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--February 22 2017--

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Building up or Tearing down

Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 

Google Image
I use to, (before kids and RA), work with hard to handle, 'dangerous' horses and I was quite good at getting a hard to handle horse to submit. The reason a horse will be labeled 'dangerous' is because these are the type of horses that would rather fight than flee. If you have a 1300 pound horse fighting you the outcome will likely be either a wounded trainer, or most often the case is a battered and abused horse which then becomes very dangerous because they would rather fight then submit under almost any circumstance. These are the horses that I thrived in working with and I had huge success in dealing with 'dangerous' horses. Why? Because I used Ephesians 4:29-32 and converted these words into horse language. Yes, you read this right, horse language. :) I could take on one of these massive beasts and gain their trust, getting them to do anything I asked them to do all in a matter of a few months. How, by TLC (tender loving care). Telling them in body language NO you don't act like that and YES you do act in this way when they show even the slightest movement towards what I asked. You cannot bully a horse with the fight tendencies but you can convince them with positive actions that what you ask is beneficial to them in the form of rewards. The same is true for people. 

When someone corrects with harsh degrading words our tendency is to fight back and rebel instead of correcting our ways. If you pull your brother or sister aside and gently correct them with positive up lifting words yet still letting them know what they have done is wrong then the results will pull towards a self correction in attitude and repentance of the sin committed and a willingness to do what is right. 

Google Image Submissive horse
When Jesus was on the cross He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”. Luke 23:33 NIV  Again after He rose up He showed Himself to the disciples He said,  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  John 20:22-23 NIV

Jesus wants us to forgive and build each other up in the Lord. These are some of the very last words He spoke before He gave up His life and then again they are some of the very first words He spoke when He had risen and shown Himself to the disciples. Forgiveness is hard especially when someone close to you has hurt you. But it is the forgiveness and trusting again that allows us to become free.

One of the horses I owned was a very dangerous filly who almost killed someone by kicking them in the chest and collapsing their lung. She was labeled dangerous and was going to be shot. God led me to her and I begged the owner to let me buy her. He was only willing to agree if I could prove to him that I could work with her in front of him. If I could show him that I could handle her then he would sell her to me. I had only 1 week to spend with her before I had to show him I was able to handle her. By the time I had to perform in front of her owner, I was able to have her follow me around the arena, pick up her feet and make her back up, which is huge trusting feat in a horse with fight tendencies. He agreed to the sale and wished me luck. I ended up calling her Majestic Warrior, for she had a fighting heart that was so big. Eventually War would do anything I asked of her because she trusted me and if horses could forgive, I believe she forgave people for the wicked abuse she suffered at the hand of a cruel owner.

Forgiveness is the key to healing physically and spiritually. When we hang onto hatred, fear, anger, mistrust and so on we cannot heal. God also tells us that if we do not forgive then He won't hear our prayers. Our hearts need to be clean in front of God, we need to confess our sins to Him even the little sins that we think are not important, you know that little white lie you told? Yea that one. :)

James 5:14-16 NIV 
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Every abused animal that I have ever worked with turn out to be some of the nicest animals ever, willing to go that extra mile because of kindness shown to them. If this happens with mere animals can you imagine what would happen when kindness is shown to  people? I believe there would be more people giving their lives over to Christ if we did as the Good Book said, love your neighbour as yourself. After all we sure do take care of ourselves. 

Pray, in all things ask and talk to God, repent of our sins, (all of them), ask for forgiveness, forgive those who have hurt us, even though they really don't deserve it or continue to hurt us. Then, I believe, we will experience the freedom that God has for us.

Praying and praying,


  1. This is priceless.
    And as you say, very much applicable to people. COG, what a beautiful post and beautiful powerful truths you have shared.I am in awe of the talent God has given you.Wow, just wow !!!
    Thank you for taking the time to write this and for sharing it. God bless you! :)

  2. What a beautiful post! That is something, to know that if an animal can respond to correction through kindness, so can a human being. This reminds me of a movie called "Black Beauty". It's the only movie I've ever seen my hubby cry on (besides the Passion of the Christ) and the soundtrack has a beautiful violin solo. :) It's about an abused horse. Poor thing! I think I've told you before that I tend to be neutral when it comes to animals, but I sure hate to see them mistreated and abused! I know they see you as such a blessing!

  3. You have SUCH a gift! One of our cats was definitely abused and it took us a LONG time to gain his trust. We've now had him for about 8 years and even to this day if somebody yells in our house or drops something heavy, he takes off. The poor cat trusts us, but he still gets spooked so easily :( I'm glad those horses had you!

  4. That is very sweet, COG. My youngest daughter has taken abused dogs and cats from the animal shelter. They are even a challenge, and they aren't as .... huge! LoL. She loves animals and tells me she wishes everyone would adopt animal shelter pets instead of the "designer" ones. It takes a special heart to see beauty and excellence where others only see what they think is a wasted life that needs to be killed.

    Excellent post!

  5. Hi Vilisi,
    Anybody can have this talent I have I don't think it is special. :) It is just taking the word of God and applying it to all aspects of life. I am glad you liked this story.

    Hi Kimberly,
    Black Beauty is such a sad story. I think in the past there was many horses that were abused in this way, today people are more humane in the way animals are treated. You know it is really amazing to watch an animal respond love. We all need love and God is love, we cannot thrive without Him. It will be a very horrible day when God separates Himself from those who refuse to choose Him. They have no idea that He is the source of love.

    Hi Katy,
    Cats are very different! :) I have a cat that my daughter rescued from our dogs mouths. Our Sammy who looks like your Burl, 3 years later is still very scared when a new person comes into our house. I think the dogs traumatized him so much that anyone who is not family he is scared of. I guess that is why there is the saying scaredy cat. :)

    Hi Susan,
    What a wonderful thing your daughter does! I love working with abused dogs as well, even though they are a challenge, they turn out to be the best pets ever. What a gift your daughter has in seeing the beauty and excellence in animals. I believe this is how God sees us. His love, oh so precious. Encourage your daughter to take this insight and apply it to people the rewards are 100 fold.

    Blessings girls,

  6. Hi Child of God -

    I love this piece. It said so much that is relevant and true.

    Especially, I loved what you expressed about the horse.

    You stated, "...calling her Majestic Warrior, for she had a fighting heart that was so big. Eventually War would do anything I asked of her because she trusted me and if horses could forgive, I believe she forgave people for the wicked abuse she suffered at the hand of a cruel owner."

    That deeply struck me, Child of God.

    Thank you

  7. Hi Sandra,
    I find a lot of similarities between animals and people. Personally, I find it easier to work with animals as they are so willing to give you 100% in return for love. People tend to mistrust you when there are good intentions involved; I believe we think to much. Maybe this is one of the reasons why Jesus tells us to be like little children, trusting and full of faith.

    Blessings sister,

  8. Hi Child of God,
    Very wise words indeed. So many times we want to fight fire with fire.

    May God bless you,

  9. Hi Ken,
    Yes, wise words that for me can be hard to follow. :s I find I would rather face an angry aggressive horse instead of trying to control my words around my son who can drive me nuts! :P



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