Monthly Archives: April 2011

People You Should Know #7 “John Newton”

John NewtonREFORMED SLAVE TRADER “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” It is probably the most famous hymn in history:   Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,  that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost, but now am found,  Was blind but now I see. Though some today wonder if the word wretch is hyperbole or a bit of dramatic license, John Newton, the song’s author, clearly did not. Slave traderNewton was nurtured by a Christian mother who taught him the Bible at an early age, but he was raised in his father’s image after she died of tuberculosis when Newton was 7. At age 11, Newton went on his first of six sea-voyages with the merchant navy captain.Newton lost his first job, in a merchant’s office, because of “unsettled behavior and impatience of restraint”—a pattern that would persist for years. He spent his later teen years at sea before he was press-ganged aboard the H.M.S. Harwich in 1744. Newton rebelled against the discipline of the Royal Navy and deserted. He was caught, put in irons, and flogged. He eventually convinced his superiors to discharge him to a slaver ship. Espousing freethinking principles, he remained arrogant and insubordinate, and he lived with moral abandon: “I sinned with a high hand,” he later wrote, “and I made it my study to tempt and seduce others.”He took up employment with a slave-trader named Clow, who owned a plantation of lemon trees on an island off of west Africa. But he was treated cruelly by Clow and the slaver’s African mistress; soon Newton’s clothes turned to rags, and Newton was forced to beg for food to allay his hunger.The sluggish sailor […]

People You Should Know #6 “Richard Baxter”

Richard BaxterMODERATE IN AN AGE OF EXTREMES “I preached … as a dying man to dying men.” Richard Baxter never received a higher commission than that of parish pastor to loom workers in Kidderminster. Still, he was the most prominent English churchman of the 1600s. He was a peacemaker who sought unity among Protestants, and yet he was a highly independent thinker—and at the center of every major controversy in England during his lifetime. Nonconformist who sought unityBorn in Rowton to parents who undervalued education, Baxter was largely self-taught. He eventually studied at a free school, then at royal court, where he became disgusted at what he saw as frivolity. He left to study divinity, and at age 23, he was ordained into the Church of England.Within the Anglican church, Baxter found common ground with the Puritans, a growing faction who opposed the church’s episcopacy—and was itself breaking into factions.Baxter, for his part, did his best to avoid the disputes between Anglicans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and other denominations, even convincing local ministers to cooperate in some pastoral matters. “In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity,” he was fond of saying.The interest in cooperation was not due to a lack of conviction. On the contrary, Baxter was opinionated in his theology, which was not quite Separatist and not quite Conformist. Among his more than 200 works are long, controversial discourses on doctrine. Still, he believed society was a large family under a loving father, and in his theology, he tried to cut between the extremes. He eventually registered himself as “a mere Nonconformist” (“Nonconformist” was a technical term meaning “not Anglican”), breaking with the Church of England mainly because of the lack […]

People You Should Know #5 “Ambrose of Milan”

Ambrose of MilanMOST TALENTED BISHOP OF THE EARLY CHURCH “When we are speaking about truth and life and redemption, we are speaking about Christ.” “When we speak of wisdom, we are speaking about Christ. When we speak about virtue, we are speaking about Christ. When we speak about justice, we are speaking about Christ. When we are speaking about truth and life and redemption, we are speaking about Christ.” So wrote Ambrose, bishop of Milan, biblical exegete, political theorist, master of Latin eloquence, musician, and teacher; in all these roles, he was speaking about Christ. Arrested careerThe first Latin church father from a Christian family, Ambrose was also born into power, part of the Roman family of Aurelius. The pope and church dignitaries visited his parent’s home when he was a child, and he was a governor in Italy’s northern provinces before the age of 30. As he was sent, the prefect gave him a word of prophetic advice: “Go, conduct yourself not as a judge, but as a bishop.”Indeed, even as governor he had ecclesiastical problems to deal with. Orthodox Christians and Arians were practically at war at the time. Ambrose was no friend of the Arians, but he was so well regarded that both sides supported him. When the bishop of Milan (an Arian) died, Ambrose attended the meeting to elect a replacement, hoping that his presence would preempt violence between the parties. Much to his surprise, both sides shouted their wish for him to be their replacement.Ambrose really didn’t want to be an ecclesiastical leader; he was doing quite well as a political one. And he hadn’t even been baptized yet! But the people wrote to Emperor Valentian, asking for his seal […]

The few people who pass through La Gloria, Texas on Hwy 755, nearly 50 miles South of Hebbronville seeing only the community post office, a closed gas station, several houses, a sign pointing the way to the local church, and the requisite small town sampling of horses, dogs, and roosters probably have no idea of the excitement generated in the Santa Maria Bullring three weekends early each Spring. The small dusty South Texas town hidden away in the mesquite and prickly pear comes alive with shouts of “El Toro!”, and “Ole!” when the Matadors come to town! The bullring sits behind the Post Office and is owned and operated by La Gloria resident Fred Renk. Renk, the father of David “El Texano” Renk, the only American bullfighter to confirm his status as a matador at the Plaza Mexico in Mexico City, raises the fighting bulls and secures some of the most successful and famous matadors from across Mexico to perform at Santa Maria Bullring. The Mexican fighting bulls are selected primarily for strength, vigor, intelligence and their aggressive behavior with little or no provocation. Fighting cattle are recognized for their elegant stature. The Toro has a long curved neck and holds its head very high. The breed it noted for its superb agility, and the long slender legs allow it to generate remarkable speed (faster than a quarter horse at 100 yards). Fully mature bulls weigh about 1100 to 1600 lbs. Renk has successfully taken this spectacle on the road pitting man against beast in venues such as the Houston Astrodome. Saturday, May 7th, at 6:30PM the contest will be played out at the Poteet Strawberry Festival Arena. Sponsored by Cowboy Fellowship of Atascosa County […]

By |April 12th, 2011|arena|0 Comments

Egg Hunt!!!

Tyanna is looking forward to the Cowboy Fellowship Easter Egg Hunt to be held Friday, April 22nd at the Jourdanton City Park at 6:30 in the evening! Bring your baskets and join the fun! Hunts will be divided by age. It’s all FREE and there will be plenty of fun, candy, and eggs for all!!! Please feel free to invite your friends and spread the word.

BOOST 2011 brought a fun and information filled weekend to Cowboy Fellowship. Participants were treated to the music of ‘Branded’ and fun times of fellowship accompanied by tasty meals and treats. The event schedule was packed with sessions that delivered on the promise of education, growth, and connection. Classes were led by Bill Claiborne, Bill Bryan, Jimmy Smith, Gene Wilkes, Joe Santee, Scott Willingham, and the members of Branded, as well as our own J.D. Dunson, John Elmore, Adam Shelburne, Scotty Smith, and Pete Pawelek. BOOST originated several years ago as a forum to train, encourage and promote unity in purpose among the leadership of Cowboy Fellowship, and has since grown to include anyone who would like to attend. This year’s event drew attendees not only from among the ranks of Cowboy Fellowship, but from other cowboy churches as well.

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