Fauquier Cowboy Church
Friday, November 24, 2017

JITTERS and DRAWBACKS over VISITING a CHURCH...

For most of us there are many things going through our minds over visiting a church for the first time. This pastor knows how it is! I've visited churches before I came to Jesus Christ, and afterwards on many occasions as a pastor when out of town. Now-a-days I kind of get a chuckle at the reaction some folks have when a stranger comes in! For instance, let me tell you about a visit to a church down near the family farm some 350 miles south. It was/is a small church way out in the country. Since we were down there to work on the farm, all we had was working clothes which for me is Wranglers, boots, Gus hat (my favorite type). When we came in the front door, I reckon we did look like we had just come in from riding the range. Well, we went on in looking to get PROFILED, GAWKED AT, SIZED UP. We were not disappointed. It was a wonder that they didn't call the law! Just kidding about calling the law, but isn't it AWFUL how some look on with suspicion like a visitor might steal a pew? Walking forward, all heads were turned our way  and we sat on the 2nd pew from the front. On the front pew an elderly fellow finally turned around and said, "WELL, I GUESS Y'ALL KNOW WHO I AM..." in a "Boss Hog" kind of way.  No Sir,we do not know WHO you are. That was the greeting until the Pastor finally came around. We had a good exchange with the Pastor, told him we were down working on our farm, that I was Pastor of Fauquier Cowboy Church up in Fauquier County, Va.  Hey, we hit it off pretty good with the Pastor, but the rest were stand-offish to say the least. When the Pastor was making announcements and told who we were, that he appreciated us coming to visit, the elderly fellow turned around and just stared at us. I just chuckled inside and really enjoyed the sermon that Sunday morning
 
The book of James 2:1-9 tells of 2 men who came to church. One appeared to be rich, the other appeared to be poor. The rich man was shown much favortism while the poor man was invited to pretty much, sit on the floor. The Word of God had this to say to those who were respecters of persons,  "BRETHERN YOU HAVE NOT THE FAITH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST." Now, the problem was not with the rich man, nor the poor man. The PROBLEM was with the BRETHERN! Let me say this before I go on. A Pastor asked me what he should do about a certain woman who comes to his church sometimes. The Pastor said that the woman smelled like she hadn't taken a bath for weeks! Smelled the church up! We should be grateful that this is a rare occurrence. Consider that one may wear CLEAN old clothes with patches sewn on but takes a bath. One may wear a $500.00 suit but also takes a bath. What real difference does the clothes make? We might be reminded that MAN LOOKS ON THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT GOD LOOKS ON THE HEART! The Pastor asked what he should do? Told him this, that God gave us water for 2 main reasons, 1. to drink, 2. to wash off with.  Poor is one thing, filthy is another. Didn't mean to stray off the subject that far! As a Pastor, what one wears is one thing, but but being filthy is another. Who would even consider a church where no one takes a bath!
 
Back to JITTERS and DRAWBACKS over visiting a church. I know all about this, many experiences in my short life. The Lord's Churches should never show favortism, should ALWAYS welcome any and all guests the same. That's the way we do at FAUQUIER COWBOY CHURCH. We had a Cowboy Church Network gathering down in Uwharrie, N.C. a year ago. There was a really nice chapel on the place and there was a place a few steps away outside under the wing of a barn where services also took place. The owner said few came to the chapel, but many came to the outside service. Is there something about a building, the formalities, the programs, AND, for the lack of a better word, the PROFILING?    As soon as it warms up, FAUQUIER COWBOY CHURCH will be meeting outside, weather permitting, under a tent under the trees, with the grill going, cooking free hot dogs, and hamburgers. LITTLE ON FORMALISM but BIG ON THE WORD OF GOD.  
 
When you come to this COWBOY CHURCH, see me first off. I will do my best to make you feel "right at home!!!"    
 
THANKS... Jim Branyon, Pastor, FAUQUIER COWBOY CHURCH. 
 
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