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Out Our Way: Grain bucket theology

Matthew 7:15-20

Out our way, actions speak louder than words. That is true in the pasture as well as in business, city hall or the church.

Now, Doc was very clear about claiming to be Babe's boyfriend. He stayed near her most of the time in the paddock and out in the pasture. When we took off with Charlie, he whinnied to Babe upon leaving and when coming home.

One day, a new resident boarded her horse named Cowboy for a time in the paddock next to Doc and Babe. Well, old Cowboy took a liking to Babe, for she was a gorgeous sorrel paint, so who could blame him? Ah, but Doc got jealous! He laid back his ears, bared his full set of choppers, and launched his 17½-hand frame at Cowboy. "My girl! Mine!"

But then came the day I bought grain buckets at Big R, and being a romantic at heart, got a pink one for Babe and a blue one for Doc. Then I scooped a few cups into each and set them out. Doc charged the blue bucket that I put close to him and started chowing down while I put out the pink bucket a ways off and brought Babe to it. Uh oh! So much for Babe being "my girl!" Doc immediately charged Babe with those same laid back ears and chompers gnashing, and swung his teeth at her and any other horse in the area. Then he gobbled her grain down, and when he had eaten all of hers, he returned to his own and finished that off as well.

(I learned to feed Babe separately when I took Doc out of the paddock and into Charlie's trailer to go work cows.)

He "said" that he cared for Babe and she was "his girl," but the grain buckets proved differently.

We live in an age of "Docs" who say one thing and do another. I had taxes done by a company that guaranteed their service and promised to pay any penalties incurred if they missed something. I am still paying those penalties now as they reneged on their boasted "100% guarantee." Seems they had a loophole that got them off the hook.

Who among us cannot complain about politicians who said one thing during their campaign and then failed to follow through? Today the Goebbels Diaries - the strategies developed and taught by the head of the Nazi propaganda programs, Joseph Goebbels - seems to be the primary political handbook used, featuring such classics as: "Alway divert the attention of the gullible by accusing the other side of doing the very thing you are doing!"

And for believers, who is not aware of the damage being done by "Medicine Show Preachers" who make a fortune by proclaiming a watered down, non-challenging "prosperity gospel" from their multi-million dollar theaters they pretend are churches and promote "selling their product" rather than creating disciples?

Like Doc and the grain buckets, "by their fruits you will know them."

Be blessed and be a blessing!

Brother John


The Rev. John Bruington is the retired pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Havre. He now lives in Colorado, but continues to write "Out Our Way." He can be reached for comment or dialogue at [email protected].


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