Pastor's Pen
by Buzz Dahlen
Moral rightness all starts with the Ten Commandments.  Those Ten Commandments serve as a straight edge, a plumb line, if you will, to guide us in life.  They were never meant to help us get to heaven.  In fact, they show us how far from heaven we really are, because we fall so short when trying to obey them.  But they serve as guide on how we should try to live.  “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
It seems so easy to say things about others, when we don’t stop to consider the potential destruction that may result.  King Solomon wrote: With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor; Reckless words pierce like a sword; A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends; The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.  The amazing thing is that we all know this and yet we still find ourselves spreading gossip.
Well now, it is time to tell the truth about, at least one thing, so that it can be put to rest.  Back before April 17th, I was asked to participate in a wedding.  That was fine, weddings are typically fun and I enjoy officiating them.  Then the idea of me sitting on a horse came up.  Now I am not a horse person.  I can count on one hand the times I have been on a horse.  The idea did not sit well with me.  But I was told, “Trust me.”  Inside I knew that it was not the right thing to even consider, but I continued on and on the 17th, the wedding day I arrived early enough to get used to the horse and let the horse get used to me.
Not being a horse person, I did not notice that the horse stood completely still, next to the ladder that stood beside him.  As I approached the horse I was impressed with how well trained it seemed.  This calmed some of my fears about what might happen if I were to climb up onto a horse.  When I got close enough I realized that this horse was not alive, but a plastic horse that might stand outside a feed store.  I had second thoughts but was committed at this point.  So up the ladder I went and onto this horse.  It was painful and embarrassing just as I had thought it would be.  
As I sat there waiting for the wedding to begin, many of the wedding guests could not pass up the opportunity to walk up and take a picture.  I endured the humiliation and the pain until the couple were pronounced husband and wife and rode off into the sunset.
So there, now you have it, I sat on a plastic horse while performing a wedding.  What did you think I was going to say?  Was it something else?  Well I can’t speak to anything else, because I am only setting the record straight about those things that actually happened.  It there is something else, it just did not happen.  There is no truth to it so there is nothing to say about it.  Anything else is between God and I, and nobody else’s business.  I’m a plastic horse rider, that’s the worst of it.  I am confident that I have learned my lesson and that I will never do that again…
So lets recap: Yes, I did sit on a plastic horse while performing a wedding down at the river.  Yes, I had to use a ladder to get up on the “horse.”  Yes, it was very painful, the horse was too wide, the saddle was too small, and I was on it too long.  I was afraid of having that horse tip over.  I must also say that it is nobody’s fault but my own.  I agree to sit on a horse…
A good friend, who I trust told me that they felt that I was rubbing people’s noses into the fact that we gossip.  If you felt that way, please forgive me, that was not my intent.  I just felt that it was time to visit the topic of gossip and take a light hearted look as how something can be blown out of proportion when you don’t have all of the facts.  It’s important for all of us to realize how much our words affect the lives of those people we are talking about.  It is also important to realize that just because you think something, it doesn’t make it true.
Life is challenging enough with all that goes on.  Let’s not add to the burden…  Have a great day and trust me, stay off those plastic horses.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522



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Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
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