By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer
The pup's name is Sadie - and her one true love takes the form of a yellow tennis ball.
'Whenever she sees one, her eye's on it,' said Mickey Blanks, lay pastor at Belton Church of Christ in Belton. 'It doesn't matter who has it or where they throw it, Sadie's going to get that ball.'
It's obvious the dog enjoys the chase. Her tail wags as fast as it can go, her ears are pointed in attention and her mouth does a dog grin.
The happy pup gave Blanks the idea for his July 20 sermon. Worship to us, he says, should be like the ball is for Sadie.
'The privilege to worship is the greatest gift after salvation,' Blanks said. 'Worship requires God's presence, so you should approach it as such.'
He started talking about a typical Sunday at church.
'There's Bible class, there's the sermon and then people start asking for volunteers for different things,' he said. 'Nobody says a word. It's like we're present but not in His presence. If we felt His presence, we'd be screaming, 'Pick me. Pick me.''
God's not present in that situation, Blanks said, because nobody was in worship.
'We're distracted. We're looking at our watch. When is it time to go to Luby's? Oh, the cell phone rang.'
The remedy, he said, is to remember the Christian priority - God's love - and celebrate it.
'That is worship,' Blanks said. 'Like Sadie and her ball. Everything seems to exist for just one reason, and she is happy for it.'
Blanks' sermon, 'The Blessing of Worship,' is available online at http://beltonchurch.com/tp40/page.asp?id=125655.