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To follow JESUS does not mean we are perfect like Him, far from it. It means we understand that we are all sinners in need of a Savior and that His ways are always better than our own. Asking ourselves what would Jesus do? And allowing Him to be the one to guide us in our day to day lives while caring for animals and also how we treat other humans. Over the last 20 years in the animal industry, we have seen the best but also the worst sides of humans hurting others because of their own pain.
We want to help people understand there is a better way to live our lives and treat our fellow humans and animals. We know from first hand experience how JESUS can change everything in our lives, if we let Him. And we now understand that building our lives and work with animals around God and Jesus is the only true solid foundation in this crazy world. The animal industry is one of the hardest industries to work in and near to impossible without GOD and JESUS guiding us.
We believe that until we fully surrender our lives to JESUS, will not find true peace, only temporary joy the world gives which is not the same as the peace Jesus gives. We ask Christ to make this organization a vessel for Kingdom business, and use our lives however He feels is best to help others. We now understand that truly being a REBEL is going against the world and following our Lord and Savior JESUS. To think about what would JESUS do in our actions, behaviors and decision making process in a self obsessed society, is being a true rebel. Not a BELIEVER? That's okay. Thankfully our GOD DOES NOT change based on our belief, He loved us when we didn’t believe either.
Religion tends to hurt people with rules and authoritarian doctrines, while neglecting to teach people how to have a true meaningful relationship with the one and only LIVING GOD and His son JESUS. It fails to teach people how much GOD LOVES US, is rooting for us, and how He is the only one that will NEVER leave us, forsake us, abandon us or lie to us. If we just think about how much we love our animals, and why He sent them to us, then we can gain some insight to understanding how much GOD truly loves us.
"Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." -Luke 12:7 (NIV)
And because He created us He knows us better than ourselves, His plan for our lives, is always greater than our own. He is God, and He knows the plan He has for our lives, so when we try to do things our way, in our will, with our strength, things usually fall apart. That's because God's plan and will for our lives is always better than the plans we have created for ourselves. So we can learn to listen to that small still voice inside of us directing us to peace and happiness, in our lives and the lives of our animals.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
We now understand our lives are made meaningful and worthwhile through a relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ. And that the true reason we were all created was to share the good news of this salvation, which gives us all a purpose, meaning and hope in our lives. Once we develop a healthy loving relationship with our Father in Heaven, all our relationships with humans and animals begin to make sense. This not only involves our lives here, but also our eternal life after death, and that CHANGES EVERYTHING.
Proof of what God said is true about us and our ANIMALS can be found in His word throughout the Bible. Here are a handful of passages but there are so many more that talk about His animals and how important we all are to Him.
And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky." So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth."
-GENESIS 1:20-22 (NIV)
And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
-GENISIS 1:24-25 (NIV)
Then God said "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky;, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
-GENISIS 1:26 (NIV)
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
-GENESIS 2:18-20 (NIV)
And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.
-GENESIS 9:4-5 (NIV)
But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and breath of all mankind. -JOB 12:7-10 (NIV)
Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn? Do you count the months till they bear? Do you know the time they give birth? They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended. Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return.
-JOB 39:1-4 (NIV)
Who let the wild donkey go free? Who untied its ropes? I gave it the wasteland as its home, the salt flats as its habitat. It laughs at the commotion in the town; it does not hear a driver's shout. It ranges the hills for its pasture and searches for any green thing."
-JOB 39: 5-8 (NIV)
Will the wild ox consent to serve you? Will it stay by your manger at night? Can you hold it to the furrow with a harness? Will it till the valleys behind you? Will you rely on it for its great strength? Will you leave your heavy work to it? Can you trust it to haul in your grain and bring it to your threshing floor?
-JOB 39:9-12 (NIV)
The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, though they cannot compare with the wings and feathers of the stork. She lays her eggs on the ground and lets them warm in the sand, unmindful that a foot may crush them, that some wild animal may trample them. She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers; she cares not that her labor was in vain, for God did not endow her with wisdom or give her a share of good sense. Yet when she spreads her feathers to run, she laughs at horse and rider.
-JOB 39: 13-18 (NIV)
Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane? Do you make it leap like a locust, striking terror with its proud snorting? It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength, and charges into the fray. It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; it does not shy away from the sword.
-JOB 39: 19-22
Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread its wings toward the south? Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high?
-JOB 39: 26-27
Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals.
-ECCLESIASTES 3:18 (NIV)
KNOWING JESUS IS ABOUT BEING IN RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, NOT FOLLOWING A RELIGION. And we believe that people should not have to wait their whole lives for someone to introduce them to JESUS. All creation should have the opportunity to find peace and have a personal relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ that will change their life and the lives of those around them, including their animals. If you are interested in finding peace in your life, and having your own personal relationship with Jesus, here are some steps to get you started!
First, we must recognize our need for a relationship with God and Jesus. In the Bible, God explains the moral standards that he has put in place to protect us and keep us safe, while reflecting his love. God is perfect, however because no one else is and we all fall short on a daily basis sometimes, we need Him to guide us, protect us and save us from ourselves and our enemies. And the Bible says, if we truly love Him we will keep his commandments because we are in a relationship with Him and respect Him, not because we fear Him. Although all children should have a healthy fear and respect for their parents if they are going to listen and follow them. They are also usually in reverence and awe of their Father, so this is a common feeling knowing you are a Child of God.
-“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 (NIV).
Typically we think of sin either as some horribly immoral act, perhaps deserving of severe punishment, or as some action that is more like an unwitting mistake. In reality, it doesn’t matter if we know or do not know we are sinning, large or small actions, thoughts, or words that goes against God’s expectations for human behavior will cause pain and suffering in our lives and others lives. And God does not want us to be in pain or suffer, so He tries as best as He can to keep us from sinning. Sin describes any time when we “miss the mark” and fail to meet the standards that God calls us to. This creates a problem for us because, according to Scripture the wages of sin is death and destruction.
- "... the wages of sin is death …,” Romans 6:23 (NIV).
Since God is perfect, our sin separates us from God, and the punishment for sin is eternal spiritual death. However because He loved His children so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die for us and pay for our sins so that we do not have to. That is why Jesus tells us throughout the Bible that He is the way, the truth and life, also that they way to His Father is through Him. None of us can earn the right to be with God in Heaven by good works, we are saved by His Grace alone. So if you’re willing to admit that you’re a sinner and want to escape the death that sin will produce in your life you’re well on your way to that radical life change. A recognition of a need for Him is the first step toward obtaining a relationship with God and Jesus.
The second step toward having your own relationship with God is to ask Him to forgive you for all of the times that you “missed the mark” of His expectations of our behavior. After recognizing that we have all fallen short of God’s standards, share those things with Him through prayer, and explain that you know they were wrong or maybe you didn't know they were wrong. Either way, He will forgive you if you are truly sincere in confessing your sins.
When you share that you know your sins were wrong, ask God to forgive you for them and teach you how not to repeat that same sin. God is just, and He is also merciful and promises to forgive us for all of our sins. There are many examples of people asking God for forgiveness in the Bible. You can read the story of two very different men asking for God’s forgiveness in Luke 18:9-14. You can also read how Jesus taught his followers to pray in Matthew 6:5-15. Followers of Jesus are not perfect, just forgiven.
The third step toward having your own relationship with God is to believe in the love and sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, acknowledge that He is the only way to heaven, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Two big realities fuel God’s forgiveness of our sins: love and payment. By love we mean that God loves all of us and desires to save us from our fate that our flesh and worldly ways produce in our lives. And His payment plan to accomplish that involved sending Jesus Christ, His only Son, to live on earth.
While on earth, Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life. He is the only person who has completely and successfully followed God’s standards. Jesus came to earth to fulfill God’s plan. to pay for our sins and died a gruesome and painful death for us. Even when others mocked him and hated Him, He still chose to love them and ask His Father for our forgiveness.
- “...but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8 (NIV)
Jesus freely gave up His sinless life and took the punishment for our sins upon Himself when He was put to death on a cross. God showed that He had redeemed us and completed His plan when Jesus came back to life, rising from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, and His sacrifice paid for our sins. He removed our sin so that we no longer have to be separated from God. But we have to believe in this miracle in order for His power to reign in our lives.
-"...but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 6:23 (NIV)
This is God’s plan and His free gift to us. All we have to do is accept it and allow it to change our hearts. According to Scripture, "If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
-"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,’” Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)
Here is a simple prayer that you can say with your mouth and believe in your heart to our Lord and Savior Jesus because unlike our enemy the devil, Our Lord Jesus waits to be invited into your life.
"Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive me of my sin. Wash me and cleanse me. Set me free. Jesus, thank You that You died for me. I believe that You are risen from the dead and that You are coming back again for me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. Give me a passion for the lost, a hunger for the things of God and a holy boldness to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm saved; I'm born again, I'm forgiven and I'm on my way to Heaven because I have Jesus in my heart."
As a new JESUS follower, I tell you today that all your sins are forgiven. Once God forgives you, Jesus and His Father forget your sins so you should too. Do not let the enemy remind you of your past, as there is shame involved in this. Let God remind you of how much He loves you to set you free from your past, and your future with a life in Christ. This does not mean life is going to be perfect or easy, it just means He will be with you through it all. There will still be heartache and pain here on earth, but in the end God wins. Always remember to run to God and not from God because He loves you and has a great plan for your life! Being a new follower of Jesus, these things are essential to have an ongoing continual relationship with God and His Son Jesus.
Find out who God intended you to be at CROSSROADS CHURCH with our PARTNER in Council Bluffs Iowa. Join us in my hometown or watch online and learn about the Great Commission that JESUS called us to!
Check out our PARTNER at LIFESTYLE CHRISTIANITY that is focused on equipping Christians with tools to walk out the life that Jesus intended for all of us. They offer free videos, services and even a University!
DISCLAIMER: Due to the lack of regulations and the nature of the animal industry, as well as the changing practices of pet professionals - Midwest Animal Welfare Society, Inc. cannot be responsible for the actions of other pet professional companies and organizations. This includes pet professionals that have trained under the Life Changing Dog Training™ and Communicative LeashWork Process®. We will do our very best to connect you with pet resources and services and educate you on best practices, tools and information to help pet owners. However it is up to you the individual to do your own research and make a decision to hire a pet professional or work with an organization that will best meet you and your animal's needs.
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THE HEARTLAND'S ANIMAL WELFARE SPECIALISTS