I have been out to Grace Ranch many times. The first time I went out there I went out there to live. At that time, I was coming out of the clutches of the world and myself. I had just come back to the Lord, after doing my own thing and falling flat on my face.
If you have read my testimony, then you know that I was a drug addict with no chance of life, except the Lord saved me. For me, Grace Ranch was a place where I could get out of the world and its devices. It gave me the opportunity to learn things about myself and the Lord without distraction. The things that I learned at Grace Ranch were keys to my later growth and freedom in Christ Jesus.
The fact was that there were choices I needed to make to get shed of the garbage that was holding me back in the Lord. Some of the things that I am talking about were letting go of the past, commitment and receiving the washing away of all my sins, as the Gospel promises. In Philippians 3:13, the Apostle Paul wrote:
Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.
It was the forgetting those things which are behind part that I struggled with. I did not realize I struggled with it until the Lord sent his minister to talk to me about it. It was only then that I was able to get free.
The same was true of commitment, though I did not realize it until the Lord sent a different minister to talk to me about that as well. Upon reflection, after that conversation, I could not deny that the truth was I had a big issue with commitment. I did not commit myself to anything. I dropped out of school, I quit many jobs and the big one, the one that mattered, I did not commit myself to the Lord.
Now I did not face these issues right away. It took me a while to realize that the issues I struggled with were bonds to me, keeping me back from walking in that new life in Christ, that He was calling me to. But thankfully the Lord did not give up on me and when I finally chose to face those issues, the Lord moved in a mighty way to bless me and set me free in manners that exceeded abundantly above all that I ever could have asked or even thought. Finally, I was able to rest upon that new foundation for my life in Him that had been laid out to me at Grace Ranch.
Now I return to Grace Ranch, with my wife and children, for the annual Ministers’ Convention. Each time we are blessed of the Lord. It continues to be a place where I can get away from the world and its distractions so that I can get focused on the Lord and oriented in Him. Light is always shown on those areas in my heart that are unprofitable so that I can get shed of them and my batteries are recharged for the service that he has for me to do. These are just a couple of things that the Lord has used Grace Ranch for in my life. There have been many more.