The Hoof Print
Horse News. Christian Living. Equine Education
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So Why Did I Become a Christian? Featured
Recently, I heard it again. “Rebekah, one day you’ll wake up and find out how much fun you’re missing out on…. Oh yeh, and every third day, I talk to the “holy man” too…”
People with more liberal outlooks have their way of getting their message across. They want no condemnation for their lifestyles. However, they LOVE to mock, scoff, blaspheme in playful or abrasive ways, your simple, steady commitment that you might not even verbalize but only live before them.
Ever happen to you?
Thinking this over recent, fairly mild brush of persecution, I’ve put some questions to myself (rhetorically).
Why did I become a Christian? I was 5—but I longed to be Christ’s. I wanted to know Him and go to heaven.
Was it because I just wanted to be different-just-to-be-different? No…
Perhaps it was a personal preference? No--It never occurred to me…
Did I just fall into it by nature? Definitely not by nature…
Did I have a natural aversion to lust making it easy to be pure? I was thinking of one woman’s infringing conversation about my singleness suggesting that I lived in a state of aggravated, unsatisfied sensual desire. “It must be so hard for you to stay pure.” I couldn’t believe it. This was a Christian! Waiting on the Lord’s best, He doesn’t leave you struggling. God’s ways fill you up and fully satisfy even the healthy (though frequently perverted) human elements He created to be holy and set apart for His chosen union.
Was it because I just happened to be shrouded and sheltered from bad people through my childhood? My parents did protect me, but regardless, there have been plenty of “bad people” lurking in the shadows.
Is it because I haven’t tasted of something “forbidden” that would change my whole outlook if I but only had a bite of the fruit? There is no shame in protection and non-participation of biting into forbidden fruits! PRAISE the LORD—I have been guided well by Christian parents. Praise the Lord that He is my Savior that lives in me and is sanctifying not only me, but all who will profess and believe in Him—no matter what sins committed in the past life. Praise the Lord that He has instructed all that want to know that sin should not be tasted and sought out—it WILL destroy us.
I have encountered many different adults in my life that have suggested by words and gestures that only by experiencing a bit of the “dirty side” of humanity can you achieve being “just a little bit wiser” and “more intellectually fulfilled” in the human race. I think about a fundraiser for charities that I declined attending for a “good cause.” I was urged to reconsider and realize this would be a good opportunity for me to “grow.” Later I found out, the series of fundraising dance routines included a team that performed a toned down “strip tease.” There was no denying there was no need to “grow” for this. The Bible is very cut and dry on honoring the Lord with what we allow our eyes to see, our minds to think on, our ears to hear. We don’t need to compromise for a “good cause” because the money earned will do a lot of good. God can provide money in other ways through purer channels. And growth wise, we don’t have to experience the heat of the sin—or just be a sideline observer—to determine a counterfeit to what is truly wise and superior.
The thing about being a Christian it’s not just about having all the “I”s dotted and the “t”s crossed. It’s not just about looking the part when folks are looking your way. It’s about being committed—when people aren’t looking—everyday—to a living Savior and having an eternal perspective in a dying, crumbling, degenerate world. That sounds almost depressing—yet, in contrast—it is a living hope.
There is a REASON for the hope that is mine! There is a REASON that Christians can be a light and even stand alone. We offer, nothing in ourselves, but Jesus Christ in a living, applicable witness. The more I live, the more I am convinced that following the Lord is the most hopeful, the most rewarding and the only way to live. Can I do it perfectly? Not in my own strength—not in the least.
To paraphrase the words of a visiting pastor at church, “We might put our sword down as Christians. But you know what? In Christ, we don’t have to live with our sword down. He enables us to pick it back up and keep going.”
By choosing the ways of Christ—they hurt or damage no one. Christ’s ways can make people uncomfortable, convict their consciences and make them angry wanting to lash out and perhaps even hurt us. Yet, Christ’s ways, in themselves, only tend to life and peace. Following Christ entails sacrifice and dying to oneself but such self-giving is life giving.
I would tell anyone that was honestly wanting to know—that being a Christian is a daily renewal. Yes, I became a Christian at an early age. I didn’t start out with a big list of habits to overcome. But, like anyone else, I’ve had to allow Christ to daily work on me. Profanity may not be in my vocabulary, but the heart still requires Christ’s redemption to purify thoughts that stem from selfishness, anger, pride. No, I may not have the vices or habits that are blatantly on the “blacklist”, yet, there’s a higher calling that constantly points out areas of growth needed to overcome attitudes that, if left to fester, the worst sins all stem from.
Christianity does not come by nature to any of us. But we were made with a void that only Christ Jesus can fill. And, the more a righteous lifestyle is cultivated, the stronger, healthier and more vibrant we do grow! We learn from experiences in a journey moving forward.
So why did I become a Christian? The reasons are many. The benefits are innumerable. It has been the best decision. The bi-product of Salvation in Jesus Christ is standing forgiven, provided with Sovereign help to overcome, given an abundant provision of joy (even in tough situations) and a lifestyle that tends to life right now. And my hope lasts to after death, when I’ll be with Him eternally in a perfect, sinless world.
For young people especially, I would encourage you to be willing to stand alone, if necessary. Make the commitment—be the valiant disciplined. It is possible. It is attainable. It’s a daily walk that requires you to trust the Lord, rely on Him for strength, and to be renewed in His mindset. Just do it. And as you do—you’ll find that a cultivated crop of a righteous lifestyle gives the best return. May God keep us very faithful and growing, ever deeply rooted, in Him.
In celebration of the sacrifice made by men (and women) to defend the United States:
We're posting a collection of pictures from the days when horses were used in the U.S. Calvary.
We hope that you enjoy and have a safe Memorial Day celebration.
General George Patton
Check out these Christian Horse Resources!
Free eZine Published by eQuest For Truth.
Offered for Sale by Sonrise Stable
More Christian Horse T-Shirts Available!
Offered for Sale by Sonrise Stable
Written by Vicki Watson
eQuest For Truth's review of the Sonrise Stable Book Series:
Check out this book series written for Christian horse lovers. Each book includes a clear Christian message. Real-life girl characters are responsible, mannerly and helpful to others. Loving parents, aunts, uncles and a widowed grandmother are all essential characters. You’ll not find the typical “girlfriend—boyfriend” relationships, rebellious attitudes or sibling rivalry in these books. Homeschooling sisters and cousins are best friends! Readers will learn valuable life lessons according to Scripture while experiencing adventures with horses (and mules!).
Watch this video about Book 3: Clothed With Thunder.
From Clothed With Thunder's Book Description:
You cannot pick up a non-fiction horse book today without reading about the evolution of the horse. The images showing the progression of eohippus, merychippus, etc. into modern equus are constantly portrayed as though they are fact. Clothed With Thunder presents the other side of the story - that horses are magnificent creatures meticulously designed by an awesome and loving God.
Don't forget to check out Sonrise Stable's Christian Horse Tshirt (more designs soon to be released!).
Saddle Up for an African Adventure!
Many of you may be familiar with Firn Hyde's fascinating article contributions to Equus Ex Nihilo and eQuest For Truth. Starting in 2012, Firn began a series on South African horse breeds. Her article "God's Lipizzaners," captivated our attention with the unique overview and history of South Africa's Lipizzaner Riding School. This article has rapidly grown to be one of the Top 5 most visited articles on eQuest For Truth (hey, only two of my articles made it up there!). Firn's other articles featured in Equus Ex Nihilo, include:"The Patient War Horse" (One of the world's most rare horse breeds: the Nooitgedachter), "One Spark: The Story of Wolraad Woltemade", "Joie de Vivre: How Foals Survive" and her most recent article, "In the Right Hand: Horses of Medieval Europe."
Apart from Firn Hyde's undeniable God given gift for writing, she offers a unique perspective, qualified horse experience and more importantly, a sincere love for the Lord.
By American standards, this 17 year old Christian homeschooler is truly a real "cow girl"--despite riding in an English saddle. With her parents and sister, Firn raises a beautiful herd of Jerseys and works on the family dairy, Hydeaway Farm, in Gauteng, South Africa, tending to over 500 animals. Firn's personal herd consists of Joyful Jerseys--indeed, a happy lot of cows (What a fun name! Ironically, I grew up hand-milking a Jersey--the "Arabian" of bovine breeds!).
Firn's interest in horses stems straight from the core. Her experience includes riding, showing and schooling American, European and indigenous African breeds--something few riders have an opportunity to share! With an aptitude in Dressage and Jumping--Firn works as an Assistant Rider for a horse farm in SA and also provides instruction for young riders. A prolific writer, Firn also finds time to manage her own website and blog, Clothed With Thunder.
In 2014, we're set with plans for expanding the Discover Equus website (soon to be linked directly to www.discoverequus.com) for an educational discovery of the incredible equus! Firn is taking the lead with her continuation on African equids (including the Zebra). Together, we will be posting on The Hoof Print.
In many ways, Firn's work with eQuest For Truth ministries is one of the Lord's fulfillments of what I had hoped eQuest For Truth would grow to be--a ministry for young people to be involved with. There's room for more--please, if you'd like to join the eQuest For Truth equestrian team--we'll find a task for you!
Good News We Need To Hear Featured
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. Phil. 4:8 AMP
While sitting at my work desk yesterday, a gentleman walked into the office. He was delivering a vehicle and was finishing up with his part of the check in. As I listened, he mentioned his wife with a marked kindess that is so remarkably refreshing. She just happens to be named "Priscilla."
I don’t know exactly what I said to start a conversation, but the name of Priscilla is an easy topic for me. Since her birth, my youngest sister, Priscilla, has been one of God's sweetest blessings in our family’s lives (we'll all tell you that same story!). Though twenty one years her elder—Priscilla fascinates me with her ability to be quite the responsible little woman and still manage to have the charm and sweetness of a freckled faced daisy.
Obviously—this man shared a similar styled “sweet spot” for his “Priscilla.”
Turning around to face me, I could see that his blue eyes twinkled. His honest face seemed perpetually wrinkled with a rosy cheeked smile. “Well, you ask anyone up here and they will tell you that my wife is the sweetest lady ever.” He then stopped to look around the room and amplify this claim by asking my co-workers to second his motion. They all did—readily. “She thinks about everybody else first. And even puts me above thinking about herself. You’re looking at a very spoiled man.”
How could such a profession be met with anything but awestruck delight?
He went on to say, “We’ve been married 52 years and I’ll tell you, we love each other more than when we got married years back. She rides with me on trips [to pick up vehicles] so we can be together. Priscilla loves me for who I am, not my money—I don’t have much. Not my looks because I’m ugly…” he stopped to chuckle at himself.
From my point of few, he had a seraphic glow in every wrinkle and gray hair peeking beneath his cap.
“…She just loves me for me. At 74 years of age, I’m the richest man in the world.”
We then introduced ourselves and I thanked him for what he called his “testimony.” “In a generation that doesn’t understand for the most part what to value, I so needed to hear this today. How encouraging!”
This well seasoned gentleman by the world’s classification is just a little old man living in a small town, but in his simple, heart felt profession, he remains one of the world’s greatest orators and is truly one of the world’s richest men.
This gentleman confirmed the scriptures and outlined a living example of a selfless, virtuous woman in Proverbs 31:28-31--“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”