WILLOW SPRINGS

 

Hello and Welcome to this post about Willow Springs Boys Ranch in Chandler Oklahoma.

Willow Springs Boys Ranch (WSBR) has become as the Blues Brothers would say, “Our mission from God”.  For some of you reading this, it is the first you’ve heard of WSBR and of our new journey as House Parents.

The mission of WSBR is to model the transforming love of Jesus Christ to boys in need, at risk or in a family crisis.  We attempt to do this is in a family-style environment in which we strive to help boys develop the tools to navigate the challenges of life.  WSBR is a long-term residential care program that helps boys find appropriate ways to deal with the conflicts and struggles of life.  We strive to develop coping skills, relational skills and character development.  When boys leave the Ranch it is our goal to send them out as productive, confident leaders for their families and community.

Willow Springs is built on faith and here is what we believe

We believe in one living and true God, the Creator of all things, perfect in love and righteousness. He is eternally existent as a Trinity of persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

We believe in Jesus Christ, the one and only begotten Son of God, eternally with the Father and Holy Spirit. We believe in his miraculous physical birth and sinless life. We believe that his atoning death on the cross and the power of his bodily resurrection make him the only mediator between God and humans. Following his resurrection he ascended to the Father and will return in power and glory.

We believe in the Holy Spirit eternally with the Father and the Son. He convicts us of sin, leads us to divine mercy and grace, indwells our hearts, empowering us to live a godly life and imparts discernment and gifts to us for service.

We believe that God made humans in His image that he might have a relationship with us. This relationship was broken by original sin and as a result all people are sinful and separated from God. We are incapable of restoring a right relationship with God on our own. We are dependent on His divine grace.

We believe in the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments as the holy and inspired Word of God. We believe the Bible to be the inerrant, authoritative source of truth and the final rule in all matters of faith and practice. It proclaims God’s redemptive plan and leads us to God’s grace.

We believe that Salvation comes to those who by faith alone place their trust in Christ alone for His redemption and grace. Salvation is a free gift and cannot be earned.

We believe in the Church as the Body of Christ. The Church is the fellowship of persons professing their faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of the Church is to proclaim the saving message of the Gospel and to continue Christ’s ministry in the world.

Okay so how did we find ourselves involved at WSBR?  It is, as my wife would say, “A long story”.  It has in fact been a journey that has been a year in the making just to get us to our first day.

With a calm spirit and giant step of faith, I decided it was time to leave my “worldly job”.  We thought another would come along quickly and in fact, what I would have considered the opportunity of a lifetime, ended up in my lap in what we thought was excellent timing.  It was a job in the industry I knew and loved.  It was great pay, great benefits, great people and great pay (did I already mention that one?).  It did have one downside, we would need to move to Ohio.  No problem I thought.  This is from God and I am from Ohio.  We prayed.  We prayed alone, together with Elders and with friends.  I flew to Ohio for one last trip of wining and dining.  I accepted the offer and boarded a plane to head home on a Thursday evening. Thinking God had really stepped in and said here you go Jason.  I was set to catch a plane back to Kentucky for a trade show in two weeks.  However, boy does a however really change a story.  However, the following Monday I made an early morning phone call to Ohio and informed them I would not be catching that return flight.  I told them it was not well with my spirit and I greatly appreciated their offer and just like that I watched my “worldly dreams” fly off into the sunset.  I struggled with the decision for months.  What had I done?  Was I wrong?  Was I just too scared?  Was I doubting my ability?  Nope, I was just listening to wise counsel and the urging of the Holy Spirit.  That was September of 2015.  The job search began and I was the best candidate for many of the jobs where I interviewed.  Interview after interview we received the answer of “We are going to keep looking at other candidates”.  It baffled both my wife and myself.  Why weren’t we getting a job?   Simply put, God was further preparing us to totally rely on him and his provision.  He has increased our faith by watching how he provided over the last year.  Friends, family, fill in jobs here and there and just like that the bills were getting paid.  We were even fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to take a family vacation before heading to the Ranch.

Yes that was a long story, but as I said it took an entire year.  So how did we end up at the Ranch?  Back around April / May an Elder from church approached me and asked me to send him my contact information.  He wanted to send it on to a friend at a Boys Ranch.  He thought we would be a good fit as house parents.  I thought about it for a day and decided that I trust the Elders of my church so I sent him my information.  After all what could it hurt?  We had some initial contact with the Ranch, some meetings and lunches, coffee with Board members and decided it wasn’t for us.  I was holding on to one last possibility at a “worldly job”.  We prayed again, God if you want us at the Ranch then close all the other doors.  Please don’t make me have to choose.  God waited and waited.  We called the Ranch back and started up conversation again about the opportunity.  They had since turned down another couple and were praying about Joni and I.  They felt God was leading them saying we were the right ones to fill the spot.  We prayed again God please if this is your calling, if this is your will for us make it clear.  He immediately closed every door.  He even closed the one side job I was working, leaving us with no income at all.  He had answered our prayers.  Yes, God had answered our prayers and made it very clear where he wanted us to be.  He wanted us at Willow Springs Boys Ranch.  It has been a tough journey and I am sure there are tough days ahead.  However,(this time it’s a good however.)  However, we know he has led us here.  We know his plans are greater than what we could have ever found outside of his will.  My God is good and has called us to something we would have never picked or chosen to do on our own.  Much like Moses, and Noah we have chosen to walk by faith and not by sight.  Sure we could take the Jonah way out but I don’t fish so…

Thank you for taking time to read up on our story and I truly believe God when he says I will give you the desires of your heart and I believe he is transforming our hearts to desire this calling.  Please don’t be fooled and think God will only call you to what you are comfortable with or think you would be good at doing, or even something you think would be fun.

Romans 8:27-28 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

For more information please visit http:// www.wsbr.ws

If you want to know how you can partner with us please see the following

PRAY! – As we transition we pray for the hearts of the boys there (4 teenagers!) to receive us well, for our children to feel secure in our love for them as we bring more children into the fold and for us to have the wisdom to minister to them well. Three of the boys do not know Christ. Please pray for their salvation.

GOODS – Consider donating, food (Venison? YES!) and dry goods (i.e. paper products, laundry soap). Anything that will help us to stretch a very tight grocery budget.

DONATE – You can make a one-time or monthly tax-deductible donation to WSBR in our name to help support us in our work there. Please specify “MOORE FAMILY” in the memo.

Thank you for considering how you can be a part of this Kingdom work. May God richly bless you!

Grace and Peace,

The Moore Family

Jason, Joni, Kallyn and Gannon

 


 

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows

sunshineLeslie Gore sang this song and all was grand. What about when things aren’t grand? What about when we fail, when we make mistakes? What about when others don’t meet our expectations, even worse, what about when we don’t meet theirs?

What do we do when we fail, when we don’t measure up? Do we pull a Tom Dooley and hang down our heads, do we sweep it under the rug and act like it didn’t happen?

Before I get too deep here without any biblical context, let’s look at what Peter did. He denied Jesus three times. I believe that ranks right up there in the fail category. HOWEVER, Jesus knew Peter would fail and when and how he would fail. The one he said he would build is kingdom on failed Jesus. Don’t we know people will fail? Even Adam failed and hence started the history of failure. If you haven’t caught my drift yet, we will fail and others will fail us. You now what, Jesus knew we would fail also. How did he deal with Peter? He gave Peter three more chances to get it right. He set the example of forgiving seventy times seventy times. That had to make Peter feel better, although in the instance, Peter seemed to get frustrated. He knew that Jesus knew he loved him. I believe it was then that Peter realized that Jesus truly did love him and he truly loved Jesus and their relationship was redeemed.

So, where is the wisdom? Peter saw that Jesus was forgiving him and in the same sense realized he had to forgive himself. How often do we long for forgiveness from others, but don’t forgive ourselves? Is it biblical to forgive yourself. Let’s go back to Adam but from a New Testament view. The second sentence of Romans 5:16 says for the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. Now lets jump to Romans 8:1 there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Wow no condemnation. If Jesus was willing to release his power and let sinful man beat him and nail him to a cross to forgive you, don’t you think you should also forgive yourself? God the Father says your sins are gone, why would you hold onto them? Please don’t mistake this as me saying you aren’t responsible for your sin, or that you aren’t responsible to ask forgiveness to those you have hurt. You can’t force them to forgive you, you can’t take away those hurts you poured out on them and you can’t make them trust you again. You can however continue to love them as Christ loved the church. The Holy Spirit in them will see the Holy Spirit in you and that relationship can be redeemed, just like with Peter and Jesus. It may happen quickly and it may take years, but Jesus hasn’t left your side and will make the journey with you.

If you have hurt someone, acknowledge your role in that hurt. Seek forgiveness and watch God work in your lives. On the flip side, if someone has hurt you ask God to soften your heart to the point of forgiveness. It’s biblical to seek both sides and blessings do come from both sides. Neither side is sunshine, lollipops and rainbows but neither was the cross.

Promised Verses

wisdom 4
As promised in the last cliff hanger, here are some verses to look at discussing God’s “Common Love” and his Covenant Love.

Psalm 145:9 / Matthew 5:45 / 1 Corinthians 16:23 / John 1:16 Exodus 22:27 / Matthew 9:36 / Matthew 15:32 / Romans 2:1-5 / Romans 9:22 / Micah 7:19 / 1 Kings 4:29 / Proverbs 2:6 / 2 Chronicles 1:12 / Psalm 14:1 / Romans 1:18-32 / Ephesians 2:8-9 / 1 John 4:10 / Romans 3:25-26 / John 15:13 / John 15:15 / James 2:23 / Revelation 20:11-15 / 2 Corinthians 5:10 / Romans 14:10-12.

I could have broken those down to show which ones relate to which Love, but then how would that get you into God’s word. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime. Comments are always welcome as well as questions.

Wisdom and God’s Love

God’s love. Sounds simple right? Not as simple as the world wants to believe.

When studying the bible you can see that God has mercy, compassion, kindness and patience for all of mankind. This is known as “Common Love”. This is made known in Psalms 145:9 which reads the Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all he has made. The believer (elect) and the non-believer (world) both share in this common love. We also find a “Covenant Love” when we study the word. The gospel writing of John is full of this covenant love. Some are chosen by God, for example Israel. Why, because he is God. To those God has chosen, his love will endure forever, past the judgement seats and throughout eternity. For those who only receive common love, this love will stop at the Great White Throne Judgement when non-believers are handed their eternity, hell, which is the absence of God’s presence. If he isn’t present, then his mercy, compassion, kindness and patience can not be present.

I realize that may sound different from what you have heard growing up, but the scriptures are clear. God has a common love for all he has created and a covenant love for all he has chosen. Noah and the flood are a perfect example. He said what he had created was good, but man corrupted it. Therefore, he destroyed everything and everyone except for the eight he had chosen, Noah and his family.

This is just a brief statement and requires a more in-depth look to see how wonderful this truth is and how it shows how just God is. I will post again with a list of verses for you to look at and study. Like I’ve said before who doesn’t like a good cliffhanger. Until next time, seek God and his wisdom. He will give it to all who truly believe.

Desperate Times

Men's Prayer Walk

Desperate times call for desperate measures. To a non-believer, turning to Christ is a desperate measure. They’ve tried everything else without successful results. They’ve turned to every idol they have to get them through the trial, the pain, the confusion.  How often as believers do we turn to prayer as a last effort? Why do we exhaust time, energy, stress, even resources before we turn to our Savior in prayer? Is it pride, or do we just simply think we have to do it on our own to show God we can?  Perhaps non-believers as well as believers need to be broken. 

How then does God break people?  By removing their idols. We see it in the Bible with King Nebuchadnezzar.  He was broken to the point of behaving like a wild animal and eating grass like a cow before he cried out to God.  That’s when God restored him…

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Group Prayer

Some writings I do for another Blog. Be sure and check it out as well. http://www.mensprayerwalk.wordpress.com

Men's Prayer Walk

Praying alone is a beautiful thing. We are even called to pray in secret. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your father who is in secret… Matthew 6:5. What about praying in a group, how is that different? Think about it like this. In Romans Ch. 8 we are shown that the Spirit intercedes for us for we do not know what to pray. When I pray alone, the spirit intercedes for one. If I am praying with a group of twelve men, the Spirit is interceding for twelve. As I have experienced when I hear other men praying, the spirit in me seems to come alive more intensely and I am flooded with the words, because there is a major outpouring of the Spirit. It is a rarity to be praying in a group and only hear the prayer of…

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What and Whence Part 2

The last question was about how to get wisdom. It’s not as hard as one might imagine.

First and foremost I believe it is imperative to say one must be a believer in the gospel to receive or tap into the wisdom of God.  Once that is nailed down, we are told to ask for it. It’s not by works that we receive salvation and neither is it by works that we receive God’s granted wisdom, all his gifts are given out of grace.   James 1:5 says the following… If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

I know what you are thinking, that verse says he will give it to all.  Look at the first part of the following verse…But let him ask in faith, with no doubting,.  No faith equals no wisdom.  You can not doubt God and receive wisdom.  Wisdom is a fantastic gift from God and available to all believers who ask.

Are you struggling with trials and don’t have the answers?  Are you totally confused about decisions you are facing?  Seek out wisdom and the byproduct will be knowledge. Then, when you find yourself in life’s next pickle, you will have more than just the world’s input, you will have…

1. God                                                                           2. Wisdom                                                                   3. Knowledge