GET OFF THE COUCH CHURCH!

6 02 2020

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I love old western movies and television shows. I secretly wanted to always be a cowboy, not from Dallas, but from Dodge City. I can dream of riding the open range and hanging out with the likes of John Wayne, Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Audie Murphy, Randolph Scott, Errol Flynn, Walter Brennan, Brett Maverick, the Cartwrights, Chuck Connors, Wyatt Earp, the gang from Wagon Train and Marshall Dillon from Gunsmoke. Did you know that the experts rated all the gunmen from video lore and discovered that the fastest draw was none other than James Arness. Miss Kitty knew that she was in good hands under his protection.

From the pages of actual history is the fascinating tale of the Pony Express. These mailmen of the open plains served a private company that specialized in making special deliveries via an organized relay of horseback riders. The eastern end was St. Joseph, Missouri, and the western terminal was in Sacramento, California. The cost of sending a letter by Pony Express was $ 2.50 an ounce.

Being part of this elite team was very dangerous in every aspect of the word. There were the severe weather conditions, the utter dependence on the horses to hold out, the constant threat of Indian attacks and the durability of the men themselves. All would have to go right if the correspondences had any shot of completing the entire 2000-mile journey in a speedy 10 days. It did surprise me when I discovered that the Pony Express was only in operation from April 3, 1860 until November 18, 1861. Once the telegraph line was completed between the two cities, the service was no longer needed.

Being a rider for the Pony Express was a deadly job. You were expected to ride 75-100 miles a day, changing horses every 15-25 miles. Other than the mail, the only baggage you carried contained a few provisions, including a kit of flour, cornmeal, and bacon. In case of danger, you also had a medical pack of turpentine, borax, and cream of tartar. In order to travel light and to increase speed of mobility during Indian attacks, the men always rode in shirtsleeves, even during the fierce winter weather. How would you recruit volunteers for this hazardous job? An 1860 San Francisco newspaper printed this ad for the Pony Express: “Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over 18.
Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”

Those were the straight honest facts of the service required, and you would think that trying to get guys to sign up would be a never-ending challenge but the Pony Express never had a shortage of riders. As a matter of fact, there was always a waiting list of thousands of men hoping for their call to saddle up and ride.

If you asked my opinion of what is wrong with our culture today, I would share that I believe a huge issue is the pursuit of comfort we make a priority. Too many people are seeking to relax in recliners when what they really need to experience life at its fullest is to be reaching for the reigns. If we think retiring from having adventures is good for the heart, we are sadly mistaken. God has a purpose for us that becomes real when we aggressively play the position that God has empowered us to perform. Bench warming is not admirable when Jesus made it possible for us to be His key instruments when it comes to shining His light in this dark world.

Like the Pony Express, serving God is not a job for the casually interested. It’s costly service. The Lord asks for you to surrender all of your life. God asks for a passionate service to Him to become a priority, not a pastime. Jesus expects His way to lead to His works being done in us and through us. Jesus expects us to be His hands and His feet so that we can meet the needs of those around us. By showing up to worship, we are signing up for service. And we are delivering a treasure that is so much more valuable than silver or gold. Nothing should stop us from being God’s ambassadors of grace and truth.

What if the church prioritized the Savior’s messages like we do our social media? I read that the average person spends 1 out of every 5 minutes on social media. It’s literally taking over our lives, minute by minute. It’s way too easy these days for Believers to get distracted by everything else but what we should be keeping our eyes fixed upon. When it comes to making time for praying or reading about Jesus, we get fidgety and restless. Our minds start to wander. Our fingers reach for our phones to take a quick peek and see what our friends are doing. How many likes did my last Instagram post get? Was I retweeted lately? How many more friends can I add on Facebook?

We’re not wasting time when we are making God our main focus! It’s actually the best use of time, to spend time with the One who created time in the first place. The Lord knew we would need to eat, sleep, work, and brush our teeth, yet He still asked us to pray. He urged us to spend time with Him because He knew it would actually change everything else about us. Sure, it’s good to guard your time, but it’s even better to guard your heart. Don’t keep such a tight grip on your agenda that you miss out on Jesus. Decide to allow your mind, heart, soul and strength to only be distracted by Him and commit to being wholeheartedly a big part of His positive posse. Let’s put down the remote and pick up the roster and make sure that we are ready to ride. Let’s get off the sofa and saddle up to see what Jesus has in store on the horizon. It might not be as safe as riding the merry-go-round but I guarantee you that you till taste the thrill of being fully alive.


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6 02 2020
Susan Roszkowski

BEAUTIFUL!!!! I want to be part of the pony express!!

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