 years - so I'm kinda partial to them, too. What would we do without our dog buddies, and the love they give to us?

    Amanda - What's the deal with big poodles? Hope I'm not offending anyone out there! I am so glad you came over for this post - I just love it when my dog-loving blog buddies stop by for another Marty installment! By the way, if you go over on my sidebar, kinda toward the bottom, there's a picture of Marty. I'm glad you liked the "God lesson" too!

    Anita - Buster cracks me up! Just following the crowd, eh? Oh, I hope you take pictures of the banners. I'd love to see them! I agree - Lion and Lamb - there is nothing else that sums Him up better. Humble Servant, Conquering Hero - AMEN!

    Sandra - You have brought up SUCH a good point! People don't like seeing the LION side of Jesus! They do not care to hear His roar. A nice, sweet Jesus can be put off - the Jesus who cleared the temple must be dealt with! I'm with you, lacing up my warrior boots! Maybe Marty can lead the charge!!

    Paula - I love how you expanded on my thoughts. Jesus is a lion when He defends His family! I'm so glad for that! When I was little, my mom used to tell me that Jesus was "bigger" than Satan - and I pictured them in a boxing ring. Needless to say, Jesus won with a knockout!

    More responses in the next comment - you know, the dreaded URI Too Large do-hickey...

  13. Alisa - Thank you so much. Yes, we can all learn the benefit of a well-timed word (bark?). I'm glad you enjoyed this one - I am so grateful for the many things God teaches me through the life of this adorable dog!

    Betty - I'm so glad you stopped by! I have such a good time writing about Marty - and God always seems to teach me something through him. I am also glad that God fights our "big black poodles" - whatever they may be! And yes, Marty is a clown! (How's Koda?)

    Sandie - Love the karate analogy. However, I'm gonna be honest - I LOVE when Jesus applies a few well-placed "chops" and "kicks." Especially when they're aimed at the enemy. I'm kind of partial to seeing him flat on his back, you know?! My understanding is that MOST beagles are noisy - so no offense taken!

    Debbie - I know you're not really a dog lover, so it makes me smile to think Marty's winning you over!! I would love to be sitting in that car with you - I'd be doing some fist-pumping too. Imagine what the other cars would think then?! Look at those two crazy women - well, they would probably think that anyway... Lion of Judah is very possibly my favorite name, too! Of course, that doesn't surprise me, Miss "Separated at Birth!"

    Janis - What very kind comments. Thank you so much, it means so much to me. I'm trying to listen to the Holy Spirit well - and to have you say that, well, it made me tear up. Because it's all about HIM! We are lucky - we DO have a great beagle. And what a wonderful Savior we have! May we take His example to heart - know when to be silent, know when to SPEAK! (How's my dear Chip doing?)

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Tonight I'm thinking of the Lion of Judah - who also reminds me of my favorite fictional character, Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia - whom C.S. Lewis said wasn't a SAFE lion, but He's GOOD!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)