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Weekly Update: September 2

Meet the newest member of the MacGillivray family!

Update from Pastor Sheldon MacGillivray

Dear Cornerstone Family,

Many of you have been asking to see a picture of our new puppy, Stella, since she didn’t appear in our service video a few weeks ago. Well, here she is! 

We got Stella on Friday, and we have made it to day five but we are all grumpy because the gradual exhaustion is starting to set in. I have fallen asleep a few times during the writing of this letter. Give us a couple of years to get back on schedule!

Each day is getting better, but our routine has radically changed. Our days revolve around teaching Stella the house rules. Lab puppies love to chew and bite and... did I say chew? The evidence can be seen on our arms from the scars and scratches. It can also be seen in my car ride to the pet store to replace yesterday’s destroyed chew toys. We are trying to teach her to chew the right things and not our leather couch and oriental rug!

We have puppy-proofed our home, nailing down anything that moves. We are also teaching her to be potty-trained (that’s fun!). Every few hours we pack up the things we need and head out into the yard to watch and wait and reward her when everything goes as planned, but things do not always go as planned. I will spare you the details. 

The greatest part of the day is when Stella is sleeping. There is a huge sense of relief in our household as we quickly scatter to do what we need to do before we start all over again and head back into the yard.

I amazed at what this dog can do! Stella was the runt of the litter. The runt is usually the smallest and sometimes the weakest of the litter. It all has to do with location, location, location. She didn’t get a good seat on the bus, so she is the smallest. 

They say life can be a challenge for the runt. Often the mother can reject the runt, focusing on the other, larger ones, but Stella is a fighter. Whatever Maggie Mae can do (our other dog, also a Labrador), Stella thinks she can do. Stella does not like her own water bowl, so she drinks from Maggie Mae’s. She does not like her bed, so she sleeps on Maggie Mae’s bed. Maggie Mae is slowly getting used to this invasion. 

Did you know that there are some famous runts out there? Clifford the Big Red Dog was a runt. Life turned out pretty well for him and he grew to be 25 feet tall! (He is one of my favorites.) Wilbur the pig from Charlotte’s Web is probably the most famous runt of them all, but you may also know his fellow pig, "Babe," who was going to be Christmas dinner but became an expert sheep herder. Who knows, Stella might make the list of famous runts someday! 

For now, she is still learning her name and learning how to make it in this big bright and beautiful world. I can tell you this, she will never be known as the runt in our family. There was great joy on our car ride home after we picked her up. This picture with my daughter Stephanie says it all. Stella will be loved every day of her life. 

The Lord God Made Them All

I grew up reading James Herriot’s books. He gave me a greater love for animals as he shared his stories about being a vet. I am still amazed that God created this world teeming with creatures great and small. He did not have to, but he did. He gave us cats and dogs and birds and fish and horses and zebras. This beautiful, created world is bursting with our Creator’s glory. He knows no such thing as a runt. He welcomes the weak and lavishes them with love. 

There is so much we can learn about God from His creation. How would we know about love or beauty without His creation? The Psalmist said, "O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures" (Psalm 104:24). When I look at our two dogs, I marvel at the work of God’s hands. But how much more do we marvel when we see humans, created in His image? 

James Herriot began one of his books with this quote from Cecil Frances Alexander: "All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all." There is a lot we can learn about God when we look at His creation. It should lead us to praise Him for all that He has done. 

Backyard Open Houses

We would love for you to come and meet Stella and Maggie Mae.They will be hosting an Open House (or whatever is left of it!) on two Sundays: September 13 and 27, each from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., in our backyard (14204 Rosehill, Overland Park, 66221). They will make sure that some bowls with human treats will be available and our water bowls will be full! We will enjoy the beauty of the outdoors together and enjoy a little time of fellowship. We have missed you and would love to see you in person, so please pick a date and join us!

This Weekend in Worship

This Sunday we will explore Romans 12:12, where God calls us to rejoice in hope and be patient in tribulation. Hope is not wishful thinking. Our hope is always joyful because we know that God is in charge and Jesus Christ will return again. Our hope is based on the promises of God, and we wait with great expectation. Because of our hope we patiently endure our trials and tribulations. That is good news as we persevere during this time of trouble. 

Join us either online at 10:00 a.m. on YouTube or at our in-person worship gatherings at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. (RSVP here)!

For His Glory,

Sheldon MacGillivray

Lead Pastor, Cornerstone