Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tips from Tori....Packing Care Packages for your Camper!

What do I send to my camper at camp?
(See suggested List of many ideas, listed below)

Do I actually mail (using stamps) my care packages?
You can, but I suggest, you 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.....
SkyPacks are ready-made care packages put together to help your camper survive his or her week of camp. Packs are organized by gender and age-level. Kids love receiving these group-appropriate items! SnackPacks are goody bags filled with all types of edible treats for campers to enjoy. These packs come pre-made and ready to be delivered on the day of your choice. You can order one for each day if you would like.
View the SkyPacks available for each program:

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

Tori Miller
Sky Ranch SkyMoms Ministry Director

Monday, May 26, 2014

Prayer Encouragement: "When Would it be Better Off to Drown?" by SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

When Would it be Better Off to Drown?

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 18:6

I am guessing that no one reading this would have an intention to cause one of your children who believe in Jesus to sin.  That kind of seems absurd.   Why would I ever do that?
This passage hit me hard.  One of my children was telling me that he was not going to do an activity because he felt like he might be tempted to sin if he did it.  It was not a bad activity.  It was a great activity.  However, for him, it put him in a vulnerable place.  One where he wasn’t so sure it would be good for him to be as a Christ follower.
Now I know I have written on letting your little lights shine, but sometimes your little lights know where they are weak in their spiritual maturity and just might need to shine from a distance. Hence the need to be in prayer for your child so you will discern!  You know how it’s easier if you are standing at the bottom of a hill to reach up and pull someone down than it is to stand at the top of a hill and reach down and pull someone up?  He was telling me in this situation that he would possibly be more influenced in a negative way than he would be an influencer in a positive way…..by staying to try and pull others up, he could very easily get pulled down the mountain.
When he informed me of this decision, I wanted to talk him out of leaving and encouraged him to stay and be light!!  Don’t hide, don’t shrink back, STAY!
These are the times when it is life giving that I am in God’s Word.  It just meets me where I am. This day, I came to this passage from Matthew 18:6.
My encouragement for him to stay now changed to an encouragement for him to leave.  Flee!   Go!  Run!  I didn’t want to be a mom that was trying to cause my little one to sin.  He knew his limits.  If I kept on making him question his decision to flee, it would be better for me to drown in the depths of the sea!
Are you ever tempted to cause a younger one to sin?   Oh my, it could look so different for all of us.  Our words, our attitudes, our actions, our social choices, our over exerting pressure to perform?   You name it.
Let’s Pray:
Thank You Father for Your Word that guides me.  It is the all-time authoritative guidebook for training and loving my children.  Without it, I would be lost in my sin and leading them to be lost in their sin.
I never want to cause a little child to sin.  You Word clearly tells me how grievous this is. It would be better off for me to drown in the depths of the sea than to do this.
Show me where I am doing this and then lead me to repentance and trust in You as you show me these areas.
~Terrie Chevaillier

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lisa Life Lesson- "Top 10 List for Graduates and their parents!"

Several years ago, I was asked to speak to a group of seniors and their parents upon their impending graduation from high school.  I was given 10 minutes to share my thoughts.  At that time,  my daughters had already graduated from high school, so I knew what the parents were needing to hear, and naturally I knew exactly what the students needed to hear! So, God laid on my heart some "high points" and I developed the top 10 list.  A little background into #10 - when I wrote the Top 10 List, I was planning a wedding with my eldest daughter.  She had planned her wedding Pinterest style, like most girls her age.  Pinterest is not realistic.  Pinterest has no budget.  Pinterest has unlimited resources.  Pinterest is evil.  Enjoy!

Top Ten List for Graduating Seniors and their Parents

10.  Pinterest is evil. (Kidding but not really…)

9.  YOLO is not real.  Think about it.

8.  Get a job.  Many college graduates have never worked, can’t produce a resume, and wonder why they can’t get a job out of college.  USA TODAY reported several years ago that the spring semester of the senior year is one of the greatest wastelands in America…why, you know where you’re going to school, you’ve already been accepted, you take your foot off the gas…so you have time to get a job.  Work!  Get a paycheck, from a real employer and put money in a real bank.

7.  Start doing your own laundry.  Moms, stop doing their laundry.  

6.  Just because you’re able to, doesn’t make it right for you.  Your world is about to open up and you will have many opportunities come your way.  Just because a door opens, doesn’t mean you walk through it.  Just because society says you’re “allowed” to do things, think about it…is this right for me?  Set boundaries for yourself that even your parents might not set for you.  That’s the sign of a spiritually mature person who gets that their life is not their own.

5.  If you have one true friend you are blessed.  

4.  Be thankful.  God chose you to be born here, in America, where you have been given more than you need.  Don’t waste this privilege.  Be passionate about something.  Give back and serve.  

3.  Seniors, be patient with your parents this year as they try to squeeze in everything you need to know in the next 3-4 months.  

2.  Set goals.  God’s word tells us without vision, people perish.  Be a goal setter.  Set physical goals, spiritual goals, academic goals and community goals.  If you need a reference look up Luke 2:52.  Don’t just aimlessly wonder through life without a vision for what God wants and expects for your life.  You were created for a purpose.  Learn what that is and strive for greatness.

1.  I guarantee you this.  You will NEVER regret living your life for Christ and pursuing Him.  You were created for a relationship with Him.  That’s why you live.  You were born to meet Jesus.  That is your premier relationship.  Don’t think that spending time with Him is just for you, it’s for Him too.  He wants to be with you.  He longs to be with you.  His love is real and forever.  There’s nothing you can do to change that.  

Lisa Clark
Sky Ranch Parenting Mentor

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Lighter Load~ from Guest Writer Holly Shivers

A Lighter Load

It’s so close I can almost taste it. No more homework, projects, schedules, practices, or rushing in and out of the car. We will kiss our alarm clocks good-bye and load up on sunscreen. Backpacks will be packed away and “Happy Hour” Sonic trips an almost- daily ritual because -Praise Jesus- SUMMER IS HERE! While all those things sound quite refreshing, we all know deep down the reality that as moms, we are on the job 24/7. The minute you held your first child in your arms, your days of never having a care in the world were over forever. And now you spend so much time striving to give your children everything they need, worrying that what you’re doing may not be enough, and wanting so badly to fulfill your purpose. And all the while, you are utterly exhausted. Even though your worry-free days may be over, God does not intend for you to carry this load alone. Today, I want to share with you two things that just may make your burden a bit lighter as you head into summer. Are you with me?

First, I want to share with you how Sky Ranch Camps can help carry that load. The blessings we have received from this ministry are too many to list. From giving our son his first overnight camp experience, to a week spent together in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, to one on one time with my girl at a mother-daughter retreat, to zip lines and horses and songs and skits. But what far outweighs all of those wonderful things, are the relationships we have developed there. My Dad always says, “Life is about relationships.” And what makes Sky Ranch so unique to us are the people there. To see these amazing, godly kids pour into our little ones is invaluable to us. Peek into our car as we pull out of family camp this summer and you will see what I mean. Every one of our children sobbing because they have to say good-bye to these counselors who spend endless hours with them, laugh and cry with them and teach them lessons we’ve been trying to teach them all year. (And not to mention, they are all about 2 inches shorter at the end of the week- due to carrying our children around on their shoulders for 7 days.) And that is just a perfect picture of helping carry our load. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer.” (NLT) Thank you, Sky Ranch, for having our backs!

The second thing I want to address with you is a perspective on your job as a mom and that daunting question of “Am I doing enough?” About a year or two ago, I had a revelation. I am not solely responsible for my child’s spiritual and emotional well-being. Brilliant, I know. But think about this: When you have a baby, it’s pretty doable to take care of that baby’s needs. Feed, bathe, rock, soothe, you get the picture. But then one day something happens. Your child comes to you with a problem and for the first time, you can’t fix it. And as they grow older, the less and less you are able to make right for them. Even worse, the less and less they need you to do that. So, while our children are young, I believe there is one thing we can give them that will not only enable them to succeed in life, but will last for-ev-er. And that one thing is God’s Word. For years I watched my kids memorize scripture at church or school from the sidelines. I cheered for them here or there but ashamedly, was just thankful it was one less thing I had to teach them. Since that time I have realized the vitality of helping my little ones hide God’s Word in their heart- mostly because- let’s be honest, people- it is their ONLY HOPE. I don’t have to tell you about the state of our culture and the current our kids will be striving against if they choose to follow Jesus. And although we as moms cannot be there every second to rescue them, if they have that super natural power of God’s Word inside of them- He will. He will be the one who is forever by their side, whispering in their ears and guiding their steps. 

Now, you must be thinking- how does this make my load lighter? Because, you see- it’s not all up to us! And thank the Lord for that! The Holy Spirit of God will take root in your child’s heart through His Word, and you will get to be a witness of the fruit that comes from it. The fact is, I never feel like I’m doing and being everything my kids need from me. But thanks to the grace of God, I am now (in a very hands-on way) giving them the one thing they need more than anything else. If I lose my temper, serve one too many fast food meals, get backed up on laundry, but I manage to salvage a few minutes at the end of that day to talk through a verse they are working on, I’m counting that day as a win. 

I have written a children’s book to be released this fall entitled, “I Can Learn the Bible” (52 verses every kid should know). Each verse has a family devotional that coincides, as well as tips to help your kids effectively seal God’s Word into their little hearts. The idea is to read the devotional together as a family at the first of the week, then spend that entire week committing that scripture to memory. I want to encourage you today to jump into this game with me and equip these kids with something that no one can ever take from them: God’s living, active Word hidden deep in their hearts.  Happy summer!


Holly Shivers

Monday, May 19, 2014

Prayer Encouragement: "Prayer and Fasting" by SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

Prayer and Fasting

However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
Matthew 17:21

Have you ever just needed a breakthrough?   Like this problem just kept resurfacing in your child’s life.  It might go away for a short time only to pop back up again after you thought you were done with that “issue”.
The disciples came up against this when a man brought his son to them asking them to heal him from epilepsy that caused him to fall in the fire and often into the water.  This man told Jesus that he had brought the boy to his disciples but they could not heal him.
  When the disciples ask Him directly why they couldn’t do this, He tells them it was because of their unbelief and lack of faith.  He tells them that faith in His power in them as disciples is able to move a mountain and that nothing is impossible for them.   He then goes onto say, “However, this kind does not come go out except by prayer and fasting.”  
As a Christian mom of a child, you are a disciple of Christ.  If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you have His power living on the inside of you.
Is there a reoccurring problem that has zapped your faith and the mountain is now so large that you cannot see over it or go around it, but you are just stuck staring at it?
Maybe it is a “this kind” kind of problem.
Let’s pray God’s Word:
Dear Lord, thank You that I have direct access to come before You and pray in Jesus name because you have paid the price and I have full access to Your power and You hear my prayers.
Sometimes, my faith is really really weak.  I feel like the mountain of this problem just grows daily.
I want to be more obedient to prayer as Your Word tells me that I must come before You in believing prayer and faith for this thing to be moved.  Help me to see that they way you move it might not be the way I have planned for it to move.   I want to be closer to You, regardless of what the breakthrough might look like or not look like.
Teach me what it means to fast in regards to a mountain.  I want the problem to just go away, but I also want to be reminded in fasting to come to you with the issue and remember that when I die to myself in an area, it reminds me of Your power and authority to work in the life of my child and that I don’t have to do all of the work, because You have paid the ultimate price of death on the cross and nothing can surpass that power that is available in me and in my child.
What needs to go out by prayer and fasting in the life of my child?   Lead me to pray and fast when needed.
~Terrie Chevaillier

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sky Ranch Family Devotional…God’s Abundant Life, with Stacy A. Davis ~ Bible Teacher and Sky Ranch Board Member

Family Fun Icebreaker: What was an act of random kindness that was done to you? How did you respond?

Question: How will trusting God help you?

Topic 6: Trust—God is Good

Today’s Big Idea: God’s Abundant Life

Share with your family that God is trustworthy because He wants your life on earth to be the best it can be.
The questions give your family the opportunity to share about another result of God’s goodness in your life—an abundant life. How is abundant life different from regular life? Your family can discuss the differences of living a life with purpose versus a life of just getting by. God has given you the gift of “life” and each person has an opportunity to make his or her life extraordinary. When you live life following the will of God for you, your life will be extraordinary! God loves you and wants you to trust Him so that He can give you incredible life experiences to create an abundant life for yourself. A life that you will look back and feel blessed to have lived. God’s Word gives you insight for living the abundant life. Make time to read it. The key to living the abundant life is to seek Him first in all that you do. Pray and desire to live life the right way, doing good for others. Talk to your family about the importance of finding a community of like-minded Christian friends who will encourage you to trust in the Lord and do God’s good.

Talk with God: Read scriptures and questions below.

Psalm 37:3 (ESV): “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the

land and befriend faithfulness.”
John 10:10 (NASB) (Jesus is speaking): “... I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Matthew 6:33 (NIV) (Jesus is speaking): “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Walk with God:

Discuss with younger kids: Do you know the feeling of doing something really nice for someone else? It can be a really positive feeling. That feeling of knowing that you have done the right thing can become a lifestyle. God’s Word tells about an abundant life, or a really great life. You live a really great life by trusting God and doing good acts for others. How will being surrounded by other Christians encourage you to live a really great life, too?

Discuss with older kids: Everyone wants their life to matter and to feel their life has purpose. You may just want to make it through school right now, but someday you may want your life to be more. Have you checked your FRO (Foundation, Relationships, Obedience) lately? You need a community of Christians around you to encourage and support you. Are you on the path to an abundant life? How? If not, what needs to change?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for God’s abundant life. 

I will be praying for you!

Stacy A. Davis, Author
Sky Ranch Family Devotionals 
© 2013 Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Prayer Encouragement: "This Little Light of Mine" by SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

This Little Light of Mine

You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  
Matthew 5:14
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

I just finished up and in depth study of the book of Matthew.   It seemed that most of the year, I was being taught what it means to be a mom in regards to discipleship of my children.
If your child has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, they are what the bible calls “light”.  If you as a mom have accepted this call as well, you are a light.
A light of the world.  A city on a hill.  It cannot be hidden.
If you are light, or your kids are light, have you ever wanted to just run away and hide that light?  Their light or your own light?   Think about your child in terms of This Little Light of Mine.  As mothers, our children belong to us.  Ultimately to God, but while they are in our care, they belong to us and we are held responsible for them, at least until a certain age.  
I have found myself wanting to run away with my little lights and hide them in a cave safely away from the world so no one could try to extinguish their light or try to push their darkness onto this little light of mine, my child.  
Have you ever felt that way?
Let’s Pray God’s Word:
Thank you Father that You are the light of the world and Your light lives in us and in our children.  You tell us that it’s like a city that cannot be hidden.  Why do I fear other’s extinguishing it?  You tell me it cannot happen.  It cannot be hidden.
At times, I am afraid and want to run away and not shine brightly amidst darkness.  And I want to run and take my kids away with me.  
Your Word tells me that our light should shine before men and they will see this and then glorify You.
Please take away our hesitancy or fear to be obedient to this call and help us to be moms that shine brightly in hard places and trust our children with you to allow theirs to shine brightly too!
~Terrie Chevaillier

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sky Ranch Family Devotional…God’s Peace, with Stacy A. Davis ~ Bible Teacher and Sky Ranch Board Member

Family Fun Icebreaker: What is a peaceful place that you have visited? 

Question: How will trusting God help you?

Topic 6: Trust—God is good

Today’s Big Idea: God’s Peace

Share with your family that God is trustworthy because He wants you to have real peace.
The questions give your family the opportunity to share about the result of God’s goodness in your life—His peace. God’s trustworthiness is proven in the end result of an inner peace, or wholeness, which is not found anywhere else. When you receive God’s free gift of salvation and choose to make peace with God, you are actually making peace within yourself. Through Jesus, you are given a peace so amazing that it does not make sense for the situation. Jesus also explains that this is a different peace than the world’s peace; the feeling is from Him and supernatural. The peace God gives keeps you calm even when the world around you is not. It keeps your heart from being troubled or afraid. Only a trustworthy God gives results like that for trusting Him! Share with your family how this inner peace can be helpful in dealing with your own life and in relating to others.

Talk with God: Read scriptures and questions below.

John 14:27 (NIV) (Jesus is speaking): “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Philippians 4:7 (NET): “And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 34:4 (NIV): “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

Walk with God:

Discuss with younger kids: Sometimes you can be around too much fighting or craziness and you just want it to stop. Have you ever had that happen? You need down time or quiet time. Yet, even in the quiet, your heart can still worry. God’s peace makes your heart stop worrying. Would you like that kind of peace—God’s peace? In Psalm 34:4, God says He will deliver you from your fears but what do you have to do? How does God’s peace let you know God loves you and that He is trustworthy?

Discuss with older kids: You have seen angry or mean people throughout your life. Hopefully, you have learned by now that you cannot control other people and force them to be peaceful. You can only control yourself through God’s guidance. So, when your surroundings are crazy, what helps you stay calm on the outside and on the inside? How does knowing about God’s peace help you trust Him? If you seek the peace that God gives, what do you need to do to get it?

Prayer suggestion: Pray for God to give you His promised peace. 

I will be praying for you!

Stacy A. Davis, Author
Sky Ranch Family Devotionals 
© 2013 Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.