Don't you love how God orchestrates things. He is the master composer, putting instruments together with sounds almost too glorious to interpret.
Such a composition happened to me last week.
Here is how it went down.
It was a few days before my youngest son's birthday.
He lives in Tulsa. I needed to get him a birthday card.
I like the cards at Mardel. I set out to go to Mardel but decided at the last minute to go gas up first, even though I wasn't really that low.
Timing is everything, right?
When I got to Mardel and into the card section, I felt someone following me--Someone who didn't stop following me-- Finally I turned around and it was my oldest son who lives here. Almost immediately tears started flowing from his eyes and it was hard for him to stop crying. Yes, my 45 year old son crying--in the middle of Mardel--it was very touching.
What happened was this: Jeff was over in the music section and three guys came in and somehow (I am not sure how) he started talking to them and the subject of Renewal Ranch came up.
One of the guys was in the grips of addiction, one had just turned his life over to God in December and had gone cold-turkey off his drugs and one was the youth minister at their church.
The guy on drugs was ready to have his life restored by God and had looked in to coming to Renewal Ranch and had actually talked to our director on the phone.
When Jeff saw "his mommy" come in, he knew it was a God ordained appointment that God had led him to talk to S. and to have someone there from Renewal Ranch to introduce him to. It reduced him to tears.
Just knowing that God had gone to all that trouble (orchestrating to God comes naturally and is no trouble but you know what I mean) to get three sets of people together at the right place at the right time and also arrange that someone who was supposed to come to my house at that time, had not come in order that I could run this errand was amazing.
And the timing had to be so perfect that God even arranged for me to go gas up which I had not planned to do.
God is no respecter of persons the Bible says and He will order each of our steps if that is our desire. I don't do this every day but I am almost positive it was that morning when I was planning my day that I blurted out, "Lord, what do YOU want me to do today?"
All He wants is a willing vessel and He will use even the most unlikely.
It is our policy to request that guys trying to get in to RR come to several chapel services on Saturday mornings at 10a.m. It is easy to come to one but we know they are really serious about getting clean if they come to several in a row. Of course, some have to drive long distances to do just that which really validates their desire.
S. came to chapel on Saturday and shocked me when he asked me to come "sit in" on his interview with our director. He was touched so deeply by this "divine appointment," that he wanted me there so he could tell James how God had orchestrated our meeting.
On Monday of last week, S. went to another facility for 30 days and hopefully at the end of that time we will have a bed for him at Renewal Ranch. His wife called me on Monday evening to let me know he got settled in at the other place and then texted me today that he is doing okay.
I will ask you to pray for him. I hope so badly that he gets to come to the Ranch. But God is his answer--not the Ranch even though it is a wonderful place for men with addictions--God is his source, his resource, his strong tower, his defender, his everything if he will just turn it all over to him.
At the time I talked to S. at the Ranch last week and after the interview, he said he had never made a profession of faith in Christ. I gave him that chance and very sincerely he told me that he didn't feel he was 100% ready to do that.
Please pray that he will recognize God's Holy Spirit convicting and convincing him of his need for Christ and that he will know the truth and the truth will set him free. He is struggling with lots of guilt, "not good enough," "God could never forgive a sinner like me" thoughts.
We have two websites if you would like to learn a little more about Renewal Ranch near Conway, AR.
You can just click on the address and it should send you to the website.
Right now we have guys from Massachusetts, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas.
To God be all the glory for the things He has done!
© all photographs and text property of Dianne Hogue unless otherwise noted