Monday, February 22, 2010

Life Lessons from a Horse Whisperer

This is a different type of book for me, but I was immediately intrigued. I've always loved horses growing up, and saw the movie The Horse Whisperer with Robert Redford when it came out in theaters many years ago. I highly recommend it, and believe this is one even my husband would enjoy. =)

Even if you're not horse crazy at heart, you could still greatly benefit from this collection. Pass it on!


ABOUT THE BOOK:

A champion trainer and true horse whisperer, Dr. Lew Sterrett has used patience and a firm but gentle hand to earn the trust of more than 3,500 horses. In this book, Lew tells the stories of his work with these horses and the lessons each one has taught him. Sometimes heartbreaking and often uplifting, Lew has condensed his lifetime of learning into messages for the Christian life. Today, Lew shares these messages with more than 50,000 people each year through horse training presentations at Miracle Mountain Ranch and nationally through his Sermon on the Mount Ministry.The author's engaging style and adroit mixture of well-tested anecdotes and thoughtful instruction make this a winning read-and not just for horse lovers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



A champion trainer and true horse whisperer, Dr. Lew Sterrett has used patience and a firm but gentle hand to earn the trust of more than 3,500 horses. Dr. Lew Sterrett (Ph. D) had little idea that his boyhood interest in horses would open doors internationally for speaking and training. During his years in 4-H, he savored many opportunities to train and show horses and earn national recognition. As a student leader at Penn State University he benefited from many mentoring relationships from which he received valuable training, experience and honors. This foundation provided a basis for an extensive horse career with a unique emphasis on training youth and community leaders. Lew has served as the Executive Director of Miracle Mountain Ranch Missions, Inc. (MMRM) since 1977. MMRM, located in northwestern Pennsylvania, is home for a summer youth camp, and a leadership training center for youth, adult, and family groups. He has also promoted safety in public riding programs, serving as President of the Certified Horse Association for 7 years. A licensed pastor, certified Youth, Marriage and Family Counselor, he earned his PhD from North Tennessee Seminary in 2007.

Find out more about Dr. Lew Sterrett on his website: http://www.sermononthemount.org/

BUY THE BOOK!
http://ow.ly/16a7d

A few interview questions...
2. SOME PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED BY HOW MUCH HORSES CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. WERE YOU EVER SURPRISED BY YOUR HORSES? WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALIZE THAT THE SAME DYNAMICS THAT ENABLE A HORSE AND TRAINER TO WORK TOGETHER CAN ALSO APPLY TO PEOPLE?

Having no established model for such a thing, I was first caught off guard when riding a horse named Ribbon at Miracle Mountain Ranch. Having learned to play the expected Christian role, and having come to MMR to serve the Lord with a sincere heart, I was shocked and dumbfounded when, upon seeing her negative but subtle attitudes express themselves, I was convicted that I was very much like her. It was not a pleasant experience; though she was pretty to look at, I was very bothered by her sour response. I thought, 'Surely I couldn't be that difficult of a person.' It was not a perspective I wanted to tell others about. Little by little as I was faithful to His Word, to regular investments in people, and to the training, I began to see more and more relational principles that could be illustrated by the horse/trainer relationship. As it was a convenient tool in my hands, I began to get my nerve up and share it with others. It wasn't long until others began to request it.
6. YOU'VE WORKED WITH AND SPOKEN TO A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT AUDIENCES - AT RISK YOUTH, HOMESCHOOLERS, CORPORATE RETREATS, AND OTHERS. HOW CAN HORSES SPEAK TO SO MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE ALL AT THE SAME TIME?

Our audience is a broad spectrum. It includes all ages and ranges from very secular to very Christian, and total horse enthusiasts to non-horse observers. But we do share things in common: we are all people and we all share the same relational situations. The very principles that profit a horse/trainer relationship help humans to see their needs more objectively. Illustrating these with horses helps people appreciate God’s greater purpose for their lives from a relational and not necessarily “religious” perspective. The context is fundamentally sound, pithy, yet entertaining and non-threatening.

7. YOU SUGGEST AT VARIOUS POINTS IN YOUR BOOK THAT TRAINING HORSES IS ABOUT TEACHING THEM TO TAKE SIMPLE STEPS. WHAT LESSON CAN CHRISTIANS TAKE FROM THIS TRAINING?

'Obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams' (Isaiah 15:23). Man often pursues unhealthy habits and poor decisions with impulse sacrifices. Perhaps people can be bought off for a time, but God values faithfulness over impulsiveness because faithfulness results in confidence. Little steps that are taken consistently bear far better fruit over the long haul than great talent; character prevails over skill. When applied to the home this produces harmony and growth.

8. YOU GREW UP IN THE CHURCH, BUT THEN STOPPED ATTENDING FOR A WHILE. WHAT BROUGHT YOU BACK?

Growing up in church no more makes one a Christian than standing in the barn makes one a horse. Without a personal intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit, Christianity is nothing more than a religious shell. I grew up in that void and until I came to Christ as a college student, none of it made a lot of sense. After my new awakening in Christ, I found a new hunger and thirst for the Word, for fellowship and sound teaching.

9. TELL US ABOUT MIRACLE MOUNTAIN RANCH. WHAT FIRST BROUGHT YOU TO THE RANCH? WHAT MADE YOU COME BACK?

In all reality, I had a girlfriend while I was a student at Penn State Univ. and she kept telling me about MMR. As she witnessed my growth in the Lord and my consideration of serving Him, she saw the correlation between my interests and skill sets and the uniqueness of the ranch she had attended for years. After a bit of time I applied to be a summer counselor and went with my friend to visit MMR in 1974. Believe it or not my 'girlfriend' would introduce me to the woman who would become my wife a year later. After our wedding, my wife and I went to California where I taught at a vocational college. Two years later, we were asked to return and assume the directorship of MMR (1977).

5 comments:

tonya said...
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tonya said...

Betsy, I can't wait to read this book. A couple years ago my dr had me start riding horses as physical therapy and my instructor actually graduated from MMR. It was awesome to learn about, she even allowed me to read over her Sermon on the Mount textbook and from that I even wrote some devotions that have been published. I have more notes to go through about what I've learned!

Georgiana said...

lol, is this how you know so much about all things horses? Your knowledge really is impressive!

Betsy St. Amant said...

Thanks G! lol No, I told you how I knoww about horses - used to own one and grew up with friends who had them and let me visit and ride, and a lot of it just from reading Saddle Club and other horse books growing up. =) The power of reading!!!! hehe

Betsy St. Amant said...
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