Heart of Ag: Sharing the Good News On The Dusty Trail
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:4-5
Of all the things I do and am in my life, my faith is the most important to me. Yet, as a society, we are often convinced this part of ourselves should be separated for just Sundays, not brought into our work, business and general dealings with others.
I had a writing job for 13 years which gave me a national platform. Management changed, and one week, per usual, I penned my column around timely topics such as agricultural policy, production and running a family business. At the conclusion of this particular blog post, I wrote about the importance of prayer.
I was fired from the job that day.
Since then, I have decided I’ll never shy away from sharing my faith again. I’ll never cower in the corner and separate what I do and who I am. There is no cattle ranching for me without a strong sense of faith.
This life is too hard, too risky, too insanely tough at times, I don’t think I could do it without a love and devotion to Jesus.
And as I’ve leaned into sharing more of this part of my story, I’ve been told by well-intentioned folks I should tone it down. They’ve warned me I won’t be invited to speak at as many conferences, and I’ll alienate people by being so bold in my faith.
Yet, the opposite has been true. The more I share the good news, the more I attract folks with Jesus in their hearts, the more impact I am able to make and the more speeches I am invited to give.
The proof is in the last 18 months – I’ve traveled to speak at more than 100 events – and last week, I experienced an affirmation reminding me I’m on the right path.
A profound moment I will never forget happened the last morning of the National Hereford Women’s Gathering retreat in Desdemona, Texas at GKB Cattle.
A rare opportunity for me since I normally talk about cattle and agriculture – I was asked to give an early Sunday worship message before the group of women departed for home.
For an hour, I shared my testimony of faith, family, farming and foster care, and then something special happened I didn’t expect.
We had gathered around the dining room table for my session, and the ladies sipped on coffee as I poured my heart out in my speech, “God’s Will, Not My Own – Walking In Obedience To The Lord.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room that morning, including my own. And as I wrapped up my speech, one of the ladies said to me, “Amanda, you really need to turn around.”
You see, as I presented that morning, the perfect backdrop unfolded without me even realizing it. The wooden cross planted squarely in the front yard was lit up with the rising sun and framed in the dining room window.
When I turned around to see what the fuss was all about, the view about knocked me over in shock at the stunning beauty and the incredible timing of the stage set behind me.
But of course, I shouldn’t be surprised. I smiled and cried big, happy tears thinking of my Father in Heaven who loves us all so much. There is really nothing special about me at all, but let me tell you about this amazing God that I serve. He never ceases to bring me to my knees in absolute awe and deep, humble gratitude.
Thank you, Jesus, for this precious gift that day. And thank you for the amazing people I get to meet along the way. I am truly so blessed by this journey, and I hope to use my platform, not just to talk about agriculture, but to share the good news along the dusty trail.
Amanda Radke is a rancher, author, motivational speaker and podcast host. For more from Radke, visit amandaradke.com.