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  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 5:43 pm on March 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has been thinking more about our move back to Seminole, Oklahoma. We were back among family and friends. Seminole and Ada, Oklahoma are only thrity-five miles apart so we had stayed in contact with many of our home town friends, so this move was a very easy one. For the next two years this was going to prove to be a very good experience. We too were about to purchase our first house.

    Just to the south of our rental house across the drainage ditch was where Mr. Angel lived. I haven’t been able to remember his first name. He was a nice old man who lived alone then and walked just about every place, except when several of us stopped and picked him up. You could tell by talking with him he was lonely, his wife had died several years before and his kids had moved away. Then one day he announced he was moving back East to live with his daughter Jamie. Jamie Angel was a year older then I was and her borther Nigel had been in my class at Seminole High School, years before. When Mr. Angel made it known that the house was for sale Patty and I bought it. We then with a little help from the First National Bank owned our first home.

    The house needed quite a bit of work, and it was a pretty good size house as well. To make a long story short Patty’s father Leon Davis and I got to work, and we spent a lot of hours working on that house, In the end it looked very nice and we moved in. This little experience gave me and Leon time to talk about the Bible, being an elder, and about city politics. Our friendship which was already strong grew even more. Years before when I had started hanging around his house and his youngest daughter and wanting to take her out on a date, we would talk. In fact if Patty and I were ever late going any place it was because Leon and I were talking. I also never brought her home on time and strick Leon Davis never said a word to me. Over the years I have come to realize that Leon Davis was the solid, sound and supportive male influence I had never had. It became clear that Leon had done his homework on this Coffman boy that his daughter was dating. From my point of view I had an older male to talk with that wasn’t going to spend his time cussing me. That was a very enjoyable experience.

    I am going to save the early story of my involvement as a radio station General Manager and my experience as a Seminole City Council Member for another time.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 6:05 am on March 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    An Old Cowboy thought to take a little of your thinking process time today. There are a lot of opportunities out there. The problem is they just don’t come with an “opportunity” sticky note on them. Neighbor, you have to take the time to pay attention to what’s going on around you. First though you have to be interested enough to pay attention.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 7:09 am on March 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has a quick observation for you today. In all of my years in radio and as a business manager and owner I found that one of the hardest things to teach a salesman is to quit talking. A great many times a salesman will talk their way out of a sale. Robert Greenleaf put it this way; “many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.”

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 5:00 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy in June of 1977 moved his young family to a rental house on Lincoln Street in Seminole, Oklahoma. Patty was still a stay at home mom and the kids were excited to be so close to both sets of grandparents. Much to the displeasure of some of the business owners in Wewoka, Oklahoma I was going to be the first General Manager of KWSH Radio not to live in Wewoka. The house we moved into was a fairly nice three bedroom house right across the street from Patty’s parents and two blocks from mine. Amy was a pretty and fun six year old, and that fall she would attend Woodrow Wilson Grade School where I had attended the first grade back in 1953. Shane was a three and a half year old and that little cowboy was full of energy. Shane had already shown a interest in song leaders and what they did each week. Even back in Ada when Shane was big enough to stand up in the pew he had started waving his arms and hands along with the song leader. Patty had to sit on the back row in the auditorium with the kids and I expect you can figure out why. Idus England was the preacher for the Seminole Church of Christ, and I have already told you a little about my friendship with him. He and Shane were going to be good friends. Idus is some where at or near 90 years old today, and he and I still talk from time to time. This was a very good time in our lives and we were enjoying life together.

    KWSH-Radio was in kind of a mess and I had already found that my hands were going to be full for a while. At that point I just didn’t how short the time was going to be. Roy Judge who had given me my first job in radio had been the president of the little broadcasting company that owned KWSH in Wewoka and KADA in Ada. A few years earlier he had quit and they had sent the owners son to manage KWSH and he made a real mess of things, then they hired another character and he wasn’t much better. Jerry Spencer who had been my boss in Ada was now the president of the little company. I found out a few months later that I was to be the stations last chance.

    Patty’s dad Leon Davis was the Personnel Manager at the local Blue Bell plant which was owned by the Wrangler Jeans folks. Leon by then had been a long time elder at the Seminole Church of Christ and was serving some where around his forth term on the Seminole City Council. He had never drawn an opponent in an election and was well liked in Seminole. Zelda Davis, Patty’s mom was the perfect elder’s and city councilmen’s wife. She was the bookkeeperfor B&L Electric who was owned by the father of one of the kids I had played high school football with. With a little help from Leon I soon met everyone connected with city government, and the Seminole Chamber of Commerce, and was instantly involved in the activities of the Seminole Church of Christ. I was about to start teaching my next group of high school students..

    One of the men Leon introduced me to was Howard Roberts. I don’t remember what his official title with the City of Seminole was, however he was the head of the Operation Pride Program and the Keep Seminole Beautiful program which had won a national award the year before. My involvement with Howard Roberts will be a part of the next installment in this trip through life.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 2:04 pm on March 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy in 1975 through most of 1977 contiunued to do the early morning radio show at KADA-AM along with selling advertsiing. With the help of several very good Bible scholars I continued to sharpen my skills as a Bible class teacher, and looked for any opportunity to preach a little or do a devotional. Along the way I made friends with a couple of men from the Central Church of Christ across town and got to speak a few times at their East Central University Bible Chair. Along with that my friend in the ECU administration Office and I brought a couple more shows into the ECU Fieldhouse.

    I continued my rodeo announcing around Ada and South Central and South Eastern Oklahoma and announced a couple of rodeos up around Oklahoma City for Elmer Anderson. I met a lot of other rodeo announcers and personalities along the way. I met people like Clem McSpaden the legendary voice of Pro Rodeo, and the writer of what is known as the Cowboy’s Prayer. Clem was a big voice and one of the officials of the National Finals Rodeo which at that time took place in the old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Arena in Oklahooma City. Along the same time I took a trip to the International Finals Rodeo in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    I had met Jim Shoulders of Henryetta, Oklahoma several years brefore. Besides his well deserved reputation as a World Champion Cowboy, and rodeo stock contractor Jim was the owner of the legendary dark red bull Tornado. Back in 1967 Jim was furnishing a lot of the rough stock (bulls and horses) that appeared at the National Fiunals Rodeo. Tornado in 14 years had bucked off 200 bull riders and had the reputation as being the unrideable bull. That all ended on my birthday December 1, 1967, the Friday night performance at the N.F.R. Of all things a 46 year old cowboy from Soper Oklahoma by the name of Warren “Freckles” Brown drew Tornado. Eight seconds after Freckles Brown had said “Lets Ride” Tornado’s record of bucking off bull riders ended. In 1975 Freckles Brown was still a rodeo legend and I enjoyed having him on my radio show and announcing his appearance at several rodeos around the state. It was about that time too that I met Hadley Barrwett a PRCA announcer from North Platte, Nebraska. Hadley would a few years later help open the door for me to become a PRCA Rodeo Announcer and he and I would share a microphone at several rodeos.

    During all of the years I lived in Ada and Picket, Oklahoma I was involved in the Pontotoc County Fair and became very involved in the activities of the 4-H program. I talked to them about public speaking, radio and rodeo announcing, and announced a bunch of their events. It was one of the most enjoyable things I involved myself in. I became good friends with the kids and their parents, and yes I saw some of them on Sunday’s and Wednesday nights as well. Then on Monday night October 11th, 1976 the kids and their parents and the 4-H leaders told me how much they appreciated what I had been doing. I was presented with an Oklahoma Friend of 4-H Award, and on it it said “In recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Oklahoma 4-H Programs.” Now that took me totally by surprise, and I really appreciated that award. Along about the same time one of the 4-H boys came to the radio station with his mom and gave me a plaster Cowboy holding a sadddle he had taken a lot of care to paint. That cowboy has sat on my desk ever since, as a reminder of some great young 4-H friends.

    Near the end of June in 1977 our lives would begin to really change. On Thursday June 30th, 1977 the Wewoka Daily Times published an article on the Front Page under the heading “New Radio Manager Named.” I had been asked to return to KWSH-AM Radio as the General Manager where I had started my radio carrier not many years before. The Coffman family’s move to Seminole, Oklahoma and the next chapter in this journey is the next story.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 5:08 pm on March 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy had a little time to think just a bit more about the experiences Patty the kids and I had while living at Picket, Oklahoma. As I have alluded to through all of this we made a lot of friends. We all played together, cired together, and worshiped God and studied the Bible together. Our kids all played together. There were a lot of discussions about Bible lessons too. The elders and my preacher friend Tom Wacaster taught a special series of lessons from time to time. At the moment I don’t remember what the year was, but it wasn’t long after we had moved to Picket that the Southwest congregation played host to the Brecheen/Faulkner Marriage Enrichment Seminar. Now that was a good weekend, and being able to talk with Carl Brecheen and Paul Faulkner in person was a treat. I have many times thought if Patty and I had experienced another round of that seminar about thirty years later, maybe things would have turned out better.

    To fill in a couple of blanks in what I have written thus far, and to help lay the groundwork for a couple of personal comments, I offer a comment about an uncomfortable subject. While growing up in Seminole, I grew up in a very racially prejudiced home. If you weren’t white, well you were talked about rather harshly by especially my father. He didn’t make any exceptions, simply put it didn’t much mater if you were African American, American Indian or even Jewish or anything else for that matter. I bring that up because the issue is going to rear it’s ugly head through out my life, right up to today. At home I learnd all of the ignorant words that a person could spew out of their mouth. There too was quite a contrast between home life and what I experienced at school. We kids pretty well didn’t care what color your hide happened to be, it was all in how you acted. Unless you got into one of the larger cities at that time, for the most part the white church congregations were white, and the black congregations where black, and for the various folks with an American Indian heritage they stayed in their own tribal groups or attended where they felt welcome. If you are getting the point, all of this included the Church of Christ.

    Shortly after I got my announcers card for the International Rodeo Association, I figured out that I wasn’t going to make much money if all I did was announce rodeos for the Burk Rodeo Company. I then started calling all the other rodeo stock contractors around the state. It didn’t take long and I made friends with Elmer Anderson the owner of the Circle A Rodeo Company in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Elmer was a true to life Oklahoma black cowboy, a cowboy right to the bone and a very good businessman. I would learn a great deal about being a rodeo announcer from Elmer, and even more about people. You see, Elmer didn’t have time for and didn’t put up with racial attitudes on either side of the issue. He would give me little hints about how to approach certain cowboys, and I never heard about any problems. I do remember anouncing some great rodeos. Elmer is one of the real cowboys that I really miss sitting down with today.

    I think the story about our time in Ada and Picket, Oklahome is about told at this point. I’ll likely drift back from time to time I expect, these were special days in my life. Next is going to be a move back home to Seminole, Oklahoma, then Atoka, Oklahoma and on to Omaha, Nebraska where this story gets real interesting.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 8:10 pm on March 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy thought we should take a moment and look at the Coffman familie’s return to the Southwest Church of Christ in Ada, Oklahoma. On Sunday morning we got in the car and headed back to the Southwest Church of Christ building and pretty well picked up where we left off. The big difference was another member was teaching my high school Bible class. Patty and I had the opportunity to sit together in an adult Bible Class and learn from some great teachers together. Every now and then I had the opportunity to teach that high school Bible class and I taught a couple of adult classes too. I also seemed to spend a little more time down front each Sunday morning learning how to do everyting. My friend Tom, now the preacher still involved me in some of his one-on-one Bible studies with folks, and some were baptized. It wasn’t until a few years later it really struck me what Tom had been teaching me. I was learning how to conduct one-on-one Bible studies with folks, and I learned to answer some of those harder questions people will ask sitting at the kitchen table, and not in Bible class. Along with those lessons Patty and I were spending more time with friends in the church. Many of those friendships we made way back in the 1970’s I still enjoy today. Many are friends on Facebook along with their kids, and even some of their grandkids.

    As a radio station time salesman I was meeting all kinds of folks with all kinds of religious backgrounds. One of our young announcers was a Mormon, and a couple of the kids that had “elder” on their name tags would hang around some. They finally got to where they would walk around the building so they didn’t have to walk by my office. They learned I had read all of their books and I asked questions they couldn’t answer.
    On Saurday mornings I had a guy who came and took an hour of my show, and I have not been able to find his name. He was the preacher for the Freewill Baptist Church and the lead singer for the Ministers Quartet. I learned a lot from him and he and I had some very interesting conversations. Neither one of us ever backed down. Likely the most interesting pair of folks I met were Ted and Tommy Hudson, the owners of Hudson’s Furniture. Tommy best I remember was a Southern Baptist and Ted was one of the leaders of a very ultra conservative Church of Christ. Ted and I locked horns several times over various things. Mostly because we had been baptized the same way and for the same reasons and he refused to consider me his brother in Christ. He would get to where he would ask me why I didn’t come and worship with them. I went a couple of times, and I didn’t find any of the differences anyting to argue about. I would then invite him to come worship with us and he would get upset and say no. So I quit asking him. In reality we were friends and he played in a Bluegrass Band and would invite me to come hear them play, and they were pretty good. When all of the bluegrass bands would gather in the East Central University auditorium for a show, I would go emcee it.

    I was learning a lot about people while I was involved in all of this. There is more to tell about my radio and rodeo experiences, and about our next move that would totally take us away from Ada, Oklahoma and finally to Omaha, Nebraska. Those stories are for another day.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 5:48 pm on March 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy and his young family were headed back to Ada, Oklahoma. I don’t remember much about the little central Oklahoma City congregation where we attended. We weren’t there long enough to make much of an impression on them. If I remember right this was some where in the late Summer or early Fall of 1974. Amy would have been three and son Shane would have a few more months before he had his first birthday. I had found that J.B. Stallings a member of the Southwest Chruch of Christ had a little farm house with about two and a half acres to rent, about six miles out of Ada at Picket. Our next door neighbor was Austin Morris and his wife and his son Randy and his wife lived in a trailer next door. The big draw was a calf roping arena between the houses. I went back to work at KADA-Radio and soon was back doing the morning show and was now the sales manager. It wasn’t long after we moved in that one afternoon Randy was putting lights up on the sides of the arena. Soon we had a load of new calves in the pasture behind my house. That pasture had a two stall barn, and we had a couple of other out buildings. It was now roping time, and a lot of days Randy would be roping when I got home. I would take my suit coat off and crawl over the fence and mount up. No that did not go over well with the boss of the house. At times we had some World Champion Cowboys in that arena, and little Shane took note of especially Randy’s abilities.

    KADA-Radio was doing very well at the time and Jerry Spencer a few years before had become the president of the broadcasting company which also owned KWSH-Radio in Wewoka, Oklahoma where I had started in radio. Soon I was asked to be the play-by-play announcer for the Ada High School Cougar Football broadcasts then for the East Central University Tiger Football broadcasts. I was learning a lot about sports broadcasting. About that time a friend at East Central University approached me about helping him promote a country music concert at the University. We hired Mel Tillis along with Karen Wheeler the daughter of the legendary Onie Wheeler to do the show. Mel Tillis had the number one country song out “Midnight Me and The Blues.” This was my first time on stage with a big time country music entertainer and it would not be the last. Long story short the show was a big success. Mel was a riot the next day on my radio show. Mel would return to be the headliner at the Ken Lance Rodeo several months later, only this time his daughter Pam was on the bus with him. Pam wasn’t quite 18 at the time and she had the entertainment bug real bad. Several years later at a CMA event in Nashville, Pam would remind me about how much I teased her that first time we met.

    About this same time I got involoved with the Pontotoc County 4-H program and had a great time working with the kids. During my 4-H activities I met a cowboy that had a Sunday afternoon buck out each week at his place on the edge of Ada.. I started going and they figured they needed an announcer. Each week they were bucking bulls and a few horses and every now and then they would have a few calf ropers. The stock contractor who provided the bulls and horses was Lloyd Burk the 1965 International Rodeo Association World Champion Bull Rider. It wasn’t long and they decided to put on a rodeo, and I was to be the announcer. They knew they could get free radio advertising that way, and they did. It wasn’t long after that I was approached by Lloyd to announce some I. R.A Professional Rodeos for the Burk Rodeo Company and he and several others wrote letters and I got my first professional rodeo announcers card. Not long after that I borrowed a public address system from Ken Lance and headed for Konawa, Oklahooma and my first professional rodeo. There is a lot more to that story for another day. Not to many years down the road and I would take my talents to the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. That’s another day too.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 8:37 am on March 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy a little later will get back to the lessons behind the Coffman family travels, Right now I would like to bring your attention to a few words about “Leaders” found in Eugene B. Habecker’s book – The Other Side of Leadership; The true leader serves, serves people, serves their best interest, and in doing so will not always be popular, may not always impress. But because leaders are motivated more by loving concern than desire for personal glory, they are willing to pay the price.”

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 10:51 am on March 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy earlier this morning had an old friend send me a message and ask why I had not mentioned the eldership in Ada, Oklahoma back in the years I was there. I know he asked me that, because it was a very good eldership. I thought it was an interesting question, and it made me think more about why those were such great days in the lfe of this young Christian. This was a group of men who knew what the job of being a Sheppard was all about. First they knew the Bible and each were active students and teachers. It’s true some were better in a classroom then others, however they were all active teachers in one form or another. This group of elders understood they were servants, and they were hands on, yet not overly so. They all had an open door if you wanted to talk, yet some times they didn’t wait for you to come to them. In the oilfields of Oklahoma you hear about men that have a firm hand, and an easy touch, and I think this describes this group of men For this then young cowboy and Christian they were friends to sit back and talk with about stuff, and most of all they were great examples for a young cowboy.

    Now back to just a little more of my efforts to be a small market radio announcer and radio time salesman. Each day I would pretty well walk from one end of Main Street to the other walking in and out of stores talking with the business owners. One of the first places I introduced myself was to the folks at the Austin Morris Shoe and Saddle Shop on East Main. In that area when it came to western boots, shoe and boot repairs, hats, clothing, along with saddles and tack, that is where the cowboys went. Austin’s two sons Randy and Danny were calf ropers and members of the International Rodeo Association. Now I had a little experience with a rope in my hands from earlier years, and I found some great friends and a place to hide from work from time to time. Over the next couple of years that is where I met a lot of cowboys and some rodeo stock contractos. It would not be very long and they would be a factor in my constantly growing experiences.

    With a good strong introduction to a large number of Nashville country music entertainers, and some success as a country music radio announcer, I had dreams of big market stardom. I sneaked off to Dallas, Texas to look for a big radio station to work with. Back a few years earlier while I was learning to be an broadcast engineer I had worked some at a couple of Dallas radio stations. So I put my application in at WBAP-AM and KBOX-AM the two big country music giants there, gave them my airchecks and waited for them to offer me a job. Well to make a long story short, that didn’t happen. So I turned my attention to Oklahoma City and the country music stations there, along with a couple of rock stations. In the end the only station that had any interest, and the only one to offer me a sales job was WNAD-AM in Norman, Oklahoma. So we packed up the kids and moved to Oklahoma City, and I started my sales job. It took about a month and I found selling advertising for a radio station that wasn’t very popular was almost impossible. The sales manager was a one time OU football player who’s only talent was a loud mouth, and the lady who managed the station liked him. Being a bit frustrated and tired of that mess I explained to him what kind of a total fool he was, and changed to being the morning drive announcer. I too started looking for another place to work. The program director was an old alcoholic rock jock and he didn’t like country music and you could tell by the way he programed the station. So about three months after moving to Oklahoma City, we had a stock trailer all loaded up and we were headed back to Ada, Oklahoma. That will be the next bit of the Coffman family story.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 10:55 am on March 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy as many of us do has often looked back on my early years as a Christian and experiences as a Bible class teacher and thought “what if.” It’s not to say that my Bible education wasn’t growing because it was still in high gear, and I was taking every opportunity to expand it. Besides the teaching I did more and more down front and when the opportunity to preach was there, I never said no. However there was the draw of the world of cowboys, rodeos, and country music entertainers, to balance with being a husband, father, radio announcer, and radio salesman. Some things just were not going to get the attention they required.

    South Central Oklahoma and especially the Ada area served as the home turf of several long time professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls, and several were World Champions. The home of the then International Rodeo Association was just thirty-three miles away in Pauls Valley. Just to the South of Ada, Stonewall, Oklahooma played host to the third largest PRCA Championship Rodeo in the nation at the Ken Lance Sports Arena. Ken Lance had been a national champion calf roper in 1962 and had traveled the world as a trick roper. The Ken Lance Rodeo drew the top PRCA cowboys and cowgirls, and he hired the top country music entertainers to come and perform each year. Ken had been life long friends with entertainers like Willie Nelson, who hid out at Ken’s place often. Reba Neil McEntire’s family home was just just down the road at a wide spot in the road called Chockie. It is so small you can hardly find a map that will show it. Chockie however is a little Northeast of Stringtown in Atoka County.

    Ken Lance and I became good friends, and he gave me full run of his place. I met all of the top PRCA cowboys and cowgirls and most importantly he provided full access to all of the country music entertainers. I interviewed them in their tour busses, and introduced them from the announcers stand. Many of them would come to the radio station and make an appearance on my radio show. I became friends with many of them and we swapped phone numbers and addresses. These are the entertainers that several years later would make my early days at KYNN AM/FM in Omaha, Nebraska a huge success, and put me on stage with them in places I could have never dream of in these early years. This early experience introduced me to the world of big time entertainment and that bug bit hard. It would prove to be both a blessing and a curse as the next thirty plus years unfolded. I might end this by saying along the way I did find several entertainers who were members of the church and I did enjoy sitting in the pew with them. We also talked about the dangers of the business, and I guess I could have listened a little closer to them. That’s another story for down the road, and another day.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 9:38 am on February 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has a little bit more of the story and lessons learned from my time in Ada, Oklahoma. We settled down into the rutine of being residents of Ada, and I settled into doing the morning radio show, and selling advertising for KADA Radio. I don’t remember the name of the minister who occupied the pulpit. I recon the lesson of this story is that he wasn’t anything special for us at that time. The friendship I developed with my friend Tom continued to grow, as did my teaching ability in the high school Bible class. Then one Sunday the guy in the pulpit presented what I guess the old timers would call his exit sermon and he was gone. It didn’t take long and my friend Tom was in the pulpit full time, and he would stay there for many years. What that meant for me was that he left the high school Bible class for me to teach. This cowboy and a bunch of young high school kids over the next year or two grew a lot. Tom and I would visit about the high school class almost every week. I also enjoyed it when some of the elders of the congregation would call the radio station or drop by and we would go have lunch or drink coffee.

    All the while Paty and I continued to grow as Christians, as husband and wife and as parents. Patty was a stay at home mom and Amy was a fun little girl and daughter. Then one day Patty made the announcement we were going to add another member to our family. Amy had been born on December 5th, 1971 on a snow covered Sunday morning in Shawnee, Oklahooma. Twenty-five years earlier I had been born in Shawnee as well. Shane was born on Friday morning May 24th,1974, in the same hospital where his mother had been born twenty-one years earlier. Simply put this was a great time in our lives, and looking back I think it was the best years in our marriage.

    I recon at this point I should mention a word or two about my experiences as an early morning country music radio announcer and radio time salesman at KADA Radio. My radio show began at 5:30 am Monday through Saturday and weekdays ended at 9:00am and on Saturday’s at noon. During the week at 6:05 am after the news the Southwest congregation sponsored the “Power For The Day” little five minute radio lesson. A few minutes later I would open the phone lines for the “Trading Post.” The little ten minute segment was designed for regular folks to sell junk around the house. Some days it became a talk show and was very popular as was all of my show. Selling advertising I made I made friends with several people who would help to change my life for the next thirty-eight years. That will have to be the next story.

    What I would like to leave you with today is that Patty and I grew as Christians, husband and wife, and as parents because of the individuals who made us a part of their every day lives, and seeing what a real Christian example looked like. Several years later we would move to Omaha, Nebraska and loose that support.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 10:23 am on February 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has another story about people who have been a big influence in my life, along with a little lesson to teach. We had been married a little over a year and we left Shawnee, Oklahoma to move to Ada, Oklahoma, for me to take a job at KADA-AM. We moved what little furniture we owned and our very young daughter Amy into an old well worn house just off Main Street in Ada. Come Sunday morning we headed off to the Southwest church of Christ. Our lives, and especially mine were about to change. Patty years before when her family lived in Ada had attended the Southwest congregation, and it was like a favorite daughter had returned home. I don’t remember now how many young families like us were there, but there were several. Instantly we were made a part of their daily lives and activities. One couple, Glendel and Paula Hatton became very good friends, and the first thing I knew I was in a Bible study with them.

    You see, up until this time I had not been baptized, and it wasn’t because I wasn’t ready, and didn’t know what I needed to do. I guess it was just that pipeline welder’s brat attitude, and the fact I really didn’t know if I trusted churches. I had not grown up in one of any kind, and my folks just did not like churches, and my dad loved to cuss the Christian Church preacher who lived next door to us. I had already figured out because of the gentle teaching of Leon Davis that the church of Christ was different. To make a long story short, Glendel was like Leon in that he could and did answer any objections I had, and he didn’t back down. So one night this young cowboy said lets do it. My life was about to experience a big change.

    Not long afterwards the congregation moved into a big new building, and some where during those early weeks Tom, fresh out of preaching school came to be the youth minister. He was about a month older then I was and we instantly became friends, and have remained so through all of these years. He must have seen something in this cowboy and radio announcer. He started calling me and saying he had a Bible study to conduct and he was coming to pick me up. Some times he didn’t waste time, he just came and got me. Then of all things he told me I was going to be his assistant teacher in the high school Bible class. There were a lot of smart kids in that class, and most had grown up in the church. My Bible education kicked into high gear. Some of the young men in that class are now preachers, and I know a couple became deacons and there might be at least one elder from that class. Today I could not be prouder of this group of high school students. Many of them today are on my Facebook friends list, and I grin when I see how much they have grown and the great examples they and their kids have become.

    There is a lot more to this story, however that is for another day. In the next five years I learned a great deal about what you find in the pages of the Bible from some outstanding teachers. I learned how to put together a Bible class, had my first experience in presenting a devotional, and my first experiences down front. My radio experiences made a big leap, and I learned more about being a calf roper, became a rodeo announcer, had my first motor sports experinences, and the entertainment world bug hit. There is a lot more to tell.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 10:50 am on February 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy I recon will answer a couple of requests of friends and write a word or two about politics and politicians. I figure both of them are like Oklahoma red mud. You drive around in the stuff and it gets all over the truck and the trailer, and it makes it hard to see the correct turn through the windshield. So you have to stop at a car wash and wash the stuff off the truck and the trailer and especially the windshield. That way you can drive off and leave the stuff behind, and then you’ll be able to see where the correct turn is.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 7:22 am on February 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy looking out at a new week thought a comment from Ralph Lauren would be a good reminder for us; “A Leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” Be a leader this week!!!

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 2:27 pm on February 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has another true story to offer from out of my past and early experiences, It is presented simply to make you and me think about what we do. In the early weeks when Leon Davis made it clear that I could not pick his daughter up at the door of the church building unless I had at least attended worship services with her, I had my first experiences with a church of Christ. Those Sunday mornings were an experience for a pipeline welders son who had grown up squirrel and deer hunting on Sunday mornings. This was right before I tured twenty-three years old so I had already been around the block a time or two. I would sit there and watch and listen. The prayers I expected and the singing and the songs were some times ones I had already played on my radio show. Yes, I did find it interesting there wasn’t at least a guitar to keep them on key. It did help that there was a program sheet that told me what was next, I had used that kind of thing during stage shows. The part of the morning that caught my attention the most was what they called the communion or Lord’s Supper. I notcied right off five guys went up front, and one of them would stand in the middle and talk. Some of those guys would drone on forever, and then one of them would say a prayer, and they would pass around the crackers and a little container of grape juice. I sat there wondering what was so special about this feature for a few Sunday’s. Then one of the young guys, about my age took a turn in the middle.. His knees and his voice shook like a newborn colt, and he really didn’t say much, he just got right to the point. That was the first time any of those guys had explained what it was all about, and then the prayer even made sense Up until then I had wondered if this was just a short pre-sermon with a ritual that always included the crackers and grape juice. Besides Patty had told me I didn’t have to do it, so I didn’t worry about it. Later Leon found a reason for us to go look for something in the shop, and he explained why it was so special. Then I understood, and I was a lot more interested the next Sunday morning. Today when it’s my turn to be in the middle, I keep it short and on subject. I figure there might be some wild haired country boy out in the audience that is wondering what’s going on, and why we do it. I offer this portion of my history just to make us think about what we do, and the example we demonstrate.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 11:03 am on February 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy this morning has been pondering the fact that I have learned a lot from folks that are over eighty years old. A couple of the lessons I have learned are worth repeating here, In his musings the Apostle Paul tells us of the the influence the great Jewish Rabbin Gamaliel had on his life in Acts 22:3-ff and then we read of the people’s respect for Gamaliel in Acts 5:34-39. Paul’s education as most know started in Tarsus, the capital city of Cilicia in Asia Minor. It is interesting to me that the city was a great trade center and the home of a great university.

    Many who read my musing today have spent time around a great university, and have been influenced by great teachers. Several have in one way or another influenced me and how I finally grew up. There have been teachers and great examples like Dr. Clyde Woods at Freed-Hardeman University, who still teaches, and his upper division Greek class will keep you up at night. Many of the books in my library traveled from his hand to mine. I have learned a huge number of things about the early church at the feet of Dr. Evrett Ferguson who for years taught at Abilene Christian University and is still writing books. Sitting on my desk right now is Dr. Stafford North’s book on Revelation and his book on how to construct a sermon. Stafford still teaches at Oklahoma Christian University and for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver Colorado. Some of my most enjoyable times these days come from sitting for a few hours talking about church and Bible things with Bill and Patty Kinney here in Omaha. Bill preached in Texas and Oklahoma and was an elder for many years here in Omaha and he still preaches a good sermon. I mention all of these people today partly to say thank you. The lessons learned from each of these 80 plus year old individulas include, keep working, don’t quit, there is more to do, the job is not finished.

    Country music legend George Jones recorded a song entitled “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.” Yep I am aware that song is about country music legends, however the lesson still stands for this post. We do in the brotherhood have a wagon load of other outstanding teachers and great examples. Allow me to encourage you to take the time to say thank you to these great teachers, encourage them and support their efforts any way possible. Then step back and take the time to do the same for our young students and young first time preachers. Take them by the hand and help them through the rigors and disappointments they will encounter along the way.

    I would like to add a little comment to the end of this post today. The Old Cowboy posts and comments to this point have been true stories right out of my experiences and past, and some of the thoughts that have crossed my mind during the experiences.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 11:03 am on February 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy is thrilled to have my meager literary efforts included on The Fellowship Room pages along with such a great group of Bible scholars and teachers. Over the last year or so I have read many posts planted on social networks like Facebook, Google+ and other blogs. Many times what I see and read on the web takes me back to the days of being a rough around the edges pipeline welder’s brat. You remember the story of the days when I watched the church kids on the other side of the fence playing games and eating hotdogs. They never did invite me to jump the fence and join in. That upset me until the day a church kid namd Dickey, a twelve year old, about a year older them me sauntered over to the fence, and asked me if I was a Christian. I told him I reconed I was, and he asked me if I had been baptized, and I told him nope. That church kid proceeded to tell me I wasn’t a Christian and I was going to go to Hell. I looked him in the face and told him he could go to Hell, and I walked off. I was finished with those smart mouthed church kids. It took me twelve years and falling in love with a church girl before I had a clue about what he was getting at.

    Today I see a lot of Dickey’s posting a lot of scriptures and condemning sound bites and telling people they are going to go to Hell. I always sit there thinking, you need to understand that most of the church kids on your side of the fence know what you are jawing about. On the other hand the rough around the edges pipeline welder’s brat on the other side of the fence has no clue what you are talking about.

    Now take this in a kind way from an Old Cowboy that’s been on the other side of the fence. Throwing scriptures and condemning remarks into the crowd to see who you can hit, is not teaching a thing. A pretty and long haired country girl in my life, when I spout off something she doesn’t understand, will simply look at me and say “explain please.” It’s good advice and I have learned to pay attention to her.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 10:31 am on February 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has a lot to do today. First a few final words of wisdom learned in working with many others on the outreach efforts of the Sunny Slope church of Christ here in Omaha. The first big lesson learned is shown in my comment “working with many others on the outreach efforts.” If you have the idea that one or two people can get the job done, you have already failed. In the last three days I have only scratched the surface of what has been accomplished in the last eight years, and really didn’t tell everyting about the first year. Cable television is now being used more then the newspaper. A radio show that started as a Saturday or Sunday night effort is currently a morning feature Monday through Friday on radio stations in Omaha, Nebraska, Council Bluffs, Iowa and Kansas City Missouri.

    The newspaper ad design works very well. The most important elements would be that it covers only one subject, the Free Bible Studies, and it has a lot of white space. Pictures of the preacher, his name, along with pictures of the building and the worship service times, and sermon topics are left out. They are just clutter and a big distraction to the subject at hand. The ten point border around the ad makes it impossible for the World Herald to hide it, even when they throw it up against the gutter. We learned too that the two least read pages in the paper are the business section and the religious page.

    Gary records the televison commercials while sitting in an over stuffed chair in what looks like a simple living room setting. He wears a simple pair of slacks and a sports shirt with no tie or jacket. He always has a Bible in the picture and some times it is his worn out one. The message is simple, friendly, and conversational. The commercials are very effective and people respond to them. You have to ask yourself, are you featuring a good looking preacher, or maybe a slick looking building or God’s Word. Neighbor, we have proven that folks respond to God;s Word, not good looking preachers or buildings or programs or game nights.

    Everything is tracked and very good recrods are kept. That includes an individuals name address and phone number and email address if they offer that. The zip codes tell us what sections of the area are being reached. We have found what areas we have not reached and in one case placed a series of half page ads in a neighborhood style paper. Every time there is a bring a friend day, Gospel Meeting, or big special sermon series a letter goes out to all of the individuals who have contacted us about a Bible study. What all of that has helped to do is every week including Wednesday nights there are several visitors from the community. Several one-on-one Bible studies are constantly going on, and conducted by the regular old members. Almost every night there is something going on in the building, and recently thirty five feet had to be added to the length of the auditorium. There are now Bible classes for every age group, a strong teen group, young adult group, and a singles group which includes some of the older singles. As I have related earlier in these stories the congregation started in 2004 with sixty members and now a lot of Sunday’s you’ll find a hundred and sixty worshiping God together. If you have other questions give me a call.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 11:16 am on February 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has some more of the story started yesterday. The Gospel Meeting mentioned yesterday while well attended by members of the church in Omaha, the community mostly ignored it. Worst of all the requests for the free Bible Correspondence Course all but died. Sortly after the Gospel Meeting was over we tested several headlines with the members of the congregation and I took them around and asked my neighbors which ones they would respond to. We settled on “How’s Your Relationship with God,” and the requests exploded, one more time. As I said yesterday by the end of 2004 we had one hundred and eighty individuals request the free Basic Bible Teaching correspondence course.

    Three people would have never been able to keep up, and the congregation would have learned nothing. One of the men in the congregatin had been a long time elder and Omaha area plant manager. He simply started taking the stacks of lessons to members of the congregation, and handed them a few lessons and stated “we need you to take care of these.” Several took them and told him they could do that, while others said there was no way they could take care of them. What we did was provide an answer sheet, even though the scriptures to answer the questions were given in the body of the lesson. We too had several men who were always available to answer any of the hard questions folks had presented to them. Gary, my preacher friend began to preach a forty (40) lesson Basic Bible Teaching series on Sunday mornings. We too taught a simple Bible Study series on Wednesday nights. Each of the Sunday morning Basic Bible Teaching sermons were recorded on cassette and CD, and copies were available right after services were over. The CD duplicator makes nine copies in three and a half minutes, and the cassette duplicator three. At this point an interesting thing was taking place, we were seeing several visitors from the community each Sunday morning and night. The visitors coupled with the members were taking from eight to fifteen copies of the sermons out of the door each Sunday. We then began to offer the lessons to those who called requesting the Bible Studies. Just to make a point with this, in two and a half years twenty thousand copies of the Basic Bible Teaching study series walked out of the door or were mailed, and yes I did say twenty thousand in a city of 3000,000. The same Basic Bible Teaching series was preached again recently and the results are in line with the first time it was preached.

    This Old Cowboy will get into some of the other details tomorrow, after this sinks in a bit. What I want you to see at this point is that through this entire effort, simple Bible truth has been taught. Nothing has been glossed over. They are lessons that are taught in an easy to understand format and any and all questions asked by the individuals taking the course are answered The other factor is that currently over half of the congregation is involved in working with the ones taking the Bible Correspondence Course, and at any one time several, one-on-one Bible Studies are being conducted. There is more to say about the details, however that will come tomorrow.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 2:22 pm on February 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy back in 2004 one Sunday morning wasn’t teaching or preaching, so I decided to walk through the door of a congregation only two miles from my house. I figured it was a bit easier then the fifty mile round trip I normally made. I sat down in the auditorium with some long time friends and preceeded to hear a real Bible class lesson. Then I sat among about sixty others and heard a sermon preached directly from the Bible which featured a boat load of scriptures. After experiencing the same thing that Sunday night I wanted to know more about this congregation. Monday morning I walked in the door and had a nice visit with the preacher, and that was an eye opener. He was about my age and had moved to Omaha about two years prior from Houma, Louisiana.

    For a couple of hours we talked about a lot of things including outreach and evangelism and what we had seen work and a few things that didn’t work. Then and there I decided this was where I was going to plant roots. Just about this same time the Passion of Christ movie was released. It seemed like everyone was either going to or showing that movie. We figured that wasn’t the direction we would go. What we did was talk to the men abouot running a few newspaper ads. I designed a two column by three inch add with a ten point border and rounded corners, to be placed in the Living Section of the Omaha World Herald, three days a week. The headlne was Free Bible Study Taken By Mail – under that was “Who Crucified Christ?” Then we put Offered in English and Spanish and under that the name address phone number and the web address. The response was tremendous. We backed off a little because we were haviing trouble finding folks to help us grade the Facts For Life Bible Correspondence Courses that were were beging sent out by the box full every day. You see, right from the start we had over fifty requests. Then the first of April we changed the title on the newspaper add to “What Does the Crucifixion of Christ Mean To You?” that was left in the paper for a couple of weeks, and we backed off. We needed more help then we were finding among those sitting in the pews. We solved that problem, and I’ll cover that in a day or two.

    In Auguest of 2004 our next headline for the add was “You Know About the Crucifixion of Christ, There is More To Learn,” Along with the now two column by five inch add size we introduced a September Gospel Meeting under the same title. I guess at this point I’ll leave you with a bit of a cliff hanger, until tomorrow. When this outreach effort was finally over at the end of the year we had received one hundred and eighty requests for the Facts of Life Bible Correspondence Course. So there is a lot more to this story.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 4:06 pm on February 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy over the last week has enjoyed several conversations with other preachers and church leaders about church outreach, and evangelism, and why their congregation is or isn’t growing. Late last night I was thinking about Sunday morning (2/19/12.) As is my normal habit when I am preaching I like to look around the room. There were several visitors present, and one pair of individuals caught my eye several times. A sister had a gentleman with her, and every now and then I observed her helping him find a scripture in the Bible he held. When the members of a congregation invite their friends and family members and take an active interest in the experiences they are having, I can tell a lot about a congregation.

    That experience takes me back to the childhood days of my son Shane and his sister Amy. The days when Shane would gather the neighborhood kids in the unfinished room and hold church services. I just know those Catholic and Methodist kids heard several new things, and I know they learned new songs. Every now and then one or more of the neighborhood kids would pile in the car and would go with Amy and Shane to Vacation Bible School and a few times to Bible class and worship services. The kids wanted their friends to go with them. So they asked them and they said yes.

    A congregation down the street from me about a mile has a large teen group and a large group of kids in their twenties. On especially a Summer Sunday night it is interesting to watch the two groups. The teens will gather in one set of pews and the twenty year olds in another. What they will do is figure out where they are going to eat or what activity they are going to get involved in. It doesn’t matter if you are a regular member of the group or a visitor, and I am told it doesn’t much matter if you have enough money or not, it will be taken care of. For the ones in their twenties it doesn’t matter if you are married with kids or not or if you have a special friend with you, everyone is invited.

    Now the older adults, well they gather in their various little groups of friends or they sneak out of one of the three outside set of doors and go their way. Every now and then you’ll catch the famous phrase, “we’ll see you next week.” Yes you can tell a lot about a congregation when you just look around. By the way this last congregation has grown from about sixty members a little less then ten years ago to a hundred and sixty today. The first congregation I mentioned is just a little over a year old and growing. I’ll give you a report on them in a few months. I think we need to watch our kids more, they seem to have figured out some things we forgot along the way.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 2:38 pm on February 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy grew up with all kinds of kids on McKinley Street. We played a lot of baseball, and football, hit a few golf balls, and played kick the can and cowboys and indians. We even tied a few window weights on ropes and beat holes in the ground thinking we might hit oil. As kids do we had squabbles. I had a kid across the street from me, I think he was a year older then I was, and he was a pain. Thinking about him reminds me of the folks that spend their time on social networks running other folks down.

    This kid would holler stupid things across the street at me, and I’d every now and then holler stupid things back at him. He did stay in his own yard to do it, and I should have paid attention to that. Every now and then I would go tell my mom what he had said. She just told me to ignore him, he was just flappin his jaws to hear his head rattle. Dad was a little more hands on in such matters, he told me to go over and bust him in the mouth. I did ignore him for what seemed to be a long time, and then one day I went across the street and gave him a big attitude adjustment. You know he quit hollering things across the street, he just went to school and ran me down to his friends, and they told their friends. In the end I learned it would have been better to have ignored him, and just let him holler stupid things across the street.

    Now days children like that kid show up on the social networks running folks down. I just let them argue and fight with other folks, just like them. I simply delete their nonsense, and I love it when I can block them, and I don’t have to upset my friends with such. You see, a bully is never a good teacher, they’re just good at slamin doors. Cowboys just don’t want to be around bullies, you never learn anything useful from them, and they will drag you down to their level, if you let them.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 10:13 am on February 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy earlier on a couple of social networks posted a quote about being a servant. Thinking about that designation I am always reminded of the articles and books that are written about some of the great brotherhood preachers. Some where in the first couple of paragraphs they are always called “great servants.” I expect most are or were. My offering today is not about one of them, and some will find it interesting it is about a quiet and old humble Nebraska farmer and not an Oklahoma coboy. This time I will not use his name because some of the family are still around and they are some what private folks.

    For all the years I knew this old farmer he and his bride lived about twenty-five miles north of where I sit at this computer. He drove an old pickup most of the time I knew him. Every Sunday morning when we arrived at the church building, we discovered he and his bride had been there a while. Snow, rain, or sunshine they were always there early. Most folks just noticed that the old farmer and his bride kept the flowerbeds full of bright colorful flowers. However if you paid real attention while you sat in the auditorium, every now and then an individual would go down front and be baptized. It would then be mentioned that this individual had been studying with the old farmner and his bride.

    As the years went by age caught up with them, and his beautiful bride had a stroke of two, and had problems geting around. Every Sunday the old farmer would get her up, and fed and dressed and they would be the first ones in the church building parking lot, regardless what the weather was. Often her lipstick wasn’t between the lines, but that didn’t matter. Most folks as they walked into the auditorium would stop and say a few kind wolrds especially to the farmer’s bride. You see she was loved by everyone because of her love and kindness over the years. Now days their son who spent many years driving a big rig down the highways, has more Bible studies going then pretty well anyone. Most days he’s the first one in the parking lot of the church building, come rain or shine. It is simply the story of three great servants in the Lord’s Kingdom. Now, what kind of a servant are you?

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 6:00 pm on February 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has been pondering a few examples that have been left in my mind by some Oklahoma Cowboys. As one song states, Cowboys are different in their own kind of way. Most of them have very little folding money in the pocksts of their jeans, Many of them do spend their life chasing dreams, and yes they can get a little roudy. They however will cut a cheap hamburger in half to share with a friend, or cram four in the cab of a pickup truck to get down the road. If one has money for a motel room he’ll invite six of his friends to come share the comforts. Most Cowboys will give you the shirt off their back if you need it, and their last five bucks to help you pay your fees to ride some old bull. Then they will stand on the fence and cheer you on, and then pat you on the back when you get bucked off. In case you are wondering this story is very true and is played out every day up and down these highways.

    Now the question all of us have to answer, what are you willing to do for your friends? Maybe the extent of your involvement is simply the age old phrase “I’m parying for you brother.” I just ask you to ponder the story and the question a bit.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 9:08 pm on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has had a good talk with one friend and shared an email or two with another friend today, Both reminded me of a fact from the Oklahoma oilfields; Cowboys don’t let problems bully them. When a cowboy runs into a problem, he’ll take a good long look at it, if there is time. Then he’ll pull his hat down a bit tighter, and he’ll say a prayer. When he figures it out he’ll deal with that problem. Some aren’t worth the time to bother with, so the cowboy will just back up and ride around them. The bigger problems will cause him to settle a little deeper in the saddle. Then he’ll deal with them, come what may. Cowboys don’t look for problems and they don’t like bullies. Most of all a Cowboy doesn’t back down. Yep, I figure we need more cowboys.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 8:51 am on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy this week has read a couple of articles about the kids song “I’m in the Lord’s Army.” These articles were about how some folks have changed the words to fit their own beliefs about fighting wars. When I read such my mind always wonders off to other more important things. Being a cronic history buff I am often reminded of the words of the founding fathers of this nation.

    With that in mind, consider the words of George Washington; “Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, then the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.” Being the type I am the words of George Washington remind me of the words from the pen of the apostle Paul in the frist verse of the twelfth chapter of his letter to the Roman Christians; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. I like the next verse too; “And be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, In order to prove what is the good and pleasing and perfect will of God.”

    As I have noted in this corner in the past, you aren’t going to get the job we have been given done while sitting on the tailgate of the pickup. Your nap is finished, get down, go to work and get a little dirt on your hands. I might add that in the Oklahoma oilfields you learn that no one stands around and just passes out orders, even the Rig Boss gets his hands dirty, so don’t waste my time by telling me your importance or title.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 9:44 am on February 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy a few days ago had a young preacher call and ask what was the proper way to handle a crying baby in the middle of a sermon? In almost forty years I have experienced just about everything and most things just don’t excite me. I told him to hope the young mother or father lingered a little while in the auditorium. That way the crying baby would wake up the pew sleepers and he could jump in with his strongest point while they were still awake and alert. Admittedly I have a big booming voice that really makes sound systems rattle. I normally at least keep the little ones awake, and can when needed wake the pew sleepers when I really want them to hear a point.

    Now I do understand that some older folks just fall to sleep and I understand some of the younger parents are just worn out, so they really enjoy it when junior goes to sleep. When I’m finished I don’t even mind when some brother or sister doesn’t quite understand a point, it means they were paying attention. We’ll simply find a spot on the pew and talk about it. I figure if I am good enough at answering their question they’ll invite me to lunch. Now what is your attitude about things, are you there to criticize, and to get all huffy and excitable about things you can’t do anythying about, or maybe your goal is just to beat the Baptists to the Sizzler. Think about that a bit.

    • Johnny 2:06 pm on February 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Folks have told me that they can’t see how such keeps from bothering me. Most of the time I just ask, “What baby?” It seems I just up the volume automatically to compensate. Crying babies help you know that church ain’t dead and their is hope for the future.

      • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 2:27 pm on February 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Johnny you are a good man!! It is my prayer that I never look out on the auditorium and not see a set of young parents with a young baby. I figure the young one is crying for a reason, and is simply growing strong lungs. I do as you have noted, I up the volume and continue right on with the lesson. As I noted in the post, it wakes up the pew sleepers and that is a good thing.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 9:29 am on February 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy as you have seen was a typical little boy growing up in the Okahoma oilfields. I mostly had it in my mind that all I wanted to do was be a cowboy. At a rather young age I told my mom that I saw no reason to learn to read all I wanted to do was play cowboys and indians. Peggy Coffman had different plans for her youngest son. Her father had been a school teacher in his younger years and three sisters were school teachers. One of her sisters of all things taught English at a small Texas college. Mom quite often would sit me down at the big dining room table and we had reading and English lessons. What was even worse is that she knew how to diagram sentences. There were times too when I really wanted to sign my own report cards, and not bother either one of my parents with them. My younger sister Becky however was a show off on report card day. So it was normal for me to give up playing cowboys and indians and spend extra time hanging around that dining room table.

    When I packed up my boots and trucked off to college much to my surprise I was well prepared. It’s funny that today some of those things I learned back then at home around that table and in the Seminole school sytem come in handy. Yes, I will have to admit, I am not as good with the Kings English today as I was back then. I too am pleased that I did become a pretty good cowboy along the way as well.

    As parents Patty and I were blessed with two kids that were like my little sister and their mother. That is especially true of my son Shane who also got his singing abilities from his mother. I did drive the kids a little crazy by constantly asking how things were going, and we read their papers, and went to all of the teachers conferences. Shane the “why” kid along the way came up with some rather interesting Bible questions,which he learned how to find the answers to.

    All of this brings us to the question of the day, how much time do you spend with your young students? Can they come to you and ask “why” and expect an answer? I would ask as well, do you just spit out the answer or do you teach them how to find the answer on their own? I guess about this time it is educational to ask, do you know the answers?

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 9:43 am on February 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy as most folks, who hang around the Fellowship Room know, grew up in the Oklahoma oilfields in a little town called Seminole. Last week while visiting a class I had to grin when the teacher told the class “now llisten to me.” It immediately took me back to my high school days and Miss Leota Stegall’s math class. It was in that class many of us boys learned to be quiet and to listen. You learned early on, Miss Stegall was down right lethal with a meter stick. About ten years later I knocked on her door one night while I was out campaigning for a seat on the Seminole City Council. When she answered that door I had a sudden urge to raise my hand to ask for permission to speak, and before I said a word I looked to see if she had a meter stick in her hand. I have always figured she voted for me just to get even. I learned other reasons to keep quiet at places like Herman’s Drive Inn, the Chieftian Drive Inn, and in a booth at Pat’s Cafe, on East Broadway. In those places I learned if you keep guiet kids don’t make fun of you and you don’t get into fights.

    In the Oklahoma oilfields you learn at a young age that listening isn’t going to get you in trouble. I discovered when I got older that you learn a lot when you sit back and listen to folks for a spell. Today a lot of folks need to learn that lesson. It seems however that their faces get red and they want to answer before you are finished. When you get around folks and the pack seems to be barking all at the same time, sit back and listen for a spell. That way you’ll be able to figure out which ones are just running off at the mouth. I always figure some arguments aren’t worth the trouble to get involved in.

    • Mike Riley 2:01 pm on February 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      We can learn a lot by being silent – sometimes, more than we want to learn……. LOL!

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 3:06 pm on February 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy for the last thirty years has enjoyed working with the high school students and teachers involved in Nebraska DECA. I serve on the board of directors, and was honored this year to be the mentor of one of the state officers. Yesterday – Saturday – I traveled to the State Office Building in Lincoln, NE to serve on the DECA Candidate Screen Committee. We spent all afternoon interviewing the sixteen 2012-2013 Nebraska DECA State officer candidates.

    Through this process I was impressed with their intelligence, leadership abilities, and their dedication to Nebraska DECA. Some were as nervous as a cat eating out of the dog’s dish. Others leaned forward in thier chair and looked this old preacher right in his blue eyes and made their case, while some others were a bit calculated. Yesterday and today I have read through their biographical information, and what they presented as their goals, activities and interests in life.

    In their presented information a few mentioned church related activities, and thier involvement in those activities. Their religious beliefs cover a wide range. It makes me wonder why so many of us who preach and serve in a leadership capacity within the Lord’s Body, don’t have the same enthusiasm or fire in the belly, or the dedication, and devotion as I saw in these high school DECA students. We seem to like the titles, but we miss the servant designation in the job description. We are more prone to want to boss and delegate, then to get our hands and knees a little dirty serving those around us. Yes, I did find a very good lesson being taught by a group of high school students yesterday. Yes, I have in the past enjoyed the opportunity to answer some Bible questions for DECA students. I always take the time needed to answer the questions.

    • J. Randal Matheny 4:45 pm on February 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Roy, what does DECA stand for? That’s one that I missed somewhere along the way.

      • Roy Coffman 7:00 pm on February 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        DECA as a series of letters just stands for DECA. What it is designed to do is prepair emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges literally around the globe When the educational program first came into being back around 1947 it was known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America. That designetion was dropped several years ago and now it is simply known as DECA. I would encourage you to search it out and learn more about what it is about. You to can find Nebraska DECA on the web as well as on Facebook.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 8:37 am on February 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy over the years like most my age has had a lot of experiences and been influenced by several people. I’ll hold the name of the individual mentioned below, however Phil Sanders of our writers and a couple of others will figure this one out. I really have a soft spot in my heart for this now little older preacher.

    I was in my very early twentys and I was a very new member of the Lord’s body. We loaded up the kids and moved from Ada, Oklhoam to Seminole,Oklahoma in order for me to manage the radio station over in Wewoka. A couple of years prior my father-in-law had introduced me to the preacher in Wewoka, and he was one of the first I went to see. I found that when ever I unannounced walked through his door he always found time to answer my Bible questions. This preacher took the time required to make certain I totally understood his answer, which he always took directly from the Bible. In those years I watched him slowly peck at the mayor in Wewoka, who could out cuss any oilfield roustabout. This preacher didn’t let anything the mayor said or did stop him, he just kept after the task. In the end it was a Bible Study set up with the mayor’s wife that made the difference and the preacher baptized both of them.

    After a few years this preacher moved off to Oklahome City to start another television show. He had done a television show back in 1953 that was very well liked. He was so dedicated to teaching from the Bible he did everything required to see that nothing distracted from the lesson. He was so careful on camera that he never wore jewelry, no rings, no watch, fancy pens and even used a hidden paperclip to hold his tie.

    I guess to most it is easy to tell who I am talking about at this point. Now the real lesson behind this story is his example left an impression. Over all of these years this Old Cowboy preacher has learned a lot observing the attitude and example put forth by Mack Lyon. His dedication and approach to teaching God’s word has left a deep impression on me, as it has others. Now sit back and consider what example and impressions you are leaving with the young new Christians and the ones who will follow you in the pulpit, or in front of the television camera.

    • Mike Riley 10:09 am on February 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      No question about it, brother Mack Lyon is an example for us all to follow.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 8:11 am on February 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has a full day today so I am around a little earlier then most days. Some events of recent days have caused me to think more about grandfathers and life as a granddad. My mother’s father was was F.O. Prunty, he had been born and raised on a farm in Richie County West Virginia on the side of mountain around Oxford. His life took him from those hills to the oilfields of Oklahoma and the wheat country around Newkirk, Oklhaoma. I first remember him when I was around five or six.. He was already 69 or 70 years old.

    As I grew older I learned a great deal from that old man. A lot of that wisdom you read in posts like this. HIs big lesson was that if you were around him or my grandmother Ada Maud, you were going to always be polite and totally honest. He spoke his mind on many subjects, especially politics. He was a born and bread Southern Democrat. This old man taught me how to saddle a horse then how to ride, a little about how to rope a calf, how to milk a cow, and ring a chicken’s neck, how to pump oil, drive the old tractor and when I was old enough I got to drive him around in his old pickup. Most of all he was a true student of history and had a big wall full of history books. He is the reason I have such a love of history.

    The sad part of the story is that he lived to be 84 years old. While he did have a couple of Bibles in the big bookcase and I am told was raised around an old Episcopal Methodist Church, I never saw one in his hand. I’ll be sixty-five the first day of December of this year, and like my grandfather I have a lot of books, articles, and a large collection of lessons and sermons I have written. One of these days they will find a new home with my grandkids, and hopefully their grandkids down the road. Don’t be in such a rush in this life, spend some time teaching your kids and grandkids. I expect one day they will put to pen and paper the things they learned as a kid from you. What will they write?

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 11:40 am on February 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy offering of today is a little longer, however it is a true story from out of my past, which is true of 95% of the things I write each day. Yes, I do quote some others on my posts from time to time. In recent conversations I have spoken both in person and on the telephone with a number of church leaders who lament the fact their congregation isn’t growing, and it’s graying. They remark that they aren’t reaching the younger adults in the community as well as teens. Most of the time thier intent is to solve the problem by looking for a younger preacher with a family. They get all excited when I tell them their solution seldom works, and likely isn’t the problem.

    I am in situations and conversatins like this reminded of when I was growing up as a little heathen pipeline welders son in the Oklahoma oil fields. Around 1952 or 53 when I was young it was my job to drag the shovel off the back of the truck and clean up the mess Mike the birddog left under the close line in the back. My mother didn’t much like to hang the clothes out after the dog had been around. Then when the dog was gone it was my job to take the old Sears push mower and mow the grass. Through both experiences I watched the church kids gather at the neighbors house to play games and eat hotdogs, and just have a great time. I never understood why I wasn’t invited to come over and join them. I found too that I didn’t like the attitude of some of those kids, they looked down their nose at me, and told me how bad I was and God didn’t like me.

    About seventeen years later I did meet a church girl that I really liked, and she liked me. After that her dad told me I couldn’t pick his daughter up at the church door, I had to go to Bible class and worship services with her. Then I started to learn a lot from Leon Davis who was an elder in the church. He took his time to slowly teach this now preacher what the church of Christ was all about, and he introduced me to some other great brotherhood preachers and teachers who took the time to teach this welders brat a lot of Bible.

    Today those church kids across the back fence back in 1953 are now the preachers and teachers and elders in the church, and they have learned a great deal in all of these years and at least in my home town their attitudes have changed. If you are ever around Seminole, Oklahoma stop and spend some time with a great group of Christians.

    It is a true story from out of my past and I offer it today simply to encourage you to open your eyes and look around, and watch and learn from the lessons those heathen pipeline welders sons might be able to teach.
    (Please note I was told my math was off and I needed to make one correction.)

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 10:04 pm on February 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    When the Old Cowboy has an opportunity to lean back in the recliner I get to thinking about the many things I learned growing up in the Oklahoma oilfields. Things like you’ll never change the direction the wind is blowing, or a woman’s mind, or always be able to depend on the kids to behave when you have the boss over to supper. I can however control my attitude about all of it. I can always snarl and bark or yelp at everyone, or even whine. However I learned long ago that when Mike the birddog did such things someone locked him in the pen out back. I too have learned over the years to be smarter then that dog was most of the time.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 9:47 am on February 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    One more Old Cowboy comment or two about kids and then I’ll get up out of this chair and find another lesson or two learned in the Oklahoma oilfields. As most of us have experienced little kids are interesting creatures. Almost daily they will do somehting that will make you wonder about the characters hangin on the family tree. They will make you wonder just what side of that family tree they will take after. Then as always happens the grandparents will come through the door and mom and dad will be reminded that they did a lot of the same htings when they were growing up. Then your eyes open a little wider and you realize that mom had been watching and she did know what you were doing when you were growing up. While growing up, when I had the opportunity I took a good long look at the back of mom Coffman’s head, I just knew she had a set of eyes back their under all of that hair.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 10:31 am on February 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has been leaning back in this old chair drinking a cup of coffee and thinking. I’ve been thinking a little more about how much fun traveling has been, especially the times I have spent with young families and their kids. I love to have one of the young kids come plop in my lap or along side of me on the davenport, sofa for you young ones. The little kids will a lot of times bring a book and look me in the face and say, read to me. About the time the kid is settled in, young parents get that excited look on their face. When I am quick enough and get the words out before one of them grabs the little one, I just tell them to go on and talk us kids are going to read for a few minutes. Some where in the next little while I’ll mention that when I was young I loved it when one of my grandparents read to me. Sometimes young parents get the hint and for some it takes until their my age. If you really want a treat ask one of the little kids to tell you a story. Every now and then they’ll start “I remember when mom or it might be dad,” then you know this story is going to be funny. Remember parents they are watching and they do remember. Then too they just might repeat that story to some old visitor.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 12:59 pm on February 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has been talking to another friend about all of my years of traveling. Traveling has been enjoyable, especially if it has been to preach, and I get to experience the joy of staying with a young family with little kids still around the home, or even if they are the grandkids of a preacher or elder. The first night around the supper table you can always tell the kids have been given instructions on how to act. That normally will last about half way through the meal, and then you see a grin on the face of a kid, and you just know what is about to happpen. Then it never fails, mom deals with the kids and dad will apologize for the bad behavior. All the while I am thinking to myself, I remember doing that when I was that age. I normally try to save the kid with a remark like, ” I look like my mommy and I act like my daddy.” I always love the faces the parents make too, but they aren’t fooling me one bit. When the kid gets married they are going to tell this story to their grandkids. I figure the kids and maybe their parents some where in the visit will figure out this old cowboy preacher isn’t such a bad guy after all.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 4:30 pm on February 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy has been thinking about God, kids and especially grandkids, and I have decided that God really does have a sense of humor. I know that because my daughter Amy and her husband Jeff are experiencing life with identical twin boys. Sam and Noah are the ones who at four were fond of turning out the lights in their grandmothers bedroom and taking flashlights to look for bats. They too totally frustrated their mother by jumping on our big bed. Amy would get that frustrated look on her face and complain, “you would have killed Shane and me if we had done that.” All the while I would be thinking; boy’s I don’t expect you get to do that at home. Amy too is the one who walked into her mother’s office one day and looked at both of us and while showing total exasperation proclaimed; “I just heard my mothers words come out of my mouth to my children, and I said I would never do that.” Some kids deserve to have their own set of twins in the house. Amy has mellowed a little in recent years and the boys will be eleven in a couple of months. Now that Anna their little sister is just about eight, I am proud to say that she is a clone of her mother at the same age. I love being a grandparent.

  • The Old Cowboy - Roy Coffman 5:09 pm on February 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Cowboy a bit ago had a telephone conversation with a long time entertainment world friend. The subject of my early radio days came up and my first taste of working with a big time entertainer on stage. I had met Mel Tillis back in about 1970 and then in 1973 or 74 we put together a show at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma and hired Mel as the headliner. That night the entertainment bug bit me rather hard and it took a little over 30 years to get shows like that out of my system, along with country radio shows, rodeo announcing, and big time motor sports. Sooner or later you learn as I did that this is a world that is hear today and gone tomorrow. Yes, people will remember your name and a few will remember the shows, but that star finally fades and then goes out. Along the way if you are lucky you pick up a Bible and you learn about eternity, then you make the decision on where you are going to spend it. I enjoyed all of the excitement in the entertainment world, but what has stuck with me since about 1972, is teaching and Preaching God’s word and I’m not planning on quiting that.

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