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ROXY IS A SPECIAL DOG...................AND NOT JUST IN MY EYE....................GOD HAS A PLAN FOR US ALL................EVEN DOGS!
The "Roxy Ministry" is a Lay Ministry in which a Labrador Retriever by the name of "Roxy" is used to exemplify how our Faith and Obedience should be directed towards our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Scripture is used to show the parallels of a Labrador Retriever in hunting scenarios and how they may apply to actual life situations in a Christian's walk with the Lord. This live retrieving demonstration flows right into the devotion which is centered around using examples of how the Labradors have just performed and why it is so important that we too should be be faithful and obedient to our Master.
The Roxy Ministry Retriever Demonstration is a fun filled, action packed simulated duck hunt appealing to men, women, boys and girls of all ages at no charge. It is our desire, by the grace of God, to present the Gospel in this unique and simple manner to a person that might not relate to standard witnessing methods. This is accomplished using our Champion Labrador Retrievers in live, entertaining visual illustrations.
Angie and I own and manage the Diamond E Farm just outside of Mullins on the Sandy Bluff Rd. (Hwy. 917) which works very well for these presentations and we feel it makes a nice “field trip” for groups. We have a large sodded area right by a large live oak tree which offers nice afternoon shade. This group area also has a fire pit, a screened in cook shed and a covered Pavillion with seating for approximately 60 people. This area can be seen on the “Our Facility” page of our web site (www.elliottlabradors.com). The site of our "duck hunt" will be by one of the scenic ponds on the farm. The simulated shooting of ducks “flying” from multiple locations, diversions and blind retrieves are all used in the demonstration. Remote “duck” launchers with live sound are used to propel the plastic ducks into the air. Wally narrates as Angie fires actual shots using shotgun blanks to bring down the fowl and the hunt is on. Roxy and her Labrador teammates demonstrate their champion level skills and obediently take on all the challenges. The Christian based devotional message is centered on Roxy’s and the other Elliott Labrador’s desire to be obedient and faithful to their master. A parallel is shown as how we too should strive to be obedient and faithful to our Master. Roxy sits on a “swamp stand” as this portion of the devotion takes place and is used for other short analogies as well. Angie also utilizes Grace, Thorne, Dixie, Duchess, Hoss, Reverend, Lilly, Blaze and Faith at this time to illustrate some obedience and honoring drills from her daily training routine. All of the topics are based around specific scripture which relate directly to that topic.
In the past, we have offered this program to individual groups on a date set aside specifically for that group. With the demand for programs greater than the number of weekends we have to offer, we prayerfully made a change in the method in which we offered this program. We feel we can reach more people by offering the program to combined groups from various churches/organizations to attend at the same time. Everyone is asked to bring a folding chair and any refreshments you might like. After the demonstration/devotion portion of the program, the group can move to the covered Pavilion for a social time, refreshments they might have brought, questions, picture taking etc. Also, if the groups choose to and time allows, they can take part in a scenic hay ride around the farm, through pastures and fields, across creeks and around the many technical retriever training ponds on the farm. We will post these dates on our "EVENTS" page of this web site and each group will be asked to contact us and RSVP a spot for that event. On occasion, when it is not practical for the group to travel to the Diamond E Farm, we will travel with our dogs and the necessary equipment to their location. Our demonstration requires an area the approximate size of a football field.
Please contact us using the "Contact Us" link if you are interested in getting more information or in having the "Roxy Ministry Retriever Demonstration" for your Men's Ministry, Outdoor Event, Wildgame Supper, Youth Gathering, etc.
This is a link from a recent article written by Jim Lasley, Outdoor Writer for the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/02/27/2711603/dogs-are-their-passion-and-their.html
ARTICLE | OCTOBER 12, 2010 | BY CHUCK WATERS
Chuck Waters/Clarendon Citizen
There are some people who can understand things instantly. However, there are some who need to actually see it. Wally Elliott does both.
Elliott, and his wife Angie, are trainers of Labrador Retrievers. They use the dogs for training and competition but also as a tool to help teach people about being obedient to God and following His will. Elliott used his dogs as a likeness to people and himself as the master. He felt that giving a physical example of that would be very beneficial.
There is one of their dogs in particular he has named Roxy that he uses. He uses that dog as an example of people and how they should spend their life and trust God’s plan for their lives.
“The parallel of being obedient to the master and the rewards of being obedient to the master,” he said. “How rewarding it can be serving the master. The glory of bringing obedience to your master.”
The Elliott’s typically perform with their dogs outdoors because the dogs actions sends a clearer message than one from just a sermon.
It gives people of all ages the chance to see the dogs and also understand the similarities between the dogs and themselves according to Elliott.
“Once you actually see the dogs making the retrieves and you see them being handled with whistles and hand signals to a blind retrieve you see how important it is for them to be obedient in order for them to obtain their objective; it makes my part of what I say about being obedient to Jesus Christ easier,” he said.
Elliott made his presentation at the Alcolu pond house of Jay and Kim Gardner in Clarendon County and was pleased with the environment. Like his own farm in Mullins, the Gardners had a pond and other facets that he and the dogs use in their performances.
“Many times youth groups or even adults will come out to our farm and we’ll just build a fire and have a fire in the background or to the side,” Elliott said. “It’s a pretty neat experience.”
Temptation was one of the biggest lessons Elliott spoke about. He got one of his dogs to sit on a slightly raised platform just above the ground that was sitting next to a bowl of dog food. Although it was a safe bowl of food, it was described as "poison" and the dog was instructed to sit and stay on the stand. Elliott began the exercise by standing right next to the dog and the dog was focused on nothing but her master, Elliott. He then began backing away while also being partially covered by shadows and less visible to the dog. He said that was showing how people getting further from God can and will cause temptation to become more evident and easier to pursue. However, the closer he came back to the dog, the more she wanted to please him and not fall for the temptation. “The analogy there is in life and in our relationship with Jesus Christ, when we have our focus on Him and when we are where we need to be in our relationship with Him, sin is not near as tempting as it is when we put barriers between us,” he said. “The more stuff and the more distance that we put between ourselves and the Master, the easier it is to sin. The easier it is to step off that platform and gobble up whatever is there.”
Elliott closed the performance talking about faith. In the show with the dogs, they had to locate and retrieve a training duck several different ways. Sometimes the dogs knew where to look because they saw the training duck fall from a launcher out by the pond. But other times the ducks were simulated to have been shot without the dogs seeing them fall. To simulate this, the training ducks were hid without the dogs knowing where. Then the dogs were called to a “blind retrieve.” The dogs were lined up in the direction of the hid training duck but they did not know how far in that direction they would have to go. They had to respond to their master and have faith they would be given the correct directions and right path. He said that was the way of our lives. “God gives people directions and his followers are called to follow those directions, whether we understand them, realize what they mean or even want to,” Elliott said. He said that was very important; taking a leap of faith and trusting the master would be there to guide us. “We parallel that with what we know God wants us to do … the obvious things God wants us to do,” he said. “Then there are the diversions; the things that keep us from doing the obvious things or tempt us not to do the obvious things. “Then we have the blind retrieve which is the most difficult for all of us – those steps of faith. Looking for the Master and knowing who our Master is and understand that we need to take His directions and steps of faith. Knowing and having confidence in faith that there is victory at the end of that path.”
This story along with pictures is available at www.clarendoncitizen.com/article/elliotts-use-dogs-obedience-tool