World Champion Bullrider Scott Mendes testimony
Being a Professional Bull Rider, success is usually determined by what belt buckle holds up your Wranglers. Well, somehow I always knew that there was more to life than that. You see, when I was just a little bitty boy, my grandmother used to sit me at the foot of her bed and read the Word of God to me. She loved the Lord with all her heart, and she had such an exceptional way of making the events of the Bible into stories that I could understand. The most amazing of all of her stories were the ones about the life of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and all of the miraculous things that He did for the whole world, and more specifically for me.
When I learned of how Jesus lived His life when He was here on Earth, and of His gruesome crucifixion on the cross, it intrigued me how one man could take all of the world’s sin upon Himself, and die a physical death for people who continuously betrayed Him, when at any moment, He could have asked His Heavenly Father to handle the entire situation. That, to me, was the ultimate act of love. My grandmother then told me that Jesus would come into my heart and help me through all of life’s problems while, at the same time, protect me from all evil! All I had to do was ask! Without knowing that Jesus lived in my heart, I’m not sure where I would be today. As I look back over my life, there have been many obstacles I’ve had to overcome. I do know that I wouldn’t have ever had the strength to do it without Jesus in my life.
As a young boy, my parents divorced and moved to different parts of the country. There were many times in my childhood that I used to think my life would have been a whole lot easier if one had not loved me. I thought if that were the case, it might have killed off some of the confusion and insecurity that I always felt inside. With them living so far apart, and each loving me as they did, I always felt like I was in the middle. So, over the years, I traveled a lot between the two of them and did a quite a bit of soul searching along the way. In all of my travels, I built a relationship with the Lord. I think it was because I longed to know the answers to all of my problems and I knew that He, along, would surely be the one to answer them for me. No matter what they taught me in school about the process of evolution and how we may have come from monkeys, I believed that my God created me, and regardless of all the many problems I faced daily, I was very confident He had a purpose in my life. God knew that what I was going through in my life would only make me wiser and stronger so that I could someday fulfill His plan for me.
I thank the Lord each day that I have two parents who loved me, and I can honor them like the Lord has commanded me to do. There were certain things I attained from each of them which makes me the person I am today. My mother taught me that importance of God and His word, and by letting Jesus be the Lord of my life, I could accomplish anything in life I wanted. My father instilled in me the importance of responsibility and the discipline of hard work. These things, along with the inner hope that I had in Jesus, would prove to be all I needed to be an over comer! Until I came to the knowledge that God had a plan for my life, and I realized my parents did the best they could for me with the situation we were all faced with, I always knew that without Jesus in control of my life, I would never amount to much in life? Not to mention ever fulfilling my childhood dream of being a World Champion Bull Rider!
In striving to accomplish that dream, I traveled down the road, redoing with the love of God in my heart and doing everything that I knew how to do to be a good person. There were many things I did that got me in trouble and the Lord would have to help get me out. His Word says that people perish for their lack of knowledge of His Word. By my own lack of knowledge, I just wasn’t strong enough to defend myself from the shameful temptations and the deceitful ways of the devil. You see, although I loved God with all of my heart and believed and trusted in Him, that isn’t enough! We must also keep His commandments and read, study and meditate in His Word constantly so that the devil can’t come in and steal from us what is rightfully ours ? that being Eternal Life in Heaven!
I used to always ask God to show me what it was He wanted me to be doing for Him in my life. Since I was a cowboy and not very well educated, I asked if He could please make it clear enough for even me to understand. Well, my wife Angel and I make a decision to totally serve the Lord with all of our hearts. In doing so, we knew that we would have to lay down our old way of life and allow the Lord to cleanse us with His forgiveness for all of our many sins. We also heard a pastor friend ours, Casey Treat of The Christian Faith Center in Seattle teach a sermon on Romans 12:2. This scripture gave us both the inspiration to change our lives, and with my beautiful wife being so new to the Word of God, this passage also gave her the guidance she needed to start her own faithful relationship with the Lord. It instantly convicted my heart, and I knew that the Lord had divinely revealed to me that I needed to do.
All along the answers to all of my problems were in the Bible. I read it a lot trying to find the stories my grandmother told, but I had a hard time understanding the Bible. I realized later that the problems with understanding the Bible weren’t in my heart, they were in my head, and as soon as I focused my thoughts on the Word of God, I became an applicant for the prosperity that God promises us all! When I reviewed all the things that had taken place in my life, as well as my performance in the arena, it was very humbling to realize that it was only by God’s grace that I was able to accomplish and overcome all of the things that I did.
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