In a room crowded with country folk in cowboy hats as big as patio umbrellas–some wearing holsters with pistols–and the smell of savory, sizzling prime rib, the caterers worked quickly. The husband and wife team were serving the big cattlemen’s event in the rural mountain area.

Wrapped in a white apron and tall hat, Chef Ruth, barely five-foot-five, carefully cut the perfect beef slices into servings. Serving up plates, her husband, Bob–well over six feet–also wrapped in an apron, worked efficiently.

“Are you the chef?” one hat-wearing cowboy nudged Bob. The western-clad guest assumed that apron-clad Bob had created the gourmet meal. After all, aren’t nearly all chefs men?

“No,” Bob corrected him as he pointed with his elbow, “She is.”

“Well, now, Little Lady, are you a real chef?”

“Yes, I am,” the culinary school-trained professional affirmed. Then Ruth asked, “Are you a real cowboy?”

It would be easy to tell the cowboy from the chef by the way one rode a horse and the other created a meal.

In the same way, a person is not known to God by personal appearance, social or economic standing as he or she is for actions and words.

Jesus would call it fruit. “No tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its fruit…The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks.” [Luke 6:43-45 NIV].

What is coming from your heart, mind, and mouth? God knows your voice, sees your heart as well as your actions. He never stops loving the unique creation you are.

Based on that, how would you answer this question:

“Hey, Big Guy, are you a real Christian?

“Say, Little Lady, are you a real Christian?

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, available from her website, For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog.]

About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

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