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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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God made us to work and create, get busy

Please Consider Giving Center Gate Story

By Jesse Horton/Cowboys of the Cross

Work is something we all have to do at some point in our lives – I mean, not many of us are satisfied being the kind of sluggard who waits on welfare and food stamps each month, right? But why is that? The reason is your spiritual DNA. You were created in the image of God.

The book of Genesis opens up with God at work. He creates by simply speaking. He fashions the heavens and the earth, the depths of the seas and the mountains, vegetation and creatures – and indeed, they were all good. But then he made mankind – in his own image nonetheless. You were made to be like God – a thinker, creative, artistic, and able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. God created mankind and said this creation was “very good.” And interestingly enough he spent the next day resting from his work – one might venture to guess he was spending quality time with his creation.

So, why work a “job” if you can win enough on the circuit to pay the bills? Because you are created to be creative. Could you use your competition as a platform for the kind of satisfying creativity God instilled in you? Maybe, but the only examples I can come up with are ministry-related…creating disciples of Jesus. And some of us just aren’t great teachers or preachers. So how can we satisfy our creative juices outside of direct ministry? The answer is simple…whatever gifts and talents you have, put them to use. Whether it’s carpentry, mechanics, being a farrier, engineering, designing, janitorial, cooking, accounting, etc. Any job that is not in direct contradiction to scripture will do.

Yes, you can be an accountant to the glory of God. It all boils down to God’s sovereignty. He made you with the gifts and talents you have to serve people he loves. An even crazier thought…he made unbelievers with the gifts and talents they have to serve people he loves. How’s that for sovereignty?!

But why work if you don’t have to? Work is hard and frustrating at times. Yes, Genesis 3 tells us that the consequences of our sin are “thorns and thistles” in our work. We’ll be overlooked for raises and promotions we deserve, we’ll be lied to and swindled; we’ll see our efforts fail to meet our expectations at times and we’ll be unfairly derided by employers and coworkers…all consequences of sin. But take heart! The King of Sinners wore a crown of “thorns and thistles”, died to suffer the punishment for sin so you don’t have to, and He rose again and lives today in victory over the thorns and thistles in which we are tangled…and if He lives in you, you’ll overcome them too!

So suffer the thorns and thistles a while longer, but remember in the end you’ll work outside of those consequences just the way God intended. You were made in his image. You were made to work.

By Scott Hilgendorff/Cowboys of the Cross

When Kris Furr made Jesus the Lord of his life last month, he had no idea God would throw a challenge and learning opportunity at him just hours later.

It made it very clear that God was working in his life.

Kris, a bull fighter from Statesville, NC, was trying to sell his camper on Craig's list when he got a call from a guy who asked if Kris would consider trading the camper for the guy's van. It would have been at a $3,000 to $4,000 loss between the difference in the value of the van versus the camper but Kris was stuck—he had just made Jesus his lord and savior hours earlier and now he was being asked to help a family.

The man had explained to Kris that he and his wife had recently become homeless and were living in that van and a tent and he wanted to trade. The camper would give them a chance to have better accommodation, especially for their two kids that they were trying to home school.

But, $3,000 is a lot of money to give up when you're trying to make your living as a bull fighter, full time, traveling the roads to work events across the country for very little pay. In order to be the best at it and be one of the few to make it to the professional level and the pay scale that goes with it, you have to sacrifice a lot.

But, $3,000. Would God really be asking Kris to give the equivalent of that much money to total strangers? Was this a test from God?

Those are the questions he had for me when we talked about the situation.

The short answer, of course, was that God could very well be asking that of Kris.

“I always knew who God was but until today, I had never given my life to Him,” said Kris as we talked about his whole experience that day, leading up to the phone call.

Now he was afraid to make the wrong decision about the camper. We talked about the difference between feeling guilty or feeling the Holy Spirit's conviction, what the Bible teaches about giving sacrificially, what it can mean to follow Christ beyond that moment of salvation, being a good steward of the resources God gives you and how to know when God is answering prayer about what to do.

We also talked about how emotions can manipulate us and can be used by others to do the same—that he had to be careful.

In prayerfully seeking wisdom from God, Kris realized that a starting point would be to at least meet with the man who called and look into the story more.

When he did, praise God, Kris determined the story was a scam but also learned straight from scripture that he was willing to be obedient to God, even when it was difficult and it meant sacrifice.

And praise God, Kris and I are working out a study plan to dig deeper into God's word since being in church often is difficult for Kris as he's on the road so much.



We have about $5,500 left to raise

Thanks to all who are helping


Cowboy church at multiple rodeos and bull ridings

Hospital visits

Distributes Cowboy Bibles

Bible studies in different states

Makes sermons and devotions available to more than 4,000 cowboys            

Discipleship one-on-one


Just 11 more people needed to commit

to raising $500

It’s easier than you think. Please contact friends and family who understand the value of a ministry like this in the rodeo and bull riding industry. Just 10 people giving $50 will help you reach that goal. Be sure to submit the name and address of each contributor for a tax receipt.


Use the comment box below to tell us

if you will help or with questions

By Jim Bull/Cowboys of the Cross

Nobody Cares How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care---Theodore Roosevelt

  In 2013 I received the book Tortured for Christ, by Rev Richard Wurmbrandt. On April 14th  that year I was on the road in a small town in Arkansas. After supper I opened the book to read a little bit of it. It tells of Rev. Wurmbrandt's life in Romania during the Nazi control, how he was kidnapped in 1948 for being a Christian and teaching Christianity; his imprisonment for 8 years with no one knowing he was alive (and again later for another six years). The secret police actually posed as released prisoners and told his wife they'd attended his funeral. He tells of the atrocious beatings and torture the prisoners were subjected to unless they denounced God. Then told that there was worse torture that he cared not to talk about. Wurmbrandt wouldn't denounce God. He would take his beating and then pray for the man handing it out. He would return to his cell and sing praises to God.

Rev. Wurmbrandt had this to say about the Nazi. “I am very sorry if a crocodile eats a man, but I can't reproach the crocodile. It is not a moral being. So no reproaches can be made to the Communists. Communism has destroyed any moral sense in them.”

I spent hours reading the book that night. I couldn't put it down. My empathy for Wurmbrandt and the Nazi was driving me to an emotional wreckage. I knew quickly what his story meant; love unconditionally.

The next day, April 15, 2013 I heard on the radio about a bomb going off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I was crushed! Reading through emotional turmoil for hours the night before and thinking of the 264 injured by the blast left me speachless and heartbroken all day. Topping off my heartache was countless posts on Facebook and callers into radio stations screaming for the death of the two men responsible for the bombing. I found myself crying out for God to intervene and save the boys. I couldn't help but pray that if they were to be spared, yet caught, that they might have the opportunity to be saved. Luke 23:34 – “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do...”This verse kept running over and over through my mind. I kept thinking that these young men had been taught to hate America. They were taught that killing Americans was the right thing to do. To me, they were like the crocodile Rev. Wurmbrandt talked about.

Today, we are facing the same thing with terrorists around the world. We are seeing a hate build among Christians against those that are targeting Christians for bombings or beheadings. It is our job as a Christian to forgive those that do not know what they do. It is our job as a Christian to love those that mean us harm. It is our job to pray for their souls salvation. We must remember  Matthew 5:10 - “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” “But when trials do come, we should not be surprised but rather should rejoice that we have been considered worthy to suffer for Christ.” - Tortured for Christ.

Instead of anti-Muslim rallies and hate memes on Facebook we should be in prayer for our brothers and sisters that are in harm's way, AS WELL AS, praying for those that are being taught to hate Christians. Praying for their conviction and salvation. We must remember they know not what they do. Remember to be more Christ like especially when we feel anger and hate arising.

We have to remember that the parents, their parents and the parents of their parents have all been threatened with having their parenting rights taken away if they teach the Bible. Remember they will be beaten, tortured, have their children taken away and probably even killed for teaching about Christ. Think hard on these things before you condemn someone who has lived this threat every day of their life. While Pastor Florescu was in Nazi prison his 14 year old son was brought in and beaten in front of him until he rejected Jesus Christ. When Florescu tried to give in, it was his 14 year old son that told him “Father, don't do me the injustice of having a traitor as a parent. Withstand!” Then the Communists beat the boy to death in front of his father.  Galatians 5:14 – For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

What to do about those Syrian refugees

The cowboy community has some of the most conservative values in the country and as a result, has had a lot to say and think about in terms of the battle against ISIS and now the arrival of Syrian refugees. We’ve put together a few stones to stick  in your boots to get you thinking this through from a Biblical view

Prayer for our enemy is an important strategy

By Scott Hilgendorff/Cowboys of the Cross

Here's a verse we all know: “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

There's just one word in this verse that has the power to make us deal with angry feelings and accept a very real challenge that comes with being a Christian--'whosoever'.

 Whosoever. Meaning everyone. Meaning the person who will die tomorrow at the hands of a suicide bomber—and that suicide bomber.

Jesus didn't die on the cross so that generally good people could one day be saved. We're all born into sin thanks to the first sin committed by Adam and Eve in the garden. God, in his perfectness, cannot tolerate sin and will judge it all equally. We all have the same opportunity to be made right before God through a repentance of our sins and a saving faith in who Jesus Christ is and what his death on the cross accomplished.

Imagine having to try to decide who is good enough out of a world full of people who have sinner. Sure, a suicide bomber seems like he should be at the top of the list with pedophiles and rapists. But as we rank sin, it starts to get more difficult. The ten commandments list murder and lying so how does someone who has lied and cheated his way to the top of a company get to Heaven? What about someone who has only told a few lies? They should at least get to go to Heaven. Unless you're the person whose life was destroyed by that lie. That person might feel differently about where he or she thinks the lie-teller should go.


God makes the opportunity to be saved available to all who believe. The fibber and the suicide bomber.

Many of us have expressed feelings in the past week as strongly as wanting to see bombs dropped on all over the Middle East to see the problem of terrorism stopped once and for all. Imagine how much stronger those feelings are going to be if there's another terrorist attack on US or Canadian soil?

We have to remember there are Christians right now in the Middle East trying to share the gospel. There are missionaries over there carrying out “The Great Commission” that Jesus gave us to share the gospel across the world and make disciples of others.

That mission started in the Middle East.

Then it spread to us here through the message of Jesus Christ and those wonderful words from John 3:16.

All need a chance to hear the gospel of Jesus

By Scott Hilgendorff/Cowboys of the Cross

The story of the Good Samaritan has given us a descriptor used even today about someone who carries out a good action for a stranger.

And it's a story that's been brought up a lot this week by both liberal thinkers and Christians who have landed on the side of seeing the United States and Canada take thousands of Syrian refugees. The story of a Samaritan man giving aid to a Jew, two people whose cultures hated each other, is being used as an illustration as to why Christians should support bringing refugees here. (Click here for verses)

But something we're overlooking, if we interpret these verses to be an example of how to treat our neighbors, isthat this is an example of an individual making a choice to offer aid to someone that goes against his personal convictions. It was an individual decision to help an individual. It isn't necessarily an example from God as to why one government needs to help the people of another nation.

Yet the Bible does teach us to submit to the authority of our governments because it's a God-ordained structure. (Click here to read Romans 13) They are to be there to protect and look out for us. But the assumption is that the government is following God-led decisions that reflect a Biblical understanding. We come into conflict with our faith and our government when government decisions no longer reflect Biblical teaching, such as the recent fight Christians presented to gay marriage and the arguments made against government funding for Planned Parenthood over the harvesting of baby organs.

If the government is making decisions that affect the safety of its people, Christians aren't just looking out for their own welfare when the object to a government decision to bring refugees here, but for others in their own nation

It doesn't mean we we are callous and unChristian but we do have to consider the numerous verses that stress the need to help the less fortunate. For example, Leviticus 19:10 tells us this: “And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.”

During harvest, crops can be missed and left behind, even with today's technology. God's instruction was to not be greedy and go back for a second  pass to get what was missed, but to leave it there for those who were in need.

But the verses like that from Leviticus that are being used to support bringing refugees mostly do not show an example of people giving the poor and foreigners the exact same quality of life that the person desiring to help has. It sounds selfish but that becomes the moral dilemma individual Christians must work out between themselves and God. Perhaps some will choose to sponsor or house a refugee while others will choose to send supplies to a refugee camp. Others will choose to help a local homeless shelter instead. All would be examples of living out what the Bible teaches without the need of government, not motivated by God's teachings in the Bible, to make the decisions and do the work for us.

There are ways to help that don't have to include bringing refugees into these countries when even United Nation's agencies are warning that the pared-down process is not good enough to properly check those who are coming.  

However, this does not remove the responsibility of Christians to help through Christ's commands to love our neighbors and the numerous Old and New Testament verses that show us the need to help the poor.

And now that more attention has been given to the number of refugees that come to our countries every year from different countries, it's a good time to question how well we meet those newcomers with the gospel. Do we make any effort to get to know these strangers to our culture or do we ignore them because they are different and we feel threatened or angered by the changes they bring to our culture?

We fight to proclaim America as a Christian nation. If this is true, no refugee from any country should be able to spend more than a short time here before they've been shown the love of Christ and heard the message of the Gospel.

What if who to help is left as a personal choice?

Yes, the homeless need  help too. You can do that

 By Scott Hilgendorff/Cowboys of the Cross

A lot of people have pointed to the vast number of homeless people in North America that need help more than refugees from a foreign country, especially when even the United Nations that helps coordinate refugee efforts are warning against the risks.

But we're expecting our government to be the ones to take care of the problem.

Proverbs 21:13Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered”

Luke 14:13-14 “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

While “social experiments” like the one in the posted video can call attention to needs or overlooked circumstances, I'm not a fan of  the methods like the one in this posted video. Even though they've helped someone, the homeless man's circumstances are ultimately being used for personal gain—in this case, traffic to their other videos and the money that can be made from multiple views.

But the video shows us a horrible side of us and our attitude toward the homeless despite bold statements we're making over social media.

I guarantee you that many of the voices now using the homelessness example as a reason to not help the refugees are the same people who simply say or think, “Get a job” when they encounter a man in need.

The video shows us just how human and just how real that man's needs are despite having food dumped on him and his observation that even the birds are getting something to eat while others are refusing to help him.

Those opposed to taking in a refugee because so many homeless are in need might do well to look at how they could help a homeless person get back on his feet.

As Christians, God didn't give that responsibility to the government. He gave it to us. The homeless man's willingness to help who he thought was a starving kid shows the compassion no one else was willing to give.