Summer Summary 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been some time since I wrote to you, and my intention was to keep you up to date during the summer months. I don’t know about you, but time has a way of getting past me rather quickly. I am truly thankful that God is not bound by time, and when He is in charge of our life, all things work out for good.

I was able to sit down last night and watch “God’s Not Dead”, which is a very inspirational movie of courage and trust. I would encourage you to watch it!! I then woke up this morning and read this in my devotion, “When we look upon Jesus—the Suffering Servant, Messiah, prophet, and savior—we should be confronted with the reality that we’re still so far from what He has called us to be. We should be prompted to put Him at the center of our lives. We should be prompted to change. We must realize our place as the people He has saved and respond with gratitude.”

When I first read this, I had to take a double-look at the “we should be confronted” wording because my eyes played a trick on me; I thought the word was “comforted”…YIKES!!! That is what I want to believe…I want to believe that Jesus suffered and died so I can have comfort! But the reality is our true comfort will not come until we are in our heavenly home. Right now, we will be confronted on a daily basis to pick up our cross and follow Him, the One who leads us into eternity. We are given a choice every day to change, to make the right decisions, and to respond with gratitude!!!

As I was thinking about this summer and how quickly eight weeks flew by, I was starting to feel overwhelmed by sadness; since after all, summer is over!!! Instead of remaining sorrowful, I made a choice to respond with gratitude, and started thinking of how many God moments were packed into those eight weeks of summer camps.

Here is my summer recap (deep breath): Girls arriving at my house at 7AM (in the summer!), with huge smiles on their faces ready to head to the ranch; amazing, crazy conversations in the car on the way to the ranch; arriving at the ranch with Wranglers ready to go to work; having devotions in the morning led by young teens, pouring out their hearts, baring their souls in a place of trust; horses, horses, and more horses; the sound of laughter and happy hearts as the wagons arrive with children anticipating their trail ride; Wranglers greeting each child by name, and with loving eye contact; a walk in the woods to remember, for each of the 400 plus children who visited the ranch this summer; a prayer lifted up to heaven for each of the children when we “hit the rocks,” at the end of our trail ride; hugs and waves goodbye; lots and lots of smiles; worship time in the barn…making a joyful noise to the Lord; worship in the form of art; LUNCH TIME with much thanks to our remarkable cooks; horseback riding lessons with one on one instruction; cleaning manure out of stalls, cleaning manure out of shelters, cleaning manure out of riding rings, cleaning manure on the trails…did I mention cleaning manure?!?!; friendships being bonded in the love of Christ; Wranglers sharing their testimony; Wranglers getting baptized!; Wranglers comforting kids who are hurting, and hurting for those kids; Wranglers willing to learn; having an overabundance of help each week of camp; cleaning out storage areas that needed to be cleaned out for 10 years that could now get done because of the surplus of help, PRAISE THE LORD!!!; horse camps; little girls who love painting ponies; little girls who decide they are going to change the color of their pony with paint; little girls with bags of ribbons and ponies; little girls who love Jesus; little girls who have more wisdom than some of our world leaders; parents who trust us with their little girls; COWBOYS; young men who come out in the evening after a long day’s work to fill the shoes of missing dads; little cowboys who love the egg and spoon race; little cowboy hugs of gratitude; hearing God’s Word; feeling God’s Spirit; watching God heal; watching God comfort; watching God convict, redeem, and restore; watching God move in the hearts of every single person that steps foot on Strong Tower Ranch’s property.

One thing I can say about this summer that I know to be true is… GOD’S NOT DEAD!!!!!

Thank you for your continual support, you are making a difference for eternity.