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

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cowboy Christmas

And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God (Luke 8:1).

Grangeville, Idaho - Photo by Ken Lund

The 4th of July weekend is often called "Cowboy Christmas" because of the many rodeos that are held. For lots of cowboys, the couple of days before and during the 4th of July weekend are fast and furious, and jam-packed with travel to multiple rodeos. Wade rode saddle broncs at three ICA (Idaho Cowboy Association) rodeos; Vale, OR, and Hailey and Grangeville, ID. He placed and took home a check in all three rodeos. Good job, Wade! Now that really was Cowboy Christmas! More importantly, he got the chance to mingle, meet, and share the Training for the Cross ministry with other cowboys behind the chutes.

Photo by Mary Williams Hyde

And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable (Luke 8:4).

Jesus spoke to people in parables, stories of common experiences that they were familiar with and could easily understand. Wade has common experiences with rodeo and ranch cowboys, and can speak about and demonstrate the Gospel in ways that cowboys respect and understand. This is what makes participating in rodeos such an important part of the Training for the Cross ministry. Those "behind the chutes" acquaintances and friendships can reach cowboys who would never step foot inside a church.

Amaia's faithfulness and companionship to travel with Wade to the rodeos is another display of what Paul calls "simplicity and godly sincerity" (2 Cor 1:12), Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Tit 2:12).

Even with the hectic pace, Wade and Amaia were able to watch the fireworks with Amaia's family, and Amaia was able to have a fun time with her beloved nieces and nephews.

Photo by Michelle Escujuri Larzelier

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:15).

Both Wade and Amaia have "honest and good hearts" and surely are "bringing forth fruit with patience." Look for Wade in the saddle bronc at another ICA rodeo in Glenns Ferry, ID on Saturday, July 18th, 2009.

(Special thanks to Michelle Larzelier for her great photo of Wade and Amaia!)

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Thursday, May 21, 2009


Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep....(Exo 9:3).

One of our favorite "chores" is branding. Friends and neighbors come to help, and we get to have a part social, part recreational day while getting the needed work done.

Branding starts with gathering all the cows and calves, and then sorting the calves away from the cows. Sorting is fun work when it's done horseback. We run the cows through the chute and vaccinate them. Then the branding fire is started up, cinches checked, ropes uncoiled and swung, and the branding begins.

Branding is important, not only for the brand, which is the only legal identification for cattle, but also for the vaccines that the calves get. Waiting too long to brand can result in some sickness in calves that haven't been vaccinated yet. This year we kept having to put branding off due to wet, snowy, and rainy weather. You can't brand a calf if it is wet! Fortunately we haven't had much sickness in the calves, so the delay didn't seem to hurt. We finally got a beautiful, sunny day.

Since we had waited a while to brand, some of the calves were pretty big. Heading and heeling worked well for the bigger calves, and reduced the amount of help needed on the ground. Calves that were smaller were heeled. Two "wrestlers" on the ground were needed for the calves that were heeled. Each calf got two vaccines and any other individual attention it needed, along with its permanent brand.

Good horsemanship on the part of the ropers is important. That means watching the calf carefully and slipping your dally if it starts to choke. Being able to move your horse in any direction willingly is also important, for the welfare of the calves, but also to avoid a collision with the ground crew.

There is really much more to good horsemanship at a branding than you might imagine. Stockmanship by the ground crew is critical. Making sure that each calf gets all of the shots it needs, and that they are administered correctly, is important. Being able to work quickly so that the calves are not restrained any longer than necessary is also part of the ground crew's job.

Proper branding etiquette involves each roper also taking a turn "wrestling" or being part of the ground crew. That way everyone who wants to gets a chance to do the fun job, and improve their horsemanship skills and their horse.

Branding is fun, and would be impossible without neighbors and friends being willing to help! This makes me think of Paul's instructions to us about working together and helping one another.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another (Rom 12:10). That there should be no schism in the body; but the members should have the same care one for another (1Co 12:25). Nothing through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Php 2:3-4).

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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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Sunday, March 15, 2009

True Religion

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).

Here are some organizations that we feel do a great job of taking care of the physical and spiritual needs of children and families all across the world.

World Vision:
Compassion International:
Life Outreach International:

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

God's Promises

My sister sent this to me. I thought it might be a good thing to post since times are tough for so many people right now. These are the things God promises us. Lately I've heard from many people that God is a verb. I love it. He is real and at work right now! This is a collection of God's promises from scripture. My sister found it in a book she had in junior high called God's Precious Promises. I hope it will remind you of the hope we have in Christ Jesus and that He makes good on His promises!
This picture was taken when we were in China at the Great Wall. It amazes me that men built this, but what I find more amazing is God's creation and what He can do through us when we surrender our hearts to Him and put our faith in Him.

Jehovah is Promise
The compounded names of Jehovah God, translated The Lord, are promises.

The Lord provides. Gen. 22:14

The Lord heals. Ex. 15:26

The Lord protects. Ex. 17:15

The Lord sanctifies. Ex. 31:13

The Lord sends peace. Judg. 6:24

The Lord of hosts offers strength. 1 Sam. 1:3

The Lord is our shepherd. Ps. 23:1

The Lord is our redeemer. Isa. 44:24

The Lord is our righteousness. Jer. 23:6

The Lord is always there. Ezek. 48:35

God The Almighty is all-sufficient. Gen. 17:1

Jehovah is "I am that I am." God is all that we need Him to be. Ex. 3:14

Have a blessed Sunday!

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