Hi Debra Clopton here--I've recently begun going to a Cowboy church. I wrote a little about it in my last post but felt compelled to write about it again. You see the church was begun 2 years ago on Easter Sunday. I wasn't attending yet, but they say that there was four inches of snow on the ground and twenty people. Twenty faithful people who had a dream or vision of what they wanted to do for the Lord. They wanted to reach out to a group of people in their surrounding community who didn't know the Lord or who may have been needing something different to renew their spirit and their drive for the Lord. I too needed this. I began attending a couple of months ago saw the vision for what was happening there myself. And I wanted to be a part of that. The tiny church that had begun with 1 man's vision and 19 others who wanted to help him had services Easter Sunday in their new church building. It's a lovely metal building, decked out with cedar and tin walls, pine cabinets in the huge kitchen, concrete floors a stage where Tuffy Loftin the pastor and the Unbroken Circle Band bring a wonderful message for the Lord. There are pine benches (hand made by members and metal chairs) there is an original wagon decked out in one corner and behind the building is a rodeo arena. Beside the building there are five Sunday School rooms each separate but joined by a plank sidewalk. When I look at the new church I imagine my Mule Hollow :)it would fit right in. I actually use the description of the inside of the church in one of my upcoming books (Jan 2010 Her Forever Cowboy). Anyway, this Sunday as I said they had their first service in their new large building. Two years after they began in a town of less than a thousand and there were about 280 in attendance! It was a beautiful uplifting sight to see and be a part of. God is using the Cowboy Church of Leon County and I can not tell you how much it is renewing my spirit to see the smiling faces I see there and the friends I'm making there.
It's a wonderful thing to be a part of...if your spirits need renewing join in somewhere and catch the vision. Not to be preachy but yesterday in his sermon Tuffy said something that hit home with me. He said--in cowboy terms--In our life there should not be nothin' to steal your joy. (Nothin')He said and backed it up with scripture that as a Christian we should be four things. Peaceful, Joyful, useful, and powerful. I hope that if your spirit needs renewing you will remember John 20:19,John16:22, John 10:10 and that you will have peace and joy and find a way to be useful and powerful for the Lord and in doing so that your spirit will be renewed. Remember God can do wonderful, powerful things through only one man's vision. Do you have a vision today?
I know in terms of my books that when I came up with the idea of Mule Hollow I didn't see the longevity of the series. Yes I saw 3 maybe 4 books. It took reader after reader coming back to buy the books and my great editor who picked up on the vision and encouraged me to keep going as long as God led me. Well He is still leading me and readers are still embracing my town. I love that I get to bring my wacky, funloving town to life in each book and I pray that God continues to give me the words to bring some joy into the day of those who pick up one of my stories. God is good all the time...