In my home we are blessed to live with a 126 pound Great Dane named Gimli. A big...BIG boy, who also has big paws and big teeth. It's a different experience living with a Great Dane. His rough housing has left bruises, deep scratches (currently sporting one under my eye from the big lug), and fear of death or bodily injury from jumping on us. He also has been a force to reckon with when it comes to our furniture. He has some separation issues and is convinced that we are never coming back, so he takes it out on our belongings. Our two cats are also convinced that he was brought into our house as a form of punishment and look at him with contempt or hatred like we've never seen before. It may be easier to just get a trough and horse feed to let him eat daily. Finally, if an unexpected guest arrives without his consent...well he isn't what you want to see on the other side of the door. Sure, that isn’t a very lovely resume, but there are so many benefits as well.
A huge dog also has a huge heart and so much love to give. He loves to cuddle and if you have never cuddled a Great Dane, you are missing out. The love and excitement that is received as soon as I walk in the door cannot be compared to any person greeting me anywhere I've ever been! He is an excellent bug hunter (and stomper). While it is frustrating for him to bark at our guests, an intruder is no match for our doggy home security system. He protects us at all costs. Also, we were blessed with Gimli at the beginning of March. Ten days later we lost my dad and Gimli was right there to crawl up beside me to let me cry on him. He has continued to do so for every bad day we've had. I love my dog and I'm so glad he's become a part of our family, but not everyone can get past his exterior to see what a good boy he is on the inside. We go to the dog park and I've watched people go to the opposite fenced in area because "oh that's a big scary boy we don’t want to get too close to him!" All he wants to do is to play with you and your dog! He loves meeting new friends (again on his terms) and it makes me sad that they run away from him.
I can relate though, being a 6'2" lady myself, I intimidate new people as well. I don't know how many friends have said, "You are completely different than I thought you'd be." or "I use to think you were scary."
1 Samuel 16:7 says "But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."
Samuel was there to anoint a king and Jesse excitedly presented his big burly boys who, from outward appearance, had what it took to be a king. God was looking for something different and knew what the people needed: someone after His own heart. He found that in David and He can find it in you. He looks beyond what the imperfect human eye sees. He sees what is in our hearts. The good, the bad, and the what could be. The way others look at us may make us self-conscience. It can cause us to think less of who we are. But what you have to remember is the world can't tell us our value. What they see isn’t what God sees. As a matter of fact, what we see isn’t even what God sees. He sees our potential when we may still be stuck on our past. God loves us when we consider ourselves unlovable. He knows us...really knows us! No matter what any person thinks about you, or even what you think about yourself, what really matters is what God thinks about you. So what does God think about you?
Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
God loves us and wants the best for us. Stay in His will and maybe follow the lead of my dog too. Just enjoy the life you’ve been given no matter what people think!
God loves you and I do too!
Sister Amber Klein
Matthew 5:6 KJV -  Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
This scripture makes me think about a parent preparing dinner and telling their child: "don't eat too much junk; you'll spoil your appetite". You might roll your eyes at that statement and chalk it up as another parenting cliche. However, this statement of spoiling one's dinner is not only practical, but also echos biblical truth taught by Jesus himself.
With His simple statement in Matthew 5, Jesus was able to demonstrate the entire concept of hunger. When someone hasn't eaten they become hungry, which usually leads to them attempting to satisfy that hunger with some type of food. This person is somewhat easy to feed and satisfy because the more hungry they are, the less picky they are. When someone is truly hungry they are more likely to eat healthy, substantial foods that satisfy and nourish them.
Now compare that person with someone who's been snacking on junk food all day long. This person will be more picky and more difficult to feed because they are not truly hungry. If you try to feed them with healthy foods that their body needs they will probably pass them up. They will eat, but they will likely continue feasting on unhealthy foods which never really satisfy hunger.
Obviously Jesus wasn't speaking of physical hunger and the eating of food, but of being spiritually hungry. We see it all around us: people who aren't interested in what God has to offer because they're so full of carnal and worldly junk. We even see people leaving the church and backsliding for the same reason. If someone is constantly filling themselves with "junk food" they won't turn to God to be filled with the proper nourishment and they might not ever recognize the true hunger in their soul that only God can fill.
The church can not binge on the world's junk food and still be the church God intends us to be. God can't fill a vessel with His righteousness if that vessel is full of something else. The only way He can pour Himself into a full vessel is if that vessel is full of emptiness. If we are going to be temples of the Holy Spirit and be full of God's righteousness, then we must continually empty ourselves in repentance and submission. We must allow Godly sorrow to lead us to repentance and then turn away from what is sinful. We must also submit ourselves to His will for us and empty ourselves of our own desires and plans. Paul describes this as the battle between flesh and Spirit:
Galatians 5:16-17 NKJV -  I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
He is essentially describing the same idea as Jesus. You can't satisfy both the flesh and the spirit; you are either spiritual or you are carnal. If the church is going to be the church and have the impact on our world that God intends us to have, then we must be empty so God can fill us. We must deny our flesh the desires it craves and walk in the Spirit to allow the Spirit to feed, satisfy, and guide us.
God is trying to fill you with his righteousness, peace, and joy. Are you full of emptiness so that you can receive it? Empty yourself today and experience the greatest satisfaction and fulfillment you have ever known.