Summary: What a cowboy does and how it applies to the Christian life.
INTRODUCTION: ILL.- Cowboy Joe was telling his fellow cowboys back on the ranch about his first visit to a big-city church.
"When I got there, they had me park my old truck in the corral," Joe began.
"You mean the parking lot," interrupted Charlie, a worldly fellow.
"I walked up the trail to the door," Joe continued.
"The sidewalk to the door," Charlie corrected him.
"Inside the door, I was met by this dude," Joe went on.
"That would be the usher," Charlie explained.
"Well, the usher led me down the chute," Joe said.
"You mean the aisle," Charlie said.
"Then, he led me to a stall and told me to sit there," Joe continued.
"Pew," Charlie retorted.
"Yeah," recalled Joe. "That’s what that pretty lady said when I sat down beside her."
ILL.- Here’s another. 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 moved away from him. No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were all appalled 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 much money the church needed to do God’s work.
As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to do him a favor. "Before you come back in here again, have a talk with God and ask him what He thinks would be appropriate attire for worship." The old cowboy assured the preacher he would.
The next Sunday, he showed 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 before you came back to our church."
"I did," replied the old cowboy.
"If you spoke to God, what did he tell you the proper attire 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.
He says He’s never been in this church!”
Now let me give you a little cowboy language quiz. Raise your hand if you think you know the answer to these terms/words:
- amigo, n.; friend, pard, compadre.
- buckaroo, n.; a cowboy
- cayuse, (cai·use), n.; TexMex for a horse.
- chips, n.; cow or buffalo manure
- chuck, n.; meal, food, grub.
- cookie duster, n.; moustache.
- chaps, leather leg coverings
- dogie, (dough·gee), n.; a calf with no mamma
- dude, n.; fancy dressin’ city-slicker
- gringo, n.; Tex-Mex and cowboy lingo for Caucasian (white) male
- hackamore, n.; a halter with reins and no bit
- hooks, n.; spurs.
- hull, n.; saddle.
- lasso, n.; see "rope" and "lariat".
- maverick, n.; an unbranded (owner unknown) bull or steer ranging wild.
- pard, n.; also, pardner, derived from partner.
- ramrod, n.; ranch or trail foreman
- vamoose, v.; cowboy lingo for “Let’s go.”
- wrangler, n.; used interchangeably with "cowboy".
- weaner -- a weaned calf.
Amos 1:1 “The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa – what he saw concerning Israel…”
Amos was a shepherd under the reigns of Uzziah and Jeroboam II. During that time the people of Israel had experienced peace and prosperity, but there was much social corruption, as in our time.
Amos, good man he was. Good shepherd man. Good herdsman. I prefer to think of him as a cowboy preacher. Amos preached about God’s justice and righteousness. He condemned all people who made themselves powerful or rich at the expense of others. Not much different than today. And his main message to the people of Israel was this:
Amos 4:12 “Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”
And, of course, everyone needs to prepare to meet God in person. This is a big part of what life is about. We start life with God (even though we don’t realize this), we continue our lives with God (even though many people stubbornly refuse to admit this. He is our sustainer in life). And we end life with Him even though many people deny this. BUT WE OF ALL PEOPLE SHOULD RECOGNIZE THIS FACT AND BE HUMBLED BY IT!