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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I Believe

So many people in today's society try to look at worldly things to get "pumped up". Some things can't come from the world; including having trouble with your self-esteem, feeling unforgivable, or even having fear. Sometimes you need something stronger than what the world can give you; I believe that the stronger cure is connecting with God by reading the Bible.

So many women nowadays have self-esteem issues. Girls see people in magazines, and girls want to look exactly like those women; when they don't they feel ugly or not worth other people's attention. Well this is simply not how God wanted us to feel. One day Cynthia was looking in magazine and she felt this way exactly, but she opened her Bible. The first thing she saw was Proverbs 31:25, it says, "She is clothed and strength and dignity and laughs without fear the future." This verse gave her a strength to see who God wanted her to be. This was God's point of the verse, to show us how He wants us to act. She also saw that through Him she could have pride in herself and in God. God gives us these type of verses to bring us a peacefulness and show us that we can become new in Him. We can also realize that we are worthy of people’s attention and that we are beautiful. I believe that reading the Bible can better yourself esteem and give you the self confidence that you could not have had without God.

It is in human nature to do bad things, but that does not mean that you are unforgivable. God can forgive you! One day Daniel knew he had done something horrible, he had lied, he also thought that if people knew the truth they would never forgive him. He talked to his youth leader about it and his youth leader told him to read the story of David. He found out that David was a murder, a liar, a cheat, and even adulterer, yet he was still considered a man after God's own heart. Daniel was overjoyed he knew what he had to do, tell the truth and know that God would forgive him- and that was all that mattered. If you read the story of David you'll see many, many times he messed up, but he always turned back to God and every time God forgave him. This was amazing news for Daniel, and it can be amazing news for you too. I believe that reading the Bible can make you see that you are forgivable!

Today so many people are afraid of war and what other people can do to them. This is not how God wants us to live. Pastor Saeed is a man being held for his faith, he is now going on his third year in one of the world’s toughest prisons. He is beaten daily, among other horrible things, yet he doesn't ask to be rescued. What does he ask? He asks for the guards in charge of him to become Christians, that's all he wants, to be a witness. Psalm 118:6  says, "God is on my side. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" This is why Pastor Saeed doesn't ask to be saved, he knows that no matter what they do to him in prison, in the end he will be in the throne room of God and all the anguish he is in now won't even matter.  Man can do so many things to us, but how many of them are eternal? Nothing that man can do to us is eternal, that is what God is trying to tell us here. That no matter what the world does, God can always forgive us, and we will always be His. If we are Christians we are God’s children and He will take care of us no matter what. So I believe that reading the Bible can give you peace about what is going to happen, because no matter what happens God will always have our back.

So why try getting peace from the world? Somethings only God can help us with the most important things, that's why he gave us the Bible, to learn that God is an all powerful God and that He always has our best interest in mind. So go home and read your Bible you will be amazed at how much it can do.
Alicia Johnson

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Scamper the Wonder Horse

Scamper the Wonder Horse was my first horse; well to say she was a horse was stretch.  Scamper was a pony, my Dad bought her for me and she was mine; but a horse?  I think not.  I think he paid maybe twenty-five dollars for her…or maybe he traded nine chickens for her.  I’m not really sure, but she was mine and I was as proud as any five year old could be.  She was the beginning of my cowboy career and I had plans to be the next Jim Shoulders and Phil Lyne all rolled into one.

But before my cowboy career could begin, Scamper had a few kinks that needed ironing out.  Not huge issues, just things like laying down when she didn’t want to go and running off when she did want to go.  There wasn’t a whole lot of in between with Scamper.  But it wasn’t a big deal for a top hand like I was going to be.  It was just a chance to show the world a what a wolf of the world looked like.

The first thing we dealt with was the running off, and really the running off wasn’t that huge a deal.  Heck, I could ride her as fast as she could run.  It was all the things she would brush me against the concerned me!  She would run off (which consisted of a combination of her bone jarring trot and her ground hammering lope) with me pulling on both reins for all I was worth and Dad would start hollering, “Just pull one rein, just pull one rein”

That was easy for him to say, he wasn’t riding this wild mustang that I was riding.  I couldn’t hear him anyway; I was way more concerned with dying.  We would bolt around the arena, or around the barn, with her brushing up against things trying to knock me off and me pulling for all I was worth to get her to stop.  Once Dad had several young horses tied to the fence when Scamper ran off.  She ran up between the fence and those young horses.  You would have thought it would have caused a big wreck, but other than undoing all of Dad’s training, breaking a few lead ropes and catching those lead ropes under my chin as I laid back in the saddle….it went surprisingly well.

The laying down was the other issue that I needed to work out with her.  When she didn’t want to go anymore, she would just lay down.  Didn’t matter where you were or what you were doing.  She’d just quit.  I spent many a day jumping up and down on her sides trying to get her to get back up.  All she would do was just lay out on her side like she was just waiting to die.  And I can tell you, there were many time I wished she would have died…or that I could have killed her!

We got most of these kinks worked out in the arena and Dad finally felt comfortable enough to take me with him to check cows.  I was some kinda excited.  I left the house in all my cowboy gear ready to show my Dad what a hand I had become.  I had my best hat, my boots, my rope  and my chaps.  I also had what no self-respecting cowboy would be without; I had my pistol in the holster on my hip.  I, not only was ready to do cowboy work, I was dressed properly to perform these important actions. 

Dad was riding a big gelding we called Festus. 

Now Festus, it seemed to me, was nineteen feet tall with a head that was almost that long too.  So, Scamper and I did have somewhat of a hard time keeping up.  The best we could manage was to travel a little ways back of them, in her spine battering trot.  At one point, I started to wonder if I would ever have kids (just kidding, what five year old thinks about having kids?).  I couldn’t have been prouder though.  I was going to do real live cowboy work on my own horse, with my Dad.  Whoo Hoo!

As we traveled along, suddenly Dad kicked Festus into a lope and they soared over this irrigation ditch.  It probably wasn’t a huge ditch, at least not for Festus.  They cleared it rather easily and Dad pulled up on the other side to check on me.  I pulled ol’ Scamper to a stop at the edge of the ditch and it might as well have been the Atlantic Ocean.  I felt like, not only was I riding the smallest horse in the world, but that I was the littlest kid too.

But, my Dad was there to encourage me.  He didn’t say too much, no long speeches for him that day.  He just said, “You can make it”.  If it was one thing I believed, it was whatever my Dad told me.  Heck I was the kid he could get to jump off the top of the garage into his arms…man, after writing that down…I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer was I?  But I digress…back to the ditch.

I turned Scamper around and rode back toward the house, when I was about twenty yards away I turned around and lined her up on the ditch.  I took the end of my reins and started whipping her over and under, I knew that we needed a lot of speed to cross that Grand Canyon of an irrigation ditch.  I would like to say that she took off with all of the speed of a thouroghbred racehorse, but we were pretty much in that same spleen splattering trot/lope thing.  But she was going somewhat faster.  As we neared the ditch, I started having visions of us flying over that ditch somewhat like Pegasus.  That we would clear it and I would come to a sliding stop like the top professionals that we were.  I could just picture my Dad’s chest swelling up with pride, knowing that his legacy was going to continue in a grand fashion.  There would be dancehall gals singing and everyone would be beating me on the back in congratulations and buying me drinks……of milk.

As we raced toward the edge of the ditch, with all of the brain rattling, kidney collapsing speed that could be mustered by a short legged pony; Scamper must have been feeling all of the confidence that I was oozing, because at about ten feet from the ditch, she jumped. She surely must have thought that she grew wings.

To say we missed would be an understatement.  We landed smack dab in the middle of the ditch and sunk to the bottom.  Obviously not a wide ditch, but it was deep.  Both of us went under and came back up spraying water like a couple of Beluga whales.  As we scrambled out, to my horror…I could hear my Dad laughing.  I was cold and wet, not the least bit happy about the situation and I had a new found hate in my heart for this worthless, early jumping, nine chicken pony.  But my Dad…he just couldn’t stop laughing.  I just knew that I could no longer call myself a cowboy, I mean, come on…any hand worth his salt could have made that jump, right?

Dad finally got himself under control and shared with me some of the wrecks he had growing.  He let me know part of being a cowboy was celebrating the wrecks that you have.  Laughter is contagious and eventually I laughed a little too.  It wasn’t until much later that I realized that this was part of the initiation that goes along with being a cowboy.  If you haven’t been a wreck or two, then you probably have done much.

You know, I don’t really recall what happened to Scamper.  I just remember I started riding real horses at some point.  I supposed Dad traded her off to the next growing cowboy, or maybe he sold her for twelve chickens.  I don’t know.