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A Word From the Cowboy Preacher

Spur Each Other On

Howdy friends, This month I’d like to visit with you about encouragement. It seems that no matter whether you are watching the news, a sitcom, an award show, or a conversation between “friends” on Facebook, tearing people down, being sarcastic, and even vile is the name of the game. Every time you hear someone say something seemingly nice about someone, they follow it up with a “but”, and then it starts…all the reasons they really don’t mean what they said before the “but”. That is not the way it should ever be. Several years ago, after twelve years in the ministry on local church staff, my wife Donna and I felt God calling us to a traveling, missionary ministry geared toward ranching and rural communities. That is what we have been doing for the last twenty-six years. It has been a crazy ride with ups and downs from financial to spiritual and everything in between but through it all, God has sustained us. At the time, now almost thirty years ago, I tracked down a man that pastored a small church in the middle of ranching country that I read about in a magazine. When I told him what I thought God had called us to, he listened attentively and gave me the only bit of encouragement I got from anyone. Yes, you heard me right. Other than this man I had never met face to face, no one believed in us or the calling God had on our lives. Quite the contrary. Big shots in the denomination I was in literally laughed at me over the phone. But this quiet, humble man lifted me up with kindness, good advice, and…encouragement. Ephesians 10:23-24 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
A few weeks ago, I was riding with the same man who has now become a dear and long time friend, and he gave me a new pair of spurs. Not fancy, not expensive, but he gave them to me and quoted Ephesians 10:23-24. Again, this man has not only believed in me for years and supported our ministry, but gave me a precious gift. Not just the spurs, but…encouragement! Always lifting up. Always building up. Always pointing others to Jesus. Spurring me on. Encouraging me. That, my friends is scriptural and it goes a long, long way! We need to try that more often. Starting thinking before we speak. Is what we are gonna say kind? Positive? Encouraging? If not, maybe we need to keep our mouths shut. God wants better for us. Let’s all try it!
Thanks for reading,
Jeff Gore

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