There have been many times that I wanted to be in charge of my own life. I was so proud as to think I could come up with a greater plan than what my Father in heaven had for me. It is foolishness to think this way. This past weekend of service brought me to a new level of appreciation that my life has been caught up in the vision that our eternal God has for me. My dreams and aspirations have been so far exceeded that I no longer even consider them as real options.
Over the course of my five days of travel, I had seven scheduled occasions where I was to serve people in organized events. Each of these scheduled occasions provided me with unique opportunity to speak and demonstrate the Gospel of the Kingdom. Hundreds of people had personal encounters with God and the name of Jesus was lifted up. I broke three different horses (one of which started as a predator), I sat in the living room of a broken-hearted mother whom I desperately wanted to help and I had very little to say and I personally was able to visit with dozens of people whose encounter had led them to decisions to align their lives with the will of God. It was all very good.
What I am about to say is not to minimize the significance of public ministry or the impact of the events we participate in. But, as I reflect on the highlights of the week, I keep thinking about the hug I got from a young bull rider. He is a man that is surrounded by thousands of fans and temptations that most will never have to face. When he told me what my friendship has meant to him, everything became simple again. Life and ministry is about relationships. It’s those people who we do life with and allow ourselves to become vulnerable with that helps us see our significance. The Bible says that if we say we love God, but don’t love people then we are liars. I have many people commend and encourage us as a ministry for the public work we are a part of and I agree that it is significant. But the greatest work I will ever do is to fall deeper in love with Jesus and deeper in love with people. The same is true for you. Your ministry awaits you. What a joy to serve a King who values the little people.
Hi family, We made it home from Vegas and are relatively rested. I have put a considerable amount of time praying and thinking about how to communicate to you all what has taken place while we were at the finals. Each of you are a critical part of what the Lord allows us to share in through this work, but it is nearly impossible to communicate to you what actually happens. I know the most common way is to give you statistics (i.e. how many people we were able to give the message to) or to just give individual testimonies of lives touched. Both of which are great, but tonight I really believe what I need to share with you is what may be the bigger picture. Most of my life in Christ I have walked by faith and have rarely had a real sense of why I do what I do. Tonight I want to give you a glimpse of what our Father has revealed to me and how he has encouraged my heart by showing me what he has accomplished in our traveling community called the PBR.
Last Thurs. night I stood as a witness to what I have recognized as a miracle. At the close of the second round of the world finals, the arena announcer congratulated the nights champion and then introduced a group of men that consisted of the reigning world champion, the current number one ranked man, two founding members Cody Custer and Adriano Moraes, and a mob of other radical disciples of Jesus who ride bulls for a living. One of these men was the same guy who had a vision when he and I were praying several years ago. The vision was of him riding a bull in a packed coliseum and after he rode, he saw blood flowing from the top of the building all the way down the side. After the blood passed, the walls were turned to gold. He said the sporting arena became a tabernacle for Gods glory to be shown. This night it happened. While I listened, three of the men individually took the microphone and told their 15,000 attending fans that they are appreciative of their support of their bull riding but the next hour was committed to sharing with them the message that had saved and changed each of their lives. Although all but a few thousand left, the next hour was nothing short of a supernatural expression of our Father to the people he had hand selected to receive a revelation of his plan for their lives. I stood in the middle of a round pen with a horse circling me and listened to Jeremy Riddle sing of a man being broken as he is delivered from the sin that had enslaved him. I spoke of an eternal Kingdom and a plan that goes beyond what our people had settled for. I gave an invitation for people to stop the running and turn and trust a Father who loves them and offers a great plan for their lives. It was a great event and untold lives were rescued, but this is only a glimpse. You have to understand that the sound, lighting, production, staging, video, the provider of the Horse, labor, security, were all volunteers who gave sacrificially of themselves. Not only were they volunteers, but they were 95% non-Christians. The reason I am making such an issue of this is because we have spent 10 years loving a godless, cynical staff that has seen it all and laughs at most ministries. Why would they give of themselves to help us pull off this amazing event? I believe the answer is that we have preached unapologetically the raw message of Jesus Christ and the hopelessness of all man kind apart from him and we have loved these people with the same wreck less abandon. Jesus was firm in his message but unmovable in his love of sinners. I am glad to consider myself a part of a ministry that insists on being real and really in love with people. Please consider the significance of what happens when we choose to love people enough to accept them where they are and let the Holy Spirit be the one to work in their hearts. Before I left Las Vegas, I walked through a TV production trailer to thank them for their help. Instead, they thanked me for letting them be a part of it. What would happen in each of your work places if you understood the significance of making your convictions known and then daring to love those who laugh at your message. Todd and Leslie