Inside the heart of bull riders.

by Kevin on July 13, 2010

Bull riders by nature are a cocky bunch. I have always enjoyed being around these special (education) cowboys. Bull riding is the only sport that I know of where a good ride is not getting killed or seriously injured. A great ride is when you actually ride 8 seconds and get a score. A fantastic ride is when you get a really high score. This sport has two types of cowboys: those with more courage than God should have given someone and those that ain’t got a lick of sense.

I have noticed that bull riding is changing. I can remember when there were two sections of bull riding at the Pecos Rodeo. Everyone went to see people like Tuff Hedemen, Ty Murray, Mark Cain, the Carrillo Brothers, and Lane Frost.

I got to shake Lane’s hand one year. I didn’t know who he was, I just heard someone say, “Good ride Lane.” I looked up to see a bull rider with his rigging bag on his shoulder and so I repeated the statement. He looked down at me and said, “Thanks cowboy, I’m Lane Frost.” I shook his hand and told him my name. He then politely kept going on about his business.

I was watching these bull riders walk by at a rodeo recently and I noticed that I was getting old. Some of these bull riders had long hair. Some of them had such curly hair that it stuck out from underneath their hat. I have come to the realization that these poor guys are so busy traveling up and down the road that they don’t have time to get a hair cut and may not even have time to go to church.

I am going to quit my job and go to barber school so I can travel with these guys and cut their hair. While I have scissors in my hand and they are strapped in my chair, I am going to tell them about Jesus Christ and how He died for them. You don’t want to make too much of a fuss if someone has scissors in their hand and they are using them on you.

Another thing these poor guys don’t have time to do is buy a pair of boots. These cowboys were so broke that they were walking around in flipity-flopity sandals. I had never in my life seen a cowboy wear a pair of foot thongs, some Abercrombie jeans, a T-shirt, and a hat that had a hole in the top where the crown should have been. Bull rider attire has sure changed since I was a kid.

But you know, times are changing and what these new cowboys wear has nothing to do with who they are. They may be different than when I was growing up, but that doesn’t make them wrong. It’s a new day and age and I guess I am old fashioned.

The early Jewish church was old fashioned as well. Some could not understand that a new day and a new covenant had arrived.

Acts 15: 5, 10-11

5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.”……10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

These religious guys were saying that you still had to obey the law of Moses to be right in God’s eyes. The Apostle Peter tells them that they don’t have to obey the law of Moses to be right with God, only through the grace of Jesus Christ can they be saved. No longer do we have to sacrifice animals and worry about purifying ourselves. No longer do we have to go to the High Priest so he can help us get our sins forgiven. Through the law of Moses and the Ten Commandments we learned how big of sinners we actually were. Through the blood of Jesus Christ we learned that we are forgiven of those sins by faith in Him.

Just like the clothes don’t make the cowboy anymore, our deeds don’t define our salvation. It doesn’t matter what kind of clothes you wear, a cowboy is defined by what is on the inside. Our Christian lives must begin on the inside also. A good life on the outside means a good start on the inside. A sinful life on the outside means there is something missing on the inside. You can’t have Jesus in your heart and live a wicked life, it’s not possible. Intellectual belief in God will not get you eternal life, only true faith will.

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  • Great word. I was listening to Graham Cooke the other day and he said that any move of God begins with renewing the heart of the church, and is then followed by something completely and utterly different. Barbershop Church sounds like a great one!

    • Kevin

      If you ever saw me with a pair of scissors I suggest that you saddle up and ride fast.

    • Kevin

      I read that the other day. Kind of hits home doesn’t it?

  • Hi Kevin,
    It’s Ivy Morrison from “A Walk in My Shoes” blog. Thank you so much for your kind comment. We do put up with a lot, but hey who doesn’t? Sorry it took so long to get over to your site I just have started to look around and since my husband was a bullrider this article of course stood out to me. Made me laugh and I’m going to guess you are a Timey, am I right? lol. Anyways can’t wait to look around a bit more. I pray you and your wife blessing in the cowboy ministry! Keep up the good work.

    • Kevin

      Thanks for stopping by Ivy. I was all roughstock all the way. Go rough or go home!!

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