12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
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 unflinched faith….he prayed asking 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 job. Did you go to a private room, open a window, kneel down and pray asking 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 kings 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 rely 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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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 mediating 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 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 near by 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 were 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 boarders, 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 over night. 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, 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, lets 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 promise 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, Whom 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 everyday! 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 are 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…don’t 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 all together.

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 SEEN 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 dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my right hand.


**If your 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 horses 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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Hope, Overcome

 

This year we are celebrating 20 years that our son Mitch got his second chance at life. A living related liver transplant given sacrificially by his dad.
We are in awe everyday of how our God works, especially in offering us second chances.

Our extended family, our niece, is about to receive that same gift of life.  Anna is her name and she will be undergoing a kidney transplant in the weeks ahead. Presently, she is doing 
dialysis three times a week and building strength. 

She is also beginning the stages of undergoing the testing as well as hoping one of her brothers will be able to step up and be the donor. (Just typing this is giving me the flashbacks and chills!)


Think about this for a minute what transplant really is all about.

It takes two.
Two lives.
Two organs, one good, one bad.
Two hearts.
Two fears.
Two hopes.
 
And MANY praying!

 

Transplants has become one of the leading surgeries for giving someone a second chance. I love the picture this paints!
One life is sacrificing themselves  for the other to have life.
In some cases when looking at cadaver donors, there are many lives that can be saved from just one person who has died. I am still overwhelmed by that !
One donor saves up to 14 people!
But it took a sacrifice. The family member of that person who died is allowing for a very different celebration of life ceremony. Can you picture that? They may be gone physically, but they are living and active in many others. WOW!
Only our God can do that!

For the living related transplant like we endured and our neice will undergo, is still the same sacrifice. The one giving is susceptible to problems, health and otherwise. Yet, many of us would not hesitate to do what it takes to help a loved one, no matter what the cost.
Like my husband, like whoever is CHOSEN for our niece. A very special gift indeed.


 

You see , I believe the Lord works through all theses things. He has a specific plan in place and purpose for each one who is undergoing times of trial. For Anna and her family they each are given this opportunity to trust and believe our Jesus. To know HE has her in the palm of HIS holy hands.
“For I hold you by your right hand…I the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid, I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41:13

How amazing it that VERY promise for the God who created her, and who knew this day would come!  The God of the universe is holding her hand. That is just plain powerful! AND…comforting! 

Below is a song I hope will encourage any of you who need a second chance.
You may not need a transplant physically. 
But you may need one spiritually. Today is the day.
Our Jesus can be your Jesus. And HIS promises can be promises you can claim.

We have witnessed over and over HIS faithfulness and HIS promises have all come true! (You can read our story in my March 28th post, Mitch’s birthday.) 

This song is especially a blessing to me in all seasons, but in a trial HE does show HIS faithfulness! Listen, I think you will find it true for you too.

 

 From time to time, we all need to undergo a transplant of our hearts and mind. We all need to exam our lives and ask God to give us a transplant, a second chance, and a new hope.
Taking time each day to OPEN HIS word and read about how your life can be changed and renewed will empower you to face the trials ahead. 

We believe today in a God who will heal Anna. We choose to put our faith in the Great 
Physician and put our hope in HIS HOLY HANDS!

May the peace of our Lord be with you!
Love deeper, talk sweeter and be thankful for your second chance,
Lee

 


 

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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 in 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 her 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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Healing, Hope

Mark 5:21-39

This bible passage is overwhelming me right now! It’s our son’s 20th and here is why.

Imagine Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue PLEADING with Jesus. A man whom all Jairus co-workers hated. Why was he pleading and pleading fervently my NLT states? Because his daughter was dyeing. He didn’t care what people thought. What consequences would come from him approaching Jesus. He just wanted his daughter well.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever gone before the holy throne Pleading fervently for some hope, answers, rescue?

We have. But sadly at the time I wasn’t a believer. I was only going through the motions. Church on Sunday, pray before meals, doing the church motions when needed, but no REAL relationship with Jesus.

Until I had a crisis. My child was dyeing. My child was in need of healing. I pleaded fervently, but sadly the bible states in John 9:31 “We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but He is ready to hear those who worship Him and do his will.”

I was a sinner. I am a sinner now. What is the difference to Him hearing my prayers now verses than? The Lord woke me up during that time. He used this crisis to draw myself closer to Him. He allowed this time of suffering for our son and us to say, “to Whom do you serve?” I was serving only me. No relationship with Jesus. Not admitting I needed a Savior. Not forgiving ones who hurt me or confessing I am nothing without Him.

Our son did get a miracle. He did survive. But I believe it was not because of my prayers. It was because of the many who were believers. The many who sat and pleated fervently before the Lord as they were worshipping Him and doing His will. Jesus says to Jairus, “don’t be afraid, just have faith.”

Faith is believing. Faith is not just doing the motion and never repenting. Going about our own ways not God’s ways. Choosing what is best for us, instead of asking the Lord what is best. That is clear sign of a person not doing God’s will.

Faith is encompassing His word and truth and allowing the truths to make you change not run away, get angry, or worse yet only take what “feels good”.

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1. Another words, faith is trusting full heartily the Lord is in control of the situation and YOU and ME! Faith is letting God do HIS work, HIS way and our job is to let Him and repent.

Jesus healed the young girl just before He met Jairus’ need. Jesus asked for what from the girl? FAITH… that is what made her well.! Now look at what came next. This was huge to me. Jesus asked ONLY Peter, James, and John to go with Him. Not because they were special, but because they had FAITH and believed this girl was not dead and Jesus was in control. The crowds laughed. But in a few minutes only believers witnessed the miracle. She was asked by our Savior to get up and she did!

It is only by grace that it took another 3 years before I was reading my bible and the passage consumed my heart. “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 23 But I will reply, I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws. It was at that moment I fell to my knees, and confessed, and cried out, “no more Jesus. I am yours. I repent of my selfish ways. Make me new, and change me.” THREE years AFTER the crisis. What took so long? PRIDE.

I am thankful to this day for 2 things. ONE that He used such a trial to wake me up. I do thank Him now and then for our son getting sick to the point of near death to save me. (another hard thing to do is thank the Lord for a trial, but realizing He will do something amazing in it)

TWO, for the believers who were praying for a miracle. It was their pleading fervently that the Lord heard. Not mine, not my husband (even though he met Jesus a week later in recovery that saved him. It didn’t take him 3 years) But believers.

I know this may seem hard to understand or even for some to be offended. But I believe the bible is true. The WHOLE bible even the parts that are hard to hear or read. The parts that make us realize who we are in Jesus eyes. A sinner, in need of a Savior! If you’re offended, I get it. I was there. It is good to be offended like the Pharisee’s were. BUT, don’t continue to be a Pharisee like in the passage in Matt. 7:21…You have the choice to change all of that.

Our son is 22 today. It has been 20 YEARS. He was given a second chance. WE ALL WERE! How amazing is our God!

God loves you!

Love deeper, talk sweeter and open your heart to where to go from here,

Lee

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