Friday, May 24, 2013

Prayer Encouragement: “The Target for our Arrows” by SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth
Psalm 127:4
Last summer I wrote about one of my boys heading out to Sky Ranch for a five week session to be a counselor. We were thrilled that he was having the opportunity to do this as we had prayed for just that season to come. The season of summer between his first and second year of college.  Sky Ranch had always been a desire of his heart for that time in his life.  Shortly after arriving, we got the call from him asking for our blessing to allow him to stay full summer.
I admit....I wrestled with God for a day or two.  Selfishly we wanted him home. We love being with him. His brothers were awaiting time with him to go and do all of their plans they had dreamed up while their brother was away for his first year at college.
After some prayer and time in the Word.....the Lord helped me to see that my plans for him needed to be fully surrendered and released. My time of training in the home was all in preparation for this launch.  Last year The Lord gave me comfort with the story of Samuel where his mother Hannah had prayed earnestly for a child and then purposes in her heart that she would dedicate Samuel to The Lord for His service....and at a much younger age than where my son currently was. Thankful...I laid down my will for His and I cannot imagine keeping him from all that he got to experience in serving full summer.
So this year....he comes home for ten days before heading out to Sky Ranch for full summer. We had known for a while that he would be there all summer. And...we had prayed that he would be used in a mighty way...all summer.  I cleared my calendar for the ten days he was home. Soaked up all of his contagious joy and enthusiasm and fun spirit.  Watched an entire movie with him which is SO SO hard for me to do.  He would tell you it is almost impossible for me to do that....and do it without a book or iPad in my hand.
After church on Sunday, we had lunch and I took the other two boys and gave my husband the one on one time with him to Van. No big deal. I had a lot I needed to do with the other two arrows.
And like a came. Uncontrollable sadness and tears. The ten days was just enough to make me realize just how much he poured into our family.  I could not shake it. All of the other men in my house....big and little....were perplexed.  They would come near then back off.....just not certain what to do with this emotional release.  I too didn't even know what to do with it.  So after praying and still no peace, I just climbed into bed with my little guy and called it a day.  No words or doing was going to stop this "crazy". Sleep seemed to be the safest for me and those around me!
The next day, my husband gathered up his work and joined me for my day which involved a commitment to a friend to help her with some work in her kitchen. She wasn't going to be there so I guess he thought he might need to sit at her table and work just in case I had the same crying episode an hour away from home! It was sweet and it was sacrificial. While painting...I was listening to one of my favorites....Dennis Rainey on Family Life Today. He said...."moms and dads...those arrows in your quiver are meant to fly straight when they are released from your home at the age of eighteen.  This time you have them in your care is  training for that time and season of release."
Suddenly...I felt an overwhelming sense of peace as that arrow I had been so sad about releasing again was on a STRAIGHT path....headed straight for Sky Ranch! It wasn't bent and flying around aimlessly or choosing to stay comfortably in the quiver. It was flying straight into all that God had planned for him.  I was able to tell myself that I would be sad if it was off course, but today I could be filled with joy as it was headed in the  right direction and aimed for more than I could ever imagine for him.
Let's pray God's Word:
Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of children. Your Word says they are like arrows in our hands.
Thank You for Sky Ranch and how they are taught and trained according to the life map. Thank You that it helps us as parents set the course.
Show us our children's natural bent. How can our discipline and love be used as instruments to aim that arrow straight into Your will and plan.
Thank you for grace and mercy and do overs. Where we have gotten off course in the training, give us courage and vision to seek Your grace and mercy to get back on the track for where those arrows are aimed.
Help us to know how to navigate the release.
Lead us to joy as we have the honor of watching where that arrow lands.
~Terrie Chevaillier

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tips from Tori....Sky Ranch Camp opens in less than 3 weeks!, HERE ARE SOME CARE PACKAGE Packing TIPS!

What do I send to my camper at camp? 
If you choose to bring mail from home for us to deliver to your campers cabin here are some Tips:
  • Mail from Home/“Care packages” are boxes or envelopes of goodies (toys, clothes, magazines, etc.) that families send/or bring to camp that we "mail" for you to campers.  Kids feel really special when they get mail! 
  • Size.  The package should be reasonable in size.  Sending or bringing a refrigerator-sized crate of treats is going to be expensive for you and embarrassing for your child.  Keep the size reasonable, about the size of a shoe box.  Kids should not expect to receive large, costly items at camp.  The point is not to spoil them, it’s simply to say “I love you and I’m thinking about you.” :).
  • Food/Perishables  Be careful that it will not melt, or spill.  Power bars, Granola bars, Gatorade Instant Mix Packs to add to water bottles. Also, make sure items are in resealable containers.  Snack sized portions seem to work the best!
  • Games/Books/Toys.  Games, toys, and reading material are excellent additions to any care package.  Include some things that your child can share with his fellow campers.  For example, you might send:
    • miniature board games, like checkers or chess
    • Frisbees® and other sorts of flying disks
    • magazines
    • bean bag balls, such as Hackey Sacks®
    • playing cards
    • Uno® and other sorts of card games
    • Nerf® balls and other sorts of sponge balls
    • MadLibs® and other sorts of word games
    • "stocking stuffers"!!!!
    • a small stuffed animal
    • markers and paper for drawing
    • stickers
    • a disposable camera
    • a novel
    • origami paper and instructions
    • a T-shirt
    • a puzzle
    • a baseball cap
    • a blank scrapbook or journal to start at camp
    • photos of the family and photos of the family pets
    • Glitter/gel
    • bubbles/side walk chalk
    • streamers
Do I actually mail (using stamps) my care packages?
You can, but I suggest, NOOOO!!!! and let us deliver for you!
Bring all your care packages to camp marked with your campers name, cabin and date you want delivered and we will deliver for you!!

Does Sky Ranch have Care Packages ready for purchase so, I do not have to go shopping myself?
Let us do the work for you.....
These SkyPacks provide a great way for parents to send a mid-week "Care Package" to their camper. Filled with fun toys and memorable items, these packs will be a big hit when they are delivered right to your camper's cabin. 
Tori Miller
Sky Ranch SkyMoms Ministry Director

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Prayer Encouragement: “Go and Make Disciples” by SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Matthew 28:19
This blog entry has been on my heart for a while now.  I see a lot of this generation of kids all about the Great Commission.  It takes courage in their world to be about this.  I have watched the opposition to this for some time and it concerns me.  The opposition that I see to this is not always a bad thing, but I would like to explain something I have been made aware of that makes this somewhat challenging.  I think awareness of their world is always a good thing.
The Great Commission.
Therefore go.  Make disciples.  Of all nations.
You see, I am very concerned about how we are falling into closed circles.
When we are in a closed circle of friends it is really hard to “therefore go”.
It is hard to make disciples if all of the people in the circle are already His disciples…believers in Christ.
Of all nations therefore becomes challenging in our day to day lives because we find it hard to leave the comfort of “our nation”.
Our “nation” could be the comfortable friend groups we try to construct and manage for our children.
If your children are past that age, your hands might not even have the opportunity to manage or control it.
The world’s system is doing that.
In their world…especially their school age world, there is a system at work.
It’s a group system.
If you are a part of one group, chances are your opportunities to be a part of other groups are somewhat limited. This group could provide safety at a lunch table.  It could also offer safety on Friday and Saturday nights.
I am not against this system.  Just concerned for how it is affecting the Great Commission.
When I seek God’s wisdom for His will for my children…this keeps coming to my mind.
The Great Commission.
One of my boys has been on an international mission trip.  Another one will go on a local mission opportunity this summer for the first time.  I love it that our summer will consist of this type of endeavor, however, we have been talking a lot about being on mission every day….in this nation.  In this community.  At this table. In the classroom.  At Starbucks.
You name it.  All Nations.
They tell me it is hard.
I am believing them.
That is why we must pray God’s Word.
Let’s Pray…
Dear Father, thank You for Your Word that tells me what my kids are supposed to be about.  Making disciples.  I know that they cannot go out if they are not equipped and discipled to do that.  Thank You for Sky Ranch and how this is in the forefront of what they instruct and teach.  Thank You for the disciples that You have put in my children’s lives to encourage them to go out and give out the same that they have been given.
We know that You are aware of all the opposition in their worlds that tries to steal opportunity for them to be about Your call.  You see their world closer than we see it.
As a mom, it grieves us to watch their friend or influence groups become limited because of worldly labels.
Would You go before them and break through this wall that seems impenetrable without Your favor and blessing.
We ask that all of our children be equipped and have a heart for the Great Commission.
Give us courage as moms to let go of our carefully constructed comforts zones and trust You with Your calling for us and for our children.
~Terrie Chevaillier

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Mother's Day" by Kathryn Collins Sky Ranch Event Marketing Coordinator

“ that I am a mother, I understand what Mother's Day is about: it's about looking through our lives and recognizing the act of mothering everywhere we see it, and more than that, recognizing that when any of us mother-- when we listen, nurture, nourish, protect--we're doing sacred work.”
-Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet
This quote seems like a moot point coming from a 24-year-old, single girl with no children now or coming anytime soon in my future. But this nugget of truth from one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist, still deeply grabbed a hold of my soul. I’m not a mother, but I do have a mother (a pretty incredible one, at that), and I have witnessed some of the most authentic women in my life nurture their own children.
What does it mean to recognize the act of mothering? To me, it means witnessing an exchange of advice and wisdom. It means experiencing the comfort of one heart to another. It’s feeling that warmth of being provided for. Or that joy of nourishing another in the little moments of daily life. Mothering is all around us… and it truly is a heartbeat in this world.
You are worth more than you know to your children. You are the ones that have the ability to show them a glimpse of Christ in their everyday lives. You get them out of bed, just as Christ gives us a new chance every morning. You feed them, just as Christ nourishes our hearts and our minds. You listen to them, just as Christ allows us to pour our desires and heartaches unto Him. You protect them, just as Christ guards us in all circumstances. You show them grace and forgiveness, just as Christ so freely forgave us on that cross and continues to be gracious to us in all circumstances.
Although I have not experienced the gift of being a mother just yet, I hope that you are still encouraged by these words. And always remember, you are doing sacred work.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Kathryn Collins
Event Marketing Coordinator
Sky Ranch
P.S. You should definitely look into reading Shauna Niequist’s books, if you haven’t already! I recommend all three of her books: Cold TangerinesBittersweet, and Bread and Wine. They are all so full of truth and spunk, providing freshness and meaning for the ups and downs of life.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Teach Intentionally..."Family Time…Believing Jesus leads to abundant and eternal life", with Stacy A. Davis ~ Bible Teacher and Sky Ranch Board Member

Family Time…Believing Jesus leads to abundant and eternal life 

This month’s family time topic from the “Sky Ranch Family Devotional: Follow the Leader” is on “Believe in Jesus“ and the weekly discussion is on “Believing Jesus leads to abundant and eternal life.“

This week in your family time, I would encourage you to prepare by praying for your family and asking God to help you explain the spiritually abundant life that God has planned for you while you live life on this earth. God has prepared ahead of time good works that were designed specifically for you to do while you are on earth. Pray for God to show each of you the plans that He has for you and ask for a willing heart that is happy to serve Him. Pray for an abundant life in Jesus.

Do you have questions or need prayer for your family? Email me at
I will be praying for you! 
Stacy A. Davis
Sky Ranch Family Devotionals and
Teach Intentionally Author

This week we are in the  7th  Topic and 35th   Family Time (or page 67 ) of the Sky Ranch Family Devotional “Follow the Leader”…
Family Time 35:
Topic 7: Believe in Jesus…Believing Jesus leads to abundant and eternal life
Talk with God: Read… Scriptures and questions below.
John 20:31  but these have been written that you may  believe  that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
  • In John 20:31, what benefit is there in believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? 

1 John 5:13  These things I have written to you who  believe  in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.
  • In 1 John 5:13, what happens to those who believe in the name of the Son of God? 

Romans 10:9  that if you  confess   with   your   mouth  Jesus [as] Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;  10  for  with  the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and  with  the  mouth  he confesses, resulting in salvation.
  • In Romans 10:9, what is the result of believing that God raised Jesus from the dead and confessing that Jesus is Lord?

Walk with God: Discuss… Scripture speaks of two kinds of life - abundant life in John 10:10 and eternal life in 1 John 5:13. Abundant life is about your time on earth. Eternal life is about your time after earth. There are immediate results from believing Jesus. What are they?

Prayer suggestion… Pray for help to believe Jesus.

Family Time 35: 
Leader Answers:
  • You will have life in His name
  • You have eternal life
  • Being saved or salvation
  • Discussion ideas: Jesus saves us two ways. First, salvation is from the fires of hell and eternity apart from God. Second, salvation is from living a spiritually unproductive life while here on earth.  Jesus promised abundant life while you were here. Through His Spirit He will show you the way of a spiritually productive life such as a changed heart or a changed lifestyle. What would be a productive life to Jesus?
© 2012 Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lisa's Life Lesson: A Mother's Love

I’m struggling a little today.  Mother’s Day is coming up and I’m in a new season of “motherhood” I guess.  Married daughter.  (Who I won’t be seeing this weekend.)  Empty nester, sort of…my college girl comes home just in time to celebrate with me! Woohooo!
No matter what, moms want the best for their kids, right? I’m not talking about the mom who abuses and abandons.  I’m talking about the rich mom, the poor mom, the working 3 jobs mom, the stay at home mom, we all have our children’s best at heart.  We really do.  We adore our kids and want them to grow up to be healthy, adjusted, hard working adults who care.
This became extremely evident to me this week as I mentored a 23 year old mom whom CPS has removed her 6 year old daughter from her care.  She’s working very hard to get her daughter back.  She’s been clean and sober for 45 days and is training to learn a skill to be employed and have a career.  Absolutely amazing.  I’m so proud I could bust.
As she shared with me her story, I’m sure my jaw was on the table most of the time.  I’ve never really heard quite a story up close and personal.  But I was up for it.  She explained to me that drugs was all she knew because her mom did drugs, her mom’s boyfriends, her dad.  Drugs was all she knew.  But her mom loved her.  Still.  To feed her, her mom would rummage through trash cans of fast food restaurants and find old receipts, then walk up to the counter and proceed to tell the person behind the counter that her order was “wrong” and demand a new meal.  Right or wrong, this mom was trying to provide for her daughter.  I’ve never heard quite a story.  But I don’t really associate with this “kind” of family.
A mother’s love is never ending.  We will go to great lengths to love our children.
I’m thankful today.  Thank you God that you chose me to be Caroline and Camryn’s mom.  Thank you God for my mom.  Thank you for healing and continuing to heal that relationship.  Thank you for the moms out there who might not “love” their kids like I do, but they are doing the best they can.  Help me to love those moms, too.  Not just the moms that look and act like me.

Lisa Clark
Sky Ranch Parenting Mentor