Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It’s almost Christmas!  Things are busy at our house just like they are at yours I’m sure.  Sometimes it almost seems too busy for our own good.  We, as Christians, keep squalling about keeping Jesus the Reason for the season and that Christmas is too commercialized and…you fill in the blank.  But if you think back to that first Christmas some 2,000 years ago, I am almost positive that Heaven was super busy too!  How would you get a multitude of Heavenly Hosts ready to sing to those shepherds?  I’m sure the Father made certain that they sounded their best when they welcomed His Son to earth, so there had to be choir practice!

Think of all the instructions that the angels had to carry out before all of this took place.  I am sure that they were listening to God and getting the instructions just right on what to say to Elizabeth, Zachariah, Mary and the dreams that they needed to stick in Joseph’s mind so it could all be fulfilled.  Maybe Christ’s birth has been a busy time since day one.  I’m grasping here I know but I don’t think things in Heaven ever slow down too much.

If you think about it, this time of the year is when we, as God’s children, should be busy.  This is the time of the year when a lot of people will open up their hearts to the greatest thing on earth, when some of these people, who will never darken a church door any other time, will come to church and hear the Gospel.  We, as Christians, have a chance to minister to them and others that need our help.  It’s a time of year when the love of Christ can shine through and people don’t mind it.  Maybe we, as the Body of Christ, can reach out to our neighbor whose is in need and give them a hand, or a plate of cookies or whatever God lays on your heart to do.

As somebody sang once, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year!” But maybe you’re not feeling it right now. Maybe you as a mature Christian are feeling the hurt of a relationship or the pain of a doctor’s report or the strain of finances. The folks at Canelo Cowboy Church want to help, just let us know how. We’re here for you. And maybe you might want to reach out to your neighbor. They may be hurting worse than you and you can bring that Christmas joy they need.

Merry Christmas! Please let me know if you need anything.  Naomi and I love you all.

Mary and Joseph

Last week we talked about Mary and her being able to trust God in each and every situation no matter how messed up it seemed. This week I want to talk about Joseph, the guy Mary was supposed to marry when the time came and then as you know, Mary showed up pregnant and, well put yourself in Joseph’s sandals!
I find it interesting that in Matthews Gospel that Matthew is quick to point out that Joseph was a righteous man (Matthew 1:19) and he was ready to divorce her quietly so Mary wouldn’t be disgraced publicly. In other words he would sign the necessary legal papers so she wouldn’t be judged publicly like the law commanded (Deuteronomy 22:22-23). It wasn’t because Joseph didn’t know the law. The word righteous to a Jew usually meant that he knew and kept the commandments. When the word is used here its meaning is, “It was not consistent to his unrighteousness to let her be publicly judged.” I am convinced that Joseph was hurting! He was wondering “How could she do this to me?” just like the rest of us would be doing. And we’d want revenge! But not Joseph. He was a just man as King James translated the word.
And then while Joseph was considering this an angel appears to him in a dream and said that Joseph shouldn’t be afraid of taking Mary to be his wife because, “what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Now I don’t know about you, but I’d be wondering if an angel really appeared to me in a dream of maybe one of the lamb chops I ate for supper was a little bit tainted! She had to have been cheating because he knew how babies are made. But the Bible says that when Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded and took Mary home to be his wife (Matthew 1:24). No questions asked. He just did it.
It reminds me of the Scripture in Proverbs 3:5&6, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Whatever tough decision you need to make, you just need to acknowledge Him. Talk to Him. Ask Him for wisdom in whatever circumstance you find yourself in and He is going to help you figure out which path to take! God desires a relationship with you just like that! He wants to be involved in your life and show you what’s right for you! He’s your Father!
Merry Christmas! Naomi and I love you all.


This week Naomi and I have been deer hunting. Now don’t worry you non-hunting types! As of this writing no animals have been harmed. But not for lack of trying! I am more of a hunter, not so much a gatherer!

But in my hunting this week I had a lot of time to think. I couldn’t help but thinking like a hunter. I mean, when I hunt there are certain things that I do that prepare me as a hunter. I wear hunting clothes. I put things in my pack that I will use through the day and, if I am successful, I have items to process the meat to get it from the field to the table. This is a given. It doesn’t matter if we’re hunting with a rifle or a bow and arrow, if I am going to be successful I need to do this. And I got to thinking, do I do that in my Christian walk? Paul lays it out for us in the Book of Ephesians how to have a successful day as a Christian. There are things all around us that want our attention. From our jobs to our co-workers and on and on. How do we stand as a Christian in this world? Paul tells the church at Ephesus to, “Put on the full armor of God.” In the 13 verse of the 6th chapter of Ephesians Paul tells us to put this armor on, “so when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” I love that! Put on the full armor, do what you can do and then just stand! Paul here isn’t talking to the whole army. He’s talking to us as individuals! Stand your ground! No retreating in Gods army! STAND! Paul tells us to stand firm then with the belt of truth. Who is truth? Jesus Christ! Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” 1st we have to know Him as our personal Savior! Have a relationship with Him. Not a Sunday religion, but a daily relationship. 2nd, Paul says to put on the breast plate of righteousness. 3rd, your feet need to be fitted with the readiness that comes with the Gospel of peace. Not fitted to run from problems, but when problems come (And they will come!), we can have the peace that it takes to meet them head on! 4th, the shield of faith that takes care of the flaming arrows that are shot at us in temptation and anger and fleshy things. Then 5th, the helmet of salvation. How in the world do I do all of that you ask? Every morning before you leave home you read your Bible and you pray for strength. Then you go out and face the world and just stand your ground! You pray for me and I’ll pray for you. Naomi and I love you all.

The Church and Bride of Christ

Jonas asked me to ride with him this past week, an opportunity that I jumped on because I enjoy checking cattle on horseback almost as much as I enjoy preaching! And I don’t get to ride near as much as I get to preach!

As I was riding along taking in all the sounds, sights and smells I got to thinking about how many times I’ve heard people say, “I don’t need no church to worship God! I can look at the beautiful things that God made and be right next to Him out here in nature!” And while this is all so very true, we don’t need a church to worship God, we need THE church to truly know His heart. You see, the church isn’t a building. The church is the people that use that building. The Bible calls the people that use the building the bride of Christ. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Christ’s bride is the church! Christ loves you and me with all of our faults and sins because we are His bride!

Ok preacher, what are you getting at? What does this have to do with me coming to church instead of communing with nature? Well everything actually! Think about it, if you are horseback all alone or hiking by yourself or even if you’ve stayed at home and are reading the Greatest Book, the Bible, how are you putting it into practice? Sure, you may be dealing with a hard headed horse or a witchy old cow, but is there a human that is maybe rubbing you the wrong way and MAKING you put His word into practice, namely, love your neighbor as yourself? Is there a cow (bovine) that is telling you what kind of person you are or are not? Most likely no. See, we need each other to rub off the rough edges and to make us more like Jesus. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth (Isaiah 53:7 NIV).” Jesus couldn’t do that from His throne in Heaven. He had to come to the Earth and rub shoulders with imperfect people to get that done. And He loved them anyway, no matter what they said or did or how they acted. He loved them.

So, next time you come to church and you see someone acting like the world, just remember Jesus loves them anyway. Remember, you can’t love Jesus and hate His bride.

You pray for me and I’ll pray for you. Naomi and I love you all.

He still loves us!

As I sit down to write this I am reminded, again, of how God loves me in spite of myself. I look back over this past week and I think of where I missed God and the opportunity’s that He gave me to minister to the hurting or where I got angry and I think, “God could use a rock in my place!” The apostle Paul said that he was “Chief among sinners (I Timothy 1:15)!” Meaning that he would trip, stumble and fall down. He had flesh and blood to contend with just like me. But Paul also knew about the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and I am learning about the same grace.

Have you ever studied Romans 7:18-19 & 24-25? 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature, for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no the evil I do not want to do –this I keep on doing. 24What a wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” What a true picture of the grace of our Jesus!”

You see, He was God who came to earth and became a man and had the same ailments and testing and trials that you and I have. He knows what He’s talking about when He offers us grace and He can understand when we fall down. He understands us and still loves us. And He promises that no matter what He is going to love us unconditionally! He also promises us that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us and that we are really, really His (Heb 13:5)!

Now I want to ask those of us that have children of our own, do our own children ever do anything that irritates you? Have your flesh and blood children (no matter how old they are) ever done something that makes you shake your head and wonder where all of their brain cells went? I know mine have and I also know that I did the exact same thing to my mom and dad! But no matter how stupid I was I still remained their son! And my offspring still remain my sons and daughters! Even if we don’t love them at the moment, our DNA is still the same and they will always be our children because we love them! Now, just multiply that love that you have for your kids by a billion and you still won’t come close to how much you Heavenly Father loves us. So, as we try to live a holy life, let’s remember that we have a Savior that loves us no matter what!You pray for me and I’ll pray for you. Naomi and I love you all. -Pastor Steve