I think dogs are special. I think my dog is very special. His name is Baxter, and he is a German Shepard/Husky mix. I have had him for about 14 months. I don’t know his birthday or much about him before I got him, but I believe it was a match made by heaven. He is a handsome boy and a great protector of our fence-line. He loves my two cats, that is, he loves to chase them and tease them and put their entire head in his mouth (he has never hurt them!) but at the end of day you will find them all sleeping together.
According to thesmartcanine.com, dogs can also sense when a woman is pregnant. They can smell their owners from 11 miles away. Dogs can understand at least 200 words. They say dogs can even smell your feelings. According to a study by the University of Naples in Italy, dogs are capable of picking up on subtle changes in your scent, which can help them figure out how you’re feeling. In other words, your scent changes as you go from a feeling of happiness to a feeling of sadness. And given the dog’s acute sense of smell, they’ll know!
Dogs can see UV light and radiation. They can apparently sense the earth’s magnetic field and they can see in the dark. Dogs can detect earthquakes and lightning storms before they happen. And they can sense biochemical changes in a diabetic person, knowing if that person’s blood sugar is low.
Here is another neat thing. When dogs and their humans stare deeply into each other’s eyes, each species experiences a rush of the cuddle-chemical oxytocin.
“In an experiment, people shared long mutual gazes with their beloved dogs, sometimes lasting more than a minute. Afterward, concentrations of oxytocin that the dogs released in their urine at least doubled from pretest levels…
“Earlier work found an oxytocin rush in people, too, as they melted into the deep gaze of their dogs. The new results demonstrate the existence of a return swoop of this emotional feedback loop: A comparable canine oxytocin rush leads to even more gazing between humans and their pets.” (Source: sciencenews.org)
Do you think this was all by accident? I don’t. I believe our Creator programmed us to receive and give.
Other studies have linked oxytocin surges with lingering eye-to-eye contact between human moms and babies. I have experienced that firsthand and it is incredible.
The bible tells us that the eye is the lamp of the body. Matthew 6:22 23
Jesus was talking to his disciples. He had spoken the beatitudes to them. He had talked about them being the salt and the light of the earth. He explained that He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill. He spoke about anger and lust and divorce and taking or making an oath. He spoke about retaliation and loving your enemies. He encouraged them to give to the needy and he taught them how to pray. He explained how they should behave while fasting and He encouraged them not to be anxious about anything including what they would eat or drink or wear. He talked about earthly treasure verses heavenly treasure and where our heart should be regarding riches.
He also spoke about serving two masters, and between the two subjects, He spoke about the eye.
Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23 ESV
What is He saying here?
I believe He is telling us to be careful what we watch; what we listen to; what we entertain ourselves with…because from those spring all our thinking and actions.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV
The summer was 1984. I had two sons; one almost 5 years old and one son who was 2 years old. The youngest boy at the time did something that, well, I am still talking about to this day.
I was sitting in my living room one afternoon, when I caught out of the corner of my right eye, my two-year-old running, as fast as he could. I looked up just in time to see him race into the living room with a pillowcase tied around his neck and billowing out behind him like the cape it was supposed to be. Before I could say a single word, he slammed into the front door, traveling at full speed.
He hit hard. The impact send him bouncing off the door and landed him on his butt. I was staring in disbelief as I asked him “What…are…you…doing??!!” He replied, “I’m Superman. Superman can do it”
His “seeing” had caused him to believe in something that was not real. He was sure he would bust through that door like it was nothing. The information that kid had was faulty. He would never fly, with or without the pillowcase cape, it was not going to happen.
Television has a huge influence on us. Children will mimic the behaviors they see on screen, good and bad.
“Studies show that 37% of media aimed at children have scenes of physical or verbal violence. What’s more, 90% of movies, 68% of video games, 60% of TV shows, and 15% of music videos have some form of violence. In some cases, it’s rising – the amount of violence in mainstream movies has been growing steadily over the past 50 years.
“Evidence shows that this can be detrimental to young children. Around the ages of three and four children begin to develop perceptions and expectations about the world around them. These views are strongly influenced by their daily experiences…” (Source: theconversation.com)
Psalm 119:37 says, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” ESV
“…Our spiritual eyes are at issue here. We process the world spiritually as well as physically. Our spiritual vision gives input to our whole body. How we “see” comes from our knowledge of God, his Word, and our worldview. How we view circumstances should be informed by our spiritual vision so that our choices in regard to these circumstances can be in line with what we know about God.
Eyes become healthy by looking at the right things. Gazing on God, and his Word, and at the same time avoiding looking at perversion is a way to keep the eyes healthy…” (source: connectusfund.org)
Let’s echo the words of David in Psalm 101: 1-3
“I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O Lord, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless…” ESV
by Jeanette Stark – Monday, October 10, 2022