Finding the Way Back to Mayberry

Episode #93, "Dogs Dogs Dogs"

Opie brings a little, hungry dog into the courthouse and wants to adopt him.  After the dog gets Barney’s sandwich and Mr. Cookie Bar, then he runs away.  Opie is sad until the little pup comes back . . . and this time he brings more with him!  A State Investigator is coming, and Barney is afraid he will think they want extra funds to take care of the dogs.  Barney and Andy try to find them new homes before he arrives.

Lesson Points:
Mercy - Micah 6:8
    God’s Mercy Upon Us – Matthew 5:7, Psalm 28:6
    Our Mercy Upon Animals – Genesis 1:26-30
    Our Mercy Upon Others – Luke 10:27, James 2:12-13

Serving Others – 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
    Gifts of Food, Shelter, and Clothing – Psalm 55:22, Isaiah 46:4
    Donations of Money and Services – 2 Corinthians 9:7
    Other Cardinal Acts of Mercy – Zechariah 7:9-10

Seeking Our Responsibility – Matthew 18:33
    Getting Over Our Own Selfishness – Mark 10:15
    Taking the Initiative – Matthew 23:23-24
    Attitude of Humility and Compassion – Colossians 3:12, Proverbs 28:13
    Perseverance, Dedication, Devotion, and Hard Work – Hebrews 3:13-14

Doing the Right Thing – Philippians 2:3-4
    For the Right Reasons – Ephesians 4:31-32, Matthew 9:12-13
    Making the Best Decision – Proverbs 1:1-7
    Trusting in Good Results – Jude 22-23, Luke 6:36
    Giving Generously – 2 Corinthians 9:6
    Receiving Heart-Warming Satisfaction – Matthew 25:37-40

1) How was Andy an example of mercy for Opie?  What are some examples when someone showed you mercy?  What “cardinal acts of mercy” have you done for others? 

2) Otis said he had finished his breakfast and then ate the last bite.  Barney reluctantly parted with his sandwich and Mr. Cookie Bar to feed the hungry dog.  What does this tell you about our attitude toward others’ suffering?  Why do we often fail to help others?

3) Andy told Opie not to worry about the dogs.  Barney rationalized how dogs can take care of themselves and their own kind. Could this ever have a negative effect on a child’s desire to help others?  Don’t we make the same arguments about others and decide they’ll be fine or that someone else will surely help them? Are we like Barney’s selfish giraffes?

4) Opie was quick to want to help the dogs.  The others gradually pitched in.  Why did they change their attitudes?  Is it just possible that we can learn a lot from children?  Exactly what prompted Opie, Andy, Barney, Otis, and the investigator to show mercy?

5) The “kennel” grew from one to eleven dogs.  No matter how much we help, there always seems to be more that can be done.  Does this fact discourage you, and why? 

 Final Thought:
Barney:  ‘The quality of mercy is not strained.  It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven’…. You’re not talkin’ to a jerk, ya know!