Horse News. Christian Living. Equine Education
The Christian Equestrian's Literary "Stamp" in Type
Rebekah L. Holt is a Christian horsewoman with an experienced background from managing a pony breeding farm and training family pleasure horses to ride and pull carts. Born with an inherent fervor for horses, Rebekah was provided many opportunities to work with horses while growing up. As a certified instructor, Miss Holt has been privileged to teach able-bodied and special needs children and adults the foundations of horsemanship since 2003.
It is Enough!
Rebekah L. Holt
With the recent Texas Elections--it's been both positive and disappointing to see the results! Some of 'em made it and some of 'em didn't.
Despite trusting fully in the Lord's raising up righteous leadership in every generation--I'm always challenged with the feelings of dashed hopes after every election! Well--the "good guys" don't always get elected and we end up getting stuck with less effective or perhaps, horrible leadership (though we did have some great wins in our district!). It can be depressing when seeing people who really lie and cheat and tell half-truths actually get enough votes! It baffles me when some people I know cannot circumspectly consider the long reaching, destructive impact some candidates bring to the table if elected! Just consider our Presidential elections...
At times like these, I tend to be thoughtful if not morose. It becomes a need to take every thought captive and bring it before the throne of grace. The Lord does speak and those scriptures set to memory issue forth. Lyrics and melodic notes harmonize cognitively, materializing in a swirl, and finally spill forth in an audible anthem. Yes, I find myself being renewed in the Lord's grace, rehearsing the very core of meaningful humanity and the purpose of the Christian life.
This past week, I was confronted with a conversation where a man expressed his anger toward our government. Quite a bit of his reasoning I could rationalize. It was possible to confirm his complaint as viable. Yet, the basis of his argument missed an important component and thus, his solution was warped. He wouldn't vote for anyone because of their party affiliation--so therefore, he rationalized by not voting in what he considered a corrupt party, he was doing his part and we needed to instead set up a completely different party.
As I sorted through this man's comments and philosophies, trying to see the relevance, know what to respond to and how to use this opportunity to speak any words of truth--it did come clear to point toward Christ's life as the example.
Government was broken then in Christ's day. There was BAD leadership. There were murderers and even immoral incestuous adulterers on the throne. And those men are remembered today for carrying out the events that led to the vicarious death of our Savior. Yet, God still was sovereign and His plan for mankind came to pass. Christ's purpose was not repressed. Sure, the whole of the outcome of the Messiah's coming was different than what the zealots wanted. They wanted a new form of government. Yet, Christ's kingdom was not of this world. A perfect earthly form of government was not the fix He provided. But what God did provide, the solution was effective to mankind's need and filled all the voids. He gave us streams in a desert and manna in the wilderness--the provision and sustenance to work with what we've got and where we are today. His ultimate plan gave us an eternal and rich glorious gift of Salvation that gives the everyday man real answers and true life for today and an eternity with Jesus. We have been told this world is going to end. But we have also been told to remain faithful, to be equipped, to obey authority, to occupy until He comes again, to make disciples of all nations and to get after it--time is short. Live a life that counts in Jesus and be fishers of men.
Government is not our hope for today or tomorrow. What God has established is the "where it starts" for Christians. Bottom line, period--unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain. If man or a man-made form of government is the what we build our lives upon, the foundations will certainly crumble and we will crater. It is only the men that submit themselves unto the Lord that can possibly fulfill righteous actions and have righteous judgement. It remains that regardless of our parties or American government--our nation's moral health is only as strong as the moral heartbeat--we the people at home, we the people at work, we the people at play. The "How" of how we conduct our lives. Our worldview is not a personal affair - it has far reaching repercussions that radiate, impacting a generation and culture. Silence and non-action is an active voice. Choosing not to be politically responsible and doing what we CAN at a grassroots level or higher up if opportunity allows could be considered equivalent to endorsing the wrong side. In America, we can do something--it may be a small deed, but remember the mustard seed.
We must be responsible citizens. If we can vote against a vile candidate, let's do it. Individually, we're going to have to submit ourselves to the Lord for His guidance on what that is. As followers of Christ, it is important for us to seek the Lord on how we can vote and what candidates He desires us to support at every level of government. Jesus Christ recognized the leaders while on earth and their position. He paid his taxes. Scripture tells us that God uses and works through the present authorities--even if they don't want or recognize His rule. God can give us wisdom how to effectively combat corrupt leadership and to hopefully and appropriately overturn the evil "kings" of our day. Just "throwing it off" is not the answer. As Christ's followers we can be resolved and do our part--yet stay focused on the fact that this is not all there is. Our greatest responsibility must be on serving Christ first. By identifying ourselves in His leadership, our efforts, our outlooks and our understanding of how to effect change can come into a perfect balance in an imperfect world.
Others may be stronger in this, but God often uses my discouragements to draw me deeper into His embrace. There's so much to distract us from the Lord's blessings today. Casting all care on Christ releases us to put on all His intended joy. Life is tough and draining at times. It's real. But it does come that upon renewing our minds in Christ, we can fill our minds with the realization that our foundation and security in the Lord truly is enough and it satisfies the hungering soul with peace. Such an anchor is ours through the storm, to face what is required of us as we carry on. Only through trusting and obeying Jesus Christ can we fully approach the future without a fear or dread. We can instead stride forward in an eternal, victorious, redeemed, proactive, effective perspective.
Join me in singing one of my favorites:
My faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed. I trust the Ever-living One, His wounds for me shall plead! I need no other argument, I need no other plea, It is enough that Jesus died and that He died for Me.
I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Ps. 69:30
I love this holiday. It's so American and rooted in giving honor and praise to God. All year long, when we get our big family together, it's always a feast. Still there is a distinction with Thanksgiving! We have our fun. We have our traditions. We have our family recipes! And plus, it's just an exciting, cozy time of year with weather changes, beautiful colors among the landscapes and the delicious smells of cinnamon!
Consider it's Christian origins, is it any wonder that Thanksgiving is getting more and more overshadowed by Halloween, commercialized Christmas, Shopping and Football each passing year?
Yet, the Bible reminds us that thankfulness is a charateristic of God's people. We can celebrate Thanksgiving like it should be done!
Here's some ideas for the day in addition to the feasting:
Read Thanksgiving Bible Verses - Just type in "thanks" or "thanksgiving" on a website like www.biblegateway.com and you'll be amazed how many Bible verses pop up!
Get Dad to read the Story of Thanksgiving outloud. With the East Texan accent, in our home, that can get really entertaining for "pronounciations!" From Sea to Shining Sea is a great book and the children's version allows a condensed version of the details!
Do a family Thanksgiving skit. We used to do this but alas our Chief Massasoit and William Bradford revolted! :) We had so much fun doing it and even made our own video version. I was ambitiously writing my Thanksgiving version of Pride and Prejudice - but it would have been a seriously reduced casting (uh...me) after Mrs. Bennet finished her rhapsody over the turkey and dressing at Pemberly. I possibly could have made a convincing Mrs. Bennett - yet also being Mr. Darcy could have proven a challenge despite my theatrical experience in church plays as a kid!!
Take the time to play family games. It takes a lot of energy to plan all that. One year, we had a Thanksgiving themed obstacle course, wheel barrow races and beyond. We've learned to change it up and just allow each year to unfurl. However, good times usually don't just happen! You've got to plan for success when it comes to doing something besides watching television or playing video games!
Play a game like Kick Ball or go on a walk - after eating all that food, it might be a good idea to get some exercise! Go on a nice, gentle stroll with your best friends, your family and enjoy the outdoors while visiting.
Plan a campfire! Why is it we never can remember all the words to all those great songs we want to sing around a crackling fire? Print them off, but be sure to hand out flash lights should it be dark! :)
Make a Thanksgiving Tree - Give everybody colored strips of paper to write down what they are thankful for. I did this once with students at a horse facility I taught riding lessons. You can very quickly cut out a trunk of the tree with brown paper and then add little rectangular shaped strips in fall colors. Keep it simple!
Be sure to Pray as a Family! In all the festivities, don't forget to stop and Thank God for His provision, His salvation and His love.
If you can - go pet a horse! Of course, I will be making my rounds through the pasture, Lord Willing, and saying hello to the family horses.
Sing! Make a joyful noise as a group. How about some hymns? The internet has the lyrics available ready to print out.
God bless you~ and do have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9
You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently. Ps. 119:4
According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, ethics are “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad.”
Christianity offers the foundation of ethics. By becoming familiar with the Bible and what the world teaches as ethics – you’ll find that even the world borrows ground from what God has established. The teachings of morality, were God’s idea. The differences between good and evil are defined and given meaning in the Bible. Justice, honesty, wisdom, prudence, diligence, integrity, moral conduct, fair dealings, laboring with good work, respecting superiors, structure of rank and leadership, restraint in conduct, etc. – all of these attributes defining an excellent workman are based in God’s moral law and the bedrock of Christianity.
The work place is a Christian’s daily boot-camp for being renewed in the mind of Christ and having to apply Christian ethics. Looking at the reality of some job situations, what can stretch our fortitude? Real dilemmas, difficult co-workers, stressful encounters with the public, personal mistakes, frustrations of “red tape,” low wages for work performed, unjust misunderstandings, management breakdowns, lack of support, having to work with people that don’t have good ethics, fielding complaints, fixing other people’s mistakes, having to do the “dirty work” – the list goes on. The common response to the on-going of such challenges is demoralization, an apathetic attitude, bitterness, giving up, finding relief in “drinking it off,” a belligerent, complaining spirit and a “me” attitude. This is consistent with 2 Timothy 3:1-5 concerning the last days: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
God’s standard of ethics are much higher, tried and successful than what the world tries to enforce. As Christians, our lives are to be ruled by Christ’s Holy Spirit. We are not alone in our efforts, though surrounded by a sea of people that don’t usually share our same high standards. It’s not because we’re “super humans” or can achieve this in our own effort. Our ability to work with Christ’s ethics is because He enables us through His Spirit to achieve His standard and to even strengthen our areas of weakness. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Eph. 2:20
The Christian should be a “stand out,” a gleaming bright light providing an example of Christ by the way we work and conduct day-to-day business. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:16
When governed by Christ, we make the best workmen, provide the highest standards of ethics and give the most diligent effort in whatever task presented—because we reflect Christ’s life in application, not just profess it.
The Bible’s Code of Ethics
Here’s a few characters traits that are the definition of a Christian’s ethics according to God’s word:
Hard Working: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…” Ec. 9:10
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Col. 3: 23-24
“The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.” Prov. 10:16
Diligent: Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. Prov. 22: 29
“The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.” Prov. 12: 24
Just in Business/Wages: “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.” Prov. 11:1
“Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully.” 2 Kings 12:15
Not a Man Pleaser: “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” James 2:9
“But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” Col. 3:25
“For there is no respect of persons with God.” Rom. 2:11
Read More: A Christian's Work Ethic
The headline, "48 Million Year Old Pregnant Horse Found" (DISCOVER ENEWS, 10/7/15) caught my eye. A new fossil discovery in Messel, Germany.
Red Flag! Is it really a horse misdated by evolutionary dating processes or is it a critter that's been conveniently plopped into the equidae family by human reasoning based on a theory?
Reading the article revealed, "Eurohippus messelensis was only first described in 2006. The now-extinct species was smaller than today’s horses, being only about the size of a fox terrier, and had toes: four on its front “feet” and three on its back ones." Inaddtion, even after 48 million years, there remains soft tissue (according to the article).
I asked Joe Taylor, Founder and Curator of the Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum to share his thoughts for eQuest For Truth:
I figured it was Messel Germany when it said it was in tact. Small horses as well as monkeys and other animals have been found in these shales. If this is Eohippus, I’m not convinced they were horses. They are like the Green River formation in the US. The animals there are essentially modern animals which makes me think both Green River and Messel animals were buried after the Flood of Noah. Some of the horses still have hair on them and grape seeds inn their stomachs.
It is probably correct that these oil shales were affected by continual oil and gas seepage up through the sediments and possibly, occasionally, a large gas bubble erupted killing any animals foraging there.
This excellent fossils does nothing to help the theory of evolution. In fact, I believe the other horses found there are indeed true horses. They were small, like miniature horses and apparently lived at the same time as the supposed Eohippus. I do not like the term “Eo” anything. It implies evolution or proto animals that evolved into higher forms baloney for which there is no evidence.
A look into the fossils of where horses that have always been horses are found is a great article topic. We need some young or beyond writers interested in Paleotology to step up and write such an article for eQuest For Truth.
For More Information about the Horse Evolution and a Biblical evaluation of the theory, visit these articles:
The Mini Adventures of Bek Hur?
Such a title could project epic imagery in Cinemascope with robust sinew and muscular brawn grasping the reins of four majestic white Arabs galloping perilously while harnessed to a chariot.
Reality diminishes glitter and dilutes cinematic splendor. The lights fade. The wallpaper on the props peel.
After all, folks...this is only a true story!
Setting: a hot East Texas day. Sun parched pastures edged with Black Locust, scrubby Cedars and the rugged Bois D’arc (pronounced in these parts as “Bowed Ark”) bordering the banks of a 60 acre pond with shimmering brown, murky water. Maybe one turtle floating across the watery muck on a drifting Bois D’ arc branch. One skeleton of a formerly in the flesh bovine.
Cast: a melting, frizzy haired, wild eyed woman at times sitting in a cart and one diminutive Miniature horse pulling or at times lunging in the cart.
Screenplay: Opening scene. Peaceful. Building energy. Next scene, Trainer frantically standing in a cart, pulling the reins while the muscle and sinew of tiny harnessed horse races full throttle to potential disaster…from perilous heights…perhaps to a watery grave…
Script: Throbbing Speechlessness.
Mood: Unabridged Panic.
Ending: The storying will unfurl itself...you just have to read to the end...of the series, that is!
Introducing the “Her” of Hur
The opening scene of any true epic always provides some insight to the past. No great leading lady of any drama, no matter how trite, just "happens" on the screen without some preamble to her virtues of worthiness to such a showcase of distinction and preference in the storyline. “I am the noblest lady in France, second only to the Queen…” is a direct quote from Singing in the Rain.
Even Shirley Temple, we were soon to learn after her first appearance on screen, had her misfortunes in the storyline to either be an orphan, or a penniless child, or to be overlooked for her obvious and blatant talent or just to be the unliked child that made everyone love her eventually by the end of the film (who could resist?).
Then there was Gene Autry’s leading lady in an exciting Saturday afternoon musical western. She was typically "Joan" or "Jane" or "Helen" and the heiress to a worthless uranium mine (so she was led to believe by someone in a black hat). All the odds were against her but she soon met Gene.
It was through Gene’s winning, sincere smile...
-his dedication to her from the very beginning (though at first she didn't like him typically)…
-his plaintive, signature nasal rendition of a song of the west accompanied by his trusty guitar that was as readily available as his six gun sung to a stunned audience always present and available…
-a fist fight or two with his wonder shirts that were never torn in battle though the adversary scratched and bit it…
-a wild chase on horseback…
-and lastly, a few 12 to 20 rounds with his 6-shot Revolver he didn’t have time to reload while balancing for dear life on a wildly galloping Champion...
...we soon came to know that lady was actually a wealthy woman that had refused any number of marriage proposals from men in black or white hats, had actually an active uranium mine that also struck a vein of gold and was madly in love with Gene Autry who didn’t seem to mind or be shocked at the realization.
Bek-Hur was such a character that could never measure up to the aforementioned heroines. I’m afraid the heroine of this story is rather boring in comparison to most leading ladies when taking the stage (no pun intended). She had no great slight or misfortune. Instead, she (that being me) grew in a wonderful home, and was well loved, well fed, well clothed, well-educated and was not slighted by the malignity of a near relative nor was she known to ever be capable of retaining an audience when attempting to sing as Gene Autry.
Simplicity at its best encapsulates the whole of Bek-Hur. No singing cowboys on the horizon nor uranium mines. Just the west at its best with all the real trimmings -- entailing a hoof pick, rasp and a pair of knippers. Horses of any breed were her passion. Yet, a special preference for a horse of a short stature and a drive to train them to drive was soon the center of her whole youthful existence. No, in comparison to most star studded “B” rated westerns—The Mini Adventures of Bek-Hur might have made the C-label –- not a tiered or even peer-reviewed grade in itself, but a “Condemned” rating.
The Mini Adventure Begins
My fascination with Miniature Horses began when I met Stormy, a Black Tobiano stallion about 32” tall. He was suited up in a patent leather harness and pulled a tiny sulky just big enough to seat an adult. With choppy precision, Stormy trotted around a “miniature” sized race track and won the roses. Once I sat in the sulky—I was hooked forever to harness, horse and cart.
I already had made plans to “grow up” to be a horse trainer but training cart horses was a fresh dream! At the age of 12 my first opportunity to train a Mini to a cart presented itself in the form of “Brookside”. He was only four years old, 31” tall and a dark chocolate brown with a tiny star on his forehead. Despite being a half-brother to the mannerly Stormy, Brookside was a frustrated stallion arriving to our home with the ego of a vertically challenged Goliath. Within the 24 hour period of his arrival to our home and the vet performing “brain surgery” (a.k.a castration), this little studly package had bit me and kicked at another family member! Poor prospect for a cart! I was ignorant enough not to worry. Brookside soon became a very contented, happy, lovable gelding and the model of all childrens’ horses. Never again did he use his teeth or hooves for evil. They were instead the empowerment enabling him to indulge in his favorite hobby—traveling to sample each available blade of grass that came within his realm.
We certainly had the horse before the cart and harness. I learned some principles of training from a Miniature Horse breeder, a video, books, my Dad and hands-on. While waiting to find the right cart and harness, I could no longer restrain the desire to get Brookside started. Making a “make shift” harness out of hay twine, feed sacks and duck tape—Brookside tolerated my youthful endeavors toward teaching him to ground drive. Soon, my Dad and I drove 2 hours crossing statelines to purchase a very affordable cart and harness... and the fun began!
Looking back, Brookside was a treasure that the Lord gifted our family with. He accepted the training of an adolescent trainer that took her job seriously and despite all that, he “somehow” survived and still became an ideal family horse. He started seven of my younger siblings in the principles of horsemanship. He was the little horse that taught me more about training. Later as an adult, I used him in my horsemanship lessons.
Stay tuned for the next episode of "The Mini Adventures of Bek-Hur"
The best adventures have yet to be told! :)
Rebekah L. Holt a.k.a "Bek- Hur" - In conjuction with the "God Used a Horse Series"
Tales from my Full Time Days Training Miniature and Shetland Ponies to Carts!