October 21st, 2010
09:56 AM ET

Man saved by God, and by dog who says grace

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

The video was meant to simply make some Facebook friends, and his mother in particular, smile.

Steven Boyd, 39, had taught his dog Djaingo how to "say grace," and one late September morning, camera in hand, he coaxed the sleepy pup out to the living room and into prayer.

Front paws on Boyd's thigh, head bowed, man and dog offered up these words:

Thank you for allowing us to be the man and puppy you've allowed us to be. Father, thank you for our friends and family, their prayers and support and energy that they give us… Father, I do ask a special prayer that you help me to not chase the neighbor's cat and to listen to my master whenever he asks me to do anything.

What began as a post on Boyd's Facebook page was passed on and shared. It's popped up all over YouTube, appeared on numerous other sites, and it even got play on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

But the story behind Djaingo the praying dog is deeper than it is cute.

Boyd found his way to the dog just when they needed each other most.

The man was sick - had been for more than a year and a half - when he strolled into an animal shelter looking for a temporary escape. It was September 10, 2003, the day before the second anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the memories of that day weighed heavily on him.

For 12 years, Boyd says, he served in the U.S. Army. He says he was, among other things, a sniper, a paratrooper and, subsequently, a counter narcotics operator. He'd been fearless professionally and personally. He'd jumped out of planes, rappelled down cliffs and mountain biked his way across dangerous terrains.

Now, though, he was losing everything. The hospitalizations kept happening. His career was shot. The relationship with the woman he thought he'd marry had ended. The medical questions loomed large. He was dying.

At the pound that day, he simply offered to walk some dogs. He had no plan to adopt an animal. But then, three hours into his visit, his eyes and the dog's locked. He knew, in that instant, they were meant to be together.

The only problem was the dog was already scheduled to die. It was set to be euthanized the following morning. It was too aggressive and could not be trained, the shelter workers insisted. Boyd didn't care.

He begged. He pleaded. And $75 later, the best investment he says he ever made, the duo went home.

The former military man, who lives in Austin, Texas, put that pup through its own boot camp. The dog began to trust his owner, show affection and within six months he'd been transformed. He was happy, loving, sweet.

"He saved my life as much as I saved his," Boyd says.

Along the way, the Australian Cattle Dog was given a proper name - rather than his given name, "Chip." His owner thought back to the time when he'd done some training with the 3rd Royal Australian Airborne. The men had taught him the term "djaingo" – to "go djaingo," Boyd explains, means to go out, get drunk and rowdy, pick up women and have bar fights. And so that tough little dog was named.

Since he first was hospitalized on February 19, 2002, Boyd has struggled. Because of multiple traumatic brain injuries - sustained through military exercises, a car wreck, a rappelling accident and a grenade detonation - he says he suffers from gastroparesis, a paralysis of the gastrointestinal tract. It makes eating and drinking a form of "Russian roulette," he says. It can cause food to sit in his stomach and rot. He has starved himself, unintentionally. For days on end, he can vomit 10 to 15 times an hour. He's broken ribs in the process.

As a result of this illness and repeated, extensive dehydration, he says his weight - 175 when healthy - has dropped to as low as 98 pounds.

By his side, in sickness and in health, has been Djaingo. Boyd's parents live three hours away, and his mother, Cheryl, says she takes solace knowing the dog is there.

He sticks by her son and keeps watch. When Boyd is too sick to take the dog out, he can leave the apartment door open. The dog will run outside on his own "to do his business," she says, and then guard the open door. If her son is in need of medical attention, the dog will alert neighbors.

Having Djaingo has been source of comfort to Boyd. But there was one time when the animal just wasn't enough.

After several days of vomiting four years ago, he thought he'd end it all. He'd had a friend who years ago had committed suicide by drinking Clorox, and from the bathtub's floor, where he was curled up, Boyd eyed the nearby bleach bottle. With the cap off, he prepared to drink.

"I heard it as distinctive as I hear your voice right now," Boyd, his own voice shaking, says by phone to CNN. "I heard, 'Don’t do this.' It was my father God, and I broke down. I get teary-eyed now talking about it."

He'd grown up in a Christian home, "a proverbial 'Leave It to Beaver' family," he says. His dad had been the deacon of their church. His mother is a Sunday school and Bible study teacher. And though Boyd always considered himself Christian, up until that moment he realized he'd been living the Christian life, as an adult, on his own terms.

The debilitating illness that can leave him homebound much of the time, the loss of everything, had in fact saved him, he says.

"It changed everything. I truly feel as if it was God using a 2-by-4, smacking me in the head and telling me to wake up," says Boyd, who described himself as "callous" after his years in the military. "It's softened my heart in so many ways. It's made me realize the things you take for granted in life are sometimes the most important things in life."

He got involved in church. He attends Bible studies when he's able. And as last year's Christmas gift to his mother, who describes herself as a "prayer warrior," he taught Djaingo how to say grace.

"He's a disabled veteran on a very limited income," his mom says. So in lieu of buying each other gifts, she told her son last year that instead they'd "do something, write something or make something" for one another.

What her son and Djaingo did for her touched her heart, she says. And, with the release of the recent video, she's not alone in receiving this gift.

The response has overwhelmed Boyd. He's received more than 5,000 messages from around the globe - including Australia, Russia, Thailand. The friend requests on Facebook have poured in by the hundreds. Djaingo, now with his own Facebook page, is racking up new friends, too.

Boyd has gotten marriage proposals. A grandmother who is going through chemotherapy and lives alone says she watches the video every morning to help her face a new day. A mother whose son has lost faith is hoping that by teaching the dog to pray, her son will feel the connection again, too. Pastors are using the video in sermons.

And all of this, including what it's done for her son, Boyd's mother says, is proof of "God's hand" at work.

"Steven told us he was so lonely. So much of the time, he's apartment-bound. Now he's getting emails from all over the world," she says. "It's given Steven such a boost to his morale. God can take the tiniest thing and use it for good."

Every evening, Boyd and Djaingo say grace together. It's not that the man believes the roly-poly dog, who's been mistaken for a pig before, is actually praying. He knows his faithful pet is just doing what he's told so he can get his dinner.

"But it's an affirmation of my faith to have my dog be able to participate," Boyd says. "Who would have thought God would use my fat dog to spread His glory?"

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Christianity • Faith • Prayer • Technology

soundoff (603 Responses)
  1. richunix

    Wonderful story, maybe it will make into the bible as gospel, maybe the dog saw Elvis too?

    October 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
    • Stephen

      Nah, but the dog secured a good spot in doggie heaven! Didn't you ever see All Dogs Go To Heaven?

      October 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  2. Kush

    What a wonderful way to start my day...I just saw this video and read the story. What a lovely man and dog. Indeed, its GOD spelt backwards (DOG).

    God bless Steven and Djaigo.

    All the best, Kush

    October 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
    • Stephen

      What if you speak German, though? Dog is "Hund" and God is "Gott." Or any other language...

      October 21, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
    • readnvote

      "Spelt" is not a word.

      October 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • MJ

      Dogs are godly like?

      Ironic than that Muslims consider dogs ritually unclean...

      October 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  3. Lee

    I think it's funny how all the anti-god commenters have forgotten that our country allows for freedom of religion – yet these people seem to think religious persecution is ok. If you people talked this way to any other 'group' it would be a problem, but somehow it's ok to mock religious people.

    October 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      I think it's funny how all the god commenters have forgotten that our country allows for freedom of speech.

      October 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      god needs better pr. his actions in the old testament are evil ones. personally, while I do believe in god, I do not believe in how the bible has written him.

      October 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
    • Lee

      Its not "somehow ok". It is just ok to mock you.

      /really, it is great fun to watch you squirm.

      October 21, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  4. Jason

    so a guy with multiple brain traumas says that hsi praying dog and a voice that he hears (he says it is god) saved his life.
    If it was written better, I'd say it was an onion article. why does CNN run things like this?

    October 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • lia

      how can you say this stuff bout someone you never have meet or seen at all it just amazes me thie things people are saying bout my brother and his video it is just heartbreaken and i wish ya"ll would keep ur negative comments to urselfs

      October 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  5. Captdonswife

    I love this! Whatever you believe the dog was doing doesn't really matter. What matters is that Boyd and his dog have this time to pray and do it together. The dog is smart enough to know what to do to get his food. Thanking God for being with us during the day and making us better (man and dog) is a beautiful way to begin or end a day!

    October 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
    • jay

      "pray and *do it* together" errrr. syntax might be a little off there. haha i'm an adult.

      October 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  6. Dennis

    A great story. Very inspirational.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • Peter F


      October 24, 2010 at 1:15 am |
  7. reader

    His story is sad, but this article is INCREDIBLY STUPIDLY WRITTEN.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  8. Jim Jim

    There is no such thing as god. What a waste of time...

    October 21, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • Ana

      No I am not saying there is no God nor do I want to say there is one. But in this story this poor man's faith is really helping him so if that works for him and brings him peace then that is wonderful. If he believes he heard God and that helped him in not commiting suicide then that is wonderful too. But this story should not be about promoting Christianism it's simply a man's story and his own faith.

      October 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
    • Bill

      So Jim JIm if you are dying of an incurable disease, what shall I do? Something positive or something negative?

      October 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • LovingGOD :)

      I know it's hard to understand why God doesn't stop terrible things from happening. I struggle with that at times. But we have to understand that God has chosen to give us freewill and to choose how we want to live our lives. If he stepped in to stop everything bad thing from happening that people were going to do, no one would have freewill. He would stop every person before they told a little white lie, before they cheated, before they cheated, etc, and that would leave us living lives as little drones. But he doesn't do that. He loves all of us enough to make choices for ourselves, even though they may be wrong. He doesn't ask us to understand everything He does and be able to explain it. If we could then we would know everything that God knows and there would be no God. He simply asks us to trust in Him and then allows us to choose if we will. We have no right no ask God to explain anything to us. I agree that it is a difficult thing to understand and I have been blessed enough to have this proof that people speak of wanting in my own life. I have felt God and seen God work in my life. He does not have to prove Himself to anyone and He would never push Himself on anyone. For those who choose not to believe He allows that, although He may not like it. Just because He will not come down and prove Himself to all of those who seek this proof does not mean He does not exist. When looking at faith and religion try to find the original Truth in it all, look past all of the man made facets of religion. There is an original story there and it's a pretty great one 🙂

      October 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  9. Marilyn

    I loved the video before I read this. Now I really love it! God works in mysterious and wonderful ways.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • Jim Jim

      It isn't god. It's because his "master" trained the dog to do that... science works in mysterious and wonderful ways.

      October 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
    • NY Citizen

      He wasn't very mysterious when he let 3,000 people die on 9/11

      October 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  10. Pachuey Chong

    Im glad he got the dog and there is a certain amount of healing under way, but dont thank god....it was your own efforts that helped you make an effort to want to get things back together not some 'idea' of a man that said, "hmmm he's suffered enough, I will now grace him with my blessings". Mankind's own grace will make things better if they choose to take that path, not some voice that comes to us telling us things will get better. You can have faith and not need the idea of god.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • Santo

      to alll who believe that there is no GOD, dont you think it is better to live a lifetime believing there is a GOD and finding out there is no GOD, then living, believing there is no GOd and finding our there is one and now you will burn in Hell for not believing, and living a life of sin.

      October 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • ACA

      @Pachuey Chong
      I couldn't have said it better myself! I am an agnostic/borderline-atheist, but I do try to make every attempt to be open & understanding of the fact that religion/god plays an extremely important and serious role in the lives of people around me BUT I don't understand why people give god credit for things that they did completely on their own (i.e. not drinking that bottle of bleach)! I understand that faith can give people great comfort & relief in times of need, but shouldn't/couldn't it give a person greater comfort to know that they have the capacity within themselves to make the right decisions in times of need?

      October 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • dwech

      So in response to Santo (below) - believing in God is just a matter of hedging your bets? Funny how many times I've heard this bit of self-serving logic. Another fave: "be a Christian because its too much trouble not to be..."

      Doesn't say much for the foundation of belief, does it?

      October 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • David Johnson


      What you are suggesting is Pascal's Wager. I touched on it on another comment.

      2 problems with it:

      1. You might choose the wrong god and wind up in hell.

      2. If there is no god, then you spend a lot of your very precious, that's all there is, time worshiping a non-existent god. Time which could have been used for something more fulfilling.

      Happy Trails!

      October 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • Bill

      Is your ego so big that you have to elevate yourself to the level of God? Oh excuse me in yout own mind that would be lower yourself.... What difference does it make? As I see it now a godless mankind has made a sorry mess of the entire thing. Those that believe the self is most important have failed.

      October 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      Santo, if god is real, he will know what is in your heart, and will know you only believe in him, out of fear of being wrong, and I doubt that will make him happy. In general, I do not believe in the biblical interpretation of the bible. he acts like a petulant enforcer for the jewish people rather than a divine being who created everyone and everything.

      October 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • Ohio Paul

      What about the billions upon billions of people, who by ignoance (didn't know about or wasn't taught about the Christion Religion in thier lifetimes)? They could have been leading a very pious Christian life, following all of God's Rules...There isn't a chance in HELL they are in Heaven, according to every Christian I ever talked to. You have to Believe in Jesus before you die, in order to get into Heaven...according to everything i have been told or taught, this is the ONLY way to get into the Christian Heaven.

      Listen people, if there is a God, why would he discriminate? Oops, that is a Human flaw...

      No one knows if there is an 'after-life' . If the is an after-life and only repentant Christians are there, I'll be with the other billions of souls of people who weren't, wherever that is.

      November 1, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  11. Lisa

    My sister-in-law shared this video with me as we both have blue heelers. I did not realize the story behind the video and I am so glad I do now. Dogs are the most amazing and giving animals I know. Blue Heelers are one of the smartest dogs and speak to you through their eyes. I am so happy these two found each other and are both healing:)

    October 21, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • Susan

      I also liked this story although I think that any breed of dog, given the love, patience and discipline Steven gave Django, can be trained to be a therapy dog. They were destined for each other no matter who/what you attribute it to. It's great to read a good story like this one.

      October 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  12. Chase Johnson

    This article has brought me to tears. It is wonderful to see that someone in our world today still focuses on positivities and being selfless. God bless this man, and all who read this article! Peace!

    October 21, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  13. kevb0tt

    This is proof that god loves america. That's how come we got praying dogs and ATVs and Toby Keith

    October 21, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  14. sasha

    I actually had that clip sent to me in an email. Neat to see the backstory. I mean how many people get video clips and never get to know a thing about the origin.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • Daisy Dog

      I had the video clip sent to me as well and loved it – the backstory only enhances the video clip. Great guy, great dog. Beautiful story, God works in mysterious ways. I'm thrilled he saved the dog from certain death and retrained him!

      October 21, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  15. Tracey

    Beautiful story... An animal is a lifesaver. What ever ups and downs I have had a loyal dog has always been there to help pull me thru it. Good luck to him. Hope life brings him better days.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  16. thes33k3r

    Wow. What a magnificent display of gullibility. Good parallel with how children are brainwashed into believing nonsense on their parent's knee.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • Some Guy

      Wow, what a magnificent display of cynicism. Why is it people who don't believe in God or spiritual things are always asking for tolerance, but refuse to give it to those who do believe?

      October 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • gomezbaby

      Hello, I have followed your comments before and I was just wondering something. I respect your beliefs but as a Christian I have always wanted an answer to this question and just had nobody to ask. What if on the day that you die, you find out you're wrong? I really am interested in the thoughts of an atheist/agnostic (forgive me, I can't remember exactly how you classify yourself). Obviously, nobody knows exactly, but as far as you can assume, do you accept your final destination based on your decision of unbelief while you were alive or do you plead forgiveness? Please understand, this reply is in no way meant to be sarcastic or mean, I'm truly interested in your thoughts. Thank you 🙂

      October 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • David Johnson


      If you pin me down, I'm an agnostic. I can't prove there is no god. But, I am an atheist in spirit. LOL

      What will I do if I die and find out there is a god, and he is really mad at me?

      Obviously it would suck to be me. I don't think there is much I could do. Right?

      But, what if you have chosen the wrong religion? What if you are worshiping the wrong god? The Muslims believe the Christians are going to hell. There are ~2000 different Christian denominations, all believing their god is the one true god. Many of these denominations, believe only their members will be saved. What guarantee do you have, that you won't end up at a very large barbecue when you die? We all must live with our decisions. There will always be risk.

      Happy Trails Pardner!

      October 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
    • MJ

      Essentially Pascals wager:

      Pascal's Wager (or Pascal's Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher, mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal that, even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose. Although Pascal formulated his suggestion using on the Judeo-Christian God, this wager can apply to the god of any religion.

      Unfortunately this wager is a cowards way out. And as David pointed out, what if you chose the wrong religion? You can't accept them all....So you're screwed anyway.

      October 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
    • Linda

      For the record, I am an atheist and I am embarrassed by the "David Johnsons" on the board. Take a flying leap....this isn't the place to debate religion. This is a beautiful story. Why do you care what gives this man, who is suffering so much the strength to get through the day? Your vitriol is disturbing. If this was an article debating whether there was a God, I would be with you– but this is a person with a huge heart. Take your bitter divisiveness elsewhere.

      October 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • David Johnson


      I am so sorry I don't live up to your expectations. Will I lose my Atheist Club Membership? Will I have to return the jacket?

      Aren't you the same Linda that is a fundie and usually complains about me? LOL

      October 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • Bill

      Stop trolling David.

      October 21, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      Of course this about religion, if for no other reason than the story is posted in here, in CNN's Belief Blog...

      Anyway, my take on this is the guy was lying on the floor, probably severely dehydrated due to vomiting, so his brain is chemically messed up. He remembers things his bible-thumper father probably said and foolishy thinks he's having a personal 1-on-1 with "god." Nice that his lif improved, but to attribute it to a god, or even to a dog, is pretty silly. But, this is just a theory, just like religion in general...

      October 21, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
    • john

      @hotairace lol you say religion is just a theory...so is evolution. by the way, im a christian and believe in evolution so no need to go blasting facts and figures trying to convince me.

      October 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      I'm happy that I was able to give you reason to laugh. Don't worry about an onslaught of facts and figures. I don't think that has been my style in the past, and in any event, given your assertion that you believe in evolution, you are on the path to more rational thinking, and hopefully the ultimate realization thayt all religion is man made crap. Congratulations on being on the path to true enlightenment!!

      October 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • Deb

      How about some of you.. not making this 'all about you'.

      I like the story... It shows how strong a bond can be between a man and dog.

      November 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  17. Dave Harris

    A very touching story to be sure, but you know Christians don't allow animals in heaven, because they don't have a soul (animals, that is). For that matter, they don't allow Mormons into heaven either, but that's a separate issue. Does he really think that teaching a dog to posture like it's praying means that the dog is actually praying? He should consider getting a girlfriend instead (or a boyfriend, whatever), who could at least be as deluded as he is and follow him into his imaginary heaven.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • Man

      Did you not read it to the end? He admits that he knows the dog isn't actually praying and is just doing what its been trained so it can eat. And Christians don't decide who goes to Heaven and who doesn't. A Mormon can get into Heaven the same as anyone else. An who said animals don't have souls? You? Someone you talked to? Because last I checked nobody can check to see if one does or does not have a soul, human or animal.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Adam Wineinger

      I'm a Christian and do allow animals in heaven. Mormons too. Don't be so narrow minded about Christians, geez.

      October 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
    • Amanda

      You are correct. Christians don't believe that animals have a soul. All of the oldest religions have changed so much in the course of history after being written and re-written and translated through so many languages over thousands of years... So, who knows how any of the religions started, since they most likely barely resemble what they started out as. I think this is a nice story where a guy who is obviously suffering physically found some sort of relief and solitude, so who even cares what some specific religion says about it, or what any one of us says? I'm happy that he, his family, and his dog are happy. Call me a heathen if you want, but I believe that, if there's a heaven, animals will be there. If I went to a place that was supposed to be heaven for me, they would definitely have to be there. And I'm willing to bet that most pet and specifically dog-owners will agree with me.

      October 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
    • Jay

      Dave Harris:
      When did you become greater that God Almighty. God himself said that I'll only judge people when I sit on the Judgment seat and here you've already started judging.
      Boy o Boy, read – Matt 12:36-37

      October 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
    • David Johnson


      There is absolutely no evidence for there being a soul. All that we are, is in our brain. When we experience brain death, we simply no longer exist. There is no afterlife. No Heaven. No Hell. Sorry.

      Happy Trails!

      October 21, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Oh come one! Would you really want a dog crapping on the lawn in heaven? LOL

      October 21, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • wolfmama

      Just as a point of reference, Christians don't let anybody into heaven. Living a life with Jesus Christ is the way to heaven. There's no toll-booth. Dave, I do appreciate your commentary, not only because there are always different opinions on everything, but because practically everything you say makes me more and more sure that I am living a godly life.

      October 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Cynthia Portfolio, Doctor of Metaphysics

      Dave: When I was in Catholic school, a child asked "Does my pet go to heaven when it dies?" The nun said Christianity does not address that issue and she asked a Hindu child to explain. The Hindu girl about 11 said that animals belong to group souls from where they receive inituition. The more evolved the animal, the fewer in the group. No one has the right to ban anyone from entering heaven. We are all on a path. We are many branches of a tree but all have the same trunk. Animals can detect disease, comfort the dyiing. They have deep spiritual wisdom and give unconditional love. They are very forgiving and do have souls and are usually reincarnated into the same human families. "We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man...Henry Beston"

      October 24, 2010 at 12:11 am |
    • GB

      @ David Johnson & @ MJ

      You said, “ I have indeed read the book of Job. I think it shows how horrid the god of Abraham was. Job loved god! Satan taunts god, that Job only loves Him because god blesses him. So God and Satan make a bet to see if Satan can cause Job to turn away from god.”
      The Bible is a spiritual Book; you need the Holy Spirit to guide you in order to fully understand the truth it contains. The Book of Job is an allegory (a long parable), the grandest ever written. You have overlooked that Job's suffering is analogous to what Jesus suffered after his arrest, during his trials and crucifixion. Check out this site: http://www.biblesecrets.org/JOB.htm; they explained how the Book of Job testifies of Jesus Christ by prophesying of his life at least a thousand year before he lived.
      Verses from the Book of Job, they clearly suggesting events in the life of Jesus Christ (you need spiritual eyes to understand):
      20:11 His bones still full of vigor [of his youth]
      Lie down in the dust with him.
      21:32 He is brought to the grave,
      While a watch is kept at his tomb
      20:24 He shall flee from the iron weapon,
      and the bow of steel shall strike him through.
      20:25 It is drawn; and cometh out of his body;
      7:21 now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be
      23:11 I have followed in his tracks, kept his way without swerving,
      I have not deviated from what his lips commanded.

      If you were knowledgeable about all the accurate prophesies in the Bible, how they testified of Jesus, you too would comprehend why us Christians believe the Bible was inspired by God.

      November 3, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  18. Bobbbbb

    God only saves certain people, I guess.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • Southern Belle

      No Bobbbbb. . . .,
      GOD saves any and all who ask for forgivness and believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross for their sins. John 3:16 of the Holy Bible says: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, [ Or his only begotten Son] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

      October 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • ktrails

      David, David, what are we going to do with you? 🙂

      On the subject of God being credited for saving the man, but not being credited for the misery early in his life, that's a tough one. I ponder that a lot myself. Augustine talked about free will by saying we are free to choose between the bad, but not at liberty to choose God until he chooses/regenerates us. Our misery is created by the human condition, by the choices we make, by the choices made by others for us. God does not say he will remove all misery, but he says "when you pass through the waters, I will be with you". I spent most of my life an angry agnostic, a practical atheist, and an alcoholic. I verbally attacked those who expressed faith, and got great joy out of tearing them down. If this board had been around then, I'd have been right there with you, post for post. Five years ago, I had a life-changing experience, no brain injury, no terminal disease, hard to explain, but the result was my thought turned God-ward for the first time. The people I had always viewed from the outside as hypocrites welcomed me with open arms, and I have had a joyful, rich life, have regained relationships with my family, etc., etc. I can't explain it, I still marvel at it, and I thank God for it, although not nearly enough.

      grace and peace,


      October 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Southern Belle

      Bad part about the religious, is that they always want to put the cart before the horse.

      You haven't proven, or offered any credible evidence, that there is a god.

      But, you start posting "god's word" from the bible. If you or anyone could prove the bible is really the word of god, there would be no non-believers. Proving god's existence is Job #1.

      October 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Grace to believe

      It's not just that God "saved" the man, but that the MAN chose to give his heart to the Lord. It's by grace that we are saved. It's a gift. Not all understand, it's only when God reveals to their heart that they begin to understand. God is not willing that any perish. He loves each and everyone of us.

      October 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • Grace to believe

      @ David
      you can feel the wind, you can see the trees, you can feel the rain, but you can't see where it comes from, where it originated or why it's falling. Yeah, we can't "prove" that God exists, we BELIEVE that God exists. You have to have faith that He's there. You have to have faith that there is something bigger then you causing everything in the universe to co-exist. it may have been you, it could have been someone else that said it, I can't remember. But someone said, if God saved the man, couldn't you also say that God gave him the disease that caused him the pain anyway? Pain exists because of the fall of man, because of sin, because of the devil. God has nothing to do with the pain that is caused.

      Could I be wrong? yes, but I would rather believe in God then not believe in anything at all. In the end, yeah, I will find out, but I will call myself a Christian until the day I die!

      October 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Tina

      For those of you who say things like "God only saves some people," or "i guess God didn't like that person," or "Why don't you acknowledge that God caused that person's suffering," it just doesn't work that way. All of us have had suffering and pain in our lives. Much of the time we caused it ourselves, but for the sake of argument, there are things like natural disasters that happen. No, God didn't prevent it (although you don't know if there are other disasters He DID prevent because you don't know His mind). Yes, he allowed it to happen. The "saving" isn't earthly saving! We aren't supposed to fear what a human might do to us, or what might happen to us in a natural disaster. What we need to fear is Satan and his works, even his attempts to make us weak by not believing in God. The suffering we experience on earth makes us stronger. Peace to all of you!!

      October 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
    • MJ

      The mind and the belief system we have can be very deceiving, whether you believe in Santa Claus or that strapping a bomb to yourself and killing innocents will make you closer to God. Believing in something without fact or proof is folly. Believing it and "feeling in your heart" that it's true doesn't make it true.

      There is NO proof that God exists...period!

      October 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
    • No God?

      MJ and David, it's sad to see you both so against believing in God? Why? You don't have to believe in organized religion. I don't. I don't think that making the shape of the cross on my chest or drinking something makes me any closer to God, or makes me go to heaven and not you. But to think there is no God is absurd. Why is there so much diversity in the world? Don't you think if there was no God that all flowers would be black and white? There wouldn't be so many types of amazing animals? What about all the amazing things humans have created? Heck, we've been to the moon and the bottom of the ocean. But, hey, "there's no God." So just keep on believing. Enjoy your lackluster existence on this planet. For me, the proof is in the pudding.

      October 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Grace to believe

      You said, "Yeah, we can't "prove" that God exists, we BELIEVE that God exists."

      Belief does not make something true. The biblical authors believed the world was flat. It isn't.

      You said, "Pain exists because of the fall of man, because of sin, because of the devil. God has nothing to do with the pain that is caused."

      An argument I have used in other debates about this:
      Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. So god created disease. He constructed the tick and the flea, and the tape worm and the mosquito. He caused the animals to prey on one another. God did this to teach...what lesson, to the subsequent generations? The desire for knowledge is evil? Just read your bible and believe? What lesson?
      If man's suffering has no purpose, then it is just pure vengeance. Pain and suffering for its own sake. How can you call god good?

      But some say man did it to ourselves. Really? Did these things spontaneously generate as the fruit was chewed? So when a person is placed under the lash or upon the rack, he brought it upon himself? No matter how hideous the penalty, the person applying the punishment bears no guilt? Did no one fashion the lash or devise the rack?
      Didn't god determine the severity of the fall? If not who did?

      October 21, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • MJ

      Expand your mind a little...why do you feel that flowers would be black and white if there were no God?
      You make no sense at all.

      October 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @No God?

      I'm getting bored and have rent paying activities to do. Allof your arguments about the diversity of species and flower colors etc., can be answered by evolution. A really great book on this is Richard Dawkin's latest book "The Greatest Show On Earth". It will answer all your questions.

      You don't believe in evolution because your King Jimmy says god done it?

      Well then I ask you why there are tons of transitional fossils? Did god have to keep creating organisms 'till he got it right?

      Did you know the following?
      Man has the genes for a fully functional tail.
      Whales have the genes for making legs
      Chickens have the genes for teeth
      These genes are simply not activated.
      Yep, we evolved. We have genes that are vestiges from previous more primitive organisms. These genes would not be there if god created everything once.

      Happy Trails Pardner!

      October 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Wiliiiam

      @David Johnson
      You said, "If God is credited with saving him, why isn't God credited for making his life miserable as well?"

      Perhaps you should read the book of Job...
      Jesus loves you David, and so do I. 🙂

      October 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • MGP

      @ktrails, Grace to Believe, and Tina,


      @ David Johnson

      Can you prove God doesn't exist?

      October 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • SE

      MJ.....God didn't make his life miserable.....he did that himself. Sin leads to death, repentance leads to joy.

      October 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Norm

      MJ you obviously don't get it.
      Maybe go to church and they'll explain it to you if you really care and are not just being a pain in the a$$.

      October 21, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
    • Grace to believe

      The fool has said in his heart,
      “There is no God.”
      They are corrupt,
      They have done abominable works,
      There is none who does good.
      The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
      To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
      They have all turned aside,
      They have together become corrupt;
      There is none who does good,
      No, not one.

      I am no dummy, no fool. As I said, I would rather believe in God then not believe in anything at all. I am done casting my pearls. God be with you and peace out!

      October 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
    • MJ


      "MJ.....God didn't make his life miserable.....he did that himself. Sin leads to death, repentance leads to joy." ...This is the argument that has no merit...how convenient...bad things happen then it's your fault, good things happen then it's by the grace of God?!


      "MJ you obviously don't get it.
      Maybe go to church and they'll explain it to you if you really care and are not just being a pain in the a$$."

      Should I go to church, mosque, or temple? Which story holds the truth?

      October 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • Grace to believe

      I wasn't going to say anything else, but I have too...

      You said:
      "o An argument I have used in other debates about this:
      Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. So god created disease. He constructed the tick and the flea, and the tape worm and the mosquito. He caused the animals to prey on one another. God did this to teach...what lesson, to the subsequent generations? The desire for knowledge is evil? Just read your bible and believe? What lesson?
      If man's suffering has no purpose, then it is just pure vengeance. Pain and suffering for its own sake. How can you call god good?
      But some say man did it to ourselves. Really? Did these things spontaneously generate as the fruit was chewed? So when a person is placed under the lash or upon the rack, he brought it upon himself? No matter how hideous the penalty, the person applying the punishment bears no guilt? Did no one fashion the lash or devise the rack?
      Didn't god determine the severity of the fall? If not who did?"

      Adam & Eve: CHOSE TO SIN by disobeying what God told them not to do, therefore casting the entire creation into sin. Therefore causing the turmoil that exists today, including the bothersome mosquito, tick, flea, tapeworm etc. God did do everything to teach, teach to ask questions, the power of choice, human will. The lesson is to obey, listen to the laws of the land just like you would the laws of God. Suffering is to teach, but it’s not God that forced the suffering on man-kind it’s the choice that man made in the garden thousands of years ago that caused the suffering. The only redemption is the sacrifice His Son made.

      Man did do this. Man causes a lot of things to happen, good and bad. It’s called free will! God knew what Adam & Eve were going to do, but He didn’t stop them, He let them choose. Just like He lets us choose to believe in Him or not. I am not forcing Christianity or a believe down your throat. Quite the opposite. If what I post causes someone else to call on God and their soul is saved from Hell then halleluiah!
      Does there not have to be punishment for murder? Yes, there will be guilt of the person enforcing the punishment, God is even sorrowful for the sin of the world! He created it, He created man! He gave mankind the freedom to choose! I am sorrowful when I have to discipline kids in my family. But they need to listen to the rules, am I right? God isn’t “out to get you”

      That's the last of my 2 cents.

      October 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Scott

      In response to @MJ "If God is credited with saving him, why isn't God credited for making his life miserable as well?" Note what IS said in the article: "The debilitating illness that can leave him homebound much of the time, the loss of everything, had in fact saved him, he says." It was the miserableness that God allowed him to come to his senses like the prodigal son in Luke 15. God does take credit for the miserableness believe it or not at least the effects. Its called judgment. Not all judgment is damning, some is quite gracious. The sin that caused it? Well we get credit for that!

      October 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Bill

      @MJ @David, if you are as indifferent as you claim to the existance of God, why are you here. You are as guilty as the religous that you demonize for attempting to spread your beliefs that, in fact, there is not God. My beliefs are mine and I will share with any who want to know what I believe. I will not, however, prove the existance of God to you or any others. This is a very uplifting story and you miss the heart of the whole thing with your secular veiw of the world. Your lives are somehow very narrow in scope and beauty passes you by.

      October 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @David Johnson

      You thought I said: "If God is credited with saving him, why isn't God credited for making his life miserable as well?"

      Actually MJ said that. But it was a good statement. I agree 100% with it.

      You said, "Perhaps you should read the book of Job..."

      I have indeed read the book of Job. I think it shows how horrid the god of Abraham was.

      Job loved god!

      Satan taunts god, that Job only loves Him because god blesses him.

      So God and Satan make a bet to see if Satan can cause Job to turn away from god.

      Job's possessions are taken. Job's children are killed. Job is tortured by sores from head to toe.

      God wins the bet. He blesses Job again, and gives him new children. What about the old ones? God seems to care little for human life.

      What about when god makes Abraham and his son think He wants Abraham to sacrifice his son to Him? Yes, god stops Abraham, but how traumatic for the father and son. And all because god was insecure about Abraham's love.

      Yep, your desert war god is a pis_ser, for sure.

      October 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Cinemalogue

      @grace: You wrote: "you can feel the wind, you can see the trees, you can feel the rain, but you can't see where it comes from, where it originated or why it's falling."

      Actually, yes you can. Pick up a meteorology textbook, please. I'm all fine and well with people who want to believe in one religion or another if they feel they need it, but it shouldn't come at the expense of knowledge. There is ultimately nothing that we experience that cannot, in principle, be explained whether you believe there's an explanation to be found or not.

      Religion is helpful to some people, but as my father used to say, don't put your book above your god. If you believe there is a god, then you have to acknowledge that there's more to that god than some few hundred pages or even a few thousand pages, could explain. Thousands upon thousands more pages have been written about all the things we do understand in this universe, and yet you think that if it's not in this little book it must not be explainable at all?

      Please, I encourage you... expand your knowledge. If nothing else, you'll see that god's universe is far greater than you could imagine... far greater than the people who cobbled together the bible could imagine. Is that such a crime, or are you insistent that, "No! My god is a little god of parlor tricks and so-called personal miracles... nevermind the trillions of stars in the sky or how they got there! I don't want to know!"

      To paraphrase Shakespeare: there is more to this universe, dear Grace, than dreamt of in your philosophy...

      October 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • Cinemalogue

      As to the problem of why evil exists if there is a god, Epicurus had it figured out 2300 years ago:

      "Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?" — Epicurus, as quoted in 2000 Years of Disbelief

      October 21, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • Greg

      God works in misterious ways. First he (she, it?) screws you up. Next he sort of heals you. It's all done so you can see how mighty all-powerful he (she, it) is.

      So, praise the Lord!

      October 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • WB

      God saves all those that accept Christ. Saved as in an eternity in heaven. God does not promise health, fame, and or fortune in life.

      October 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
    • Otto G

      BTW WB, "god forgives those that accept christ"

      Accept christ as WHAT? (before you answer, think for a half a second about how stupid your knee jerk reaction is going to be, b/c it's really juvenile)

      fairy tales & "belief" have shed more blood over thousands of years than all the disease, famine & natural disasters (oh wait, those are all created by your "loving caring god)!!!

      October 21, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Southern Belle that means about as much as me taking a dump for freedom. There is no heaven or hell. There is no saved or unsaved.

      October 21, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
    • Andrew

      Good god are you people serious?
      I find the notion of "god saving" by letting him into your hearts to be perhaps the most scary and sinister notion in all of Christianity. Think of what it implies if non-believers are not saved.

      Einstein, Dirac, Feynman, Sagan, Gandhi, Gould, Weinberg, Pauli, Tesla, Plato, the list could go on and on for quite some time of all the individuals who are going to be in hell, including my family, for not accepting "god". Among the most incredible people, the individuals I have the most respect for, are going to hell, to suffer for eternity, because they didn't praise an egomaniac?

      And then what of heaven? How could anyone enjoy "eternal bliss" when you are aware of all of the people suffering never-ending torment in hell? How could that not eat away at you? The nature of "eternal bliss" to me sounds frightening, it seems a prospect of dehumanizing, of sterilization. You live, in eternity, near this guy whose only condition for "bliss" is offering sycophantic praise blindly? And all those who don't suffer for eternity?

      And heaven is supposed to be better than hell? I'm supposed to want to surround myself with people who compromise intellectual honesty to offer praise to an egomaniac, while the individuals I love and respect more than anyone are suffering forever and ever? How is heaven not a scary concept to Christians?

      And, then, you offer this as the reason I should blindly worship something?

      You ask me to "disprove" god, I can't, just like I can't disprove unicorns, or you can't disprove that I have a magical rhino tied up in an invisible basement. You want to know what's possible?

      There is a teapot orbiting outside Jupiter far too small for our telescopes to ever see. It could have been put there by god, it could have been dropped by aliens, it could have just been an incredibly statistically unlikely fluke in the universe where the atoms simply arranged themselves in a properly forming teapot, but the teapot COULD exist. Prove that it doesn't. It's too small for telescopes to see. And there's no real way to prove aliens didn't drop it there and certainly no way to prove god didn't place it there, so prove the teapot doesn't exist?

      If you can't, does that mean belief in the teapot orbiting Jupiter is warranted? Better yet, should belief in this teapot, of which no evidence can be awarded, and no evidence can invalidate, be a requirement for some sterile state of eternal "bliss", and be the point to champion by people who believe in it?

      Do believers really not see just how twisted their world appears to the empiricist?

      October 21, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • ybs

      god and religions are one big pile of dung! This time, it's dog's poop!


      October 31, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • Ohio Paul

      A nice story and it is great to hear that something good is happening to someone who gave so much for our country. People like Steven Boyd need hope. They've hit rock bottom and if this relationship with his dog 'saved' him, then great. I just don't believe that anything good that happens is a result of God just as I don't think everything bad is the work of the devil.

      Flawed humans (sinners) wrote the bible. God did not hand a 1st edition to the Disciples. The Christian religious powers of the time (Vatican City) dictated what was used and what was discarded. Who knows what God intended us to know and read, if it never made it to the final edition? The Bible is a wonderful work and maybe the best book ever written, but it is Fiction. It is a story book form 2000 years ago. A wonderful guide to leading your life but it doesn't 'prove' anything.

      P.S. If there was no God, wouldn't the flowers be black and white? Whaaaaat? I don't know where to start...wouldn't EVERYTHING be black and white under your Theory of life without God? Why just flowers?

      This kind of arguing will get you nominated for the Tea Party!

      November 1, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  19. rms8490

    That's a sweet story.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  20. Lib

    I think it was cute. And if it made him and his mom happy then who cares what anyone else thinks anyways.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • Deeth82

      @ Lib

      EXACTLY! It doesn't matter what you believe, it's hard not to be as moved as we are sometimes moved by animals. What we believe is not the point in my book, so long as you believe in Hope.

      I know that sounds cheesy (it is), but it's also quite true.

      October 21, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Billy

      I'm a non-christian and I totally agree. The guy has been through a lot and deserves whatever comfort he can get. The dog is cute, too.

      October 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • Ellen

      Lovely story which emphasizes the power of love for one's pets. Saving animals is the ultimate–I live with a dear and gentle cat that I adopted just hours away from being euthanized. What a gift he is–I thank God for him countless times each day.

      October 21, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • pjk

      hi best of luck ... i hope i can help you all.!

      October 21, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
    • Roger Swaner

      Responding to all the chatter about wheather there is a God or not. I am a Christian that believes that is by failth alone that we believe in God. I believe that God gave me a choice of what to do and how to live my life. During my life I have made some bad choices and I have made some good ones. I believe that is through God's grace that I can make those choices. I am thankful for that. I feel that God will forgive all of my bad decisions if only I ask Him. You who say there isn't a God have made your choice. That is what you have received from God's grace, not to believe. I have made my statement, I stand firmly behind it and am thankful I have the right to do so. I will sign off now and feel free to make fun of me, curse me or anything else you wish you can do. I will still believe. Your loss.

      October 24, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • Marline Bashkiharatee

      Well said Lib. Dogs are indeed a man's best friend, loyal to a fault. I love the idea of them praying together and it may seem trivial but it is real especially to the man, his dog ,and his mother. I appreciate them sharing their story and I am looking forward to my new puppy's arrival, a Chihuahua. It's only 6 weeks old now. Hoping to be as successful as Steven was in training his dog, Djaingo.

      October 31, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
    • Eleazar

      God created man in paradise. Where is paradise?? Earth is multidimensional and it has been proven. Jesus christ son of God dwells within man; although satan does too; either we like or not. Ancient Aztecs considered satans energy to be called Kundulini . I talk to God every day because I can feel him; he is in Us he dwells in all humans we just have to pray to him with sincere effort. Jesus Christ is GOd, and believe or not but Im also a former Satanist. The Occult is very real it serves as a purpose to be like GOd totally mocking our divine creator and his son Jesus Christ.

      November 2, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.