12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

The Vision

In March of 2018, I was experiencing some uneasiness in my personal life. My husband was working more and more trapped into a business that demanded so much of his time. I was exhausted trying to get the many needs of the ranch done and not feeling like I had a “willing” partner to help me especially in the area of doing sessions. Marriage struggles, overworked, exhausted, swaying further away from Jesus time.

Pleading with my Jesus one morning, I asked for direction. I knew I needed my man to hear from the Lord again, desiring HIM, and finding time to rest in HIM as well as physical rest. How?

In talking with a similar ministry friend from Hope Rides, Vollie and I began to talk about a more focused time to help ministries in just the area where I was feeling empty. By talking and sharing ideas back and forth, I share specifically the need for men to step up in their faith, lead their homes, and be solely into God’s word daily. Backing it all up in rest. I had the thought of Troy Meeder from CPYR be that man to speak to the ministries. But how, where, when?

Setting the Stage

In the next month, Vollie and I mentioned the idea to many of the Minnesota ministries asking who wants to help and Spur this idea into a spring of 2019 event. HMMM, silence…but the Lord spoke clearly to two ministries. His Haven Acres and Haven Acres joined in. We had our SPUR team willing to seek the Lord in providing a much-needed tool for folks serving in ministries or non-profits. The 4 pillars for the event: Servantship, Prayer, Unity, Rest =SPUR

Spur team in the chapel at Ironwood Springs

“And let us consider how we may SPUR one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24

The event name and verse theme came to light! Midwest Bounty Round-Up focusing on all the states in central USA.

“From one man he created al the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “ Acts 17:26 

We met at Vollies the first month all planning on having the event at her ranch. In the summer months, we didn’t talk much other than some basic ideas but not gathering again until late September at Vollie’s home. Vollie was feeling like the strain, the number of people, and time of year that her ranch would not be a good place. As soon as we all agreed and started typing in other ideas on our computers looking for the right outlet nothing was coming up roses. Our hope was to provide a RELAXED atmosphere since REST was the main theme. By the end of the meeting, we had no place. YIKES! We needed to get fliers and info to ranches soon and not having a place was not a great way to end the day! But, I trusted this is what the Lord wanted and would provide.

Jesus Showed the Way

On my drive home, I really was having a hard time. Where? Oh man WHERE? Lord help us find the perfect place! I began thinking of camps since our son works at one in our area. YEAH…they have horses, great meeting spots, bedding, food, yeah…let’s try them. I called. The gal in charge was not in. RATS. Ok, try others to make sure we have options. I got home and googled Christian camps. I began to think our area would not be good as it is too far north for most of the people we are trying to get to come. South would be good. Or close to the cities. Then I came upon a camp I have never heard of before. Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch in Stewartville. Where is Stewartville? I mapquest the location…ROCHESTER area…it was south, a good sign. “Oh Jesus is this it?”, I said to myself. On to the website, I found an amazing log lodge. Meeting places. HORSES. INDOOR arena. Food. Chapel even! OH MY GOODNESS! I texted everyone on the Spur team. As I was waiting for the response I called them. I talked to a sweet gal in charge of booking and the date was open!!!! YES!!! Jesus, you answered the desperate plea of my heart! And indeed it was PERFECT as only our Jesus would have it!

Getting the Lay of the Land

In early November the Spur team headed to the location to get the lay of the land. Once we arrived we all were pretty gitty! It really was perfect! We met in front of a warm fireplace and catching up on details. I met the founder Bob who has an amazing story! I highly recommend reading it on their website. Truly a godly man who through tragedy is doing the work of the Lord! The tour just brought more gasps from each of us. The rooms are fabulous! LOG BEDS, real mattress, HUGE rooms, adjoining rooms, with amenities. The meeting rooms overlooked the river giving wonderful views. Heading to the areana we met up with a camel. Oh what fun! In every way this place will provide rest for the ministries and provide opportunity for fellowhip and prayer. We got super excited as we said our good-byes!

The Lord Made it Real

A week and a half before the event, my husband was slipping into deep depression. Work was consuming his every thought and being. He had no joy. He simply… broke. He became undone with all that was undone. This is exactly where Jesus needed him. The story is long, hard, very difficult but it’s Dan’s story. It isn’t for me to tell. We believe the Lord wanted Dan in this very place so he would share and give HOPE to others who face a VERY similar and BIG issue in our society. Jesus gets all the glory in his testimony and knowing the perfect stage may be in this event or sharing at another platform. We don’t know. We just trust when Jesus calls, we will go. As difficult as it is, it’s HIS story and our Lord gets all the glory in it! It just came as such a difficult time. “Our ways are not HIS ways.” “Our thoughts are not HIS thoughts”. I needed to push through and ask the Lord to give me wisdom and live day to day. Dan needed to get before the Lord, but it wasn’t easy.

Here we go

Months of planning, getting info out to ranches and similar ministries, setting up details of sessions, talks, worship, have all come to this day. WOW! It’s here! Yet, I had this “undone” man with me really along for the ride but gripping Jesus tighter than the week before. Praise Jesus!

The Spur team arrived a day earlier, really our day of REST as the next few days we would be serving. We enjoyed helping the team for registration, setting up rooms, and just chatting as we waited for Troy and his friend Max to arrive. Really the first time we could just sit and chat and our husbands to get to know one another. Once the boys arrived we went out for dinner enjoying some special fellowship time and hangin out. AHHH I was feeling at peace.

Laurie with His Haven Acres and Vollie with Hope Rides
Haven Acres Ranch registration crew…these are looks of…WHEW!

Here They Come!

Our cute little name tags made by an old friend from my Stamping’ Up days, Terri Gaines and our red Spur shirts greeted our guest with excitement and laughter! Oh how fun as the trucks rolled in one by one eager to have a weekend away from home and REST IN HIM!

The hubbies help trucks unload
Gather and pray together and for one another
Such a precious time lifting our needs before the Throne and covering the event!

Worship

Photo courtesy of Katherine Mathiasen

CHOW TIME!

The next day…worship and sessions

Vollie and Dan lead Outside the Corral in ministry…thinking outside the box
Jessica a vet teaching vetting the Holistic way
Heading to the arena to try herbs for horses learning about the herbs and applying this idea in sessions…we did a demo…
Read about the herb, offer to the horse to see if they take it

We had a wonderful speaker Todd who is a professional psychologist helping ministries identify trauma and how we can serve the folks who come to our ranch giving many ideas and hands-on activities. We also had a similar ministry gal Kris who gave a live session using horses in the arena and another group getting ideas on Christ-centered sessions with kids. We loved having our own representative Emma from CPYR lead the session. She lives in Minnesota but is available to serve and help all ministries here in the midwest. Her hubby and new baby spent the whole weekend with us.

Ahh REST and A message

Troy gave a message at each worship time and filled us with the understanding with everything we do is for Jesus! The first day Troy met with men only and sharing his heart for men to “cowboy up” in their homes and mission the Lord has given them. Dan had a special calling during this time…as just our Jesus would do in his time of need. The Lord gave Dan a special guy who came to this time with a heavy heart. As Dan came alongside him, listening and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through him, this young man was in the same situation Dan was facing. With tears and brokenness, two men ministered to one another. Dan later told me this man reminded him of Jesus. Would you recognize the Savior? This man needed a shoulder, an ear, and peace as only Jesus can give and yet Dan thought of him as the Savior coming to his need. We shed some tears over this as we continue to walk the journey the Lord has for us both. JESUS…it’s all about HIM!

Photo courtesy of Katherine Mathiasen

Our Jesus Provided

Yes, an amazing event coming into play at the perfect time with the perfect message. Not just for Dan and I, but for the many who attended and for what the Lord will do for us to carry that on to others in despereate need of “cowboy up”, Eyes on Jesus, and REST.

God is faithful and good and we serve an amazing God!

To God be the glory in all we do!

In HIS Grip,

Lee


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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Sewing

So simple

I began sewing just a few years ago. So simple and easy is super important to me. I love this idea of just making a casing for the pillow as you can take it off and wash it. I have a tendency to pick brighter colors so this is super important to be able to wash them.

Where I get tea towels

Tea towels are wonderful to use so here is where I get mine. Of course, there are many ideas out there, just remember if you purchase from the link you are helping our ministry as ALL proceeds go to the ranch.
Thank you in advance!

Tea Towels Variety of colors
Red Truck
Dog and bike
Dog and leaves
Grey Checkered fabric (Fabric.com has great fabric, link on sidebar)
same with the pillows good prices
20 x 20 pillow
Pretty much anything you love you can plug into the search and find something fun. Just make sure they are cotton. 

How to

This print of snowman I found at William Sonom
a

  1. First iron your towels
  2. Cut one 20.5″ by 20.5 ” Piece (this is my front piece)
  3. Cut two 20.5″ x 13
  4. Now for hemming to make a clean look. Take one 20.5 x 13 piece and fold it over 1/2 ” on the 20.5 sides. Iron in place fold again, iron hiding your raw edges. So the same with the other piece.
  5. Once folded and ironed, stitch with 1/4″ seam.
  6. Next, take your square piece 20.5″ with the right side facing up
  7. Overlap the two back pieces which will create an envelope to your pillow opening
  8. Pin everything in place and sew all the way around
  9. Use 20×20 pillow to fill
Step 2
Step 7 & 8

Love this! I bought a 20x 20 pillow
Nice folded back

Your done! Isn’t that simple?

Yeah! I hope you make a ton! Especially for gift giving! I will post more as I make them for the Hoedown!

Happy sewing!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Beautiful Memory

Kids who come to the ranch are often facing some serious situations. From being abused, bullies, losing a parent, parents in prison, and or suicidal. One of the activities we will do in a session is offered for the child to put essential oils on the horse. This activity has many benefits not only for the child but for the horse!

I will introduce the oil box to the child and allow them to choose up to 5 oils. Once they choose the essential oil I have them open the cap and offer the horse to smell it. If the horse likes it, he will lick and chew maybe even try and eat it.  The funniest thing they will do is lift their nose up in the air showing their teeth. It looks like they are smiling but in fact are smelling the air. Some favorites of our boys are Peppermint, Ylang-Ylang, Tummy Rub, Frankincense,  Lemongrass, and Aligning. 
If he doesn’t like it he will turn his head away or swish his tail.

Horses love the smell of the essential oils! So does the child!

Watching the Love Exchange

Once the child has the oils which both of them like, I have the child drip a little on the horses back. All along the back. By taking their fingers making a back and forth motion down the spine, I have the child watch the horse’s eyes, ears, and tail. If the horse yawns, or breaths out, they are responding by relaxing and enjoying the treatment. Not only is the horse enjoying this experience but the child is inhaling the oils and receiving the benefits as well. A child who faces trauma will instantly respond to giving love and receiving love. Indeed a beautiful thing to watch!

Allowing the horse to smell the oil before applying.

After the child has given the oil treatment to the horse. I will ask if they would like to make a bracelet with their favorite oil on it so they can remember this special time. Usually…I get a BIG YES!
So off to the tack shack we go to make a bracelet while the horse grazes in the round pen. The horse will like to roll in the sand and relax a bit before being turned out plus we have them close by while we craft. 
The bracelets are simple to make and the beads are inexpensive as well.

Talking while Crafting

We get are beads from Oriental Trading as they give back to our ranch when we purchase their items. If you purchase anything as well when you click on the links, you also will be helping us continue to reach kids in need of hope and healing. 
We use the Natural Lava Stones to hold the essential oil and stretch cording so it can fit any size wrist. Some children will end up making one for mom or sibling so it helps to have the flexibility to fitting. The company carries lots of variety and of course, like everything on this site, I love the free shipping for orders over $39. No prob there!

The children love Lemongrass as it is soothing and keeps bugs away!

One teen girl really did herself proud with this one! Love the colors she chose!

Simple Activity and Memorable

Every session is unique but when a child chooses to do the essential oils and craft I get especially giddy as I really love this activity! I love the freshness of the essential oils. I love the emotion poured out from the child and horse. I love the special chat time while making the bracelet. But mostly I love how the child can walk away from the ranch with a memory!

Make One and Comment Below

Please let me know if you make one and even send a picture! If you’r a mom, what a special time you can share with your children. If you’re a grandparent, you too will enjoy this wonderful activity!

Many blessings and keep it natural!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healing, Hope, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

A weekend celebrating…REST

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you REST.” Matt. 11:28

On March 22 our ranch and 3 others are SPURRING other ranches and folks in ministry to come for a weekend of rest. A time to fellowship with other like-minded ministries and take some time to learn, worship, and enjoy all the Lord has blessed us with.

Goofy SPUR team

We are also very excited to have Troy Meeder from Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch come to speak and lead worship. Troy and his wife Kim have written many books. Average Joe is Troy’s book focusing on men and living a life for Christ. Troy is an adventurous guy, to say the least, and if you have a man in your life let me tell you they will be blessed BIG TIME with this read! My hubby Dan loved it and really learned much from his words. Even a little convicted too, which for any of us is a good thing.

We can’t wait to see how both men and women will be blessed by his speaking God’s word and giving us all a boost to get through yet another year of ministry serving kids at risk, trauma kids and adults, and others in need of hope and healing.

Troy’s wife Kim

Kim has written several books. Her story will truly grab you by the gut! Her childhood trauma left her with Hope…Yes, Jesus was truly her rescuer during a horrible situation no child should have to go through. The book Hope Rising will leave your heart full! Full of how truly our amazing Jesus is in the midst of such trials of life…all from a back of a horse. Another one of her books I highly recommend is Bridges Called Hope.

 

Kim’s style of writing is inspiring and as she paints a picture with each word you feel like you are right there. Kim and Troy have been gifted to express their journey and help others by embracing God’s truths. In the midst of very difficult situations, they have a God who loves them and will never let go! You will be blessed as you embrace each story. 

How Ranch Ministry Began

Troy and Kim started their ranch over 25 years ago. All from their love of horses, their personal journey in life with the Lord Jesus Christ, and the gift of the beautiful property overlooking the sisters, the Cascade Mountains which the Lord had a perfect ministry platform for. Their story became a vision and boost for other ranches like us to carry out the call using our horses to serve our communities.

Just Answer the Call

It’s not easy when the Lord asks us to step out and do the uncomfortable or what may seem like the impossible. But when you do, it is absolutely the most amazing ride you will personally ever be on!

For More Information…

Be A Blessing

If you do choose to purchase one or all those books above, you will be a blessing to our ranch ministry as well as Chrystal Peaks. In advance, thank you! Every little bit helps us meet the needs of so many in need of healing and hope!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healing, Ministry

Do you have someone who is hard to love? Is there someone who you think just doesn’t like you or is hard to communicate with? Has there been someone who has hurt you in some way and your relationship isn’t quite the same? Well…let’s work on that!

12 gifts for the hard to love
Gift of love

We all have one…

I have all the above. I think if we’re honest we do too. This month is gift giving season, typically. But if your reading this and it isn’t December…than all the better! Because for this relationship which is somehow not right to be ok again… this concept needs to happen no matter what time of year.

Let’s first look at our own heart. The Lord says, “People judge by the outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 

Isn’t this passage so true? Looking at this person who is hard to love. WHY? Why are they hard to love? How they act or speak to others? To us? How they choose to live? I am sure we can think of 12 ways one person has wronged us. This passage holds to this very thing. We are looking at the outside appearances, their life versus God created them and loves them and so must we. No matter what. So now the need to find 12 ways back to love instead of wronged.

Why try?

The same thing holds true to the one who hurt you.  The one who continues to ignore you or include you in their gatherings.  If we are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are to love…no matter what.  Remembering His 2 greatest commandments. “Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength…AND love your neighbor as yourself.”

SO…ready for an idea…one that may not work exactly the way you think but I guarantee will please the Lord. 

12 gift Ideas

12 gifts. You can do the 12 anyway you choose. Maybe it will be over a year, one gift a month, or all in 12 consecutive days. It doesn’t matter. Just commit to 12 gifts to this person.  Get your calendar, planner, or whatever you use and look at daily or weekly opportunities to mail or drop your gift.  Next write down 12 gifts this person may love. Food like those cute jars filled with something they can make. I love this because if they choose to make the item it will remind them of you and your relationship. Other ideas can be a card, bookmark, favorite DVD, CD, or movie tickets. Gardening seeds, teas or coffee, hot cocoa, lotions, and gift cards are wonderful little gestures of love. 

gifts for the hard to love
Do you need a great editing program for you pictures….I love this one!
12 gifts for the hard to love
Gingerbread Spiced Syrup…recipe below

In addition to every gift, include a note. You will need to go before the Lord and ask for wisdom to your wording. You want to be sensitive to whatever your relationship has been in the past as well as to why it is a-strange in the present.  Make it special. Fill your heart with love for them by asking the Lord to help you with your hurt or harden feelings. He loves prayers like this, because relationships are VERY important to Him.

Easy boxes filled with Elderberry syrup

What about after…

Lastly, after the 12 days and gifts have been given, if something has not already been sparked by the first one or two, again pray. “Why Lord has this person not responded? What do I need to do next? Help me to continue to love them and bring them to mind to lift to you.” I know from doing this very thing…God has healed. Whether it was during the gift giving time, or just in this prayer time. He answered. A hint of advice, don’t call them or if you see them don’t say ,”Hey did you get anything from me? Did you get the gifts I sent?” Why? Because by asking you are looking for something in return. Keep humble.

Broken relationships bring us to sinful actions. Gossip, talking bad about this person, rudeness, and unforgiveness.  Which all of these separates us from our Lord. If we want unity, if we call ourselves a loving person, than we must do our best to be Christ-like and reach out. If that person doesn’t respond, we pray for them and move on. 

Joy

 One thing can stand out when you do this activity. You can experience joy in the gift giving process making it special for this child of God and it provides an opportunity to pray for them.  There is nothing more joyful in our daily lives than bringing joy into another. We just never know what is going on in the hearts of others. But the Lord does. 

Let me know what happened

Let me know if you tried this. By your comments you could help another. I will be VERY anxious to see how it goes. In both situations so far I have done, it was misunderstandings in one and the other was facing a strong addiction. By reaching out helped heal and brought forgiveness in others in their personal lives. Amazing!

Share away!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

Gingerbread Spiced Syrup recipe:

All products below I get from Starwest link on blog…

2 cinnamon sticks broken into pieces                12 cloves

3 tbsp fresh ginger root                                    1 tsp whole peppercorns

2 cups honey                                                       2 cups water

1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

Directions:

Place the cinnamon, cloves, ginger root, peppercorns in a double thick cheese cloth and tie a knot to hold it all together. In a large sauce pan, add water and honey and bring to a boil. Add nutmeg and stir. Now put cheesecloth into the pot. Let sit for 5 minutes watching closely. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes uncovered. Remove from heat. Take cheesecloth and squeeze out any juice collected using the back of a spoon. Serve some immediately and any remaining let cool and transfer into nice GLASS containers. Make a wonderful gift anytime of year! Keeps for one month in refrigerator.


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Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life
In the book of Daniel chapter 6, we read a famous story told of how Daniel escaped from a lions’ den. At the first sign of trouble, Daniel did the very thing he would be killed for….an un-flinched faith….he prayed to ask God for help. Think just for a moment of a time when you received bad news. REALLY bad news! A death. An illness diagnoses. Loss of a job. Did you go to a private room, open a window, kneel down and pray to ask for help? HUM…I know I haven’t. My faith was shaken to the core. I cried. I called others to tell the news. I simply fell apart turning to others instead of turning to my God. Unflinching Faith Daniel’s faith was unflinching! He knew without a shadow of a doubt God would come through….SOMEHOW. He didn’t know to what extent, even if it all did take his life, God would be with him. In verse 19 we read King Darius woke up early and hurried to the lions’ den. He called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Doubt in the king’s voice and heart. Yep…I think I would have been too. BUT, Daniel answered, “Long live the king. My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in HIS sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” Amazing? Not when we have unflinching faith! Unflinched Faith In my early years of receiving my Lord Jesus as my Savior, I was full of flinching faith. I just had not had enough of HIS promises in my heart. I didn’t know HIS word well enough to see stories like this one come true in my own life. In time, reading HIS word daily, meditating on what I have read and applying it in my own life, I became stronger. YEP, I slip up. I do get shaken, but time with the Lord will bring peacefulness in my heart to pull me through the trial. Seeing it happen in others in the same situations also proved of HIS faithfulness and HIS promises During the months preparing for the harvest hoedown, I needed to take much time in prayer believing the Lord would pull things all together. Two weeks before the event our son just bought a home and his closing landed the day before. Our daughter would be traveling from Richmond, VA a 1200 mile trip with her dog, our bunnies were experiencing illness’,  Bokoda had pulled his shoulder which meant he couldn’t be used for demonstrations, and to top it all off, rain was predicted all week and especially on the day of the big event. Shaken faith? Unflinching? I called in the troops to pray. I called out to God. I prayed “Lord this is YOUR day, not ours. Have it as YOUR will be done. Help me to enjoy serving YOU and continue to be obedient with a smile and faith YOU will take care of the details.” HE DID! AND SOOOO MUCH MORE! Mitch’s house closing got moved up a day and we took the day as rest away from the event and enjoyed moving him into his new journey. Our daughter arrived safely and without troubles. All animals healed, except the one but she got better a few days later, and the Lord made a beautiful day even the SONshine came through! Another story in my life goes into the books of relying on God, and our faith can be UNFLINCHED! Verse 26 “For HE is the living God and HE will endure forever. HIS kingdom will never be destroyed and HIS rule will never end. He rescues and saves HIS people; HE performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth.” He does! These verses should inspire us all believers to walk this life of trials with an unflinching faith! He’s got us…in the palm of HIS Holy Hands! Take that you lions! Love deeper & talk sweeter, Lee
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Ministry, Ranch Life
Throughout the summer here on the ranch, we usually and prayerfully pick a THEME to carry out our session time. This year is a Pathway or Trail. Focus keywords help us draw out what the person’s trail is that day or is happening in their life. In one teen we had, her trail was faking the God life. As we continued through her session, she found you just couldn’t fake the God trail. He knows it all! You can't fake God I asked this teen, we will call her Marie, to lead the horse out of the pasture walking a trail as her life is going. Marie haltered Bokoda and swiftly walked straight on to the gait. No turns. No going around trees. Just straight on. I responded with a “well…tell me what that trail is?” Marie said, “it’s straight. I can see what is ahead of me and I feel great!” I nodded with a smile, “awesome let’s go play with Bokoda and have a great time!” Throughout the session, there was some stumbling of not remembering certain things. For example, when Bokoda would walk faster and bump into her she allowed him to almost push her, she forgot the game on how to back him up or get him out of her space. So we had a quick review. Her confidence was strong thinking she knew how to handle Bokoda, but when he challenged her, she couldn’t remember how to ask him to remember her boundaries. Another time when she was bumped, I asked if she is reading her bible. She shook her head no and said, “ I don’t have time. But I helped at VBS. “How is your prayer life?”, I asked. “I pray at mealtime…only when I remember.” She laughed. I quickly grabbed onto that response. “Well, tell me what happens when you remember to ask Bokoda to respect your space?” She said he listens. I asked, “and what happens when you don’t remember?” Looking down and getting where I was headed, “Bokoda almost pushes me down.” We went on talking about when our trail seems straight and all is going well we can allow some poison ivy to grow along the trail. Not even see it. We can even walk through mud and not realize our shoes are wet and muddy. We can fake our faith. God knows our hearts. He knows our every move before we take it and He never forgets our sins. He forgets our sins once we repent, but if we are not walking with Him on the trail in and sinning along the way, HE remembers. You can't fake God You see as adults we do this all the time. We tell people we will pray for them and we forget. Just pray right then and there when someone asks. We can even go to church weekly and fake our Christian walk. Even having in our conversations, “God will provide” or If it’s God’s will”.  Another word, we can have the Christian lingo down, but not be living it. Being on God’s trail means time with Him. Being in HIS word. When things happen in our life, we need to quickly and I mean quickly, go to HIS word and seek out direction. I had something pretty difficult situations happen this summer and I had to Google some words from my bible to seek out what Jesus would do. How He would handle such people or situations. You know…it works every time! Daily we need to spend time with Jesus, share our hearts. Praise Him for what He is doing good and bad on our trail of life. We can’t fake our trail rides with God. Just like you can’t fake any relationship. You can’t fake your marriage is good when it really isn’t. God knows. You can’t fake your life is perfect. God knows it’s not and never will be. You can’t fake God…period! You can't fake God A person who chooses to walk the trail with God is peaceful in ALL circumstances. YES, even the bad times. You might be down, but you’re hopeful. You know the Lord is working in the situation. A person, who is faking it, is falling. They are being stomped on. Deceived.  Their trail is full of poison ivy and mud puddles they just don’t want to let anyone ride the trail with them. Fakeness will catch up to all of us who pretend we have a relationship when we truly do not. The Lord wants all of us not to fake our trail rides. He desires for us to be honest with Him and with others as we face our daily trials. If you’re not walking the trail with Jesus, stop right now. Repent. Ask Him to remove your fakeness and pull out the poison ivy of dishonesty. Come to Him with true transparency simply saying daily, “I need you, Jesus. I surrender my life to you.” And you know what? You trail of life will be real! Being fakey leads a trail of emptiness. Being real is being on a trail full hope! God’s peace and blessings as you ride the trail of adventure with Him! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life
We are gearing up for our Harvest Hoedown at True North Ranch! We can’t wait to share all the Lord has done this year and since we have been in operation for 10 years it will be especially rewarding to have folks come and see the ranch first hand! In the weeks ahead we will be preparing for little stations throughout the ranch. Here are some of the things we are prepping and creating. Kids can make a craft called a Prayer Jar! I just love this idea! Here are the supplies needed: (affiliate links that when you click on also help our ministry at the ranch) Harvest Hoedown Fun Foam Faith Shapes Fun Foam Faith Sayings Plastic Mason Jars For some adhesives I recommend: Glue Dots Tacky Glue And Sharpies for markers: Big pack And of course the BLING! LOVE these!! Really no need for directions as it is simply sticking on items and using markers to decorate. Let the creative juices flow for the love of the Lord! Hoedown On we go to decorating the ranch grounds.  Scarecrows!  I hope they don’t freak out the horses but they will look so darn cute! My kids and I will be hunting down some cornstalks and colorful flowers to place on fence posts and of course, we will have to scrounge up some pumpkins to place in a variety of places. Color is my big thing since September isn’t a real colorful time yet. I will have to get creative in this area. Harvest Hoedown A wonderful volunteer helped paint up some signs and prepped our photo op area. SO cute! Hay bales, and ropes to make a memory for all who come! We also used bandana’s to mark for parking by ripping them into strips and tying them to a hay string. This showed folks where they could park as well as added some fun decor outside the ranch area. The full bandanas we used to decorate the tree lines. This will help add the color too! harvest hoedownThe silent auction area will have tables decorated with the faux wood as well as the bandana skirt. This will be darling! Our chuck wagon will be loaded with grub with a fall menu serving, of course, our favorite pumpkin tea and spiced apple cider. To decorate this area I found this really awesome faux wood roll. Fits perfect as my hubby couldn’t finish the table part in time. Our prizes for the sack races, cake walk, and pony barrel races will be goodies wrapped in a bandana. We chose Golden Nuggets of course to fit our Nugget! Horses, and candy. Harvest Hoedown The ranch will have some fun games like horseshoe, corn hole, and ropin’ the calf.  All fun for all ages! We also hired a wonderful husband and wife team to sing us along and have good ol’ line dancing’! I can’t wait for this part! HEE HAW! To end our day we have a couple of kids who will demo what they have gained from having sessions at TNR. This part I hope will be a special part for our folks to see and hear the message of hope along with our speaker and worship time. Hoedown Everyone will get a little tea bag as memory and thank you full of our favorite TNR harvest pumpkin tea blend. I used these organic muslin bags with a tag THANK YOU stamped on each one. OH, how I love to throw a Hoedown, especially giving God all the glory! I will post pictures along the way. So until then, Happy Harvest! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Bible Journaling, Healing, Ministry, Ranch Life
What pathway are you on right now? What is your trail like? Is it full of poison ivy? Are you tripping on broken sticks? Is there a fork on your trail and you don’t know which one to take?  Are there puddles too big to jump over or mud so deep your just plain ol’ stuck? Maybe your pathway is beautiful, full of joy and no worries. You feel all is well and perfect. About 10 years ago, a ministry came into our community helping financially troubled families who were living on the streets or in their cars. This ministry was wonderful as it allowed the days for children to play or attend a local school and parents to find jobs and homes. In the evenings, the families would go to a church to be fed and loved and have a place to sleep along with a big dinner and breakfast. The ministry is called New Pathways. What a perfect name!   Individuals whose pathways somehow got goofed up led wrong or made wrong choices which allowed for a new beginning, new start, new pathway. In our sessions this year, pathways are our focus word we use as a foundation to their time with the horses on the ranch. So far it has opened many conversations and openness I haven’t really experienced before. I love how the Lord leads me to certain things such as words like this, verses, passages of scripture, and reminders of my own stories or experiences. Have you ever stopped to look down a road? A trail? A sidewalk? An aisle? In every step we take throughout a day, we are always on a pathway. If the pathway we are on is causing pain in some way in our life or we know is not a path the Lord would want us on, we must somehow make a new one. We must at that point make a choice to choose a pathway that may not be easier but give us freedom. It may be free from sin. It may be freedom from conflict. It may be freedom from addiction. Whatever pathway you’re on, your Savior is longing for you to find a new one! At times I find the pathway I am on is safe and easy as I know it so well. But the Lord is asking me to try a new pathway to stretch my journey. He desires for me to explore and learn and at that time I will have to depend on Him more and more because I don’t know the path well. That’s the pathway I am on right now. This ministry is constantly challenging in the way the Lord is bringing in new ideas and opportunities. They are like weeds to pull or brush to move to clear the trail. Sometimes I want to turn around and go back on the pathway that I knew before. A pathway where I knew every area that is dangerous or could “trip” me up. A path or trail that didn’t cost me so much hard work! In this new pathway, I have no idea what’s ahead.  I haven’t either been on it before or have and it caused pain somewhere along the way. I surely don’t want to go through it again. YET, my heavenly Father wants me to try because He has a new plan within the new pathway. I must trust Him, belief, and ultimately obey. By obedience, I am choosing to say no to self. Choosing His ideas, not mine. Simply, surrendering my will. One of my favorite verses I have memorized, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding but in ALL ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your path straight. “ Proverbs 3:5-   HE does…every time I am obedient. My salvation verse, “Your word is the lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Ps. 119:105  By READING the bible every day, not just short devotions or commentary from others but truly reading, absorbing, and talking to the Lord, HE will direct my path for the day and days to come. Again, obedience and choosing the path of being still, alone with my Jesus. Pathways offer hope. They offer second chances. They open new opportunities. New pathways draw you closer to your Redeemer who is molding your character to be more and more like Him. Possibly, you may not be on the path with Jesus. You may be walking alone. Afraid, lonely, or simply unhappy. Will you trust in a Savior who promises to walk with you? He promises “He will never leave you or forsake you. He is with you always.” That is the best part of choosing the path with Christ! So what pathway are you on? What trail will you take? Will you choose today to follow HIS lead and walk the trail together no matter what it may bring you? Enjoy your ride or walk…on your NEW pathway! Love deeper, talk sweeter along your journey, Lee
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Hope, Ministry, Overcome, Ranch Life
My word for 2018 is rest. Am I doing a good job going into month three? Resting in Jesus is not easy because doubts creep in. I am in the Book of John 1:29-34. John the disciple and John the Baptist are both so open. Their hearts are genuine and real. They LOVE the Lord! Sitting in my warm home looking out at the sunshine and fresh fallin’ snow, I imagine what it would of been like to be John the Baptist.  To be watching his cousin approaching  him as he was baptizing others and to have the LAMB OF GOD walk into the waters. Oh my! My Big Things What are your big things in life right now? Health issues, children, marriage, job, financial problems? Have you asked yourself “how can I really rest in__________? Your blank is whatever the unrest is. My big things (notice the S) is our season coming up in ministry. Meeting financial obligations. Being strong in my walk with the Lord to be able to help others. Events coming up and the planning it takes. Keeping the animals and ranch in good care. My list could go on! Doubt creeps in! Resting in Jesus within this HUGE responsibility of life is hard! What I need to remember? Let’s take a look at what happens once Jesus is placed under water. “John the baptist testified, ‘I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon Him’. Do you see that? John witnessed the Holy Spirit resting on Jesus. Our friend John goes on, verse 33 “I didn’t know He was the One, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, “the One on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” Can you just imagine this scene? Well folks, we do need to picture this especially when we are facing life issues! If we have confessed our sins, and claim Jesus as Lord, we too have the Holy Spirit RESTING on our shoulders. NOT the problems of the world…the Holy Spirit Who gives us courage, strength, and hope to carry on! What a gift we have! Resting in the ONE…Jesus! Resting in knowing without doubt the Holy Spirit will give you the power to overcome! HOW IN THE WORLD do I do this? Simple…get in the Word of God. Memorize His promises. Post them on your mirror in the morning. Say out loud “Lord I confess I have doubted you in____________ (name it) and I know you will repair, fix, or have it in the palm of your hand!” Resting in the Big Things is resting in Jesus! Trust me, The Lamb of God has the BIG and little things in your life! Now go rest, pray, and rejoice in His power! God’s blessings upon you! Love deeper, Talk sweeter, Lee Some great new bible journaling items from Day Spring I think you will love! A whole collection on the Fruit of the spirit! NEW TOO! (affiliate link and purchase goes to help our ministry) Fruit of the Spirit sheets Fruit of the Spirit card stock and stickers Fruit of the Spirit Wasabi Tape
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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life
Do you have days; maybe whole seasons where you just need a boost of faith? Are you experiencing times of loneliness, defeat, or just plain emptiness? Is life throwing you some curve balls that are overwhelming you right now? Maybe it is just a season of nothing exciting happening. Your just feeling BLAH!! These are warning signs to quickly turn to God’s word to GIVE YOU A BOOST! I read this passage today and took out my illustrated faith creative kit, and began meditating on this passage. Hebrews 11:3. “By faith, we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” We have no idea what God has planned. But resting in faith helps us hang on! Oh MY, you can’t help but get a boost! Look at each verse in the chapter. Each of them has a story behind them that will bring your heart and mind to awe. WHY? Because each story has a character like you and me, we can begin to relate in some way. You will have no doubt that there is a God who is watching over you when you experience the Lord working during your down seasons. He indeed has the power to help you overcome your dark times here on earth. Some of the stories, which I believe are all true and indeed happened, bring me immediately to a place of comfort because they show me God is in control They show me that in all things, God brings together for our good. Let me share on a personal note. Four years ago we had our horses boarded at a nearby farm. For three years we did our ministry from this barn. It was wonderful as it had a heated indoor facility, huge outdoor arena, and beautiful trails. We just loved it there, and the folks who ran it was awesome. It really was perfect. We also had this property, which we are now on, but the Lord was not opening the doors for us to be on this property. At times I would walk this land and pray and hope ministry would indeed happen here. That it would become a full-on ministry in our own area that we called True North Ranch. I would walk the land and the Lord would give me pictures of what it would soon look like. Imagining a road here, a fence there, the horses eating, and ministry happening. But it just wasn’t happening. One spring day in early April, we had the yearly vet day. As the borders, me, and the owners were busy getting horses into the stalls preparing for the vet visit, it seemed a little weird. The owners weren’t their happy selves. The owner came in head down, no smile or greeting and proceeded to close the barn doors. She remained somber and quiet and went on to share that she had some bad news. My heart dropped. Someone had reported their barn as not being compliant with the area laws and turned them in. (ALL NOT TRUE to the extent they were demanding). The authorities told them they could no longer have boarding horses. We were devastated. All of us! We were saddened that our friends all standing before us were hurting and going through this and at the same time thinking what WE would do. (As if our God didn’t have a plan) The worst thing the owner shared was we needed to be out by June 1. THAT WAS ONLY 2 MONTHS away! But the Lord our GOD had a plan! We had this property. This property just sitting there waiting for the right time. The property in its beauty full of trees, yet… no road, no electricity, no running water, no shelter, no no no…..just trees. I was excited at the thought of having the horses now on the property, but in the process of excitement, I worried about all that had to be done. In two months no less! Here in Hebrews Chapter 11….my story…In 2 months God rocked! Every day. Every moment, He provided. He provided funds for fencing, automatic water, horse shelter, pump house, round pen, roads, and hay. HE PROVIDED IN HIS TIME and in the right moment. It wasn’t easy. It didn’t happen overnight. But the Lord took what was an awful stressful time…and turned it into awesome. Only a GOD who cares and loves you can do such a thing! You have a Chapter 11 faith stories too. You need to look back on what the Lord has done so you can remember how GOOD HE is. By remembering a past trauma and how God brought you through, will get you through the rough patches you are going through right now. It’s a faith booster! One we all need! Journaling is wonderful because of this. You can go back and look at faith stories of your own. Recalling HIS workmanship in your life gives you strength! It works for me every time!!! The stories are my BOOSTS both in the word in and my own. Get a BOOST of faith today. Journal, create a faith memory, and share it with others who too may need a boost! Being grateful is also a very helpful tool during your time of boosting! God bless you! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Bible Journaling, Crafts, Ministry
Coloring and being creative in card making has always been a love of mine! I have loved to color, draw, scrapbook, and gift making since I was a young girl. But recently, I have enjoyed the art and love of journaling in my daily devotional time. In the year 2017, I stepped into ANOTHER form of creativity. I added a planner that I could add fun color, wasabi tape, or stickers to help remind me of different events. Who would have ever thought to put your daily calendar into full color and splash would make me WANT to look at it? It helps me remember too as well as fun creating it! So in 2018, I got myself a combination of devotional and a planner all in one! In just a few days of starting the new year, I have enjoyed the doodling, journaling and I think the best part is the focused verse. I take it with me throughout the day. Memorizing, pondering, and loving God’s word in my daily tasks. This one is on a non-affiliated but wanted to share. Dayspring also has a TON to choose from. I also love how I can write prayer requests, or look to see who I need to pray for. While I am in my devotional time and the Lord inspires something on my heart, I can still be creative in my bible. I can do my devotional than plan my day and still be focusing on God’s word and prayer.  One day I reverse it and you know what? It helped me focus more on my quiet time because I got the  “to do” out of my mind. By having the business part done, I could flow right into prayer and praise and time in His word. I JUST love this! Watch a video! I think that is what I love so much about journaling as it can be drawn, written, or just doodling my thoughts. In my bible, I will often date it when I have created something, or when something is really on my heart and have gotten praise or prayer within that time of creating. If you want to get started, Dayspring has some wonderful Coloring Day Planners! You can click on the link ad of Dayspring and take a look. ***(remember every time you order from this blog you help our ministry) This year I got a smaller version size planner, and I wished I didn’t.  (above) I like a little bigger space not only to write down my appointments for sessions but also room to create. So if you’re pondering the same issue…go bigger! I love it and hope you will too.  The bible I have for journaling is also on Dayspring or Amazon and all the fun goodies you can get to start. The joy of being in God’s word just got more delightful! OH…and colorful! Here is a picture of the NEW GOAL kit if you’re into planning goals or making a vision board. Enjoy being creative! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Ranch Life
Do you have a focus word for every new year? Have you ever chosen a word you need to reflect on and make a part of your daily life? I didn’t until two years ago and I love having this special word to remind, refresh, and renew my soul!  One year I had JOY, last year I had Overcome, this year…REST! Throughout many days in December, I asked the Lord what word do I need to focus on, draw my days around, work on for my own health, help me be a better wife, mom, and missionary? The Lord brought REST into my mind. Over and over…it just kept creeping into my mind as I was working around the ranch and our home. Rest! So REST it is! What does it mean for me? For one thing, it is something the Lord desires for our best. The Lord repeats it many times throughout scripture and HIS first mention of it is in the very first book, Genesis 1:5. “God called the light “day” and the darkness “night”. And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.” See it there? He stopped working for a time. Resting. God goes on making land and sea, vegetation, lights in the sky our sun and moon, animals, and us. Each day He rested at the end. Our Lord didn’t run off and do something else that quickly needed to be done. He didn’t indulge in food or watching TV. He rested. Moving onto chapter 2:2 God begins with a final detail. “On the seventh day God finished His work of creation, SO HE RESTED”(emphases mine) from all His work.” Resting is tricky. We can easily think cleaning up the kitchen, organizing a closet or office, or folding laundry is resting. Even watching TV or playing a game as a family can be thought of as resting. I think sometimes working around the ranch is restful like picking up manure or grooming the horse. But really, that’s work, not rest. So we have to go back to what God’s definition of rest is.  It’s all about fixing our thoughts on HIM. Resting in HIM. Taking a walk is my favorite time of resting. We live in a beautiful area of deep woods. No people, no traffic, nothing but the sound of all those things the Lord has made.  Fixing my thoughts on HIM is easier when there are no distractions plus I am truly refreshed and rested when I am finished. Resting is important to God so much so He planted it in the very beginning. He desires for HIS children to be refreshed, rejuvenated, and rested! We can THINK that doing other things are resting but really…it’s running. In the end, you will be running into more physical and mental exhaustion. True rest. What does it look like? Getting alone with God. whether it’s a walk, cuddling up with a good helpful book and a cup of tea, watching a sunrise or sunset, or journaling are great ways to rest your mind and body. Trail riding is always a restful time but not often work as well as it can be stressful if the boys are feisty. Plus, I love spending time with my husband but chatting away isn’t always restful. So finding and doing restful things that are accessible and best for my mind and spirit are key. My goal for 2018 will be a year I will focus on rest. I will start my day finding verses on rest, journaling, and living my day thinking of the importance of resting in my Father’s arms. He desires the best…so I will listen and obey, peacefully and gladly! After all, isn’t just the sound of rest give you peace?  Running just feels exhausting even typing it, so why do I choose running vs. resting? Human nature I guess. Prayerfully, I hope you too will find rest in 2018. The Lord hopes so too! Here are some scriptures I found on REST to begin your journey… Genesis 1 Genesis 2:2-5 Exodus 20:8-10 Exodus 23:12 Exodus 33:14 Psalm 4:8 Psalm 23 Psalm 55:6 Psalm 127:2 Isaiah 14:3-4 Matthew 11: 28-30 (Favorite) Mark 2:27 Mark 6:31 Hebrews 4:9-11 (another favorite) There are many more…search…rest…and enjoy Jesus time! This gal’s blog has some great FREE downloads and wonderful tips! Check it out! God bless you year…may it be a restful one! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Ministry, Ranch Life
Below is an information Video for our ministry, True North Ranch. We can’t wait for Spring every year as we get so excited to meet new kids and families as well as adults! We also look forward to see old faces and joy fill the ranch again. Below we have a link to see our ministry video which will give you a glimpse of what we do, why, and of course give information if you want to sign up for a ranch session. Below is a link for you to see what we are about! For you to know how to contact us if you know a child, family, or adult in need of healing and hope.Our Website, www.truenorthranch.org  Why we do a blog? We do this blog to inspire folks to live a simple, natural, well-balanced life and to share what we do here at our ranch. All our sessions are at NO COST to anyone! If you want to help, you can donate online on our website or Facebook, or you can purchase throughout this blog by clicking the banners. All that we earn from this blog GOES RIGHT BACK INTO the ministry to serve ones in need. The companies we represent on this blog Each company we have links so we took some serious time investigating. Other than Amazon, the companies represent what we believe in by living a healthy lifestyle and/or are companies we trust. Our ranch family wouldn’t recommend them if we thought they had poor service, the products are questionable, or bottom line gives you the quality you deserve. We purchase from each company ourselves and love what they produce. We hope you do too! I hope as you read along you will make comments and help me too! If you see something that isn’t right, please let me know! Our Bi-Weekly Ranch News Signing up for our newsletter will help spark ideas that are new on the ranch. Recently we started adding something from each category so some things may not interest you. But, we wanted a way to connect you to specials as well as some fun things we do around here.  So sign on up ya’ll! Thank you and may God bless you! Register for sessions or get a glimpse of us HERE!
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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Overcome, Peace, Ranch Life
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” Luke 2:14 I have been pondering and journaling this verse all week and one word just poured over me. Peace overstress. Is it possible? Well, I believe yes! No, I CHOOSE to believe yes. Imagine, being pregnant, or your wife is. You have to travel at the worst time because the government has an order. You get to your destination and they lost your reservation and to top it off, you go into labor so you find the next best place, a barn. (I think this would be kinda cool, but still scary) Have you ever had so much stress in a day, a week, a month, or year? Does it ever seem like there is no hope in your situation? The thing is, the angels on that day declared Peace on earth. God had a plan. His plan? For peace to be in people’s hearts. Yet here’s the thing, it will only impact ones who sincerely get the reality that a baby Who’s name is Jesus, came into the world for them, YOU and ME! And to accept it. Peace only comes to ones who want to see AND experience the peace from the pressures of this world. Just like in the Christmas story with Mary, Joseph, and their new baby we see stress. Stress happens, it builds and it seems like the struggle will never stop! However, when we choose to have peace in the One who is Peace, He can bring calm within the storm. Flowing rapidly within your heart! It won’t matter to you what the doctor tells you, what a person says bad about you, what is happening in the world. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phill. 4:7 I personally experience this peace when I hear bad news. Having cancer. Losing my dad. My oldest deciding and becoming a police officer AND moving 1600 miles away. Plus a ton more! Stress happens daily. But it is always in the CHOICE of how we choose to deal with that stress. How would you love to embrace a peace that nothing can pierce through? How is that possible? First, it’s through acceptance. Accepting you are a sinner, that every day won’t be a wonderful, peachy day but you will trust God through it. Next… and this is a tough one…do not waste time thinking things over and over in your mind. Worrying, repeating the situation in your mind, instead, choose to set “your affection on things above.” Colossians 3:2 Lastly, give thanks in every moment you can. Set your mind to bring everything to prayer instead of fretting over things you can not fix. Phill. 4:6 “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known to God.” Have you Thanked GOD for a problem, situation, relationship issue, or any bad news? YES, this verse is saying IN EVERYTHING be prayerful and thankful! It’s hard, but I did this for the first time several years ago when our son almost died. I THANKED God. Why? Because within thanking Him for the 19 months I had with Mitch, I was giving him back to Jesus. God knows and HE is in control. There is SO much Peace in receiving that one truth! God will turn all things to good…He promises! So this season, think of the First Holy Family, starting out stressful, in a corrupt world, yet finding the peace that this new child is the born King Who is called, Prince of Peace! May your season this year and next be filled with HIS Peace that ONLY HE CAN GIVE! In Jesus Name! LOVE DEEPER, TALK SWEETER, Lee
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Bible Journaling, Hope, Ministry
As Advent is now approaching this word just fills my soul! Promises. It is a word that when you hear it you either feel a sense of hope, or you immediately remember a promise that was broken and the sound of the word makes you upset, angry, or maybe abandon. Your trust for that person or group of people has left you with a permanent mark. As a result of either experience, let’s look at the promises fulfilled and bring us to a place of trusting once again in Someone Who never forgets a promise. Advent is a time of recalling the promises of God. Promises to remember what God had told His people long ago would happen. The whole Old Testament is filled with the promises of God. A promise to Abraham he would Father as many descendants as the stars in the sky. Genesis 15. A promise to the Israelites they will be taken out of slavery and see the promised land. Exodus 12 A promise to HIS people He will send a Counselor, Peacemaker, a King, a Savior. Isaiah 9 In the New Testament, we begin with a Promise fulfilled in the birth of a Child, Who has come to save the world. God sends the Perfect Promise. Jesus. Yes our God keeps His promises and it truly is what gives me hope every day! I put tabs on my bible with the words PROMISE so on those down days, I can quickly go to them. Humans not so much. Humans simply cannot do what God can do. We promise breakers. WHY? Because of our selfish ways, our own agenda, or simply life in general. We cannot fulfill all the promises that our family and friends would love for us to do. In ministry, working with teens especially, making promises is a NO NO! First, they most likely already came from a place of abandonment. Consequently telling them I will do something or give them something when I am not sure, just leaves an open door for lack of trust. Instead, I trained myself to respond, “I will try” or simply “that will not work for me I won’t be able to that.” Being honest and open breeds trust and a stronger relationship in the future. This goes for any relationship. Young or old…do not make a promise we simply do not have the capability like God to see the future. With our Lord Jesus coming as a baby, God’s promise and plan was being fulfilled. Imagine all the people in the Old Testament that heard about this prophecy of a Savior coming, but it didn’t happen in their lifetime. Some lost hope in the wait. Some even left the faith altogether. But for the ones who hung on, without sight, without the story of a baby in a manger Who is called King of Kings and Light of the World, those individuals are rejoicing in heaven with HIM. They may not see Jesus or read about Him in the what we call the Bible now, but they are experiencing the same Hope we will soon have. We too have not seen the Lord Jesus in the flesh, but we have this side of the cross where we know what happened and what will happen due to His Holy Word. We have the story. We have the facts. We have the proof. We have Jesus, who came as a baby, walked the earth as a man, and died on a cross to save us from our sins. We are on this side of the cross with the WHOLE picture. I know there are folks who have had promise after promise broken and they have given up hope…TRUST. I get that. I have had people do the same to me. But…they are human. Jesus is not. He is God our Savior who paid a price. The price of dying a horrible death for my sins. Every time I get angry, or gossip, or hurt someone I picture Jesus being beaten. His painful death. I know there are folks out there that don’t think they sin. They feel they are good people. I don’t think anyone who says that understands when they hurt someone by words or actions that is a sin. Or when they have told a “white lie” it is still a lie. There is not one human being who can say they have held the 10 commandments perfectly. Not one. We are not perfect and without sin. Hence we need of a Savior. A promise kept that has everlasting, eternal rewards. I can’t wait to meet my Promise Keeper! Can you? This advent season whether you are alone, or have a family, take this time to research all the promises in the bible. I can make one promise because it has come true for me and thousands of others. You will not be disappointed or feel abandoned. Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not dismay, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my right hand. **If you’re pondering a gift idea for your child or grandchild, think about the gift of HIS Word. Dayspring has many fun ways to open the child or teen into God’s love for them. Ideas to inspire daily reading and prayer! I encourage you to check it out! Links are on our blog. (which help our ministry) Living on the Promises of God today and every day! In Jesus name, Love deeper, talk sweeter and walk-in HOPE, Lee **The picture in this post is of a young teen who was building trust with the horse. She was understanding through the horse’s response how trust in a relationship begins with herself. She must be consistent, patient, kind, and be a partner, not a boss. This teen 3 years later experienced a trial of a loss so huge! To get through such a trial took trust and faith in Jesus Christ, promising her Hope!
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Bible Journaling, Healing, Ministry, Peace
In the midst of going through a really difficult time, have you ever had anyone tell you “thank God for this situation”? Or “God has a purpose for your suffering right now.” Have you in return wanted to just belt them one? Or simply be just so angry you walk away and think to yourself, “they have no idea what I am going through.” I can tell you I have been on both sides. I know the feeling of going through something so difficult I thought my world was falling apart. And at that moment, it seems NOTHING anyone says will comfort me. But I also have been with people suffering through tough things and in the right timing, I have stated the above. WHY? How can I be so thoughtless? On the contrary, it is bringing someone to the place that they are not in control and to bring them to the place of Jesus who IS. The Bible tells us, “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose for them. “ Romans 8:28 When looking at this verse and going through trials in our lives, it is important to fall back on the word of the Lord. NOW, if someone I knew was not a follower of Jesus Christ, I would not share such thoughts at that time. They simply would not understand. But for one who has given their heart to Jesus, it is in times of trials we see that God does have a purpose for everything that HE allows. We, of course, cannot see it at the time. That is where faith comes in. Hebrews 11:1, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for, it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” We have NO idea what God is up to and all we can fall back on is FAITH…because that is what HE tells us to do and we wait and HOPE. The Lord promises, Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in HIM.” Psalm 34:8 Do you see that? WE who hang onto to Jesus during a trial are called BLESSED! He is good no matter what. So, therefore, now here is the hard part…GIVE THANKS! WHAT? Give thanks for this incredible trial! Are you nuts? Let’s go back to what the Lord says, “give thanks to the Lord for HE is good.” Psalm 136:1 Imagine your in the hospital room with your dying child and your head is bowed, tears flowing, rocking yourself in sadness, and your saying out loud: “I am giving thanks to you Oh Lord, for YOU alone are good. You alone are Master; You alone are the Great Physician. I give this child to you. Thank you for allowing this as I know you will cause all things to work together for Your good. I will trust in you alone and by faith will wait on You.” Praying aloud, giving God the glory in the trial will give you peace as you place it all in HIS hands. Is it easy? We are not promised easy on this side of heaven. Will all things go away in that trial? Probably not. Will your faith be stronger? Mine was. Will you look back on the trial and see God’s GOODNESS and FAITHFULNESS? I did! Can you share with someone else that same trial you went through to help him or she hold on during their trial? They too will TASTE AND SEE that HE is good! I believe we all go through trials to share with others who face trials that God fulfills all His promises. It sometimes takes your story and sharing it with another for that person to get through their trial. Don’t be afraid to share. So many are hurting and need to hear that God is GOOD even when they can’t see it! God’s blessings upon you. Love deeper, talk sweeter and share God’s love and HOPE! lee
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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Peace, Ranch Life
As I sit here with my Frankincense oil and my cup of yummy Pumpkin Cream tea reading my bible, the Lord brought something to my mind as my heart is stirring over a decision my husband I need to make. “ The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” Psalm 32:8-9 Every day I have to make decisions. Some are simple really. Just organizing my day to get as many tasks and “fires” off my list. But some, well, are more difficult. I am bad at directions and often am bad at being given direction. So, I have to depend on my GPS in my car. If it’s a new place for SURE I need it! It’s easy to just plug in the address and off we go as the little female voice tells me how to get there. And I trust it most of the time. It is so funny to read this verse today as I ride through the trails. Bokoda is going where I want him to go by a hug on one leg and when he chooses the wrong way, like heading toward a tree, I engage a grip on the rein so he feels pressure on his bit. He moves right away because it hurts. Like the verse, Jesus is my guide and when I take a wrong turn, the Lord puts that pressure so I will hopefully turn to HIS direction, HIS path not mine. When I do choose my way it does hurt. We have to decide on some things in ministry that will affect many people. We sit and pray and ask the Lord to reveal HIS best interest, not ours. By going to HIM we are submitting our own will to HIS. You see the Lord is omnipresent. He knows all things past present and future. He knows what will be best in the long scheme of things and HE even knows and will protect the ones affected by that change. I often want to know that detail the Lord has. But, it doesn’t work that way. Look at this verse which I did for my bible journaling. “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” Proverbs 20:24 This is when talking to the Lord just gets humorous sometimes. He just speaks through HIS word and gives me peace. SO awesome! (Proverbs 3:5-6) Another great verse! I follow my own path when I don’t want to change. When I don’t want to work harder or the change is asking more of me somehow. I follow the path of SELF and every time that path leads to consequences. So why don’t I learn?  Well, like the horse, we are on a journey. Because of our sin nature, we are selfish and need a Savior! We need to confess our own ways and allow the Lord to be our Master and tour Guide through life. It’s hard, but always worth it! Unlike the GPS in the car, or the bit in the horse’s mouth our Lord has a promise. “I will protect you wherever you go.” Genesis 28:15 The GPS lady can’t make that promise as she directs me to the destination. I can’t fulfill protection on the horse when I direct him through a trail. However, my Jesus can promise HE will guide and tell me the BEST path. He will WATCH over me and he will protect. These are big words for big decisions and today is another day to make decisions. So asking Jesus every step along the way for HIS idea and bthe est path is truly the best decision ANYONE can make. Enjoy making many decisions and may you get your direction from the Lord to give you peace as well! Love deeper, talk sweeter and pray always! Lee
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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Overcome
August 8, 2017 2 Timothy 2: 15-21 Are you a hard worker? Do you struggle to stay focused while on the job? Have you ever gone on Facebook, or “went shopping” online while on work hours? Are late to work or appointments? Are you giving your employer 100% of yourself? The things above you know in your heart would be wrong to do as you know while on your bosses time is work time and not your own. As I read this scripture today and am looking at my work in ministry, I asked myself a question. Am I an Approved Worker for our Lord Jesus Christ! If we are honest, whether you work outside the home for an earthly boss,  or are a stay at home worker, we ultimately work for Jesus if we call ourselves believers in Jesus Christ. What we do every day is ministry! If we are a stay at home mom or dads, work outside the home, volunteer our time, all is “working for Jesus,” our ultimate BOSS. I have to always make sure I begin my day with prayer, seeking if I am right with the Lord. What I need to repent of and ask for forgiveness. In this passage, I read, “The Lord knows those who are His, and all who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.” Verse 18. NLT. Every day, even throughout the day, we all must do a double check on ourselves. Am I turning away from evil, things that make my faith, Jesus, look bad? Am I being an example of Christ? Am I honoring HIS name in all I do and say? The passage goes on in verse 20, “In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.” Did you catch the last part? A special utensil. Are you a special worker for the Lord Have you cleaned yourself up so HE can use you today? In this verse, Jesus our Master expects that we are to remove our old ways. (The wood and the clay utensils) What habits did you have before you were a believer? Swearing, heavy partier, revengeful, self-pity party, late to work, pride. What was the sin you keep falling into? If you want to be that SPECIAL UTENSIL (Gold and Silver) for Jesus today, take this time to repent, ask for forgiveness, and tell Jesus you desire to be HIS, clean, golden, and ready for use! May Jesus POUR over HIS blessings upon you today! Love deeper, talk sweeter! Lee
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Ministry, Ranch Life
This is the heart of ranch life. living for Jesus and sharing the love of Jesus with the brokenhearted! Many come to the ranch to enjoy the horses, by doing activities throughout the ranch,  as well as to help volunteer. But when each come, they come with some kind of hurt, trauma, pain, that is causes their own life to be in turmoil. Our 90-minute sessions offer a time of healing, overcoming their issues by experiencing relationship strongholds. They will be in a beautiful setting that offers them peace and quiet from their busy lifestyle or structure and lastly, they leave our ranch empowered knowing they have a God who loves them and is giving them strength to endure the days ahead. Our ranch is not just for children as we serve adults too. We have adults with marriage issues, addiction, and of course parenting conflicts. With each of the everyday life challenges, the horses provide a way of understanding ourselves and what we do within those challenges. The horses teach us ways to improve our own communication, and or deal with the trauma that is overwhelming their daily life. Here at the ranch, we also provide times of volunteering, which in of itself can be healing. The daily chores and upkeep of the ranch is a task that we love to have people come and experience themselves the gratitude of hard work and giving back. With cutting trees, to manure pick up, to making the ranch beautiful with flowers and gardening. We have young and old who love to be a part of this activity and what makes it special is we provide it anytime so it works on their schedule, not ours. We also love to cook on the open fire and do crafts so we often will do cookouts and picnics for different events. We love our veteran families and love to serve them as much as possible. Ministry is really all about sharing Christ with others and sharing what He has done in our lives and what He can do in others. Jesus is the only way to peace, we know, we have had trauma in our own life to know….He is the answer to all pain!
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