My Buddy Tommy Cheatham pastors a small church for Cowboys in Love Valley NC. You've probably never heard of it. Its a little out of the way place in the foothills. The neat thing about Love Valley is that it is for Cowboys. Now don't go thinking its a tourist place it isn't. There are real cowboys there. There are no cars allowed in downtown Love Valley. Only horses! There are hitching posts, a saloon and a general store. There used to be a jail, but now the jail is the church where Tommy pastors. He asked me to come preach today and I did. And people rode their horses to church. I met Willie there. He's the bearded guy pictured above. He's about 5' tall but as you can see he wears a .45 revolver on his side. He takes it off before coming into worship. Its loaded too. He wears a Bowie knife thats about a foot and half long. He has a .444 lever action in a scabbard strapped to his horse. I had lunch with Tommy and Willie today. I asked Willie where he lived. He said "Oh about an hour and a half north of here." I replied, "Up above Wilksboro?" He looked at me kind of funny, "No about an hour and a half north." Then it dawned on me that he meant an hour and a half by horseback. He doesn't have a car! He just rides everywhere. I realized at that point there are lot of things in this world that people get worried about, you know bills and money and schedules. I ride by Wal-Marts and our cookie cutter shopping complexes and Willie rides by the river and up the mountain. He shoes horses. He loves Jesus. And guess what, he's just fine with that. Willie invited me to come back to church, to take my kids horseback riding and to spend a quiet Sunday with him. I'm going to do that.
By the way notice the rule board at the entrance to Love Valley. No discharging of firearms in the city limits, didn't say anything about just outside. Tommy told me the rule board used to read: NO UNLOADED FIREARMS ALLOWED! How about that. If you want to go to love Valley its pretty easy. Just go to Statesville NC, take the HWY 115n exit off of I-40. Go about 15 miles and follow the sign on your left. You can't miss it. And you won't want to.