And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full (1 John 1:4).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Foundation to Finish Clinics

Beginning summer 2009, Training for the Cross will offer custom clinics combining Horsemanship and Discipleship training. We are willing to travel to your location to organize and present the "Foundation to Finish" program tailored to your specific needs.

If you would like to discuss the potential of a "Foundation to Finish" clinic for your barn, ranch, group or association, please contact us at Training for the Cross.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Katie's Summer Mission Trip

We have a friend, Katie, who is making a mission trip with Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) this summer. Katie is very active with CCC, and here is her letter explaining her upcoming trip:

I am a student at Montana State University majoring in Animal Science, Equine Science option, with a minor in Psychology. Graduation is still a year and a half off, but I'm enjoying my current classes. Although challenging, I am working hard to get the most out of them! I am continuing to enjoy leading Bible study in the dorms through CCC. It has been a blessing to be in the lives of freshman women and to watch and encourage them to grow in Christ, as well as everything God has been teaching and revealing to me about His faithfulness, love and grace!

I have recently been accepted to participate in an international summer project with CCC, called Acts 29. Acts 29 takes place in the largest city in the Middle East and is geared towards reaching more than 400,000 university students in that city.

Our primary focus during the summer will be to reach Muslim students with the Gospel through various large group outreaches, building relationships with students, and also building our own relationship with the Lord through fellowship, weekly meetings, and Bible studies.

In order for me to take advantage of this great opportunity to grow in my faith, I need to raise $4,850 to cover the cost of my portion of the summer project budget. I'm asking people to consider partnering with me in two ways: one, by praying for me regularly, and two, by supporting me financially.

Would you prayerfully consider partnering with me to reach students in the Middle East this summer through prayer and giving financially? I'm trusting that God will raise up partners who will invest in my life and the lives of the students I will minister to this summer. Would you invest to help reach Muslim students for Christ?

If the Lord is asking you to give, please make the check payable to Campus Crusade for Christ. All of my support is due before our briefing on May 13th; I would appreciate if the Lord is leading you, to send your gift soon.

I want to thank you very much for your prayers, encouragement and support. I greatly appreciate you!

If you are interested in helping support Katie, you can contact us here at Training for the Cross.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Finding My Line......

Photo by Sean Sperry/Bozeman Chronicle

On the occasion of passing my comprehensive exam and thesis defense for my MS degree in Equine Science, I thought I would reflect on my thinking at the time I applied for the MS program, and on what's to come in the future. Here's the essay I wrote to accompany my application to graduate school.

Historically, higher education is not something that my family has strived to achieve. I am a sixth generation rancher from southwest Idaho, and I come from a long line of distinguished horsemen. I have been raised on ranches and horses have not only been a valuable tool for my family but part of our livelihood. My great-grandfather ran more than 1,000 head of brood mares and the Black family has always taken pride in raising quality horses. My maternal grandfather took pride in riding quality horses as well and has had a substantial impact on the equine industry. It has always been a desire of mine to follow in my family's footsteps. Not only is the equine field something that I am familiar and comfortable with, it is part of the fiber that makes me the person I am.
Times have certainly changed from my grandfathers' and father's eras when it comes to the need for higher education. The equine field has shifted from agricultural to recreational. The opportunities for an individual with higher education in the equine field far exceed those that were available to past generations. Both my maternal grandfather and my father have traveled around the world educating people about their horses. Education is something that has always been a passion of mine. It has only been recently, however, that I have discovered I can take this passion and teach something that I have always loved.

I came to Montana State University on a rodeo scholarship and enrolled in the Equine Science program. I admit my initial incentive was primarily based on rodeo opportunities rather than academic goals. However, it did not take long in the Equine Science program to discover that I had made the correct decision, regardless of my original motivation. The Equine Science program offered me something far more valuable than athletic competition in rodeo ever could. The education I received from the program far exceeded my expectations and it was through the program that I discovered the possibility of teaching as a career.

Teaching is something that I have always loved to do and have been told I have a natural tendency for. Whether it was helping someone with homework, demonstrating a wrestling move, or showing someone a rope trick, I have always enjoyed the role of a teacher. However, before coming to MSU I didn't think teaching would ever become my career. After coming to MSU and taking classes in Equine Science, I realized I have discovered an area that I enjoyed learning about enough to make it a lifetime career in some capacity. I am also enjoying the opportunities I have been granted to teach a few classes at the univeristy level. Through teaching these classes I have discovered the equation for my future career: My passion for education and my innate love of the equine field create a career path I can follow for a lifetime.

So, now that I've passed this milestone on my path, where do I go now? I am going to tell you a little secret that the Lord showed me about how easy it is to find God's will for our life. I hope you are ready for this; it is the easiest concept and yet the most difficult task I have found in my life so far. Here is the secret to finding God's will for our life: Quit looking to where you think God wants you in the future and start looking to where God wants you today. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (KJV). Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (NIV, Matthew 6:33-34).

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Man in the Glass - Ray Hunt

Photo by Mary Williams Hyde

Some of Ty Van Normans's words to the family at Ray Hunt's service in Mountain Home, ID.
I am not going to stand up here and talk too much about Grandpa Ray. You knew your Raymond better than I did. Besides it's not about what is in the box or that jar. It's about what that container couldn't hold.

The Man in the Glass (Anonymous)

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And think you're a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

He's the fellow to please - never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear to the end.
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

(This was one of Grandpa's favorite poems, he recited it at nearly every clinic.)

Most of us have looked in a mirror some time today. What did you see? I'll bet you looked at your face or your hair, but how much time did you spend looking into your eyes? Why does that make a lot of us uneasy? Matthew 6:22 says that "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light." Meaning our eyes reflect what is going on inside of us. They're the windows to the soul. The next time you encounter that person in the glass, look them in the eye and see if they're driven by the flesh. Are your eyes dull with pain, anger, bitterness, deceit, doubt, hate, contempt, jealousy, fear or a haughty pride? Or do the eyes looking back sparkle with life, led by the Spirit and filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Are they filled with content confidence that you are right where God wants you and the type of person He wants you to be? This is where my Father has me today.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ty's Eulogy for Ray Hunt

Ty Van Norman spoke these words at Ray Hunt's funeral in Texas.

I am the eldest grandson of Ray Hunt. I live on a ranch in Nevada where my family has been ranching for generations. The area I live in has birthed some of the greatest horseman of all time: The Dorrance brothers, Lee and Clyde Revorse, Grandpa Ray, Horns, Jones and Marvels just to name a few. They all had an influence on men in the industry today. I consider myself privileged to have grown up there. I am merely a man, but I wouldn't do my blood justice if I didn't get up and share what's on my heart today. What I have to say may make some of you mad and some glad, but I am pretty sure you won't leave here the same as you came.

We are all gathered here today, to pay our respects to a man who loved horses. He defended what he was passionate about; that was his life. You could hardly talk to him about anything else. He was a master at what he did. I cherished the times I got to spend with him growing up. I only got to see him about once a year when I was young. I remember him and Dad sitting and talking horse. There were a few times we went fishing. Once Dad and he went to Alaska on a hunting trip; I still remember the stories. In the spring of '93 I got to go to Australia with him and travel up the East coast doing clinics. That was an awesome experience that would not have been possible for me, if it hadn't been for Grandpa Ray and Caroline.

Anyone who really knew Grandpa knew there was no nonsense around him; you did it his way. If you didn't, he would tell you exactly what he thought and he didn't care how it made you feel. I'm not saying that was right or wrong; that was Ray. Some of you I am sure he offended at times and encouraged at others. I'm not here to apologize or defend him. I'm here to remind you that he was a great man in the horse world, but he was still just a man. He struggled with the same things in life we all do. The way he handled them was his choice.

I see a lot of familiar faces here that also stand out in the horse world. A lot of you, whether you are aware of it or not, have a lot in common. I'm not talking about horsemanship. I'm talking of being held on a pedestal and the deception that comes with that position of God-likeness. I'm definitely not accusing anyone; least of all Grandpa Ray. That is not my purpose. My purpose is to give you warning of the position you hold. This is where my Father has me today. To remind you that we are just men that struggle in life and are presented with choices. Grandpa was a man that found a way to make a living using the gifts and talents God gave him.

My brother got to spend some time with Grandpa last winter and I remember him telling me that every thing Grandpa said was so true for the situation at hand. Grandpa's Cowboy Logic book is full of one liners that speak truth:

-Don't try to go through something bad and come out good....stop and start over. Facing death is unsettling to most of us. I'm not an expert on it, but I've seen some of it lately. (Just over the last three years Ty lost a son, dad, brother and grandfather.)

-You have to prepare to position for the transition. The transition for all of us at one point or another is leaving this life behind. Are you prepared?

-Adjust to fit the situation. You might have to adjust your thinking to fit this situation.

-Confidence is knowing that you are prepared.

-In John 14:6 Jesus states, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

-I'll tell you what happens before what happened, happened. God's Spirit moves, the truth is revealed, your spirit is quickened, you are called and you are given a choice; the choice is yours. Sin and death will lose its power and you will stand in the Supernatural Power of God.

To some of you this means nothing. And to some of you this means everything. Worship the God who made the man and use the gifts He has given you to glorify God, and He will give you life and life more abundantly. Romans 5:1-4 talks about the Glory of God and how we can change our history. As I said before, I am the oldest grandchild of Ray Hunt. That is why I am here on this platform in the boldness of the Holy Spirit to change my history.

We all have history wrong or right, good or bad; it is called character. Grandpa's character was his own and that's why we are here; to remember the man, Ray Hunt. Love him or hate him, you wouldn't be here today if he hadn't had some kind of impact in your life.

On behalf of my family - I thank you for coming and may God bless you.

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