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I couldn’t understand Scripture

Chance eventually was ordained

Hello, my name is Chance Smart and I'm from Philadelphia Mississippi.

I came to know who Jesus was and what He did on the cross to bring me eternal salvation when I was nine years old. My mom took me and my two brothers to church about once a month. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but she tried.

I lived my high school years in an ungodly fashion. Following in my father's footsteps, I began drinking every day, chasing women, and looking for fun of any kind. I did some drugs as well. However, I still had the incorruptible seed in my heart. When doing bad, I was unable to look at myself in the mirror because I saw what Jesus saw, a heathen. Several times when I bent down to pray before riding, I asked for forgiveness of all my wrong doings so that if something bad was to happen, I'd be in right standing with God because I asked for forgiveness.

Or, at least that was the impression I was under.

I really didn’t know one word of the bible because I trusted in preachers to teach it to me, and not the Holy Spirit revealing it to me as I read it for myself. My lifestyle was hideous. I thought, I'm young and it will be a long time before I die so I'll just change my life when I'm done partying. The whole time, I thought right living was just for going to Heaven. I wasn't aware of the blessed life God had planned for us on earth for today. I thought there was only two types of people on this earth, believers and unbelievers. I never knew about 1 Peter 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?

This says there are three types of people: righteous, ungodly, and sinners. I was living an ungodly lifestyle until my sophomore year of college. I met an amazing and beautiful woman that took my breath away, Summer Lovern. I knew I had to be at least a little cleaner for her to look my way so I quit smoking and tried to quit drinking, for the most part. I began attending the Pentecostal church that she was raised in. I began to open my bible and try to read it but I understood none of it. The NIV translation was just too confusing for me. I began to read it out loud while Summer explained it to me. I still never really got it. Just thought there was something wrong with me. Maybe the bible is just too hard for me to remember or uninteresting for me to learn.

However, God's timing is much better than our timing. I was baptized by the Holy Spirit in January, 2004. This was  also a rededication of my life to Christ. All the while I was still reading the word, understanding none of it, I still prayed and asked God for understanding, and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. I was rodeoing every weekend and trying to make a living of it also. In 2005 and 2006 I was champion of the Ozark region in the college ranks and qualified for the college finals three times. I graduated college with a bachelors degree in Business Technology in 2006. Also in 2006 I began my rodeoing in the PRCA. In the summer of 2006 Brandon Reynolds and I began to travel a bit in the western states. The whole time we both were trying to live godly lives. We met Bobby Welsh in Salinas California. Bobby had qualified for the NFR two times and finished third in the world the previous year. Bobby was a very godly man and I began to enter rodeos with him, finishing he year with him. Everywhere we went, I asked Bobby questions left and right. We had two weeks of straight bible study. Oh yeah, we rode bulls too. God used Bobby to help me up in the Christian life and lifestyle.

I learned a lifetime of studies in two weeks of hanging with Bobby. God poured so much knowledge and understanding into me. I came back home and I was telling Summer things that she had never learned and she had been in church her whole life.  Things in mine and Summer's life was changing as we became more knowledgeable about Jesus Christ in Heaven and the Holy Spirit here on Earth. We got married in March of 2007. Summer and I hit the road that summer and I qualified for my first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2007. I found out what the overflow of God's blessings on earth felt like that year. Summer and I had to borrow enough money to get to the NFR that year and we returned third in the world with a $97,000 check. Two months later, 2008 season, I won $70,000 in San Antonio in February. Two months after that I finished second in the Houston Rodeo winning $34,000. A great and strong year in 2008 finishing the year as reserve champion of the world. I also began speaking at different places about what God had done in my life.

Tragedy hit in January 2009 when I was hit in the face and knocked unconscious. I fractured my cheek bone but the damage happened when I was unconscious flying through the air limp, my head bounced off the ground causing bleeding on the brain. I didn't know who I was or even that I was in the world for 10 days. I didn't even know I was married. Nine months of double-vision and three eye surgeries. I was trying to ride bulls the whole time seeing double by wearing prism glasses. One of the darkest time of my life. I became depressed. Mine and Summer's lives changed so much during this time. We went from on top of the world to not knowing if I'd be able to see right again. Very dark times were upon us. I would pray and believe God and would hear and see nothing happen. However, while I was reading my bible, the scriptures was jumping off the page at me. It was like I was reading my life in the bible.  I could understand every story I was reading.

During this depressing time I was learning how to rely on God and trust in Him for my needs instead of bull riding paying all the bills. The accident happened on Jan 31 of 2009 and I became an ordained minister on Jan 31, 2010. One year of complete transformation. I trusted in God before but now, I help others with there faith in God and seeing the power of the Risen King in there lives.

His plans for our lives are not what we always think they will be but we will find happiness in them because all things work together for the good of those who love Him.

I am now pushing for the World title in the PRCA and living my life for the glory of the Lord! Wherever He has me to minister, I go. Whoever he has me to minister too, I minister. I lean not on my own understanding but in all ways, Summer and I acknowledge Him.

We now have joy inexpressible and full of glory because greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

Chance Smart

Philadelphia, Mississippi

“His plans

for our lives

are not

what we always think

they will be.”