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There is no place like Texas to illustrate these age-old words of wisdom. And the rodeo arena is a proving ground.

DSCF4937Cowboys march to a different drum beat. Their walk, their talk, their attitudes illustrate the courageous spirit of the Lone Star State. And you don’t have to search long to find Texas pride and swagger, even among the kiddos.
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These pint sized cowboys and cowgirls have watched mama and daddy from birth. By age two or three they’re in the saddle. And by their teen years girls and boys know how to rope and ride. They’ve caught their parent’s attitudes and their actions will follow.
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A number of years ago my husband and I took relatives, visiting from New York, to a real, down-home rodeo (not the kind you see on TV or in a local coliseum). A bona’ fide rodeo. We parked the car, got out and my husband’s cousin caught the swipe of a horse’s tail. In the face.

Yikes! Bad start to the evening.

Cousin’s white canvas tennies sank in the Texas turf as we made our way through the crowd of contestants, livestock, and spectators, into the arena and to our seats in the bleachers. Of IMG_2713 239course, by this time, I’m revved. I wasn’t born Texan, but I’m a quick study and I love RODEO!

Ms. Cousin sat prune-faced and proper on the wooden seat, ‘til her expression morphed to horror at the scene playing out in the arena. Did I mention this was a Youth Rodeo?

First up was the small fry steer riding contest (actually just a calf). A kiddo, probably five years old, in boots, jeans, and a hat bigger’n him, stood beside his daddy next to the chute, sobbing, “I don’t wanna. I won’t do it!”

Daddy reached down, grabbed the reticent little cowpoke and handed him off to another cowboy, who held the kicking kiddo potato-sack-fashion under his arm.
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Well, Cousin Horrified become vocal. She leaped to her feet and screamed, “That’s child abuse. Are they going to make that baby ride a cow? Call somebody. Stop this, right now!” She stamped and fumed for the next few seconds while everyone seated around us smirked, snickered, and shook their heads.

Cowboy #2 handed the little cowboy back to Dad who plunked the little guy on the saddle, adjusted the boy’s rope, and gave the gatekeeper a nod. The gate flew open. The calf shot from the chute—jumpin’ and buckin’. First buck sent the little guy tumbling off the “steer,” and landing smack-dab on his fanny in the Texas dirt.

Cousin Vocal gasped and jumped up again. I thought she was gonna faint.

The now seasoned little dude scrambled to his feet, grinnin’ and bowin’.

The crowd cheered.

He bowed one more time and reached to pick up his hat. The IMG_2494 512confident little man slapped it against his leg, then jammed his mini Stetson even with his eyebrows, and strutted out the arena—just like the big cowboys!

The announcer called the kiddo on deck to join the fun.

Ms. Cousin stood and glared at me. “I want to go home. This isn’t my idea of entertainment.” And the evening came to an abrupt and IMG_2487 510sour end.

The actions and attitudes of her family, her life, had not prepared her for rodeo. She had no understanding of the event or the culture. So should we have knuckled and stopped Texas Rodeos because of her ignorance or opposition to this historical sport? Of course, not. That would be foolish.

But folks, the same scenario is taking place all over America DSCF4813every day. Interlopers from other cultures have moved here and are demanding we remake ourselves to be like them. Our national sovereignty is crumbling and we sit transfixed. Spectators rather than We, the people.

We have failed to maintain our founding fathers’ attitudes about God, absolute truth, right and wrong, personal responsibility, and accountability.

Jude, the half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the man who wrote next to last book in the New Testament said:

“…certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4 NAS).

Just like our New York cousins intruded in our Texas culture, desiring to change our ways based on their lack of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. People who worship false gods have likewise intruded, uninvited, into our land with the purpose and intent of changing our Constitution, our culture, and our laws,DSCF5006 and our faith in the Lord God Almighty. They have determined to make America just like the place they left behind. And we have not only allowed this destruction of our nation and faith, we have aided and abetted the rebellion by our silence.

When we come into God’s Kingdom, He doesn’t become like us. No, God graciously promises to transform us to Jesus’ image as we follow Him, obey Him, and love Him. In years past immigrants have come to America and have assimilated to the laws of the land and into the culture. That has been what has made our nation great. United as One Nation Under God!

Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Jude penned words we would do well to heed:

“…I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3 NAS).

And he ID’d these renegades so we could recognize the intruders.
“…these men revile the things which they do not understand;…these are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. Remember… ‘In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.’ These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit…keep yourselves in the love of God…have mercy on some who are doubting…save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh”
(Jude 10-23 NAS).

Are you contending for the faith? Trusting what our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished at Calvary was enough to present you faultless before God? Or are you too frightened to speak the truth of the Word of God to this perverted generation?

If you’re too frightened to speak truth now, what will you do when only the fearful, mockers, and godless remain? Will you speak now or never?

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