"Proud Man's Prayer"

Forgive me Lord I most humbly pray, though very little have I sinned today.

They were just little sins I'll have to say and there was very little I did not obey.

After all to my dismay, I've done quite well; I'll have to say.

I'm not like some today that I have seen, as they have been just out right mean.

It is the way I've been treated in this life that I've had, that makes me so often feel this bad.

It was my neighbor that made me mad and because of them; I am so sad.

Bless me Lord and make me well or are you hearing all I do tell?

I went to church to be in your fold but the Spirit there felt so cold.

I did quite well in this day of rain but there be few like me to take this strain.

Sure I got angry and acted some wild but it was because of the way I was treated as a child.

Lord you know I am a good man but it is the rest of the world, which I do not understand.

Sure I make mistakes but do them smugly but it is the bad ones that act so ugly.

Written by Bob Wood

Luke 18: 9 .. And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 .. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 .. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 .. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 .. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 .. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Everytime I hear anyone talk about little sins I think of a skunk. It is a small little creature, timid, usually hidden but its presence is always known. If seen it even appears pretty but the experience is otherwise. In the story Bambi the Skunk said, "He can call me Flower if he wants to." The truth is, you can call a skunk Flower, Kitty, Gertie, or Spot but it is still a skunk. So it is with sin. You can call it what you want but it is still sin. A little skunk can make the baddest dog in town run for the country.

In one of our churches on a snowy winter night my deacons and many excited helpers killed seven skunks in the cellar of the church. For some time the door to the cellar had remained open to allow the moisture to escape and during that time, a huge family of skunks decided to make this nice home their winter residence. I being the good steward that I am, came along and shut that door to prevent freezing of the pipes. About a week later these skunks began to object on a very cold and dark Saturday night. I am a firm believer that a pastor should pastor and deacons should deak so I called the deacons. They showed up with shotguns and rifles around midnight. This is a tiny town in Oklahoma with very little exciting ever happening and pretty soon we were the main event. Grown men were shooting, screaming, and running in and out of that church cellar stairway with all the agility of a duck on a high wire. I was one of them. Needless to say, we had church out in the youth building that Sunday, which as well was very skunk fragrant. Houses all up and down the streets received skunk perfume that night. That church still smelled when we were called to another church and it may still smell today. Those little skunks left their marks just as all sin leaves its mark in our lives.

Some today feel their sins are not as big as another person's sins. But the smallest sin to us is still sin. Those sins that we try to keep hidden, still hurt us, hurt others and cause us not to enjoy our lives. God still smells and sees them. These sins effect our family, jobs, friends and all that we come in contact with, even if we deny that we have sin or say we are not as bad as others. We could have denied that skunks were in our church but I believe it would have been figured out. There are no small or big sins but sin is sin. I don't know what will remove a skunk smell but time and patience but Jesus Christ is the only one that can remove sin and the smell of sin in our lives.

Now remember, that no matter how cold your life becomes; do not try to hide sin in the cellar of your life. If you do you will stink even if you say you do not. May God Really Bless You! Keep shining and be as good as you can be and when you have a chance, you pray for me.

Bob Wood

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