Friday, August 12, 2016

Sky Ranch Ute Trail: A Little Piece of Heaven

Hi everyone, my name is Reagan Lee. 

My family and I have been attending Sky Ranch Ute Trail since the summer of 2009, before I started Junior High. Eight years later, having graduated high school and started college, we still return summer after summer to our little piece of heaven.

One year my parents wanted to go on vacation, and my dad suggested we attend a Christian family camp outside of California. My mom had no clue what that was, but agreed to give it a try. After searching on the internet for a while, he found a camp located in a remote portion the beautiful San Juan Mountains in Colorado. After a long drive, we arrived in the general area of the camp, but much to our dismay, drove up and down a dirt road for several hours trying to find Ute Trail. At that time, Google maps would drop you off about thirteen miles away. But by the grace of God, we found the camp and checked in.

My family immediately felt at home. The staff was friendly, our cabin was cozy, and the surrounding land was absolutely breathtaking. Our family was greeted by family camp counselors, and we were assigned a counselor that was a part of our family for the week. Each and every one of our counselors in these past eight years has been a blessing. Theyve each brought a new perspective, new encouragement, and a new example of Christs love for us.

Many have asked why our family has returned year after year. What make this place so special? The fellowship, the safety, the beauty, and the fun are the answer. We enjoy the opportunity to be around like minded people who share the same beliefs and values, something we do not often experience at home. Its a place where my brother and I could run free without being afraid of wandering too far off.

 Ute Trail is a beautiful place, free from the distractions of home and cell phones. It is a real forest, with real trees and flowers and fresh air, rather than the pollution we breath in our concrete jungle. There are stars rather than city lights, deer instead of cars.

In addition, this place is a ton of fun. The included activities: a ropes course, horseback riding, kayaking, and River Day, ensure that there is never an opportunity for boredom, and the counselors make every moment memorable and fun. I love this place with all my heart. I have built many memories here, had many laughs, shed many tears, but in the end it feels like home. My house may be in California, but my mind and my heart lie in Powderhorn, Colorado. Every year, my family counts down the days until we return home. 

One day, if it is in Gods plan for me, I hope to be a family camp counselor, so that I may serve others as I have been served during these crucial years of my life. This past year I developed a passion for photography and jumped at the opportunity to photograph my home away from home that holds such a special place in my heart. Inserted are a few of my favorite pictures of the week!

Thank you all for reading!

Reagan Lee

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Walking Alone - Lisa Clark

I remember finding one of our daughters crying in her room one day.  She wasn’t a crier so this was hard.  After some time, we got to the bottom of why the tears.  “I feel lonely.  I feel alone in my walk with Christ.” 

The road can be lonely some days, especially as a preteen or teen who wants to be accepted and in a posse.  Preteens and teens travel in groups…have you noticed? Just go to the mall on a Friday night. 

The road to righteousness is less traveled.  In fact, there may be days when you look to your left and to your right and find no one.  But it is worth it.  Let me state that again, it is worth it. 

Actually, 1 John says it best… 

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God!  Therefore, the world does not know us because it did not know Him.  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.  And everyone who has this hope in Him, purifies himself, just as He is pure.”  1 John 3:1-3 

  1. Fellowship with believers is KEY when we are lonely in our walk.  We must be encouraged and growing with the body of Christ.   
  1. Daily time with God is instrumental in our relationship with Him.   
  1. Time away to focus and energize our faith is important, like SUMMER CAMP! 
  1. Encouraging friendships with other believers helps, too.  Who is your child spending time with? Godly influences? Like minded individuals? 

Remember, God tells us that the battle is not flesh and boneit’s spiritual.  And it’s happening everyday.  The enemy wants our kids.  He is relentless.  We must pray for our children to put on the armor everyday and help prepare them for the battle.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Go to the Throne, not the Phone - Lisa Clark

Is prayer your first line of defense or your afterthought? I would encourage you today, moms, to start making prayer a priority as you raise your children.  If it’s not our first line of defense, we tend to put our faith and trust in people and things that will leave us defeated, broken-hearted, without clear vision and second guessing ourselves. 

God’s word is our handbook to living the life He has called us to.  Not every answer for life is written in black and white, though.  Many of life’s questions need to be prayed through for biblical wisdom and direction from God.   

If our prayer life is strong, we can navigate through life with confidence and clear direction.  I like to think of it as walking in the Spirit.  He’s holding our hand at every turn and fork in the road.  As we have an ongoing conversation with God, we get to know Him better and He becomes a part of our family, our life, our day.   

It’s not just a prayer for our food, although that’s a great place to start.  Prayer is talking to God and never saying “good-bye”, but Amen! Or So be it! And then continuing the conversation later.   

Our prayer life is an indication of our spiritual maturity.  I always know when I’m weakening in my walk with God by how consistent my prayer life is.  It’s just like going days without talking to one of my children or husband.  If days go by, the relationship seems strained or not as important.  We put a priority on relationships that are important to us.  Plain and simple.   

Here’s the best part about our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  Every day is a new day to follow Him.  We are new creations! What does that mean? New is new.  We aren’t new one day and old the next.  Well, our physical bodies are, but our spiritual body is new everyday! That means our relationship with Him is constantly being renewed! Yea God!!! I get a fresh, new chance to grow in my relationship with Him everyday.   

Start TODAY by making your prayer life your first line of defense.  Go to Him FIRST with requests, praises, and thanksgiving! Or like my sister always says, “Go to the THRONE, not the PHONE!”

Friday, May 27, 2016

Family Camp at Sky Ranch Horn Creek - Don't Miss Out!

Small Price for a Big Summer Get-away!  Let Sky Ranch Family Camp Handle All the Details
Grab the family and join us for Family Camp at Sky Ranch Horn Creek.  There are just a few spaces left throughout the summer, so we are offering a last-minute, inaugural year special price!  Act quickly for best availability.  
Sky Ranch Family Camp creates opportunities for purposeful conversations and activities for the whole family!  In addition to participating in all the amazing activities, parents are equipped to minister to their families year round with scripture-based programs, shared by Sky Ranch leaders who have years of ministry experience.  
Set in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountain range of Colorado, Family Camp at Sky Ranch Horn Creek provides both a physical and mental break in the summer!  The cool climate is a refreshing respite from the heat of home.  And the programming and activities are a welcome change of pace from daily life — with something for every member of the family!  
Come experience the stunning mountain scenery that is part of God’s majestic creation! 

Session 4 - Very Limited
Session 5 - Limited
Session 6 - Very Limited
Session 7 - Limited
Session 8 - Sold Out
Session 9 - Sold Out
Session 10 - Very Limited
Session 11 - Limited

Please e-mail today for details!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis- The Gift of God

Family Fun Icebreaker: What is a favorite gift that you have received?

Question: How Does God Relate to You?

Today’s Big Idea:
 God’s Good Gift for You
You receive gifts in your relationship with God. He loves you so much that He tells you the truth about the penalty of sin, and He provides a free way to escape the punishment of sin if you accept Him. God does not force this free gift upon you; you need to make the choice to take His present. If you choose to take His gift, He gives you eternal life, a life in heaven with Him. If you believe in Jesus and allow Him to be Lord of your life, God also gives you the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps you live God’s right lifestyle. He gives you a desire to behave right. Every Christian receives the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit encourages you to turn to God, listen to His Word, and recall scripture to your mind.

Talk with God: Read the scriptures aloud.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8 NLT
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 NLT

Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” 
Acts 2:38 NLT

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.
The gift of Jesus is life-changing, but the gift of the Holy Spirit helps Christians successfully live the Christian life. Both gifts from God truly show His great love for you. Read Romans 8, and notice how much the Holy Spirit helps you live the Christian lifestyle.

Discuss with your family: Share how much you know about the Holy Spirit of God. How does He help you? If you need more information, reread Romans 8. Each time you find the word “Spirit” in the passage, note what is said and discuss how the Spirit helps you as a Christian.

Prayer suggestion:
 Pray for God to help you learn about the Holy Spirit.

Praying for you! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Overflowing Cup - Terrie Chevaillier

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. 
Psalm 23:5

You have a cup that you walk around with.  So do your friends.  I have a cup.  It’s an invisible cup that we hold out each day.  No one can see it, and you don’t really know you are holding it out and walking around with it.

The cup says, “Fill me up, I want to overflow.”  Maybe you hold it out to your husband and expect him to fill it up.   Perhaps it is food, excessive exercise, the approval of others, tennis, kid’s sports, kid’s accomplishments, or a fixer upper house complete with Magnolia Market furnishings (who doesn’t want that?). 

We wake up each day and are unaware that we pick that cup up and take it into our day asking it to be filled as we move in and out of our circles and places.  Our hearts say to the things of this world….fill my cup today.  Some people wish you didn’t have your cup because they are hurt and tired of trying to be the one to fill it as you continually come towards them holding out your cup.

I have a personal name for my cup.  It is called The Contentment Cup.  When I am discontent, I hold it out to all sorts of people and places until it reaches the mark of contentment.  The hard thing about that is that the next day my cup is empty, and I have to take it back out and plan and go and do and fret and work, sometimes deep into the night to get it filled back up again.

Godliness with contentment is great gain.  1 Timothy 6:6

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding the promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

We have an unlimited source of supply each morning that is just waiting to fill that cup up till it overflows.  And when you let Him fill it up each morning, you then get to take it into your home and into the world and instead of asking it to be filled by limited sources; you spill your overflowing cup out and over into the lives of others. Godliness spills out all over you and whoever you bump into.

Are you holding out your cup today?  If so, there is One who is waiting to fill it till it overflows.  Take it to Him, and it will never run dry.  Not only will it bring you happiness, but others will be happy too.


Monday, April 18, 2016

All In Devotional by Stacy Davis - God Hears You

Family Fun Icebreaker: Have you arranged or received a random act of kindness? What?

Question: How Does God Relate to Others?

Today’s Big Idea: God and the Israelites
The relationship God has with the Israelites in the Old Testament illustrates the compassion of God. God listens. When the people of Israel receive provision from God, they complain. God hears their grievances and answers. Read Exodus 16:4-13. Typically people whine, especially when they think no one is listening. The Israelites grumble about the lack of food on the journey away from Egypt. They remember how plentiful the food is back in Egypt and wonder why God brings them into the wilderness to starve. The Israelites complain about God. Since a grumble is usually private and said to oneself, God surprises them by answering their protests. God is everywhere and hears all things—even your thoughts. As Moses and Aaron tell the Israelites about how God hears their complaints, they realize that God’s glory in the image of a cloud, is always listening. Don’t you think that makes the Israelites wonder? When you are in a relationship with God, He hears you.

Talk with God: Read the scripture aloud.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “I have heard the Israelites complaints. Now tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’” Exodus 16:11-12 NLT

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.
God is listening, even when you don’t think He is. He knows your needs even when you don’t say anything about them. He wants you to talk to Him, openly sharing your desires with Him.

Discuss with your family: God knows what you need, even if you don’t. Have you seen your needs provided for when you didn’t even think to mention them to God in prayer? What? If you witnessed God’s answer to unspoken prayer, how did His reply encourage you? How did you respond to God?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for the wisdom to know to ask God for help. I will be praying for you!