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Monday, February 27, 2012

How to Graduate from High School

Another story from my Dad (Jere Johnson)….wisdom (???) in his own words.

My dad owned a nice sorrel mare. She had a nice colt and I named him Brandy.  He was given to me and Dad told me I could have him, if I would break him.  It seemed like an eternity before he would ever grow old enough to ride. When he was a long yearling, I got him up and went to messing with him.  

The first thing I did with him, I guess you would call pre-ride training. You know, saddle, drive, and desensitize him.  This went off without a hitch.  Well, I thought the next step was the harness.  I got to thinking about my mule driving days and decided I didn’t want a repeat of that (The mule driving didn’t go well at all.).

So, off I went to find something that had wheels. After a long and careful search, I found my old red wagon and thought this is exactly what the doctor ordered. Being a little wiser this time, I drove him around with that wagon clanking and banging behind with him so he would get used to all the noise and commotion. Ole Brandy took it pretty good.

Since I had wheels, I figured this would go much smoother than my mule driving did, I just didn’t think too much about the brakes. I figured I would just drag my feet to slow down…I hadn’t planned on going that fast, anyway. So into the wagon I climbed and away we went.

Things were going pretty good. Ole Brandy never made a bobble.  (Heck, this was going a lot better than the mule driving).  My confidence was up, so I clucked to him and took it to a trot. About then...he decided we would lope. It got rather exciting for a moment, but I still managed to pull him back down to a trot. But, as Brandy slowed back to a trot….my fine red wagon came up and hit him in the back legs.  Remember me saying I didn’t think too much about the brakes?  Boy was I wrong!!  When that wagon hit Brandy’s legs, we really left out of there. (I had never given much thought to the idea that I was in the danger zone and he might kick my head off!)

The best part of the whole ride was when the tongue of that wagon broke!  Since we were careening along at a pretty good clip, I thought I was going to wear the soles out of my boots getting that wagon stopped.  My next thought was of my boots, if I did wear the soles out, I would be in trouble too.  My folks had just gotten them for me and paid the whole sum of $18 for them, a vast fortune in those days. They had reminded me take care of these, because they needed to last until school started.

After our little run off, I caught Brandy, took the harness off, and turned him out. Later, when I told my Dad what had transpired he just looked at me and shook his head, he said “from now you are to wait to ride or work with colts until me or Mom gets home.  Since you are going to be the first to graduate from high school in our family, I would like for you to live long enough to do it.”


Reading about Brandy and that little red wagon got me to thinking about how we as Christians spread the gospel.  We think we are prepared and ready to take it to the world.  We’ve had our pre-ride training (we read the Roamin Road), we spent some time in the arena dragging that wagon around (maybe some role playing to help us gain confidence)… thing we know we are careening along dragging the soles of our boots, wondering how the heck we ran into the back of that horses legs (the first time someone asks us about something that we are not prepared for).

Don’t let the blood of Christ, turn into the mud of Christianity!  (Stole that one from Andy Stanley).  Our job is to make it as simple as possible. 

God loved – the world

God gave – his only Son

We believe – in Jesus Christ

We receive – eternal life


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  2. This computer is making my head hurt...the above comment was about my nephews story about brakes...check it out at: