Week 21: Redemption Ranch

Redemption Ranch

Redemption Ranch....

So Rebecca had been mulling over a name to give her ranch.  She said she actually had the name a while ago just never made it official, till now.  It is a fitting name.  I cannot tell you the countless people that have come into contact with Rebecca, and her generosity and love for God and found healing and redemption in Him.

My own journey with Rebecca began when I first got to Lindale/Tyler.  In fact, as I remember correctly, on her other property, it was my first job in the area, helping a plumber named Brad with her pipes outside in the summer heat.   Little did I know that I would be helping out Rebecca on her property there and eventually at her new ranch.  We have seen each other grow, struggle, and developed a deep friendship in the process.  It is no accident that Rebecca's cabin, that I was house sitting one Christmas holiday, is where I proposed to my lovely wife Ginger.

Ranch work is not easy.  But it is rewarding, at least to me.  You never know what "project" you may end up doing on a Saturday, but I have always found it enjoyable.  The peace of God was at the old place and it is here as well.  I have free reign to take pictures, and have.  And it is where I have gotten some of my best ideas for photo projects, including the addiction/recovery series I just did.

I'll never forget when she got Gretchen, her first horse.  At the time I was quite terrified of horses.  But Rebecca helped me to work around Gretchen and Gretchen, well, she took a liking to me.  Fast forward to today where I enter the stalls with the horses (5 around now), move around them, talk to them and I have even started learning to lead them to the pasture.  Who would have thought.  But that is the power of God at Redemption Ranch.

So it is only fitting that on a certain anniversary I am working at the ranch.  Redemption.  On May 26th 2002 I found redemption.  I use to look at this date in a negative light, a reminder of all the bad things I had done.  Guess I have matured.  As I study the Bible I see that God put memorials in place so that the Jews would not forget what God had done for them.  I was looking at my date in a negative light.  But I need not.  It is a memorial to what God did to my life on that date and for my family, the answered prayers.   It began a process of redemption.  I cannot tell you the happiness I felt seeing a text from my Mom yesterday.  It is a special day for her and now I and I will look forward to seeing a text from her each year on that day.  Is it any coincidence that one of my self portraits is in their house and is named redemption?

But I have been changing.  After my visit to my parents in Iowa something changed, there was healing in that trip.  And in my recent photo series as well.   I couldn't really put a word to it until yesterday and I heard that word again, redemption.  I actually feel redeemed.  God is good.  Listening to Mercy Me right now and there is a three song series on the Welcome to the New album, Greater, Finish what He started, and Flawless.  This week, as my anniversary date loomed,  I was listening to Lauren Daigle, specifically, Trust in You and How Can it Be, and tears welled up in my eyes (And I was at work no less!).  God will finish what He has started in me and I am looking forward to life and what that may bring.  My depression has been much better.  Usually with the heat of summer my Seasonal Affective Disorder begins to flair up.  But not this time.  I have "sun" projects lined up for photography (one word, Infrared).  Granted I love the cooler weather much better but there are projects I can only do in the spring and summer.  After all, God created the seasons.  There is a purpose for each one and I know God will help me through each one for His purpose.

So how about some pictures of my little girl?

Sophie the Protector

This was just such a cute shot.  Yes it is a little noisy (A photography term).  But Sophie is a little protector of Ginger.  Especially when Ginger has a hard day and takes a nap, Sophie will wrap around Ginger's head, or in this case, put her head on her's as if she is protecting it.  I cannot tell you how much of a therapy dog she is.

And of course she can be just plain cute:

I'm cute right?
I have learned I have to keep my camera around me at all times because I never know when I might miss a shot!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day.  God is good, I cannot say it enough.  As I look back on the last 16 years I am just amazed at how awesome God is, He redeems.....



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