Saturday, October 15, 2016

"Perfect" Encouragement!

“Perfect” Encouragement! 

It’s going around and I guess if I have bumped into, you have as well.  It’s been around forever but it seems to be kind of an epidemic of sorts.  Perfect!  To play the game of mom, friend, bible study girl, keeper of the home, volunteer at the school, neighbor next door, kid’s resume overseer…. you need to be, well, perfect!  But I want to encourage you on another set of rules to the game and it’s the gospel. 

The gospel is for the imperfect!  No matter how you did today or your child did today, this is what the guidebook of life, The Bible, has to say: 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24 

As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one Romans 3:10  

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. James 3:2 

Go ahead and ask your friend to pray for that other prayer request you would just really like to have covered, but doing so might seem a little too needy or imperfect. 

Go ahead and prayerfully share with your children your hurts, habits, and hang ups when you were their age or even better, your current age! 

Go ahead and let the mom know who is sitting by you at the game and a little discouraged about her child’s overall performance lately that you too have been there or are currently there with your own children! 
We all need the grace of the gospel for the imperfect we did nothing to inherit other than coming into this world as a sinner in need of a savior!  It’s a perfect weakness with a perfect solution!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Adam and Eve and Jesus

Adam and Eve and Jesus

Family Fun Icebreaker: What is a comforting scripture for you? Why?

Question: How Does God Relate to Others?

Today’s Big Idea: God, Adam and Eve, and Jesus

God’s relationship with Adam and Eve illustrates mankind’s struggle with sin. Rebelling against God is sin, and sin has consequences. In Genesis 3, Satan deceives Adam and Eve with his lies. They both choose to eat the forbidden fruit, listening to Satan rather than staying away from the tree God instructed them not to touch. From that moment on, the world changes through the lasting effects of that original sin. Satan’s temptation for you to sin is a real, daily struggle. Genesis 3 explains how Adam and Eve (mankind) begin pure, but fall into sin. Thankfully, God has a plan! Jesus, God’s Son, also faces temptation from Satan to sin. However, Jesus’ response to Satan is quite different from Adam’s. Jesus is the only sinless man. In His struggle, He conquers sin through knowing God’s Word. Jesus is an example for you. He counters each sin Satan presents with the truth found in the Bible. Read Matthew 4:1-11. God sends Jesus to repair the damage done by Adam and Eve, giving you a way to find freedom from sin’s control over you.

Talk with God: Read the scriptures aloud.

The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” 
The LORD God asked the woman, “What have you done?” 
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.” Genesis 3:12-13 NLT

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. Matthew 4:1 NLT

Walk with God: Read aloud and discuss.
God knows from the beginning that you need His help to defeat sin. Sin is difficult to overcome, especially when Satan accuses and tempts you. Jesus shows you examples of how to resist temptation through scripture. There is
power in God’s Word! 

James 4:7 says, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will free from you.” 

Spend time confessing your struggle with sin to God. Search scripture and find verses that teach you how to counter your problem through His Word. The next time you feel temptation, pray the scripture aloud and resist the urge to sin.

Discuss with your family: God calls scripture “the Sword of the Spirit” because it is your weapon against the attacks of Satan. What truth in scripture helps to keep you from sinning?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for God to help you learn the scripture that will help you the most.

Stacy A. Davis, Author
Sky Ranch Family Devotionals, from the book 
All In
© 2015 Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Mother Daughter Weekend and God's Plan Through Sky Ranch

Hi friends, my name is Sydney Woychesin.

I have gone to Sky Ranch summer camp for 6 years now, and have loved every second of it! Sky Ranch and I have a lot of history. In the spring of 2010, my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer. My parents did not tell me about this at first because they did not want me to worry about my mom. My mom did not know what the outcome was going to be and was really worried about potentially not being there for me.

She decided that we should get away to bond and grow closer as mother and daughter, so she went to the internet searching for mother daughter retreats. Sky Ranch was the first thing that popped up on her browser, and I am eternally grateful for that. 

In the fall of 2010, we went to our first mother daughter retreat in Van, TX. Little did I know that I would be back several times over the course of my life. The excitement of the counselors and staff was overwhelming as we walked into the activity center that day. The staff’s smiles made us feel so welcome and at home. Over the course of the weekend we were engaged in several activities around camp as well as theme nights, worship, and Bible study. All of these things brought me and my mom closer and we are both so thankful for Sky Ranch and all they have done for us. At the end of the weekend we received a coupon for summer camp in Van. My mom automatically signed me up for summer camp and ever since then I have attended camp at Sky Ranch every summer.

That following summer I went to camp in Van. The atmosphere was amazing and all of the counselors were super excited that I was there, making sure I had a great time. A full week away from my parents was hard for a 4th grader, but camp mail was awesome for me to receive, knowing that my parents missed me too! Each day we were involved in a multitude of activities and had set aside time for Bible studies, small groups, and one on one’s. That summer I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. The decision I made that summer has changed me forever. The combination of extreme fun and Jesus easily makes Sky Ranch one of my favorite places ever! Every year after that I have returned to camp, excited and ready to learn more about God and his plan for me.

As I grew older, I had the opportunity to enroll into the leadership camp that Sky Ranch offers. At this point in my life, I knew who Jesus was and that He died for me and all of my sins that I have committed, but I did not have a relationship with Him. Throughout Morph and Quest leadership camps I have found my identity in Christ pursuing a personal relationship with Him. Morph and Quest camps have more set aside time for deeper and challenging Bible studies which I have loved. This summer I had the opportunity to go to the Horn Creek campus for Quest Colorado. The staff both there and in Van are equally as excited and pumped to see you. Every summer I have returned the same week (the past two years landing on my birthday) and the relationships that I have formed have changed me forever.  I have several counselors and friends that I continue to keep in touch with and am beyond blessed to have all of them in my life. All of these girls are God-fearing ladies that have loved, prayed, and encouraged me and I will look up to them for the rest of my life. These people have inspired me to work at a Christian day camp, sharing the gospel with children every day! My hope is to eventually return to Sky Ranch as a counselor, changing lives in the same place mine was changed. Sky Ranch has been a huge part of my walk with the Lord and I cannot express enough how thankful I am for every single staff member who has made an impact in my life. 

I am also excited to announce that I have been invited to return to Colorado this summer for two weeks as a Sigma! Sigma is Sky Ranch’s last tier of leadership camp and I will be attending Sigma Junior for juniors in high school. I am super excited for what the Lord has planned this summer for me, Sky Ranch, and all of the campers who will go through Sky Ranch’s gates. If my mom would not have typed into that search bar I would not have met so many people who love the Lord and care for me so much. I am convinced the Lord knew from the beginning of time that Sky Ranch would quickly become my home away from home and it is amazing to think that a God so great loves me so much.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney Woychesin 

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Have you ever heard these 4 words? If you were born in the 60s and went to college in the 80s, then chances are, you’ve heard the term.  If not, well…I could be your grandmother, I guess. 

But anyway, the term was made famous in the beginning days of computer science classes.  I took a FORTRAN class in college.  I didn’t choose to take the class mind you, I HAD to take it for my degree! Ugh!!! I remember the professor saying it all the time, “GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT.”  In other word’s, it’s not the computer’s fault if your Fortran program is not running properly! You gave it the wrong information!

Our minds and thoughts matter.  What do we meditate on? Watch? Listen to? Look at? It all matters.  What we put into our minds and hearts comes out.  Such a simple thought, yet so deep.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.  Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 

We put the good stuff in, and the good stuff comes out.  And vice versa.  As we parent our children, it’s important to set the bar high as it relates to the what we watch, read, listen to, etc.  We had to put the brakes on more than once with certain TV shows, music stations, clothing choices… Once we realized that our choices didn’t match up with Philippians 4:8, then we needed to repent and go the other direction.  And the Holy Spirit living inside of us as believers in Christ, equipped us to make that decision and change. 

Garbage in, Garbage out.  Good stuff in, Good stuff out.  

Lisa Clark 

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!”