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Outdoor setting brings spirit of gratitude to Cowboy Church Service

Outdoor service enriched by uplifting music as well as stories of faith and hope.

There’s something special about worshipping God in the great outdoors, and visitors to the PALS Draft Horse Field Days in Rama had the opportunity to do so on Sept. 4 at the Cowboy Church Service.

The service opened with the singing of Wings of a Dove by musicians: Marilyn Fredsberg of Wynyard (acoustic guitar, vocals), Eugene McKenzie of Wynyard, (bass, vocals), Judy Johnson of Preeceville (vocals) and Nancy Genoway of Rama (vocals).

“What a nice, gentle song for a great day,” added Fredsberg.

The group followed with other favourites such as: God’s Coloring Book, Back Home Again, and Forever and Ever, Amen.

Worship leader Steve Halifax of Rama opened in prayer.

“Lord, thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for the good crops we have coming along. Be with the farmers as they bring in the crops during harvest. Keep all the farmers and their children safe during this busy time. Amen.”

Halifax followed by sharing a story entitled Grandma, Grandpa and the Drumsticks by Li Lian.

“I knew a pair of grandparents whose home was furnished with antique armchairs, ornate flower arrangements, and burgundy carpets. Aside from being an experienced homemaker, opera singer and diligent gardener, the petite, elderly woman we affectionately referred to as Grandma was an excellent cook.

“One of her favourite dishes to prepare was delicious roast chicken with steamed potatoes, herbs and garnishes. Grandma had been raised to believe that the chicken leg was the most desirable part of the chicken, yielding the juiciest and most succulent meat. Grandma loved drumsticks, but when she divided the half chicken she shared with Grandpa, she always gave it to him.

“Grandpa, a prominent judge, was quiet by nature, spending most of his day poring over files related to his work and reading from his large library. Each time Grandma served him food, he replied with a quiet ‘Thank you.

“That is, until one day a few years into their marriage, when he politely asked, ‘Would it be possible for me to have the other piece this time? He went on to explain that he actually preferred the white meat.

“Grandma was surprised at this request. All this time, she had assumed that the chicken leg was the best part and willingly gave it to Grandpa. In like manner, he had assumed she must prefer the chicken breast and willingly let her have it. Both of them had a good laugh about the incident, and from then on, each of them had their choice piece.

“Their marriage lasted for over 50 years, as both of them were committed to living out the following principle: ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition- but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.’”

After the story, Halifax went on to emphasize that, “God thinks highly of you and wants you to see yourself as He sees you.

“You may have grown up feeling ignored, unwanted, despised, or even hated. The people who conveyed that image to you were in error. God created you in His image and loves you as His own child. God makes no mistakes. If He loves you- and He does- you are eternally loveable. It is essential that you see yourself as loveable because that is how God sees you.

“Jesus didn’t endure rejection, ridicule, torture, and death for the sake of trash. In love, He went to the Cross to redeem and restore a relationship with that which was lost- you. One of the most well-known verses in scripture shows how great His love for you is. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).

The worship band followed with Open Up Your Heart (And Let the Sunshine In) and then closed with the hope-filled favourite, I’ll Fly Away.