Monday, December 17, 2012

Take a Stand - Ride for the Brand!

At the end of my blog, you'll find this line "Until next time, you can find me off the beaten path and ridin for the brand!!!"

You might think it sounds catchy and country, and probably remember hearing the phrase "ridin for the brand" in some commercial or marketing campaign. But have you ever heard the real meaning and connotation behind those four words?
A brand signifies who you are and what you stand for.

Beef Magazine
recently tweeted an editorial written by Troy Marshall on the importance of brand management. Marshall does a wonderful job giving credence to the historic significance of this saying and ties it to every aspect of a cattleman's life. "It's a creed that embodies a lot of values we hold dear. There are fewer compliments that are more meaningful than being able to say someone rode for the brand," Marshall writes.

He continues saying this phrase makes most people think of standing up for something they believe in, are proud of and honored to represent. "It's about living up to your own values and code; it's about exercising your potential," Marshall writes, "When you put your brand on something, it's a declaration to the world of not only pride in what you produce, but an announcement that you take ownership and responsibility for it."

Of course, Marshall's editorial is written to the direction of managing a ranch brand that advertises the cattle produced and the people in charge. But brands are more than a symbol burned onto the hip of a steer, or hung above the driveway entrance or affixed to the side of a stock trailer. A brand can be anything that represents who you are and what you believe in. It's something you stand behind, represent and are proud of. Ridin for the brand encompasses living for a purpose. It's enacting what you believe is honorable, right, just and true. It's living every day unashamed and ready to give your all for the cause.

Are you ridin for the brand or do you just go with whatever feels right at the time? Do you take a stand for what you believe in or mix with the crowds to see what ends up happening? Do you live your life with purpose or are you easily swayed to believe what other people say?
Live with purpose and ride for the brand!

Be bold, take a stand, live with purpose and above all - Ride for the Brand.

Until next time, you can find me off the beaten path and ridin for the brand!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Love -The Waiting Game

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." - Ephesians 5:31 (NIV)

The search for the one God has designed specifically for us can sometimes be challenging, frustrating, heartbreaking and very arduous. Especially when everyone else seems to be getting in relationships, engaged or married and you're still the single third wheel looking for that special someone. Sometimes we wonder what it is about us that people don't find attractive or why we can't seem to find the person that meets all our criteria and makes us feel whole. We may even come to a point where we wonder if we will ever find someone to fall in love with......

Courtesy of

Her profile caught my attention and her story was intriguing. She was a Texas cowgirl who loved the Lord and loved the country. After a month or so of talking, I expressed interest in her and we began conversing over the idea of a relationship. She was impressed with me and I with her, but 12 hours distance was a hindrance and she was reluctant to advance further without actually meeting me. Four months after my initial online request found me on a plane headed South to meet this wonderful young lady whom I had come to admire very much. 

We could talk for hours, text each other all day and share almost anything with one another. She loved riding horses, shooting guns, cooking, and playing with kids. She had a heart for family, ministry and serving the Lord. She was everything I wanted in a girl. 

Upon returning from my trip down South we continued talking about the possibility of a relationship. Our number one desire was to follow God's will and listen to His calling. The problem was neither of us were totally sure what He was trying to tell us.

After lots of prayer, talking to each other and listening to God, I began to feel Him leading us to pursue a friendship only. The more I questioned if this was really what God wanted, the more He gave me a peace about it. My heart was screaming that it wanted to be with her and I continued to remind myself of all the qualities I loved about her. I was very aggravated because I had been making myself wait and be "picky" about who I pursued and I believed I had found a serious potential mate in this young lady.

Then in my quick devotion time Friday morning, I read Psalms 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." BAM!!! It was like a punch to the gut and yet a reassuring hug. I knew God had a plan and only wanted me to fully trust Him, fully love Him and fully be happy in Him. So I finally broke down and gave in. I messaged her and shared what I felt God was telling me. I expressed my feelings and how hard it was for me to let go of this opportunity, but admitted that I believed God had a perfect plan in place and would reveal the right person at the right time to both of us. Her response touched my heart in a way that only God can do. She was amazed and impressed at my spiritual discernment and ability to relinquish my desires. She commented on how much she had learned through our friendship and we agreed there was a reason for us to become friends and experience this journey.

But what really got me was when she began talking about how this situation just went to show that God wants us to believe He has someone picked out that will be perfect for us and He isn't teasing us by not letting us have what we want - He's showing us what we want and saying "I can do even better!!!"
Everything we experience in relationships is for a reason and if we are mature and discerning we can learn from all things - good and bad. The joys and trials we go through in trying to find the one God has made for us prepares us to be ready when He really does show us the one. But we must be willing to give up what we think we want, turn loose of what we would like to control and say "God, I trust you, I believe in you and I know whatever you have planned will be the best possible!"

Waiting for the one God has designed can be incredibly difficult,
but we will be rewarded in the end!
Courtesy of

For me, relationships are a waiting game. I've learned to not dive into them with just any girl that I think might be a possibility. I've decided to take time and develop good friendships with them and follow God's calling in regards to love. Does my heart sometimes want to jump ahead and bask in the emotions love entertains? Absolutely!! But I've made up my mind that what God wants is the best thing possible. Though it can hurt, I only want what He gives me.

Do you ever wonder if the day will come when you find someone that you not only can live with, but can't live without? Do you feel sometimes like you're waiting forever without results or reassurance? Don't worry, don't be anxious, don't be afraid. The Lord has a perfect plan, a perfect mate and a perfect love that can not be beaten. Listen to His will, follow His calling and delight yourself in Him - and he WILL grant you what your heart desires!!!

 Are you patient enough to wait?
Courtesy of