Arena To The Cross Ministry



 Arena To The Cross Ministry began from a vision God placed in Lynn 's heart in 1987 to conduct a Barrel Racing Clinic which included teaching the Word of God in addition to barrel racing.  It was held at Black Forest , CO in the summer of 1987.  Barrel racing instruction was done by R. E. & Martha Josey, Dale & Florence Youree, and Phil & Carol Goosetree.  Bible instruction was done by Murray & Lynn McKenzie.

        Over 120 students attended and everyone was tremendously blessed by the event.  More than 50 people received their salvation; over 30 received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit; many ministries were birthed; people were healed, delivered, and set free, just to name some of what occurred.  Today there are still reports coming in from people who attended the event. 

        The purpose of this page is to have a place where we can include devotionals on a regular basis for those of you who have been fed and blessed by Lynn & Murray and Arena To The Cross Ministry.  


The following was written by our daughter, Jennifer Burgess (formerly Jennifer Mercer).  Jennifer has really been "on fire" for God over the last year and we are so proud of her for doing so.  Both she and Wendy have a depth in the Word that is so amazing to us since they have been pretty laid back about expressing it.  All that has changed now.  Wendy is finishing her second year of Bible school in May and Jennifer has started doing services at some of the barrel races.  When she sent this to us, we were so touched, we asked her for permission to put it on the website.  We believe most of you (if not all) will be blessed and ministered to by it.



The Merry-Go-Round  

by Jennifer Burgess


I just felt impressed to share with you all what I have been going through lately.  I want you all to be encouraged by this and to know that even as we sometimes struggle with life, we are never alone.


When I got home yesterday, I went out and rode and was praying over Lee Akin and God really started dealing with me on some things.  I called my mom and was telling her about it and she said sounded like I better pay attention.  I keep letting all this stuff distract me and didn't realize that the enemy was sneaking into my camp.  When I started off trotting on Sassy, she just didn't feel right.  God reminded me of that passage of scripture (John 10: 10) where it talks about the enemy sneaking in unnoticed into your life. God said sometimes even in the form of friends.  He used an analogy.  When I was a kid and going to rodeos with my parents, we would always go to the fair after the rodeo was over. Usually, because it was already late the guys running the ride would sometimes let us ride until we said stop. Our favorite ride to ride was the Merry-Go-Round.  You could hear the music playing before you would ever see it and we would let the music lead us to where it was.  As soon as we would turn the corner and be able to see it, my sister and I would take off running to get in line for it.  Even if mom and dad were calling to us, we had already seen the Merry-Go-Round and heard the music and there was no turning back, because the music and bright lights and beautiful colors and the excitement of the ride were more enticing to us then listening to our parents telling us to wait.  So we would get on and go round and round and round.  In our minds we were on a great adventure in a magical land.  But in reality, we were going nowhere but in a bunch of circles, past all the same sights and sounds each turn.


We get into life and certain aspects of it become much like this Merry-Go-Round.  We keep getting on and going around and around the same problems and situations time and time again.  But Jesus is standing there saying “not this time, I have something better,” yet we hear that all too familiar tune of the Merry-Go-Round and are drawn right back to it.  So this week, this is the place I got to.  But because it was all so familiar and enticing, I didn't even realize I had stepped away from God.  I began to pursue that Merry-Go-Round life because I heard the music.  And God said to me that if I wanted to get back on that ride and have another go around; if that is what I wanted to do, then He would not stop me.  See I have been to this place where I am at right now before, heard the music, and jumped right on the ride.  Then I was no longer in control, no matter how it seemed, because that Merry-Go-round had a set and unchanging course it was on.  And you can't move forward when the ride you are on just keeps going in the same old circles.


God wants me to push to a higher level in Him and in doing that, it brings every aspect of my life to a different level.  There are things that I know God has been asking me to do, yet I put it off.  Why?  Because I allowed myself to be in pride over those things.  I have not truly let myself and my spirit be broken for Him.  I still hold on to that pride and I can still hear the faint music playing in my head.  I spend my time chasing after relationships with people who either put a real drain on me and give nothing back, or they themselves are stuck on that Merry-Go-Round and don't want off, or maybe even don't realize they need to get off.  I let trivial unimportant things in general day to day living get me off track.  I let myself get so tied up with busy work that I don't make time for the most important thing in my life.  And I think “well God will understand; He can see all this I have going on.”  We begin to make excuses to justify what we are doing and because we show up in church, or say “praise God” when we are talking to someone, we fool ourselves into thinking that we have are not off course and are still in contact with God.  But we are not praying or reading His word and finding the revelation truth in it. And we really are not listening to Him when He asks us to go out of our way to share a moment with a total stranger in the middle of Wal-Mart.  And we sure aren't seeking His counsel regarding where we are going and who we are going there with.  And we sure don’t want to hear what He has to say about the type of people we allow to speak into our lives.  Do you see where I am going?  Understand this, all of that is the music and it’s pulling you right back in.


God gives us opportunities in our lives, but certain ones are only offered a few times and then they pass and you have to settle on something else.  His desire is for us to be exceedingly above what we thought we could do or be, but that opportunity is not always available to us.  Sometimes we have to be at the place where we can see it for what it is and choose to lay everything else aside, whatever life we think we have going, and go after what God is calling us to.  You see, before I let myself get distracted, I had been studying about the different ways that Jesus acquired his disciples in the Bible.  Some of them he walked by and asked them to get out of the boat.  Then there were those who came and asked Him and He told them what they needed to do first.  Then there was Paul, who had that Damascus road experience.  Each of them recognized the opportunity, but not all of them chose to take it.  So now, this is my moment.  This is the time in my life that I will look back on and remember this time and what happens after this and know that in this moment, at this time, I made the right choice.  Did I get serious about pursuing God’s plan or did I let the music keep me distracted?  It is not just about me and my having glory and honor attached to my name.  It is about me pursuing the purpose God has for me on this earth and reaching that maximized potential that He has called me to.  There never comes a time when we can say "Hey God, thanks for the direction- I can take it from here."  It always has to be God as the pilot and we are along for His ride with us and we are allowing Him to direct our steps and we are simply being the vehicle and the voice.  But that means that we have to be willing to detour or to open our mouths and say what needs to be said in the moment God gives us the unction to say it.


As I rode my horse and God began to reveal these things to me, I recognized the gentle discipline.  I cried and I repented; and as I released it to God, I noticed a change in the way Sassy was traveling.  She began to extend her stride, her feet hit the ground better, and her eye relaxed.  But to me it didn't mean that what I had felt when I first started to ride her was something wrong with her, it was an indication that I was letting the enemy in.  So I said out loud that I shut the door I left open to the enemy.  I will only pursue what God puts on my heart to pursue and I will let go of the things that are in not my pursuit and not of Him.


So my question to all of you today is, “What is your music?  What are you letting keep you from going ahead with God? Do you really want to begin to pursue that next level of intimacy with Him?  Is it fear?  Is it strife among friends or family in the past or present?  Is it relationships God wants you to surrender?  Or like in my case, is it just a matter of pride?”  I encourage you face whatever it is and release it to God.  Then get busy doing what He is asking.  Change your ride and sing a different tune.

Want a great, FREE Bible study program?  Go to and click on Downloads for FREE software you may use at any time.  Once you download and install what you want, you then do not have to be online to use it.  It's what we use almost exclusively now. 


Our Vision

        Our vision is for people to meet Jesus and realize that knowing Him, as their personal savior, is the utmost human experience a person will ever have.  This vision is for people to know Him through His Word and by personally experiencing Him in their lives, and to understand that the ministry of the Holy Spirit far exceeds any man made religion or doctrines.  The Bible becomes very real to us as we experience Jesus through the ministry of the Holy Spirit actually living His life in us and through us.

        We believe the Bible is the whole Word of God; that it is accurate and complete, it should be interpreted literally, and it is God's will for mankind.  We believe Jesus came to Earth as a man, made an eternal covenant with mankind, died on a cross, was buried in a borrowed tomb, was resurrected from the dead, and applied His blood to the Holy Of Holies in Heaven, which paid the price for our sins and gives us the right to a full covenant relationship with the Father.  He now sits at God's right hand and is interceding for us and He is our Savior and Lord.  We believe that we have been commanded by our Lord Jesus to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and that it should be a normal event in the life of all New Testament believers.

        We welcome everyone from any walk of life whether they are "horse people" or not.  Simply those who desire to meet Jesus and have a closer relationship with Him, to really "know" Him and not just to know "about" Him.


Links to other sites in Cowboy Ministry:

          All Around Cowboy Church  -  Pastors Sonny & Gloria Rice

          Arena Of Life  -  Pastor Ty & LouAnn Jones

          Amazing Grace Fellowship  -  Pastor Lynn & Dorett Schaal 

          Christian Cowboys & Friends  -  Ronnie Christian

          Cowboy Bistro  -  Rockin' W Rodeo Ministry  -  Ted & Linda Wiese

          IWWOC - Rodeo Cowboy Ministries  -  Glen & Ann Smith

          Maranatha Church  -  Dr. Ronnie & Sandy Trice

          New Frontiers Cowboy Church of Canton, TX  Pastors Randy & Grace Sadler 

          National Christian Barrel Racers Association

         Pro Rodeo Ministries  -  Coy and Donna Huffman

          White Riata Ministries  -  Candice Myers

          Willow Tree Ministries  -  Mary Styer & The Styer Family

  -  Directory of Cowboy Churches & Ministries

These are just a few of our great friends in Cowboy Ministry.  For a complete listing see either the or Christian Cowboys & Friends site in the above list.

Be Blessed in Jesus name!!!!!!


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