10 Years Old – Raising Longhorns & Sharing Christ

Kevin and Laury Rooker & their family enjoy the past time of raising and showing Texas Longhorns, and  their daughter Shelby has been a part of that since she was about four.  There is a scholarship show held twice a year, called the Autobahn Scholarship Tour.  They give a total of $280,000 per year toward college for those that participate. Not only do the kids show their cattle they also participate in several other events, one of those being a speech contest. Shelby has won her speech contest all four times she has participated and has earned through this program about $13,000 in scholarship money.  She won again recently, but what was so cool was what she chose to speak on.  She was having a hard time deciding what to speak about.  They had given her the topic choice of courage, inspiration, or challenge. Kevin went through a few ideas with her, what about a teacher, a friend, or maybe someone from the bible?  That’s when she decided who inspired her.  With the Rooker’s permission, the following is her speech:

Hello, my name is Shelby Rooker, I am 10 years old and I live in Poolville Texas. This will be my fourth time to participate in the Autobahn Scholarship tour, and I am very excited to be here with you today.  I have been showing Longhorns for six years, but that’s not what we are going to talk about today.  I’m not sure about your religious beliefs but today I want to talk to you about someone that inspires me: she is female and important. Her name is Mary you might know her as the mother of Jesus.  One of the qualities of Mary that inspires me is her bravery. Imagine an angel flying to you from heaven and telling you that you were going to have a baby boy named Jesus. Mary had all the power to have a fit, or walk away, but instead, she gets down on her knees and says “I am the Lord’s servant.” Think about telling your fiancé that you are going to have the messiah, telling your family and friends that you’re a young teenager and you’re pregnant. Imagine the gossip and hurtful rumors. That’s truly inspiring that a girl only about 3 or 4 years older than me taking on such an enormous challenge.  Mary also shows how connected to God she is; through all of this she is faithful and committed to follow God’s plan for her life. As the story goes on, naturally Joseph, Mary’s fiancé is upset, but later an angel tells him in his dreams that she is telling the truth, that the Lord had given her the baby. When Joseph has to go to his hometown to be counted for the census, Mary has Jesus in a stable, with only Joseph and a few shepherd boys to see this beautiful sight of baby Jesus (after he was born).  Not only did Mary give birth to Jesus but she also raised him, watched him grow and also die according to Gods plan. If Mary had not done that, Jesus would not have been crucified for all of our sins, and I wouldn’t believe in God. I wouldn’t have a Messiah, a Savior, hope or love without Mary’s bravery and connection with God, my life would be dramatically different.  Because of Mary’s example I realize that I also need a connection with God, living by his game plan not mine, (that would be complete chaos).  That might mean that sometimes I might have to be brave and step out on faith.  As it says in the Bible, Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  I don’t know what God’s plan is for my life, but just like Mary I know that my life will be full and blessed, because God is with me the whole way through.  Thanks you for listening to my story, I hope that you think Mary is an inspiring girl not only to me but also to you.    

That’s from a 10 year old girl in our church!!! 

Shelby, that just ROCKS!!!  We are all so proud of you and the stand you take for Christ!

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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