Bible Studies Devotional Verse of the Day Words Of Encouragement By Sheri Boulet / last month Share Tweet Pin Share When I was in high school we had, for a short period, a poodle named Dusty Joe. I loathed that dog. I know, such strong emotion for a dog, but, alas, it fits my feelings toward Dusty Joe. Dusty Joe was a one dog wrecking company. The interesting thing about him was he only shredded the new magazines, he only ate new shoes, and he only devoured school books. I had to sit in class and tell my teacher “the dog ate my book.” Do you think she believed me? She basically said “I know you didn’t just give me that lame excuse.” If we want, we can come up with excuses for every thing under the sun. My car wouldn’t start. My child is sick. My Aunt Bertha Mae is in the hospital and I need to visit her. I don’t have any money. My alarm didn’t go off. The electricity was out. I got stopped by a train. There was a wreck. I don’t have a job. I don’t have a phone. My phone didn’t have a signal. I didn’t get your message. I was depressed so I ate a dozen cookies. I was mad so I said hurtful things. Someone hurt my feelings. Someone made this happen to me. I guess I could continue with the list until the end of time. We all know that most of the times an excuse is just that, an excuse. It’s a way for us to release ourselves of the guilt and the responsibility of our own actions. For several years my husband did not attend church. He went from leading services, teaching Sunday School to telling us we could not even go to church at all. All of this because he took his eyes off of God and placed them on man. And when man failed him, he used that as his excuse to walk away from God. I have known this since it happened. I never realized he knew himself. But last night as someone was trying to say something negative against a man of God, it was my husband who spoke up. He said “That’s nothing but an excuse, and believe me I have used them all. I used every excuse I could to justify why I wasn’t going to church. But I know now that I can never take my eyes off of God.” Something happens to us when we examine ourselves. Something happens when we listen to our own words and realize that we have to be responsible for our lives. Psalm 139:23-24 says “Search ME, O God, and know my heart: try ME, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in ME, and lead ME in the way everlasting.” Yes, the dog ate my English book. But I left it where he could get to it. Yes, my husband was hurt. But that shouldn’t have kept him from the God that has never let him down. Wonderful, merciful Saviour, today is another day. And I am still human. Help me to see my shortcomings and help me to learn from them. I want to be responsible to myself, my family, my church family and most of all, to You. I owe You my life, my heart, my all. I want to be a vessel of honor. Examine me today, Jesus. Rid my life of those the things that keep me from serving You. Take the obstacles out of my line of vision and let me focus on the things of You. Thank You for keeping me.