Spring 2012— 2012—Volume 1, Issue 1
A Ministry Publication Molecules-to-Mare Evolution —IsofIteQuest True?For Truth
eQuest For Truth 20102010-2011 Youth Contests in Review
Belgian Horses Meet Christi Gordon Gordon-Christian Reining Competitor
And Much More!
Equus Ex Nihilo— Nihilo—A Good Report Rebekah L. Holt, Editor of Equus Ex Nihilo Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true...honest... just... pure...lovely...are of good report; if there be any virtue, and...praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Contents A Good Report...Editorial By Rebekah L. Holt
Christian Family Fun Excerpts from Newspaper
Youth Contests in Review
Horse Senses By Kayli Hall
Therapeutic Horseback Riding By Kayli Hall
Belgian Horses By Bethany Holt
As eQuest For Truth celebrates 6 years of ministry this year, it seemed high time to offer a more personalized news report to arrive in your inbox throughout the year. Equus Ex Nihilo is as effort to get you involved in fellowshipping with other Christian equus enthusiasts! This is written for you and we hope you’ll want to lend a hand and send us your submissions to fill the pages. Our desire for this publication is that it will be edifying to the whole family, that it will be a fun, informative read and ultimately, this e-zine will bring glory to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
It’s Puzzling Activity Page 15 God’s Creatures By Hannah Launius
Meet Christi Gordon— Christian Reiner By Abi Gordon
Molecules to Mare Evolution—Is It True? By Rebekah L. Holt
Ten Guidelines to Live a Pure Christian Life By Rebekah L. Holt
I begin this publication somewhat as a “veteran” news reporter. ☺Years ago, my family produced a series of comical newsletters called, The Good Report. Our slogan was “The Seasonal Newspaper for the Seriously Dedicated Friends
and Family.” Indeed, looking over the hilarious archive of The Good Report, it took dedication to read through our antics! We had a great time providing good news from the scriptures and from our home in efforts to brighten our readers’ days. You can read The Good Report excerpts on “Christian Family Fun” featured on page 3. Hopefully you will enjoy. In many ways, my family’s endeavors with The Good Report embodies some of my intentions for this publication. We all need a good report to cheer our day and to encourage us in a world of bad news.
“Encourage one another and build each other up. “ 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Equus Ex Nihilo Published Quarterly by eQuest For Truth 7238 CR 36550 Arthur City, TX 75411
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Belgian Team Photo on Cover Courtesy of Peter Fleming
Info@equest4truth.com www.equest4truth.com www.equest4truth.com Editor: Rebekah L. Holt No articles or photos may be reprinted without written permission from eQuest For Truth
Our special for this issue is a review of all the 2010-2011 youth contests. You will no doubt be inspired and exhorted by reading and viewing the delightful entries provided by talented young Christians. Perhaps you know of a young person that would like to be apart of our annual contests. Please share the news! We have three contests coming up for 2012. Be sure to check the eQuest For Truth website for contest updates. Suggested by Abi Gordon, one of our 2011 Photo Contest Winners, this e-zine will be featuring an interview of a Christian equestrian in each issue. In this issue we interview Miss Christi Gordon, a reining competitor who rides a striking Palomino tobiano gelding named Nugget. Don’t miss reading about the amazing Belgian horse in the article written by Bethany Holt (my sister!). No doubt you’ll enjoy Hannah Launius’ poem, “God’s Creatures” just as I have! There’s also an “It’s Puzzling!” activity page formatted in grayscale for printing.
As a Christian equestrian, you need to read “Molecules to Mare Evolution—Is It True?” Here we examine the effects of mutations and natural variation in the horse kind and provide a Biblical Worldview interpretation of the evidence. Lastly, EEN features a reprint of “Ten Guidelines to Live a Pure Christian Life.” I wrote this article when I was a teen for a teen audience. These ten Biblical principles still ring true for application in this generation. Keep in touch readers! We need your prayers, your input, your suggestions, your encouragement and your help to keep this ministry outreach in production. I look forward to hearing from you.
Write me @ firstname.lastname@example.org Happy Reading!
Wondering why we picked a name like Equus Ex Nihilo? Nihilo Well, we admit it sounds a little like a stuffy mouth full—however, in Latin it basically means, “horse out of nothing.” In other words—we chose to name this publication in accordance with our belief that God created the equidae kind from nothing but His majestic handiwork on Day 6 of the Creation week recorded in Genesis 2. Revelations 4:11 reminds us that our Lord created all things for His pleasure and for our benefit!.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created. Now that’s a good report! ☼
A Man’s Point of View By Sir Buddy Fitzgerald Lately I have become victim of the new language “Stinky Pete-ish”, a revised dialect of East Texas English all by my three year old son, Stinky Pete. It is a very diverse language that when spoken causes smirks and giggles while I look on seeing nothing abnormal due to my thorough indoctrination.
The Ed Holt Family Fall 2011 Publishers of an All American original The Good Report!
Christian Family Fun Featuring Excerpts From The Good Report It seems a shame not to share these humorous attempts of our family to write a family newspaper. As these excerpts will reveal, every family member had their part to play. We all created pen names for ourselves. We were the “Fitzgerald” family with such names at Sir Buddy, Lady Dorthea, Amelia Priscilla, Erdmuth, Effie, Penelope, Stinky Pete and Tweeky. Other guest writers (just another pen name for another family member) included Wawee Wacing, the die hard mechanic and Smiley Brunette, the newspaper’s editor! And not just any family would admit it either!!! Certainly we did not take ourselves too seriously! Of course, we’ve all grown up and new Holts have been added to the clan after we discontinued writing The Good Report.
How does your Christian family make your own wholesome “fun”? We’re looking for submissions for this column. Write and tell us at email@example.com
Penelope and Effie’s Press Subject: Goats Penelope and I have twin goats. Their names are Zorro The Fox and Tyree. Tyree We bought them for our pets. Penelope and I share in the chores and exercise. We also enjoy playing with them. Zorro and Tyree are cute to watch as they hop up on their barrel and jump off the wall of the chicken house. They like to nibble on our clothes, and when we run away from them, they are always right at our heels. Goats are lots of fun!
My workmen looked with arched brow when I told them to “Hornk the horn.” When my crew asked what tools we needed for a job, I simply told them, “Wrench Pinches” (a crescent wrench). As I purchased auto parts for my son, Levi, I told them to charge it to “Wawee.” The man seemed to understand, then in a moment asked “Who in the world is Wawee?” (Stinky Pete’s pronunciation of Levi!) Little did I know now much my vocabulary would be changed when that little boy came into this world. He seemed rather harmless, but he’s a bear when it comes to English!
The Peas on Our Plate By Smiley Brunette Too often all of us can look only at the disadvantages of something, complain and wish for something that we think is better. We forget that God has had a plan for us from the very beginning. Moreover, we totally overlook that we are to be happy in, as my piano teacher said it, “the peas on our plate”—the distasteful and tough trials of life. 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Very likely through a time of discontentment there will seem to be no earthly way for this “pea” to be a highlight. That is right! There is no earthly way to look at what God has brought us to do. We cannot look to the world for answers to our supernatural “peas”. We must look to the horizon, above all else and get God’s view.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with peas; they’re fuel for growth!
eQuest For Truth’s 2011 Best Landscape Photograph, Photograph “Hanging Around” by Miss Abi Gordon of Colorado
Youth Contests In Review Starting in 2010, eQuest For Truth began hosting an annual Youth Writer’s Contest. This contest originated as a means to provide Christian youth equestrians an outlet to publish their work. In return, we would reward their efforts with educational Christian resources. With two years of contests under our “belt”—we are very excited to share the retrospect results. Miss Kayli Hall from Texas captured the 2010 prize for her article, “Horse Senses.” You can enjoy reading “Horse Senses” on page 7 in this issue. Starting in 2011, eQuest For Truth began to host art and photographer contests in addition to the writing contest. Both the photography and art contests were well received and drew the attention of many tal-
ented youth contestants. The photography contest winners were Miss Abi Gordon for her Best Landscape entry, “Hanging Around,” Miss Elizabeth Megill captured the Best Action category and Master Kaleb Hall was our winner for the Best Donkey category. The art contest winners included, 1st prize to Miss Jisoo Park for her fabulous watercolor “Equus is Running Because of Jesus”, 2nd place to Miss Haylee Legg with her skilled pencil sketch “American Saddlebred”, and 3rd place to Master Reuben Kesler for his meaningful pencil sketch. Each winning contestant, in addition to their entry, had to provide a written essay why their photograph or art work supported the 2011 universal contest theme:
On the Cover: eQuest For Truth’s 2011 Youth Art Contest 1st Place Entry “Equus is Running Because of Jesus” by Miss Jisoo Park of California
“Equus —Declaring the Glory of God.” Each contestant’s essay is published on the following pages for your interest. eQuest For Truth’s winner of the 2011 Youth Writer’s Contest was none other than Miss Kayli Hall, who once again provided a well written article, this time about therapeutic riding. Miss Hall’s winning article is published in full on page 9. Special thanks to all our participants who shared their talents with us. We hope that each one of you will continue developing your God given abilities and use these special gifts for His glory. We also hope you’ll join us again for 2012’s upcoming contests. Our contests for 2012 will feature a few changes—so be sure to watch for details on the Contest page on the eQuest eQuest For Truth website. Page 4
Elizabeth Megill writes about her Best Action entry: Job 39:19-22 says: Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane? Do you make it leap like a locust, striking terror with its proud snorting? It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength, and charges into the fray. It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; it does not shy away from the sword.
In these verses, God was explaining to Job how mighty He was, and He was showing him all the great things He's created and done. Then he mentioned horses and how He made them. He talks about how mighty and excited they are. In the picture I can see power and the excitement of the horse in the way that he's running. Also, just seeing the colors of the horse shows the creativity of God and how different each horse is from all the others. When I look at the picture, it helps me see God's awesomeness in all these ways: in the color and the power and the creativity shown in horses.
Kaleb Hall writes about his Best Donkey entry: My picture declares the glory of God because the bond of friendship between the two donkeys. The bond shows the relationship we should have with God. And is an example to the people around them.
Abi Gordon writes about her Best Landscape entry: To me, this picture fits this year's theme, very well. Many people believe that animals just came about from a big bang and that they just evolved from one type of animal to another type. This photo of a mother horse and her baby proves that animals did not evolve from one type to another. Even though they are different colors, this does not mean that one evolved from one animal to another. This is simply God's creativity shining. Genesis 1:24 states, " And God made the beast of the beast of the earth after his kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good." This Bible verse tells that each animal is made after its own kind and therefore did not evolve from a different kind. This photo declares God's glory because it shows that only Jesus can make such an incredible, beautiful animal. There is no man or beast or creature in this universe that can make what God creates. Page 5
Jisoo Park writes about her 1st place entry: Jesus made everything in Earth. Nature, humans, and animals. Equus is one of them. In my work, I tried to show that "Equus is running because of Jesus". He made Equus to move, He allowed Equus to be able to run, and He made Equus to be alive in this world.
Haylee Legg writes about her 2nd place entry: The American Saddlebred declares God’s beauty through its grace and refinement. He shows the best of God’s workmanship, in my opinion, anyway. His beauty reflects God’s beauty. His companionship reflects God’s everlasting closeness to us. If we fall out of the saddle, the horse will stay with you, protecting you until you are safe. It is the same way with God. The verse I chose is Job 39:19-25. It describes the horse as being ready to fight, anticipating the battle ahead. “He mocks at fear, and is not frightened; nor does he turn back from the sword” Job 39:22. Horses aren’t “sit still” animals. They want to stay active, even if that activity is just a mere hour of exercise every day. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: God absolutely knew what He was doing when He made the horse. He knew how much our progression through life would fall on the shoulders of a strong and willing steed. And I don’t think the horse will ever stop influencing our lives until that great and awesome day of Judgment.
Reuben Kesler writes about his 3rd place entry: When a horse submits to it's rider, it is how we should submit to God. If we don't submit we may become a bad person or a person who does bad things, like a badly behaved horse. James 4:7 says "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." A submitted horse with a good rider can declare the glory of God thru their relationship to each other.
2010 Youth Writer’s Contest Winning Article
Horse Senses By Miss Kayli Hall The most fascinating features of a horse are its senses: including sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. These intricately developed senses serve as evidence that God has been at work in creating horses. Job 39:19-20 serves as a reminder of this when God asks Job: "Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting?" While we consider the senses of a horse, let us keep in mind the Creator behind these senses. There are many amazing facts about a horse’s eyes that combine to create excellent vision. The oval shape of a horse’s eye makes the objects seen behind and to the side of a horse appear to be moving quickly. This illusion causes a horse to move suddenly, an action known as "shying." Their oval eyes are also huge. In fact, the only land animal with larger eyes than a horse is an ostrich. Furthermore, a horse can do amazing things with their eyes! For example, unlike humans, a horse can look in two different directions at once. However, a downside comes with this ability. Because the horse’s eyes are placed on the side of the head, a horse has a blind spot directly in front and behind it. Although a horse cannot see all the colors that humans can, it has nighttime vision and can perceive the colors blue, red, violet, and gray. The next incredible sense that a horse has is hearing. Despite having the inability to hear certain low sounds that human can detect, a horse can hear higher sounds than humans can. This hearing continues for a long dis-
tance. In fact, horses can hear sounds that are 14,436 feet away.  In comparison, most humans can only hear sounds 300 feet away and dogs only have the ability to hear sounds 1,320 feet away. It requires many muscles, ten in fact, for a horse to move its ear. In contrast, humans only have three such muscles and most cannot use them. Job 39:24 mentions the hearing of a horse: "In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds." Another sense, smell, is a wonderful aid to their survival. In fact, a horse can detect smells that are 200 meters away. This ability is mentioned in Job 39:25: "He catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry." Because of this high sensitivity, a horse becomes nervous when surrounded by dozens of new smells. A horse’s sense of smell has many uses. It serves the purpose of identifying other horses. For example, a mare and her foal identify each other by smell. In addition, a horse uses its sense of smell to choose what to eat. Because of its reliance on smell, strong wind and heavy rain can make a horse nervous because they impede a horse's ability to smell. In order to aide this important sense, a horse has an organ that humans do not, called the Jacobsen's organ. This organ traps smells, analyzes them, and sends messages to the brain about their
Photo Credits: Elizabeth Megill (horse eye), Rebekah L. Holt
source and meaning.  A horse has an astounding sense of taste. Taste buds that can detect sweet, sour, salty, and bitter aid this sense. Although a horse has the same kind of taste buds as a human, the taste buds are located in a different place. While a human’s taste buds are on the front and side of the tongue, a horse has taste buds on the back of the tongue and roof of the mouth. A horse’s ability to detect differences in taste sometimes results in a horse being picky about its food. For example, horses have been known to refuse to drink water that comes from a different stable, even when this water is just subtly different. This problem is sometimes solved by adding a mild peppermint flavoring to the horse’s water. This same sense of taste means that a horse can have favorite foods, such as sugar and molasses. If you have ever ridden a horse, you have experienced the wonder of a horse’s sensitivity to touch. The reason a horse can respond to signals and reigns is its amazingly sensitive skin. This skin senses changes in temperature, pressure, and pain, encouraging the horse to yield to the pressure of a rider. James 3:3 refers to this attribute: "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal." A horse’s sensitivity serves for more purposes than just riding. It allows the horse to protect itself against (Continued on page 6)
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parasites. I have observed a fly landing on a horse whose skin then trembles and the parasite flies away. But the hide is not the only part of the horse that is sensitive. A horse often uses its upper lip to touch things. In fact, some horses have been known to open latches and carry buckets and brooms around the stable with their upper lip.  These amazing features did not happen merely by accident. Genesis 1:25 explains that: "God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good." In considering all the fascinating features of the horse’s senses, it is important remember that these amazing attributes have an even more Amazing Source- the Creator God. References:
eQuest 4 Kids is just that. It’s eQuest For Truth 4 Kids! On eQuest 4 Kids, you’ll find:
 World Book (Digital Database). Horses. 2008  Anna O'Brien. Horse Senses. <http://www. horse-canada.com/articles/HPhorsesenses11.03. htm> January 4, 2011
 Ref. 2 (Converted from Metric to English)  Science Fact Finder. The Animal World - Why Can A Dog Or Cat Hear A Whistle That A Human Cannot? <http://www.enotes.com/science-fact-finder/ animal-world/why-can-dog-cat-hear-whistle-that-humancannot> January 4, 2011 (Converted from Metric to English)
 Ref. 2  Ref. 2
Activity pages Educational Photos (such as foaling pictures!) Popular Horse Breeds •
A Free e-Book
And of course, there’s always plans for more!
It’s a place to Discover Equus! Page 8
2011 Youth Writer’s Contest Winning Article by Miss Kayli Hall
Therapeutic Horseback Riding In the book of Esther, the King honored Mordecai by having him led through the streets on horseback. Esther 6:11 says: “So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”” Today, horseback riding can mean even more than honor; it can help bring healing. One way that horses declare the glory of God is through their amazing usefulness, especially in therapeutic horseback riding. We will be examining therapeutic horse back riding, its benefits, and its impact on the lives of many. While it is reported that the ancient Greeks understood many health benefits of therapeutic riding, it was not until the 1940-60s in Europe that therapeutic riding became an organized and recognized method of therapy for people with special needs.1 The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemen International (PATH Intl.), founded as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association in 1969, now has nearly 800 centers and benefits 42,000 people with special needs in countries all over the world. 2 In fact, there are more than fifty centers in Texas alone.3 PATH is a member of the Federa-
tion of Riding for the Disabled International, a larger international organization founded in 1980 that has 48 member organizations in 31 countries.4 Although some riding centers do charge a small fee, most are 501.3(c) non-profit organizations which can often offer riding scholarships thanks to the funding of generous donors.5
PATH Intl. offers a special program to veterans called Horses for Heroes. One pilot therapeutic riding center provides equine assisted therapeutic activities to soldiers who were wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. There were four sessions, over three weeks, in which the soldiers were taught riding skills, such as barrel racing. 6
In therapeutic riding lessons, a qualified and experienced instructor works with the rider. Often to accommodate the safety and needs of the student, special or adapted riding equipment is used. The right therapy horse must be matched to the rider’s requirements. When considering the horse’s suitability for a rider, instructors consider the horse’s length of stride, height, body width, temperament and training in order to provide the rider the most productive stimulation and safe therapeutic ride.
Now that we have examined what therapeutic horseback riding is and programs that are available, let’s take a look at the benefits horseback riding provides.
Through PATH Intl., several equine therapeutic programs exist. For example, one program provides equine assisted therapeutic activities; another specializes in mental health therapy; and one program offers hippotherapy using the horse under the direction of a licensed therapist.
The horse’s motion moves the rider in a way similar to the human walk, thus improving flexibility, balance, posture and strength.7 For those with cognitive challenges, communication and speech often improves because the rider learns to communicate with the horse and the instructor. Learning the skills of controlling and riding a horse with a balanced seat, builds a rider’s confidence and offers a rewarding feeling of accomplishment. For those with physical disabilities, horseback riding provides an activity they can do without requiring a wheelchair or a cane. This leads to an increased sense of independence and ability. Additionally, developing a relationship with the horse helps riders to become (Continued on page 10)
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more trusting and confident.8 Several specific disabilities can be improved by therapeutic riding, including autism, Multiple Sclerosis and muscular dystrophy. Children with Autism who participate in horseback riding are able to concentrate better and are less easily distracted.9 Even more importantly, horseback riding has been shown to help those with Autism to improve speaking ability. 10 For those with Multiple Sclerosis, riding can improve mobility, balance, and coordination.11 Horseback riding can help slow muscular dystrophy, as well as improve muscle control, strength, and coordination.12 For people who have Cerebral Palsy, riding can improve the range of motion, flexibility, and posture.13 Those who have Down Syndrome benefit through increased socialization skills, eye-hand coordination, and a healthy self image.14 Other disabilities that can be improved by therapeutic riding include emotional disabilities, brain injuries, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and many other special challenges. Having examined the benefits of horseback riding, let’s consider how these benefits have changed the lives of those involved in these programs. Many people have experienced the benefits of therapeutic riding. Lori Hall, a rider with Multiple Sclerosis, stated that riding helps her to overcome day-to-day challenges.15 A 10-year old girl with Cerebral Palsy experienced improvements in posture from riding, and this worked more effectively than any of the other forms of therapy she had tried.16 For Teddy Sargent, a child with Autism, it is said that riding improved his verbal skills and selfesteem.17 Craig Coggins, a former Marine soldier wounded in Iraq, found that horseback riding brought relief from pain, improved his self-esteem, and assisted in transforming his outlook on life.18 Kelly Schafer, a retired Air Force Captain, who was unable to control his arms or legs before he started riding, experienced an increased ability to walk.19 Rene Suarez, a Navy veteran involved in horseback riding, no longer has to use a cane to walk.20 All these success stories show us that horses can be used for amazing things. This points back to our Creator. Isaiah 42:5 declares: “This is what God the
LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out
the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it”.
hippotherapy/introduction-to-hippotherapy/ December 30, 2011. 8. Equine Therapy. Horses Help the Disabled to Become Enabled. http://www.equine-therapy-programs.
It is amazing that horses can be used to provide so many benefits and to change so many lives. This brings glory to God, for His creation has a purpose and can make a difference in peoples’ lives. Romans 1:20 says: “For since the creation
com/horses-help-disabled-people.html , December 26, 2011.
of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
com/upload/effect.pdf December 26, 2011
9. Margaret M. Bass, Catherine A. Duchown, Maria M. Llabre. The Effect of Therapeutic Horseback Rid-
ing on Social Functioning in Children with Autism. April 7, 2009. http://www.kenrodogtraining.
10 Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemen International. EAAT Benefits. http://www.pathintl.org/resources-education/ resources/eaat/194-eaat-benefits , December 29, 2011 11. Strides Magazine. Multiple Sclerosis and Therapeutic Riding. April 1997. http:// horseplayriding.org/disability_articles/tr_ms. pdf , December 28, 2011 12. See ref. 9 13.S trides Magazine. Cerebral Palsy and Therapeutic Riding. October 1995. http:// horseplayriding.org/disability_articles/tr_cp. pdf , December 28, 2011 14. See ref. 9
Horses, as part of God’s creation, have revealed God’s love and mercy, through their positive impact on the lives of His people. References 1. STRIDES Therapeutic Riding, “Riding Through History” http://www.strides.org/history.html, January 21, 2012 2. Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemen International. What is PATH Intl.? http://www. pathintl.org/about-path-intl/about-path-intl/what-ispath-intl, December 24, 2011. 3. Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemen International. Find a Center. http://www.pathintl.org/ path-intl-centers/find-center, December 24, 2011. 4. Federation of Riding for the Disabled International. Current Members. http://www.frdi.net/ membership_list.html, December 27, 2011. 5. Practical Horsemen. Olympian Inspired Therapeutic Riding. http://www.equisearch.com/ horses_riding_training/sports/therapeutic/ eqhistory1654/ December 27, 2011. 6. Larry Pence. Therapeutic Riding: Soldiers Helping Soldiers http://www.equisearch.com/
15. Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemen International. Learn About EAAT. http://www.pathintl.org/resources-education/ resources/eaat , December 27, 2011 16. David M. Adams. Therapy is a Horse Named Honey. http://www.equisearch.com/ horses_riding_training/sports/therapeutic/ eqadams1663/, December 27, 2011 17. Equine Therapy Programs. Mom and Son Find Help through Therapeutic Riding. http:// www.equine-therapy-programs.com/teddy-andrebecca.html, December 28, 2011 18. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vanguard. High in the Saddle. March/April 2010. http://www.pathintl.org/images/pdf/ resources/horses-heroes/ vanguard_10_marchapril.pdf, December 28, 2011 19. See ref. 17 20. See ref. 17
Photos by Rebekah L. Holt from the 2012 Chisholm Challenge Horse Show Show Fort Worth, Texas
horses_riding_training/sports/therapeutic/ soldiers_062706, December 27, 2011. 7. Joann Benjamin. Introduction to Hippotherapy. American Hippotherapy Association. Summer 2000. http://www.americanhippotherapyassociation.org/ Page 10
In Europe in a little country named Belgium there is an artifact with an ancient and entreating history. This artifact is the beautiful, sturdy Belgian Heavy Draft. The Belgian Heavy Draft was known as the Flanders Horse during the medieval times. This particular horse played an important role in the development of other heavy draft breeds like the Clydesdale, the Shire, the Suffolk Punch, and it might have lent
some influence to the Irish Draft and the Dutch Draft. Belgians were raised with the intentions of pulling heavy loads and doing plenty of hard work which required strong horses. Tractors were, as yet, in the distant future and the farmers needed powerful and docile farm horses.Âš Practically all Belgians are gentle and mild mannered. In their native country the Belgians labored at the docks and in the factories. When the
Belgian came to America in 1866, they did not instantly become popular. It took years and plenty of promotion for the Belgian to gain popularity in America. Imported Belgian stallions were first obtainable in Wabash, Indiana in 1885 and then sold to horse breeders throughout the Midwest. Throughout the years the Belgian has been used for historical farming, forestry, pulling contests, and drawing fancy show and parade rigs. Pleasure (Continued on page 12) Page 11
Photo courtesy of Texas Draft Horse and Mule Association; Photo by fineequinephoto-
Beautiful Burden Bearersâ€”by Bethany Holt
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called Colosses de la Mehaïque. This bloodline was noted for the strength and hardness of their legs.¹ Most Belgians are recognized for their sorrel coloring and flaxen mane and tail. Of course there are some throw backs to the European breed of red roans, bays, duns, and grays but, these are extremely rare. Belgians are rather oddly put together with a small head and a thick, muscular neck.
Belgians are used for all types of work! Here 18 h.h. Belgian gelding, “Rock”, serves on a security patrol team .
Powerful quarters and shoulders are meant for pulling large, heavy loads. With this hefty frame topping short feathered legs can seem out of balance with the large stature
of 16-18 hands and weighing up to 2200 pounds!¹ One of the world’s tallest horses is an American Belgian named Radar. Radar is owned by Priefert Ranch & Equipment in Mount Pleasant, Texas. Standing 19.3½ hands and weighing 2,400 pounds, Radar is a giant. Eating 40 pounds of hay, 18 pounds of grain, and drinking 20 gallons of water daily proves that this gigantic horse has an enormous appetite.³ Radar was born in Iowa in 1998 and is following the standards that previous Belgians have set. 4 For an eye-catching, historic draft team pick the Belgian (Continued on page 13)
Photo courtesy of Linda Young
riding heavy drafts has become rather popular in the last years. ² By 1870 there were three main bloodlines with specific conformational differences. Orange 1 is the leader of the three groups. He was the forefather of the particularly massive bay horses of the well titled line Gros de la Dendre. Bayard is the stallion that founded the line Gris du Hainaut that had the gray, dun, and sorrel or red roan coloring. A bay horse named Jean 1 founded the third Brabant line
Radar—who once held the Guinness World Record for the World’s Tallest Horse brings “BIG HORSE” into perspective. Just look at the pick up truck and horse trailer in the background. Radar is owned by the Priefert Family in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. Photo by Rebekah L. Holt Page 12
Belgian horses are a popular choice for pulling carriages for weddings and other special events! Photo courtesy of Classic Carriage Company
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Heavy Draft. These draft horses are the popular choice of many show people and farmers in the world. ¹ Edwards, Elwyn Hartley, The Encyclopedia of the Horse, Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, pg 272-273 ² http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-breeds/profiles/ belgian-horse-horse-breed.aspx ³ http://www.worldsmostunique.com/ worldslargesthorse.
Who Is This Belgian? The Worlds’ Tallest Horse in 2006 Was Born in Iowa Stands 19.3½ hands and weighs 2,400 lbs. Eats 40 lbs. of hay, 18 lbs. of grain, and drinks 20 gallons of water –Daily • Owned by a business in Texas • • • •
Find the Answer on the It’s Puzzling Page
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Itâ€™s Puzzling! for Horsy Kids See if you can remember what you read in this issue L R D A E H L L A M S D T C S U K
K S X V O L I H I N X E F K Y V C
V E B P S S R E T W A V A E E P D
Z S A H G Y A W R O R L R Q K R W
S R W J B E D A O T D M D U N Y K
E O C H U K A X P O J R Y U O D B
V H B J H N R X E H L C V S D O O
O D P D O O W K R P M N A X D B E
O E C L T D P N D V S B E F E K W
H T I O G B U U O S X V H D T C E
U A Q G N I F M O Y E Y N K A I T
V E Q F I T Q F G U L Z A V E H S
W R F T T L E Q E Z N N I A R T U
Belgian Heavy Draft
God Created Donkeys
The Good Report
God Created Horses
S C T Q I I I S H M Z Y G R C O N
W D U L R J N A T A G Z L T D S W
H O O J W G J B T N C P E U O U Q
J G J L B C D K E E C A B R G A U
God's Creatures Hannah Launius
Hooves are thumping, Heart is pumping, Mane blowing in the wind, Photo by Debbie Fuller
Creatures much loved, Our Creator Creator inspired, Praises to Him we send, Beautifully made, Gentle and sweet, With more than one feature, God made them, Very special, special, These horses are God's creatures. creatures
Photo by Kerry Weed
Your name and age is? My name is Christi Gordon, Iâ€™m 18 years old, and Iâ€™m a sophomore at Colorado Christian University. How did you became a Christian? The day I became a Christian was the biggest mile marker in my life. In late November 1996, my parents vacationed to Frisco, Colorado, to spend a weekend away. It was during this time that I began to be aware of God working on my heart. I was only three
home, November 30, I announced that I wanted to accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. My parents lovingly prayed with me, but a three year old, they thought? Could she really be serious? I was. I knew that Jesus died for me and I wanted to accept His Gift. From that day on, I have been growing closer to Jesus as different trials draw me to Him, and as godly people He has surrounded me with encourage me in the Lord.
Meet Christi Gordon Interview by Abi Gordon
years old at the time, yet I knew something was missing from my life. I knew that Jesus was calling me to Himself and I was ready to give my life to Him. Desperately I wanted to talk with someone, but my parents were away and I felt uncomfortable talking with anyone else. Little did I realize that at about this same time, my mom had come down with the stomach flu, and as a result, they came home early from their trip. God works in unusual ways, and I never expected that just when I needed my parents most, God would make a way. The night they arrived
What are your main interests? (Outside of spending time with Jesus and family/ friends): Riding reining horses, playing baseball, working out, playing the piano, drawing horses (Custom Horse Portraits), baking, singing, and math. Tell us about your family (parents, siblings, etc.). I am the oldest of the children in the family, I have three siblings, Abi (17), Ali (17), and Willie (13); and 2 godly parents, (Continued on page 18)
(Continued from page 17)
Jim and Elizabeth. Abi is a beautiful, graceful ice skater and loves to read every book she can get her hands on; Ali is an excellent basketball player and an amazing writer; Willie is a star baseball player (catcher), and loves Legos and making people laugh. How long have you been riding horses? Almost 10 years – since I was 9. Who was your first horse? “Sadie”, a solid chestnut paint horse mare. Tell us about your first horse and maybe a little what he/she taught you. My first reining horse, Shasta, taught me more than any other horse. She was a difficult horse for me to ride at times because she was so high strung and usually had a mind of her own, but she allowed me to “grind my gears” a little bit.
I learned the fundamentals of reining more than most riders because I had to work hard to learn and maintain my riding. Most youth I competed with were given very expensive, well refined horses, and as a result didn’t need to put in much work to show – and win. However, Shasta needed to be trained as much as I did. In return for the hard work I put in, we won many shows together, even rising above the expensive “auto-pilot” horses at times. Because I didn’t just “expect to win” and because I had to learn responsibility, hard work, and sportsmanship, I was even more grateful for the chance to compete and for the shows I won. What equestrian sports have you done in the past? (Barrel racing, dressage, reining, etc.) My primary sport is Reining (I have done for 6 years), but in the past I have also competed in some Gymkhana (barrel racing, pole bending), a little bit of
English (hunt seat equitation, hunter under saddle), and allaround Western (western pleasure, western horsemanship, and trail riding). What is your favorite equestrian sport? Reining!! ☺ What is your favorite thing about reining? Sliding stops! Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge that has helped you get started with or taught you a lot about horses? My parents, also my biggest supporters, have helped me a lot with all my horse shows and my dad has taught me a lot about horses. Without my parents I never could have succeeded as a competitor, or even been able to show horses. I am so grateful and can’t thank them enough.
(Continued on page 19)
(Continued from page 18)
What is your favorite type of horse and why? Paint horses – because I have ridden them my whole riding career, and their patterns and colors are so unique and pretty to look at. What do you think the most unique part of the horse is? For some horses, it’s the markings, and for others, it’s their build (tall, short, stocky, lean, etc.); but the most unique thing for each horse is their personality. My horse, Nugget, has such a funny personality: very mischievous, stubborn at times, and friendly. What do horses teach you about being a Christian and how can you apply those lessons to your Christian walk? Riding horses has taught me a lot about how to relate to people and how to be a hard-working, responsible person. It has also taught me
perseverance, honesty, and how to “swim upstream”. Most of the people I show with are not Christians, and I am constantly under pressure to be like the world. I am thankful for my family’s support and for Jesus leading my life because without them I would probably be like the world. How do you glorify Jesus through your riding? Other than the fact that I strived to live to honor Jesus (dress, attitude, priorities, etc…), I prayed before each competition and dedicated each ride to Jesus, and gave Him the glory whether I won or lost. Although I didn’t always do a very good job doing this, these were my goals and I for the most part lived up to them. I was also interviewed a few times for my successes and I was sure to give God the glory first.
How are you preparing for life and what skills are you developing to serve the Lord? I am currently a sophomore at CCU where I am developing life skills and learning many new things that will aid me in my choices later on. Also, I am active in ministry opportunities, especially Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse). What is a (and why) favorite scripture(s) you would like to share with our readers before we end this interview? Choosing a favorite Scripture is like choosing a favorite dessert, but one that has stood out to me over the years is Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Because I actually ride and compete on horses, this verse means something different to me than it would to most people. When I am tempted to let others’ opinions of me define who I am, whether that be by how I ride in the show arena, by what I wear, or by anything else, this verse helps me remember that I trust in Jesus alone, and His love for me is all that matters.
Photo Credits: Abi Gordon
What about Natural Selection? Evolutionists enjoy suggesting that “nature” is capable of programming such variety found in horses by Natural Selection. This popular phrase, Natural Selection, is often used among the scientific world to suggest that the acts of nature alone have shaped and are shaping life’s organisms. With this thinking, Natural Selection should generate stronger genetics through the death of weak or sickly horses (the survival of the fittest) and provide a pro-active source of new genetic mutations capable of improving or changing the horse into a completely different life form.
While it is widely taught that the rigors of death, disease and the environment speed adaptation in life forms all Within horse breeds, a vast spectrum of size, coloring
over the world—this is neither true nor proof of Darwin’s
and body type exist to fulfill the needs demanded by humans
evolution theory. Environmental stresses neither favor nor
and solve environmental problems.
disfavor one horse over another. It is the traits expressed by the horse which determines whether those stresses are
Since the 1800s, it has been popularly suggested that
favorable or not. The power for adaptation does not reside in the environment, but is solely innate to the organism.
variations we see in horses are an example of Darwinian evolu-
Photo by Getty
tion. This idea that mutations can increase genetic information to create new life forms (e.g. an
Research suggests genes are multi faceted and capable of controlling more than
ape-like creature changing into a
one function. This “multi-
man) well…is this true?
tasking” can be achieved by genes “switching” on or off a function. Such an ability
The answer is No. What we see in the contrasts of horse
for genes to withhold or
breeds like the Miniature and the
share their influence can
Belgian is variation within only 1
the horse kind. Though one is
Radar and Thumbelina— Once Held Records for Being the World’s Tallest and Smallest Horses Though displaying the extremes of size, both horses are still just horses!
account for much of the fascinating variety we see.
small and one is large, Miniatures and Belgians are still just horses! Such diversity within a kind is not molecules-to-mare Darwinian evolution! Darwin’s idea of evolution requires new and molecularly changed genes for new, evolving organisms to appear.
“Natural variation is mostly the result of rearrangements of modular regulatory switching circuits, plus some contribution from mutations that disrupt these (Continued on page 21)
has become harsher and the need to adapt more crucial for
(Continued from page 20)
switching circuits. The conserved core processes
filling the earth. The Bible tells us that our world is waxing
(all the architecture and the machinery in the cell)
old as a garment,5 in other words, things are falling apart and
and the modular regulatory circuits (which they
growing old—no exceptions.
compare to ®Lego blocks which can be easily pulled apart and rearranged) have to be in place
Genetic Restriction = Genetic Reduction
before natural variation can occur... This means that natural variation is not merely
As seen in purebred horses, true human selection of ge-
the passive result of mutations, as neo-
netics actually specializes or reduces the variation found in
Darwinists assume, but rather cells actively use
the gene pool. In other words, horses bred to the confine-
random changes to produce useful new combina-
ments of a certain type actually lost other genetic information
tions of existing circuitry. Natural variation is thus
built-in. Kirschner and Gerhart argue that without this built-in capacity for variaPhoto by Rebekah L. Holt
An example of this loss
tion, a purely mechanical kind of life would break down at the first encounter with a mechanical malfunction. This is powerful evidence of design.”2
could be the American Shetland Pony. Though now considered modern and refined, the American Shetland originated from crossing the compact, chubby British Shetland
It is more praise worthy of our Creator’s amazing intelligence and
pony to small Arabians
even more consistent with scientific
and Thoroughbreds along
evidence to recognize that God pro-
with a selection of refined
Graceful American Shetland Ponies
pony breeds to help
grammed all life’s organisms to be 6
compatible to more than one scenario. Scripture tells us
“reshape” the pony’s image. Despite the American Shet-
that God has established the earth by His wisdom and
land’s relationship to a full sized horse (the Arabian and Thor-
understanding.3 This wisdom and understanding is so
oughbred), American Shetlands are incapable of being bred
evident when studying genetics and the ability for life
“upward” within their breed to become full size horses. Once
forms to fill a niche. That horses or dogs or even people
the genes are lost for full-sized horse height, ponies bred to
are genetically capable of adapting to the environment is
ponies continue to produce ponies.
not a mystical mishap. Properly labeled, the powers given to Natural Selection are actually God’s created in-
Mutations Aren’t Improving Things a Bit
nate intelligence within organisms! 4 While some types of mutations attribute to variety seen in Life forms in a perfect world, such as the Genesis account pre-sin, would come preprogrammed with vast ge-
horses (or any other life form), they still are incapable of adding to the limits of kind, regardless of what the theory of
netic coding allowing for variations. After catastrophic Biblical events, such as the fall of man, the entry of death
(Continued on page 22)
and the Global Flood of Noah, the environment naturally Page 21
While the mutant Eeyore’s story had a happy ending,
(Continued from page 21)
evolution tries to enforce in our minds.
most mutant genes cause devastating physical diseases or even death. Just about every horse breed has a syndrome
Many mutations are hereditary and are passed down through the breeding stock’s foals. They are often devas-
(or disease) unique and specific to their breed caused by a mutation. Here are just a very few of them:
tating to the health of the animal.
A less detrimental product of muta-
tion we observe on an American
horse breed,9 the
Mustang named Eeyore. Named
for his ears’ resemblance to a cute
Horse, is noted for
story book animal, his ears are any-
having two stal-
thing but “cute”—they are a serious
lions that passed
on a mutated leg-
Photos Public Domain
Photo Wild Horse and Burro Program
• The world’s
Poco Bueno and Impressive
acy. Impressive, a top halter show horse, passed an incurWhile roaming the rugged, mountainous ranges of Oregon, Eeyore was noted for unusually aggressive behavior, such as charging at apEeyore the Mustang
proaching strangers while other horses would instinctively flee the
scene. According to an U.S. Department of Forest Services employee, Eeyore’s ears were the culprit in this volatile behavior. Upon veterinarian examination, it was discovered
able disease, HYPP to approximately 50% of his progeny. This condition causes infected horses’ muscles to contract in momentary paralysis due to a sodium channel defect in the muscular structure.10 Poco Bueno, the historically renowned sire of a cutting horse dynasty, has recently been traced as the genetic perpetrator of a fatal skin condition, HERDA. 11 Skin is unable to adhere to the dermis (deep layer of skin), making it easily torn and separated from the deeper layer of skin and is almost incapable of healing.12 13
that this stallion’s low set ears conflicted with his field of vision. Unlike “normal” horses that can see directly behind
• The American Paint Horse breeders have to manage a
them while still facing forward (eyes on side of head), Eey-
devastating mutation called the Overo Lethal White Syn-
ore had to turn his head to look around. In addition, normal
drome (OLWS). The cause of this syndrome has been traced
vision-to-ear communication7 was handicapped due to Eey-
to a mutant gene found in horses with overo color pattern or
ore’s inability to use his ears properly, making him a social
an overo horse family heritage. A Lethal White foal is born
outcast in thriving herds and more vulnerable to become
with no pigmentation in its skin and an underdeveloped di-
prey to potential predators.
gestive system. Research reveals that OLWS foals are deaf suggesting that the mutations within coloring also affect the
Simply put, Eeyore’s seemingly harmless floppy ears conflicted with his ability to properly communicate and they
auditory sensory system.14 Due to the dysfunctional digestive tract, all OLWS foals are humanely euthanized after birth.15
obstructed his field of vision. In the wild, this mutation made him more vulnerable to predators and ostracized him from socializing with other horses. Thankfully for horse lovers, Eeyore found a home with a patient trainer that was able to train him into a riding horse.
• The Arabian has a ‘Lavender Foal Syndrome’ (LFS) where foals are born with a neurological disorder causing (Continued on page 23)
Photo by Rebekah L. Hol t
(Continued from page 22)
incapacity to stand at birth or walk. Arabian LFS foals are characterized by a pale coat color often the shade of light lavender. Most are humanely euthanized within a few days of foaling.16
The Truth Awaits Us It may be popular in our generation to give credence to philoso-
The horse is just one of many gifts the Lord has given for us to enjoy!
phical fallacies like Darwinian evolution; however, the truth about life’s origin, design and des-
The 4 M’s
tiny is available for all who will choose to believe it. Horses serve as an excellent illustration of our Creator’s The Bible tells us, “Ah Lord, God! Behold, Thou hast made the heaven and earth by Thy great power and
artistic, intelligent prowess and His loving provision of what we need. The horse is just one of the many gifts the Lord
stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for
has given to enhance our lives. While we can marvel over
Thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17). It was an effortless act for the Lord to design all we see. How unlike the manmade evolutionary story that takes eons of blood, toil and turmoil!
the complexity of design and the sheer majestic grandeur the horse embodies, our total praise should go to the Creator God Who designed this entire universe and its inhabitants for His pleasure and our benefit.
As we look at the design expressed by life’s code of genetics, we catch a glimpse of the sovereignty of God. Our Creator not only created all life forms to exist originally in a
“…God…giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17)
perfect Eden, but He equipped all organisms to be able to express traits enabling them to fill ever-changing environments. Death and disease was not His design but instead the judgment that came from mankind’s decision to rebel again their Creator.17 However, the physical destructive barriers of mu-
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)
tations, disease and death have not limited the Lord’s plans for our present or future.18 Believers in Jesus Christ rest in knowing that this present suffering world is not the end.
Faithful Christians await the culmination of the Lord’s plan for
So the next time someone tries to convince you that horses are just another product of hapless chance, give them the 4 M’s—“Marvelous Mares Masterfully Made!”
earth when He will one day recreate a new world20 no longer tainted with mankind’s sin: the ultimate devastating spiritual mutation from the goodness of God.
Special Thanks to Dr. Randy J. Guliuzza for his review and input on this article. (References Continued on page 24)
References 1. A Kind is an animal family capable of mating and producing offspring. Donkeys, Zebras, Przewalski horses, Horses and even Hinnies and Mules are all members of the equidae kind.
Summer 2012 Issue: For our next quarterly issue, we will be featuring the following:
2. Williams, Alex, “Life’s Irreducible Structure—Part 2: Naturalistic Objections”, Journal of Creation 21(3), 2007, http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j21_3/
The American Paint Horse
Donkeys in the Bible
An Equestrian’s Guide to Discerning True Christianity in a World of New Age Religion
Interview of a Biblical Creationist Equine Veterinarian
j21_3_77-83.pdf, January 2, 2012 3. Jeremiah 51:15 4. Guliuzza, Randy, “Natural Selection’s Idolatrous Trap”, Acts and Facts, November 2011, http://icr.org 5. Isaiah 51:6; Romans 8:22 6. Edwards, Elwyn Hartley, “American Shetland”, The Encyclopedia of the Horse, Dorling Kindersley Publishing, New York, NY, 1994, pg. 243 7. For horses, ear movements are important in the complex system of visually communicating fear, nervousness, aggression, pain, relaxation, etc. 8. Farren, Les, ‘A One-of-a-kind Mustang,’ Equus (340), February 2006, pg. 38-43 9. Wikipedia, “American Quarter Horse”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Would you like to help make this e-zine a worthwhile read?
American_Quarter_Horse , January 23, 2012 10. “Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis”, University of California, Davis, http://vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/hypp.php, December 14, 2008
Here’s what we need: Submission Deadline: May 1, 2012
11. Hereditary Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia (HERDA) a.k.a. Hyperelastosis Cutis (HC) 12. Sellnow, Les, ‘HERDA: DNA Tests Available for Disfiguring Skin Disease’, The Horse, http://www.thehorse.com/viewarticle.aspx?ID=9687 , January 23, 2012
Letters to the Editor
Christian Family Fun (see page 3)
A Short Story/Testimony from other Christian equestrians (600 words or less)
Equine Artwork and Photography Submissions (Specific to Summer Issue: Beautiful Overo Paint Horses and Donkeys!!!!)
Graphic/e-zine Layout Design Help
Donations of time or resources to help support this e-zine ministry.
13. ‘Cornell Researchers Develop DNA Test to Identify Debilitating Equine Skin Disease’, Cornell University, http://www.vet.cornell.edu/news/articles/ HERDA2007.htm , December 15, 2008 14. Magdesian, K. Gary, “Sound Theories”, Paint Horse Connection, Fall 2010 15. Vrotsos, Paul D., et. al, “Stalking the Lethal White Syndrome”, http:// www.apha.com/breed/lethalwhites03.html 16. Minnich, Beth, et. al., “Lavender Foal Syndrome (LFS)/Coat Color Dilution Lethal (CCDL)”, http://www.arabianhorses.org/education/genetic/docs/ lavender_foal_syndrome.pdf, January 23, 2012 17. Genesis 3 18. Jeremiah 29:11 19. Romans 8:18 20. Revelation 21 21. Isaiah 59:2
For More Information E-mail Rebekah Holt at firstname.lastname@example.org Page 24
10 Guidelines to Live a Pure Christian Life Originally written for Teens By Rebekah L. Holt
1. Accept Jesus Christ. To be able to fully withstand the sways, allurements, and sometimes, the enticing appearances of sin, we must have Christ in our hearts, God on our side and the Holy Spirit strengthening us. It is impossible to withstand the temptations of the devil without the strength of Christ. It is His grace that helps us through all our trials. Rely on the Lord and He will direct your paths. (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-11; Eph. 2:1-10; 2 Tim. 2:10-13; Prov. 3:5-6) 2. Memorize Scripture. Today the world makes sin very appealing and you sometimes wonder is it so bad. Know what God says about everything! It’s all in the Bible; don’t be lazy, look up and study God’s word. (Ps. 119:9-16) 3. Pray Unceasingly. Ask God for strength daily to combat sin and temptations. Jesus is ready to give help to all who call upon His name and ask for help. (Ps. 3: 3-4, 8; Ps. 4:3b; Ps. 34:4; Romans 12:12; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 3:10; 5:17) 4. Position Yourself for Success. If you know something tempts you, don’t go near it. Proverbs spoke of the foolish man walking past the harlot’s house, thus leading to his ruin. You don’t go into the heat of sin and return untainted. Christ enables and strengthens us to resist evil, but He warns us not to toy with sin. (Prov. 7:6-27; Gal. 5:13; 6:1, 9)
5. Cultivate Righteousness and Love it. To gain victory over sins in your life, it is crucial to success that you replace that sin with a fruit of the Spirit and service for God. Jesus loved righteousness. Should we not therefore desire and embrace it too? (Ps. 11:7; Ps. 33:5; Ps. 45:7) 6. Select Friends and Value Your Family. Today friends have taken the place of where family should be. Don’t overly value the company of youthful companions. They can have a negative influence in your life and cause great division in your spiritual and family life. Christian parents are there for your guidance and protection. Make yourself subject to them. When we obey our parents, we obey God. (Ps. 45:7; Ps. 119:63; Prov. 13:20; 1 Cor. 5:11; 15: 33; Ephe. 6:1-3) 7. Be Chaste in Appearance, Tactful in Speech and Pure in Everyday Life. Young men and women alike need to practice the art of being prudent in every aspect of body language. Dress and speak with Christ in mind, and carry yourself with the grace and dignity as heirs of glory of God. If you blend in with the world, you’re not living as God wants you to. There must be a distinction, so we may “shine as stars.” God has called us be a unique people, apart from the world that by the way we work, are entertained, dress and what we say, others may know we stand for Christ. Yes, we are going to be thought weird, unfashionable, strict, and boring. (Continued on page 26) Page 25
It’s hard at times, but God enables. Youth, get in line with God on your appearance. Don’t flaunt what God has given, but give Him glory by being beautiful in modesty and in spirit. True beauty/handsomeness lies in the heart, not in your figure or strength. Be not arrogant in your heart, but love God. Ask yourself, how will my actions affect a brother/sister in Christ? Would I want my younger siblings to act in this manner? By our actions, we can either hinder others’ walk in Christ or lift them up in encouragement. (Philip. 2:14-16; Col. 3:5-10; 4:6; 1 Thess. 5:11) 8. Be Humble. Humility keeps us where we need to be. By having God’s view of our being, we can stay unaffected by pride, discontentment, jealousy and many other sinful struggles lack of humility causes. What are you comparing yourself to? What is the standard you weigh yourself by? Be sure it is Christ. Study the character of Christ; He’s the perfect example of godly humility. (Eph. 4:2; Philip. 2:3-11; James 4:6, 10; 1 Peter 5:6)
9. Be Constantly Renewed in Christ. Christ is our refuge and strength and an ever present help in our greatest need. Throw yourself in His will and renew your mind in His purity. Christ Jesus has suffered and conquered all evil. Through Him is the path to live a pure life in a vile and perverted generation. (Ps. 18: 2-3, 19b; Romans 6: 8-10;12:2) 10. Press Towards the Goal. As Christians, our ultimate goal is obtaining a likeness as Christ and the prize God has promised us. Be busy doing the Lord’s work. Keep focused; keep going! Fight the good fight for righteousness and stand your ground! (Isaiah 40:29-31; Philip. 3: 13-4:1; 2 Thess. 2:15) Writer’s Note: These are only a few guidelines discussed in the Bible to live the pure walk of Christianity. I challenge you to ask God for more knowledge of how to stay pure in this wicked world. May God direct your paths and may you stand firmly rooted in the Word of God. ~RLH~