Dick Hunt's Blog

April 18, 2011

Cutting Horses and the Herd

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 6:57 pm

Cutting Horses and the Herd.
by Dick Hunt, April 18th, 2011.

For readers who are not familiar with the term “Cutting Horses”, it has nothing to do with knives.  It refers to a rider on a horse in the process of separating cattle from a herd and into a separate group or groups of cattle. In order for that to happen, a rider must be able to stay on the horse, often at full gallop and be almost a part of the horse which has an aptitude for that sort of activity. Putting an unqualified rider on a good cutting horse often results in the rider falling headlong off the horse in what can be a dangerous spill.  The cutting horse, trained and eager to do it’s job is a sight to behold, following the rider designated cow under the slightest pressure against it’s neck of the riding reigns and sticking with the animal through all it’s twists and turns until the cow is into a holding group.  The rider or riders in charge of the holding group(s) have the responsibility of keeping the newly separated animals from rejoining the original herd.  All of this is  carried out on the open range.

The instinct of the cattle thus separated is to return to the larger herd, even as a human being, separated from their familiar and in many ways supportive group, find it very easy to go back to the crony’s once so much a part of their lives. Politicians will know what I am referring to, as will sports fans, drinking buddies, gun clubs members, R.V. travellers etc..  Some people are pushed out of certain social groups, some opt out when they find something more to their liking or more gripping in their lives. I have been keenly aware of the pressures upon people who decide to leave lives of aimlessness or rebellion,  habit or addiction and who become members of new and more exciting groups or beliefs. Unless the new group is a meaningful, supportive, understanding and loving group, the new member can easily be wooed back into their former life with their former associates and habits.
Since I became fully aware that  Jesus is alive and very much present through His Spiirit when He visited me in the hayfield around my 32nd birthday,  I have not had the slightest desire to turn away from him and the love and forgiveness that he has constantly given me.  The verse in an old hymn says it well, “All other ground is sinking sand”.  That refers to Jesus’ teaching that building ones house on sand instead of rock invites disaster when the floods come and the house falls.  Lives built on personal opinions, various options, fads and trial runs, do not measure up.  A wise Christian leader has said, “It is not true that people will not believe in anything, but that whey will believe in anything. The key is to give up trying to serve oneself and deliberately set about serving God through personal commitment to him through Jesus Christ.  That requires obedience to him, prayer,  Bible study to become aware of what the Faith is all about.  Sound boring?

Not a bit of it!  I have read my Bible in many translations now since Christmas Eve of 1942 and it has been the most, (though not the only)  deep study I have ever undertaken. My account of that change in my life I have set down in other stories.  Briefly, it began with a very cold, windy  and rainy evening on an isolated R.C.A.F. Station off the west coast of B.C.  I had received no Christmas mail, I was lonely, the stage was set.  My friend Larry Goodwill and I went to the Recreation Hall for the Christmas Eve Communion service. There were 22 other men there, all drunk.  The Chaplain when he came in was drunk too.  We stayed for the service, I was shocked, went back up the hill to my barrack block, dug my Bible out of the bottom of my kit bag and read it all night, looking for answers. I have read it avidly ever since and always find it a ready and a fulfilling feast.  For all the years since Jesus came looking for me in the hayfield, I have been engaged in trying to persuade other people to follow Jesus Christ, through every means available to me, be it person to person, prayer, preaching, teaching, example, writing or whatever else comes to me.
I have two more things to add to this article. One is that in all the years since I came to Jesus as Saviour and Lord, I have never seen any other response to true commitment of a person to Jesus Christ than the joy and relief and gladness that they know when Truth and Love surrounds them and the Holy Spirit fills them. And as they find the group of believers in which they receive  the marvellous support and fellowship they need to grow in, they never want to leave and return to their previous life of wandering in the wilderness of unbelief and experimentation.  What they do is to give their lives to showing other needy people where to find the faith they so enjoy. Someone has said, it is like beggars who find bread and  always want to show other beggars where to find it.  Jesus Christ is the Bread of the world who fills the hungry with himself, the true Bread from heaven.

The other matter has to do with the direct way to discover who the  truth is and that he is the answer to the question Pontius Pilate asked Jesus when  he was about to order Him crucified. The question? What is truth? (John 18:38) Pilate  did not wait to hear the Truth, but did the ‘politically acceptable’ thing for the authoities and had him crucified. There is absolute Truth.  Jesus said to his Disciples,  “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me”. (John 14:6)  What I and billions of other believers have discovered down the years is that the Truth is found in Jesus and is the way to find the Father.

It is noteworthy that through the various Ministries of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association throughout the world in the year 2010, every 30 seconds a new convert was added securely to the Kingdom of God and began the new life as a active and joyful Christian.  Many other people were converted through many other Christian Churches as well. Converted is the key word.  It means literally, “turned around”.  From being off the road to Salvation to being on the road to Joy and Gladness.
A word about a calling to Minister in the name of Jesus Christ. Obviously everyone is not called to be Ordained to a full time pastoral or other ministry. Jesus calls us all to answer and  when we respond He assigns us our tasks and gives us the gifts, skills and resources to make it possible.  But everyone he calls to be his disciples (means, those who are disciplined to follow) are called to share the Good News that Jesus calls us and wants us to follow him, so that we can know Eternal life in the Kingdom of God. John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  There are only two choices available to us – to believe –  or to perish. That says plainly to me that I have a duty before God and that is to do my best as a Christian to inform people that Jesus is the way to God and wants to love us into the Kingdom.

Now, back to the herd instinct for survival.  Misery loves company and people with guilt complexes, drinking problems and various hang ups stick together for mutual support.  Persons who break out of the pattern and turn to Jesus as Saviour and Lord need to become active in a committed Christian fellowship for prayer, bible study and regular worship as quickly as possible.  There is a evil spirit called the devil, who immediately attacks new Christians as soon as they take a step outside the worldly group to begin their new life in Christ and he will not let up.  He whispers lies to us . Jesus called him a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44. Jesus was tempted by the devil immediately after God annointed him with his Spirit after his baptism at the hand of John the Baptist at the River Jordan. The devil quoted scriptures to him and Jesus anwered him with scriptures.  The devil will likely try the same tricks with you.  That is why we must know and understand the scriptures.  And that is why we must be with believers who test their beliefs with the Bible as accepted by the Churches down the ages without picking and choosing what we want to believe and ignoring the challenges of the rest. God bless you in His Love.

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