Work continues on Logan’s Barn

The work will continue on Logan’s Barn. Thank you to all who contributed and helped James Bolerjack on this project.

Grass


Having washed away most of the fruits of very hard labor and expense, the flood this year wreaked havoc upon on the newly planted bermuda in our paddock area at the Trails. The paddock sets at an incline anyway, and the water from the rain ferociously beat the rooted bermuda from its foundation until there were only remnants left. Most of the groups and people that New Life Trails serves visit only the paddock area.  We wanted it to be smooth, green and plush for the young, older, disabled, and disheartened. So it was with great enthusiasm that we planted the bermuda strips in the fall funded by a precious donor. After the flooding it was with a weakened heart and spirit that I observed the destruction. 
     I couldn’t help but think of the analogy.  As a response to living in a fallen world, we are beaten and battered by life’s circumstances. We are enveloped by sickness, death, financial hardships, addictions, broken relationships, ect… Interestingly, these are ones that God has called New Life Trails to minister to.  So much of the mission of New Life Trails is it’s story. Now the vision, the hope, the storm, and the redemption of the grass becomes one more page for God to use in breathing life into those He brings to the Trails. And as I faithfully water “those remnants,” I focus on what is left, not what is lost with thanksgiving, just like the precious ones that He has called us to.The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; Isaiah 61:11

Muddy Water

Scurrying around to finish up the chores for the evening, my granddaughter came up behind me while I was filling the water in the duck and goose cage. Scolding me, she ask why I was running clean water into the small dirty water tubs. It is absolutely crazy how dirty their water gets and stays. 5 minutes after I clean it, it looks like it has been standing a week.  My effort to keep it “clean” water diminished after a couple of years. So….what I do now is simply get it cleaner. I run clean water into the dirty water until it clears from running over. A secondary purpose of this practice is to give them muddy water to nuzzle around in the ground, which they love.
In explaining this practice to my granddaughter, her eyebrows drew together and she stated, “I don’t think so…”  So I beckoned her observation as I completed the task. The eyebrows that were together then raised in an illuminating manner. I shared with her that this is also an example of our sanctification process in Christ. While we are a new creation in Christ at salvation, as long as we are in the flesh, we will battle the flesh.  The Bible tells us to not be overcome by evil(the flesh) but to overcome evil with good Romans 12:21 My focus was putting the fresh water into the muddy water until it overcame it and became clear. Of course, that was a little deep and complex for my granddaughter which was simply trying to get the chores done!!!
However complex it was for my granddaughter at that point, it was a contemplating thought for me as I reflected at the end of the day. Had my focus been solely on not doing evil that day, or had it been on what good in Christ’s name that was accomplished.  This I know! If Satan can keep me distracted by all my mistakes, then I will have little energy to focus on what good Jesus can do through me.  While it is important to be aware of who I am in Christ, my energy needs to be directed to the good God wants to do through me, and then there will be little time for the enemy, the deceiver, to work his evil.

2019 Reading, Math & Character Camp

With an enrollment of 42 children, jump start camp 2019 started. It consist of six rotations, science, art, readers theater, math concepts, multiplication facts mastery and recreation with New Life Trails animals. The students take a pre and post test of their multiplication fact knowledge.

Is it?

Having been a very hard winter, the sight of green upon the landscape refreshed my heart!  It blanketed the ground in a luscious delight of radiance!  As I walked the Trails to check in on the sheep, I wanted a closer look at the sustenance of the grass. However, when I trekked into the pasture, I found an array of weeds. The disappointment went deep into my spirit. If I had not envisioned the provision of green grass, I don’t think that I would have been so disappointed, but I felt tricked…betrayed by the appearance.  What gave the representation of nourishment was empty and could not even be consumed. Sooo it was back to the feed sacks for nourishment.

Well….it didn’t take much reflection to bring this thought back home to me. I go to church and follow the traditions of being a Christian from a distance, but what do people see when they get up close….?  What do they see when I go through a trial or a tribulation?  I just finished a really hard week in my personal life and the life at the Trails? What did my family see….? My close friends…..? Those who needed to be nourished spiritually by Christ through me? I pray that through my tears they could hear the whispers of God’s promises, and that in spite of my melancholy they could see His hope.  I must not consist, exist in the flesh, in emptiness, but be filled nourished, provided with the Spirit of the living God.16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. or be the things that God desires you to be Galatians 5:16 empty weeds

When I have a right to hate, I love

When I have a right to despair, I have joy

When I have a right to be anxious, I have peace

When I have a right to be impatient, I wait on God and His timing

When I have a right to be mean, I am kind

When I have a right to be harsh, I am gentle

When I have a right to be self-willed, I am self controlled

When I have a right to be bad(no character) I am good(character

When I have a right to be unfaithful, I am faithful

no spiritual nourishment, to nourishment in Christ to those around me

Love you all!!! more than 1000 blades of yummy grass for the animals!!!!

Renee

Milk or Meat

I am so happy!!!!! My bottles babies(Tweedy and Heartland) are eating grain! It has been a long road and very wearisome at times! It is a lot of work when they depend on me for every bit of nourishment! While they are still on the bottle, it is just part of their nourishment now, and I know that they are well on their way to total independence. Which is the point!!!!  
Upon reflecting, I had to ask myself where I am spiritually?  Am I totally dependent upon my pastor, my Sunday School teacher, my husband, ect… to spiritually guide me, or am I becoming more independent each day. Do I find my own nourishment spiritually in my daily Bible study, quiet times, prayer, and song? Do I drag myself into church every Sunday starving nearly to death? Do I call friends desperately searching for spiritual insight every time a struggle comes into my life.
 Four scriptures in the Bible make reference to this question?
1 Peter 2:2 – As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Hebrews 5:12 – For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

1 Corinthians 3:2 – I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.

Hebrews 5:13 – For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

Ouch!!!! While there is a time for milk, the Word is very clear that I am to grow past that! I believe the strongest tool that has deepened my spiritual maturity is the memorized Word of God.  When the storm has arrived, I seldom have the spiritual strength to search for a scripture that addresses the situation, but if I start with A then go to Z, the next thing that I know is that I’m free!!!!(smile)Each one I precede with Thank you, Jesus

A-(I can do ALL things (through Christ )which strengtheneth me. ) Philippians 4:13

B- (BEING confident of this very thing, that (He) which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.) Philippians 1:6

C-(and ye are COMPLETE(in HIM), which is the head of all principalities and powers. ) Colossians 2:10

D-(fear thou not; for (I) am with thee;) be not DISMAYED; for (I) am thy God: (I) will strengthen thee; yea, (I) will help thee; yea, (I) will uphold thee with the right hand of (My) righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

E-(now unto Him tht is able to do EXCEEDINGLY abundantly above all that we ask) or think according to the power that worketh in us. Ephesians 3:20

F-( I will praise thee: FOR I am fearfully and wonderfully made)marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14

G-(GREATER is (He) that is in you, than he that is in the world. ) 1 John 4:4b

H-(for (I) will restore HEALTH unto thee, )and (I) will HEAL thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17a

I-((I) will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go()I) will guide thee with (Mine) eyes. Psalm 32:8

J-(but my (God) shall supply all your needs according to (His) riches in glory by Christ JESUS.) Philippians 4:19

K-((Thou) wilt KEEP him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on (Thee),) because he trusteth in (Thee). Isaiah 26:3

L-(behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. ) Isaiah 59:1

M-(MANY are the afflictions of the righteous, but the (Lord) delivered him out of them all. ) Psalm 34:19

N-(NOT by might, not by power, but by (My Spirit),” saith the Lord of Host.) Zechariah 4:6b

O-(for (He) shall give (His) angels charge OVER thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. ) Psalms 91:11

P-(the (Lord) will PERFECT that which concerneth me.) Psalm 138:8a

Q- (nay, in all these things we are more than CONQUERORS, through (Him) that loves us. ) Romans 8:37

R- (for which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man (is )renewed day by day.) 2 Corinthians 4:16

S-(for SIN shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law, but under grace.) Romans 6:14

T-(I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be THWARTED. ) Job 42:2

U-(and we know that to them that love God, all things work together UNTO good, )to such as, according to (His) purpose, are called to be saints. Romans 8:28

V-( through (God), we shall do VALIANTLY, for (He) it is that shall tread down our enemies.) Psalm 108:13

W-(WHEN thou passest through the waters, (I) will be with thee )and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee;when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2

X-(for I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord,) thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an EXPECTED end. Jerremiah 29:11

Y-(and whatsoever YE shall ask in(My) name, that will (I )do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. ) John 14:13

Z- ( for with God nothing is impossible. ) Luke 1:37

New Life Trails Visits Hospice Patient, Logan Blakey

When Logan Blakey, 10 years old, became too sick to make his “Make A Wish” visit to San Diego Zoo, His family contacted New Life Trails and asked us to bring animals to see him. He was visited by Shadow the rabbit, Speck the chicken, Isaac the sheep, Mocha the lamb, and a one day old lamb that Logan named Skittles. Logan asked his family to build a red barn for the animals. A week later, Logan went to his forever home and the family made New Life Trails the recipient of memorial donations in Logan’s honor to help build his red barn. As of today $1500.00 has been raised of the $4500.00 needed has been contributed.

Resting

As the sun shone so bright at the Trails today, and the animals bathed in its warmth, I could not imagine the darkness that would be unveiled. The darkness had disguised it’s work and wrath upon a package that was bubbly, hard working, very intuitive, and had eyes that looked through you to your heart. She was at the Trails completing community service. We worked side by side through the day and stopped to eat a bite when I first noticed the hidden cries for help. Her sleeve slipped up and her arm revealed battles that were being fought where no one wins. Cutting is the word that describes desperate act upon its victims. I couldn’t stop the gasp that started in my lungs and verbalized itself, “Honey, what in the world?” At first, she pulled her arm to hide it, but in response to my questioning eyes, she unveiled the remaining portion. “I have a problem,” she spoke. I whispered a pray. What?……What?…What was I to say to her?
We visited for quite some time. I shared my testimony with her. She professed to know Christ as her Savior. I asked her many question, and sensed that she did know him as her Savior. She had received eternal life, but she knew nothing of the abundant life that Christ had died for her. John 10:10b I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly. How would I explain to her a concept that she had no understanding of in her life? The Lord quickly brought to my mind an experience that we had earlier in the day. He is so amazing!!!!! Windstar, a 28 year old horse, at the Trails has laying in the sun soaking up it’s warmth. On the other side of the fence was 3 of our younger horses that tend to bully Windstar. Even with them so near, Windstar lay in perfect peace. He had complete confidence in the fence that protected him. So much so that he even closed his eyes to sleep;complete perfect rest. Upon reminding the young lady of the scene, I told her that she could have that same kind of peace in her life. I shared with her the promises that God has for us as His children(A-Z). I told her how God had taught me and continues to teach me to turn to those promises with “Thanksgiving.” Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING, let your request be made known to God, and the PEACE that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.

A- Thank you Jesus, that I can do ALL things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
B- Thank you Jesus, that I can be confident that the work that You began, You will complete. Philippians 6:1
C- Thank you Jesus, that I am complete in Christ the head of all principalities and powers. Colossians 2:10

I shared with her that each one of those cuts on her arm represented a lie from Satan, and that there is a promise from God that will hold back everyone of those lies, just like the FENCE held back the other horses. I shared that if she would trust God, like Windstar trust the fence that she could REST in peace. I told her that I was going to get the promises of God from A to Z enlarged and laminated so that she could put them up in her room and remember them. She said that her room is very empty and that there was plenty of room for them. We had taken a picture of Windstar earlier, so I will add that to her verses.
We talked of many things; being a conqueror of our destiny, not a victim of our circumstances; how if we can find a purpose for our pain that we can find peace; how we have little control over our time with our parents, but that is a small chapter in our lives, and how we have the whole rest of our story to write; what do you want your story to say….?

Connected

Is there anything like building fence with teenagers? I kind of compare it to fishing with children!!!! There are reverberation of Mrs. Spears, Renee, Nanny, ect..every 5 minutes. To which I replied, “Just a minute!” from one end of the fence to the other. However, while it may be that way sometimes, this crew of volunteer teenagers are amazing!
Overlapping a new sheep, goat, and pig fence onto an old single wire barbed fence, upon the owner’s request, we found to be somewhat frustrating! However, we made it work. The distance between post was more than I was comfortable with, so at places we would add a post or connect the new fence to the existing one. In working with one of the community service teenagers(not pictured), we were hard at it, until he noticed that the wire that we were connecting to had broken and in no way supported the fence. I just shook my head at the irony. As we disconnected to the unsecured fence, I couldn’t help but think of the correlation to my life.
What and who I connect to in life is sooooo important! In my life, my spiritual relationship with God is the most valuable and important. Upon receiving Christ as my Savior, my heart was to be Christ like, a Christian, in all I do and say(though I often fail in acts, my heart is relentless) It is firm and secure(unlike the fence, ha!). Next, my friends and spouse make a huge impact in how secure I am connected. I thank God for my husband every day! While we are very very different in so many ways, we both are connected to the same source. Because of that, we can go forward regardless of the storm. Sometimes the connection has been tested to the very limits of who we are and we are crawling belly down for each inch, but we have remained connected to God, our source, and to each other. All that I am and New Life Trails disseminates is in response to God’s work through my husband. You don’t see or hear from him personally a lot, but he is there in Christ through every word and action that transpires.

The Bible tells in 2 Corinthians 6: 14-17 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial: or what part has he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols: for ye are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And I will be a Father to you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. I love these verses! They are so personal!!!!! They are so from the heart of God!!!!! He longs that we walk in fellowship with Him, connected!!!!!

In our best efforts, just like the fence, we can connect to the wrong things. In response to that, just like the fence, we have to disconnect to the lose unsecured people or situations. 
p.s. Sometimes it is a good idea to pull on the wire beforehand to test its security! hint hint

Gentleness

Being exhausted from caring for the animals in the frigid weather, I laid down to rest for a moment in the late afternoon. With a gasp, I awoken to see that the light has dissipated from the sliver through the blinds in our front room. I glanced at the clock and it was after 8:00 p.m.. “Oh my!” slipped from my lips. I had not done the evening feeding and it was after dark now. It is so much harder to feed after dark, and the weather make it even more difficult. Shaking my head, I began putting on the layers of clothes as it was now 6 degrees outside.

Upon my arrival, I saw a Ewe back in the corner of the paddock. I saw that she had one new lamb at her side nursing, and upon closer evaluation, she had another that was laying on the ground. I scurried her into a separate pen, and picked up the lambs to join. One was jostling around, but the other had not made it to its feet and lay very helplessly. Freezing and still having a lot of feeding to do, I was thinking that the mother would just take care of it. However, I knew that the second lamb was frail, and was going to have a hard time and possibly die. Against my first intuition to leave it to the mother, I went back and picked it up. I snuggled it into my coat, and headed to the house to warm it up and see if I could get it to its feet. Well into the night, he rose to his feet. I continued to rub him down to get his circulation going, and gave him warm milk to get his little stomach working. After he was stronger, I took him back to him mom where he jumped into the battle for her milk.

Harshness would have said in my heart to leave it because life is about the survival of the fittest. I was tired and done, but at that point , it was time to draw from that which is deeper within me.

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that therefore if any man be in Christ(saved, a christian), we are a new creation. The old things have passed away(our self) and behold all things are new. It is the contrast between the old nature or fruit of the flesh, and the new nature of Christ that has been born within us at the time of salvation, the fruit of the Spirit.
When we have a right to hate we love,
When we have a right to despair, we have joy,
When we have a right to be anxious, we have peace,
When we have a right to be impatient, we have patience,
When we have a right to be mean, we are kind,
When we have a right to be harsh, we are gentleness,
When we have a right to be self willed, we practice self control,
When we have a right to be bad, we are goodness,
When we have a right to be faithless, we are faithfulness.

It’s all about learning who I am in Christ, which is alive in me at salvation, and saying no to the flesh, which hangs on to my being until redemption(being with Jesus in heaven). Romans 7:17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.

So, is all of this about a little lamb? Yes, but no, it is not. It is about a teenage girl that gave her heart to Jesus at the Trails a couple of months ago. She comes from a home situation with extended sexual abuse. She is in counseling, and I continue to work with her spiritually. Frustratingly, she has been making some really bad choices. She shared that she had smoked marijuana and the guy that she bought it from had laced it with a stronger drug to get her addicted to it. She shared about how bad it made her feel to do that, and how when she says no to that stuff that it makes her feel so light and free inside. But then the other day, she came to me and had been in trouble again, and her countenance was very downcast. I was tired. I was done for the day and felt a harshness from my flesh, but then Christ within me stirred God’s spirit within my heart. I took her face within my hands, and with gentleness ask her what her heart said, “It’s not who I am.” With gentleness, I wrapped my arms around her and enunciated, “Jesus loves you! He wants your heart, every minute of every day! Don’t give up because of the mistakes that you make, but learn from them. Jesus wants your heart!!!!!” 1 Samuel 16:7 For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

As a newborn Christian, she was as helpless as that newborn lamb. Not all people are spiritually born strong when they are saved. God does do that in some cases, but for most of us, it is a journey of living, learning, and loving. Just like the little lamb needed me to take it in my arms, help get its blood circulating, put it on its feet, give it time to get strong enough to face the harsh coldness of the world, sometimes people need time to understand who they are in Christ, say no to the flesh, and be who they are in Jesus.

Every stage of life, and really every day of life,I am learning who I am in Christ and what that looks like. When I make mistakes, I know God is picking me up with gentleness, circulating my spiritual blood with His Word, Christian music, fellowship of believers, putting me on my feet, and getting me ready to go out and face a very frigid world! Will I exemplify that same gentleness to those who cross my path today? One thing that I know for sure is that it will be when I feel the harshness of my flesh the greatest, that I will have the greatest opportunity to show Christ gentleness from within me.

Love you all!