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Old Dog
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As I looked up from the array of food in the after-church meal line, I saw a pair of kind eyes and a welcoming smile on the other side of the serving table. “Haven’t seen you before. Are you new here?” he asked.

 “Yes, my name’s Betty Kossick. What’s yours?”

“Old Dog.”

Did I hear him right? Is that his real name, I thought. “Old Dog, eh?” I said. He nodded affirmatively, retaining the cheerful smile. The journalist in me silently mused, Must be a story behind that name.

A couple of months later, he and I had opportunity to converse together following a prayer meeting. He told me the why of his name. It’s not his real name. It’s a moniker he gave himself. “An old dog is faithful to his master, and I want to be faithful to my Master, Jesus, because He saved me.”

You Freed Me

He went on to say that he’s had nine years of being freed from a chain of addiction, referring to Psalm 116:16, “…you have freed me from my chains." With his gentle nature it’s hard to believe that any bondage ever held him. Jesus, indeed, rescued him. He went on to say that he never did like his given name anyway—Old Dog is just fine.

By the way, Old Dog isn’t old either. I’m guessing that he’s in his mid-40s. And he’s found a unique way to stay young because of his name, Old Dog. He committed himself, with a humble servant’s heart, to a prayer ministry. Every Wednesday night for one hour before a Bible study hour, he holds an hour of prayer for anyone who wants to join him. He’s earned the reputation as a prayer warrior.

Another aspect of staying young is in motion with his development of a prayer garden on the Adventist church property, along a stream. Often the Sabbath is ushered in by church members gathering there for a time of joyous communion in nature.

Old Dog is an artist, and his prayer garden artistry idea caught on with other church members. They’ve joined him in the ongoing growth of the Garden of Prayer. Even people other than church members have aided—including the helping hands of a nearby Baptist congregation. The lovely garden with intricate miniature stone buildings possesses an air of enchantment by their very tininess and detail. It was all built by Old Dog and several others, and has become a draw, known as a peaceful, spiritual showplace in Calhoun, Georgia—all because of Old Dog being faithful to his Master.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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