Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Video from Minnesota Cowboy Ministries

Minnesota Cowboy Ministries has produced our first new video. The photos and video portions were taken on a trip back to my hometown of Bay City, Texas in December, 2008.

One day mom and I decided to do a bit of sightseeing. Neither of us had been to the beach in several years so we decided that would be a great place to start. After crossing the Intercoastal Canal, we followed the Colorado River as it made its way to Matagorda Beach and the Gulf of Mexico. When we were within a couple of miles of the mouth, we came across a cattle drive.

Each year a local rancher moves his cattle to winter grazing on Matagorda Island. It takes up to a week to move the cattle into position before he swims the herd across the river. This is something the ranchers never advertise. If they did, the road would be lined with folks and the whole thing would end up in a mess.

What an event as Mom and I watched something I've wanted to experience since a boy. We watched the cattle swim the Colorado, barely a quarter of a mile from the Gulf of Mexico.

This event has happened each year in some form or another since the middle 1800s, and probably longer than that. For several years my dad, Alfred Schaal, accompanied the cowboys for several days to make sure the windmills that powered the watering tanks were working.

As the video starts you will see the cowboys gather the cattle and prepare to push for the river. (Of course, real Texans say "fixin' to push, but you get the picture.) At his signal, the trail boss ordered the cowboys to rally the herd and put them in a fast walk, if not a trot.

As they got to the river's edge, the cattle turned back and started to mill. The cowboys cut the herd into three pots and pushed the first into the river. The other two groups went across with little to no argument.

In one of the last photos, you can see a single cow along side a "john boat." She decided this was not fun and just short of the other side, she turned around and started back. Had the cowboys not turned her again and pulled her to the shore, she would have drowned. There's a word from the Father in that, isn't there?

The music that accompanies the video was written and recorded by a supporter of Minnesota Cowboy Ministries. The chorus captures what we stand for. I am pleased that we will be able to use this as a theme for our ministry.

We remember the Father wants each of us to be "Riding For The Brand."

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Blessings for a New Year. Blessed by a Promised Ministry

Viki and I are letting our friends in on some exciting news. For nearly ten years we waited for the Father to tell us what He had in store for us. We explored ministry to minorities, ethnic groups and fellowship groups in our church family to name a few. We explored restarting our music ministry through The Sounds of Praise.

Often we saw the Lord do great things. Opportunities to fill the pulpit in a local Chinese-speaking Baptist Church and as well as a Salvation Army Church kept the thought returning that I might again pastor a church family.

Each time, however, as I sat to mull the thought of leading a church again, I realized the things I enjoyed doing and believed I did best were the very things I spent less time doing when I pastored. What is worse, the activities I found tedious and often frustrating, and certainly areas I was less effective, were the very ones that absorbed most of my time.

I enjoy being with people. I am a people junky. I want to hear their stories. I want to know what is happening in their life. I need to know if their life is clicking, ticking and kicking right along.

The past three years found Viki and I immersed in the Minnesota horse culture. Sometimes it was western, rather like home (south Texas). Sometimes it was English Hunter/Jumper. The Minnesota equine world is often a mix of both.

One common issue we observed was that many in that world are not able to attend worship services or seek a fellowship of believers due to their “passion.” Often the passion became a business that ruled the day like an uncompromising task master.

We found many hungry for what Viki and I take for granted. We know that not only is our Father ready and willing to uphold us in times of great trial, in addition there are believers who will lift us to the Father with great patience and love.

We believe the Father has opened our eyes to a ministry need that fits who we are and what we stand for.

Minnesota Cowboy Ministries ( ) is committed to “being the body of Christ in a disembodied world.” It is a ministry of presence and relationship-building. Success is measured in seeing what the Father is doing. Great websites (which we don’t have) and outstanding logos (which we do have) will not make a difference in someone’s life.

We will see a life change because the Father will open our eyes and give us the opportunity to participate with Him.

We know there are many things we will do this year. The doing will not be celebrated. The being is the goal. Psalms 2: 11-12 tells us serve Him, rejoice in Him, bless Him and ultimately trust Him.

Lift us in prayer.