For our 35th wedding anniversary I wanted to get my wife a small dog.
We spent months researching dog breeds and visiting shelters and dog shows. We considered Yorkies, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Dachshunds, Norfolk terriers, West Highland terriers, Scottish terriers, Beagles, Alaskan Klee Kais, and Shelties, along with mixed breeds and many other dogs.
Our choice was the 4-month-old Jack Russell terrier pictured here. When full grown, he will weigh about 15 lbs and stand about 13 inches at the shoulder.
What Should We Name the Puppy?
This was the first issue to decide. Many people will ask us his name at parks and campgrounds, so we wanted to make that question fruitful by using carefully-chosen words to explain the reason for his name. We wanted to select a name that will provide an opportunity to drop a nugget of truth and thereby “put a stone in someone’s shoe.”
We named the puppy Kepler for the Biblical creationist, mathematician, and astronomer Johann Kepler (1571-1630) who discovered the three Laws of Planetary Motion.
Kepler’s influence on astronomy has been so great that 400 years later in 2009, NASA named a research satellite for him. (See 8. Famous Thinkers – Astronomer Is a Creationist for more on Kepler.)
Kepler served as the Royal Mathematician for three emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. He said,
“The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics.”
“Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.”
Kepler has a range of mountains in New Zealand as well as craters on Mars and the moon all named for him. A university in Austria is named in his honor, as well as numerous schools, streets, and observatories around the world.
And now he has a little white dog named for him.
Johann Kepler believed that God created the universe according to a logical plan that man could ascertain through the application of his God-given reasoning powers. Professor Kepler described his own scientific research and study of the universe as
“thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”
His study of the heavens led him to proclaim,
“Great is God our Lord, great is His power and there is no end to His wisdom. Praise Him you heavens, glorify Him, sun and moon and you planets. For out of Him and through Him, and in Him are all things….. We know, oh, so little. To Him be the praise, the honor and the glory from eternity to eternity.”
Kepler (the puppy) is very calm, smart, and affectionate. He rapidly learned to come when we call his name, and he’s learned the commands “Sit,” Lie Down,” “Quiet,” and “Stay.” It is funny to see him come up and sit on his own hoping for a little treat.
Kepler has also turned out to be a great ice-breaker. People frequently come up and exclaim over him or start a conversation. This past weekend as we were out and about, Kepler facilitated the insertion of 34 stones in people’s shoes.
As a friend commented, the world-famous scientist Johann Kepler would be happy to know that he continues to glorify God through a little dog — at campgrounds — under the heavens.
Questions to Ponder
- In your own spiritual journey, whom did God use to “put a stone in your shoe?” Did someone plant an idea that worried around in your head and nagged at your heart, creating a discomfort that only God could relieve?
- Think of an ordinary question you get asked frequently. How could you use that opportunity to “put a stone in someone’s shoe?”
- Riddle: What phone service do Jack Russell terriers use?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Read the sequels on Kepler:
2. Kepler’s Kind
3. Kepler’s Lopsided Trade
4. Kepler’s Amazing Nose
5. Kepler’s Business Card
6. Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel (with video)
7. Taunting Kepler
8. Adam and Puppies
9. Who Taught Kepler?
10. Kepler Gets a Buddy (with video)
11. Kepler Chases a Squirrel (with video)
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday July 30, 2014 A.D.
But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind? (Job 12:7-10)