Admit it, this is why you don’t go to church.

by Kevin on July 14, 2011

The cowboys were all silent as each one gazed into the campfire and allowed his thoughts to be transported away. Some guys stretched out sideways and propped themselves on an elbow while others watched from under the brim of their hats as they reclined against their saddles. But one cowboy used the fire as a light to do his evenin’ readin’.

One of the cowboys asked, “Hey Ed! Whatcha readin’ over there? I hope it’s a recipe book because I’m tired of all this camp’s cooks.”

Ed looked up and smiled, “I guess you could call it a recipe book, ‘cept most folks call it the Good Book.”

“I ain’t never been one that needed to read or go to town and sit in a buildin’ to know God,” the cowboy said.

Ed put his book down and stirred the fire. He moved one big, glowing piece of wood a little ways out of the fire and said, “I’m glad to hear that you believe in the Almighty. But tell me your reckonin’ on not readin’ the bible or goin’ to Sunday meetin’.”

All eyes were now on this young cowboy instead of the fire.

“Well, the readin’ part is easy enough to explain. I can’t read letters. I quit school real early to go punch cows and didn’t see a real need to learn ’em.”

Ed said, “If you ever had a hankerin’ to learn your letters, I’d be happy to help.”

The cowboy nodded and said, “Thanks Ed. I ‘ppreciate that. Now I never saw no use in goin’ to town to worship God with a bunch of hypocrites and well-to-do’s because I get to experience God every single day out here workin’ cattle. I see the miracle of a sunrise ever mornin’ and the hymns are sung to me by blue-jays and they’re backed up by the bass notes of the bullfrogs.”

“So you see Ed, I go to church every day. Just not in the same way as you do.”

Ed smiled and said, “That was durn near poetic Clint. You might not be able to read words, but you’ve sure got a knack for stringin’ ’em together.”

“But do you remember all this dead wood we put together? We piled it up and then lit it on fire. Now it’s useful. We can cook our meat on it. We can warm our bodies. It even keeps the wolves from gettin’ too close.”

Ed picked up a stick and pointed, “But look here at this coal I moved just minute ago. It used to be red hot and glowing, but when it was moved away from the rest, it became cold. Where once it had purpose, meaning, and usefulness before, now it’s just dead. You called it church, I call it hanging out with others that are on fire. Church is about what we can accomplish together, not what we are apart. Worship can be done alone, but church cannot.”

And let us figure out how we can spur each other on towards lovin’ each other and doin’ good things, and don’t abandon meetin’ together as some make a habit of doin’. But give each other a pat on the back and a helpin’ hand if it’s needed–and all the more as you see the Day comin’ fast.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (Simplified Cowboy Version)

Thanks to Shawn Storey for the idea for this post

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  • Don Coyote

    Good ‘un…now if I could just find me a cowboy church down here.
    ‘Til then I guess it’s “El Buen Pastor”

    • Kevin

      I want Save the Cowboy’s first foreign church to be right where you are. Praying for a vaquero iglesia alla.

      • Don Coyote

        Ojala–se Dios quiere.

  • This is a word I wish I had had a couple months back when some friends decided to “Exit” the church because of one too many disagreements. Here’s hoping I never need it from this point on, but just in case – THANKS! 🙂

    • Kevin

      A good friend of mine (the one I noted in the article) send me this idea on a facebook message. I loved it and then I “cowboy-ed” it up.

  • Buster Mitchell

    It was so funny when i got to the Bible verse at the end… H3br3ws10_25 was my password in the computer at work. I have used Bible verses for passwords for about six years now, ever since I had to give a talk on Bible Study on a “Walk to Emmaus”… and it never fails after I have chosen one, something will happen and I will see it somewhere or it will actually come into play somehow… HE truly does work in mysterious ways. Thanks again Kevin, for all you do.

    • Kevin

      I love it when God works like that!!

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