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One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin. Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged. In his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an equally worn out bible.


The church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and accessories. As the cowboy took a seat, the others settled down in areas away from him. No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were all dismayed at his appearance and did not attempt to hide it.


The preacher gave a long sermon about Hellfire and brimstone and a stern lecture on how people ought to be finding more people to win to Jesus because baptisms were down. As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to do him a favor. "Before you return next time, maybe have a talk with God and ask him what He thinks would be appropriate attire for worship. You might find that would help you fit in a little better and feel more at home with us."


The old cowboy assured the preacher he would. The next Sunday, he showed back up for the services wearing the same ragged jeans, shirt, boots, and hat. Once again he was completely shunned and ignored.


The preacher approached the man and said, "I thought I asked you to speak to God about your attire and get his input on the matter of appropriate dress for worship in His church."


"Oh, I did that… I truly did," replied the old cowboy.


"If you spoke to God, what did he tell you the proper dress should be for worshiping in here?" asked the preacher.


"Well, sir, God told me that He didn’t have a clue what I should wear here these days – He says He’s not attended here in a long time."


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"...for the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

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