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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Friday, June 26, 2009

Jordan Valley Horse Expo 2009

And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; (Exo 35:31) And he hath put in his heart that he may teach...(Exo 35:34).


Photo by Ann Black Rutan

Wade has been given gifts in understanding and knowledge of horsemanship, far above the average cowboy or horse person. These skills are gifts from God, and are to be used for the benefit of others.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10, NIV).


Photo by Ann Black Rutan


Wade is also a natural teacher. He recently got the opportunity to instruct a horsemanship clinic at the Jordan Valley (Oregon) Horse Expo. Ann Rutan is the South Mountain Cowboys 4-H Club leader, and did a fantastic job organizing the Horse Expo. The free program included educational presentations made by a horse chiropractor, a veterinarian, brand inspectors, and a horseshoer. There was even an awesome tri-tip dinner for all to enjoy!!

In the evening, Wade and John Schutte co-taught a horsemanship clinic that included both basic principles from the "Foundation for Perfection," and cow working for the more advanced riders. A great time was had by all the participants and many lessons learned!

Clinic participants - Photo by Ann Black Rutan



John Schutte teaching cow work - Photo by Ann Black Rutan




Thank you God for giving us the gifts to serve you.

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it (Ps 90:17).

(Thanks to Ann for being our special Owyhee Country correspondent!)

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Friday, May 22, 2009

On the Road for the Summer

Wade and Amaia are in Idaho for the summer. They loaded up nine (yup, nine!) horses and headed to Homedale, which will be their base "camp." Here's Wade checking out all the features on the "new" trailer he bought. Looks like they're ready to hit all the brandings and do some day work!

One of the first stops was the Jordan Valley "Big Loop" rodeo. Wade was up Friday afternoon in team roping and Big Loop (horse roping). Ty was there as well. They all enjoyed the chance to see friends and family, and catch-up after a busy winter of hard work.
Photo by Ann Black Rutan
Wade rode in the Saddle Bronc on Sunday, and tied for 2nd/3rd/4th with a score of 74. Good job, Wade!

Wade has a particular call to minister and witness for Jesus Christ at rodeos and to cowboys. He has God-given gifts of horsemanship, roping, and bronc riding that allow him to travel and meet many who might not step foot in a church. Here is his expanation of his calling.

The Lord opened my eyes and showed me a vision concerning the hearts of the men behind the bucking chutes. The Lord showed me how many of them had received a little spark for Him, but the spark had never been fanned giving it the opportunity to grow. He told me to "fan the flame." The Holy Spirit is like a mighty wind and will bring life to a tiny spark, igniting an all-consuming fire. As the Lord began to speak to me giving me direction for my life, I became sanctified by the word of God, "For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer" (1 Tim 4:5), and empowered by the Holy Spirit. "For you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you" (Acts 1:8).

God has not called me to preach the Gospel, but to demonstrate the Gospel. I am only called to prepare the way for the Teacher. I am called to help people come into the fullness of the New Covenant and be taught by God. I am called to introduce people to the Holy Spirit and God has showed me He will do the rest. Just like a person must prepare a colt before he can start to communicate with them, I am called to show people how to prepare themselves so that they may start communicating with God. God wants to communicate with us, we just need to be "willing" and then able. It is so simple; the same things that hold us back from communicating with our horse are the things that hold us back from communicating with God.

Photo by Ann Black Rutan
Training for the Cross is on the road this summer working to act upon Paul's advice, "...Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it" (Col 4:17), and to fulfill Jesus' charge, "But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee"
(Acts 26:16).

We are all directed to be ministers of Christ, each in his own way, according to his own gift, "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (1Pe 4:10-11).

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Branding

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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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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Monday, March 30, 2009

Prayer for Ray Hunt


I read this prayer at my grandfather's funeral in Texas.

Lord,

We gather here today to celebrate the life of Ray Hunt. As we come together for this celebration I would like to thank You for the many gifts you have provided for the occasion. I thank You for the gifts you gave my grandpa that he was able to share with the world. Gifts applied to horses but applicable to life as well. Through Grandpa's teachings, people around the world saw how man and horse could truly become one, and I thank You for this gift. I thank You also for the gift of Your Son Jesus Christ that through His death and resurrection and believing in Him, man and God can also truly become one.

I thank You for the gift of feel, timing, and balance You gave my grandpa to show the world, the gift that could never be comprehended by head knowledge but had to be experienced between man and horse. Through this feel, timing, and balance man can communicate with the horse and keep them in our perfect will. I also thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit that too can never be comprehended by head knowledge but has to be experienced between man and God. Through the Holy Spirit we may learn to feel of You and learn to stay in Your perfect will.

Lord, I thank You for my grandpa and the gifts he leaves behind for me and for the world. I thank You that his teachings not only taught me how to feel of the horse and to have unity with the horse, but also taught me how to feel of You and to have unity with You.

I thank You for the many gifted people that have gathered here today to celebrate the life of Ray Hunt. I pray that these people would learn from my grandpa's teachings, what You have taught me. That is, the gift of applying Tom Dorrance's and Ray Hunt's teachings to their life and to experience "True Unity and Willing Communication between God and Man."

I thank You for my grandpa, Oh Lord.

I pray these things in Jesus' Holy name.

Amen.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bronc Riding Prayer

The Lord is my strength and my shield; of nothing shall I fear.
He makes me to lie in green pastures and His presence grows near.

He breaths life into my body to bring glory to His name.
I am a warrior for Christ and rodeo is my game.

He guides me and protects me as I step into the ring.
A hedge of protection around me He'll bring.

Though lies may surround me about the fate of my ride,
But you chose my horse and in you I reside.

I know you are with me as I call for my horse.
You ride behind me to keep me on course.


Destruction pulls me forward, but on you will I lean.
My shoulders stay back and to you will I cling.

My faith is in you as I lift on my rein.
I lift to the heavens as I charge to the mane.

I hold tight to my swells like I do to your Word.
I cling to the truth in your promises I have heard.

My mind is in the middle and my spurs are a shark.
They keep reaching and striking for the perfect mark.

I am a warrior for Christ and rodeo is my game.
I spur'em for eight and give praise to your name.

By Wade Black

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bronc Ridin' This Weekend

Two bronc riding events are on the schedule for this weekend, March 13 & 14. Check out the Bronc Ridin' Invitational at Moses Lake, WA on Friday evening. It's held at the Grant County Fairgrounds Ardell Pavilion, and starts at 7 pm. General admission is $15.


On Saturday night the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, OR will host a showcase event for the World's Toughest Rodeo National Tour. There will be two parts, the Bulls & Broncs competition followed by the new Toughest Cowboy competition. In the Bulls & Broncs, bareback riders, saddle bronc riders, and bull riders will compete. A top-notch group of saddle bronc riders have entered, including Shawn Morehead (Bruneau, ID), Kayle Gray (Cheney, WA), and Ryan McKenzie (Jordan Valley, OR), who all finished in the top 10 of the Columbia River Circuit standings in 2008, along with Wade Sankey (Cody, WY), another outstanding bronc rider. The Toughest Cowboy competition has eight cowboys each competing in all three events. This is associated with the TV show "The Toughest Cowboy" seen on Spike TV on Wednesdays at 11 pm ET/PT. You can check it out at http://www.toughestcowboy.com/. General admission tickets are $18.



Wade will be riding in the Bronc Ridin' Invitational at Moses Lake, and in the Bulls & Broncs at Portland, so wish him good luck and safe travel if you see him there! Due to Wade's travel schedule, there won't be a horsemanship event at Kountz Arena this Sunday, March 15th.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Theory of "The Kingdom of God"

I believe that there was perfection in the Garden of Eden and through sin, man got kicked out of that perfection. I also believe that it is sin that keeps us from perfection now, and through Jesus dying on the cross for our sins we can enter back into that perfection. We can "Return to Eden" where there is "True Unity and Willing Communication" between God and man.

This is what I believe. Don't take this wrong, but it doesn't really concern me so much if you do not believe this. I do not feel the need to debate or argue my beliefs, because I am a Scientist. I have developed my scientific thinking through my education and by studying the Scientific Method. Scientists deal with things that are testable, observable, and repeatable. Scientists develop a theory and test it. If there is no evidence to support the theory, a good scientist throws the theory out and develops a new one. Scientists deal with facts and look at the evidence that supports the theory. This is what I have done in my MS research "Feeding Grain Decreases Training Effectiveness in 2-Year-Old Quarter Horses." A good scientist also does not try to force their audience to adopt their beliefs. They present the evidence and let people make their own conclusions. God has given me a formula (Foundation for Perfection) to prove this theory (Kingdom of God) and so far the evidence supports the theory. We can return to Eden and experience True Unity and Willing Communication with God. Until I have been shown enough evidence to disprove this theory, I will continue to believe this theory, test the theory, and collect data.

Here is the Scientific Method applied to my theory:

Observation and Question
- We (humans) are not perfect and we live in an imperfect world.
- Many people believe in a perfect God who created everything and controls everything.
- Can we as imperfect humans reach out from this imperfect world and touch the perfection of God?

Do Background Research
- The Bible says yes.
- I conduced 7 years of research studying the Bible and documenting my own observations and experiences with this question.
- My research resulted in a book "Returning to Eden: True Unity and Willing Communication."

Hypothesis (Educated guess about how things work)
- The Kingdom of God is at hand and through God's Son, Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can reach out from the imperfect world and touch, feel, and experience the perfection of God in His Kingdom.
- God is perfect and He created a perfect world (Garden of Eden). In this perfect world there was "True Unity and Willing Communication" between God and man, and between man and animals. Man and animals have "Driving Factors" and it is through these driving factors that man got kicked out of the Garden of Eden. It is through the full submission of these driving factors that we can "Return to Eden" and experience the "Kingdom of God" here on earth.

Test Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
- Experiment: Test the formula "Foundation for Perfection."
- Past Research: Equine study at MSU.
- Current Research: 40-day trial (Individual and Group Study).

Analyze Data and Draw a Conclusion
- Past Research: Increasing energy (underlying driving factor) during the early stages of training decreased training effectiveness in 2-yr-old Quarter horses by increasing self-preservation behavior, decreasing willing submission behavior, and causing an unbalanced life to direction ratio.
- Current Research: Follow the "Foundation for Perfection: Discipleship Guide." Record your results daily.

Communicate Your Results
- Past Research: Results suggest that during the early stages of training, training satisfaction may be reached sooner, if horses have a lower dietary energy level. (Published in Proc. West. Sect. Am. Soc. Anim. Sci., 2008.)
- Current Research: At the end of 40 days communicate your results to the group if you feel comfortable.

If you do benefit from anything you've found on this website, we'd love to know about it. Send us an e-mail, whether it's about Horsemanship or Discipleship, let us continue to support you through prayer.

God bless,
Wade Black

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Outside boys! Open the gate.....

Turn us loose and hang on for the ride!

Nine years ago the Lord roped me around the neck and began choking me down trying to get me to turn and face for relief, to give Him my entire life. Finally after a couple of years of striking, rearing, falling down and trying to jump the pen, I decided He was not going to let up so I said, "Alright Lord, here I am, take ALL of me, use me, teach me, guide me."

The Lord then gave me Ezekiel 2, "I am sending you to....a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says.' And whether they listen or fail to listen - for they are a rebellious house - they will know that a prophet has been among them."

He showed me a vision of me talking to some cowboys and I said, "Lord I do not know what to tell them, what will I say?" I immediately heard Exodus 4:11, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

Within a few days the Lord showed me another vision. I saw myself riding out underneath the archway of one of the ranches I grew up on, the Wine Cup ranch in Nevada. Jesus was leading me and I couldn't have been more than about 2 or 3 years old. I was riding a little kid's saddle with stirrups that didn't even clear the saddle pad, on a big, old, gentle horse. I was not big enough to direct my horse so Jesus was leading me, to ensure that I kept following Him. As I rode out under the archway with Jesus leading me, I couldn't have been any happier. I remembered being an excited little kid thinking it doesn't get any better than this, riding with my Dad!

Jesus led me out under the archway and onto a map of the United States and then across the map. While He was leading me, I was bursting with excitement to be with my Father. I couldn't help but to point at Jesus and try to get everyone to look at Him. I was so proud to be with my Father. As He led me across the map, I began to get people to look at Jesus and other little kids started falling in behind us. The further He led me, I began to grow and mature in size, and more kids started following. The further we went, the older I got, and the older the kids got behind me, and the more little kids started following the string of people led by Jesus. Jesus was eventually leading a huge string of people on horses.

Over the past seven years the Lord has given me a message to deliver to cowboys and horse people. If you are interested in sharing in this vision, to use the teachings of Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt to bring people to a personal and intimate relationship with our heavenly Father, to help people see with new eyes (Mat 13:16) and follow Jesus (John 8:12), I would love to share with you the message that the Lord has given me, that together we may use horses to make disciples of men (Mat 4:19).

If you are interested in the message that the Lord has given me, we will come and start the "40 Days to the Trainer" program with you, teach you the "Foundation for Perfection" and apply it to your horses and your life. Training for the Cross will then be committed to lifting you up with prayer and support, that God may continue to guide you and direct you, that you may be equipped to take the message the Lord has given me, add to it as the Lord leads you and teach others around you (2 Timothy 2:2).

In my prayers lately I have been thinking that there would be no greater joy in this life than to have my business be about my Father's business (Luke 2:49). To be fully submitted and supple through every area of my life that the Lord could move me at any moment in any direction; to work as a true disciple of Christ. I prayed to the Lord asking Him if this was possible, if I could do this. He then had me write down what He had given me to let this happen and what I was still lacking.

This is what I wrote down:

What I Have
1) A calling/mission
2) Like Ezekiel, a specific message to deliver to a specific group of people

3) Gifts to deliver the message
4) Desire/passion to deliver the message
5) Like Paul, credibility and a platform to speak from
6) Support of brothers and sisters in Christ to deliver the message
7) A wife/partner who shares the same compassion
8) Interest/hunger of the people to hear the message
9) Promise that He will provide me with everything I need

Didn't Have
1) Faith to step out of the boat, to take the first step

The Lord has also been giving me another scripture, Luke 10:7, "The laborer is worthy of his wages." This has been a real struggle for me. I feel much more comfortable providing for myself and working for the Lord at the same time. However, the Lord has been showing me that He wants me full time and He will provide for me. I have no idea what this looks like; all I can say is that I am taking the first step.

I have a message. If there is an interest, through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ I will teach, comfort, and council who ever is interested in hearing it. As far as money goes, I thank the Lord that He promises He will take care of us (Luke 12:22-34).

I have prior responsibilities I must finish in February, March, and April. However, starting in May I will be free to go where ever the Lord would lead me. If you feel like the Lord is calling us to you, spend a little more time praying about it. Then feel free to contact us, so we can work out the details.

God Bless,
Wade Black

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Glory to God

Our God is so incredibly amazing, and worthy of praise and worship, to Him be ALL the glory. James 4:6 says, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Please help keep Training for the Cross (TFTC) in God's grace and help us give the praise and glory where the praise and glory are due.

Zechariah 6:12 says, "Behold the man whose name is The Branch (Jesus); and he shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord. Even He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne."


Join with us in giving Glory to Jesus. The goal of TFTC is that Jesus will rise out of this ministry and He will bear ALL the glory! Help us in making sure that He receives all the praise and glory from the ministry. If God is able to use us to help you in anyway, it came from Him not us. Let's give praise to the Potter and not the clay.

Pride is something that I struggle with. Before the Lord got hold of me I always wanted to do something great with my life. After God got hold of me I wanted to do something great with my life for the Lord. However, through all that the focus was always on "me" and what "I" could do. This is just my self-preservation rising up and it has to go. Please help me in this area. Help me to stay out of my self-preservation. Please give ALL the glory to God. If I start stealing His praise and glory, it starts distancing us from Him, it builds pride in me and puts me in my self-preservation (thoughts involving; I, me, we, us).

I've worked with enough horses in their self-preservation to know that it is not fun. When I fall into my self-preservation, God has to hobble me, put me on three legs and I have to work twice as hard decreasing the energy fueling my self-preservation. Finally, when I have nothing left, He tells me, "Wade quit seeking the praise and approval from man, I have ordained you." Ordained: to place, in a passive and horizontal posture, different from an active and vertical posture, utterly prostrate (Greek definition). Meaning, I am nothing and He is everything.

God tells me, "Quit rising up in the temple and stealing my praise and worship" (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Paul tells us he had to die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31) and as he got rid of his self-preservation Christ was able to live in and through him (Galatians 2:20). I am sorry I am so weak and childish, but praise puffs me up (Colossians 2:18) and puts me in my self-preservation. Pride is one of the main things I have to try to kill off daily. Please help me in this area and give ALL the praise to God; in doing so we will both draw closer to Him. If you are appreciative of anything you receive from TFTC, let's praise God together, that we may both enter into His presence.

Thank you and God Bless,
Wade Black

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