San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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May 13th, 2008
Dancin' With a Hog Wrestling Champion

You can not hog tie the Holy Spirit. When you tie up an animal (hogs originally) by its legs and make it immobile and helpless, you are “hog tying” the animal.

You can not hog tie the Holy Spirit.

The Book of Acts tells of when many people from many cultures and tongues were gathered 50 days after the Passover (Crucifixion) and the Holy Spirit descended upon them and they all could understand each other. Mixing cultures and tongues leads to growth in spite of initial confusion. You can not rope the Spirit of God, can you?

This morning we have a The Hays County Hog Wrestling Champion with us in worship. Her name is Tricia Salinas. She is going to tell you how she won the Championship.

(Tricia told of how she and her girl partner were placed within a ring in the dirt and a hog was then released within the circle. The girls had to pin the hog down, rope it and put it in a bag, and drag it outside the large circle. They did it in 8.75 seconds, good enough for Second Grand Champion in the county. Daniel says that is less time that it takes a rocket powered dragster to

She and Daniel are going to the High School prom together this coming Saturday. I admire Daniel. I have never met, asked out, dated, or even talked to a Hog Wrestling Champion. Tricia and Nora are good friends. It takes courage to ask a Hog Wrestling Champion female to the Prom to dance.

You never know, do you, about what unique cultural experiences await you in a new community, do you? Amity was in the 6th grade when we moved to Alabama. She came home all excited one day. She had made a new friend in her new school and that girl’s family had asked Amity to join them for a family outing that coming Saturday. They were taking Amity to the Annual Alabama Rattlesnake Round-up Festival in central Alabama. You never know. Every culture has its own language and festivals.

You can not Hog Tie the Holy Spirit. Oh, we try to take rope and tie it up and make it immobile and render it helpless so WE can control it and make it obey us, but the Holy Spirit refuses to be hog tied. You can wrestle with it and roll with it over the years in church and in your prayer life, but you can not ultimately tie it up. It is the wind. It will blow where IT wants. When It wants. In what direction It wants.

It is Love. It is Unity. It is Hope. It is the Comforter. It will never be roped and rendered helpless and immobile.

Theology can not contain It. Church dogma can not contain it. Great rhetoric of preachers can not describe it adequately. We embarrass it at our best. We highlight it at our weakest presentations and descriptions. When we are weak, IT is strongest.

Chi asked to be on my golf team yesterday. She is the city champion in Women’s Golf. I asked Quin to be on my team. He hits the ball a good 280-300 yards. I asked Rodney to be on my team. He has a back injury and can not swing a club. Since he can not swing a club, he can drive the cart and he can be our Ghost Player. Chi and Quin and I would hit a ball and then one of us got to hit a second shot…for Rodney our Ghost Player.

It worked out very well. Give Chi and Quin a second golf shot and you will win many tournaments. Bert said he could win a hand-grenade throwing battle if he had two shots every time. Bert described Rodney being on our team as being like a sailor who uses a large man as a ballast…there just for the weight and to do nothing else.

When Rod is weakest he helps our team the most. Rod drove the cart, drank beverages, enjoyed some cigars from our church Beverage and Cigar Cart, and had a great time. He was just there to be a ballast.

We shot 5 under par, scoring a 63. We knew we would win. We had Rod. When Quin or Chi would hit Rod’s shot, it was always better than the first shot. We congratulated Rod all day long about what a good golfer he was. “Nice shot, Rod” were regular words..

Out of five teams, three of us tied for first. Could not believe it. Three teams tied with our 63. They had to have cheated. They did not have a Rod as a ghost player.

Today we have heard the scriptures in Russian, Spanish, English, Japanese, German, Navajo, and Estonian. The Holy Spirit moves through all people in all cultures in all tongues and in all churches and throughout the entire world. When we are weakest, It can work through us the best. When we just relax and enjoy the ride in the cart and drink some wine from the Table and let The Holy Spirit live through us to bring Hope.

Chi said this morning in Sunday School that one of her gifts in life is “I do not have to hate anymore.” What a testimony, huh?

Embrace others who are different from you. Whenever a church of Texan men and women call a preacher from the mid-west to be their pastor, then you know that group of men and women are serious about invitin’ the Holy Spirit to work wonders. Heck, even with a Hog Wrestling Champion in your midst, you can not hog tie the Holy Spirit, as our kids prove each Sunday. You might as well just relax and enjoy dancing and wrestling with God’s Love and Spirit. Amen.

(Blow up the balloon you have been handed. Let the air out slowly and hear the squeaking sound. That is the sound of a church trying to control the Spirit of God within you. Now blow it up again and let it go simultaneously on the count of 1-2-3. Now THAT is the Spirit of God flowing freely within the Church.

By GARY L. SMITH
Reverend – Christ the Redeemer Church

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