January 2019   
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Pride Goes Before a Fall
I was privileged to minister at FBC of Golden Meadow from 1979-1987 where I first became a pastor after serving in staff positions from 1969-1981.  There were many wonderful moments that taught me valuable lessons; some of those moments were both embarrassing and humiliating.  One such lesson came the very last week of my ministry.  During those years two of my church members and I would buy wild horses, break them, green rein them (teach basic obedience) and then sell them to pay for our hunting season and up-keep on hunting dogs.  There were some rough times like having a saddle girt break and bailing out of the saddle of a bucking horse, or the time I had a girt come lose and slide under a running horse - I even once was removed from a running horse by a large tree branch, but I was never thrown from a bucking horse.  Some of you have met one of those guys, Otis Dupont.  For some reason, in all those escapades he was never there, and it was the desire of his heart to see me bust my "keester" but he never saw it… that is, until my last week as pastor in that beautiful coastal town.  Otis called and told me he had sold our last horse, a small 2 ½ yr. old gelding, named Flywheel.  This little horse had been the easiest we had ever broken, his nature was gentle and temperament was even. Otis asked if I could go and help bring him in from the pasture, and I was glad to oblige. We were about to enjoy what would be our last ride together after eight great years of friendship and horses. So, I saddled Flywheel while talking the entire time, even as I climbed into the saddle I was talking to Otis… until suddenly, I saw the sky, the horizon, and then grass.  I couldn't believe it! That gentle little horse had thrown me absolutely head over heels onto the ground and then trotted off.  It was a good thing I wasn't hurt, because Otis had no strength to help me; as a matter of fact he was also on the ground… laughing his head off and crying through tears, "There is a God in heaven."  At last he had seen me busted, not because I got a hold of one terrible bronco, but because I was so full of pride that I never even considered this little horse could do such a thing. The lesson learned, Proverbs 16:18   "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."