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

How are all of you holding up through this different time in our world? Isn’t it crazy? I tell ya, going into town shopping and seeing lines outside Costco with masked people to little produce in the grocery store to low gas prices…it’s just so weird. Life is indeed different but it’s good?

For the first time in several years, our daughter Mackinzey is home. She moved back from Virginia and is looking for a job on the home front. It is so awesome having her home! We love spending time together and of course, I really miss being able to do fun things like horseback riding, crafting, and adventures around the ranch. Now we have LOTS of time for that due to her waiting to find a job. Tough time to be looking with so many offices closed and not in a normal routine. But we take the bad and turn it into good!

Our son, Mitch is also home most days as he battles his latest news of being in liver failure. We want him here with us during this time to help keep his expenses down as his job was lost due to the pandemic which isn’t all that bad for him as his illness increased at the same time. He would have had a hard time cooking with the long days as the illness will get worse. So, he enjoys making us a meal now and then, which is ALWAYS a healthy one! Funny how Dan is hungry a few hours later after we eat as most of Mitch’s meals are veggie and little meat. I always see him sneak a treat or two later before bed. My man!

The nutritionists is one member of the team…making a plan for changes.

Mitch gets weekly calls from different team members helping him along this journey. We are on each call just as another ear as there is SO much information he is getting. To navigate it all requires us all! He is well taken care of that is for sure, which is comforting. He does need to head down to the U in the next few weeks, (hoping for lifting on clinic restrictions) to get some tests done. With these tests, they will evaluate once again giving him a number which will make him closer to being listed for the transplant.

We wait daily on the Lord for what is to come and pray he receives the liver before he gets too sick.

All in all, life is different but it sure has been good! Having kids home is wonderful and of course, going through this rough time of transitions for all of us has helped us be more focused on the Lord, pray more together, and lift each other up as often as we can!

Loves helping when he can

Time is hard in many areas and we pray you all are hangin’ in there and enjoying all the Lord has provided…time with family, time to rethink our paths, time with HIM!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ministry, Ranch Life
Throughout the summer here on the ranch, we usually and prayerfully pick a THEME to carry out our session time. This year is a Pathway or Trail. Focus keywords help us draw out what the person’s trail is that day or is happening in their life. In one teen we had, her trail was faking the God life. As we continued through her session, she found you just couldn’t fake the God trail. He knows it all! You can't fake God I asked this teen, we will call her Marie, to lead the horse out of the pasture walking a trail as her life is going. Marie haltered Bokoda and swiftly walked straight on to the gait. No turns. No going around trees. Just straight on. I responded with a “well…tell me what that trail is?” Marie said, “it’s straight. I can see what is ahead of me and I feel great!” I nodded with a smile, “awesome let’s go play with Bokoda and have a great time!” Throughout the session, there was some stumbling of not remembering certain things. For example, when Bokoda would walk faster and bump into her she allowed him to almost push her, she forgot the game on how to back him up or get him out of her space. So we had a quick review. Her confidence was strong thinking she knew how to handle Bokoda, but when he challenged her, she couldn’t remember how to ask him to remember her boundaries. Another time when she was bumped, I asked if she is reading her bible. She shook her head no and said, “ I don’t have time. But I helped at VBS. “How is your prayer life?”, I asked. “I pray at mealtime…only when I remember.” She laughed. I quickly grabbed onto that response. “Well, tell me what happens when you remember to ask Bokoda to respect your space?” She said he listens. I asked, “and what happens when you don’t remember?” Looking down and getting where I was headed, “Bokoda almost pushes me down.” We went on talking about when our trail seems straight and all is going well we can allow some poison ivy to grow along the trail. Not even see it. We can even walk through mud and not realize our shoes are wet and muddy. We can fake our faith. God knows our hearts. He knows our every move before we take it and He never forgets our sins. He forgets our sins once we repent, but if we are not walking with Him on the trail in and sinning along the way, HE remembers. You can't fake God You see as adults we do this all the time. We tell people we will pray for them and we forget. Just pray right then and there when someone asks. We can even go to church weekly and fake our Christian walk. Even having in our conversations, “God will provide” or If it’s God’s will”.  Another word, we can have the Christian lingo down, but not be living it. Being on God’s trail means time with Him. Being in HIS word. When things happen in our life, we need to quickly and I mean quickly, go to HIS word and seek out direction. I had something pretty difficult situations happen this summer and I had to Google some words from my bible to seek out what Jesus would do. How He would handle such people or situations. You know…it works every time! Daily we need to spend time with Jesus, share our hearts. Praise Him for what He is doing good and bad on our trail of life. We can’t fake our trail rides with God. Just like you can’t fake any relationship. You can’t fake your marriage is good when it really isn’t. God knows. You can’t fake your life is perfect. God knows it’s not and never will be. You can’t fake God…period! You can't fake God A person who chooses to walk the trail with God is peaceful in ALL circumstances. YES, even the bad times. You might be down, but you’re hopeful. You know the Lord is working in the situation. A person, who is faking it, is falling. They are being stomped on. Deceived.  Their trail is full of poison ivy and mud puddles they just don’t want to let anyone ride the trail with them. Fakeness will catch up to all of us who pretend we have a relationship when we truly do not. The Lord wants all of us not to fake our trail rides. He desires for us to be honest with Him and with others as we face our daily trials. If you’re not walking the trail with Jesus, stop right now. Repent. Ask Him to remove your fakeness and pull out the poison ivy of dishonesty. Come to Him with true transparency simply saying daily, “I need you, Jesus. I surrender my life to you.” And you know what? You trail of life will be real! Being fakey leads a trail of emptiness. Being real is being on a trail full hope! God’s peace and blessings as you ride the trail of adventure with Him! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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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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Ministry, Ranch Life
This is the heart of ranch life. living for Jesus and sharing the love of Jesus with the brokenhearted! Many come to the ranch to enjoy the horses, by doing activities throughout the ranch,  as well as to help volunteer. But when each come, they come with some kind of hurt, trauma, pain, that is causes their own life to be in turmoil. Our 90-minute sessions offer a time of healing, overcoming their issues by experiencing relationship strongholds. They will be in a beautiful setting that offers them peace and quiet from their busy lifestyle or structure and lastly, they leave our ranch empowered knowing they have a God who loves them and is giving them strength to endure the days ahead. Our ranch is not just for children as we serve adults too. We have adults with marriage issues, addiction, and of course parenting conflicts. With each of the everyday life challenges, the horses provide a way of understanding ourselves and what we do within those challenges. The horses teach us ways to improve our own communication, and or deal with the trauma that is overwhelming their daily life. Here at the ranch, we also provide times of volunteering, which in of itself can be healing. The daily chores and upkeep of the ranch is a task that we love to have people come and experience themselves the gratitude of hard work and giving back. With cutting trees, to manure pick up, to making the ranch beautiful with flowers and gardening. We have young and old who love to be a part of this activity and what makes it special is we provide it anytime so it works on their schedule, not ours. We also love to cook on the open fire and do crafts so we often will do cookouts and picnics for different events. We love our veteran families and love to serve them as much as possible. Ministry is really all about sharing Christ with others and sharing what He has done in our lives and what He can do in others. Jesus is the only way to peace, we know, we have had trauma in our own life to know….He is the answer to all pain!
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