The Hoof Print
Horse News. Christian Living. Equine Education
The Christian Equestrian's Literary "Stamp" in Type
Yes, God has orchastrated this marriage between John Derr and myself.
It has been a time of rejoicing, thanksgiving and wonder for both my husband and myself! November 11, we exchanged our vows. Today we still marvel as we recount all the years of God's preparation and the events that led to our marriage.
Here's a little of the recent history of a Christ centered marriage that began as a Christ centered courtship:
God was our Matchmaker
Nothing is by chance. All my life, I have desired to be a wife and stay-at-home homemaker and mommy. Yet--the 20s passed me by, and I reached my early 30s. I began to try to adapt to the realization that singleness might have been God's plan for my life. Things like buying a house, trying to make a financially sustainable income was the sorrowing eliment of reality I was facing. The idea of "gutting out life" by myself was a challenge, though I believed God was enough and I needed to focus on His work and learn the secret of continual contentment in every stage of life.
In May 2016, I was offered an opportunity "out of the blue" to interview as a District Representative for Senator Bob Hall. I was surprised as a political job had never crossed my mind for a way to earn funds. However, I was thrilled at the prospect and God blessed me to work for Senator Hall, Texas' most conservative Senator and a very bold Christian.
As a District Representative, I was able to put to work my background in marketing, writing, communication and even ministry. I got to meet so many wonderful people! I lived in a fish bowl, in a way, and was fairly thrust into the public sector in East Texas.
Through this job, I met John Derr.
We have quite a funny beginning--it was entirely the Lord that allowed John the persistance to pursue a woman who was in retreat and highly guarded! Before I even had given John "a thought"-- he did his "background check" and incidentally, eQuest For Truth was instrumental in his pursuit. I was a "hard nut to crack." It was the consistant, strong love for the Lord in John's communications that first caught my attention. Then there was his persistant interest and his meeting with my Dad and family (without my prior knowledge) to let them meet him and obtain their blessing to court me! His involvement in ministry and service in the church. Then the kindness, the humor, the gentleness, the evident love being offered and the remarkable constant confirmations of all things essential in doctrine and lifestyle -- I finally realized that to say "no" to John would be rejecting God's will for my life. To be so cherished seemed unreal and a completely new "thing" to have to learn to "accept." It has been like finding that "best friend" you always desired and could never find; he is truly my best friend on earth and the greatest guy to spend the day with.
For those "hard core romantics"--yes, John did kneel when proposing--though we still laugh concerning the setting and all the interruptions of "real life." I took "lunch" at the office and inbetween the men coming in and out to repair the A/C unit--John asked me to be his wife. Even right after the "romantic" event of getting our marriage license, I had to rush to a social event on behalf of the Senator!! :) One day we'll share our story in more detail. Yet--that's for another day.
In becoming Mrs. John Derr, God has also fulfilled my desire to be a stay-at-home wife with a husband that desired a wife with that vision.
It is worth the wait
We desire to encourage other Christians who are single and still waiting--that are perhaps struggling with the whole singleness issue and wondering "what God is doing with my life". God's plan is much bigger and more beautiful than ours. It is well worth waiting for and not getting ahead of the Lord.
I was "Sweet early thirties" and "never been kissed".
John was faithful and kept himself for me even longer--early fourties. What a gift he gave his bride in that.
It is a beautiful story of God unfurling the next "game plan" for two Christians who need each other to accomplish what God has planned for their lives. We were each serving the Lord as single people, still desiring to be married and then God brought us together. By the Lord's enablement, we had been seeking the Lord concerning a relationship that would lead to marriage. It was simple, God's will was very plain and we were able to recognized each other as God's pick with no wavering or second guessing.
Thanksgiving 2016 was an exciting time of rejoicing in what God has done in our lives and understanding in a new way His goodness and provision. I believe Christmas 2016 will also have a new revelation and depth in our lives. Yet, those years of waiting have made the fulfillment of this God's plan for the "here and now" to be more special. I think I value John more in having observed men in the workplace. How rare it truly is to find a God-fearing man that does not waver in the face of adversity and "give up" in the long wait. May God help us to remain faithful. We both know that marriage and being married is not an easy row. It's wonderful--but it's work and self-denial. It's pouring out and denying self to become one. Yet, with Christ as the center--we have no excuse to fail and every reason to succeed!
Merry Christmas from Mr. and Mrs. John and Rebekah Derr
God Is In Control--Even In Politics Featured
God is in Control—Even in Politics
… the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men. Daniel 4:17
Since working as a representative for a State Senator, I have become increasingly aware of the dynamic responsibilities and powers of government. It’s sobering. Such experience has only caused me to be more aware of the need for Christian men and women to put shoe-leather to lip service.
It’s not enough to identify the problem or a threat. The real acid test to our effectiveness in our nation as a Christian culture is what we do with the insight and wisdom God does provide. Once we identify the symptom, are we willing to seek, develop, implement and enforce the cure?
Asking myself these questions and seeking what I can do as just one woman has brought me again to rehearse the foundation of my identity as a Christian, to delve in God’s Word and to renew myself in His purpose of mankind in this life.
As a constituent, I am inclined to “keep one’s nose clean” and just live a happy life tucked away. Politics is a hassle for the common man. It’s a lot of work to stay informed and life is very full with enough trouble on the home front—so it seems. As a Christian, I often feel “beat before I start” when I see the Goliath issues that threaten our nation, the constant fight required to combat evil and the snarling realities of people that are in opposition to a Biblical worldview of current events. Yet, as a patriot, I love my country, state, community and home. I desire that as a Christian, Biblical Conservative and Texan, God would continue to “preserve us a nation.”
Yet—despite a real relationship with Christ, I grow alarmed! Fearful, afraid of the future. I grow discouraged! Weary, saddened by the weight of issues that constantly threaten Christian liberties in America. I can even worry, even though the Bible tells us not to worry! How can we make a change? What can I do? Even safety for my own life becomes a reality working in the public. “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”(Ps. 75:26)
Can any of you identify? I’m sure there are many.
The Word of God is a haven. I run to it often—daily—and praise the Lord for the Christians that have carried the torch before us.
How timely to read a historic overview of what it took to be able to read God’s Word in my own language. Starting with the 1300s, the history of English translations of the Bible is an example of Christians taking action. This was an era where there was a need for reform. Wicked men sought to suppress and control access to the truth. Does that sound familiar?
Men and women were under vigorous persecution for merely translating a written book—a Living Word—in a language. Really??? This project was only for the good of the people. Their work hurt no one and yet, these Christians were pushed aside, treated as criminals and persecuted. The “establishment church” was their greatest enemy—the very people that should have been in support of this project! It was a God given work for Wycliffe in the 1300s, Tyndale in the 1500s and all the men and women behind the scenes. God assigned them work to do—this was their appointed lot. It was God’s will. Regardless of even God’s assignment, this Christian work met with tremendous resistance, governmental corruption, deep persecution, loss of physical life and constant set back. Despite all that—God’s will prevailed. These Christians remained faithful, constant and sure. Over the course of hundreds of years, those obedient Christian men and women’s work did not return void. Their work has given life, led many to Christ and to this day, I am just one of many that are still benefiting from what they did hundreds of years ago.
The translations happened—yet with a cost. It was an arduous climb of diligent effort that spanned several generations of passing the torch until the work was accomplished.
There was even a governmental shift. After the martyrdom of Tyndale, just a few years later, the English government issued official licenses for the Coverdale and Matthew Bibles. God used a wicked, immoral leader, Henry VIII to order English translated Bibles to be installed in every church. The Geneva Bible came from English scholars and translators fleeing to Geneva due the persecution of a Queen Mary. Then King James approved a petition for what we call today the King James Version in 1611.
Enter 2016 A.D. God has not changed. He’s still the same in every detail as He was when He created the universe.
He’s the same God that used men like the Pharaoh of Egypt.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him…And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” (Exodus 9:12, 16)
He’s the same God that used Cyrus to further His work:
“… the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1: 1-3)
Today, He is capable of using even the leadership to His means:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)
There is always a solution for the seeking Christian and here are five things the Lord reminded me of:
1# God is in control. “For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.” (Ps. 22:28) “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.” (Is. 40:15)
2# Civil Government was God’s idea. “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.” (Daniel 2:21) “… the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)
3# God can use unrighteous men for righteous means (Read Habakkuk 1:1-11). “But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Ps. 75:7) “The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Pr. 16:4)
4# When Civil government is in conflict with the Bible, my allegiance is first to Christ. “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
5# My job is to seek God. He has preplanned the work I personally am to accomplish. I do not have to be overwhelmed. God gives my assignment and will provide all that is needed to accomplish it. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt. 6:33) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”(Eph. 2:10)“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8)For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
God is in control—even in politics. However, we have a responsibility. In America, we can do something. We can start at a local level. We can stay faithful and steady. We can speak out. We can vote. We can write to our legislatures. We can be good citizens, neighbors, constituents. We can hold our elected officials accountable. Some could even run for public office.
Then on the other hand--we can also reject to be used effectively by the Lord. We can be lazy, apathetic or radical zealots that are ineffective and do more harm than good toward seeing a lasting change for good in our government.
Does our failure mean that God’s will is going to be thwarted? No! It means God will use someone else and we’ll miss out on the blessing of being His obedient instrument. The victory is the Lords—that is sure. Christ is coming again. This world is going to end. God’s throne will be established in the new Jerusalem. Bottom line, we can follow His path now, get on His bandwagon and stay focused on our work to accomplish while we prepare for an eternity with Him—or we can be left behind by our own choosing.
Beginning now, it starts on bended knee, seeking God’s face not just for understanding and wisdom but for His marching orders for our daily life. Let’s get to work—two hands on the plow.
Now is the Time Featured
Now is the time
Rebekah L. Holt, Quest For Christ,
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
It has been a turbulent year. Precious lives have been lost at the hands of wasteful, wicked malice. For most of us, our elections haven’t turned out like we want. SCOTUS has done their damage. The special interest groups have only appeared to gain teeth.Arguments and discord circulate among voting Christian conservatives. Finger pointing. Anger. Opinions. Foolish speaking.
This is where the rubber meets the road for all of us. These are the acid tests.
What is the Christian’s response to all this?
This I do know, the answer is not apathy. It is not giving up. It is not empowering evil by our disunity and quarrels between us. The answer does not lie within ourselves.
Though there can be corruption, tragedy, flawed political candidates, we are not left without a leader or direction. This is not the time for Christians to get weary and to take a back seat. This is not the time to quit! This is the crucial point. Now is the appointed time.
We have a responsibility today. If we are professing Christians—we have a God given duty and it’s time for our commitment to Christianity to be consistent with this in the way we speak, act and conduct ourselves.
1) We need to speak less and do more. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. James 1:19
2) We need to be in prayer for God’s wisdom. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. James 3:13
Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. Ps. 25:8-9, 12, 14
3) We need to live in obedience to God’s commands. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. Ex. 19:5
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love....Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you...Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:10, 14, 16
4) We need to realize that God’s will always, always, always goes beyond human frailty. He alone remains unchanging in our decaying world. This world is not all that we have to live for. Christ came, the only perfect man as the Son of God and His own leadership and rule was rejected and a disappointment to many. Considering this, can we expect one man or woman to be a “fix all” for our entire nation? Can our dislike for a governing individual or an “establishment” party exempt us from our God given responsibility to vote, to be active or to withstand the assailant when the battle is the toughest yet?
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. Isaiah 46:10
Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. Isaiah 40:15
5) God uses imperfect people, even Godless men He uses (the Bible is full of this). But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.1 Corinthians 1:27
6) We need to live like we believe in what we profess. It starts now, in our own lives, in our own responsibilities to live out and be the change. Nations are made up of individual men and women, boys and girls; the buck stops with us in our homes and our communities. While we desire an entire nation to come before the Lord, first let’s do our homework and examine our own lives according to the standard we require of others. Can we be the men and women that God wants us to be? If we were, there would be a revival of our nation that would trickle from community to community, reforming homes, communities, towns, cities, states and beyond. Bottom line, we must seek the Lord humbly according to 2 Chr. 7:14. Humbling a nation starts with individuals humbling themselves. Repentance of a nation begins with the repentance of individuals turning away from individual sins. Changing a nation begins one life at a time.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Ps. 32:8
Nothing of eternal value is lost when we choose to live in allegiance to Jesus Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Philippians 3:8
Let's get the eternal perspective of our times. Yeh, we might not get the Presidental candidate we wanted (Republicans)--but our hope is not based upon a man and we SURE don't need to empower the wicked by our throwing up our hands and giving up. Let’s not waste this time. Let us be the men and women of the hour and seek the Lord for something beyond our human reasoning. Let us make the committment to trust that God is capable to sustain righteousness and even capable of using people to His end. We must not give up nor give in, as other generations of Christians have. Yes, we must keep trying to overcome the whiles of the devil; yet, we cannot give over in the battle because it "appears" we've already lost the fight. Our times our in God's hands. He knows the end from the beginning. His ways are not our mortal ways--He is all powerful and able to move the hearts. God remains in control despite wicked men. Christians let us come together as individuals that have committed our lives to righteous ways and stand firm, anchored in the bedrock of Jesus Christ. He will continue to renew us for fighting a battle that His is already the certain victory.
Don’t give up folks—now is the time. Keep your armor on and if you dropped it, pick it back up and stand your ground. Remember, with God nothing is impossible! Our help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth—He will not suffer thy foot to be moved! In Christ, we can be more than conquer
ors. Don't lose sight, nor allow circumstances or disappoints to permanently jade your hope in Jesus Christ.Keep focused on Christ, the Author and Finisher of our Faith!
Will You Let Me Be Your Savior? Featured
Will You Let Me Be Your Savior?
“Why Me?" is the question
We can feverishly pause to ask
When trials do overtake us,
Sorrows choke, smother, mask.
Our Gentle Savior answers
Why not you, My child?
You said I am your Savior
This is part of “reconciled.”
O lamb of Mine, Why Not you?
I picked you for My Flock,
To lead and guide you all the way,
If you will but only Walk.
I lead you but gently now,
My yoke easy, My burden light.
Abide in My perfect direction;
Trust Me despite the day’s night.
I drew you from death.
I wanted you for Mine.
I gave the greatest cost.
The nail prints, see the sign?
Will you let Me help you?
Will you let Me lead?
Will you trust Me wholly?
Or will you reject Me?
I made you for this life.
A new of You I’ll create,
From pieces of you now broken,
A perfected image, just wait!
A beautiful, growing Christian,
A Bride for Me, you’ll be;
A reflection of My glory,
Submit and you will see.
I am your God and Master.
I knew you before your birth.
I have not finished your story;
This is but a thorn that hurts.
Pain was not the plan I had
Nor weeping, grief, strife.
I offer you the Only Way
To purposeful, joy filled life.
Lean on Me and ask Me.
Depend on Me to Heal.
I will not reject you ever.
Rest and prayerfully kneel.
Circumstances aren’t lasting
But righteousness will endure.
Walk the path with Me;
You’ll find it straight and pure.
I’ll carry you through the waters.
I’ll walk with you through fires.
Forsake you I will never;
My promise does not retire.
My real Comfort is waiting
Like a refuge in a storm.
I was never absent;
All things I can transform.
Hope and Wait on Me
This is only “now” of today.
Give Me your heart, it’s safe.
You must trust and obey.
Keep focused on the Bible.
Keep eating the Living Bread.
Keep drinking Living Water.
Keep relying to be spiritually fed.
“O my Savior,” I answered,
“I do not deserve all Your care.
You have always been faithful
Even when I was not aware.”
“Thank you for picking me,
For drawing me to Yourself.
Help my unbelief and weakness;
Help me forget myself.”
“Help me to stay tender,
Contrite for You to form
The image You are fashioning;
A redeemed “me”, please transform.”
“Let me keep on loving;
Help me guard my ways.
Strengthen me for service;
I want be yours, always.”
“Take my deepest longings,
I give them back to You.
I want focus on Your provision
No good “idol” to rob what is true.”
“Thank you Jesus for remaining
My Anchor, Support and Friend;
My Tower, Defender, Provider;
The Beginning and the End.”
Rise Up O Men Of God Featured
Thanks for Mr. Keith Neds' beautiful calligraphy for inspiring today's poem - "Rise Up O Men of God." (To purchase his beautiful, inspiring calligraphy, be sure to visit www.calligraphyforchrist.com)
In the passages of scripture, Abraham, David, Solomon, Samuel and Daniel called themselves servants of God. These were all men that were of great use to the Lord. They didn't first identify themselves as men of wealth or intellectual ability. Nor did they worry first to verbalize the size of their ministry and work for the Lord. They didn't necessarily feel qualified or adequate for their calling. But, they simply understood first and foremost they were God's men, servants that were being called upon Him to do their duty. They recognized that God was the giver of ability, wisdom, an "understanding heart" and salvation. They knew to serve Him meant action, dedication and focus.
With Father's Day advancing, it's a good time to honor all Christian men. As God's women, we find do ourselves so much more capable of fulfilling our God given role as women when men will step up and obey God in fulfilling their role. God's faithful, obedient men are worth honoring, supporting, and celebrating! May we be the kind of women that will help Christ's obedient men to rise up as valiant men God intended them to be.
Rise Up O Men of God
Rise up O Men of God
Faithful, Strong and Pure!
Fulfill your God given role,
In Christ anchored, be secure.
Rise Up O Men of Valor
The time is now to act!
Stand armored in Christ Jesus,
Through Him, evil counteract.
Rise up O Humble Men
Set aside foolish pride.
Put on the attitude of Christ;
His meekness real strength abides.
Rise Up O Men of Strength
Focus on building your spirit.
God’s Word is the Source.
Eat it. Apply it. Live it.
Rise Up O Leading Men
In a role God has created;
Leaders for home and country,
A duty too often vacated.
Rise Up O Masculine Men
Be vigilant, diligent as intended!
Hard working, Providing, Strong!
Sweating is recommended.
Rise Up O Gentle Men
Be gracious, loving, kind.
Lay down your life for others
As Christ did for all mankind.
Rise Up O Servant Men
Even Christ fed them fish and bread.
He washed feet and tended needs.
If you do, you too will be fed.
Rise Up O Brothers True
Be faithful in a chaste vow.
Guard the Eyes. Thoughts. Actions!
In Christ, It is possible even now.
Rise Up O Faithful Husbands
God has granted you a gift
A wife, a help meet, a friend.
One wife love for life—she’s it!
Rise Up O Teaching Fathers
Train children in His Narrow Way.
Draw from God’s free, abundant wisdom.
Reject the world. The price, do pay.
Rise Up O Committed Men
Seek God and make the decision.
Have faith. Don’t over think!
Trust in His promised, overflowing provision!
Rise Up O Women of God
Pray for, reverence, support these men.
By their obedience, sacrifice and service,
They help us to be what God did intend.