Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Tuesday, December 20

By Dan Kelley

Cowboy Bob

Read: Genesis 45:7a

“God sent me before you to preserve you.”

My mom loved to tell the story about me when I was a small boy and my friend, Cowboy Bob. Mom had lost my older brother Timothy in childbirth about two years before I was born. She was afraid that she could not have any more children. So when I was born she was very happy and very, very protective.

My dad had built a large family room across the whole back of our house in St. Louis. It was a great place to play when the weather was too bad to go outside. And my favorite games to play were Cowboys: Cowboys and Indians, Cowboys and Bank Robbers, Cowboys and Rustlers, and Cowboy posse helping the Sheriff. 

I had jeans with a leather belt and a silver buckle. I had boots and a cowboy hat. I had a vest and a two-gun holster. I had a cardboard horse that I could ride. I watched all the cowboy shows on TV. I loved playing Cowboys.

What I did not love was taking a nap. (I apologize to naps for my rude behavior toward them when I was young. I have since learned what a wonderful thing they are.) I objected that the Indians, Bank Robbers, Rustlers, and other Bad Guys would sneak up on me while I was asleep. I was afraid that they would get me. No amount of discussion with my mom would convince me otherwise. It was an ongoing battle.

One day my mom gave me a bag and asked me to open it. Inside was a bedspread with a tall man on it. He had jeans with a brown belt and silver buckle. He had cowboy boots and a white hat. He had a red vest with a star on it. And he had a two gun holster. His name was Bob, Cowboy Bob. Mom said that he had been deputized to stand watch and would protect me when I took my nap. He looked dependable, so I agreed to this solution and never argued again.

We are living in uncertain times of turmoil and change. Wars and rumors of wars fill the news. It is difficult to sleep because the bad guys are up to no good and are threatening us. Cowboy Bob was an outward and visible sign of my mother’s love and protection for me. The birth of Jesus the Christ is an outward and visible sign of God’s love and protection for us.


The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.

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