Contestants at a weekly bull riding in Van Wert, Ohio (Hat Creek Ranch) decided who would get this buckle based on bull riders who demonstrated fruit of the Spirit in their life.

A treasure in heaven means more than a buckle on a shelf

Chasing God and Gold Buckle Dreams Part 8
By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross

Once you’ve chased down that dream and that gold buckle is on your belt or in a case with some others, you now have a perfect, modern day example of what Jesus was telling us in Matthew.

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

A buckle understandably becomes something we treasure. You worked hard to earn it. You had adventures along the way with stories to tell your grandchildren when they ask about that buckle on the shelf. All those are good things but we have to look at what we value more.

The Bible has much to say about idols. Many of the descriptions involve protecting the Israelites from following the false gods of the cultures all around them but an idol is anything we put before God. If we’re chasing that buckle, chasing that relationship or chasing that bigger truck, harder than we are chasing our relationship with Jesus, then we likely are dealing with idolatry.

John 5:21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

In this verse, John has just finished explaining who we are in Christ and how important it is to know we’re separate from the rest of the world; that we are following something that is good and true, moving away from our sinful natures.

Aaron Mulka of Western Days Ministries prays before catching bulls at the Lost Nations Rodeo Company bull riding in Marshall, MI in August. Aaron’s cowboy ministry includes being part of producing bull ridings during which the gospel is shared.

Cowboys of the Cross

Welcome to Cowboys of the Cross: your resource for Christian cowboys. Cowboys of the Cross has been providing cowboy church for the rodeo and cowboy community for more than 15 years. The website is your source for stories of faith and encouragement as well as devotions and news and information affecting cowboys of faith. Cowboys of the Cross leads cowboy church at rodeos and bull ridings in both Ontario, Canada and across the north and southeastern United States. 

Where to find us

Sept. 6, Randy Dodge Rodeo Ministries at Sparta, TN, Outlaw Rodeo Company, National Cowboy Association.

Sept. 6 – 8, James and Jenn/Cowboys of the Cross Ontario, London, ON, with Rawhide Rodeo Company, IPRA Rodeo.

Sept. 20 and 21, Randy Dodge Rodeo Ministries at Chattsworth, GA, Outlaw Rodeo Company, Georgia High School Rodeo Association

Sept. 27 and 28, Randy Dodge Rodeo Ministries, Decatur, TN, Meigs County Rodeo.

Ongoing: Sundays, Scott/Cowboys of the Cross can be found at the Triple T Bucking Bulls and Practice Pen near Limestone, TN

Scott/Cowboys of the Cross can be found at Spur’n S Rodeos with the National Cowboy Association and he serves as the Chaplain for the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association, often found at their sanctioned events.  He can also be found at PBR Velocity Tour events, International Professional Rodeo Association events  and others. To find out where Scott is next, please email


by | Jun 16, 2017 | 0 comments

Indiana bull rider Cody West​​ found some old Bibles when cleaning out an attic as part of his job. As much as he would like to be able to bull ride full time, and is right now holding on to the top spot with the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association that I get to serve as chaplain, he also works for his dad who runs a successful roofing business. 

The Bibles were going to be thrown out but he thought they needed to held onto and then the cool part–he thought I might like to have them to at least look through and maybe pass on to someone else if I didn’t want to keep them.

Yeah I do! 

Cody set them out on the trunk of his car and while others were talking about their rides, grabbing some fair food or hanging out, Cody was flipping through the pages showing me some of what he’d found in side including some dates. A couple of the Bibles were just a few years shy of 200 years old.

While we were looking at them, a spectator walking through the parking area stopped and took our picture, remarking how unusual it was to see a couple cowboys looking at antique books with flashlights after a rodeo. Yeah, I guess it was but it was pretty darn cool.

Someone suggested I look into getting them to the Bible museum but for now, when I get back home from this current road trip, I will do some research into them and see if there is any historical significance. From there, I want to get Cody back involved and we’ll decide together what to do with them. There was a lot of interest in a short social media post about them from the cowboy community so that tells me to see if Cody and I can put our heads together to try to find some kind of opportunity to apply these to a way to get the guys to think about their faith. 

New stories and devotions every other Thursday

In all your ways...

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths — Proverbs 3:6
A Cowboy of the Cross believes God comes first and strive to follow His leading from a desire that comes from the knowledge of the cost of our salvation, paid for by Jesus Christ through is death on the cross. Through a saving and repentant faith in Jesus and the knowledge of his resurrection, we know God has forgiven our sins and will take us home to Heaven when our time here is done. Through God’s grace, we’ll get through the mistakes we make and grow more like Christ with study of Scripture, time in prayer and learning to hear God and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Meet our Teachers / Preachers and Site Contributors

Scott Hilgendorff

Scott heads up Cowboys of the Cross, a ministry dedicated to bringing cowboy church to rodeos and bull ridings across North America but with a focus on discipleship. The ministry evolved out of Riding for Christ Ministries, the name which Scott operated under for more...

read more

James and Jenn Douma

Hey everyone, my name is James Douma. I have been involved with the rodeo for the past several years. I am a full time firefighter in Ontario during the week and ride bucking horses on the weekend. I am married to an amazing woman named Jenn and together we have a...

read more

Michael Damien Moore

Michael Damien Moore is a bareback rider from Athens, TN and the nephew of rodeo producer Mike Moore. Originally from Alaska, Michael has started leading cowboy church, largely at rodeos in the 'south'.  The hat he is wearing in the photo was his father's. You'll see...

read more

Josh McCarthy

Howdy! My name’s Josh McCarthy and I compete in saddle bronc riding in the PRCA and I’m the youngest of five from northeastern Wisconsin.  I grew up in a Christian home and went to church every Sunday. I accepted Christ into my life when I was little but I didn’t...

read more

Jim Bull

I grew up always praying before meals and hearing that our friends that passed were in heaven. However, I never felt I knew who God was and definitely didn't have a relationship with Him. I lived my life thinking if I seemed like a good person, then I must be a good...

read more

Jesse Horton

I was 'raised Christian.' I can't remember a time before I was 10 years old that I wasn't a church-goer, though I remember several years of my teens where my family didn't attend church. I confessed my sin and my need for Christ when I was eight years old, but I do...

read more

Subcribe to our monthly emails featuring stories from life Down the Road. Just fill in the boxes below and include the word "Subscribe" in the message box.

Contact Us


Phone: 865_293_2668


Email:  (or use the Subscribe form)


Mail: Cowboys of the Cross, 3710 Warden Branch Lane, Gatlinburg, TN, 37738

Pin It on Pinterest