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TESTIMONY

 I grew up in a Christian family and I'm glad I did. I accepted Christ when I was young. One thing I've learned in my 38 years is that accepting Christ is just the beginning. We are all works in progress and I'm no different. I'm so grateful for God's mercy which is new every day because like I said, I'm a work in progress.

Paul said in  Romans 7 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:15, 18, 19, 24, 25 NKJV)


Read the full Testimony HERE

World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote, Huckabay, TX



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ABOUT US: Welcome to Cowboys of the Cross: your resource for Christian cowboys. Cowboys of the Cross is the new home for Riding for Christ Ministries, providing cowboy church and outreach to the rodeo and cowboy community for more than 10 years. The new web site 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 also serves to minister to rodeo cowboys and bull riders by traveling to rodeos, bull ridings and equine events across Canada and the United States. Learn more about us here:   MORE ABOUT US HERE

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By Jesse Horton/Cowboys of the Cross

Luke Chapter 2

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in here heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Matthew Chapter 2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more.”


The Christmas story is one we are all familiar with…or are we?  We’ve heard the story read, we’ve seen the manger scenes in people’s yards, we’ve seen live nativities, and we’ve seen Christmas plays; but do we really know the story?

You’ll notice I included some scripture that isn’t typically read at Christmas and stopped in a weird place, but there is a reason for that. I’ve made this point before, but I think the inconsistencies we accept around the Christmas story is a great opportunity to drive the point home: most professing Christians do not know the Bible, and I cannot begin to stress to you appropriately how important it is to really know what the Bible says.

So, let’s examine the scriptures and compare them to what we typically accept as true about the Christmas story.  First, let’s look at Joseph and Mary’s journey.

Why did they have to travel from Nazareth in the northern part of Israel to Bethlehem in the southern part of Israel (about a 60 mile trip)? Because Caesar Augusts (literally Caesar of the gods) decided to count his kingdom and tax them appropriately, and all the fine Jewish citizens in Caesar’s kingdom were required to be counted by tribe.  And since Joseph was of the line of King David of the tribe of Judah which had settled in Jerusalem, Joseph went to the home of his ancestors.

We always see this image of Joseph leading a donkey and a very pregnant Mary riding, but that is not even insinuated here; a donkey is not even mentioned. Now you know.

We also read in the scriptures that Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.  Now, consider again the reason they were in Bethlehem in the first place: gathering of the tribes for purpose of taxation.  The tribe of Judah are all sons and daughters of Judah, son of Jacob (Israel).  Yes, they are all kin.  And amongst all this kin, Joseph and Mary can’t find anyone to give them a room or a proper bed.  The inn, well, it’s not a HoJo.  It’s more of a brothel; the inn keeper is more of a pimp than a room service jockey.  Also, in Israel at this time, they built homes against hollows in the rock cliffs, so the inn is much like a cave.  Upstairs is where the rooms were; downstairs was a catch-all for the stuff that had to come inside, like the animals for example.  With all those people in town, the animals were inside to keep them from being stolen.  And the manger is more of a hollowed rock trough where they put feed for the animals. So get that image of a wooden barn and wooden manger out of your head.

Now let’s talk about shepherds and angels. The God of the universe revealed the birth of the Messiah to the lowest class of people on the face of the planet.  The scriptures accurately state that they lived in the fields; they kept watch over those sheep almost 100 per cent of the time.  They were not clean. They had no money or possessions to speak of, and so they were looked down upon by the rest of society, yet God revealed his Christ to them and Jesus was born in a manger, just like their children would have been.  The King of Kings humbled himself as low as low can get. For you. For me.

Angels.  What picture comes to mind?  A beautiful, radiant woman in a long flowing robe with wings and a halo, right? Wrong!  The word for angel, both in Greek and in Hebrew, does not have a feminine form.  It is always masculine.  There are only three angels named in the Bible; do you know them?  Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer; all male names.  So, strike down the female angels!

Everyone knows about the Magi, those three weird guys with three weird gifts for the baby Jesus in the manger. Wait, where does the Bible mention three wise men?  It doesn’t.  It only says that the Magi from the east offered three gifts.  There may have been 10 of them!  Or maybe just two, who knows?

At any rate, the Magi met Jesus in Bethlehem in the manger where he was born, right?  Also wrong.  Remember where Mary and Joseph were going?  Jerusalem!  So after Jesus was born, they went to Jerusalem to be counted as commanded by Caesar.

Well, at least we know that the Magi gave the baby three gifts.  Well, no; not really.  Jesus was not a baby.  He was probably two  years old by the time the Magi got to him.  Remember Herod?  He tried to get the Magi to reveal to him where Jesus was so he could kill him. After all, Herod was the king, and this Jesus threatened his authority.  After discerning when the star had appeared, Herod instructed that all babies two  years and younger be killed; he knew that Jesus would be included in that group based on the timeline.  

Wow.  I just shot most people’s idea of Christmas and buried it.  But that’s okay.  My mission in writing this is to hopefully make you understand how easy it is to let traditions or culture influence what you believe to be true.  Psalm 119:105 reads, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  This Christmas, resolve to make the written word of God your guiding light.  Then and only then can the written word become the living Word (God’s Holy Spirit) in your heart and truly lead you in paths of righteousness.


Blessings to you all this Christmas season!

Some surprising truths about the Christmas Story from tv specials

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By Scott Hilgendorff/Cowboys of the Cross

John 8:34  Truly truly I say to you, anyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.

Jesus tells us that we’re a slave to the sins we commit. But we know our human nature is wired to sin.

Being a slave means we’re controlled and held back. Our sin keeps us from living up to our true potential.

So what are we supposed to do if we’re a slave to sin to be free of what is holding us back?

There’s only one way to be free from the bondage of our sin and that’s through a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ through recognizing Him as the Son of God who died on the cross for our sins and was risen again then by confessing our sins to Him and asking Him to be Lord of our life.

When we’ve taken those steps, life doesn’t instantly become perfect but we receive God’s grace and a freedom from the bondage our sins have made. They no longer have the power to hold us back as we begin living in a way that we’re focused on God and His calling on our lives. There can’t be a more positive attitude than one that comes out of trusting and following Jesus.

Being a slave to sin holds us back from our potential

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