Training for the Cross - Blog

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Ranch Roping Bible Study 5

In The Beginning: God, Man, Animals

"God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1:25).
Photo by Frances Loza

God created the heavens and the earth, man, woman, and all the animals. God created man in His own image. He was without sin and was perfect. God then gave Adam dominion over all the animals. "Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground" (Genesis 1:26).

God brought all the animals to Adam so he could name them. When someone names something it gives them a sense of ownership. God brought the animals to Adam because he was to rule over them. He was to be their master. In that same way God named man. He is our master and has dominion over us. In God‘s perfect world man was without sin, and there was no fear or suffering. Animals were not afraid of man or other animals. Man and all the animals were vegetarians. "Then God said, I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food" (Genesis 1:29-30).

When God had finished everything He had made, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). I do not picture a lion tearing into the flesh of a defenseless calf. Before the fall of man there was no suffering or death. Also, when Noah gathered the animals to put on the ark, they were not afraid of him, or each other. "Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah" (Genesis 7:8-9). Noah gathered the animals and loaded them. This tells us 2 things; that they obeyed Noah, and that they were not afraid of him or the other animals hurting them. They were obviously not eating each other at this time or there would have been only carnivores getting off the ark.

It wasn‘t until Noah had gotten off the ark that fear grew between man and animals and between animals and animals. "The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything" (Genesis 9:2-3).

Once sin had entered the world, man lost the perfect world that God had created for them. They lost the closeness they had with God, along with the loyalty of the animals. After they left the ark, man was permitted to eat animals and animals began to eat other animals. Fear and self-preservation entered into prey animals, with the instinct to fight or run for their lives.

God says He will return and restore that which was taken, and the world will be how it once was. "Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox" (Isaiah 11:5-7).

I believe that Noah was able to have closeness with the animals because he was perfect, and God needed someone He could bring the animals to. "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:8-9). God blessed Noah‘s sons and spared their lives to replenish the earth, but it never says that they were perfect.

This is why I believe He commanded them to eat meat and that "The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea" (Genesis 9:2). Since they were not perfect, because of sin, they could no longer have dominion over the animals without having to overcome a lack of trust and disobedience. For with sin in the world, this is what we must overcome to have closeness with our Master. Perfect in the Hebrew is “tâmı̂ym, taw-meem” and comes from another Hebrew word meaning “entire” (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth and was translated in other places to mean: without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright (-ly), whole. I will go through the significance of what the Bible has to say about perfect/ perfection in much greater detail in later chapters and what we lost through the fall of man (Adam) and what was restored through Christ. "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor 15:21-22). I will just point out that Abraham like King David had a perfect heart towards God and this is why God chose to use him. "..and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father" (1 Kings 15:3).

Throughout all scripture when the Bible speaks of perfect/ perfection it is not referring to actions (look at King David, an adulterer and murderer) it is referring to the heart. "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him" (2 Chronicles 16:9). What does this perfect heart look like? It comes from people that truly want to know God, that want to encounter the maker of the universe and have a deep intimate relationship with Him. Let’s look at the heart of Moses. What were the desires of Moses' heart, what did he want?

"And Moses said unto the LORD, See, you say unto me, Bring up this people: and you have not let me know who will send with me. Yet you have said, I know you by name, and you have also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now your way, that I may know you, that I may find grace in your sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give you rest. And he said unto him, If your presence go not with me, carry us not up from here. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that you go with us? So shall we be separated, I and your people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that you have spoken: for you have found grace in my sight, and I know you by name. And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory" (Exodus 33:12-18).

This is what this book is about, using horse parables to help people experience a deeper relationship with their heavenly Father. To help people that want to better their horsemanship, but more importantly to help people that are praying, "Show me now your way that I may know you, that I may find grace in your sight." This book is for people that are passionate about training horses, but more importantly passionate about their relationship with God and hunger and thirst for more of Him. "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness! For they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

There is one more aspect about the Garden of Eden and the relationship between man and animals that we need to look at. When the snake spoke to Eve in the garden, she did not say, Wow! A talking snake! Quick Adam, come see this talking snake! No, she struck up a conversation and began to talk to him. This makes me think of the possibility that there might have been communication between man and animals before sin entered the world. If an animal talking to Eve was out of the ordinary, why didn‘t she ask the snake who he was?

Why didn‘t she ask the snake what gave him the ability to talk, when all the other animals could not? The fact that she was not suspicious of a talking animal makes me believe that it may not have been out of the ordinary for man and animals to communicate.

Man and animals had a special bond before sin entered the world, just like man and God. The problems we have with our animals not obeying are the same problems God has with us. I believe these problems can be linked back to 3 primary factors: disobedience, lack of trust/confidence, due to self-preservation), and a lack of communication.

God tells us to trust in Him. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (self-preservation); in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6). He also expects obedience so we will follow His commands. In Deuteronomy God tells His people what will happen if they obey Him and what will happen if they do not, "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today. . ." (Deuteronomy 11:26-28). And in the new covenant God gives us just two commands to follow. "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? How is it read? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do and you shall live" (Luke 10:26-28).

Not only does God want us to trust Him and expects obedience, but He wants to have a relationship. He wants to communicate with us. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me" (John 10:27). Once we have received the Spirit, God is then able to speak to us and we are able to hear His voice. God is then able to communicate His will to us and we are able to follow Him.

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength. . ." (Ephesians 1:17-19).

Just like our horses, there are consequences for the choices we make. If our horses do make a choice to fall in line with our will, we reward them with relief. If they choose to do things their own way, we make them work at it until they look for a way out. They look for a better way, because doing things their way is too much work. The Lord says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). This is what good horsemen offer their horses, and the Lord has the same thing waiting for us; if we would only follow His will.

Sin is what keeps us away from God, and the price of sin is death. However, by accepting Jesus into our heart the blood that He shed wipes away all of our sins and we can be close to Him; just like He intended in His perfect world. The more time we spend with Him, the more He grows in us, until we are transformed into His image and become like Him. "But we all, with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord Spirit" (2 Cor 3:18).

What is God? God is love. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Having true harmony with your horse is not a change of mind, it is a change of heart, and the same is true with the Lord.

God is love and He waits for us to turn to Him. A good horseman does not drive a horse to do a job every step of the way. Instead he waits for the horse, until it is their idea. If he forced the horse to do a job, it would then become the will of the man pushing the horse, instead of the will of the horse. If it is not the will of the horse, the horse will likely not want to obey the human, and will resist. The same is true with the Lord. He waits for us to come to Him.

With our horses, we set it up through pressure and relief, until the horse wants to do the job for us. When the horse is not doing what we want, he experiences pressure that is undesirable. Then, when he turns and does things our way, we immediately give him relief. By doing this, what we would like our horse to do, they not only do, but they would have it no other way. The will that we would have for our horse, becomes the will of the horse. This is what God wants for us; True Harmony Between God and Man. God created the world and He controls everything in it. He has dominion over us, but not wanting robots, He gives us free choice to serve Him or not serve Him. God gave us dominion over the animals and I believe that the problems we have with them are to teach us how to grow closer to God. Today, man does rule over the animals. If we believe that God does not rule over man, and that there are not consequences for our actions, we are going to have a wakeup call someday.

Self-preservation, lack of communication, and disobedience, are what keeps us from true harmony with God. This is what keeps us from true harmony with our animals as well. We know that love works with our horses. Tom Dorrance understood this and Ray Hunt has been trying to show a form of this to people for years, just in a roundabout way.

If we apply what Paul says in 1 Corinthians about love to our horsemanship, and continually approach the horse in this matter, we will gain trust/confidence. However, we must also have obedience. If all we have is trust, they often walk over the top of us. Without obedience, they will do what they want, and they will not obey us.

So we put some walls up and let the horse run into them. The horse does what he wants and runs into some pressure, until it is uncomfortable and he takes the path that we have chosen for him. It is easy to tell if your horse is really with you, just give him his head and give him the slightest cues and see if he does exactly what you want him to do.

The Lord does the same thing with us to test our obedience. He will try to guide us and if we will not listen, He lets us go get into trouble, so we will come back and appreciate the better life He has to offer. "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). A frightened colt with bad experiences does not become a bridle horse overnight. Similarly, a confused person with bad experiences can‘t totally understand and become one with God overnight. However, with patience and timing, a horse can learn to trust and be obedient, and a person can turn to God and live the life they were called to live.
God bless,
Wade Black

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ranch Roping Bible Study 4

In The Beginning: A Perfect World

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).

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If a man was driving down the road in perfect peace and harmony with no troubles, hardships, hurts, or cares in the world and ran into something, changing a state of peace, joy, and happiness into confusion and despair, he would have to ask himself a few questions. The first question would have to be, what happened? After he had determined that he had hit another car, then he would ask, how did this happen? Once the man had drawn the conclusion that he had caused the accident by running a stop sign, he would then have 2 choices. He could make excuses for the accident and try to blame it on someone else, then forget the accident and hope it didn‘t happen again. Or he could take responsibility for the accident, learn from it, and prevent it from happening again.

If the man chooses to learn from the accident and prevent it from happening again, he must first determine what went wrong. To do this he should think back to when everything was perfect, and see what steps were taken in the wrong direction, which led to the accident. Most of the time, a person will take a certain number of steps in the wrong direction before they find themselves off the right path, and in an accident. What was the first step that the man took which led to all the destruction? The man had a destination in mind and set out on a path that would lead to his destination. He was driving on the road and was obeying the rules of the road, to ensure his safety and the safety of those around him. The first step that the driver took in the wrong direction was taking his eyes off the road. The second step taken was that he forgot about the road and focused on an object off the road that was pleasing to his eyes. Once he had forgotten about the road, even though it was only for a moment, he unwillingly and unknowingly broke the law. He ran a stop sign, causing pain, suffering, confusion, and death. Taking his eyes off the road did not cause the destruction. It occurred when his focus left the road and was drawn to something else.

Looking at our world and seeing all of the pain, suffering, confusion, and death, I think it is fair to say that we do not live in a perfect world. The question is, was the world ever perfect? God created man, animals, the heavens and earth, and everything in it and God is perfect. "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). If God is perfect and He says something is very good, I do not think He would have settled for mediocre. I believe it was perfect. So if God created a perfect world, and we are living in an imperfect world, just like the car crash we should ask ourselves some questions. What happened? How did it happen? And, how can we prevent it from happening again?

What happened? Sin entered the world. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12). How did it happen? Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan. They disobeyed God, and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "And the LORD God commanded the man, You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die" (Genesis 2:16-17). How can we prevent it from happening again? Just like the car crash we need to think back to when everything was perfect, and see what steps were taken in the wrong direction, which led to the accident.

The last verse in Genesis, Chapter 2, says, "The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame" (Genesis 2:25). If they were not ashamed, that meant they were without sin and if they were without sin, they were living in a perfect world. What was the first step in the wrong direction? They took their eyes off the road. "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman. . ." (Genesis 3:1). Once Eve shifted her focus to Satan it was immediately off God. "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other" (Matthew 6:24).

God created a perfect world and the only thing Adam and Eve could not do in this perfect world, was eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The devil knew this. He knew if he could get their eyes off God, if only for a moment, he could deceive them, cause them to sin, and cause separation in this perfect world, between God and man.

The second step the person took was forgetting about the road and finding something that was pleasing to their eyes. "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it" (Genesis 3:6). Much like the car crash, taking her eyes off of God did not bring evil into the world, but once her eyes were off of Him, she unknowingly broke God‘s commandment. The man would not have knowingly run a stop sign and hit another car, causing death, but by not watching the road, he could not see the stop sign. Eve would not have tried to purposely disobey God, but by taking her eyes off of God and listening to Satan, she too caused death.

Once the man ran into another car, he immediately knew something was wrong, just like Adam and Eve, when they ate of the fruit. "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves" (Genesis 3:7). As soon as they had sinned, they too like the driver had 2 choices. They could make excuses for the accident and try to blame it on someone else, or take responsibility, learn from the accident and prevent it from happening again. Adam and Eve chose to make excuses. "And he said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?' The man said, 'The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.' Then the LORD God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?' The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate’ " (Genesis 3:11-13).

So with sin Adam and Eve were kicked out of their perfect world. "So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken" (Genesis 3:23). From that moment sin has been in the world, and man has been in sin. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12). What are the consequences of sin? "For the wages of sin is death. . ." (Romans 6:23). Nobody is without sin, so by right, everyone deserves to die.

We are all sinners, born into a world of sin. If a person has committed one sin, they are just as guilty as someone who has lived in sin their whole life. Also, one sin is not greater than another is, because in God‘s eyes every sin has the same penalty, death. However, God is loving, and loves His people and wants His people to love him. In His love He sent His son to die on the cross for our sins, and save us from death. "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

How do we become saved? "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). To be spared of our sins and become born again into God‘s kingdom, we must first do 2 things; confess with our mouth and believe in our heart. We must acknowledge that God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sin. Then we must ask Him into our heart and give our life over to Him.

By Adam sinning, death entered the world, but Jesus’ death gave eternal life. "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). Without Jesus we would have died in our sin, but with Jesus we may live with the Father. "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me' " (John 14:6). How do we go to the Father? We must first die to ourselves. How do we die to ourselves? Be made alive in Christ. "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11). How do we become alive to God in Christ Jesus? By becoming transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18). How do we do that? By eating the bread and drinking the wine. "The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me' " (1 Corinthians 11:23-25). We are changed into Christ‘s image when we read our Bible, and are in His presence. How do we get in His presence? First we must ask God‘s forgiveness for our sins. Then the blood of Jesus washes our sins away and makes us pure, and blameless before God. Then we ask, seek, and knock. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8).

Ask the Lord to show His glory so that you may feel His presence, and be changed from the inside out. Jesus answers our prayers for such little things as helping us to win a football game, giving us strength when we are tired, and helping us find our car keys. How much more will He gladly answer our prayers when we want to see Him, be closer to Him, experience His greatness, love Him and know Him in a deeper, greater way? "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13).

That is what He has wanted from the very beginning. This is what He wanted when He created His perfect world, and it was His intent for our lives before sin entered the world. He wanted to love us and wanted us to know Him, be close to Him, and to walk and talk with Him. What kept us from God‘s perfect world in the beginning? Sin. What keeps us from God‘s perfect world now? It is still sin. However, Jesus died for our sins and ". . .there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).

If you are in Christ Jesus, you are no longer in sin, no longer of this world, and you can experience God‘s original purpose for your life. This is to know God, to be close to God, and to walk and talk with our Creator. So what is still keeping us from God? Satan. How did Adam and Eve fall into sin in the beginning? Satan deceived them from believing God‘s word. God is never changing. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Satan is also never changing. What he did in the beginning we can expect him to do until the end. Satan deceived them from believing God‘s word in the beginning and he is still deceiving us from believing God‘s truth today. Satan is going to try to deceive us the same way he deceived Adam and Eve. Looking back at the Garden of Eden, we can see he is using the same tactics today, as he did in the beginning and he will continue to use them until the end.

God is predictable; He is loving, kind, patient, wants the best for our lives, and commands obedience. Satan is also predictable; he is sly, evil, and unjust. He comes to rob, steal and destroy, and wants the absolute worst for our lives. He also wants obedience. Who you choose to be obedient to will be evident in your life. God is love. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

We know that Satan will try to deceive us the same way he deceived Adam and Eve in the beginning. By knowing the strategy of the enemy, and what tricks he is going to use, we can prepare ourselves to not be deceived. Eve could not tell that there was anything evil about Satan when he approached her. He looked very innocent. "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made" (Genesis 3:1). Scripture says that the serpent was subtle. The opposite of subtle is obvious. It is not always going to be obvious when Satan is trying to tempt us. It is also important to note that he was in a snake‘s body. Satan will sometimes use the bodies of others to approach us.

The first words out of Satan‘s mouth were in the form of a question. It had a little truth, but was filled with a big lie. "He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?' " (Genesis 3:1). The first words out of Satan‘s mouth were questioning God‘s word. That will be the first thing he does every time. The Bible is the inspired word of God. If Satan can get people to believe that the Bible is not true, he does not have to go any further. He can take their minds and mold them with whatever lies he chooses.

Because man did not love God, Satan has captured the minds of the atheist and the evolutionist, and he is using them to get Christians as far away from God as possible. Due to the popular following of the evolution theory, Christianity and God are no longer allowed in schools. We are instead taught the religious beliefs of the big bang theory and evolution. I love the country that we live in. We have the ability to practice our faith and believe in whatever we choose. What saddens me is that students are being taught that the big bang theory has scientific evidence to support it. I received my masters in animal science and in order for something to have scientific merit it must be tested, observed, and repeated. Evolution within species is science. It is observable; it can be tested and repeats itself. I have no problem believing this. Evolution within species would have had to taken place with the animals coming off Noah‘s ark.

However, in order for the big bang theory to have to taken place, 6 different types of evolution would have had to happen; cosmic (big bang), chemical (periodic table), stellar and planetary (stars and planets), organic (non-living produce living), macro-evolution (change from one specie to another), and micro-evolution (change within specie). The first 5 types of evolution are not science, they are religious beliefs. If you choose to believe in them, you have to put your faith in them, because they cannot be proven scientifically. They cannot be tested and observed (science). If the big bang theory is not science and only a theory, are there any other theories that have scientific findings to support them? Yes, I am sorry but for lack of a better term, creation ―science makes the big bang theory look stupid. I have done a fair amount of research and I am blown away at the scientific evidence to support creation and disprove the big bang theory. At the very least, if we are not trying to brainwash our children, they should be taught both theories in school. Creation and evolution are both religious beliefs. The only difference is the evolution religion is tax supported.

But what is the main reason creation science is not taught in schools? I will let Paul answer this question, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). People choose to believe in the big bang theory because the alternative is a very scary thought. If there truly is a real God, then we will be held accountable for what we did with our life. There will be consequences for our actions. Creation science offers some amazing material to support the Bible and the evolutionists offer numerous theories to support the big bang theory. However, neither one can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Neither one would hold up in a court of law. We have to decide what we are going to put our faith in, which religious theory we will accept. Bottom line, we have to choose if we are going to believe in the beginning God, or in the beginning dirt. I think it all boils down to which theory has the greatest amount of evidence to support it. I have seen scientific debates on creation and evolution, and the creationists tear apart the big bang theory. But where does that get us? We are still going to believe what we want to believe. We need solid concrete evidence in which to put our faith.

I agree that looking at the average Christian church it is hard to find solid concrete evidence to support a real God. However, I guarantee you if you go to God and ask HIM with an open heart, He will give you all the evidence you need. God is real and He wants to show us He is real. However, He cannot be found in religion. He can only be found through His son Jesus Christ, and He does want to give us solid proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I hope this book is able to help you come to the place where you can receive solid evidence upon which to base your beliefs. If it doesn‘t and you truly have an open heart wanting solid evidence from God, I would love to help. This is my calling; to position people to help them communicate with their horse and to position people to help them communicate with God.

It saddens me that so many children will lose their faith based on a religious theory, believing that they are being taught science. America‘s children are taught evolution from the first grade and 75% of kids attending colleges will lose their faith in God. We have the freedom in this country to believe in whatever we choose. However, whatever we choose to believe in, we will be held accountable for all eternity. It is one thing to believe in something that will affect our own life. However, if our beliefs cause one of God‘s children to stumble, we will suffer greater consequences. "And whosoever shall offend (Greek word meaning – strip up, stumble) one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea" (Mark 9:42). If you believe in the big bang theory, I am very proud of you for being open-minded and still reading this book. I pray that God is able to speak to your heart and that He is able to prove to you that He is real. With that being said, God has given you free will and you have the right to believe in whatever you choose. Just remember that Satan’s sole job is to deceive us from God‘s truth. He is the master of lies. I am not trying to convert you to adopt my beliefs. I am only trying to get you to ask God. He will never lie. "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2).

Satan has and always will come to us trying to get us to believe his lies, trying to get us to question God’s word. Satan will even try to get believers to question God‘s word. Once we start questioning God‘s word, we have set ourselves up to be deceived. GOD‘S WORD IS TRUTH. BELIEVE IT, AND DO NOT BE DECEIVED! There is only one sure way to not be deceived; that is by hearing the word of God, from God Himself.

It is important to note that Satan approached Eve. He did not come to Adam. I believe he did not come to Adam because Adam had heard the word from God, standing face to face with God. Adam knew His word. His truth went into his heart, and he could not be deceived. "For Adam was first formed, then Eve And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (1 Timothy 2:13). Scripture tells us that God told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Scripture does not say that He ever told Eve.

God created Eve after He had spoken to Adam about the tree. I believe that Adam repeated what God had told him to Eve and this is why Satan approached Eve. She had heard God‘s word from Adam, and believed it to be true, but having not heard the word straight from God Himself; she was able to be deceived. "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled (Greek – deceived) Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Eve was deceived into sin. Adam ate of the apple, knowing that there would be consequences. From that moment on, sin has been in the world, and sin has kept us from God. Jesus died to wash us of our sins, that we may see the Father. Jesus died to take us to the Father. Let Jesus cleanse you of your sins, that you may go straight to the Father and hear the word of God, AND NOT BE DECEIVED.

"In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God‘s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5:12-14). This book is milk. Go on to receive your meat from God Almighty! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Eve was deceived because she tried to argue with Satan after having eaten only milk. From Eve‘s example, we learn that having someone tell us what the Word of God says will keep us alive, give us hope, and keep us on the right path for only a while, but ultimately we will be deceived by Satan.

In God‘s perfect world, Adam walked and talked with God. God loved Adam and Eve, and all He wanted was for them to love Him back, BUT He commanded obedience. He told them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve never sinned while they were in God‘s presence; it is impossible to do so. But, it is interesting to me that in God‘s perfect world, He left their presence to test their obedience.

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:8). Adam and Eve were out of God‘s presence when they sinned. If they had been in His presence, they wouldn't have needed to hide from His presence when they heard Him coming. It was not the fruit that opened their eyes to their sin. It was the fact that they had disobeyed a command from God. "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked" (Genesis 3:7). When someone asks, ―Do you love me? And you tell them, ―Yes, I love you. Then they say, ―If you truly love me you will do what I say. It is easy to do what they say when you are standing in their presence. But, when you leave their presence that is when your obedience to the person you love is truly tested.

God could have made Adam and Eve stay in His presence and they would have never sinned, but He let them leave. They did not know of His presence for a while, but after they had sinned, He let Himself be known. Adam and Eve were not in God’s presence when they sinned, but God was watching them the whole time. When we feel like we are being deceived, are going through tough times, and we cannot feel God’s presence we need to remember He is still there. He is watching us, praying for us, and testing our obedience to see if we truly love Him. "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:31-32). When Jesus let Satan tempt and deceive Simon (Peter), although Jesus was not in Peter‘s presence, He was still praying for him.

God will let us leave His presence to make us stronger in Him, but He will always let us come back. When you have sinned, run back into His presence, ask for forgiveness, and stay in His presence as long as you can. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). After Satan has tricked you into sinning, he is going to make you feel ashamed, tell you to hide from God, to make excuses, and tell you you‘re not worthy to go back into His presence, "But the LORD God called to the man, 'Where are you?' He answered, 'I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid' " (Genesis 3:910). Satan has already deceived you into sinning. Do not let him deceive you further and keep you from God‘s original plan for our lives; to be close to Him.

God had a perfect world for us until sin entered it. God’s original intent for our life was for us to walk and talk with Him. Jesus died to take away all sin, that we may know the Father. Satan is going to try to deceive us from believing God’s word, and from having a close relationship with our heavenly Father. In order to not be deceived, a person needs to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and continue to hear God‘s word. Without doing so, not only will they not be close to the Father now, but they will also be separated from the Father for all eternity. Mankind is born into sin, and the punishment is death. In order to escape the punishment and have ever-lasting life, we must ask forgiveness for our sins, thank Him for dying on the cross to wash away all our sins, and ask Him to come into our hearts and change our lives.
God Bless,
Wade Black

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ranch Roping Bible Study 3

True Unity

"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (Col 3:14).

Photo by Frances Loza

Reading the title of this book, a person may say it is a spin-off of Tom Dorrance‘s book, True Unity: Willing Communication Between Horse and Human. However, I think it is the other way around. True Unity: Willing Communication Between God and Man has been the theme of God‘s book since the beginning of time. Tom was one of the greatest horsemen of all time. His teachings have shaped the training methods in the U.S. and many parts of the world. Tom, no doubt, had a gift. The gift that Tom possessed was not obtained through selfish ambitions or earthly knowledge. Tom‘s gift was a gift from God. Tom did not possess magical powers and he was not a witch doctor. His gift originated in his heart, and gave life to a new perspective. Tom could see things in a horse that no one else could see. He had a gift to see inside the horse; a gift that I believe came from God.

Why did God give Tom this gift? I think for the same reason He gives any man a gift; to help equip them to build the kingdom of God. Although, for the majority of Tom‘s life he did not give God credit for the gift, I believe the gift was given to glorify God. Tom has passed away and is with God in heaven. However, his teaching still lives on and many lives are touched. So, who receives the glory for Tom‘s teaching, Tom or God? What is the focus of nearly every horse clinic, the horse or God? "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator"(Romans 1:25).

Tom laid the foundation that would influence and help shape many lives. I do not believe this gift was given to Tom so that through his teaching people could gain fame and fortune. In Acts 8:9-25 we are told the story of Simon the Sorcerer who thought he could buy the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that he could be great among men. Peter told him, "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin" (Acts 8:20-23).

It is no secret that God gives gifts unto men. "But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men" (Ephesians 4:7-8). But what gift did Tom possess? He possessed the gift of Love.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:1-7).

I believe that Tom had 2 gifts; he had the gift of love, but almost as important, God gave him perspective. These two go hand in hand and one without the other does not yield the same results. Since the beginning of time there has been man and horse, and since around 3,000 B.C. man has been using the horse. For as long as there has been man and horse there has been man and God. In the same way we have wanted to use the horse, God has wanted to use man.

Throughout history there have been people that God has been able to use in amazing ways: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Isaiah, Elijah, John the Baptist, and the disciples, just to name a few. What was it that these people possessed that separated them from the rest? Two things separated them; their heart and their perspective. Looking at these extraordinary men, we can see that they undoubtedly had the power of God upon them. However, God‘s power was able to be manifested in their life, because they had a heart for God and their perspective on life revolved solely around him. Every one of these people knew God. They had a relationship with Him and He was real in their life. They could communicate with God and they knew when they were in His will and knew if they ever fell out of it. What separated these men is that if they ever fell out of God‘s will, they did not stay there. They ran back into the will of God.

Besides love, what was Tom‘s other gift? Perspective. Tom could see things inside a horse that other people could not see. What was it that Tom saw? Tom could see perfection. He could see when a horse was in perfect unity with a person, and he could see the instant they fell out of that perfection. What separated Tom was that he did not like to remain in imperfection (disunity). He took as long as it would take to find what was causing the imperfection and fix it. People would come to him and say, I am having a horse problem. He would reply, I think your horse is having a people problem. It never was the horse, it was always the person. It is never God, it is always the person.

What I do not understand is that I read the Bible and it speaks of perfection (Greek word: Teleios- complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); completeness: - of full age, man, perfect.). Christ died for this perfection or “completeness” and through His precious blood on the cross our souls (mind, will and emotions) can rest “in” Him and in the work that we have been predestined to do. So why do so many people believe that perfection in unattainable? Here is the kicker; this perfection is only attainable in Christ Jesus, "We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ" (Colossians 1:28). To be in Christ Jesus you are no longer in yourself. We must die to ourselves that He may live inside us, "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4). "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-because anyone who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:6-7). We must decrease that He may increase, "He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30).

There is something that I am constantly reminded of in Scripture and it speaks true in my life. The only thing that keeps me from perfection in Christ is me. It is not because of a lack of God‘s ability, but because of a lack of my ability to submit to His will. The same is true with our horses. If perfection is ever attainable with our horse, or with God, it must begin in our heart. When a person is starting a colt, it is nice to know the horse‘s background. It is nice to know how much the horse has been worked with and what kind of foundation has been laid. I would like to do the same thing with man and animals and our history with God. I would like to talk about the beginning. I think this is very important because as Christians, we need to look back at God‘s relationship with man and animals and try not to make the same mistakes that others have made before us. I think as Christians we need to look at how things were with God in the past, how they are now, and how things are going to be in the future. If we do not fully understand all that was taken from us in the beginning through sin, we cannot fully understand all that we are capable of having now, by Jesus taking that sin. I think as Christians, the majority of us do not even come close to scratching the surface of everything that God has for us on this earth; if we would only let Him show us. "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
God Bless,
Wade Black

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ranch Roping Bible Study 2

Preface to "Returning to Eden"

"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:7-10).
(Photo by Sandy Black)

I was raised in a Christian family and have known I have a savior for as long as I can remember. I have always said that if someone put a gun to my head and asked me if I was a Christian, I would die for the Lord. However, it wasn‘t until I contracted Mononucleosis, the Epstein Bar Virus, and was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, that I would fully understand what it meant to die for Christ.

It is easy to say that you would die for Christ if the time ever came, but your true loyalty to the Lord comes when you are willing to live for Christ. This is a lesson I have learned through the calling of Jesus Christ. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified" (Romans 8:28-30).

I was 16 when the Lord first called me. I gave Him my life to be used in building His kingdom in the summer, and in the fall I began to get sick. I continually got sicker, until I had to give up high school sports, including a rodeo scholarship. Sports were very important to me throughout high school and it was very tough for me to give them up. I looked to the doctors and they told me there was not much they could do. They said I would need to learn to manage my sickness in order to get on with my life.

The prognosis was not good. The doctors said if I managed it correctly, in 5 years I might be back to 50%; in 10 years, 75%, and in 20 years, I would be the same as the rest of the people my own age. The medical field gave me no hope. It had been a virus that depleted my immune system and caused me to become very weak. Once my immune system went down, my body could not fight off harmful substances and my internal organs had trouble operating the way they should; causing me to remain sick. Herbal pills helped my immune system to gain some strength back and helped my organs to function a little better. However, I still remained very weak.

I knew that the Lord had let a sickness fall upon me and I knew that He could heal me. However, I was a little bitter about having to give everything up, and I was not ready to come running back to Him yet. It took me a while of running around in my weakening flesh, trying to find comfort everywhere else, before I came back to the Lord. Finally, I came to the point where I could run no longer.

Although, I did not know it at the time, I needed a new organ that was vital to my recovery; I needed a new heart. Through a man in Christ, the Lord took out my heart of stone and gave me a new heart to serve Him. All along, I had thought it had been my body that had failed me, but in all reality, it was my heart. It was from that moment on, that I noticed I started to recover from my sickness.

The Lord has given me a great gift. Although my flesh is weak, when I seek Him I receive strength. "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.‘ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ‘s power may rest on me" (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). The Lord has not totally healed my flesh from this sickness yet, but when I am seeking Him, I am strengthened. The Lord has called me and He knows I have the attention span of a 5-year-old on a sugar high. To ensure that I stay on the right path, He has given me a thorn in my flesh; that I must seek His spirit. "That is why, for Christ‘s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10). His spirit is where I have learned to find comfort and this is where He has revealed Himself to me.

I am excited to be an instrument for God. I have given Him my life and I will follow Him wherever He chooses to lead me. However, I feel I suffer from a little ADD. I feel like a Border Collie pup who set out to do a job with his Master; raring to please Him. I see the cows and am obeying the commands one minute and the next minute, I am chasing a deer over a hill, with God shaking His head at me. God then grabs me by the ears and shakes me around a little bit. Then I remember what we set out to do; we‘re moving cows! I then dive back in, trying to please Him and I work like a charm. That is, until I see a rabbit go running by me and then I am off again. God‘s love never ceases to amaze me. He is patient and when I have returned from chasing the distraction, He is waiting to pick up where we left off. The consequences of chasing distractions are not fun, so I am trying to learn to stay focused on the will of my Master.

I can really relate to one of Jesus‘ disciples, Peter. One minute Jesus is telling him that upon his revelation He was going to build His church, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it" (Matthew 16:18), and the next, He says, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men" (Matthew 16:23). Peter also tried to defend Jesus by chopping an ear off one of the guards who was seizing Him, "Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus‘ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear" (Matthew 26:50-51). And in Matthew 26:69-75 Peter disowned Jesus three times. Peter matured in his walk with the Lord, and God was able to use him in amazing ways. I give my life to God, that He may guide me to maturity and that I may live the life He has called me to live.

This book is what the Lord has shown me, and what I have experienced, in my walk with Him. The Lord did not reveal these things to me because I have lived a righteous life; that is certainly not true. I have hit the bars with the same intensity that I have charged after the Lord. However, God is changing me; I love Him and want to give Him my life. I believe the Lord has revealed Himself to me because I have been willing to leave everything behind and climb the mountain to experience Him; just as Moses did. I hunger and thirst for what Moses tasted and I have come boldly to the throne to receive it. I often get distracted, but He is always changing me, conforming me to the likeness of His son, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers" (Romans 8:29), and I want nothing more than to please Him.

We are all called to be a light for Christ. "…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). However, God uses us all in different ways. I asked the Lord how He wanted to use me one time and He told me I was to use horses to bring people closer to Him. I taught the colt starting classes at MSU and the Lord helped me develop a very simple way of teaching the class; the teachings of Jesus Christ. I learned a lot both directly and indirectly from Tom Dorrance (indirectly), Ray Hunt (my grandfather), and Martin Black (my father), and I would not be where I am today without the teachings of these men. I owe these men a great deal of credit for what little I have been able to absorb from them. I say what little I have absorbed because I have been blessed with the opportunity to be raised around some great horsemen and if I would have absorbed even a quarter of their talent, I should be a lot further from where I am today. These men, along with many others, have had a great impact in my life in setting a foundation for understanding the horse. However, my greatest teacher has been Jesus Christ. I give God all the glory and the praise for where I am today.

The biggest limiting factor in helping my student’s progress in their horsemanship is the inability to communicate with the horse and learning how to change their perspective. They must learn how to quit focusing on job completion and begin riding in perfection. This is what I try to teach them in my class. I am not interested in job completion; but perfection. Everything that I teach in my class is a parable to help them come into perfection in Christ Jesus, "We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ" (Colossians 1:28). Perfect-Greek word “teleios”: meaning complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588) completeness: - of full age, man, perfect.

This book is not meant to teach you about God, but to help you realize that we can be taught by God and inspire you to go boldly to the throne to be taught. The biggest limiting factor with my students is lack of communication and the biggest limiting factor in our relationship with God is a lack of communication. One of my goals in this book is to help you realize what is holding you back from communicating with your horse, but more importantly to help you realize what is holding you back from communicating with God.

In 2007 I was competing at a PRCA rodeo in Miles City, MT and was fighting my head pretty badly before getting on my horse. I was trying to picture a perfect saddle bronc ride and trying to get all the rides of imperfection out of my mind. I was trying to stand on Scripture to psych myself up and give me strength and energy. However, I kept feeling tired and weak, and I could not get my mind off all the rides of imperfection. I knew if I got on my saddle bronc in this mindset it was not going to be very pretty. So I snuck away and laid down in our rodeo rig and submitted everything into the Lord‘s hands. I laid everything at His feet and prayed for the Lord‘s help. As I began to pray, I could feel the Lord‘s presence begin to saturate my body taking away all my cares and worries, leaving me with total peace. I quit looking at everything from my perspective and started to feel total comfort knowing that everything was in God‘s hands. The Lord redirected my focus from selfish ambitions (riding broncs) to a heavenly perspective (building the Kingdom). 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 Timothy 4:5), and empowered by the Holy Spirit. "For you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you" (Acts 1:8).

I jumped out of the seat of the car and with a new perspective on life prepared to get on my horse. I was no longer tormented by rides of imperfection, but filled with the all-consuming peace and joy of the Holy Spirit. I climbed on my horse with the mindset of having fun and riding entirely for the Lord. The Lord blessed me with an 83-point spur ride which won the rodeo and let me take home the first place check.

This is what I hope the Lord is able to give you after reading this book; an open line of communication. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27). 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 things that hold us back from communicating with our horse are the same things that hold us back from communicating with God.

Seven years ago the Lord told me, Write down the words that I have given you, that they may know I am God. In 2002 the Lord showed me a vision of Amaia (my wife) and me walking to Bozeman, MT and opening a book. Once we opened the book, fire came out of the book and people started to gather around the fire dancing and the fire spread across the state. Originally, I thought the book was a Bible, meaning God wanted me to start a Bible study. However, I believe that the book that I was supposed to open in Montana is this book. A year ago the Lord gave me another vision where I was riding in a boat with my friends. Jesus then walked out on the water, grabbed my hand and led me across the water. Once I had reached the shore I started handing out books. I have stepped out of the boat, relying on God that He will take care of me as a minister of Christ and these are the books that I have been called to hand out. "So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace" (2 Timothy 1:8-9).

I hope after reading this book you will have a better understanding of how to eliminate the resistance that is holding you back from Returning to Eden: True Unity and Willing Communication.

God Bless,
Wade Black

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ranch Roping Bible Study 1

Introduction to Wade's Pearls of Wisdom

"And the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls" (Job 28:18).
(Photo by Mary Williams Hyde)

Over this year I will be sharing my “pearls of wisdom” through ranching and rodeo parables that the Lord has given me over the last 14 years. It is my prayer that these parables would help my students not only be successful in the ranching and rodeo industries, but save them from some of the heartache and pain that much of America is facing as we drift further and further from what this amazing country was founded on. For my personal testimony of a very wild journey that started when I was 16 years old at a rodeo bible camp, we will be going through, “Returning to Eden: True Unity and Willing Communication.” This is a book that I started writing when I was 18 years old and took me 7 years to finish. In this book is the foundation of how I work horses and it reflects my relationship over those 7 years as I began to know and experience the God I believed in growing up. In this book the Lord taught me many parallels between Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt’s philosophy in working with horses and how it relates to God’s original purpose for man in the Garden of Eden and how the Old and New Covenant tried to restore what was taken.

After the Lord set a foundation teaching me the difference between the old and new covenant and all that Jesus did through dying on the cross for me, He began to take the horse training parables from the book and explain the pattern of the tabernacle to me. God gave Moses a very specific pattern in making the tabernacle, “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, says He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” (Hebrews 8:5). It was from this pattern that the Lord began to teach me how to eliminate resistance in working with horses and in being a disciple or follower of Christ. What the Lord taught me over the next 3 years led to the 40-day bible study, “Foundation for Perfection: A Guide to Discipleship.”

Then over the next 4 years the Lord taught me about directing our spiritual gifts and talents on a career path to be used for God’s glory, instead of our own. He showed me how it is a lot like riding broncs or competing in the arena and this teaching led to “Philosophy in Competition: Ranch Roping, Rodeo and Business.” Also over those 4 years, in trying to raise a family, run a business and build an equine and rodeo program, the Lord taught me several other variables of Christian maturity that cannot be overlooked. Some of these areas were applying the foundation for perfection to my relationship with my wife (“Foundation for Perfection: Marriage”) and how to determine an “Evidence of an Anointing.” In this paper the Lord addressed the core of who I am by how I impact the environments in which I live: family, work and community.

He also taught me the importance of spiritual discernment and how it is a lot like stockmanship in that it is about directing thoughts. He showed me how our thought process is like a herd of cattle and determines which direction we are going in life. He has been stressing for several years how important it is to “hold rodear” in God’s word daily to let Jesus sort out the lies from my herd or “thought process.” The last thing the Lord has taught me is the “War over Reality” or spiritual warfare and the importance of where I am spending my “time.” In this amazing teaching the Lord really began to break down the Gospel and addressed the cause of many of the health issues I have struggled with over the last 15 years. In the “War over Realty” the Lord taught me that the biggest thing affecting my health is not what supplements I am taking, but where I am spending my “time” and how I answer 2 questions, “Who am I and what is driving my actions.” This teaching breaks down what it means to be “in the flesh” and “in the Spirit” and has helped to answer many questions I have struggled with over the last 14 years of why the reality of the average American church looks different than the reality that Jesus and early disciples lived and preached.

Whether it is me or anyone else I ask to share their “pearls of wisdom,” it is very, very, important to know that these are our pearls of wisdom. These are pearls that we have acquired through making a choice one day to want to have a relationship with the maker of the universe and have not swerved from that choice over weeks, months, years and decades. We are not trying to force you to adopt our beliefs and certainly not join the church we attend. We are merely sharing the reality we have experienced in our journey of wanting to know Jesus better on a daily basis and how that desire has led to some amazing teachings from the Holy Spirit as He has opened the word to us and applied it to our day to day life. The biggest pearl I can give my students is that if you want to excel in anything in life it takes whole hearted commitment and a strong will to not get distracted from what you desire. It has been my experience that when my desires lead me on a path that is not focused on growing in a relationship with my Saviour on a DAILY basis, I seem to be very unproductive in everything I do.

Summary of the Upcoming “Ranch Roping Bible Study”
Fall Focus:
- Horsemanship (Foundation “Who we are in Christ”)
Reading Material: "Returning to Eden: True Unity and Willing Communication"
- Personal testimony and focus on setting a scriptural foundation of communicating with God using horse Parables.

Winter Focus:
- Horsemanship (Foundation)
- Stockmanship (Spiritual Discernment)
- Time (War over reality)
- Bronc Riding (Tearing down Strongholds)
- Training Quality Assurance and Teaching on the pattern of the tabernacle
Reading Material: "40 Days to the Trainer Bible Study"
- Practice using horse parables and following the pattern of the tabernacle to prepare our hearts and minds to hear from God.
- Discovering our ID in Christ through revelation of scripture

Spring Focus:
- Roping (Spiritual Gifts)
- Team Work (Position in the body of Christ)
Reading Material: "Philosophy in Competition," "Applied Animal Behavior," "Foundation For Perfection Marriage," "Foundation For Perfection Work Place and Family"
- Working in the world from our ID in Christ
- Taking our foundation to do a job
- 4 Stages of Setting a solid Foundation

God Bless,
Wade Black

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Cowboy's Bible Study

12-Week Discipleship Course

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20).
(Photo by Leigh Livingstone,

My goal at TVCC is to set a solid foundation in my students that will enable them to use a horse to get a job done on the ranch and in the arena. I do this by first teaching them the four things needed to eliminate resistance in doing a job. Next, I turn them loose to do jobs and as problems begin to surface I teach them how to eliminate the three causes of resistance in doing a job. My goal is the same in this 12-week Bible study.

The best way to become one with a horse is to set out to do a job together, and the most enjoyable job in my opinion is branding calves and other forms of ranch roping; doctoring, calving, disciplinary training, etc. “The Cowboy’s Bible Study" is a 12-week interactive discipleship course that is structured like a horse clinic and uses parables to better understand the "pattern" of the Tabernacle and the significance it plays in a believer's life. Moses was given a pattern when instructed to build the tabernacle and it was this pattern that took the priest in the Old Covenant into the presence of God. The same pattern can take ALL believers into the presence of God in the New Covenant.

They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain" (Hebrews 8:5).

The pattern given to Moses in the Old Covenant can serve as a copy (model) to help take us into the presence of God in the New Covenant. The priest in the Old Covenant could not just walk into the presence of God without preparing themselves first, and neither can we in the New Covenant. “The Cowboy’s Bible Study" uses horsemanship, roping skills, stockmanship, ranch roping and rodeo parables to help reveal to us who we are in Christ, help eliminate resistance in marriage/relationships, fan into flame and direct our spiritual gifts on a career path, and receive insight into spiritual discernment and spiritual warfare.

The goal of this Bible study is to set a solid foundation in a believer's life of "who they are in Christ," and help the believer draw closer to their heavenly Father through finding their pre-ordained career path working in the kingdom of heaven. “For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Just like a horse becomes mentally and physically unstable when they are confined, over trained and under worked. A Christian will do the same if they do not get out of the four walls of the church (round pen/arena) and start being used “outside” doing real jobs on the ranch (home, community, country, world). We believe at Training for the Cross that the horses with the best foundations are the ones that have put in long days doing real jobs. We also believe that God is looking for men and women who are willing to do the same by taking their spiritual gifts and talents outside the four walls of the church, to be used as a vessel in the market and work place.

Special Requirements: This course will be taught like a horse clinic. A person who has paid to ride in a horse clinic would expect to not only learn a bunch of head knowledge from the instructor, but to gain new revelations with their horse through experience. A person should expect the same thing in their relationship with the Lord through this course. This course will be taught like Wade’s riding classes at TVCC. However, instead of Wade advising, as the students are training the horse, Wade will be advising as God is training the student. Just like it is essential for students to be committed in devoting time to work with their horse daily in Wade’s riding classes, it is essential that students are committed in devoting time to God daily in this course.

The Cowboy's Bible Study - 12-week Discipleship Course

1st meeting: Intro “40 days to the Trainer,” Foundation for Perfection, and the Tabernacle
  • “Who am I and what is driving my actions?” Time graph and the war over reality
  • Time Budget “On Paper on Purpose”
  • Write down dreams and set short and long term goals
  • Homework: Daily reading in "Foundation for Perfection: A Guide to Discipleship"
    • Day 1- pages 4-13
    • Day 2- pages 14-21
    • Day 3- pages 22-35
    • Day 4- pages 36-55
    • Day 5- pages 56-65
    • Day 6- pages 66-76
    2nd meeting: Horsemanship (Foundation), “Who we are in Christ”
  • Holding Rodear, “Spiritual discernment and pulling down strong holds”
  • Group discussion and practice “Rule of Thirds”
  • Homework: Read one chapter of "Returning to Eden" and practice rule of thirds
    • Day 1- Preface
    • Day 2- Introduction
    • Day 3- True Unity
    • Day 4- In the Beginning: A Perfect World
    • Day 5- In the Beginning: God, Man, Animals
    • Day 6- Two Thought Processes
    • Day 7- Job Completion vs. True Unity
    3rd meeting: Horsemanship (Foundation), “Who we are in Christ”
    Meeting: Group discussion and practice “Rule of Thirds”
  • Homework: Read one chapter "Returning to Eden" and practice rule of thirds
    • Day 8- God's Will: Driving Factors
    • Day 9- Confidence/Faith
    • Day 10- Obstacles in Accomplishing the Job
    • Day 11- God's Will: To do a Job
    • Day 12- 1st Obstacle: Submitting Our Will
    • Day 13- Two Levels of Submission
    • Day 14- Two Kinds of Horses and Two Kinds of People
    4th meeting: Horsemanship (Foundation), “Who we are in Christ”
    Meeting: Group discussion and practice “Rule of Thirds”
  • Homework: Read one chapter of "Returning to Eden" and practice rule of thirds
    • Day 15- 2nd Obstacle: Communicating God's Will
    • Day 16- Direction for My Ministry: "Communication"
    • Day 17- 3rd Obstacle: Obeying Commands and Building Confidence
    • Day 18- Resistance in Obeying Commands and Building Confidence
    • Day 19- 4th Obstacle: Completing the Job
    • Day 20- Willing Submission
    • Day 21- Communication
    5th meeting: Horsemanship (Foundation), “Who we are in Christ”
    Meeting: Group discussion and practice “Rule of Thirds”
  • Homework: Read one chapter of "Returning to Eden" and practice rule of thirds
    • Day 22- Direction and Life
    • Day 23- False Direction
    • Day 24- Balanced Direction to Life Ratio
    • Day 25- Solid Foundation of Maneuvers (Mechanical)
    • Day 26- Solid Foundation of Maneuvers (Mental)
    • Day 27- Solid Foundation of Maneuvers (Bringing Mechanical to Mental)
    • Day 28- Three Stages of Breaking a Horse
    6th meeting: Horsemanship (Foundation), “Who we are in Christ”
    Meeting: Group discussion and practice “Rule of Thirds”
  • Homework: Read one chapter of "Returning to Eden" and practice rule of thirds
    • Day 29- Theme of the Book: "Communication"
    • Day 30- Rivers in Eden: The Way to Paradise
    • Day 31- Rivers in Eden
    • Day 32- Euphrates: Up to Our Ankles
    • Day 33- Hiddekel: Up to Our Knees
    • Day 34- Reaching Pison: Up to Our Loins
    • Day 35- Havilah: Tribulation that Leads to Pison
    7th meeting: Horsemanship (Foundation), “Who we are in Christ”
    Meeting: Group discussion and practice “Rule of Thirds”
  • Homework: Read one chapter of "Returning to Eden" and practice rule of thirds
    • Day 36- Havilah: Repent of Un-Nakedness
    • Day 37- Pison: Reaching Maturity in Christ
    • Day 38- Gihon: Over Our Heads
    • Day 39- Waters From God: Pure River of Life
    • Day 40- What is the Problem?
    8th meeting: Horsemanship (Foundation), “Who we are in Christ”
    Meeting: Group discussion and practice “Rule of Thirds”
  • Homework: Foundation for Perfection Marriage, read Bible and practice rule of thirds

  • 9th meeting: Roping Skills: Implementing your spiritual gifts and talents on a career path
    Meeting: Group discussion and practice “Rule of Thirds”
  • Homework: Philosophy in Competition: Ranch Roping, Rodeo and Business, look up scriptures in paper and practice rule of thirds

  • 10th meeting: Roping Skills, Implementing your spiritual gifts and talents on a career path
    Meeting: Review and Discussion practice “Rule of Thirds”
  • Reading: Philosophy in Competition: Ranch Roping, Rodeo and Business, look up scriptures in paper and practice rule of thirds

  • 11th meeting: Stockmanship: Spiritual Discernment and Spiritual Warfare
    Meeting: Evidence of an Anointing- Work place and family.
  • Reading: Read Bible and practice rule of thirds

  • 12th meeting: Ranch Roping: Working as a child of God in His Kingdom
  • Tying it all Together and Open Floor for Sharing
  • Friday, October 3, 2014

    Pearls of Wisdom - Gary & Judy Porter

    "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." (Matthew 13:45-46).

    Judy and I have been happily married for nearly 20 years and have gained tremendous insight into what life principles work well and not so well in being successful in our personal relationships, as well as our respective businesses as owner/operators of Cross Country Saddlery and Victory Karate Klub. These principles, which are Bible-based, are also critical in the operations Rid’n for the Cross Ministries, Cross Country Cowboy Fellowship, and Sunday Country radio outreach that are owned by God and managed by us. We would like to share what we feel have been important guidelines for our success in each of the areas mentioned.

    First and foremost in every endeavor, God is first! Our motto or creed has always been: Continually practicing the presence of God. He has to be first in everything. We are reminded in James 4:8, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." The Bible reminds us that He is always near so we need to remember that and practice His ever presence. For us, it is critical that we find time for Him, not only as a couple but also individually. We need to seek His face in prayer and we need to study His Word daily. That is part of the ‘drawing near to God so that He will draw near to you’.

    Having the Holy Spirit actively working in our lives daily is crucial. The Bible tells us in 1 John 5:7-8, "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one."

    We begin each morning, holding hands and praying together. First, inviting our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit into our lives each day and giving thanks to God for all He has done in our lives, and secondly, asking for God’s direction, guidance and wisdom in everything that we might lay our hand to, whether in our work shop, in our personal life, in our relationships with others, our business decisions, etc. Again, the Bible reminds us in James 4:2, "Yet you do not have because you do not ask."

    We believe that starting our day in prayer is a critical part of the principle of “first fruits” taught in the Bible which is regarding tithing of our time, resources, talents, finances and energy. Tithing is not just the giving 10% of our finances but includes the giving of our resources, of our time and effort and of our talents and abilities. It is important to understand that the tithe meant giving the first of the best of what you had to God, not the least of what you had. When we work, whether in our businesses, our personal lives, working with our horses, working with relationships, we do not work as unto man, but work as unto the Lord, giving our very best every time, regardless of what those around us may be doing.

    We understand that all that we have belongs to God and we are only stewards of what we have been blessed to have care of. That includes our home, our children and grand-children, our health, our businesses, our personal property, our livestock, relationships with others, etc. Because it is all His and we are only stewards of what He has given to us, we need to take the best possible care that we can of all of it.

    Jesus instructs His children in Matt 5:15-16 to let their light shine before men: "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

    We are to be a light to the world in every aspect of our lives. In the troubling times we now live in people need hope and the hope they need is found only in Jesus Christ. We have found it is easy to be a light to the world. As an example: when you are asked, “How are you today?” Tell them “I am blessed!” because you are. If we strive to be a light in all that we do, people we automatically be drawn to you. And not to you really, but to the light you represent, Jesus Christ.

    In our experience good communication skills are paramount in our business and our ministries as well as our personal relationships. In our dealings with other personalities, as well as to each other, without open communication misunderstandings can occur and lead to hurt feelings that take time to mend. If we keep our lines of communication open, with an ‘others minded’ attitude, misunderstandings can be avoided. If we find that an offense, even unintentionally, has occurred we are quick to address the offense and make amends. We find in the book of Eph 4:25-27, Do Not Grieve the Spirit: "Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil." In a ‘me first’ world, when offenses are common-place, we make a choice not to be easily offended or hold a grudge. Instead, we forgive as Jesus would have us do.

    God tells us in Jer 29:10-12, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."

    And Jesus tell us in Matt 6:33-34, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

    If we trust His Word and are careful to daily follow God’s precepts for us then the promises we find in Jeremiah and Matthew will be ours. First is the daily seeking, then His plans will be ours. It’s a daily choice that leads to success.