What do you think of when you see beautiful fruit? Do you stop to think about the someone somewhere who cultivated this crop, planted the seed, pulled the weeds, turned over the sod, covered it when the high winds and bitter temperatures came, provided nourishment in the form of sunshine and rain? This kind of beautiful fruit doesn't just happen but I am one of the guilty ones for taking so much for granted at times.
Well, do I ever have some fruit to share with you today?
These are some of our awesome men who are in the process of letting God restore their lives at Renewal Ranch.
This is Michael, our cook. Michael gets up at the crack of dawn to start preparing for the day. Every time I am there, he is working the whole time. He truly has the heart of a servant. Michael, we are so glad to have you at Renewal Ranch. Michael is a deep thinker and a seeker. He gave me a list of over one hundred searching, probing spiritual questions. He who seeks will find.
This is Charles. He moved to Arkansas after Hurricane Katrina--he was one of those housed in the Superdome in the aftermath of that horrible tragedy. Charles is very friendly but a good portion of the time when I am there, you will see him sitting and studying his Bible while all of the rest of us are laughing, talking, visiting.
He has memorized twenty scriptures and I couldn't be more proud of him. He wants me to meet "Mama Lucy" one day and I truly hope to. She is probably the earthly reason that Charles is with us--a true prayer warrior and his heroine.
How Charles came to be with us--Charles was riding a bicycle and one of our board members hit him accidentally. He stopped, took him to the hospital and checked on him in the days afterward. Thank God he was not seriously hurt.
One of the other guys at the ranch said to me, "Charles is giving 150%.
Atlas is a very gentle and sincere man. I haven't gotten to know him as well as I want to but it is evident that he is serious about getting his life restored and being the man that God created him to be. He has given his testimony on several occasions and what I am struck with is his gratitude to God for Renewal Ranch and those who are investing in his life.
This is Michael (in blue shirt) and his beautiful family from Tulsa, OK. How ironic that they are really good friends with the family of my oldest's sons best friend when we lived there. They and their church, South Lakewood Baptist, are hosting the men and workers from Renewal Ranch on Sunday, May 8. Please come and worship with us if you are in the vicinity and would like to know more about RR.
We have five more men in this class who I will be featuring in the days to come.
When I named this year, 2011, the Year of Beyond, I really had no clue what was in store. The blessings these men have brought to our lives is beyond any human reasonings or imaginings my mind could have ever entertained.
It has been my privilege to volunteer some but I deserve no credit. There are people though, who have made deep sacrificial givings of their time and money to make this ministry a reality. We are totally and utterly dependent upon God to keep this ministry running. Jesus paid the price and continues to pay it.
So to those who have tilled, planted, protected this precious fruit so that "restoring broken lives through Christ" could become a reality, I am in awe--mostly to You, Lord Jesus, at how much You care for each one of us so individually. You are awesome and to You be all the glory in this age and the ages to come.
These men are inundated in the Bible from 7 to 4 every weekday except Friday when they do service projects in the community. On Monday nights they also attend Bible Study Fellowship, church on Wednesday nights, Saturday worship service every week at the ranch and church on Sunday. For a detailed listing of their course descriptions, please go here or here for a more general look at RR.
If you would like to become an active part of this ministry, would you please join me in daily prayer for these men by going to "Pray With Me" in the sidebar. I would love for you to join me in prayer each day for the RR men and for our seed also.
Always loving you,
2011-the Year of Beyond
Photo-taken with my IPhone at Kroger yesterday morning. I kinda like the tag left on the apple.