Greetings Family and Friends,
I am always in amazement at how fast the seasons change here at the Ranch but also in my personal life. King Solomon was not kidding when he said there is a season for EVERYTHING under the sun. For some reason those words resonate more in my life now than ever before. My oldest son, Christian, is now two years into being away from home at college. My second, Madelyn, is in her senior year waiting eagerly on the Lord’s answer to where she will be next year and before too long it will be my youngest, Brenden, me and my husband. My parents are getting older and I feel for the first time in my life the seasons really, really changing. I am rejoicing/grieving in those changes but so very thankful for all the years at home with my children when they were younger and treasuring those memories forever in my heart. Things are also changing at the Ranch and God is growing us and blessing us in ways like never before. He is using the ministries at STR to bless so many in our community. Now a days when I go somewhere and mention Strong Tower someone will say…”I love that place!” I remember last summer I was at Bread Co. and a huge group of teens and adults came in and they all had Strong Tower Ranch t-shirts on because they just finished serving a week of Day Camp. There were brown shirts everywhere…it was wonderful. When those times come I feel so very humbled and gracious to be a part of this place that God has so richly blessed. We had a busy fall season and have settled into our “off season” which really means winter maintenance for all the horses and a time of training and fellowship for our staff. Our horses have been healthy and strong this winter although with the frigid temps we have to take special care to make sure they have extra food because they burn more calories when it is this cold. The problem with horses is they consume hay faster than they should and then it is gone. One of our staff, Kristie Breisch, discovered these amazing nets we can use to put over our big round bales to help conserve our hay and slow down our horses eating. These nets have been one of our best investments yet. The first couple times I used the nets I had to figure out the tricks of maneuvering them to fit around the hay bales…these are big 4 x 5 bales weighing around 600-800 pounds and when the hay is almost gone the remains have to be dumped before we put in the new hay. I have had to heave-ho to get that hay out and it was way harder than I ever thought it would be! It made me think about the disciples and what it really meant to be fishermen. Fishing was not an easy industry in those days, the nets needed continual mending, hauling in the fish had to be exhausting and the frequent untangling of nets was a chore in itself, trust me, I know! So these guys knew that when Jesus said, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men”, that it was not going to be easy! These guys had amazing faith and knew that following Jesus, leaving their perspective livelihood and trade behind, was worth the reward in their spiritual lives. To be able to draw in people, like they drew in fish in their nets and like we draw up the hay in those hay nets, with the Good News of the Gospel was so worth it to them and it is so worth it to me. I will never know how many lives have been touched through this ministry, just like the disciples had no idea what they were getting into when they dropped their nets and followed Jesus. Their faith propelled them forward and my faith propels me into another season at STR because I know that if I am following Him, He will take care of the nets. Thank you all for your continual prayerful support.