In the Arena

Verse of the Day

Presenting the Flag

Charles speaking at Cowboy Church
Charles as guest Preacher at Step of Faith Ministries
Listen to the message here!

Dunamis working cows

From Michele's Notebook

Dunamis - Greek for: power, strength, violence, mighty work, ability, abundance, meaning, might.

Our stock dogs are the definition of "intense" when it comes to working cattle. Dunamis, our older Kelpie, tries to live up to his name’s meaning each time he works. While going to the pasture where his work is to take place, he is to stay behind the horse and rider following our lead until given the command to do more. He follows quietly, yet ever attentive to not miss the command, “step up." That is all it takes. Two simple words release him to move in. In an instant he is at work sending cattle on their way, keeping them bunched, pushing them to the corral. Nothing slows him, nothing distracts him. Though he may have been kicked down last time, or obstacles are in the way, he stays focused on his task. If one cow tries to balk, he turns up the pressure. He doesn’t slack up because a cow wants to argue about his request. A sharp blow to the ribs doesn't convince him to stop. He pays no attention to the horses in adjacent fields because they are not his target. Constantly, he maintains his focus. But when the cattle are all in the corral, he immediately calms and patiently waits in the shade until called to work again. Tomorrow and the next day and the next day, he will go out and be just as intense and focused in his work.

If only we as Christians could always live that way! We should be led by the Holy Spirit, following closely and attentively, eagerly awaiting that simple command, “step up.” Yet how many times do we refuse to follow Him? We either want to do our own selfish will ignoring His leading, or don’t wait for the proper time. If you do respond to His commands, how do you respond to the circumstances? Do you hesitate when you remember all the times you have been knocked down? Does the task seem to have too many obstacles? Are you afraid that if your "cows" stampede, you will have no "horse and rider" to back you up? Do you tire of the task set before you because it is the same thing you've done before?

Sometimes, our situations need a little more “pushing.” One winter right after the first snowfall, I sent Dunamis to push the cows to the corral. They were not wanting to respond to his request, causing him to have to push a lot more than usual. He was unsure about their refusal, knowing that usually they go much easier and, as his leader, I had to keep urging him to “step up.” God will do the same with us in situations when we need to keep pushing forward. He is always there to be our leader, always there to back us up when needed, and always there to encourage us to keep going!

When he is working, Dunamis worries about nothing and is distracted by no one and no thing. He was created for the purpose of working cattle. Just as God has done with us, we have helped Dunamis develop and refine the natural abilities he was given for his job. But as with us, if Dunamis has some time off he becomes dull to our commands and has to be tuned up. Likewise, if we don’t stay tuned in to God, our response to His commands dwindles.

So we continue with our training of Dunamis, making him more refined in his obedience. Similarly, God continues with us, tuning us in to His perfect will. Looking to create an intense follower who, at a simple command, will not be afraid to “step up” to perform the task set before us.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Heb 12:1)

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