12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Bible Journaling, Empower, Living Naturally, Ministry, Ranch Life

Trusting the door

Last November our daughter and son both faced some big trials. “Trial Doors” as we call them. Door number one for our son Mitch as he had to go through 4 months of dealing with a bile duct blockage and have a tube inserted. After the 4th month, he got the tube removed but with news, his liver is in trouble and may need another transplant. Hard news and many sad days of facing “what next?” and what doors the Lord will provide.

Our daughter desperately needed to move home over a year ago but the Lord didn’t provide ANY doors for that to happen It was a hard year for her as well until November when the news of Mitch illness arose. She felt with her whole heart it was time to look into taking the steps to get licensed in MN, (she is a cop in Virginia). My husband and I felt the same way it was indeed time for her to take the test and get the ball rolling! The Lord provided the doors…one wasn’t a good one with hard health news but I believe it was the door for Kinzey to walk through a door she hadn’t pursued during the course of a whole year. So we all trusted…

Being aware of the door

Kinzey failed the first attempt of the test in November which was clear she needed more studying and help. I found out about a class specific to recruits to help pass the test. Remember, she is VA and the class is here in MN. But, she said, “if that is what will help me pass then I will do what it takes!” The Lord once again provided (door 1) the ONLY class in December and even just before Christmas (door 2) so we could have a family celebration at the same time. (We hadn’t celebrated Christmas together for 5 years) She found the class very informative and learned tools (door 3) to help her study better. Come January the Lord provided another… door 4, the date for the test in her state became available. The only date for several months! She passed! (door 5) As soon as she took the test she applied for her dream job back in MN where she interned. They had 2 openings which just became available! (door 6) Can you believe this so far? Seriously as I type this it amazes me!

Dedicated for over 5 years!

Door 7 she gets the email she has been accepted for the several phases including interviews, more tests, and background. One door shut along the way. She applied for another job which opened up in December but when she mailed it, certified even, the department got it late. So, she never did hear from them probably due to it arriving past the due date.

When you recognize the Lord has provided a door for you to walk through it is only by faith we do so. It may not turn out the way we planned but the Lord would not have provided if He didn’t feel you needed to. It is also important to praise the Lord for each step even if a door closes. Each door provides the character He is building in you.

Move By Faith

Yep, that is indeed what the Lord desires from His children. To step out and trust in HIM! With our daughter she will not hear from the department for several weeks due to all the phases they have to hire but we prayed together and trusted if the Lord orchestrated all these details then we shall move on them. We headed out east, packed her up and left her with an empty, echoey house as she waits for the phases to complete and see what is next. It was the first time in 7 years I didn’t cry because I wouldn’t see her for many months, but I did cry as we thanked the Lord for paving the way and the reality she will be home again soon.

Look at the tongue weight!

Jesus IS the Door

One of the many adventures Kinzey and I took was stopping at the Ark Encounter. Truly a trip y’all need to take! AMAZING! Anyway, the most powerful part of being on the exact replica of the ark was… the DOOR!

What do you see?

I wept. I simply stood in front of that door and wept! To think about how God would use this simple wood structure as a metaphor to HIS son awestruck me. The many scriptures signifying Jesus Christ as the Door and how the door had to be tall and wide enough for each animal and other needs to fit through.

“I am the Door. Whoever enters through it will be saved.”

John 10:9

This verse and the analogies we use like”walking through a door”, “when the Lord provides a door”, or “when He shuts a door” are all too significant to the truths our God provided from way back in Genesis. BUT we must as believers be very careful to line up what is in front of us as a door and go before Him in prayer. With every step, it will build our character! It may be a hard door to go through, but if He opens it, there is a reason. It may be a door we are not sure if the Lord is in it. Character building again.

No matter what…every door is a faith walk. We do not know what is on the other side. But the ones who try you can be assured our Jesus is holding your hand!

Unity Stamp Company…such a great stamp!

May the doors are wide open and clear and if not, PRAY and seek HIS wisdom! Enjoy the ride as every door is an adventure!

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Peace, Ranch Life

We had a great day celebrating his liver birthday on the 24th and going back to camp to volunteer. It was wonderful to see him working but he told me he is dealing with some pain. He has an appointment to do a round of blood work and a CT scan to see if indeed something is going on.

Trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge HIM and He will keep your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

We continue to pray for healing and trusting in the HEALER’s timing! Keeping you posted as we know the next steps.

Thank you for joining us in this trial!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

April 6, 2020 Surgeon confirms…

Mitch is indeed going to need a liver transplant sometime this year. The thing about transplants is, unfortunately, a patient has to get pretty sick.

Mitch is put on a waiting list and in the months ahead he will undergo tests and many visits with the doctors. The virus going on right now does not allow for those visits so again we wait. Mitch was laid off of his job and of course, time will tell the steps in his future there. For now, we trust in the Lord and will continue to pray for healing.

We will update when there is info but really only necessary especially for prayer. Please keep him lifted up. This is a hard time for anyone, especially when you’re young.

God’s blessings as we pour our hearts out to our Savior and Healer!

In Christ alone,

Lee and Dan

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Healing, Health, Living Naturally, Peace, Ranch Life

What muscle to target

Using essential oils to customize your own special blend is not only the most healthy way to treat a sore muscle but also the key to working a particular issue. Working from head to toe focusing on the tight areas for a longer period of time. Once the area is loose move along to the next area again working downward. What I love about massage is it benefits the giver as well as the receiver! As you work the muscle area you absorb the essential oils in your own skin as well as infused. Getting those sore muscles worked and boosting the senses is what makes massage with essential oils so unique.

Blending For A Warm Massage

To create a warming and invigorating massage experience combine essential oils such as Black Pepper, Copaiba Balsam Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary, Ginger, Turmeric, and Nutmeg. The oils create an uplifting atmosphere and warm the muscles as well as cleans the skin. The carrier oils to blend with Fractionated Coconut oil or Jojoba. Fill half of a dark squeeze bottle with your choice of carrier oil along with your top 3-4 essential oils. The dropper amber bottles makes it easy to apply without waste.

Soothing Massage

To create a soothing massage experience use essential oils like Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Geranium, Helichrysum, Frankincense, Chamomile, Ylang-Ylang, and Blend of Sandalwood (amazing oil). These oils along with any of the carrier oils will create a relaxing, calming atmosphere as well as sooth those stiff muscles. NOTE: Some essential oils are expensive and excluding them from your blend will be just fine.

Quick Tip Recipes

A gentle, clarifying massage: 5-8 drops Patchouli, 8 drops Lavender, 4 drops Clary Sage, 3 drops Rosemary, 2 drops Bergamot along with 2 fl oz Almond carrier oil.

A grounding, calming massage: 5 drops Cedarwood, 8 drops Bergamot, 10 drops of Juniper Berry, 2 fl oz Avocado carrier oil.

Foot massage: 8 drops Tea Tree, 5 drops Peppermint, 3 drops Cypress, 2 fl oz Avocado carrier oil

Hand and foot massage: 6 drops Ginger, 8 drops of Orange, 4 drops Clove Bud, and 2 fl oz Almond carrier oil.

HERE is another recipe and step by step

Workout massage: 10 drops Juniper Berry, 10 drops Lavandin, 5 drops Peppermint, Grapefruit, Cinnamon Bark, 3 fl oz Almond and 1 fl oz Jojoba carrier oil ( I use one of the carrier oil bottles for this massage oil)

  • With each of these massage oils use the dark amber bottles to keep the oils from going rancid and in a dark cabinet.

TIP:

Before you do any massage for yourself or a loved one add a spray midst to the linens. Just setting the stage for a wonderful experience!

Pucker up pillow mist recipe here

Comment and share

I would love to hear what massage oil blends worked best as well as what you personally came up with! It is so fun to create your own blends especially if you are dealing with a particular issue. Explore and enjoy it!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, live naturally,

Lee

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Healing, Hope, Peace, Ranch Life

March 10, 2020

Mitch is starting to show more signs of the liver in trouble. He is weak and having major itching which is causing sores all over his body. Of course, it makes him extremely agitated as well. His skin tone is yellowing too but in conversation with the transplant team, they will remain to ask for labs and adding some meds to help with his itching. We pray the change in meds will help. Mitch leaves for Oregon next week for a fun getaway with kitchen staff from camp. Please pray for him to enjoy a wonderful time and just to getaway. When he comes home it will be his 25th birthday! WOW! We will celebrate our little man well! Thank you for praying!

February 21, 2020, we got a call from the transplant center that Mitch’s MRI looks GOOD…in fact GREAT! She stated the bile duct looks better than when they first saw it back in the fall and everything seems to be going well. PRAISE THE LORD!!! Oh, we rejoiced in the news! BUT, that doesn’t mean he is out of the woods. He still has an appointment in early April with his doctors. One is the GI doc the other is the surgeon but we WALK BY FAITH God’s got this! Keep prayin’! We hope NO transplant is needed!

No tube…more freedom

For some of you who are specifically on a mailing, we update as soon as we have news on our son Mitch. He recently had his tube taken out and today he is doing amazing! Of course, we have to keep praying as in early April, day after Easter, he sees his doctors. One for GI and one a surgeon. Life is a journey and how unique this life of Mitch has been, struggles and joys all for a purpose we can not see. That my friend is faith.

Praying for the Miricle

On the appointment day, we find out if he is still in need of a liver transplant OR if his liver is working normally and not failing. We continue to daily lift this young man up hoping the Lord will totally heal this liver which has been functioning for…get this…23 years this January 24th!!!!

Happy Liver Birthday

I hope to be sharing some pictures as we surprise him this week celebrating and praying for him. YES, he does not know what we are up to, but we are excited to let him know this is a day of encouragement as we see all the Lord has done in 23 years and praising and giving thanks for all HE WILL DO for the next! It is within the trials our faith can go either way. Grow. Or sink. We continue to rejoice and in the praising, our faith is strengthened. I will add pictures to this post when the big day happens. Only a few days away. want to be an encouragement?

Being An Encourager

I find this piece so huge to ones facing trials. We just don’t know what the Lord is up to and if we could see the other side of it we wouldn’t grow. Jesus preaches for us to be encouragers of one another. Lifting one another up in prayer and thanksgiving. We appreciate all of you who tune in and are be obedient by praying us through! Jesus is ALWAYS faithful!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee and family

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Healing, Living Naturally

Today brings joy

On Christmas eve we celebrated our Lord Jesus’ birthday thanking HIM for coming from a perfect place in the heavens to save us! It was almost 22 years ago we understood what being “saved” meant for the first time. It took a tragedy. It took almost losing our son to wake us up to the truth Jesus came to SAVE us from our sin not to celebrate the day of gifts and hoopla.

We ended the evening with Mitch being anointed with a prayer from the church family. Laying hands on our boy people prayed for a special gift for Mitch. A gift of a miracle.

Essential Oils Used For Healing

In case you think I’m crazy, look up in the bible all the times essential oils were used for healing, cleaning, perfumes, sacrifice, and even at the cross! (references below)  I think this is why I love them so much. There is something special when you pour an oil on a sick persons head or on the area of pain and can feel, smell, and simply enjoy the blessing of bringing your request to the Lord. The oil naturally formulated from an herb or plant which comes only from HIM being poured onto the area of pain.  It’s worship in the most beautiful way!

My favorite oils I use on Mitch as each one has a special job:

Orange
Frankincense
Myrrh
Peppermint 

Waiting Game

As we are in the stage of waiting to see and hear what the doctors will do next, we do simply pray. Each day he fights pain but moves on with his day. I continue to bring my concerns to the Lord as soon as my mind wanders into areas it should not. Being in God’s word helps tremendously as I need strength and assurance. In the wait, Jesus is near and hanging on to all of us!

Until we have more, keep praying! Our Jesus has our Mitch!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

The list below is a SHORT list!

CEDARWOOD Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52
CINNAMON Exodus 30:23Proverbs 7:17Song of Solomon 4:14Revelation 18:13
FRANKINCENSE Exodus 30:34Leviticus 2:1, 2, 15, 16, 5:11, 6:15, 24:7Numbers 5:151Chronicles 9:29Nehemiah 13:5Song of Solomon 3:6, 4:6, 14Matthew 2:11Revelation 18:13
MYRRH Genesis 37:25, 43:11Exodus 30:23Esther 2:12Psalm 45:8Proverbs 7:17Song of Solomon 1:13, 3:6, 4:6, 14, 5:1, 5, 13Matthew 2:11Mark 15:23John 19:39
CORINDER
Exodus 16:31Numbers 11:17
HYSSOP Exodus 12:22Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51,52Numbers 19:6, 181Kings 4:33Psalm 51:7John 19:29Hebrew 9:19
JUNIPER
Job 30:4
MYRTLE Nehemiah 8:15Isaiah 41:19, 55:13
SPIKENARD Song of Solomon 1:12, 4:13, 14Mark 14:3John 12:3
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Healing, Hope, Ranch Life

Bye Bye 2019

Yes, 2019 was defiantly a year I am ready to say goodbye to, yet the Lord Jesus did So much in the midst of the bad it really outweighed the horrible days. So how can I really be so excited to see it go? Mainly because I am sitting in a hospital room right now for our son Mitch and we just received some very difficult news. Today we relive what 1996 was like ironically the same month just before Christmas. Our son is facing a tough 2020.

Looking at tough times with 2020 vision

Mitch and our whole family have had some difficult trails but we faced them together with the love and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. The first time we dealt with Mitch he was only 19 months old when we were told he was in liver failure. Now he is 24. He has done so well with his new liver given by his dad but today it isn’t doing so well. This liver is struggling to operate to its fullest potential and needs some renewal. For now, this is what we see. This is what we have before us. But I know my Jesus SEES Mitch in a much more different way. He sees AND has a plan we can not see and are not meant to see. Oh how I wish we could, but then…we wouldn’t need a GOD who shows us HIS mighty hand and HIS ultimate plan.

Mitch waiting to go into Unit 2 at the UOM with his gnome given by a dear friend. His little support of JOY! 11/25/19

What does Jesus need to see?

I believe the Lord needs me to step it up. He allowed this trial for ALL of us. Me, my husband, Mitch, and his sister Mackinzey. WHY? We again can’t see His plan but just need to keep HIM in the center of everything we say and do as well as shape us ever so much closer to HIM. To bring our relationship with Him deeper. Pressing so intimately to HIM that we never have before. He allowed this trial because we need to make a change. In the midst of this new year, we will face the need for wisdom, decerning daily decisions, meeting new people, listening to things we may or may not want to hear. But most importantly giving credit to the ONE who deserves ALLLL of the glory within each of those decisions, and new relationships. As I sit in this room, there are people facing saying good-bye to their loved one. For new parents holding newborns who desperately desire memories and a future with. And so many others dealing with tougher health issues. But I have a Promise keeper. A Hopedealer. A Peacemaker. A Miricleworker. A Healer. In turn…makes facing this a WHOLE lot more peaceful!

“I WILL praise you, Lord with all myheart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with JOY because of You. I will seing praises to Your name, O Mos High.” Psalms 9 :1-2

To Whom will I Trust?

Today I will choose to trust in my Savior, Jesus Christ! It wasn’t easy news. In fact, it was horrible, heartbreaking! I was hoping for a wonderful fresh 2020 with NO problems. But Jesus gave me and all of us a new plan. Every day we can choose to face trials on our own. Some face trials not knowing there is ONE who loves them deeper knows exactly what they are facing and CAN AND WILL give them peace! Instead of peace and joy within the trial, their pain brings hopelessness and despair. How do I know this…because 22 years ago…I was one of them. Yep, no Savior…yep I knew of God, even would tell you I believed…but I didn’t. I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. It was traditional. It was simply a religion. TODAY I face the same trial but with a better outlook because I have HOPE!

Fix our eyes on Jesus…keep our focus on HIS trail, not our own. A lesson this day. Who knew how real this would become? 5/10/19

Because of a choice…

Jesus met me in a hospital room on January 12, 1997. I felt Him. I opened my Bible blowing the dust off of it and came upon a passage that spoke directly to me at that moment our 20-month-old son was dying.

“O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but You. Psalm 5:1-2

You see the Lord had a vision. A purpose for “such a time is this” Ester 4:13 He saved BOTH Dan and me during this trial. Without Mitch facing this then, we wouldn’t have had the past 22 years of amazing growing faith! We wouldn’t have had the convictions of raising our children to behave the same saving faith and to live life with a purpose for others vs. themselves. As young adults who chose to live sacrificially to serve others. To have a vision for a ministry to serve kids at risk using horses which I always wanted to have and be GIVEN the privilege to have True North Ranch come true. And the list really is endless because of submission Jesus and dying to self. It truly has been an amazing ride!

A trip to MOA after a day at the UOM. (red dots not sure what they were up too) 8/1999

So what is happening today?

We decided as a family to use this blog which is connected to our ministry website as a platform to share what is happening with Mitch’s new adventure. We SEE the Lord working every day in this trial and we thank HIM daily for it! The vision is clear folks…Jesus HAS MITCH and all of us in the Palm of HIS HOLY HANDS! We wait and SEE that what HE does is always GOOD! Mitch is dealing with fluid in his tummy, legs, and feet and is having to go through weekly appointments to have them drain it. He also is facing some bad acne and is going through treatment for that as well as continuing to have an external tube that has been in him since October 14, 2019. These issues have caused more stress on his liver and scaring has become more as well. He is with us for a few days until he regains strength and will go back to his home when he is feeling stronger. Christmas will be early this year for our family as our daughter Mackinzey is returning home for a few days but has to get back before Dec. 23rd. We will be capturing as much family time as we can!

Our tree is decorated with only the names of Jesus…Each day I ask Mitch to choose one he feels is fitting for the day…FREE was his choice today. 12/12/19

How can you pray?

  • for comfort and relief of pressure from the fluid in his body
  • for travel for Mac and Dan as they drive from VA. to MN next Monday
  • for the test, labs, and all treatments to continue to show improvement and for Mitch’s liver to function on its own with NO transplant needed!!!
  • for the Lord to provide all of Mitch’s extra expenses coming from co-pays on meds, appointments, and hospital treatments
  • for the family to enjoy some peaceful times together with Mitch in little to no pain to embrace this time together in celebrating our Jesus’ birth!

THANK YOU for PRAYING…

Feel free to share as you need as this platform of the blog is to glorify and edify our Lord Jesus Christ who WAS, IS, and always WILL BE the King of Kings!

Updates will come weekly as best as we can. We are believing Jesus for a miracle of his liver fully returning to normal on its own and trusting if HE chooses otherwise our palms will be raised…whatever Your Will Father!

We love you!

Peace in Christ alone,

Lee and Dan

Praise song for the week: I will praise Him in the Storm by Casting Crowns

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Healing, Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Battle of worry

Worry really is a daily thing for most of us. I can try and try to not let something bother me, but it creeps up and becomes a place I shouldn’t be.

Around the ranch, it happens just by having all these critters to care for. YES, as a believer we are called to give all our worries to the Lord and if we do worry we are doubting the Lord. That troubles me to know I am doubting the Lord power over my troubles so I repent often. I desire to put my worry behind me but it is a battle.

“But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is a sin.” Romans 14:23

The kitten climbed to the tippy top of a pine tree…oh my…worry I did!

Worry when it is in Jesus’ hands

The last month in preparing for winter I threw myself into a tizzy over the kitten’s water getting frozen. I shared with my hubby Dan and he assured me, “the Lord provided these two He will take care of them, plus they are outdoor cats and know how to find what they need.” Oh sure, ok…well of course! They found the horse water which is automatic and keeps at 45 degrees all year round. (The assurance of me SEEING them drink helped revive me as well)

They found this I am sure many months ago…

What to do?

I think the first thing is to make sure one is really talking to the Lord about their concerns. I know I need to open my mind to praying for peace, thanking the Lord for all He has done and WILL do despite the concerns of daily life on this side of heaven. If we are not aware we worry more than we should or over things that truly are no big deal to Jesus, that is an area of the heart. Worry is doubt. Just like His word teaches us.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … Matthew 6: 25-34

No worries here…Nugget is as calm as a clam…He loves Mousy!

Relax and Rest in Jesus

After chores, this boy knows how to rest!

Resting in the ONE who can give you peace is the ultimate worry breaker! When I choose to rest instead of worry my days go so much smoother. If something arises, I stop, pray, listen, and do what the Lord request, TRUST in HIM…for every worry in the world…He has it!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Last 2 months our son facing health issues and will be for at least one more month.

Simply put…

Jesus doesn’t want us to worry because He created us knowing it is bad for our physical and mental health. When we choose to give our concerns over to Jesus we are releasing our minds to focus on things from Above. Trust me on this one, I have seen people with worry not able to sleep and fight other health issues to myself experiencing what it’s like to be overwhelmed with worry to laying it all at the feet of Jesus. The latter is SO peaceful and a much better place for my mind and body.

A friend of mine gave me a gnome when we visited her before our son had to go into another treatment for his liver. As we laughed at how cute he is as a little comforter for Mitch, I couldn’t help but look at this picture. The gnome hat points up. When we are overwhelmed by the everyday trials, look up child, LOOK UP!

“Give all your worries and cares to god, for He cares about you.”

1 Peter 5:7

Love deeper, talk sweeter, give it all to Jesus,

Lee

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Crafts, Healing, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life

Letting Go…Let it Ride

Facing situations with people that are just plain annoying can really eat at your thoughts. Recently I was in a meeting where one gal was pretty dominating. We had much planning to do to organize and set up for an event and I am sure you have experienced this once or twice, but you have an idea and instantly it is shot down. Ok…well me too. I continued to share ideas “letting it ride” that one of the ideas didn’t go over, but then there was another, then another, and another. “Letting it ride” was not going so well! So I became quiet. Not sharing anymore. Becoming…not Christian-like.

Let it Ride set (find here)
Letters Die Cut by Honey Bee (find here)
I used Gelatos (find here) for my colors translucent and brights,  or here blending with an aqua painter pen (find here) 
(LOVE using watercolor when using open stamps)
The blending pens from SU! are good too, I just don’t like them as well.
The wood paper (find here)
Mounting tape for 3D effect (find here)

Gotta get a barn door look!

It’s a matter of the heart

Simply put our hearts are jealous, rebellious, full of sin. When I felt like I wasn’t heard and thinking my ideas weren’t worth importance, it wasn’t the gal’s fault for putting the ideas down or the others in the room who didn’t jump in and say, “awesome idea Lee!” What I was feeling was unimportant. I forgot life isn’t about me. The event is an important agenda. Jesus is the focus and center of it all. Not my ideas, not my goals, not anything!

“The Lord looks at the heart”. Samuel 16:7b Jesus know my heart. What I am thinking. Thoughts which don’t belong to a follower of Him.

Let it ride brings peace

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21

True verse! If I choose to focus on the needs of my feelings of self-worth I set myself up to be bucked off! Peace only comes when I choose to “let it ride”, let the Lord lead. Give my concerns to Jesus and He will sort them all out. If someone has wronged me, by praying and seeking the Lord on the issue to “let it ride” and pray for them, or address it with love, He will lead the way!

Coloring in the horse giving a silhouette look

Love to hear your comments

Please let me know what you think of the cards. Not that I need affirmation or compliments, but it is fun to see fellow crafters give ideas and tips too.

God’s blessings upon you and

ENJOY THE RIDE HOME,

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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Bible Journaling, Empower, Hope, The Boys

We sure get ourselves into a rut when we focus on the worst part of ourselves. We can even try to hide from connecting with God because we have deep feelings of shame or guilt. The best gift we can give ourselves is who we are to Whom knows are deepest soul.

Do you ever find yourself pretending to be someone else? Hiding from the world who you really are? I can tell you from experience this can be exhausting.  But there is Hope.

Being in the presence of Jesus with all of our junk with our guilt, shame, naked before Him we come into the very presence of grace, love, and forgiveness. Only if we are willing to choose. Only if we are willing to come before this Throne of Grace will we experience the Hope.

In a similar way to our Jesus, horses bring out our true selves. Horses don’t pretend and are not self-conscious. They don’t worry about how their hair looks, if they are too fat or too thin. Horses show up exactly how they are full of grace and pure honesty. They are not ashamed to be afraid or to show contentment.  

The Gift of Being True To Self

When I am in the presence of our horses, I can take a deep breath and release the pressures of the things I am holding in. By gazing into their beautiful brown eyes, these giants who have reason to fear me, brings me peace. Just like Jesus. 

“Do you give the horse his strength, or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?” Job 39:19  The Lord does this and yet the horse contents to gentle this strength to befriend us. They can help bring us into a closer, deeper relationship with our Creator God by simply experiencing the picture of who we are and Who He is.

Often we can be such a klutz in how we approach our Lord.  Just like the horses, He is available offering us the greatest gift EVER…Himself and just as we are. 

We can choose to overcome any false truth about ourselves when we experience the Bigness of our God!

May each of you find the Truth and open the Gift! Unwrap whatever you feel is keeping you in the box. Trust this truth… He is worth it and so are you!

God’s blessing upon you all.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Peace, Ranch Life
Do you suffer from anxiety? Or even just get anxious when something important is coming up on your calendar? I have bouts of this…nothing serious but when I need a dose of calming, I will take a soak in a lavender bath with chamomile tea or if it’s during the day I will make a tall pitcher lavender lemonade. This is just downright refreshing and incredibly delightful! Plus…it helps you calm right down. Lavender Lemonade Try a batch and see if it works for you. If it does, make sure to comment below. I love hearing how the recipes work in the lives of the readers. Ingredients: 1 cup of raw honey 5 cups of pure water 1/4 cup dried culinary lavender 6  organic lemons, squeezed Lavender sprigs for garnish Elderberry syrup for color Directions: 1. Pour half of the water in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. 2.  Add honey and dried lavender and let steep for 20 minutes. 3.  Strain mixture and pour into a large container. 4.  Add the lemon juice and remaining water and stir. Add a little Elderberry syrup to make it purple plus add a powerful immune boost! 5. Refrigerate Lavender Lemondade For an anxiety soak bath: (highlights are affiliate links which help our ministry) Mix 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil into your bath of hot water. Add your sea salt  (affiliate link) and swirl into your bath. Add apple cider vinegar (affiliate link) for a detox bath. UTI For during the day: Diffuse 10-12 drops of Lavender essential oil into the air during your workday for a natural stress reliever. Lavender is my go-to essential oil for insect bites and burns as well. Enjoy every sip, soak, and aroma with this wonderful herb! 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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Bible Journaling, Peace, Ranch Life
Are you feeling overwhelmed by something today? Why is it some days seem like bad things keep piling up? A phone call, a text, news, prayer chain, things breaking down, on and on. The feeling of powerlessness and simply… overwhelmed by it all! Are you feeling overwhelmed by something today? “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her warfare is ended, her iniquity is pardoned,  she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah 40:11 After reading this passage with a weight as heavy as the spring snow, comes another overwhelming feeling…peace. You see, by taking time in my bible reading and listening to what the Lord is saying takes the overwhelming negative stuff and turns it all into overwhelming peace. Why? God’s got this! He has the bad news, illness of others, death of a loved one, house or car falling apart, bills to paid. The Lord has all these worldly struggles but we so often carry the weight of the snow ourselves. So dumb! However, each time the bad comes we have a choice. Look at the first two words. Comfort He even repeats it, COMFORT. The Lord God is comforting His children by speaking tenderly. Our God is so personal demonstrating with a word that instantly brings peace. COMFORT! I love this! How does our God bring comfort? First through His word by reading it, accepting, and receiving every word as true. By a phone call from an encourager and someone who will pray your problem through. Simply waiting, crying out to God, and asking for peace in the struggle brings upon a little more peace. What have you heard or dealt with in just the last few days? What struggle? What did you do when you heard it or came upon it? Did you call a friend? How about going to your phone or computer and facebooking your problem? Maybe just wept and kept  it to yourself. All of these things are not bad but did they help? Did you carry this struggle throughout your day, week, or longer? I would say NOT, as I have done all the above! Rather than going to self gratifying answers, may I suggest once again turning to your Lord and Savior. Trust me, He has the answers. He says “the warfare is ended” it’s done! He has it taken care of. Our sins our even pardoned as the verse continues and even received double! Amazing good news! Do you see that? We need to look up when a struggle happens so the bad news can be turned to good by trusting in HIS ways and HIS timing. The Lord does not want us in an overwhelmed state feeling like we are stuck or up to our necks with problems we can’t escape. He wants us to experience freedom even in the tough times. The longer we stay in the struggle the less we can do for Him. If I am holding onto a problem, I can’t do the tasks of this ministry. My focus is on the problem vs. getting to His call on my life. When I am in a session with a child who is facing a major struggle, I am not able to be a good example of living in freedom with Christ. Therefore, when I am sharing Christ it isn’t as powerful as when I have prayed and given the problem to the Lord. overwhelmed cowboy Looking at his picture do you see a cowboy up to his neck with snow? Or do you see a cowboy enjoying looking over the top and seeing the LIGHT and being thankful it’s not over his head. It’s like the glass half full thing.  How do we deal with  life issues and what is given to us? Here’s a thought. Next time you experience an overwhelmed situation, look up. Get in the Word. Pray, talk to God letting Him know your pain and struggle. God doesn’t want you to carry the load He already has. He can melt that snow! Maybe not same day, or season even. But He will melt it! So call on Him, get rid of it so you can get back to HIS purpose for your day and life. Trust your God can bring an overwhelmed circumstances to overcoming! May you find the peace that passes all understanding, listen to his tender words, and embrace the word COMFORT in the world of overwhelming problems. Give it to Him and Get to work! Ultimately, He is given all the glory because you gave your struggle to Him and trusted Jesus to take care of your worries. We are getting into the Easter season…FREEDOM is celebrated! If you give  baskets to love ones, think about a basket of Hope, Freedom, and His Love! Giving HIS word, a bible, or a simple message of Hope in a card! Love deeper, talk sweeter, enjoy some quiet time with Jesus, Lee (new diffusers for your essential oils and other good things)
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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 have 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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Health, Living Naturally, Peace, Ranch Life
I came across this word at just the right time! Hygge…what in the world? But it fits! It fit the day. It fit my mood. It just plain fit! And now, I am creating Hygge Day! I think I will even make a card and give to friends in need of a Hygge day. Do you need a Hygge day? Hygge is a Scandinavian word for coziness with feelings of wellness and contentment. Do you feel Hygge? Do you feel your well and content? If not, what can you do to get you there? Here is a tip for the physical Hygge…get well. Get on the bandwagon and get your gut healthy first and start making some choices that improve your day to day life. First, simplify. Next, REST more take time to enjoy the Lord and HIS goodness. Lastly, make a plan to make wellness choices like a great Probiotic. (Click the Plexus link to learn more) Get RID OF BOXED FOOD! Make homemade from scratch and of course… get some exercise.  An emotional Hygge tip… How about a spa bath with your favorite essential oils? Oh, and some tea of course! It says in Wikipedia that the Danish and Norwegian’s see this as another word for HUG and getting together with others. So there ya go. HUG and invite friends to Hygge with ya! Never the less, Hygge is a word reminder to have cozy time relaxing and enjoying life. Which really is the foundation of wellness. Less stress, focus on others, love more! I JUST LOVE this word! It’s fun to get creative and have a HYGGE DAY! Make a special meal… invite a friend over for some hot tea and warm conversation… Enjoy being creative and implementing a Hygge Lifestyle! Try it! It’s fun! God’s blessings’ and Happy Hygge Day! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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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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Hope, Overcome
This year we are celebrating 20 years that our son Mitch got his second chance at life. A living related liver transplant gave sacrificially by his dad. We are in awe every day 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 have 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 a 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 niece 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 these 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, Peace, Ranch Life
I am pondering on this incredibly beautiful fall morning, do we really understand all the Lord provides? Do we really rest in contentment or do we really always want more? Do we really realize all we have on this earth? Do we really need so many THINGS, STUFF, REALLY? Something to think about. Something to look at yourself about. And…if changes need to be made, well today is the day! I look at this place that was built on our ranch this year and this last weekend we finished putting the log stabilizers in place. The roof was being held up by metal poles and support beams that were only temporary and in fact kinda ugly. BUT, they were doing their job and of course, that is more important! Now, with the logs in place, this cute little Tack Shack has a whole new look! A place I could literally call home!What can I REALLY get by living with or without? My hubby and I sat on the deck of this shack looking out and truly I have come to a place in my life I don’t need half of what we have. We both agreed we could move our bed and couch and live in this shack and be totally comfortable. BUT, 10 years ago…I don’t think I could of. I was in a different place. I wasn’t grown up enough in the Lord to stop and rest and be fully content. In the world of needing and wanting more. I struggle with ones who call themselves believers in Jesus Christ that strive for more. They share “I need more money to pay the bills.” And I think to myself, don’t live beyond your means. I know, I’ve done it. A little-known truth, if you spend more than you make there are consequences. Again, I know, I had them, BIG TIME! I have also been hearing and reading that one can be so much more “at peace” when you are financially secure. I don’t see that anywhere in the Bible where one has peace because they don’t have to worry about money. “For the love of money is the root of all evil. Some people eager for money, have wandered from the faith and have pierced themselves with many griefs.”  1 Timothy 6:10  Now that is a truth to ponder on yourself. If you own a business, do you share this truth from HIS word or do you share the world’s view? Peace shows up 249 times in the Bible and none of the passage refers to peace in the way the world would define it as. Money is the ROOT of problems and PEACE comes from contentment in all the Lord provides us not what STUFF can provide. I have lived in a world of wanting more. If I had… then I would….or could… Not any more. The MORE Jesus I have in my daily life, REALLY the less of the world I desire. My hubby and I are moving to a slower, easier, lesser lifestyle in homesteading. We are working towards moving to the ranch in just a one bedroom, one living room, one kitchen, one bathroom, above a barn. Simple living, less of the world, and resting in our Jesus in all HE provides. I pray you too will seek less and encourage others to strive for only more of WHOM can give the abundant lifestyle! Jesus truly, REALLY is the most peaceful place to be! God bless you as you strive for less! Love deeper, talk sweeter, and live a peaceful day, Lee
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