Showing posts from July, 2011

Renewal Ranch graduates first class |

Renewal Ranch graduates first class |

Renewal Ranch, the faith-based addiction recovery program for men, held a graduation ceremony for four students at Family Life Bible Church on Saturday. The graduates have all spent the last six months recovering from drug and alcohol addictions at a facility that offers spiritual approaches to recovery. Charles Washington, a member of the graduating class was displaced to the Conway area during Hurricane Katrina and had started drinking at the age of nine. He credits the program and his faith in God for the transformation he has been able to make in his life. “I always started something but I never finished any of it until today,” he said. “I finished the race but for the grace of God.” Pictured, from left, are executive director of the program, James Loy, Shepherd Palmer, Atlas Stavely, Michael Taylor and Washington. CANDIE BECK PHOTO
Here is just a small glimpse of four of our precious men who graduated on Saturday.  I will have more…

Weekend Worship at Cathedral of St. Andrew

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.

From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—

No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven.

Your statutes, LORD, stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days.

The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.

Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.

You are from all eternity!

a repost from past pages

duct tape or duster

Before I really get to the gist of what I want to write about today, I want to tell you about a little incident that I think is so funny.  But it won't be funny if I don't tell you this first--bear with me please--

My daughter-in-law, Dree, loves duct tape.  She is a duct tape freak.  She does everything with duct tape.  When she and my son were getting married, they were on a very low budget.  She is very innovative in her thinking and decided to give all of their groomsmen a roll of duct tape--what better cheap gift, huh?  Everybody sooner or later needs duct tape.  So not only were they able to do something meaningful, thoughtful and helpful for those close to them but they did it very frugally.

So hopefully you get the gist of how important duct tape is to her--only now, it is even more important to her because she has nostalgic memories of it--get the picture??

Okay on to this:

It was the year 2000. My fifth granddaughter's, Ashton's, birth was IMMINENT--and I am not…

broken and poured out

she walks hesitantly but with determination to the door and knocks

leper Simon opens the door

she does not turn and run from the disease

her disease was worse--spiritual leprosy

she enters the house, alabaster jar in hand--the best she had to give

she bows at His feet, tears streaming down

washes the feet of Jesus in rivulets of remorse

anoints his head with perfume poured from alabaster jar

simon refers to her as sinner, questions Jesus about her presence

disciples question wisdom of emptying alabaster jar of pure nard--could be sold, money given to the poor

Jesus explains that she is preparing Him for burial

Jesus is preparing her for burial

burial of a lifetime of sin and shame

He is preparing her for resurrection

resurrection of love that had died

love that will now love much

because it has been forgiven much


she poured out herself in worship to Jesus

her community viewed it all

will we do any less?

a repost from past pages

thanks to Polly at www.bannerofbless…

Sometimes I dream . . . .

I had a dream last night. I dreamt that once upon a time I was young and free, bouncy and spry. I dreamt about a time when as a young sapling, adolescent cowboys would use me as a bucking bronco, riding the air beneath me--feeling as though they had been thrust to the stars and back.

I dreamt that I grew and produced a small shade. The lady of the house came outside, stood, stared wistfully at me and dreamt of her grandchildren swinging from a stout branch one day.

I dreamt that I grew hardy and gave enough shade for young lovers to spread red checkered tablecloths beneath my branches, nibble on moon pies and swig RC colas without a care in the world.

I dreamt of girlie giggles, boy shyness and carved initials in my sides until I split with joy--
I dreamt of little boys drawing circles in the dirt beneath my shade, getting blisters on their thumbs from their opalescent marble shooters--

I dreamt of little girls playing house, using my leaves to shield them from the summer sun, and when …


ave you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this. Job 38:18

Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
The LORD will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps. Psalm 85:10-13

Don't feel guilty today when you look out a window or walk out your front or back door, look toward the horizon and behold the rendezvous of sky and earth--after all, it is not done in secret--the sweet kiss there for all to see locks the fullness of God into an eternal embrace with all of man.  Oh, that we would fall in love with Him again today.

Hope your week is filled with the vast expanses of His unsearchable love.

pictures my DIL, Traci, took in Maine recently--

Weekend Worship at First United Methodist, Little Rock, AR

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.

A voice of one calling:"In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

A voice says, "Cry out."And I said, "What shall I cry?" "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.  The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.  The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." 

You who bri…


This is me at Kailey's age -- a little resemblance maybe--don't tell her I said so--smile!  My dad was right--youth really is wasted on the young!!

The instagram app is great fun--not for sure what all phones it will work on but this was a quick pic my granddaughter took of the two of us today.

Since I have her picture handy, I will tell you one of my biggest blessings this summer. Kailey is a very hard worker and perseveres through some really difficult times. She was planning on working quite a few hours a week this summer to help her family with her college education expense. She is starting her senior year in August and has worked steadily throughout her college career.

Due to circumstances beyond her control, her summer job fell through and she was left stranded. The company told her she was hired, just had to get some paper work in--yada, yada, yada--a mall retail store--anyway, they piddled around and summer was going to be half over before her training sessions--and…

Strength & Sustenance

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:16-21

Oh Father, here I am again, Lord, asking, seeking, knocking for my children, my grandchildren, my seed, my descendants, the men of Renewal Ranch, my friends' children and grandchildren, my extended family and their descendants--

First of all, I want to give glory where glory is due a…

Weekend Worship at Cross Church, Bentonville, Arkansas

You are my hiding place

You always fill my heart

With songs of deliverance

Whenever I am afraid

I will trust in You, I will trust in You.

Let the weak say

I am strong

in the strength of the Lord.

You are my hiding place, you always fill my heart

With songs of deliverance,

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You!

I will trust in You!

I will trust in You!

I want to always stay hidden behind the cross, I want the cross as my shield
my guide and my armor of light.

I want my life to mirror the miracles of the cross and resurrection.

As I turn to walk away from this beautiful sight, my heart is saddened but only for a moment.  
The miracle of the cross is made known in my spirit. 
I am His temple.  
The eternal God inhabits my very being. 
I am alive with the glory of Him.  
I am leaving beautiful mortar and stone behind. 
 I take with me always the glory of the risen Christ!  Hallelujah!  

He is my hiding place, he always fills my heart 
with songs of deliverance,
 whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You!  I wi…


We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. ~Author Unknown

What would happen in your life today if you let God unleash all the potential He has invested in you? Would you compose an aria that would be sung in opera houses around the world for the next few centuries, or paint a picture Michelangelo would envy, or fashion a sculpture that would dethrone Venus de Milo in the Louvre?

Or maybe you would design a cathedral the likes of Notre Dame or St. Peter's.  Or invent a cure for cancer or Parkinson's disease--maybe you would create some technology that would make the IPad seem like it should be housed in the historical section of the Smithsonian.

Or maybe you would donate a smile to a stranger you meet on the street, or ask a grocery clerk if anyone today has told them Jesus loves them with an everlasting love, or bake a latticed homemade apple pie to take to an elderly neighbor or mow your pastor's law…

Didn't Do So Well

I didn't do so well on some of yesterday's "Just for today." The one I seemed to have the most trouble with was the murmuring and complaining one. Oh yes, all the grumblings were uttered under my breath but I noticed myself at least ten times saying things that were very unbecoming to a Christian.

True, there was no one with me when I said them--and most of them were directed at myself and some of my "not so smart" shenanigans, but I had to wonder how much I mutter and complain on a day when I have not placed my focus on making sure I don't. And I had to wonder what my close friend, the Holy Spirit, thought about my actions.

I thought of the idea of this post the other day when I was talking to some of the guys at the Ranch and noticed hints of the enemy trying to come in and disrupt their peace with "little things" against their brothers. So on Sunday when I told them about my idea for the post, one said, "Well, you better make it si…

Just For Today

'Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17 

So, just for today I will remember and believe that "nothing is too hard for You.

Just for today I will remember that mercy triumphs over judgment.  James 2

Just for today I will trust You and lean not to my own understandings.  Proverbs 3

Just for today I will keep my mind on You.  Isaiah 26:3

Just for today I will know that your mercies begin afresh every morning.  Lamentations 3

Just for today I will know that you will finish the work you started in me.  Philippians 1:6

Just for today I will esteem others above myself--Phil. 3

Just for today I will do all things without murmurings or complainings-Phil. 2:14

Just for today I will know that you love me, you rejoice over me with singing and you are MIGHTY to save.  Zep. 3:17

Picture taken recently by Jerry James in front of the bunkhouse at Renewal Ranch.  Thanks, Jerry, for letting me use…

Renewal Ranch Update!

Just wanted to share a little Renewal Ranch update with you! Thought you might enjoy--

God is so good and faithful and has blessed us here at Renewal Ranch beyond any words we have to describe.  The Saturday morning worship service was refreshing with the voices of the Dooley's leading us in praise and worship.  Thank you once again to the Dooley Family for their incredible dedication and loyalty to our residents at RR.

Our residents and a few others pray over a prospective resident.

Thank you, Bro. Larry Pillow for a good word from the Lord. Basically the message was an exhortation to follow those who are in spiritual authority over us. A gentle message with a powerful impact--Thanks Bro. Larry.

The day continued with a potluck for all who attended the morning worship service with visiting in the afternoon.

Visitation at Renewal Ranch is reminiscent (to me--the maintainer of this website and I am old) of Sunday during the 1950's--no T.V's, no radios, no cell phones--just peop…