Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cowboy Church and Taming A Wild Mule in Moran, Wyoming

Before (above): A wild mule---and I do mean wild---kicks, snorts, and paws impatiently in a dark stall, as it awaits its encounter with the horse whisperer.

After: Almost two hours later, the cowboy presents the "tamed and better behaved" mule to the congregation. It's the first time the mule has been touched with a saddle or bridle and mounted by a rider. This mule is described as "very smart" and "determined," rather than "stubborn," by the cowboy wrangler.

This guy has no intention of making nice with the wrangler or being ridden or befriended. A huge and magnificent beast, as mules go, its mother was a wild horse running free on the great, open plains of Wyoming. This mule would rather be any place but here.

First steps of friendship.

The saddle's on, next the bridle. When the cowboy is through, this mule will become his lifelong, devoted friend and companion in every conceivable situation.

Last week, I attended church in a huge barn in Moran, Wyoming at a service called "Cowboy Church," where the principles of the Gospel are demonstrated by cowboys working to break and tame horses and mules that are wild and dangerous.

Above, Jessie, horse whisperer and chief wrangler of Heart Six Ranch in Moran, works to tame a wild mule named Samson, first by building trust through simple things. By the end of the service, Jessie has saddled, bridled, mounted and ridden Samson for the first time. It's truly fascinating to watch. Many parallels are made throughout the service to our own walk in faith and devotion to the transforming power of Jesus Christ. In case you don't get it, we're the mules in this analogy and the horse whisperer is the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit that whispers to us through the still small voice of grace.

Thanks to my good friend, Elaine Luton, for suggesting and encouraging me to attend this fascinating service in the Buffalo Valley.


Here's an archived sermon by Lon Solomon from McLean Bible Church outside Washington, D.C. on the subject how Christianity is the best friend women have ever had. In case you've forgotten to count your blessings as a woman in this great country, or are a man who loves and respects women's equality in our society, this is a sermon you won't want to miss.

Lon is currently recovering at home in Virginia from some corrective heart surgery and, God willing, will be back to McLean in early September. All his friends in Wyoming wish him and his family Godspeed and send our best wishes for his complete recovery.


2e said...

Visiting you in Jackson Hole was the highlight of my summer. Wish we had gone to cowboy church. It sounded amazing.

Webutante said...

Loved having you and I think if we'd gone to Cowboy Church you'd still be here! Was so much fun, 2e!

Is my room in Rhinebeck ready yet? You know, the "conservative" room with accents of red?!

Bob said...

Red for passion, no doubt!

The Cowboy Church sounds like one my family would really enjoy.

Webutante said...

Bob, this is open to the public and takes place on Sunday evenings in the summer months only, at around 6 pm at the Fetz Ranch in Moran. If you should ever need, or want, more info and I can help, please let me know.

It is a lovely service and these rough and tumble wrangler men are devout followers of Jesus Christ.

Pam said...

What a unique idea! I would love to visit sometime. I must tell my dad about this. He has always wanted to life out west.

Webutante said...

Pam, if you ever seriously think of coming out, I'm always happy to make some suggestions--even if I'm back in the South---of places you might like to visit or stay, especially if you bring you Dad. Cowboy Church is a wonderful experience that I will never forget.