“The Upper ROOOOOOM!” and a poem by Athen Allee

by Jake Hershey on September 9, 2012

My wife and I were asked to start and pastor a cowboy church a few years ago.  After a few months of talkin’ to God about it, I knew it was what we were supposed to do.  We had just moved to the area and didn’t know a single person in the town where the church was to start.  I was as green as a BLM mustang that had just been caught and thrown into the round pen.  And I probably looked a lot like that the first few months when I was preaching.  About that time, a feller walked in with his young family.  It just so happened to be the first (and only) time I hadn’t written my own sermon and I was using an illustration that said something about the “upper room” mentioned in the bible.  Some of you might remember my post awhile back called “Can’t Get Right”.  It was in reference to a movie called “Life”.  If you’ve seen the movie, you know who Can’t Get Right was and you probably thought of the same thing I do every time I hear someone mention the “upper room.”  There’s a part towards the end of the movie where these two old men are talking and they mention the upper room.  Then they sing those words…”The Upper ROOOOOM!”

Back to my story.  So I’m preaching, tryin’ not to look like a wild eyed colt in the round pen for the first time and I mention the upper room.  Immediately, I see the movie scene in my head…”The Upper ROOOOOM!”  I laughed on the inside, but didn’t think anyone would know or care what I was thinking about.  I finished the sermon and went back to meet the young man who had come for the first time with his young family.  We instantly hit it off.  One of the reasons being he asked me if I knew what came to his mind when he heard me mention the “upper room”.  I played dumb and said, “No”.  He said, “Have you ever seen that movie with the two black guys who are in prison together?”  I looked right at him and sang, “The Upper ROOOOOM!”  We went to laughing and we’ve been best friends ever since.

As I got to know this guy, I saw something in him.  One day I just flat out told him that God had big plans for him and that I knew he knew what I was talking about.  He was kinda at a loss for words (which is unusal), but he told me I was right.  He ended up being my associate pastor…..which is a fancy word for my right hand man in the church.  In the years since, that guy has led a bunch of people to God, preached several awesome sermons, performed weddings and funerals and written and performed some awesome Christian cowboy poetry.   Let me tell you, he’s still just getting started.

This guy gets it.  He’s a real deal Christian, cowboy, husband, father and friend to me.  Last week I said people are just people.  But there are some people God brings into your life who are more than that.  They are the kind of people that if need be, would saddle their pony in a heartbeat, stick the reins in their mouth and help you and Jesus storm the gates of hell with both barrels blazin’.  I know a heck of a lot of people in this world, but I only know a few that beyond the shadow of a doubt would be ridin’ right next to Kevin Weatherby and myself in that scenario.  I ain’t gonna mention them all today, but I just wanted y’all to know about my buddy Athen Allee.  I’m no longer the pastor at that church where we met, but he is the new pastor’s right hand man.  Last week, he preached a sermon and shared a poem he’d written before dedicating his newborn son to the Lord.  And although it doesn’t mention anything about ridin’ broncs, ropin’ cattle, campfires or chuckwagons, I’d like to share the poem he wrote and shared last week.  I do believe it’s purty dang cowboy.  And I bet you’ll agree.


The Answer to My Prayers

My wife and I have been blessed with a new baby boy,

Him and our daughter fill our lives with joy,

As I think and worry about the man my son will be,

I turn to God and get down on one knee,

“Lord help me to raise my son right,

Please look out for him And keep him in your sight.

Help me to show him how to look up to the skies,

To ask for forgiveness, give praise and see things through your eyes.”

Boy howdy my daughter is growing up fast,

It seems like she was born yesterday, but five years have come to pass,

And as I think and worry about the woman she will turn out to be,

I turn to God and get down on one knee,

“Lord help me to raise my daughter right,

Please look out for her and keep her in your sight.

Help me to show her how to look up to the skies,

To ask for forgiveness, give praise and see things through your eyes.”

Me and my wife have made it through eight,

With God’s help we have kept our heads screwed on straight,

And as we move on and continue our lives together,

Knowin’ we are always going to see just a little bit of bad weather,

When we think and worry about the parents and spouses we’ll continue to be,

We turn to God and get down on one knee,

“Lord help us to do what is right,

Please look out for us and keep us in your sight,

Remind us to look up to the skies,

To ask for forgiveness, give praise and see things through your eyes.”

And through these prayers and hours well spent,

God gave me a message that was Heaven sent,

He said for us as a family to get down on one knee,

And he will show us what he wants us to be,

To ask him for help, to always do what is right,

And he’ll look out for us and keep us in his sight,

And He’ll remind us to look up to the skies,

To ask for forgiveness, give praise and see things through his eyes.

And by doing this as a family my children will learn to pray,

And they’ll come to know Jesus, just like I did back in the day,

So setting a good example is what he wants me to do,

And I believe he wants you to set one, too.

By Athen Allee

Copyright 2012


Jake Hershey 9/9/12

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  • Greg Box

    Outstanding Message and Poem! Thank ya!


  • Michael Frankln

    Back in my younger days I’ve ridden a horse or two, hazed a few cattle too, I’m not a cowboy by any means though I do enjoy the country life. I really like your blog, no punches pulled, just down to earth tell it like it is. Thank You looking forward to the next post. God Bless and keep you and your family.

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