I am writing this blog from my kitchen due to a hairy beast whose bladder cannot be trusted for another 3 weeks.

Last Friday my family acquired Winstone. A 17 lb, 8 week old Alaskan Malamute.

The first major hurdle for any dog owner is that glorious OCD past time of Housebreaking. You know, Stalking your puppy where ever he or she may tread to prevent any inkling of a tinkling inside the house.

So far, it hasn’t been too bad. We are without indoor pooping after 5 days, and the handful of pee accidents is largely due to SOMEone [who will remain nameless] talking on the phone while they were supposed to watch the dog.

In any case, this is a relatively short process that feels like an eternity. But there is a principle involved here that applies to church believe it or not.

Winston as a new family member wants to feel loved, accepted, and oriented to life as a “Pierce”. This requires time and a lot of grace on our part–and even on his. He is only a baby and doesn’t understand everything, including our mannerisms or our language as of yet. We don’t understand all his body language [save the question mark stance] or his quirks yet either. There is an adjusting time for both of us as we cultivate a lifelong friendship.

The Apostle Paul had the daunting task of helping the Jewish and Gentile Christians get along with each other. In Romans 3:29-30, Paul states, “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.”

Paul is trying to place value on both groups and pointing out they are one because there is one God who justifies them both.

When we have new people come to our churches, or new people enter into leadership roles in our congregations there is a “housebreaking” period.

New people will make a mess 🙂

But its part of learning. And as for those with more experience they will need to learn as well as they interact with new members of the “family” so the don’t make the mess worse or discourage new people.

There is grace required on both parts as they learn each others rhythms and viewpoints and expressions. If we are willing to accept that we are all valuable and a part of God’s family then we can build tremendous friendships that not only teach us things [both new AND old members] but also enrich our lives all the more.


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