10 episodes

Welcome to the messages page for the Christian Life Gospel Ministry – uplifting messages that apply the Gospel to Life's Everyday Challenges. Today is full of trials, challenges, and confusion. Many people are desperately trying to fill inner needs with external stimulation and the reality is that cannot be accomplished. The teachings and messages that you will find on this site are drawn up in such a way as to offer practical advice on how to live a Christian Life in today’s world.

Welcome to the Rodeo Rev. Hank Wilson

    • Religion & Spirituality

Welcome to the messages page for the Christian Life Gospel Ministry – uplifting messages that apply the Gospel to Life's Everyday Challenges. Today is full of trials, challenges, and confusion. Many people are desperately trying to fill inner needs with external stimulation and the reality is that cannot be accomplished. The teachings and messages that you will find on this site are drawn up in such a way as to offer practical advice on how to live a Christian Life in today’s world.

    Blinded By Tradition 5-22-2022

    Blinded By Tradition 5-22-2022

    In today’s program I discuss how many of us are blinded by tradition. We do things one way because that’s the way we’ve always done them. We simply accept what we are told and rarely question it. Being blinded by tradition is something that I believe is also part of the reason Christianity is slowly dying in the West.

    The message is based around the Gospel of Mark Chapter 7 verses 1-20. Jesus takes on the Pharisees, who have been blinded by tradition. They refuse to truly understand or teach the word of God. They insist that the people follow their teachings, or at least their interpretation of the Laws of Moses. The Pharisees insist that it has to be their way or the highway. The initial issue stems from the Pharisees watching the disciples eat. They were certain that the disciples were disobeying the law. Jesus points out to them that it’s not what comes in from the outside that defiles a person. A person is defiled by what they spew forth.

    In verse 20 Mark writes  “And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.”  He then explains “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

    When the strict rules of past traditions blind us to the world we live in today.  We behave as sheep and never ask God if the teachings we hear are correct.  If we repeat without thought, what others tell us; then we are living a life blinded by tradition and often a life without God. It is easy to be lead astray by very persuasive preachers and politicians. These are people who do not back up their message with the truth of what Jesus taught. Pray for guidance, pray for the ability to discern whether or not the tradition you are being asked to follow is truly what God wants for you. Peace

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    • 12 min
    Is it possible to deal with all this tragedy?

    Is it possible to deal with all this tragedy?

    Doesn’t life often seem full of tragedy? I know I have my fair share of tragic moments, my mother died with I was 18, I have had health problems, I lost an eye due to a botched surgery by the VA. Over the past several years there has been an uptick in the number of mass shootings. There’s no rhyme or reason behind it other than hatred of some people. Around the nation, the murder rate is up in major cities. 2020 and 2021 saw millions of people around the world die from COVID. Tragedy seems to have become part of our everyday lives. There is a chance at some time in a person’s life we will have something go wrong and that we will consider it to be a tragedy. The most frequent questions I am asked about tragedy, are what causes tragedy? Is it God? Does God send tragedy to us?

    Let’s look at the first question, what does cause tragedy. In the old days, there were many who thought that if you experienced tragedy a sin of your ancestors might have caused it. In John chapter 9 verses 1-3 – It’s the story of the blind man – “As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?”  Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”  In other words, yes, God did permit this to happen. Yes, it is sad that the man went through so much of his life sightless. When Jesus cured him, it helped to display the power of the Lord and His ability to heal. Even though my eyesight wasn’t restored by a miracle, what I went through gave a new appreciation for the gifts I have. I can now relate to those who are experiencing a tragedy, or other misfortune. Do we sometimes cause our own tragedies?

    Yes we often cause our own tragedies, because of our decision. In the Gospel of Luke chapter 13 verses1-3, we find, “Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’”  We often do wonder why this or that happens to people, especially ourselves. The reality is we know the things that can cause us harm. If we smoke, if we drink too much, if we drive to fast, if we drive drunk, these are all actions that we take that can cause a tragedy either in our life or the lives of others. Hiking in bear country and want to take a selfie with a bear, you will suffer a tragedy. Leaning over the edge of a cliff to get that one really dramatic selfie offers a good possibility of having another tragedy strike. If you are driving and then send a text to a friend, you are inviting trouble.

    Some tragedies though are not an individual’s fault. We had a massive rainstorm that caused extreme flooding, some folks lost their homes, some lost their lives. Tornadoes destroy towns, earthquakes that take thousands of lives, these are natural disasters, and no single individual is responsible. Now God did design this planet and those storms are part of the design, we sometimes make them worse by our selection of where we build, our tragedies are compounded by our own choices.

    So we understand that at some point in our lives we will face a tragedy, so now I want to talk about how we should manage tragedy and if possible avoid it. The easiest answer on how to avoid tragedy is, well we really can’t but we can take precautions to minimize our risk. One thing to do is to make certain we build our foundation on solid ground both physically and spiritually. In book of Proverbs, in chapter 10, verse 25, we read, ‘“When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.”  In this verse, the teacher is talking about the whirlwind of

    • 9 min
    Dealing With Peer Pressure 4-14-2022

    Dealing With Peer Pressure 4-14-2022

    I’m going to talk about peer pressure. Last episode I talked about how living under pressure is dangerous? That pressure can be positive? How we can  best handle pressure. Today I want to continue talking about pressure. Before I get into the heart of the subject, I want to talk a little bit about the early apostles and the early church leaders. They were Christians before it was cool to be a Christian, Christianity wasn’t officially allowed to exist until about 316 AD. In the early years, especially in Judea it was considered a sect of Judaism. To the Greeks and Romans it was some weird cult populated by people who talked about some guy the Romans had killed but who they claim rose from the dead. I was reminded of them because I am recording this around Easter, and it’s a time when Christians celebrate the remembrance of the resurrection. Now the early followers lived under constant pressure to change, and that pressure came from those around them or their peers. So in today’s message, specifically I want to look at How can we handle negative peer pressure? How can we help someone who is feeling under pressure? Are there ways we can minimize or prevent pressure?

    How can we handle negative peer pressure?

    As adults we often don’t really think about peer pressure. After all, that’s something we tend to think of as only affecting young people. The reality is that all of us can fall prey to peer pressure. If you think about it, we often vote for one candidate or another, not because we believe in what they are saying, but because our friends are voting for that person. In fact, I have often asked people exactly why are they voting for this or that candidate, what did the candidate say that made them appealing and often there’s no real answer.

    The first step in handling negative peer pressure is to choose your companions wisely. Proverbs 24:1 “Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them;” There’s an old saying, about how all that glitters is not gold. It’s easy nowadays to see some people who are “living the good life” and be very envious of them. After all, they seem to have it all, and the message they send out is that, if you act like they do, you too can have it all. The reality is that in many cases, those folks are not really happy. Oh they smile when the cameras are on them, and they make a great deal about showing off what they have, but inside they’re often empty. Their relationships are empty, their lives are filled with shallow people who will leave at the slightest hint of trouble. However, if they are people we believe in it can be tough to not follow in their path. After all, we all want to appear with it, nobody wants to be embarrassed in public. We cannot allow our fear of embarrassment to keep us from doing the right thing and making the correct decision. Remember the story of John the Baptist and King Herod? Well if you don’t I’ll remind you about it. John the Baptist was making a name for himself and part of it was at the expense of King Herod, who was an incredibly evil human being. Herod had stolen his brother’s wife, and was generally a bad person. John the Baptist had been regularly chastising Herod about his situation and finally Herod wanted him out of the way. At first he was only going to put him in jail, because John was really popular with the public and Herod didn’t want a riot to break out. But….as we find in Matthew 14:6-1- “ But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Having been prompted by her mother, she *said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”  Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison.” Herod knew what the right decision was, and yet because of his lus

    • 13 min
    Our Lives Are Under Constant Pressure Part 1 4-4-2022

    Our Lives Are Under Constant Pressure Part 1 4-4-2022

    Our Lives Are Under Constant Pressure Part 1

    Howdy folks, I’m Hank Wilson and Welcome to the Rodeo, your biblical guide to staying in the saddle when life tries to buck you off.  Brought to you by the Christian Life Gospel Ministry of Central Texas.

    Today I want to talk about pressure.  We seem to be living in a pressure cooker world today. Everyone wants things now, and if you don’t agree with someone then they’ll put pressure on you to agree with them. We see it on social media, if you make a statement that goes against the grain or isn’t popular it can feel like the whole world is against you. We also have pressure at work, do more for less, do I work at home or go to the office. We are under the pressure of being told that the whole world is falling apart.

    Regardless of where we live, we are constantly being pressured to either do something, or to be like someone. It’s rare that we are told to relax and be ourselves. I will talk about three areas, Is living under pressure dangerous? Is pressure ever positive? How can I best handle pressure?

    Is living under pressure dangerous?

    It can make us focus on  the unimportant things and miss that which is important. Pressure can squeeze our perspective inwards and make us lose our outwards perspective (the big picture)

    Luke10:40-41 – Martha worrying about the big dinner she was preparing, whined about her sister – “But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”  But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;”

    Matthew 13:22 – Seed falling on thorny grounds, doesn’t grow because it gets crowded out – “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”

    Mark 14:38 – Weakens our resistance makes us vulnerable to temptation – today’s world – “ Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

    Is pressure ever positive?

    It can make us stronger. Once you endure something, old saying that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger

    James 1:2-4 – “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

    Romans 5:3 – “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;” Christian endurance – remember this was in the early days of Christianity, when they had no power and were being discriminated against.

    Ecclesiastes 12:11 – “The words of wise men are like goads (prod), and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.” Pressure to learn is positive, learning the scriptures is important.

    How can I best handle pressure?

    Ask someone for help

    Exodus 18:17-18 –  “Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. “Seek counsel

    We should try praying for relief. Ask Jesus for help

    Matthew 4:10 –   “Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Stand up to it. When Satan was pressuring Jesus to sin and give in

    Mark 14:35-36 – “ And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me;

    • 14 min
    Receiving and Giving Acceptance 3-27-2022

    Receiving and Giving Acceptance 3-27-2022

    Today’s message is about acceptance. We live in a world where it seems like everyone wants to live in a bubble in which only those who look, feel, act, and talk the same are allowed in. There seems to be very little acceptance of those who are different or who believe differently.  That’s what I want to talk about today, the concept of Acceptance.

    I want to answer some questions. How can we learn to accept those who are different from us? What if a person has done something to us? Are there times when we should not be accepting? How can I accept all of life’s circumstances? What should I do if others don’t accept me?

    How can we learn to accept someone who is different than we are? There’s an old saying about walk a mile in another’s shoes, it simply means to try and look at life through their eyes. We live in a global community, regardless of how some folks want to pretend that we don’t, so try to understand the other person’s culture. It’s natural for us to want to be around those who are like us, and sometimes we have a tendency to judge others based on our own biases. In Matthew 9:11-12, we read about an encounter Jesus had with the Pharisees. Jesus was meeting with some folks that the upper crust of Jewish society looked down upon. “ When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?”  But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.”  Jesus knew that in order for his message to be heard, it had to be shared with those who are different.  Today we tend to look down upon those who hang out with folks that are not special, or not as well off as we are. Heck, in today’s society, many democrats won’t accept republicans, republicans reject democrats, liberals and conservative are against each other and so on. Heck,  I know folks who have stopped talking to me because I don’t agree with their politics. This sickness is very prevalent in today’s cancel society, if you write or say something that some folks don’t like they will yell and scream and do their best to silence you.  So how should WE act if someone does something we don’t like?

    What if a person has done something to us? What if somebody calls us a name, or tries to cancel us? How should we react? The one thing we cannot do is allow their action to poison our soul. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap of isolating ourselves from our neighbors. In Romans 8:38-39, we find “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now I realize that none of us have the ability to show unlimited love and care for our neighbors, but we can all attempt to understand what others are going through. Over the years, I’ve found that most often when someone is criticizing me about something, it’s because they see themselves in one way or another. Other times some folks are just very self-righteous, and they truly believe it’s their way or the highway. When we encounter people like that all we can do is care for them and be there for them. If they never come around, at least our conscience will be clear. But are there times when we shouldn’t really accept someone?

    Are there times when we should not be accepting? I do think there are some moments and times when we shouldn’t accept what is happening. We should never accept injustice in any form. When people are hurting children we should step in and do our best to stop them. For some reason we have become almost numb to how poorly we treat each other. You can see it all the time, we look down on the homeless, we get angry over little things, we have a tough time accepting life.

    How can I accept all of

    • 11 min
    Practicing Servant leadership

    Practicing Servant leadership

    There’s a theory in business called servant leadership.  That theory was first proposed by Robert Greenleaf in 1970 when he wrote, ““The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.” The business world has spent decades trying to implement the theory into real practice but it’s difficult to do, because it seems to go against our me first culture. What I find most intriguing is that as a Christian I realize that the concept of servant leadership is about 2,000 years old.  Jesus told us that we must be servants and be ready to serve others. So, what does it mean to be of service to others and how can we practice it?

    There’s an interesting question, because if we’re a Christian it really can’t be all about me, it has to be about others.  In Matthew 20 20-28 Jesus is faced with just this situation. “Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to [a]Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. Now she’s a good mom, looking out for her sons, so Jesus responded to her – And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She *said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” Now at this point she’s pretty much becoming like a lot of modern parents, demanding that their children be placed above everyone else, after all they’re special aren’t they?  But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They *said to Him, “We are able.” The boys are feeling a little cocky aren’t they, because they don’t ever really have any idea what they’re agreeing to.  That happens a lot in the modern business world, people are so anxious for power and prestige that they say they can handle anything and everything.  The reality is, they have no idea what’s ahead for them or what will be asked of them. Now back to our story. He *said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” This is kind of ironic because both would eventually become martyrs and die for following Christ. However, he told them in no uncertain terms that it was up to the father as to who would get the big promotion. Now of course this upset the rest of the disciples and being normal human beings they groused about it.

    And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. The guys had a very normal reaction, I’ve seen it happen in many businesses and in academic settings. People get tired of watching and listening to others whine and complain and then getting ahead because frankly people are just exhausted from listening to them. The organization then becomes top heavy and nobody is really caring about anyone else, it’s that all about me syndrome.   It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” In other words Jesus is telling them and us how to do it, put other people ahead of ourselves, and make sure we take care of them.

    In the modern world, we can do this by listening to their concerns,

    • 9 min

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