Sharing Christ at our rodeo


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This weekend was the big Ranch Hand Rodeo here in town--the biggest cowboy event of the year in a town with lots of cowboy action. Every year they begin with prayer, but this year was a little different. Saturday the announcer gave the usual opening remarks before the prayer, about how in many places we can no longer pray or talk about God or Jesus openly, but that here at the rodeo, we can and will do so! But then, instead of following up with a prayer, the mike was handed off to Ty Van Norman, one of the contestants--a man of God and a friend of ours--who rode up to the announcer's stand on his horse. And instead of opening in prayer, he spent the next ten minutes sitting on his horse giving his testimony!

Ty started out by sharing that a friend had recently taken his life, causing Ty to rethink his approach to his friendships with others. He realized how important it is to speak more openly to others about Jesus, and he went on to speak about who Jesus is, what He did for us and why, about sin, about Jesus' blood, and of the need for a personal relationship with Jesus. Then he opened in prayer. Many of us had tears, and following his prayer, there was applause. Ty is a very well-known and well-respected local horseman. He has been through a lot of personal tragedy and many have seen how he has handled it. I'm sure his example will encourage other believers to be able to speak up courageously about their own faith. And surely some unbelievers were challenged to think about faith in Christ.

The second day of the rodeo, there were two serious accidents which ended in hospitalizations. I'm so glad those two young men had heard Ty's message. As they laid in their hospital beds with head injuries, they must have wondered about their futures. My husband and I are so proud to know Ty and several generations of his ranching family and to know how many of them are influencing others for the Lord.


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I've only been to the rodeo twice, but both times it was like being in a big dirt-floored church with my brothers and sisters. Loved it! :lol
Lol, I grew up in a town that had a weekly jackpot rodeo...nothing Godly happening there...BUT, every year, there's the Silver Spurs rodeo in Kissimmee and there, you'll find...US!